For those of you Bewildered….

By the new options/UI of WordPress – my angst got the better of me the other night and I left feedback (in the wrong forum) which was quickly made apparent to me by a fellow blogger (timethief) who navigated me to the proper feed for disgruntled WordPressors – – !

So, if you, too, are still trying to see the goals that were to be reached by the new interface/layout/navigation – If you’ve complained about Bee-Bop-De-Doo (with no cute 20’s flapper dancing to it… I might add) and wish for your voice to be heard – here’s the link to read/comment/interact – – 🙂

Massive changes to the WP interface

Join the other 232 conversations going on between 39 posters – – – nothing may change, but you no longer need feel alone – and, in the end, isn’t that what the WordPress Community is all about?   🙂

Update – – 12/29/14 – – Howdy WordPress and Pressors!   Followed the link in email to view my 2014 stats – – thanks, WordPress, for once again allowing me to do one-click sign out from my own dashboard – – YES!  I noticed that you fixed this!   As for my 2014 roundup stats – well – – My top 5 posts say I’m still the queen of “how-to” even if I wrote how to caulk a bathroom tub 3 years ago – – –

The end of the year stats didn’t say what I know to be true – – –

That I’ve made friendships here, that while the world may arrive here to read my ‘how-to’s’ those who matter read those other, less popular posts –  every visit – – not because they think I know what I’m doing, but because they’ve decided to join take part in my journey – – –

I love that!  And wish you all a very Happy New Year! 🙂

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2014 Wrap-Up Blog Challenge – Present Your Gifts

Litebeing Chronicles has planned a month full of gifts via her 2014 Wrap-Up Blog Challenge – asking us to look back at 2014 and see what we were presented with – – since I tend to do this exercise each December anyways-

(remember? I list my accomplishments, back date it to January 1st and quickly, efficiently tuck another fulfilled New Year’s Resolution list away!)

and, since I enjoy reading the wrap-ups of others, figured I’d best be a part of it all! 🙂  Thanks litebeing for this wonderful idea!

There are still some dates left – visit 2014 Wrap-Up Blog Challenge to sign up!

What were the Gifts of 2014?

Which lessons did you learn?

Blimey! (is that even how you spell it?) there are so many to choose from – – I learned that by taking steps/actions to care for myself and protect myself, I actually ended up doing a ‘great favor’ for someone else – In July/August time frame, I was frantically busy getting a huge website done, working on extra projects at work and getting extra hours at the library – – I was starting to get overwhelmed and my health started to suffer.

One day, as a long-time volunteer and I were shelving books, I listened as she talked about the direction her life was taking, how’d she’d like to find work nearby, etc.  I, thinking purely of my own overload and how wonderful it would be to not be the only substitute available for call, encouraged her to put in her application to substitute.    And ran the idea by my boss – –

Why not?   Yes, it was a grand idea for me – but wasn’t she already doing the work?  Didn’t she say she’d like to find work locally?   Sounded like a win/win to me –

But honestly, though I was listening to her, liked her and her work ethic, in reality, I was thinking of numero uno when I suggested it – –

Then I got really sick, ended up giving my notice.  I worried somewhat about letting my co-workers down, but I had hit that momentum line in my small business where I could either work myself to death or pick one endeavor to follow – I picked my business.

Last week, I was in the library to research business tax law (yes – I can hear you yawning from here) – As I checked out my tomes and prepared to leave, she leaned over, grabbed my hand and said,

“Thank you so much for getting me this job.  You are the kindest, sweetest person I know and it’s all due to you that I have this job.”

I, surprised, stuttered out,

“It was your good work ethic and performance as a volunteer that got you the job.   But thank you.”

Lesson Learned?  For decades I’ve believed that if I just blindly followed what was best for me, I would leave a path of destruction 5 miles wide behind me – littered with the bodies of the innocent who foolishly got caught in the wake – Having been on the other end of the stick many a time when the actions of others jerked the rug out from under me – Turns out, maybe I don’t have to worry so much about what will happen if I’m good to me first.

Reminds me of a line from the Prayer of Jabez – “Lord, today, bless me first”

The author then clues you in to why – – “…so that I may go forth and help others.”

Oh and though I still haven’t gotten over my tendency to play down any compliment given to me, I did remember to say ‘thank you’ and almost, almost left it at that – – 🙂

How did you serve others?

I’m always trying to serve others – whether they want me to or not – – this is one of my flaws.  At work, always looking for a way to make their job easier.  As a friend, acquaintance, the person standing in line behind you at the store – I listen to your tale of woes, then respond with one of the following:

  1. Alrighty then, that’s horrible, but why don’t we make up a story that you can believe and serves you better – here, let me tell you one….
  2. You want me to go kick their arse?  Cuz sounds like someone needs to…
  3. What you need is (fill in the blank) – now, let’s go get that problem fixed
  4. Here, let me do that for you – it’s my special talent and you’ve got yours – quit wasting your time on this stuff when you could be off somewhere being brilliant at what you’re good at – – –

🙂  So, I’m trying to get better at serving myself, so I’m up to the task of serving others in a more balanced and helpful way.    I know this sounds highly arrogant, but truly, I’m definitely Ms. Fix-It and ya know what?  That’s not always a positive.

It means I often offer advice when someone just needed a friendly ear – – (yes, I’m a very good listener, but at the end of whatever spiel, I’m gung-ho and giving examples on what I did in a similar situation as an option for them to consider – in fact, even in face of my own promises to myself, I’ve once more engaged heavily in this kind of behavior the last 36 hours – but I’m told the dialogue is wanted, so, I continue on – – being me – – ).

It also means that I communicate to others believing they listen to me the same way – and become resentful when I’ve clearly asked for help, but no one realized it – – 🙂

So, I’m trying to back off on performing ‘unasked services’ for others, getting better at taking care of myself so I don’t have to ask for help and we’ll see what I have to say about it at next year’s wrap-up!

Here’s a quote from a counselor I worked with during my marriage –

“I hear that you think anticipating others’ needs is a way to love them and be a good person, but it’s also highly arrogant – can you let them be adults?  Can you wait for them to ask before helping?”

13 years and still trying to learn that lesson – – 🙂

What Blessings did you Receive?

Too many to count but here’s the highlights:

  • Work, glorious paid work and, for the most part, a body healed enough to perform it.
  • Friends have arrived in both physical and cyber form who are more in tune with the ‘me’ I am now – not the one I was before.
  • Some of my personal ‘fix me’ projects have been hugely beneficial to some relationships and allowed me to let go of ones that weren’t good for me.
  • A daily routine that allows me to spend more time on activities I enjoy and less time on ‘have to’s’ – which was my M.O. years ago, but financial fears drove me temporarily back to old, bad habits – fortunately, my body clued me in to the need for course corrections – – 🙂

Was there something you lost that turned out to be a blessing in disguise?

Until the ex announced he was dating again and planning on moving in with her next summer, I didn’t realize that at my core, I was still waiting for him to wake up from what I had dubbed his mid-life crisis and want us to be a family again.   Even while swearing I would never allow someone to hurt me like that again – turns out, if he had followed through on his words (which I thought were indicating a reunion, but in actuality were buttering me up to deliver the news)  I probably would have made the same mistake all over again.

So this summer, instead of years ago during my separation and divorce, I went through the grief stage over my failed marriage.  As I went through the process, different scenes played out from our time together and I realized – I had been lying to myself for a long, long time.

Like Scarlett, who took the perfect suit of a man and draped it over Ashley, I, too, had to admit to myself that the signs reading “Danger – won’t turn out good” had been there from the very start.   That I had believed love, support and a willingness to put my emotional needs to the side would make the space for him to heal his own hurts.

Still can’t see where I’ll ever think it wise or safe to date/have a relationship ever again (I didn’t heal that much this summer! 🙂 – on the other hand, think if the time ever comes, I’ll be less likely to wear rose-colored glasses –

Simply because, I threw them in the trash – – 🙂

Did you receive any “gifts” in terms of powers or skills?

Technically, I didn’t receive new ones, I’m just finally acknowledging what I do isn’t easy for everyone else.

I like to read, research, experiment – so to me, if someone is interested, can read and determined – they, too, can do what I do and much, much more….

Apparently not.   For some reason, my ‘view’ of the world allows me to see connections/big pictures that others don’t – sometimes, the connections/root causes I see/deduce can’t even be seen by others once I’ve explained it in full – because they are so focused on the details at one level, they have no room to shove in or decipher information from another slice of the universe – –

Which is good – because I hate to live in one slice of the Universe – – or on one level of a business – or be an expert in one field while letting a million other possibilities slip by the wayside – – I need people like them!

I value their expertise – the way they see things – I depend on them to tell me when I missing key information from that level of detail – but I always assumed that while I couldn’t do what they did, they, with time and effort, could do what I do.

Have had so many examples of why this isn’t true, for so many years, and yet, this year is the one when I finally ‘listened’ – – 🙂

So there you have it – examples for each….but you know what?   They all stem from the same root change in me – the bottom line that if I were truly ‘the kindest, sweetest person in the world’ I would have declared at the beginning of this post and saved you from reading all this – –

“I’m learning to value and take care of myself – without waiting for permission to do so from the external world and you know what?   The world is trucking right along, it hasn’t fallen apart and in many ways, is better because of it.”

Thank you for being a part of my journey this year – – I’ve enjoyed being a part of yours.

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Next up in the Present your Gifts Blog Challenge is Leigh!

Calling all Bloggers

In a previous post, I asked for help in tracking down a poem my father often referred to by various lines, but I had never located – – It’s Been Found!

(I couldn’t find it because I mis-remembered the actual lines…sigh)

I’ll share in just a moment, but FIRST…..

Pat over at New Bloggy Cat is who found it for me.   I’ve had the pleasure of being a New Bloggy Cat follower for quite some time now, as well as having a wonderful snail & email pen pal in her.   She never fails to brighten my day with her quips, quotes, cartoons and jokes.

Since I don’t have a “Prize Warehouse” stocked and waiting, I’d like to reward her in another way – –

I’m asking all my blogger friends to visit New Bloggy Cat and shower her with some WordPress Community Love!

(It’s really a reward for you, too, because her posts are always good – for a GOL (Guffaw Out Loud) or Fantabulous! )

Thank you so much, New Bloggy Cat – You’re the Cat’s Pajamas!  🙂

And now I present you with….. (drum roll)

The Pessimist

by Ben King (1857-1899)

Nothing to do but work,
Nothing to eat but food,
Nothing to wear but clothes
To keep one from going nude.

Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash ‘t is gone;
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on.

Nothing to comb but hair,
Nowhere to sleep but bed,
Nothing to weep but tears,
Nothing to bury but dead.

Nothing to sing but songs,
Ah, well, alas! alack!
Nowhere to go but out,
Nowhere to come but back.

Nothing to see but sights,
Nothing to quench but thirst,
Nothing to have but what we’ve got;
Thus thro’ life we are cursed.

Nothing to strike but a gait;
Everything moves that goes.
Nothing at all but common sense
Can ever withstand these woes.

Nowhere to Be…

Last post, I quoted from a poem my Dad often referred to in my youth – I’ve searched for years to find the real poem, because I love it so much – – below is a paraphrasing of what I remember and I’m SOOO counting on my WordPress community Poets to help me find the link to the original – so far, all I find are modern song lyrics that aren’t it  – –

Here’s my best memory of what Dad said:

Nowhere to go, but out,

Nowhere to be, but here,

Nothing to eat, but food

Nothing to drink, but beverages

Nothing to forgive, but hurt

Nothing to enjoy, but friends

Nothing to Love, but Life

Perhaps, this was my Dad’s creation – but he was so open about his ‘song writing’ and guitar compositions, I have to believe that somewhere, in the Universe, this poem manifested prior to 1937 and became a favorite of my Dad’s and I would love to read/memorize/give credit to the author.

Thanks for your help.

Update! – My pal over at New Bloggy Cat found the poem – Full Details Here!

Wine Whine

Today I chose to have a free day – what does that mean?  It means interspersing reading/writing here at WordPress with housework….

And mixing my ‘water-wine’ concoction to sip on starting around 10a.m. – – nowhere to be, but here, nothing to do, but this….  🙂

For those of you who are new here – I’m a beer girl – but after my stressed induced stroke, I was told “no beer, only dark red wine, 1 glass a day.”

I don’t like wine – but, mix 4 oz of it with 28 oz of water and it’s quite tasty!  Can sip along just fine – – and, on the occasion when Friday/Saturday night looms, and I remember what it was like to be excited about going out with friends, getting ready for a date, etc., and yet, not quite up to or ready to venture into that world again, I do tend to mix it in 2:3 or 1:1 ratios as the night progresses – as I search for YouTube videos of remembered songs, dance through my living room and post them, so you can dance, too – 🙂

I have my weaknesses I’m okay with not fixing….

So here’s my Wine induced Whine – – –

I will never get caught up here at WordPress – I follow too many people – – too many new and interesting people have started following my blog – – I tend to ‘attract’ as followers highly intelligent and creative people who post such marvelous things I cannot, in all good conscience, read and not be tempted to comment and/or write an entirely new post given what their creation inspired within me.

Having commented, I’m so excited when the ‘exchanged comment chatter’ begins – AWESOME! they are online at the same time I am – – why wait for email?!?

I’m doomed to never being caught up – –

So new rule – when I’m away, I’m going to go 5 posts back in your archive, follow your links within those, etc., but seriously, I have to draw the line somewhere or I’ll be WordPressing for the next millenia just trying to get caught up!

I looked at my “Blogs that I follow” list again – – I already pruned earlier this year and a perusal of the list just doesn’t allow for further pruning – I’d miss you too much!

I have a plan – – I have my list of ‘blogs to write’ – – I have my reconnection via comments chat with so many of you – I have my list of new followers to go check out….

Thank you for your support, your encouragement, your friendship, your introduction – – – I love this community and will find a way to navigate – – –

Thanks for letting me do so while sipping on my water-wine and having a day off….

LUB

Catching Abundance

Catching Up

Good afternoon my long-suffering pals who wondered just when I’d actually start fulfilling my promise to get ‘caught up and reconnected’ – Today is IT!  Do I have ‘work’ to do?  Heck Ya – but, for the first time in a long time, realize that taking a day for myself is not going to make the whole world I’ve so carefully rebuilt from the ashes fall apart at the seams!

So, I’m making the rounds and, as usual, if you hate logging in and seeing 36 notifications from me in the form of Likes/Comments, as I work my way through your archives, just say so – I’ll modify my behavior, just for you!

Abundance

Going through the archives of Litebeing Chronicles this a.m., I came across her post Money Don’t Matter Tonight – Interesting read, as I believe all of us, at some time or another, struggle in our faith that yes, we will be taken care of, just maybe not always in the time frame we envision – – or in the way we think – – etc.   And those times when we don’t feel taken care of, can often knock us off our gratitude/peace/manifestation track.

I started to post my thoughts in a comment, but then realized that A.) rude to blog in someone elses’ comment section and B.)Given post reading/comment sharing, I think there are others who might benefit from this – 🙂

So here goes….

For all you Creative Souls out There

Years ago, a mentor told me,

“There is only one thing you need to pursue a writing career – – an unlimited capacity to deal with financial instability”

I believe this pertains to all creative/entrepreneurial souls out there – – Yes, we’ve chosen to pursue our passions and gifts – often while working another ‘job’ to support our endeavors – – we dream of the day when our passions pay the mortgage and electricity bill – – doesn’t always come about easily or quickly – -there are shortcuts, and sometimes, the shortcuts lead to greatness, only to crumble a short time later – – while a slow, purposeful build hits a point where it gains and then grows off its’ own momentum.

The challenge?  To get started – – to take each step as it comes and when you’re feeling good and strong, push a little to the next level and don’t worry if a foray into ‘try to make it happen – NOW’ knocks you on your butt – – just back off and let the next expansion phase arrive to greet you.

Learning to Love ‘Good/Just Enough’

Learning to see the arrival of ‘just enough’ as your pipeline to abundance and security is, for most, including me, a challenge, especially in a culture, that is, at it’s core, a future-planning/financial success goal oriented one.

For me, anal/perfectionistic soul that I am – labeling my own creations as “Good Enough” is an exercise in futility.  I want it be “Fantabulous!” first time out, with no need to go back and do better once I learn more – nope, I will get held up in eternal procrastination taking the last step to finalize a project (those familiar with the story of my book, Inheritances, know exactly to what I’m referring!) simply because, I learn more every day and wouldn’t it make sense to just wait to publish/place for sale/etc., until the work is the absolute best it can be?

This is a huge trap for me – so don’t go thinking I’m ‘preaching’ while not ‘practicing’ – but if one combines an early ingrained work ethic, a love of history, both your own and mankind’s, with a creative spirit then one is ripe to be stuck in this Creative Purgatory forever – – but not to worry! – I’m just a block over from you and we can meet for coffee anytime to plan our escape! 🙂

Balancing Creating Now with Planning for the Future

I try like mad to live for now without wrecking tomorrow in case I might wake up breathing.   It is a balancing act and one I’ve yet to ‘perfect’ – however, if you find yourself receiving ‘just enough’ abundance, but never in big enough amounts that completely set your mind at ease, here’s a story that always comes to the fore of my mind whenever I read a fellow artist’s struggle with ‘just enough’ – –

(Know that this is my story and may not reflect the total reality of what truly happened for all involved – -my son during this period, I was struggling and some of this information came to me via a third (though reliable) source many years after the fall-out – just so you know, my perspective may be totally different from the other soul involved.)

I met a wonderful spirit when a temp on a contract, who was quietly/steadily building her own website business on the side – not enough to pay all the bills, but steadily gaining steam.  As is the fate with most temps, when the project/fiscal year came to an end, we both got laid off.

I went home for a much needed break after logging 80-100 hour weeks for so long – I had scads of unemployment left, due from an employer who was able to lay me off due to me own streamlining efforts and I didn’t feel guilty about getting paid for my efforts by extending my ‘pay’ from them.  Plus, I had another breadwinner in the house, so I did have some breathing room before starting the all-out, 80 hours a week job hunt again.  I was content to take a break and rest.

She, a single mother to two, didn’t have that option – – she returned to her office in her basement, created a spreadsheet that spanned two weeks – – she put in all her bills, her wants, her needs in $ amounts, set a ‘cell’ to calculate what income she needed and when she needed it by.

Then she saved her spreadsheet, closed it and went to work.

Every week, she would go in and update – – enter her  income, enter upcoming bills, her hopes/dreams – but never more than 2 weeks out – –

Meanwhile, she put in applications, went to interviews – all to no reward, until finally nearly a year later, she told me during ‘girls night’

“I miss working with you – I’ve come to trust I can make a living if I don’t look farther than the next 2 weeks.  I’m getting busy and I could use some help – whaddya say?”

Then came the day when she dreamed of our ‘offices’ –  where employees did the work and we showed up to manage and plan for the future – not my cup of tea and I asked, why can’t we stay small – just the two of us?  I don’t want to manage an empire…. (whine… Please don’t make me do this… whine some more)

About 4 years later, after paying for me to accompany her on trips to seminars/weekends/self-improvement seminars for the work I did for her to ‘help out’ and learn about website building, she got ready to partner up with others who also wanted to build an empire, because she (rightly so) was tired of me having a grand idea, and then needing 1 to 2 years fermenting/perfecting period before actually doing.

I know it caused her pain – I was and am sorry for that – but that’s who I am – the new business I’m launching in January?  The dream of it came to me in 2006 – and I know enough, now, to make it happen.

I must admit, I resisted – I knew those she was partnering with – and didn’t trust them – – the projects she and I had discussed doing ‘on the side’ now transformed from, “let’s build something great” to “we have to hurry and get this done, so it can be a part of the new empire.”

After numerous morning phone conferences over months, which, I’ll admit, included my pleas, “Can’t we re-tape that last segment – it’s not exactly what I want to convey and I don’t think editing is going to fix it” (read, “procrastination”) AND “I’m sorry, but I don’t like/trust them – I have such a strong gut feeling, I’m not participating and I really don’t think you should either.” – I got so frustrated and fearful for her and protective of me that I bluntly, savagely ended the friendship –

At the time, I didn’t know what else to do, because months of talking had found no compromise and it was killing me to try to follow the path she wanted to take.

For her, as best as I’ve pieced together from mutual friends – After 6 months of being knee deep in business plans, legal documents, partner agreements, mission statements, etc., she signed all the papers they wanted her too, so she could finally, finally get back to doing what she loved – – creating beautiful websites and graphic design.

And after transferring all her customers to the new ‘partnership’, her partners  voted her off the island.

Last I knew, she was working for a downtown firm and happy, according to a mutual friend.   And that she still loved me and missed me – but still not sure either of us are quite ready to reach out again – – sigh….

So why do I tell you this?  For two reasons – – first – two-weeks worked for her – find what works for you.

Second – when you push hard to ‘make it happen’ and end up knee deep in daily work that drains your soul instead of freeing it, it never turns out good – you can lose your business (her) or your friend (me) – –

************

I firmly believe the Universe is healed, renewed, evolved by the work of the Creatives – – so find a way to be Creative and trust that the Universe will send you exactly what you need to do your work and/or the signals of when your work needs some tweaking – –

I haven’t perfected it yet and I know how hard it is – but let’s make 2015 the year we come closer to perfection!

May the New Year bring you the space and grace to follow your passions, knowing you are appreciated and cared for while you weave your healing magic.

And, to my long-lost Leo friend, with your beautiful mind and spirit  – I do miss you – but until I’m sure I won’t hurt you again in my attempts to protect myself – this is the only way I know to say

I Remember and Still Love You.

I can be ME Again!

My morning routine these past few weeks has been:

  • Stumble to kitchen, make coffee
  • Return to kitchen to find I forgot to turn on coffee pot after adding grounds/water
  • Open up my email, read, add customer requests to my “To Do” List
  • Pour first cup of coffee – and click over to whatever posts regarding WordPress, Plug-ins, Security, etc., arrived in my inbox news feeds –
  • Read and learn (sort of – remember I’m still on my first cup of coffee!) about neat tips & tricks to make me a better website designer – bookmark the ones I think are wonderful, so I can revisit when I’m actually awake and ready “To Do”
  • Drink 1/2 a pot of coffee, then get down to work….

**********

So why the long back story?  Because this a.m., I visited an article link in my wpMail.me newsletter, titled, “WordPress On-Page SEO: How to do it Perfectly” by Nick Schaferhoff.

(sorry, Nick, I never have figured out how to get the little dots over the a – sure it’s on the keyboard somewhere….)

Did you visit and read?  You really ought to, but if you don’t have time, here’s why I’m happy – about 2/3rds the way down the article – or 4 1/2 scroller rolls, you will find the heading Create Longer Content.

Which states that position in Google searches is enhanced by long word count – optimally, 2500 words.  Which I used to be Queen of, but tried to tone down some after reading numerous “Become Blogger Extraordinaire” articles that often contained “in today’s high distraction world – try to keep your posts short” types of advice.

So, this a.m., as I finish my 2nd cup of coffee and prepare to dive back into the work needed to launch my new business –

(oh, yes, remember I told you about the calvary arriving in form of a graphic artist?  Yup – that’s my new business partner and we’re expanding my biz to bring even more cost-effective solutions to rural businesses/non-profits/organizations – and yes, I’ll announce here when we’re up and running! 🙂 )

– I just had to log-in and tell those of you who cannot stem the flow of words, back stories, musings and side tangents on how the story you’re telling is connected to everything else in the world…well, today, we are vindicated!

I will need to retrain myself – – I’ve gotten very good at saying things in 400 words or less….  386, to be exact – 🙂