Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Growth...I think!

Ahem...(wink, wink)! Aren't you proud of me? Just over 2 weeks and I remembered to post again - that's growth, right??
As you know, I tend to talk about words that keep popping up around me. Growth is the word this week. It's been in what I'm reading, in conversations, in the very few TV shows I watch...you name it, it's "growing"! (By the way, the kitten who will soon be growing is no "relation" ~ I just came across this picture and considering Guy's music store full of guitars and my affinity for critters, I decided I liked it!)
What I want you to think about, though, are the areas in your life where you would like to see some growth. Unlike most people, my hubby, bless his heart, is trying to "grow" his weight - argh!! He loses a pound or 2 and I find them!! But it's a constant struggle for him and he has become very aware (there's that word again!) that he needs to be vigilant about it. Just one day of letting his guard down and he drops a couple of pounds. On the opposite end of the scale [get it? :-)], just one day of letting MY guard down and I add a couple pounds. So, let's just agree, that's an area many of us can be more aware of regarding growth.
But what are the other areas in which you'd like to see growth? I was speaking with a client today and found myself getting really excited when we were talking about developing new workshops - I love to learn and GROW that way. It's the reason I am still so passionate about what I do after more than 10 years. I am always growing - sometimes through personal learning on my own, sometimes through ideas from participants in my workshops, sometimes from "constructive criticism" from my participants ~ but always on the lookout for ways to grow. Maybe your job doesn't give you that much excitement...what are other ways you can "grow" on your job? Dealing with people? Making more of an effort to understand "their" side (whoever "their" is)?
"Growing" my writing craft is another area I'd like to work on. Last week, I sold a greeting card I had submitted and it made me realize how much I miss writing for fun. It's on my list...just not a priority at the moment.
Of course, I would like to see my "bank account" grow, but I am finding that I am less focused on acquiring material things - gee, I just have to dust it and take care of it :-), so for me, why get it to begin with?
Others are just the opposite - they have collections they like to "grow," be it Santa Clauses, fishing lures, unicorns, angels, duck decoys, or Hummel figurines. And that's okay, too ~ I love to look at their collections :-). The key is to make sure whatever you are "growing" is bringing you pleasure.
Another area that I like to keep an eye on is my growth as a person - you know, things like...am I kinder than I used to be? Less judgmental? Less likely to "bite back" when someone is rude or just oblivious to how they are treating me? This is probably an area that I will always need to work on. You too?
Let me know how you would like to "grow" in the coming year ~ and I promise, I will do my best to come back and wish you a merry Christmas before it has come and gone!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Simplicity - again!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
As I come across words I want to share with you, I jot them down on a "master list" of sorts, so I don't forget them. I have quite a long list! So it may seem odd that I am re-visiting a word we discussed almost 7 months ago.

The word "simplicity," though, has popped up in conversation at least 3 times this past week. Each time, I thought, "Oh, I need to talk about that on my blog." But then I would remind myself that I already did :-).
So here we go - we are going to look at it again because, I don't know about you, but I never seem to "arrive" at simplicity. It seems simplicity is about as hard to find as the butterfly in the picture.
As I was thinking about the areas of my life, I realized that I do fairly well simplifying some areas and not so good in others. Overall, I'd say I'm about 75% there this very moment, so there's still lots of room for improvement.
But remember, I always remind you to be aware... I have become very aware of simplifying my work life. I have actually turned down jobs recently that would make my life a madhouse for a period of time (either topics I would need to develop from scratch or dates that would put me in crunch mode), although they would "simplify" my finances by adding to the coffers. I've even turned down work simply because the topic is not one I'm passionate about. I am not effective unless I'm passionate about my topic, so...okay -work life simplified? Check.
As for personal growth, NO WAY :-). I am in the middle of a learning process for myself that won't be over for years, if ever! It will lighten up, I think, and for that I will be grateful. But since I love to learn and grow, this is an area I "allow" to be a little less simplified than I would prefer.
Let's think in terms of relationships...hmmmmmm. Well, I think I have those pretty simplified as well. I could do better at staying in touch with some people I value in my life, but I don't let others "guilt" me into being involved in things that don't bring me joy or let them make me feel bad about what I just don't have time for right now - or have any control over. My husband and I understand each other very well - yep, all the quirks and sometimes-annoying habits we both have. I'm able to speak to my sister nearly every week. Email is my friend in keeping in touch with several friends and family members across the country. I even occasionally remember to pick up the phone and call some of them! So, relationships simplified? Check (pretty much, ha ha).
The next category I'll call "household" - so, NO, that's an area I don't have simplified. Because of my work and other projects I am so deeply involved in, that's an area that slides. I was discussing it with a participant in one of my classes, and we agreed - life is too short to get hung up on household chores. However, there is a BIG opportunity for me to simplify what I live with; things like knick knacks, more clothes (some VERY old!) than I could ever wear, and just plain clutter. That's something I've decided to approach in baby steps. Cleaned out a cluttered drawer? Hurray for me! One notch closer to simplicity. Started a special file folder for some important papers that may have gotten stuck somewhere? Gold star!
I guess what I'm saying is, don't let someone SPOIL your efforts to gain simplicity by telling you that you're not doing it right. Whatever works for you IS RIGHT!!!
And your challenge for the week is to 1) recognize an area you are already doing well with and 2) become AWARE if there is another area in which you could do better - then YOU decide what you'd like to do about it!
Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving!