Crazy: A Review of April

May 16, 2013 by

April was…crazy. Personally, professionally, in all ways absolutely crazy. It seems like every month this year has been crazy, which makes it doubly hard to focus on maintaining peace in mind. Nevertheless I’ll continue working on it.

April’s review

Here are a few key things that happened this month:

  • I went out eating, dancing and drinking with a couple of my best girlfriends on a weekend when Dan was out of town. We ended up closing down a bar at 2:30am which hasn’t happened in a long time. Even though I was really tired the next day it was so much fun! I really love to dance and often forget how important it is to me.My_neighborhood_in_bloom.
  • Dan’s birthday was this month so I took him out for a Caps game and a night on the town. Again, we had so much fun. Hockey is absolutely my favorite sport to watch in person and it was a great game. As always, spending dedicated time with my hubs was the best part of this trip.
  • I presented at a conference on supervisory skills (and then wrote a blog post about it). I haven’t presented to this audience before, so it was a great opportunity to get to know some new people and continue building my business.
  • We hosted our housewarming party – finally! It was great to see so many old friends and meet/play with their little ones. There are more and more kids among my group of friends so our parties have changed quite a bit since the old days 🙂
  • I attended and participated in several meetings for my usual transportation groups and commissions as well as the short-term parking group I’m on.

All in all, it was an exhausting month, especially because work was very busy as well. The biggest personal milestone that happened this month was the housewarming party and finally “opening” the house up for visitors. Several people hadn’t seen our place yet, so it was great to show off the new kitchen and all the work that went into making the house ours.Farragut_Square__dreaming_in_the_sun_while__zachsmith_101_and_I_grab_lunch_at_the_food_trucks.

The biggest business milestone I accomplished was to get my new website design and header launched (after far more hours of work than I originally intended to put into it). Getting that launched was sometimes an exhausting and frustrating process, so you can bet I won’t be doing it again soon! But it did allow me a chance to more clearly highlight the coaching work I can do with people (you maybe?) and the great content already on the blog.

The most valuable lesson I learned this month is that I need to take advantage of mental downtime whenever and where ever I can. There were, quite literally, almost no hours of any day in April when I wasn’t working, traveling somewhere, reading in preparation for something, cleaning, cooking or any number of other things. So when I had a chance to walk slowly home a couple of times through the beautiful spring foliage in my neighborhood or just stare out the window during my bus ride instead of doing work, it was a real balm to my mind and soul.

Next month

For the rest of May, I’m going to focus on taking time to relax whenever I can. I’m also going to work on trying to parcel out my time carefully so that I can try to preserve some of it for relaxation while still getting my work done.

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Practicing: A Review of January 2013

Feb 21, 2013 by

I was inspired (yet again), by the lovely Rosetta Thurman to start writing monthly reviews in 2013 in an effort to get more intentional about my life and especially my business. I’m a little late for the January review, but since I’m trying to be kinder to myself this year, I decided that late was better than never.

When I look back at January, I must admit that its already hazy. It was a very busy month, but it still worries me when time passes so quickly and I’m not always ‘present’ while experiencing everything. Being present in the moment and maintaining some internal peace is not easy for me and just like any life change it requires practice in order to perfect. That’s why January’s theme is PRACTICING.

Introducing my coworkers to NOLA and the famous Hand Grenade.

Introducing my coworkers to NOLA and the famous Hand Grenade.

January’s Review

Here are some of the significant events that happened in January:

  • Re-connected with some good friends I haven’t seen in a while. In particular, I saw my friend Lisa whom I love dearly and was just about to have twins at the time we met up (they were born at the end of January and they are beautiful!). I know it will be a little tougher to get together with her now that she’s busy with her job and the twins, so I was really grateful to see her. I also caught up with Ms. Rosetta – we hadn’t seen each other for a really long time so it was great to hang out and chat about business, food and her wonderful new roommate.
  • Went to New Orleans for a conference I had been helping to plan. It was a great trip for a few reasons: I got to introduce my coworkers to NOLA, one of my favorite cities in the world; ate tons (and tons and tons) of great food; got to see the event go very smoothly after months of planning; and provided training and technical assistance to those that needed it, which is one of my favorite things to do.
  • Attended a concert with my father-in-law. In all the time I’ve known my husband, I’ve never spent any time alone with his dad, who is a wonderful person. It was nice to do something fun together and get to know each other better.
  • Started participating in a Commercial Parking Working Group under the auspices of the Arlington County Manager. While the work is super wonky, its also an important group that I’m privileged to participate in. The group’s recommendations will have a real impact on transportation in the county and it always feels good to me to contribute to my community.

    I love you NOLA, especially your food.

    I love you NOLA, especially your food.

The biggest personal milestone I reached last month was deciding that our house was ‘done’! I set the goal of getting it done at the beginning of year/month so while it sounds like I accomplished something huge very early in the year, I actually decided that obsessing over all the stuff that I can do or want to do or somehow think I need to do was actually completely counter-productive to my mission of gaining internal peace. I (and my husband) will do what needs to be done whenever the need arises and I will stop trying to check invisible boxes.

My greatest professional accomplishment (in my business) was finalizing my 2013 strategic plan and identifying tasks and milestones for January and February.

The most valuable lesson I learned last month was that letting go of things – especially those things I can’t control – feels great. It feels light, liberating and sweet. I need to keep learning and re-learning it.

Next Month

Obviously, we’re more than halfway through the month already, but I want to keep focusing on being peaceful. I’ve already caught myself creeping toward unnecessary stress too many times so I need to keep up with the practice of releasing stress, not taking it on in the first place and being peaceful in my mind.

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