Success under stress

“Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.”

I’ve missed a few days o’blogging but I’m back and playing catch-up with the Blogging101 tips and tricks. Today’s prompt is pasted above. Here’s what I found on page 82….

“By freeing up time to develop more business, Dan generated enough revenue to hire another person to take on follow-up work.”

Having just wrapped up my work day, my nearest book is the career-focused “Success under Stress” by Sharon Melnick. While the advice is designed to help professionally, I can’t help but think it’ll help me personally as well. I am all about improving my time-management. Ironically enough, I just purchased “Time management for the creative person” by Lee Silber. Have I really had a chance to read either book yet? I’m working on that!

Sometimes…. OK, quite often, I find myself suffering from “analysis paralysis” – a cute rhyme I use to define my not-so-cute bad habit. With too much on my plate, I often find myself so overwhelmed I simply can do nothing but stare off into space and ignore the fact that I have to do X, Y and Z. It can get really bad at times, where I will totally shut down all aspects of my life. I think subconsciously I figure, well if I’m not going to do the really important things right now that I need to do, then I’m not going to allow myself to do anything worthwhile.

But always, I do eventually snap out of it and I attack my to-do list with a vengeance. Must I suffer through analysis paralysis before proactive Penny kicks in!? Hoping these books will help!

Penny, The Integrator!

I took a Business Chemistry class this morning, where we studied personal behavior patterns to determine insights about individuals and how we can better interact with one another. Essentially, there are four scientifically based patterns of personality – Driver, Pioneer, Integrator and Guardian – and most people strongly associate with one or two patterns that characterize their business behaviors. Well, it took about 8 minutes and 70 questions for the test to completely nail my behavior as an Integrator.

We learned that Integrators thrive with personal connection and keeping harmony among individuals and teams. They love to see how the pieces fit together. They’re empathetic, consensus builders, dutiful, nonlinear, helpful and trusting. They dislike confrontation, aloofness, interruptions, aggressiveness, bragging and competition.

I don’t know whether I’m more impressed or frightened at how accurate this test was. Either way, I do find it funny that I’ve started my blog focused on the nuances and navigation of life at basically the same time I’m pegged as an Integrator who loves to see how the pieces fit together. I think this blog was definitely meant to be…

Just the ramblings of an almost 30-something

When I was younger, I developed a timeline for my life without any real knowledge at all on the topic. It went something like… serious boyfriend in college, engaged by 24, married by 25, kids by 28. And I wasn’t alone. Many friends had the same expectations for life in their 20s. Well, I am on the brink of 30, childless and without a ring on my finger, and given my wise ole age, I am totally OK with that.

It’s funny how the older you get, the more you realize (and experience!) that things don’t always work out the way you intended…. nor should they. Where did those expectations come from in the first place? Other people? Something you read? Something someone said? I find it’s often tough – but always important – to weed through the BS to discover what it is that you actually want. Sure, sometimes I struggle with the childhood fantasy I had for my adult life versus reality, but I do try to focus as much as possible on blazing my own trail and creating a path that works for Penny.

For today’s Blogging101 writing assignment, we’re asked to detail our ‘dream reader’. I’d say anyone who appreciates or can relate to ruminating/navigating through life fits the bill for me! To make a few blogging friends along the way wouldn’t hurt either! 😉blonde1

Pondering Penny

Introducing…. PENNY!

Hi all. Penny here. Being a blogging newbie, I signed up for The Daily Post’s Blogging 101 course and my first assignment is to introduce myself. Perhaps this is a little backward not being my first blog post, but here we go nonetheless….

I have been a reader and writer – albeit a mostly private writer – my entire life. From staying up all night with a flashlight under the covers reading countless Nancy Drew books as a child to taking writing classes at night as an adult, I have an unwavering passion for story-telling. I have always dreamed of becoming a famed, published columnist and novelist. Alas, my efforts to reach such fame have been limited to my own personal hard drive.

So, last week, I decided I’d enter the world of blogging to begin sharing my ponderings with the outside world, and here I am! I’m excited to open myself up to outside perspectives and feedback, and I hope to continue sharing my ruminations on life and also some more polished pieces as I work on them. Until next time….

Foggy Start to the New Year

Well, there are some things in life you cannot predict and when and how you get sick is one of them. Unfortunately, this year (yes, all 6 days of it!) has been a complete and utter blur of sickness and sleep. It was as if the NYE Gods looked down on me and decided at the stroke of midnight, I should come down with a wicked sickness. Not quite the ‘fresh start’ I had anticipated (ha!), but what can ya do? At least, it can only improve from here, right?! 🙂

Finding Penny

We’re about a half day away from the New Year and I am looking forward to the strike of midnight with newfound optimism and hope. 2014 was a roller-coaster for me while I let other people’s expectations – those they stated and those I imagined – control my every day. I blogged yesterday on The Perils of Being a Pisces and I think the Pisces symbol of two fish whirling around one another couldn’t be more true to my past year, i.e. constantly being pulled in different directions.

So, I am welcoming with open arms the idea of a definitive fresh-start for 2015. I’ve spent quite a bit of time this past week pondering what my New Year’s resolutions might be, and I’ve settled on an overarching theme of: Finding Penny. I want to find myself again and stay truest to what makes me the happiest, and the prospect of doing so already makes me very happy!

I have a few ideas to get me started on this path of rediscovery and recognize that the journey itself will alter some of these ideas while hopefully solidifying others.

  • Focus on the POSITIVE, i.e. no more dwelling on the negative! Life is a blessing and there is no ‘right’ roadmap or end goal… it’s all about experiencing and appreciating the journey.
  • Be PRESENT. Put away that phone! Texts, games and social surfing can certainly wait until your real, live company has left. Incorporate the ‘silence’ feature so vibration notifications will not cause distraction. Take a genuine interest in what your companions are saying – after all, there must be a reason you’ve decided to hang out with them!
  • Stay true to YOURSELF. If someone asks you to do X, Y or Z, remember this is merely an invitation or suggestion, i.e. not an obligation. Take time to think if this is really something that will bring you happiness. If not, simply thank them for the offer and politely decline. Put yourself and your wants and desires first over accommodating others. What do you want to do instead? Read? Write? Work-out? Explore?
  • Recognize the only person you can control is YOU. As much as you’d like to think otherwise, you cannot control other people. If someone is constantly late, you’re only harming yourself by constantly getting upset. Instead, think of a new way you can handle the situation, i.e. adjust your expectation, your reaction or simply cut that person out of your life. You’re only fooling yourself if you think someone is magically going to change overnight because you demanded it.
  • Stop dwelling on what others may or may not be thinking of you. I somehow left this out of my initial list, after mentioning it upfront in the post, which is kind of crazy because I think this is the most critical goal for myself moving forward.

Well, just a few ideas to get me started! 🙂 “Rome wasn’t built in a day” as they say; I, too, realize this won’t be a quick and easy process, but I’m excited to get started. Let’s do this 2015!!

Who am I? A Time of Reflection as 2014 Comes to an End

I often wonder who I am.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in “people-pleasing” and doing what I think others either want me or expect me to do. I like to keep the peace, so when something I want to do is met with hesitation or opposition, I often back down and concede. It’s a quality I both admire and despise in myself. “Oh that Penny, she is so easy-going!” vs. “Wow, Penny does not have a backbone!” Those hypothetical quotes bring me to my second issue: I care too much what other people think of me. Yes, that was not me speaking in the third person. That was me imagining what other people must think of me from time to time.

While I do recognize this phenomenon on occasion, when I try to get deep with myself and uncover who I really am and who I want to be, I find it difficult to determine. How does one pinpoint who they are without factoring in the people in their lives? Or maybe those people do factor in, but to what extent? I think, on some level, I act a particular way with particular people because I want them to accept me. But who are they accepting – the Penny who is true to herself or the Penny who is truer to others?

Perhaps this is where this week’s writing challenge fits in, which is a take on the theme of H2O: What does it mean to be the same thing, in different forms, i.e. ice, water and steam?

I initially started this post with New Year’s resolutions in mind, i.e. focusing more on what makes me happy versus what makes others happy. But now, in thinking of what it means to be the same thing in different forms, I’m starting to wonder if making other people happy is in fact something that makes me happy. I think, at the very least, right now this is true. Sure, I will strive to ensure I maintain happiness in the process, but I don’t necessarily think it’s an ‘either or’ case. If I can be happy while those around me are happy, well I think that’s the ultimate success.

Further addressing the H2O challenge, I take pride in my multifaceted self. I love having so many interests and different people in my life that make me who I am. At any moment in time, I can be a: writer; marketer; listener; talker; reader; comedian; chef; observer; watcher; socializer; host; guest; cleaner; fixer; driver; passenger; leader; follower… and the list goes on and on. As the list grows, so too does the richness of my life.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Ice, Water, Steam.”