Writing

Random writing

I’ve made it to day 20 of daily blogging! I love to go to my stat insights page and see all the blocks for February filled in because it makes me feel so accomplished. That and getting my weekly Grammarly Insights email that tells me how many words I’ve written and the number of unique words I used. But the truth is, writing and publishing something every day hasn’t been easy at times (as many of you who have blogged daily for many, many days, months and years can attest – hats off to you). While I am constantly searching my brain and my surroundings for topics to write about, sometimes I come up blank and write about random things as I did yesterday. And guess what, those are my most read and liked posts. Who can figure? The good thing is that daily writing has not felt like a burden.

As I prepare for vacation later this week, I’ve thought I’d try pre-writing and have some posts ready to go next week so I can spend more time writing the book I haven’t been working on lately. I don’t want to spend all my time writing at a computer while my dad is around because he is all about limited screen time (except when it involves baseball and movies). If ever I’m on my phone too much he will definitely pipe up. Also, if I leave writing to early morning or nighttime, it likely won’t happen.

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Life

Never Nothing to Do

Another day off from work and I’m wondering why I never seem to have a stretch of time with nothing to do on these magical days. Why are there always errands? Why is there always laundry? Today I dropped Liam at taekwondo camp and Jim dropped Murphy at the groomer before heading to work which left me with a house to myself.

I ended up going to the gym but was exhausted when I got home. I cleaned a bit, did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen and it was time to shower and head out again. I meant to write something earlier but before I knew it, it was time to get Liam and run to a hair appointment. The day disappeared before my eyes.

On Friday I’m heading to Florida with my dad and I had meant to pull out my spring/summer clothes and do some packing but it didn’t end up happening. I’m so excited to have this week with my dad. We did this last year for the first anniversary of my mom’s passing and we’ll be there for the second anniversay. Last year we went to daily mass and there happened to be a funeral on her anniversay which was a liile weird. We’ll be visiting my mother-in-law and going to a baseball game but no other plans but to relax and read by the pool. I am freeing myself from housework and laundry for the week so hopefully I’ll get some more writing in! The nice thing about vacationing with my dad is that we’re both pretty easy going so we won’t have to compromise much. It will be nice to have a few days off from that too.

MC

Life

Still Running

Today’s blog comes to you from the gym where I just completed my workout. Liam had a basketball game today where there was another crazy incident involving a ref, one of our players and the coach. This one had racial undertones which was incredibly inappropriate on the refs part. It was an unfortunate end to a great game where our boys gave everything they had.

The rest of the day was pretty lazy, spent napping and reading, and more napping. Today is a gym day but I hadn’t gone yet. I was going to blow it off and go tomorrow since I have the day off. But then I figured there is no time like the present! So at 5:30, I grabbed my sneakers, phone and Kindle and headed to the gym.

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parenting

Courage in Parenting

On Tuesday evening after picking my son Liam up from school (5th grade), he told me something that happened in one of his classes that day and I had a deep pit in my stomach that lasted for a good hour. He rarely wants to talk about his day, let alone relay something he feels uncomfortable about. I went into full mother alert and began texting other moms to see if they could corroborate if anything weird happened in religion class.

It took forever for anyone to respond to me so I called my husband to relate the incident. I had initially tried texting the details and he wasn’t getting it so I called him. Yes, the teacher said something completely offensive about a student’s mother and it was sexist and suggestive and completely inappropriate for a 5th grade RELIGION class.

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Life

I am the Rube

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I grew up in a town of about 8,000 people, nestled in a quiet corner of the Adirondacks in upstate New York. It wasn’t always quiet because a major battle was fought between the British and Americans here in 1777 at Fort Ticonderoga. The details are a bit sketchy since I’ve been away so long and school is many years behind me, but my grandmother and mother spent many years working there.

From the time I was in high school, I knew I wanted to get away. I managed a few trips to New York City with my dance school and something about city life was very enticing to me. I applied to schools all over when I was looking at colleges: Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Albany, NY and a couple in small towns like the one I grew up in. I was all over the board with what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. I went from wanting to be an interior designer to working in fashion to being a chef or an author.

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Life

Thoughts and Prayers are Failing Us

The latest school shooting is heavy on my mind. I started a full post about it this morning, but words failed me. How to adequately convey what many of us are feeling today, after seeing video and hearing first-hand accounts of the gunfire? Anger. Hopelessness. Disbelief. Grief. Horror. Helplessness. A former student sets off a fire alarm so he could get as many students in the hallway as possible so he could shoot them. That this is not an isolated incident is beyond awful.

Our politicians have become adept at sending thoughts and prayers and have shown themselves unwilling to work to take action on legislation for mental health and gun control, both of which are needed in spades.  The Dalai Lama says prayers are not enough. They are not enough.

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Let’s not make school shooting become a normalized aspect of our lives now. When we send our kids to school each day, let’s not wonder where and when the next one will be.

MC

 

work

A File of Smiles

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Early in my career, someone gave me the idea to start a smile file. I graduated college in 1990 so this is going way back. Way back to the days when it wasn’t unusual to find people that still smoked at their desk and computers needed you to type the word run after a blinking c: prompt to bring it to life. Those early days were a fountain of knowledge and experience I didn’t pick up in college and full of opportunities to learn about the variety of human behavior to be experienced in an office setting when you are the first line of defense over the phone and in person (aka the receptionist).

After one particularly bad run-in with a customer, an older co-worker counseled me to start a file that I could turn to when times got tough at work. Times when tears would roll down my face over some mean insult spoken in haste by a customer over the phone. Unfortunately, bad manners are always going to be part of any job where you directly interact with customers. What goes into this folder, I asked?

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Life

The Rhythms of Life

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I tend to get suspicious when life is going along just fine. After a while I get used to it and then when an issue comes up, I’m unprepared and knocked back just a little bit. Oh, right, life isn’t supposed to always be easy, I remind myself! This is an important life lesson that I keep trying to instill in my son Liam who is elven. He seems to be coming home with different issues from school these days and I try to give him my best advice to help him along.

Sometimes it has to do with academics – a poor test grade or missed assignment. He will get very upset when he doesn’t do well on a test even if his grade is in the low 90’s. I do not want him to put so much emphasis on one grade or one assignment. I simply tell him to learn from these situations and just to always do his best. We can never be doing everything perfectly.

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Life

Finding inspiration in the Last Lecture

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Today’s daily prompt brings to mind many different uses of the word lecture. But the one that immediately popped into my mind was the amazing and inspiring Last Lecture of Randy Pausch recorded in September 2007. Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and was given a death sentence in the form of pancreatic cancer just a month prior to this lecture. The doctor had given him 3-6 months to live and he eventually succumbed to cancer in July of the following year.

The subject of his lecture was a simple premise: Achieve your childhood dreams. No, he didn’t talk about his looming death, his unfulfilled dreams, his regrets or hopes for his family’s future. He talked about his childhood dreams, from a somewhat simple goal of winning the “big” stuffed animal at amusement parks to the big one of working in animation at Disney. He details how he made these dreams come true (maybe not in the way he expected) and why our childhood dreams are important.

To date, there are over 18 million views of his lecture and if you haven’t seen it or are looking for inspiration about living life, please take a look and enjoy.

It got me thinking about my own childhood dreams which were: owning a horse, traveling to England, writing a book, owning a convertible (like Nancy Drew), going on a cruise (Love Boat anyone?) and becoming an Olympic gymnast. Some of these things are not going to happen (the Olympic dream has long since set sail) and some have already been achieved (London, convertible, cruise) and my dream of owning a horse has been eclipsed in knowing how much work it involves! That leaves one goal left on the table which is to write a book. It’s something I have worked on from time to time but has never gotten far off the ground.

What were your childhood dreams and how many did you see come to fruition? What’s left that you still want to do?

MC

Life

Monday Morning Blues

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I want to go back to bed. Instead, I’m at work in our redesigned department, a line of desks against a wall, all exactly the same. It looks so robotic, so office-like. Of course, I do work in an office. I’m waiting for our IT folks to bring the phones and computers while I’m pretending this new floor plan isn’t happening.

My old desk was against a row of windows where I had a front-row view of a major road (there were often fender benders directly in front of us – none causing grave damage as far as I could tell). Now I’m looking at nothing but a vibrant blue partition. I need to look on the positive side of all this so let’s conjure up some good thoughts.

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