Author Archives: Kathy

We All Got Crowns

Every once in a while, I find a song that speaks to me in some way (and it usually has a beat and you can dance to it) and I end up listening to it over and over and over again every day for several weeks. With this one, I have even watched the video (multiple times) and looked up who all the people in the video are and what her Easter eggs in the video mean. It’s very interesting and you should check it out if you’re nerdy like me. My latest song addiction is Taylor Swift’sYou Need To Calm Down” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkk9gvTmCXY) There are several messages for me:

Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out
But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out

To me, this speaks to internet trolls. One of my greatest fears as a blogger is hurtful comments about one of my blog posts. I’ve had a taste of it once already on another page and I didn’t like it. I know I shouldn’t worry about it, and I know that if they really, truly cared so much THEY would be blogging . . . but they aren’t. People can do really awful things behind the cloak of the internet. Something about that makes people really brave. Think the Wizard of Oz. I should feel sorry for them that they feel the need to bully others online to make themselves look bigger. News flash! It doesn’t. It makes them look like the trolls they are. So if you have a comment to make, if it’s positive, please post it so everyone can see it but if it is negative, please send me (or the author) a private message. I’ve had lots of friends send me messages about typos in my proofreading blog (OOPS!) and I truly appreciate that.

And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay

This was actually the first line I heard that made me find the song. Indeed, shade never does make anybody less gay. I have many gay friends and family members and I love them all equally. Them being gay doesn’t affect me. It is THEIR lifestyle, not mine. Most of the homosexual couples I know have far better relationships than most heterosexual couples I know. Just mind your own business. And thanks to Taylor for actually saying it.

Like can you just not step on my gown?
You need to calm down

This is one of my favorite lines. To me it means that you’re getting into my space and stepping on my beautiful glittery gown because you’re upset about something dumb. Get. Off. My. Gown. Go be grumpy all by yourself off in a corner somewhere and quit dirtying up my space.

And we see you over there on the internet
Comparing all the girls who are killing it
But we figured you out
We all know now we all got crowns

But these lines are the essence of why I love this song. You can’t compare yourself to anyone else. As I’ve said before, you can’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel. Those people you follow on Instagram? That could be their only job. The authors, singers, podcasters, actors, all the successful people we follow and want to be just like? They’ve worked really hard (and probably a really long time) to get where they are. It wasn’t overnight. And it usually wasn’t without lots of help. So keep pushing forward. Keep doing what you’re doing. If you need help, ask for it. If you need training, get it. Do what you need to do to be where you want to be. That is all on you. Nobody else can make that happen for you.

But my favorite part is that we’ve ALL got crowns. Some are super glittery and out there for everyone to see (usually in Instagram) and some are nearly invisible, but they are there. We are ALL worthy, we are ALL amazing people, we are ALL successful if we work hard to be. Don’t compare yourself to others. Just be you! Then there’s no competition!

But remember, if someone is struggling and you can help, do! As they say, what goes around comes around. Another of my favorite sayings is:

Now I need to go find a nice crown to go with my beautiful glittery gown. Wanna come?

Just Be Nice

Because of my commute, I listen to a lot of podcasts. A LOT. Most of what I listen to are leadership and self-improvement podcasts. I recently heard something reminding me that I had purchased a gratitude journal that I hadn’t started using yet. The idea is to–every day–list five things you’re grateful for and ten dreams (written in present tense as if you already made them happen), and then one goal you will work on achieving first. And so I started.

Having to write down five things you’re grateful for every day can really take some effort. As you keep doing it, the best part is that you start looking for things to include each day which really helps me to look at every situation differently. In fact, recently I decided to be nice to others. I’m all for smiling at the security guard and the cleaning people I see every day, but I’m not good at striking up conversations with those people. This time, I specifically went out of my way when I saw the guy cleaning the planters outside (which is one of his tasks every morning) to thank him for doing such a good job. As I continued on my way, I heard him saying something behind me, but didn’t catch exactly what he said. I’m hopeful that it made the rest of his day better even if he said (as I may have heard) that he was just doing his job. Everyone working is “just doing their job,” but if they are doing that job well, with a smile on their face and a warm “good morning” every day, that deserves to be acknowledged.

Another day, I sent emails to our attorneys who always enter their timesheets on time. I’m in charge of sending out “reminder” emails. Several times. Every. Single. Month. So I get frustrated when people don’t do what I say and the people who follow directions have a special place in my heart. I decided to just send them a “thank you for getting your time in on time” email. Most of them responded thanking me for thanking them. It took me just a couple of minutes, but I hope it made a difference.

This week, take a minute to thank someone for doing what they do. It will probably make their day–and yours too!

Don’t Phub Me!

I recently learned a new word–phubbing. What is phubbing you might ask? It’s snubbing the person you’re having a conversation with to look at your phone. I am as guilty as anyone (and maybe even more so) of phubbing friends and acquaintances. I have even done some experimenting while I’m watching TV and looking at my phone. When that is happening, I am NOT paying attention to the TV and miss whatever was happening and have to rewind to catch up. Unfortunately, we can’t do that to conversations with people. Yet, when we are phubbing them, we are missing whatever it is that they’re saying. While it may well be boring, IT IS RUDE! Put your damn phone away and spend some quality time with others. We truly don’t need to be on our phones 24/7. I’ve mentioned before that I’m really trying to put my phone away and be intentional about my time with family and friends and it really does make a difference.

PHUBBING2.jpg

Sometimes, it even helps you notice that people are–indeed–phubbing you. They think they are paying attention and they think they are participating in the conversation, but they’re not. If you watch, they might smile over a Facebook post or text, they might share it with you (even though it has nothing to do with what your conversation was about), they might wince at some news story that flashed on their phone, but whatever it is they’re doing, they are NOT participating in the conversation with YOU!

I’m pretty sure that sometimes it is my introvert way of not dealing with others. If someone is sitting by themselves obviously looking at their phone, what is the chance of someone stopping and striking up a conversation? Pretty dang slim. So instead of meeting a potential new friend, I am caught up on the last 15 minutes of Facebook posts. That really is not a great trade.

Let’s make a pact to stop phubbing people. When you are having quality time with family or friends, put your phone away. The world won’t end if you don’t even look at it until you need to schedule the next outing with your friends or the next family event. I promise it won’t. And you will survive not looking at your phone for an hour or two. You just might be pleasantly surprised with how much fun a non-phubbing conversation can be. In fact, I recently went to dinner with friends and once everyone was there, phones were miraculously put away. It was a great evening of laughter, catching up, and true friendship–that actually continued for another hour in the parking lot–WITHOUT PHONES! That non-phubbing evening was special to me. Try it and you just may find that time spent NOT phubbing your friends will be special to you too!

 

2019 Word Of The Year

IntentionI am not one for New Year’s resolutions. It is frustrating to me because I don’t keep them and then I feel incompetent and down on myself. So I don’t do it. Instead, several years ago, I heard about having a word of the year–something that you can focus on to help you meet your goals. That is much easier (and probably much more effective) for me.

This year was harder than most. Usually I have my word no later than some time in November. This time, it was January before I came up with the word that will direct my life this year. So what is my word of the year for 2019? It is INTENTION. What does that mean? To me, it means that this year I will do things with intention. I don’t want to do things just because it’s expected of me or because I’ve always done it. I want to be intentional in the things I do for others and for myself. That means I will be letting go of some things this year that are taking my energy–but not my heart. I will continue to work on being present when I am with others (I think that is an intentional act). I will move with intention toward my goals instead of talking about them but not taking any action. I will live my life with intention–my intention. I will continue to put my phone away when I am with friends and family. I will be present where my feet are instead of where my head is. I will stop the negative self-talk and work on positive goals. I have so many people supporting me and my goals that the fact that I’m not moving that way is cheating me AND THEM out of seeing dreams fulfilled.

So know that if I say “no” to you, it is not personal. Well, it is personal to me and part of my intention, but it is not because of you. It is because I’m making room in my life and will finally allow others to do things that speak to their strengths (whether they know it or not). I won’t hog all the things.

What is your word for 2019 and what does it mean to you?

Show A Little Gratitude

GratitudeDid you receive gifts recently? Do you receive gifts throughout the year–for a reason or not? Did you say “thank you” to the giver?

Just getting past the holiday season reminds me of the importance of those two words. When a gift giver spends time and energy to find a gift they hope you will love (even if it is something you told them you wanted), they like to know that (a) you received it, (b) you are grateful for it, (c) you are kind enough to thank them for it. It’s not hard. And it doesn’t take much time. But it can make a huge difference in even whether you get another gift from that person.

So take the time to thank those who give you gifts (or do other nice things for you)! It encourages the gift-giver to continue and when those two small words make a difference in their whole attitude, it will make you feel better too.

How Lucky Am I?

HowluckyamiI often tell people that I’ve been lucky in my career, lucky in love, lucky with how awesome my children and grandchildren are, and lucky in life generally. The last time I was talking to someone about my job and said that I had been really lucky, I stopped myself. While I have sometimes been lucky to be in the right place at the right time, I have worked my ass off to get where I am in my career. Luck? Nope. Hard work, dedication, respect, self-improvement, learning constantly–those are the things that have put me where I am in my career. Well, maybe now that I think about it I was lucky that I was fired from a job I held for 15 years and ended up floundering a bit until I took a temporary job at an international law firm in the word processing department, which turned into being a floater secretary, which turned into ending up at my female attorney’s desk when her secretary had extended jury duty and then was promoted to another position, leaving me assigned to her and working in a permanent position at the law firm. Maybe I was lucky that she was patient enough to teach me what I needed to know about litigation since I had spent the first 15 years of my career doing probate, estate planning, and corporate law. Maybe I was lucky that our personalities mesh so that we work well together. Maybe I was lucky that I accepted a huge cut in my salary just to work full time and learn a new specialty. Maybe I was lucky to love the thrill of litigation. Maybe I was lucky that she went to bat for me to get my salary up to where it should be. Maybe I was lucky that when she moved to new law firms, she asked me to go with her. And that could be where luck ends. From there, I worked hard to learn all I could about litigation, court filings, etc. so that I could do a good job. I worked hard to figure out my boss’s idiosyncrasies so that we could continue to work better together (and now it is 23 years later!). I worked hard to do the best job I could do with attorneys whom I respect and who respect me back and to continue learning and improving every day. I worked hard to be the best legal support professional I could be, including going to night school to get a paralegal degree, taking and passing several legal certification exams, continuing to attend CLE courses to keep learning ways to help me and my firm, joining professional associations (and being active) so that I could make valuable connections in the legal community, and showing up every day and busting my butt to do a good job.

Lucky in love? Maybe it was lucky that I went on my very first date with a boy from church and we double dated with an even cuter boy and his date. Maybe it was lucky that the cute boy actually liked me and eventually asked me out. Maybe it was lucky that we didn’t go to the same high school since our academic careers were very different. But, no, it wasn’t luck that has kept us together for 44 years–it is hard work and dedication to our marriage. It is ignoring the small annoyances and being thankful for the small things he does right. It is loving every single day–whether that means a quick peck when he comes home, cooking dinner every night (gluten free mind you!), putting dishes away, loading the dishwasher, washing the windshield of my car, checking tire pressures, whatever thing needs to be done for one person that the other person does.

Lucky with how my children and grandchildren are turning out? Maybe it was lucky that I didn’t go to jail for child abuse when my children were teenagers. Maybe it was lucky that we didn’t have much money, so I learned to give them time once in a while instead of things. Maybe it was lucky that my husband worked from home when they were in school. But, no, I worked hard to show my children that I loved them–no matter what. I worked hard to take a day off of work around their birthday to spend an entire day focused on them and doing things they were interested in (and have continued that tradition with my grandchildren). I worked hard to keep holiday traditions alive in our family including Santa footprints and timing multiple extended family celebrations.

So have I been lucky in life? Absolutely! But I’ve worked hard for what I have as well, it hasn’t been handed to me. Except by my husband–I’ve been pretty lucky there. But this life is hard work if you want it to be a good one. As they say, life is not a spectator sport. It is something to get up off the couch and enjoy. Do things that scare you. Do things that stretch you. Do the things that those you love want to do. Then, just maybe, you’ll be as lucky as I am.

Our Normal Is Someone Else’s Perfect

Our Normal Is Someone Else's PerfectI recently spent some time in Sedona, Arizona, with one of my granddaughters. While driving around, I saw beautiful houses in this gorgeous area full of red rocks, rock formations, and vortices. Then I saw some of those beautiful homes with campers or trailers in the back yard. My first thought was why in the world would someone want to leave this gorgeous area to go somewhere else? Then I thought that perhaps my “perfect” is just someone else’s normal.

That theory trickles down. You may have a better house, better car, better view, or better job than someone else and they are wondering why you’re complaining. Those things might be their “perfect” while it’s our “normal.” It’s those things we have and see every day. Perhaps we need to stop and look at what we have and do through someone else’s eyes. The house you’ve had for 10 years? It could seem like a mansion to someone else. The car that you dread getting into every day because the window sticks? Perhaps it’s better than walking for someone else.

Spend some time just surveying all that you have. It may not be better than someone else’s–in fact, chances are excellent that it is not–but your “normal” is still someone else’s “perfect.” Be satisfied with it. If you’re not happy with it, make it better. If you hate it, move or sell and buy something you are happy with. Something that is “perfect” for you–at least until it becomes your “normal.”

I just feel like I need to be grateful for what I have been blessed with. It’s certainly not the nicest house, car, etc. even in my own neighborhood, but it is perfect for me. It is my “normal” and I’m sure there are a lot of people who think it is their “perfect.” So I need to be better about realizing that it is my “perfect” and treat it that way.

It’s All About Perspective

I recently had dinner with a friend. Among our many topics of conversation were our respective blogs. I shared with her my goals and plans for my proofreading blog (proofthatblog.com) and how I saw it all coming together. She said something to the effect that if I did one piece first (the piece I was planning to do last because it is the biggest and scariest), then I have all the other pieces basically done. Seriously. Mind. Blown.

Sometimes, no matter how many times we play any scenario in our heads and feel like it makes total and complete sense, talking to someone else about it helps put things into alignment. It felt like my brain is a pinball machine and I keep hitting the paddles to move things around in there adding goals, dropping tasks, trying to keep everything moving. And all it took was one sentence to make those balls all roll into alignment. One sentence by someone with a totally different perspective than I have!

pinballs

We both have blogs that end up with similar topics. I have this one and she has one titled “Even Better Today” (https://evenbettertoday.wordpress.com/). We were discussing some blog post ideas we had each written down. Some were the same, some were very similar, and some were very different. Did I feel threatened about the topics that were the similar or the same? Heck no! We each have a different perspective on those topics so I’m pretty sure they will be entirely different posts.

I think we will spend much more time on our new “blog mastermind” that I’ve set up in my head (and I really need to share that with her). I always knew the value of her perspective, but I don’t think I had ever shared my real “plan.” Once I did, the BHAG (big hairy audacious goals) that I was putting off because they were scary seemed not quite so scary. It was a plan. A workable plan. Something I can start on TODAY!

Perspective is different for every person based on their life experiences, education, tribe, goals, and dreams. Whatever you do, don’t automatically dismiss someone else’s perspective on your goals and dreams. It reminds me of dealing with my mother-in-law when I was first married and having children. She was full of advice. Some of it was good and some of it not so much (like seriously, putting the pacifier in sugar or liquor before giving it back to the baby??). I listened to it all and then used it (or not) as I was making my way through new territories. If you are lucky enough to have people in your life who want to see you reach your goals and dreams and are smart enough to help you, take advantage of it. Listen to all of their thoughts. Take what you need from that and use it and leave the rest. Because this is our life, not theirs. It needs to have your spin on it, not theirs. But I’m a firm believer in gathering all the facts you can to make a good decision (but don’t get so mired in the fact-finding that you keep delaying a decision!). So find someone who is interested and knowledgeable in what you’re struggling with and LISTEN to them. And then have another conversation with them and LISTEN again. And keep listening and taking pieces that you need to make yourself better. Listening is a skill. You don’t have to act on every single piece of information you hear, but take what you need, morph other stuff into something you need, and either dismiss the rest or store it in case you need it later.

In other words, be open to another person’s perspective. You don’t have to adopt all of their ideas or try to live their life, but our lives are a conglomeration of experiences with all kinds of different people and situations. Just be open to more of these experiences and perspectives. That’s my plan!

Replay Thursday

Thursday-ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog and 60 Is The New 60 blog during the past week.

http://proofthatblog.com/2018/06/15/grammar-giggle-honary/

http://proofthatblog.com/2018/06/18/grammar-giggle-for-tour/

http://proofthatblog.com/2018/06/19/confusing-words-of-the-week-30/

http://60isthenew60blog.com/2018/06/20/im-not-too-old-for-that/