Posted by: maureen in view, scenery, charm on
Jun 25, 2012
Where do you do your best work?
Darrell can often tell what city I was photographed in by how bright my smile is. The bigger the city, the brighter the smile.
It reminds me of the last apartment I lived in as a resident of St. Paul. The place had character. Which isn’t just code for “problems.” It was charming. High ceilings, great view, charm.
But hot water wasn’t a priority for my landlord. Or rather, my hot water wasn’t. So if I wanted a hot bath I had to heat water on the stove and carry it, pan by pan, to the tub. Like they did in the old days! Well, not the really old days--I did have a stove, after all--but what I imagined those days to be like.
At the time and in a burst of frustration I thought to myself, “You are trying too hard to make this work.”
Now I think, “Wow. Charm must really be important to you.”
So what does this have to do with your career? Maybe nothing. But maybe everything. Maybe it isn’t your work that’s getting you down. Maybe it’s your surroundings.
Maybe you just need a change of scenery.
Posted by: maureen in help on
Jun 24, 2012
Remember those eight simple rules for finding work you love
? I summarized them when I started blogging, but I spread them out over several posts. Here they are in one place--in my latest Huffington Post post
They might help that recent graduate who could use a pick-me-up, or that friend who’s been out of work for a while and isn’t sure this plot twist is a good thing.
They might even help you feel better, too--for helping!
Posted by: maureen in truth, experiment, care on
Jun 21, 2012
When I was a cocktail waitress the bartenders spent a lot of time straining mangled corks from the wine in bottles I tried to open.
No one had shown me how to do that, and I never thought to ask. It looked so simple. Thread the corkscrew down the cork, position that little bottle-opener thingy, slowly pull back. At which point the cork crumbled, every time.
It took us a while to figure out what I was doing wrong. Instead of just placing the corkscrew in the center of the cork and slowly turning, I muscled it down. As if it needed help! I took something simple, something easy--and made it difficult. I hate to admit this, but it’s a bit of a pattern with me.
The Career Clinic vignette is a bite-sized version of the talk show and we got some advice recently for how to make it better. I was sounding a bit forced. That’s probably the best--and the kindest--way to put it. What I thought was enthusiastic came off as a little much. How embarrassing! And how wonderful to have people around me who care enough about me--and our work--to tell me the truth.
I’m excited to see what else I can improve on, now. Like a true journalist, I’ll keep experimenting--and reporting back on the results.
Posted by: maureen in break on
Jun 20, 2012
You know that rule “everyone” thinks is so golden? I think it’s arrogant. I’m not alone. One of my guests on the show thought so, too--not that I needed the validation. But you might!
You might also relate to why we feel this way. Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you assumes they’re anything at all…like you.
Why don’t you do unto others as they would like to be done unto?
Posted by: maureen in stop, sign, rest on
Jun 19, 2012
When my little brother was really little someone asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. His answer: “A stop sign.”
Now that we’re quite a bit older and--I think--a little bit wiser, I’m pretty sure he was on to something.
What if people thought about you as a stop sign? A sign to stop with the glowing rectangles because talking with you in person is so much fun. A sign to stop complaining about life and set about changing it because you’re a great example that happiness is possible. A sign to stop just for the (hell) of it--because you can’t remember the last time you were worse off for getting some rest, for crying out loud.
I’m pretty sure you’d be making the world a better place.
Posted by: maureen in inspiration on
Jun 18, 2012
Today’s burst of inspiration is in the form of an employee handbook
I know. I couldn’t believe it, either.
Posted by: maureen in play, game, expression on
Jun 12, 2012
There’s a wonderful expression that goes something like, “If you aren’t playing in a big enough game, you’ll mess up the game you’re playing just to give yourself something to do.”
That will be all.
Posted by: maureen in question, lesson, dream on
Jun 12, 2012
“Isn’t that a little young to be giving up on your dreams?” I asked Darrell about a gal we know. I can’t remember what he said. I was too busy with my followup: “Somebody got to her…”
Putting that question to her was…out of the question. I’d learned my lesson
It gnawed at me, though. I had to do something
Oh. I know! How about advancing a project I’d
been putting off?
And faster than you can read this sentence, I did.
Because I’m a little young to be giving up on my dreams.
Posted by: maureen in gift, business, affection on
Jun 11, 2012
Once upon a time I thought I knew what someone--gorgeous, smart, funny--should be doing with his life. He was a doctor, but that personality! Why wasn’t he on television? Really. He’d be perfect. I lit up whenever he entered the room, knowing I’d be laughing--hard--before he left. He had charisma.
Rumor had it he wasn’t happy “just” being a doctor. No wonder. He was only using a fraction of his gifts.
I’d grown up with the man. I knew him really well.
One day I was having lunch with the guru to the career advice gurus
, and I asked him about the doctor: “What should I do?”
My friend, the guru, didn’t hesitate. He answered by making that washing your hands gesture. It was obvious, then, what should’ve been obvious to begin with. As much affection as the doctor and I had for each other, this was none of my business.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is mind your own
business. That’s your
Posted by: maureen in surprise, money, garden on
Jun 10, 2012
Our inability to keep houseplants alive is rivaled only by our inability to keep goldfish alive.
So imagine our surprise when--after burying dead goldfish next to our little rosebush because it was as good a place as any--that little rosebush turned into some kind of freaking rose tree
. I am not kidding. One minute we’re plotting the demise of our goldfish cemetery. Seemingly the next? A consultation with the woman at our local greenhouse who’d never seen anything like it.
Eventually it was time to move that freak of nature outdoors, which is where this story ends. The way it began--with our not-so-green thumbs.
I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but I recently had the pleasure of talking with Mike McGroarty
. Ever heard of blooming where you’re planted
? That’s Mike. He says if you love to garden you might be able to make money at that. You might be able to make a lot
of money. He even has a money-back guaranteed program to help you get started.