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.
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?
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?
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:
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.
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.
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