I want your life to be difficult because you deserve it

My professional life has taken such an unexpected turn, and its redeveloping my goals and dreams. My new job is not what I expected, and it is more challenging than I could have imagine! However, I am more inspired than ever to keep learning and growing. I still have nonprofit goals, but this position has re-sparked my teenage dream of owning a business.

Since moving to Florida, I’ve meet so many successful self-employed people from writers, photographers (with drones!), videographers, to a creative lot of technical positions. I have SO many ideas. SO many. If I could encourage anyone to do anything, it would to keep exploring your interests.

Say YES more.

Doing the same thing will keep producing the same result so try something new and get uncomfortable. I am exhausted and uncomfortable everyday, but I keep feeling closer to where I am supposed to be going. I try my hardest not to complain much but I have to be honest. I have gotten a lot of criticism and raised eyebrows over the years for my seemingly spur of the moment professional adventures (while few of them actually are spur of the moment). While this has been a great way to weed out the negative people, its also served as a great opportunity to encourage others to reach for the things they really want but are too scared to try.

I have a few friends who ask how I keep finding great things because they seem to think I am “lucky” to find great opportunities. The truth is, I have a more failures than successes.

I am sure to have more failures in the future. It hurts. Its discouraging.

Please remember when you are looking at someone who “has” what you want, you are only seeing the good and are so sweetly overlooking all the obstacles they went through, over, under, or around to get to where they are now.

Basically, I want your life to be difficult because I want you to have everything you want.

You deserve it.

Praising others creates a positive life

Throughout the last year, my professional life has been a struggle. Although sprinkled with gems shedding light on possibly amazing things to come, I think we can all relate to slumps in our motivation to keep forging ahead. Its becomes painfully obvious as your role as a leader becomes more apparent. We are all leaders, or at least all harness the power to become a leader.

The alarming thing is, many leaders don’t even know they are leaders. The unawareness of your leadership power, I believe, is where things often go array in a team. If we aren’t aware of our leadership role, how can we be aware of our power to influence? Influence is the most powerful tool. It can setup a team up for success or unrepairable failure.

Leaders are not always designated by a title. Often they are just people who have the right personality, network, experience, or some magical combination of these ingredients to magnify their vision among the team.

I encourage you to really reflect on your team dynamic. You’ll find you have a team full of leaders who may just need a little something extra to get the positive fuels flowing. And praising other may be the perfect addition.

Be sure to check out Marie’s video on the power of appreciation and subscribe to her channel at MarieTV for more amazing professional inspirations.

Creative goals should not be governed by the quest for notoriety

Creative goals should not be governed by the quest for notoriety. It is for this reason, I have been creating for the purpose of self-improvement and growth.

I have many aspirations in a variety of interest fields but one goal in particular continues to remain stagnant. Its a goal held back by insecurity and fear of putting myself out there despite the fact I have found a strong voice in other areas of my life.

I am interested in video editing. Interestingly enough, I am the subject matter of my videos. I don’t believe it is because of vanity but rather because I want to delve into topis that I have first hand knowledge, using video as a medium to grow personally and professionally.

Below is proof you can start a new skill from scratch with the resources found online. I will continue to advance this new found skill while improving the video content and visual quality.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

How-to enjoy Chritsmas and holiday gatherings with 3 tips

Beer Bread mix and dog treats gift set for the lovely neighbors
Homemade beer bread mix and dog treats gift set for the lovely neighbors

Counting down to my baccalaureate freedom, I am overwhelmed with the most important assignment of my educational career while I am distracted with dreams of Christmas morning mimosas, green bean casserole, and lots of buttery rolls.

My assignment is supposed to be a cumulative representation of what I’ve learned during my undergraduate work but focused on one distinct area of study and fulfill a minimum of 20 pages, all wrapped in a pretty red bow on December 29th.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Sunday sandwiched between Christmas and New Years’ I will be scrambling to put the finishing touches on what will determine if I get that $30,000 student loan piece of framed paper.

I don’t have a lot of holiday traditions established yet, but I enjoy baking and presenting my fine work to friends in hopes of earning another holiday stripe on my apron. I refuse to let my final degree requirement (and the emotionally unstable state it causes) rob me of this pleasure.

Intern Sherry's Christmas decor-2013
Intern Sherry’s Christmas decor-2013

As a bit of time insurance, I spent last Sunday snapping, boiling, blanching, and freezing 6lbs of green beans for the Worlds Best Green Bean Casserole from scratch thanks to A Veggie Venture blogger recipe from Alanna Kellogg of St. Louis.

I also pre-made the garlic dough for two dozen yeast rolls during which time I made my kitchen look more like a messy kindergarten art project.

On both camps, I still have tons to accomplish before the big day, but I hope my little preparations provide me some sane comfort as the day looms closer.

Holidays can be stressful and, at times, un-fulfilling. Here are 3 holiday tips to ensure you enjoy every minute and walk away with some holiday glow!

EAT. Eat and enjoy it. Don’t guilt yourself over that buttery roll (or 6 rolls, no judging) calling your name each time you return to the kitchen for another beverage (mimosas are my Christmas drink of choice!) Resolutions come after the holidays for a reason, let future you deal with that.

DON’T SHARE. Well, you can share your rolls but don’t over  indulge in self-pity. Holidays are stressful for everyone, even the overly excited amateur baker in the apron. Holiday parties are not the time to get some “support” for whatever drama is going on with you.

BE GRACIOUS. I know, you thought all that “thankful” stuff ended the moment you shuffled through the crowds on Black Friday. But now is the time to tell that friend you don’t see as often as you like that you appreciated the invite to the party, tell mom the care packages she keeps mailing you brightens your day, and tell your neighbor that watched your dog while you were away that it was such a blessing. Just because you appreciate these wonderful people doesn’t mean they know. Tell everyone how much they mean to you!

Beautiful December view at local restaurant, Di Trapani's Italian Bistro in Dixon, MO
Beautiful December view at local restaurant, Di Trapani’s Italian Bistro in Dixon, MO
Image Source: Di Trapani’s Facebook 

 

Mistletoe? Might as well hang poop from your doorway

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If a million dollars were riding on what connected kissing and excrement, would you know the answer and live out the rest of your life in poop trivia happiness? Before today, mistletoe was nothing more than a weird neighbor’s way of getting an awkward kiss from every girl at the holiday party. Now, you can make your unwelcomed smoocher as uncomfortable as his sloppy kiss by sharing this bit of trivia.

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(Photo credit: Lamerie)

According to numerous sources, the word mistletoe derives from misteltān where the Angle-Saxon tān means twig. Mistel is believed by many online sources to mean dung, or excrement. In this translation, mistletoe would come to mean “poop on a twig,” and you wouldn’t be completely wrong.

More analytical sources find mistel is named for the bird, Mistle Thrush, who spread the seeds of various mistletoe plants by eating the berries and excreting the seeds onto tree branches causing the mysterious appearance of the plant.

The exact meaning and origin varies but surely sharing this information with Mom will stop the traditional berating to share a smooch under the poop twiq this Christmas.

Due to the seemingly mysterious appearance of the plant alongside your family’s favorite tire swing tree, many myths surround the parasitic plant. Viking legend holds it has the power to resurrect while British Druids believed it had healing powers such as fertility and protection from sorcery.

Mistletoe Kiss
Mistletoe Kiss (Photo credit: davis.jacque)

Like many traditions now common in Christmas celebrations, mistletoe was once part of pagan rituals. Berry plentiful plants would be harvested and enjoyed for their bright colors during the cold winter months. Some legends say a kiss would be shared for each berry on the spruce.

So, when you head to Grandma’s house this holiday season and inevitable find yourself under her strategically placed mistletoe with the “nice” neighbor she’s been bugging you about, just share your “poop twig” knowledge. It’s sure to set the appropriate mood this holiday season.