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Welcome to my blog! I promise to share some of my musings and many of my adventures!

Using Your Gift

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Barbara (pictured above) while volunteering to stuff bags for the Delta Research and Educational Foundation. Let me start by saying, I knew I would like her from the moment she walked into the room. She chose to sit at the table where I was working and just started chatting with us about her day and shared that she was excited about going to National Convention. She also shared some truly amazing stories about her life and things that she has learned along the way. At one point during the conversation, she stopped and said, “If you only remember one thing that I have shared with you, please remember that you should always use your gifts.” She repeated this comment again after I hugged her and thanked her again for sharing her story with us.

I have been reflecting on that statement since then. As I continue to grow and experience life, I often think about what my gifts are and how I can use them. I have also been reflecting on when I realized I had certain gifts.

Have you thought about your gifts lately, and are you using them?

Message from Creed 2!

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I was able to take another 48 hour computer break last weekend so I went to see Creed 2 Saturday night. The movie is great, of course! I found myself reflecting on one of the larger themes in the movie. Yes, I analyzed the movie.

DISCLAIMER – SPOILER ALERT!!!!

If you have not seen the movie yet and do not like to have endings spoiled, don’t read this until you see it. Unless you just want to read and see the movie any way. Either way, I do want you to read 🙂

LAST CHANCE TO STOP. SPOILER BELOW!!

So, mini recap of the movie. Adonis Creed (Micheal B Jordan’s character and Apollo Creed’s son) is challenged by Viktor Drago. Viktor is the son of Ivan Drago, the man that killed Apollo Creed in a fight. Viktor and his father challenge Adonis while on a visit to Philly from Russia. Adonis, wanting to honor his father, talks to Rocky. Rocky beat Ivan back in the day and knew what it would take to beat him. Rocky did not want Adonis to fight, largely because that is how Apollo died. Adonis leaves Philly and moves to LA to train without Rocky. Adonis only lasts a few rounds before he is knocked down hard by Viktor. He was able to retain his champion title because Viktor hit him after the bell. Viktor was trained by his father to hit hard. Adonis was seriously hurt as a result of the fight, physically and emotionally. It took him some time to heal, regroup and decide that he wanted to fight Viktor again. He reconciles with Rocky and lets him know he wants to fight again.

NOW, here is the part that struck a cord with me, and essentially the motivation for this post. Rocky let him know that he was not going to beat Viktor with his “natural style.” He takes Adonis out to the middle of the desert to train in a non-conventional facility. Not even sure you can really call it a facility. He trains hard and in ways he was not used to. He comes out physically stronger and mentally ready for the fight against Viktor in Russia. The fight lasts longer because Adonis can endure a lot more of Viktor’s hits. This time, he beats Viktor with a knock out.

I got home that night and sat up thinking about having to train and prepare differently from my “natural style.” I will admit that I have had my Adonis moments of being fueled by a passion to “fight” for what was right. But that admittedly doesn’t always work. I have even encountered a few Viktors in my life that only have one goal of trying to break me. Over the past few years I had to find my desert training grounds to train differently, so that I was prepared for the next match with challenging characters in this play we call life. The fact that Adonis had to go to the desert is also interesting because it was a stark contrast from the gyms he was used to training in.

All that to say, sometimes you have to train a little differently from your natural style. And sometimes you need to change your training ground. Notice, I did not say change your natural style. I believe you should always remain true to yourself. But some situations are meant to prepare you so that you know how handle some of the toughest matches to keep your title.

 

 

48 Hours – Computer Free

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For the past two Fridays I worked a little later into the evening so that I could have 48 hours free from my computer. I got ALL my work done, even got ahead on some things. I had other things going on this and last weekend (friendsgiving, rehearsals, performance, baby shower, and a wedding) but the time away from the multiple tabs I have open on my browser gave me some much needed physical and mental space. Here are my reflections on both of my 48 hour breaks from my computer:

1. I wanted to spend less time in front of screens in general. I did not watch much TV at all.

2. Instead of wondering what I needed to do, I thought about what I CAN do. I had the space to let my creative side wonder.

3. It was a lot easier to mediate. I was not thinking about all the things I needed to do.

4. The desire to do some of my chores did not increase (HA!), but I was not bothered by my decision to relax more than pick up around the house.

5. I actually came up with several great ideas for teaching and some of my smaller projects. I started traveling with a notepad again so I could jot down notes and sketch out my ideas.

6. I slept well!

7. I read more. I finally got back to some books that I started that I have not been able to finish.

8. I felt/feel better overall. When I returned to my computer today and last Monday I was able to focus more on what I needed to accomplish.

In the future, I may include an email restriction component, for at least a full day. The key to having computer-free weekends is planning. I take a step back to think a few steps ahead. BUT, I am very honest with myself.  There are days where I move through a list of tasks/goals, and days where I only make it to 1 or 2 things.  Both days are great days. At the end of both of those days I am perfectly content still finishing my day enjoying some tea and flipping thought a cooking magazine.

Karon

Early Bird? Tips for an Early Start

Morning! Some mornings I arrive to work as early as 7:00am. My friends have been calling me early bird but I honestly do not think I am. I can wake up early but I don’t jump out of bed and float around my house singing. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic version of an early bird. I normally wait until the last possible minute to get out the bed, and go into auto pilot.

Lately, I have learned and incorporated a few things that have helped me arrive early to work and ease into the day.

  1. Preparing and packing breakfast and lunch on Sunday nights. I have been doing this for three weeks now and I can never go back. Cooking my meals was never the issue. Packing them up ahead of time so that they were ready to go was the challenge. Now, on Sunday nights I cook and put five meals for breakfast and five meals for lunch in containers. I also prepare and pack snacks like nuts and fruit. Keep in mind that I do not make complicated meals for breakfast and lunch. I want them to be tasty meals, but do not want spend a lot of time preparing them. Salads in jars and sandwiches are easy fixes (for sandwiches I would keep the bread separate and build the sandwich once you are ready to eat it). I love roasted veggies (especially broccoli) so I make a lot of that to supplement my main meal for lunch. I often make one pot meals and divide that up for the week.
  2. Figuring out what I am wearing the night before, not in the morning. I have been investing in staples (solid dresses, pants, long skirts, etc) that I can just pull together without much thought. Some nights I may not decide exactly what I want to wear. I will, however, make sure that I know exactly where two to three options are and make sure they are hanging up so that I am not looking for them in the morning. I don’t even want to mention how many mornings, in that past, where I have thrown clothes all over the place trying to decide what to wear. I have a coworker that irons all her clothes on the weekends. I tip my hat to her.
  3. Making my coffee/tea at work. I invested in an electric kettle and I love it. I also bring in water for the week. While I am heating up breakfast, I pour some water in my kettle and get ready for a warm cup of happiness. I’ve noticed that a lot of people have coffee makers in their offices. There are a few coffee shops in the area, but those are additional stops that add to your morning.
  4. Packing any extra things I need at night. This seems intuitive but anytime I have a performance or any after work plans, I get all of those items together at night. Good time to get those deep water running clothes together. I also get any DSW coupons, grocery lists, etc together as well.
  5. Getting a diffuser/warm light for my desk. I have a diffuser at home on my night stand and I read that having one in the office can help with energy levels. It definitely does. This one has a warm light and it has really helped on overcast days when sun can’t peak through.
  6. Listening to a good playlist. Spotify understands me and creates the best playlists for me. They have quite a few playlists to get you going in the morning.

 

Love to hear if you have any additional tips!