Hello, again. Let's upgrade.

Life is wild. It really is. I will spare you the details of the craziest ~4 years of my life. Instead, I want to share what I have been inspired to do because of all those trials:

  • Writing to live. I have returned to writing in a lot of different ways. I have a personal journal, a work journal and a learning journal. I write appeals and those are really, really taking me back to my journalism roots - be factual, be compelling, be genuine. I am in the process of writing a FY17 plan, helping me back to my management roots, which is an exhilarating feeling. Writing, all of my writing in the last months, has been cleansing. The act of writing calms me down. It helps me learn. It helps me work through problems. Writing is life.
  • Reading: books, blogs, articles -- all the reading. Well, I'm like a million books behind schedule already, but I'm trying my hardest and the reading I'm doing is helping me with my writing, as it should. Plus, I'm reading a lot more news and professional writing to support my work, which is great.
  • Learning hard AF, daily. Something I realized while viewing old Facebook posts was that I used to post more quotes and more thoughtful statements. I do that when I'm learning a lot and my brain is running on all cylinders. While I'm not particularly interested in going back to sharing more on Facebook, I do want to get back into the groove of SHARING KNOWLEDGE. With everyone: my coworkers, students, friends and, frankly, complete strangers. I'm kind of addicted to sharing information and that's my librarian background talking. Good thing I got this here blog, eh? Plus, as I mentioned, I'm keeping a learning journal, where if I don't decide to share online, I have a little book with big learning nuggets. 
  • Regularly hearing the song of my creativity muse. This I have found to be true: when I read and write more, creativity comes easily and naturally. When I was in K-8, high school and college, I wrote excessively. I had things to say and a platform to say them on, through homework assignments, newspapers, etc. Now, I still have things to say and have found that there are still platforms, new ones, for those messages. My work, my life, my reading and my writing all combine for me to be more creative, spread good messages, and find better ways to tell stories. What a time to be alive.
  • Listening. Well, if there's ever been a crappier Gemini, only child, attention deficit disorder-ridden, passive listener than myself, I have yet to meet or know of them. Active listening is a huge area of growth for me. I don't do anyone any favors by not listening. I must be better. I have improved, but not nearly enough for my liking. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
  • "Change my life." This is what I replace "diet and exercise" with. I'm not on a diet. I'm changing my life to include nutritious, planned, homemade meals. I'm not exercising more, I'm trying to change my life where I get up and move every single day. If I don't eat well or exercise every day of my life, than I'm not being good to myself. Diet and exercise plans are temporary. I want to live a long, active, truly healthy life, with a few fun and glorious departures from responsibility, like champagne cocktails, ladies' brunches, Opening Day (and the rest of the season), and beer festivals. 
  • Getting in good sleep and waking early. All I have to say about this is that this is the pinnacle of being a 30-something. I find the Sandman is knocking on my door promptly at 10pm each night and, well, I am happy to oblige. The next morning, my early curfew is rewarded with energy and the will to conquer the day.
Hope you can into some of these grooves in your life. It's not easy. You have to make the time and commitment. When you're brain and body are active, you are your best.

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