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Posts by Stephy
Every day you have to make the decision to be happy and approach things with the best of intentions. Some days it’s not easy, especially when you are feeling like things aren’t going the way you imagined. There are lots of examples of true kindness and beauty every day to help remind us to be thankful for all we have.
Cancer sucks! Here’s an amazing story of kindness by high school students who gave up their class trip to donate the money to their principal’s cancer treatment.
SELFLESS SACRIFICE: A high school principal was brought to tears when her senior class unanimously decided to give up their class trip to donate nearly $8,000 to her cancer treatment. HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS SACRIFICE CLASS TRIP TO DONATE TO PRINCIPAL’S CANCER CARE
It’s hard to come back to the ole work life after the long Memorial Day Weekend. It was such a spectacular weekend – getting time to workout, spending time with friends and being outside for much of it. It was one of those weekends that was perfect in it’s simplicity. I spent time with kind, fun people including my own family. I got to appreciate the feeling a great workout gave me, got in some napping and the weather was perfect. Kumbaya!
This summer I am going to start to tackle one of my biggest challenges – decluttering and tidying up my house. I am going to start with my own closet and clothing situation. It’s a trait I come by honestly by way of my Mom and it’s one that drives me crazy. I read this article the other day:
“It’s not just about tidying up to get rid of things,” Ramsey says. “It’s about having gratitude for the objects you choose to be in your life.” So if something (or someone) doesn’t bring you joy, don’t try to justify its place in your world. Just say thank you and move on.
One of the points made is that you should try to get it done in one project. So not by room or bit by bit. You need to sit down and go through all of your clothes at once. I am going to organize my clothes and closet by the end of the summer because it’s starting to drain me of energy. Seeing the big piles of clothes all over my bedroom isn’t healthy and I can’t find any of the pieces that bring me joy and that goes against the principle of having the clothes I do.
I have been trying to walk during my lunch hours and listen to podcasts that focus on certain themes like leadership and improvement. Not only does it allow me to be close to nature, it’s also an opportunity to learn and grow and also just have time to think on regular basis. When was the last time you spent time just thinking? I have spoken about this problem before: We as a society don’t know how to carve out even just a little time to THINK.
Lately, I am enjoying The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes. Howes is an American author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player who hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed as a podcast.
“The goal of the School of Greatness is to share inspiring stories from the most brilliant business minds, world class athletes and influential celebrities on the planet; to help you find out what makes great people great.”
During my walks, while I am listening, I find myself regularly noting down advice or things that strike me as relevant. I usually send myself a text so it doesn’t get lost. Last week, I was listening to The School of Greatness podcast entitled Become Superhuman at Any Skill with Tim Ferriss. In this podcast, Lewis wanted to learn some things about Tim that most people don’t know.
If you aren’t familiar with Tim Ferriss, he’s a noted speaker and author of the Four Hour Workweek. He’s a pretty cool, innovative and interesting guy.
Tim was asked to name three people in his life (beyond his parents) that made an impact by showing him kindness. This question struck me for some reason. Maybe it was having to name three people. How many people can clearly identify three people (in the past or today) that fit that description? How did those people impact your life trajectory? It’s not a question I have ever really considered and I am not sure that I can name three people that have had a marked impact on my life’s path by their kindness. I have had lots of kindness shown to me throughout the years, but have not had the pleasure of finding a mentor, coach or leader that I would put under that category. Kind of disheartening if I am being honest. When I think of kind people, my first thought is my husband Scott. He is seriously one of the kindest people I have ever met – from day one until today. He rarely if ever has an unkind word to say about anyone and I credit him with teaching me to see see things with a different perspective.
What about you? When was the last time you thought about who in your life has shown you true kindness and helped set you on your path to greatness?
Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world… Helen Keller
I’ve been doing some more soul searching the past week –
The past few days have been pretty stressful. Scott’s mom is in the hospital. My dad and step mother got into a car accident this past weekend. Their car is totaled, they are banged up but going to be OK. The thing is, experiencing your parents’ getting older is tough especially when they didn’t take particularly great care of their health in general. It’s another reminder that lifestyle definitely catches up with you as you age. And when you are experiencing it from a distance – it’s hard to really see how bad a situation is. You have to rely on your parents to tell you what’s going on. Reality is different depending on the filters we put on.
In other stressful news, Scott and I are both not feeling well with different maladies. Nothing too serious but enough that we both went to the doctors last week and are on meds. And to top it all off – Scott’s car broke down on Friday evening and a bunch of money $$$ later, the car should be fixed by tomorrow.
All of this has me thinking about what I really want out of life and why am I not feeling as happy as I think I should be?
Career wise: Do I want to continue heading into an office and working for someone else? The culture and company I am looking for based on my experience with my last position is a lot more clear than it has ever been. The issue is, I’m not sure my current situation is meeting the requirements as I had hoped it would. In the past 90 days of me starting, there have been a ton of changes and restructuring. Things I didn’t know about when I accepted the position. The changes aren’t really in line with my background, interests or what I was looking for. It’s disappointing to say the least. I was hoping to be able to grow, learn, be challenged and thrive in this environment. At this point, it’s not really looking like many of those opportunities exist. Never say never, of course, but having learned my lesson at my previous job, I realize that if it doesn’t feel right, I need to explore options.
I am stressed out and feeling a bit lost. Life sure doesn’t stop for you to catch your breath…
- 7 Weird Reasons Your Back Hurts
- TED: Depression: The Secret We Share
- Are Super Athletes the Secret to Health?
- A 2-Minute Walk May Counter the Harms of Sitting
I came across 23 BRILLIANT LIFE LESSONS FROM ANTHONY BOURDAIN and thought so many of them were worthwhile. I especially liked this one…
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”
I think this one resonated with me because it’s the advice I would give my younger self. When I was in my twenties, I was so gripped with fear of instability that it caused me to see things in very rigid terms. The person I am today realizes clearly that that fear held me back from so many adventures and experiences. They are the things I look back at and wish I had just jumped into the opportunities that presented themselves during that time. I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight though. I know it’s never too late to jump in and go for it but there are adult life responsibilities that have to be considered that prevent me from just dropping everything and going for it now. What I can do is take chances and travel when opportunities exist and encourage my kiddos to not be controlled by fear as they grow up and taken on the world. They can learn from the lessons I experienced…
This doesn’t just apply to travel either. How many things in our lives do we avoid or quit because we are scared? Scared of what’s on the other side. Afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. I’m not sure who wrote the following “Reality of Fear”, but it definitely gives you some points to consider as you start to confront fear holding you back…
REALITY OF FEAR:
You’re not scared of the dark;
you’re scared of what’s in it.
You’re not afraid of heights;
you’re afraid of falling.
You’re not afraid of the people around you;
you’re afraid of rejection.
You’re not afraid to love;
you’re just afraid of not being loved back.
You’re not afraid to let go;
you’re just afraid of accept the fact it’s gone.
You’re not afraid to try again;
you’re just afraid of getting hurt for the same reason.
It’s well known that my husband has worked for AOL for 20+ years. We met at AOL and it’s where I started my post college career. When I finally left for good, I had 12 years under my AOL logo belt. AOL is a big part of our history together and the thread that binds us with many of our closest friends. Today’s announcement – Verizon to Acquire AOL: Deal Creates Unique and Scaled Digital Media Platforms for Consumers, Advertisers and Partners may or may not have a profound affect on us.
But it will have some affect I am sure. Scott and I were both at AOL when they merged with Time Warner in 2000. What was so exciting in the beginning, ended up being one of the biggest failures. It’s no wonder that this morning’s announcement has many former AOL’ers recalling previous experience and wondering whether it will play out the same. AOL’s current leader, Tim Armstrong, seems to feel strongly that it’s the right direction. In CNBC’s coverage online, Why we sold to Verizon: AOL’s Tim Armstrong says “the Verizon deal was the biggest, fastest way to provide a return to AOL’s shareholders and a bright future to its employees.” This explanation is pretty nebulous and not unexpected since the merger was just announced.
I am not sure what to think about this merger yet. Like many others, my first thought upon hearing the news this AM was “How will this affect my family?” Until I feel comfortable with that answer, the rest isn’t as important. I am curious what others out there are thinking. A former respected AOL colleague shared his thoughts with me…
In 2000, our deal was about “content and cable distro”. Problem was, people fought, and won, and we never got onto TW cable. That, plus illicit conduct, ruined the deal. I had thought in 2005, that they should just fill up CC2 w/ mobile app developers, and let em rip. This deal, is about content (and ads management) on mobile phones. In 2 years, 80% of all content will be consumed on a device. Vz needed reliable content production, with ad platforms built in. TA will get a huge job at Vz. He hit it big, again. Overall, prob a good thing, and maybe becomes a good place, again?
All any of us can do when things like this (aka change) happen, is to be as prepared as you can and learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know that about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffer from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?
I’m sharing the stories in the links below because they got me thinking about how easy it is to look at someone’s life and assume everything is perfect. With social media, people’s lives look idyllic . All smiles and photo filters. If you took it all at face value, you would think that everyone has it good and living the life. But you know what? The reality is that we all have struggles and our stories. You never do know what is going on behind the filtered pictures on Instagram or the stories shared on Facebook.
Life today is busy. People are more stressed out and pushed and pulled in a bunch of different directions. Our bodies aren’t designed to handle this type of constant stress. Add in that some people have the type of personality that can’t handle things being undone. They can’t live with things being less than perfect. Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety are these type A personalities.
- Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide
Tim Ferris talks about suicide, and why I’m still on this planet.
- Penn Runner’s Depression Masked on Social Media
On Instagram, Madison Holleran’s life looked ideal: athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, bright student, beloved friend. But the photos hid the reality of someone struggling to go on:
Trust your instinct
The point of this post is to remind people out there that not everything is what it seems. No one’s life is perfect. If you feel like something is not right with a family member, friend or acquaintance – ASK. And if they say Nothing – ASK Again and again and again.
Who doesn’t love Tina Fey – not only being super funny, but also subtlety showing the lengths women go to conform…
As a fitness enthusiast, I crave challenges and variety to stay inspired. But as committed as I am to living fit and healthy, there are times when I feel my momentum and enthusiasm start to wane. It happens to the best of us from time to time. These “exercise humps” are usually a sign that it’s time examine what’s going on in your life, reconnect with what motivates you to live this way, and make changes to your current fitness routine to push you through.
Here are a few ways I get re-inspired to get over an exercising hump:
Remind myself why it’s important.
It’s not easy to live fit and healthy. It’s a choice you have to make each and every day. When I find myself looking for excuses to skip a workout, I go over my personal reasons for living this way. My reasons are varied but include looking and feeling great and preventing immobility as I age.
Add spice to my current workout routine.
Most of my workouts are created by my trainers or instructors, but there are ways I can add in my own touch. It’s what I call making them ‘spicy’. For example, during a boxing session, I may add in an extra move to one of the runs, or focus on speed vs intensity during a round.
Try something new.
Some exercise humps happen because you are bored. However, if you’re open to trying new things and aren’t afraid to be a beginner at something new, there are an infinite number of fitness methods to cure boredom. Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Hiking, CrossFit, Boxing, Cycling, Trampoline…the list goes on and on. Pick one or more to try on the regular to keep you engaged and energized.
Ask for help.
Getting frustrated with the lack of results? There are a lot of experienced and friendly experts out there, online and in person, that can help. Some offer free articles and advice online, while others may make themselves available in person. For me, the best advice and inspiration usually comes from my own network. However, no one else knows when slumps start to develop, so you have to be proactive and make seeking out advice, advice and inspiration a habit.
Everyone hits a wall during their fitness journey. Even the most dedicated athlete has to shake things up once in a while. So, the next time you find yourself hitting a fitness slump in your own routine, recognize it as a sign that something needs to change and change it.