Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I party like a rock star, look like a movie star, play like an all star...

I can't get this track out of my head and my hips. I've always been a fan of Pitbull's crunk. He's a great rapper but has been underrated by a lot of people. From his new CD, Boatlift, "Go Girl" is plain MAD. You be the judge. (It's clean.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

The holidays have come and gone. I can't say mine weren't stressful at times, but the time spent with family and friends was absolutely wonderful. I feel blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude for everything in my life.

Today marks the first of a brand new year. Thanks to a gentleman whom I've never met, but whose daughter I befriended last summer, I've resolved this year to take time for myself to do ordinary things.

While reading his blog recently, I was moved by one of his entries. I've included it here. Enjoy... and cheers!

From the bestselling author, Harvey Mackay:

Author Mitch Albom says he wrote his book "For One More Day" when he became fascinated by how people answer this question: If they could spend one more day with a loved one already departed, how would they spend it? What would they do?

In Parade magazine, Albom says that he repeatedly found that people wanted to spend an ordinary day doing ordinary things with the people they had loved. Notably, almost everyone wanted to tell a special person just one more time how much they loved him or her. Others mentioned that they wanted to do the things they always did with that person, such as head to the racetrack, eat in a favorite hamburger joint or talk about old times.

One son wished that he could share knowledge that would have eased his father's guilt over an incident where the father threw a snowball and accidentally blinded another son. Later, after the father's death, the family learned that the son had a condition that had predisposed him to such an injury. He wanted to help his father lift his burden.

One man longed for a moment with his son who died in a car accident. He wanted to relive a favorite getaway, a walk with him in the woods.

Asking people to describe their wishes helped Albom understand what we yearn for. Often it's not something exotic or faraway. The most common responses involved personal connections and realizing that a normal day is something we should all treasure.

Chances are, you've been blessed with success and tremendous opportunity. You can likely recall some colossal failures and deep disappointments. Would you choose any of those for one more day? No matter how much the big things have changed your life, it seems that it's the little things, so many of which we take for granted, that make our lives worth living.

How does this relate to careers and work issues? No matter how passionate you are about your work, it's only part of your life. As you've heard so many times, don't work so hard at making a living that you forget to make a life. When work stress spills over to disrupt the rest of your life, you need to plug the dam. Is this how you would spend your "one more day?"

When you feel like you are tottering on the edge and you just need a break—you should take one. In today's busy world, it is easy to fall into the trap of never taking any time for yourself. Just about every time you pick up a newspaper or magazine these days, you find a study declaring that Americans are more stressed, sleep deprived and time-crunched than they ever have been. That's no way to spend one more day.

While you can't turn the clock back, you could certainly benefit from some real time away from the things that drain you. Spend that time instead with the people who are special in your life. Here are some simple suggestions:

Disconnect. Promise yourself that you will not answer your cell phone, return a text message or check your email. Lest you think I'm crazy, let me remind you that people have survived for centuries without these things. It's highly likely that you'll not only survive, but also probably emerge refreshed from unplugging and turning off for a change. When was the last time you had an uninterrupted dinner?

Escape for an evening. Leave work on time and stash your briefcase in a closet. Spend the hours doing something you love—anything but work! You know the old saying about all work and no play. Would you really come back—just for one more day of work?

Take your vacation time. Hoarding earned days? Do you lose them if you don't use them? Maybe you are just building up a cache of time that you will use "when you need to." People seem to be almost unwilling to take breaks when they really need them. Keep in mind that the workplace and world will survive, probably quite well, if you go on vacation. If you think you are indispensable at work, stick your finger in a bowl of water and notice the hole it leaves when you pull it out. Now try to imagine the hole in your family's life without you. It suddenly becomes a clear choice!