Posted in Family, Vision

Strong Women

I have mentioned my maternal grandmother, Claire, in previous posts. She is my inspiration as well as my spiritual and life mentor. Even though she is no longer present here on Earth, she continues on in all aspects of my life. It is because of her that Strength and Dignity are my 2018 words clearly described in my Vision board on each area of my life.

I come from a family of strong women. Strong in faith. Strong in spirit. Strong in heart. My grandmother’s sister, Nelly was another great inspiration. These two sisters had amazing stories and left with us great legacies and traditions.

Photo Credit Monique Gosin, 2009.

My Grande Tante Nelly passed away recently in Belgium. And with her passing my cousin shared the above photo along with others from a wonderful time in 2009 when the sisters were reunited in Missouri. My children were much younger and we made the road trip from Phoenix to spend time with the sisters while they were together. I loved that time. I loved the mixture of French and English in the conversations. I loved being able to understand them and practicing my mental muscle in keeping up while taking part in the conversations. I took French in high school and somehow have been able to retain enough to keep up most of the time.

The best part of spending time with them was hearing them share memories of their childhood, their formative years, their friends, and family. These stories were sprinkled with humor and nostalgia but the common thread that resonated was their ever constant strength and dignity in how they lived and loved.

I miss them both dearly. They taught me my love for coffee and wine. They loved me and my children fiercely. They prayed for us expectantly. They taught me to do the same.

Posted in Goals, Planning, Vision

Vision Board 2018

Planning is more than goal setting. I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. They seem restrictive in the traditional sense. They make me feel like I am setting up myself for failure instead of setting myself up for success. And planning is more than making to do lists. At least for me. When I looked back at what I visualized in 2016 and all the great things that manifested in my life over the past two years I can link every accomplishment back to that board.

Setting a Vision

At the end of 2017, I prayerfully and meditatively sipped coffee as I chose my focus for 2018. I shared in my previous post how Strength and Dignity came to be my focus.

So with this particular scripture and those two words I began to dig deeper into their synonyms, definitions and images that seemed representative and applicable to key areas of life that I want to empower, improve, and manifest more good. I gathered these ideas to make a new Vision Board.

The notebook above will be highlighted in part 2 of I Have a Planner for That.

Ready to Make

Two areas I want to foster are my crafting/creative side and my relationships with family and friends. So when I planned time to do my vision board, I suggested that others join me in my crafting time. Instead of vision boarding alone, I opened my home, my heart, my supplies, and a bottle of wine to anyone free to join.

Some friends joined me last night (I will have a second session next week for a few more friends) and we made this beautiful mess together.

Creating a vision can and should get messy. And for me nothing is more fun than mess making with others. What I enjoyed the most was how we looked out for each other and suggested words and images we ran across in magazines, in sticker books, stamps, and paper. I saw a friend who didn’t feel she was very creative take on stamps and ink pads and make herself smile at that accomplishment. I loved what she created and wished I had thought of it.

Three hours of quality time with my daughter, future daughter-in-law and a couple of friends brought us to conclude that our boards were well underway with room to evolve as we consider the remaining whitespace and what else we might look for to complete them. Visions take time and don’t need to be rushed.

Here is my work in progress so far…

I will update this post in the next couple of days with the finished product. This will include smaller complementary one(s) to use for travel. I want to empower continuous focus on what I want to achieve to be a better me in health, home, relationships, faith, work, and creativity/learning. Having the big board at home is key. I want to embrace it and take it on the go too.

What about you?

Do you want to make a vision board too? There are many videos, how-to blogs, books, and articles at your disposal. My most recent inspiration for choosing a word (or two) came from The Reset Girl who is one of my crafty and faith influencers. She hosts a monthly late night crafty class online and last weekend I joined live and it really helped me to be more focused and prepared. It made it easy to open my home and let others in on the journey. Although the online party was live, Cori from The Reset Girl posted a video from last year that I wanted to share here. It is engaging and spot on with what and why a Vision board can help. Here is the link:

Https://youtu.be/4pAU5VpsXz0

As I finish sipping my coffee this morning, I encourage you to create and share your vision boards and 2018 words with me. Relationships include being a strength to one another and I want to be an encourager to everyone.

What is your vision? What area of life are you wanting to focus on? What is your word?

Link credit: Cori @ The Reset Girl

Posted in Planning

I Have A Planner For That, Part One

I have used planners in some fashion for the past 20 years. I started when I became a corporate trainer and the company gave me a planner and sent me to a class at Franklin Quest. All you needed was a pen, the binder, and all the green pages within. Hey, this was before my company had a system-wide windows based calendar or email platform. Am I showing my 40-something age, or what?

Even with the evolution of technology, I still love the feel of paper in making to do lists, taking notes, brainstorming ideas, and planning. And I know that I am not alone. Until 2017 I used my Franklin/Covey planning tools. I evolved from the standard green to the pretty colors and designs because I love pretty things. Over time, the digital revolution limited the pretty options. Disheartened in selections and the changes the company has made in their planner styles, I tried new ones, and for a time simplified to my digital tools and used plain spiral notebooks and pens. I loved the traditional format of the two pages per day Covey layouts but realized I wasn’t using them daily. So why spend the money? Frankly, I like pretty things and working now in the technology space for my employer, I have adopted most of the digital tools for my work place needs….except where brainstorming, note-taking and list making comes in.

My life is way bigger than my job. And I have a creative heart that desires fun and joy. Working 60+ work weeks while being a mother, a daughter, a boss, and a friend, my personal time and self-care was sitting in a back seat. I was a passenger on the personal train, not the conductor.

As my grandmother’s health began the steady and rather rapid decline the latter half of 2016, I started crocheting again and teaching my daughter the art. It was my way to connect across the miles when she was not up to our weekly phone chats. I crocheted or made dishes from her recipes and spent time in traditions. In these moments where I stepped away from the rat race and social media, I revisited The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. That book was transformational for me in my mid-20s. At 40-something, the currency and relevancy is poignant. I dove back in. I tracked my habits and began recognizing life is more than to do lists and time management. I reintroduced me time, sipping coffee.

In my me time I started the search for something new and different for fun planning. From Google Searches and YouTube binging, I found out about a whole world of planners. I researched EricCondran, Happy Planners, and many, many more. 2017 was the year of tossing bulky binders, notebooks, and sticky notes. I bought a Happy Planner and took it for a year long test,drive. I learned I can make my own pretty layouts and customize weekly and monthly to meet my lifestyle and feed my creative spirit. And I found a whole community of amazing people who I could learn from online and locally.

Look for part two, later this week to find out more about planning and planners. I will review 2017 and share what my 2017 planner plans will be.

Do you use only digital planning? If so, what apps do you like? Do you use paper? What are your successful methods?

Posted in Reflection

Reflect and Reset

It is the last day of 2017 and I’m sipping my coffee. With each sip, I reflect on the good

and bad of 2017. It has been an interesting season of life. I look throughout my home and see the barren places that used to don holdiay decorations and think of the reset that happens at this time each year. Do you have this same imaginary button with the word “Reset” on it? Do you take time to reflect?

Reflect

In 2017, I did not take time to write out resolutions. The week before Christmas 2016 my maternal grandmother passed away. The passing of that 95 year-old powerhouse of a woman who stepped into my mother’s role for more than two decades really knocked the wind out of my sails blowing into 2017. She was always the first person I called on any holiday right after I poured my first cup of coffee. January 1, 2017, I remember sipping my coffee and tearfully meditating on her amazing life and the legacy she left for all of us. Her recipes, her creativity, her wisdom, her dignity, and strength are like pillars of support each and every day. As I reflect on 2017, I realize that she was the catalyst for many of the milestones and moments that mattered.

Musical Moments & Memories

I took my annual mom only vacation, The Rock Boat (2018 is coming soon). This really is a music lover’s ideal vacation. Being out on the ocean completely disconnected from every day life is a reset time full of the escapism that lets me recharge and come back refreshed. It gives me a chance to really miss my family.

I focused on more fun with my children this year. My son and I went to Vegas. My mother made sure that she took me when I turned 21. Traditions have to have a beginning. I look forward to repeating this with my daughter in 8 years. Music matters in our world, so we crossed the generational gap and enjoyed a Billy Idol VIP experience concert that included the meet and greet. I felt 16 again. My daughter, and future daughter-in-law joined me and friends in Isle of Palms, SC for Hazlenut Hang weekend where we explored history, beaches, and music. 2018 may see a return to Hang. I went with friends and my daughter to see U2. I supported Rock Boat artists that came to Phoenix while on tour: Sister Hazel, Carbon Leaf, Michael Franti, and Will Hoge. Spending this time immersed in music and surrounded by friends is memory making that never gets old to me.

T

The year ended with a bucket list item of major proportions for me. Carol Burnett. Ironically, her stop in Phoenix was on the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. I watched that variety show every week with her and my mother as a little girl. What a tribute and way to honor all of the great women in my life than ending a year in a theater listening to her share stories, sing and answer audience questions. Spectacular.

Major Milestones

I bought a house! At age 47, this single mother bought a house. This is something my grandmother really wanted for me and for nearly all of 2016 we talked about these plans and how I thought I would have financial strength to make this bold step 2017. I’ve always rented. I wanted to do it earlier, but in 2013, I had a major setback with a house fire in a rental property and we had to reset priorities.

I found out I enjoy DIY and crafting. I love making wreaths for my new doors. And inside décor.

My grandmother and I would cook and craft together when I was younger. Over time, I didn’t think it was cool to craft. What may be more accurate is that I thought time was better spent on other pursuits. And sadly, I cannot tell you what I wasted time doing. I also reconnected with my joy of writing while sipping coffee. Each morning of quiet time, the only quiet time in my new home, is spent writing, reading, and meditating while I sip coffee.

I am celebrating a rare holiday feasting and eating season without gaining 10 pounds. I maintained. In 2017, I lost almost 30 pounds by making better choices. Yay!

Reset

I’m ready for January 1st. January is my reset time. I go back to work and hit the ground running on Tuesday. It is expected. Corporate America doesn’t have an “off switch” so we start right back where we left off with a fast and furious pace New Goals. New Priorities. More Changes. But personally and professionally, my reset button is already starting today. In my morning quiet, I’ve meditated and started thinking about my Vision of 2018. Instead of writing resolutions, I’m focusing on Proverb 31: 25. In that verse there are three key words that resonate to me: Strength, Dignity, and Laughs. This verse is much like the legacy my grandmother left me. She is Strong. Elle est forte.

Wednesday, is Vision Board day and I have been gathering images and words that will help me reset for 2018. My house will be filled with friends and crafts as I teach a workshop. All through the month of January, I will be goal setting for all the areas of my life, not just professionally. Watch for the posts as I share the steps I take to reset. I hope they will help you reset too.

Are you making resolutions? Do you make a vision board? What are your goals for 2018? I would love to hear how you reflect and reset in the comments below.