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You don't need support. All you need is a GOAL.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I think it's absolutely critical to have goals in life.
When I was a child, nobody ever talked to me about goals. No teacher, and not my parents. I think that's because most people go through life never having clearly defined goals for themselves, so of course, their children drift along in life the same way they did. This is why so many college freshmen cannot begin to choose a major, and are dumbstruck by the fact that they have been asked to declare one... they still have NO idea what they want to be when they grow up, and here they are, grown up, and sucker-punched by reality.
Having goals gives you purpose and direction. Not having them leaves you searching for advice, support, and rescue. Not having goals also allows you to blame others for your situation, and having them allows you to TAKE CONTROL.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 8/10/2009 4:01PM

    You are absolutely correct - that's why DH and I STILL don't know what we want to be when we grow up.

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VIOLETS97 7/12/2009 12:28PM

    Janine, I couldn't have said it better. I am with you, in regards to growing up and not being taught to set goals for myself. Nonetheless, I was able to set goals for my career and education. I have yet to master the goal of fitness and finances. While I am doing much better in the finance area now, I still struggle with the fitness. But if I go back to your words "having them (goals) allows you to TAKE CONTROL" which is what I want. Not being in control of my fitness allows me to be self-destructive and doesn't do any good.

Thanks for sharing this.

emoticon emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 7/8/2009 4:49PM


Sorry, couldn't resist! My theory is that goal-setting, like financial planning, is not encouraged. I think both should be taught in school, but if that happens, well, people might just get ideas about getting off the corporate hamster wheel and be free! Can't have that, can we?!

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Enough about Michael Jackson already

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ok, Michael Jackson has died. We've all heard.
Repeating it every day, all day long, is ridiculous. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing it.
Isn't there anything else at all, happening in the world today, that is the least bit news worthy? Can we talk about something else now? Like say, Iran?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JYORK23 7/3/2009 12:16AM


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CLOWN54 6/27/2009 11:57PM

    I agree it wasn't too long ago it was Michael was a freak on the news, what a fickle world we live in. I say too he was very talented artist who did drugs, what else is there to say?

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PHEBESS 6/27/2009 4:06PM

    Yeah, you'd have to live in a vacuum to not know by now. As DH would say, it's a slow news day. (That and people have the attention span of a hummingbird.)

I went to the mall today. EVERY store was playing MJ's music. Not the same music at the same time - each store, and the mall itself, playing his music, all on different tracks at different times. It got old and boring very quickly.

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BLUEANDGOLD57 6/27/2009 4:04PM

    I couldn't agree more! Ed McMahon died this week, too. And Farrah Fawcett died the same day. If the mainstream media can't focus on the real issues of the day, maybe we can hear about another dead celebrity for an hour or so...

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MBSHAZZER 6/27/2009 4:02PM

    I'll bet Mark Sanford is pretty happy to be knocked off the front page!

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Do commissioned workers work harder if they have nothing else to fall back on?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This question appeared recently on a career advice column:

"I work 30 hrs a week but have recently started taking classes to become a real estate agent. I wonder whether I should quit my part time job to focus on my new career, or keep it and reduce my hours?
We live on my spouseís salary alone. My part time salary goes straight into savings. We have $8k in savings currently. We donít have enough money for living expenses plus new business startup expenses, so I guess I would be pulling a couple hundred a month from savings for awhile to start.
I've been told that it's best not to have another job because you won't work as hard at your new one if you're not 'starving'....But I like the idea of keeping a few hours just to pay for my business expenses."

What kind of advice would you have given this person?

Personally, I agree that you should focus on ONE career, but "starvation" has nothing to do with it. IMO, either you have career goals and ambition, or you don't.
I quit my job last year because my own small business had grown to the point where I couldn't do both. Looking back, I can't believe I kept that lousy job as long as I did.
For many years, I kept thinking along the same lines as this person- 'this job provides me with x # of $ each week' or something like that. I tried not to think about what the job took from me (TIME, and perhaps part of my soul) or what monetary value the company put on me (next to nothing).
Being self employed has changed my whole world view. All those years I worked for other people were wasted. As corporate slaves, we spend an awful lot of time trying to convince the company to pay us more, even when everything is pointing to the fact that they'd rather not pay us at ALL.
BTW, I don't need to work. My husband earns enough for both of us. Owning my own business is immensely satisfying for me, and it's a huge part of who I am. I canít imagine going back to the arrangement I was living in before. This is what FREEDOM feels like.
I work when I want to, and people pay me what I ask for. That last part never ceases to amaze me, especially because I value myself at TEN AND A HALF TIMES what my previous employer did. There have been an astounding number of people who agree that Iím worth it, and hire me over and over.
Granted, I donít have to convince anyone to buy a house. What I do has GOT to be much easier than what this person will be attempting. I canít even fathom some of the challenges they will face. In a competitive market, you have to set yourself apart to attract clients and win contracts. In my case, itís through education. I know that I have more knowledge and more specialized training than other people in my field, which gives me the edge I need to land steady work. How does a fledgling Realtor do it?
By the way, this person currently earns $60. an hour.
Which is hardly what I'd call 'starving', but apparently, they're hungry enough to enroll in night school.
What do you think?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBSHAZZER 6/26/2009 10:37AM

    Very interesting! I am currently on the corporate habitrail, but doing some consulting work on the side for my BF's fledgling company. He is trying to convince me to quit and work for him full time so we can grow his business, but I am scared of losing a steady paycheck! Even though I live off rental income from some properties that I own and my paycheck goes straight to savings. Something about not having it to fall back on scares me, after 18 years or so in the corporate world! Thanks for giving me some food for thought!

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PHEBESS 6/25/2009 8:30PM

    $60??????????? No kidding?????????? OMG, I've taught for 24 years, I have my MA, I'm department chairperson - and I don't think I earn even half that!!!!!!

Okay, shock over, I don't know if this is the time to get into real estate. On the other hand, I wouldn't have thought it was the time to get into landscape design, yet look at how phenomenally well you're doing. I guess I'm just clueless about business.

But I totally agree that education is key. If you don't know what you're doing, and you aren't current in your field, you're doomed to fail.

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I resolve to visit Florida more frequently.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I just got back from a 10 day trip to Florida where I attended a fantastic tree conference. The speakers were great, and the hotel was fabulous. I had a wonderful time and made many new friends. The Florida Arborists are great.

After the conference, I worked. I love working on planting projects in different states- I learn so much. I was asked to examine a tree that was struggling. It was actually dead- I pulled it up and showed the homeowners how circling roots can kill a tree; and forwarded many photographs to colleagues around the country. I planted 82 plants of various sizes over a four day period, and enjoyed some rare "me" time... on the beach, wearing a 2-piece... things a woman my age has no business doing. The sight of so many fat, tanned Floridians, of all ages, wearing so few clothes, made me rethink my physical condition. I got inspired... I got over myself in a hurry.

It's been way too long since my last visit to Florida. I will definitely make plans to attend this conference next year (and look for other excuses to go back- I have GOT to learn my Palms).

Dead tree with circling roots:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 6/23/2009 10:38PM

    Ah, thanks.

Nice to know I'm getting the info from one of the country's top tree people! (Yup, that's YOU!)

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VIOLETS97 6/23/2009 9:38PM

    Glad to hear you had a great time!! I wish I was as knowledgeable as you about landscaping and gardening. We just bought a house and if I saw the circling roots I would have thought nothing about it. Thanks to you now I know a little something something. :)

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MBSHAZZER 6/23/2009 4:33PM

    So glad you had a nice time in my home state! Come back anytime & a 2-piece is mandatory! emoticon

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NOTBLUSHING 6/23/2009 12:16PM

    *See new photo for circling roots.
This happens to plants that are grown in pots. The roots hit the side of the pot, and are deflected, which starts the circling growth. Over time, these roots grow larger, which can strangle the tree or simply result in blow-over in high winds, because the roots never radiate out into the soil. As the canopy gets bigger, and the roots can't support the tree.

Comment edited on: 6/23/2009 12:23:18 PM

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PHEBESS 6/23/2009 12:07PM

    Glad you had a great time! Plus getting all that extra vitamin D!

What are circling roots? When the person planting the tree curls them into a circle to make them fit the hole they dug?

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My sentiments exactly

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Plagiarism, as defined in the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, is the "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work."
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I guess I should be flattered that people read my blog in the first place... and then create a blog so eerily full of similarities to my own in both subject matter and wording.

Delays and more delays

Being all but finished on my big landscape project, and anticipating a long drive to Florida, I decided to bring my truck into the shop for it's annual inspection.
Bad call.
Here's the play-by-play:
I dropped off the truck bright and early Wednesday morning, leaving my spouse snoozing peacefully. I really had planned on hitting the road Wednesday morning, but I knew I would be reassured if my vehicle was inspected prior to the trip.
When I arrived, the lot was half empty. I rejoiced in the knowledge that it wouldn't take them long to get to me, so much so that I even said as much to the service writer behind the counter. I let everyone there know I was on my was to Florida, and I wanted to get on the road ASAP. They all smiled and said "We'll call you as soon as it's ready", as usual. I began the 6.2 mile walk home.
My route took me past an appliance outlet, and because my refrigerator experience was still pretty fresh in my mind, I took a two block detour to check it out. Lo and behold, they had my dream fridge.
I could hardly believe my luck when I saw the beautiful Jenn-Air model #JFC2089HPY in "floating glass" finish -my 1st choice! Staring at it was like looking into a deep, black pool... it was lovely. It was sexy. It looked like it belonged in Barry White's bedroom. I could find nothing wrong with it.

It was everything I wanted, the exact features, the exact model.
It was 40% off... and I had just caught the very last day of the sale.
I bought it on the spot.
I told my husband about the new fridge a couple of hours after I got home. By that time, I was wondering why the garage hadn't called yet.
By the time two o'clock rolled around, I called THEM, annoyed that they FORGOT to call me when my truck was done. To my utter horror, I learned they hadn't yet seen the patient. I tersely reitereated that time was of the essence, and they never indicated that there would be this long of a wait when I dropped the truck off. I was quite annoyed.
Finally, at 4pm, with the whole day GONE, they called and told me the truck did not pass inspection due to an exhaust leak. What's worse, they don't do exhaust work. I'd have to retrieve my truck and find another mechanic to fix it.
I knew of a muffler shop that wasn't too far off the beaten path, that has a good reputation. I phoned them at once, and was encouraged. My spouse was tied up on the phone, so I got in his car and FLEW over to get my truck. I made it to the muffler shop a little past 4:30.
They put me right on the lift, and showed me the problem. It was worse than my mechanic had indicated. I needed new pipes; my truck would have to spend the night. My day was done.
In a lucky twist, the owner of the muffler shop gave me a lift back to where I'd abandoned my husband's car in my mad dash to pick up the truck (I couldn't leave it at the repair shop, it would have been locked inside the gate all night, and then we'd REALLY be screwed). During the ride, I vented about my day. At that point, I didn't know he was one of the owners, but when I complained that the muffler mechanic told me to buy new chrome tips because he wasn't sure he could get my old ones to fit, he listened. And when I picked up my truck the next day, I noticed my expensive chrome tips had been salvaged and welded on to my new exhaust pipes. I was grateful to my benefactor for making sure I got what I wanted.
I arrived back at my original shop just before 9:30am, still sweaty from yet another long walk (5.5 miles), and had my inspection sticker in short order. While I sat in the waiting room, and they gave my truck the once-over, one of the technicians turned around in his chair to speak to me.
"You know" he began, "I didn't recognize you."
"Yesterday?" I asked. "Yeah" he paused, "you've changed a lot. I mean, EVERYTHING. Even your personality. You look like you're REALLY doing well." I thanked him for the compliment, adding "I guess you've never seen me that ANNOYED before."
I'm still wondering how my brusk behavior made me seem as if I was "doing REALLY well".

I could have left for Florida today, but I decided to do laundry, mow the overgrown lawn, cut the overgrown hedge, shower, shave, fix my hair, and pack. So tomorrow, we shall watch the sun rising over I-95.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 8/10/2009 3:54PM

    I am so sorry that someone would plagarize your work. I make sure when I quote someone that I give credit where it is due.

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MBSHAZZER 6/12/2009 10:49AM

    LOVE the new fridge! And 40% off, to boot! Awesome. Enjoy your trip to Florida. Drive safe in your newly maintained truck!

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PHEBESS 6/11/2009 9:37PM

    I think sometimes someone reads a blog and it triggers a realization in their life - that "aha" light bulb moment. It's a starting point for thoughts that go in a variety of directions. At least, that's how it works for me. Example - when you blogged about working despite your injuries, I started thinking about why you push yourself. Then why I push myself. Then what is the motivation behind that. Sort of a zigzagging line. Anyway.

So when do you get the new fridge???? Will it arrive while you're gone? I know how frustrated you were when you went fridge shopping a while ago.

And I hope the truck does well on the trip!

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SECRETFUN 6/11/2009 9:30PM

  content skimmers have you down? one of my sister's friends (she does web work) was complaining the other day about this, too, although she was not as...nice....

As for the truck, while not good in some respects, very good in others. Have a lovely trip my friend. Rest well.

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