2013: The Year You Changed Your Life

 

How did 2013 treat you?  

  • I look back on 2013 and first judged it to be a tough year. Then I realized I was too harsh on 2013. It was actually a great year. Great because it was necessary to take me to the next step.

 

  • Some years may seem harder than others because they are what I like to call “The Set-Up” year.

 

  • The Set-Up Year moves around the puzzle pieces in your life to prepare you and make room for the changes that will come later.

 

  • This disruption is never easy, but it’s necessary to get you to the next phase of your life.

 

  • It can make it seem like you were having a hard year, but it was just a intense year with lots of changes that you needed to go through.

 

  • Remember, not every year is going to be a “woo hoo” year. It won’t always feel like roses and sunshine.

 

  • Sometimes it’s a year of organization and change that will get you to the next years of your life when you will reap the benefits of last year’s hard work.

(Remember, changing your life is always brave.)

  • Your courage to make changes in your life doesn’t go unnoticed by the universe. It jiggles loose all the rewards that your dedication and faith brings.

Have faith, be happy and happy new year!

Caroline

Share

They are tearing down my old dental school.

  • They already built the new school right next door. The old school was just sitting there unused and dormant for a long time.

 

  • I left Baltimore years ago after graduation and I never looked back. I didn’t even attend my 5 or 10 year reunions.

 

  • I have a mixture of bad and good memories from my dental school days in Baltimore. It was a rough time in my life.

 

  • I sit here now a dentist with 10 years of experience behind me, but now finally pursuing my dreams.

 

  • When I saw friends posting pictures of the school on Facebook like the photo above, at first I couldn’t decide how I felt.

 

  • Then I began to think of the demolition of the old school as also knocking down the past.

 

  • I admit I’ve been holding on to a tremendous amount of bad memories from those days and I finally need to let go of them.

 

  • It’s both symbolic and serendipitous that this happens right at a point in my life when I’m poised for a big change and ready to shed the past completely.

 

  • I’m going to leave that part of my life among the rubble and let the wrecking ball do the work.

 

The past is truly gone. It’s time to start again.

Is there something from your past you need to knock down into rubble? If yes, then you need to do it to make room for something new to come along. Need a sledgehammer? Want to borrow mine? (okay not a real one, a symbolic one ;) )

Caroline

Share

Your Secret Hiding Place

Everyone Needs a Hiding Place

When you were a kid you had one. You used it every time you wanted to get away from your parents, siblings or just to avoid chores. You need one now too. Probably even more urgently than when you were younger.

  • Mine is a little corner of my favorite Starbucks where they have an electric outlet right behind my chair to plug in my laptop, a window view for the sun to warm my back and a clear view of the counter so I can jump up and grab my drink when it’s ready. (I’m sitting there now)

 

  • I don’t know why, but this is where I’m most productive with my writing and feel at peace. 1 hour at Starbucks = 5 hours of failed writing attempts at home.

 

  • My apartment is perfectly quiet and I have a desk all to myself where I can work as long as I want. Unfortunately the call of the TV, cell phone, email, Facebook and the refrigerator call me with their individual siren songs.

 

  • If you were a fly on the wall watching me try to write at home you would fall of the wall laughing.

 

  • I get up at least 5 times every 20 minutes to do whatever is unimportant.

 

  • The other day, I left my manuscript and decided that I simply must empty the half empty trash cans and throw them away. Ten minutes later and I was checking my email, watching my all my friends’ snowman photos on Facebook. Then I went back to work for 10 more minutes, only to stop again because I was suddenly curious where the concept of snowmen came from and decided to Google it, since, of course, you can Google anything.

 

  • It’s amazing how much you can Google in a given day if you want to distract yourself badly enough.

Here’s the mystery:

  • I can Google at Starbucks, check Facebook, email, make phone calls and even jump up to the counter every 10 minutes and order something new like a crazy person. But I don’t.

Why?

  • Maybe because I have a deep respect for my hiding place. I don’t want to offend it with trivial distracted activities.

 

  • Perhaps it’s because getting here in time to grab my favorite seat before someone snatches it is a gift. I appreciate that gift and want to spend my time wisely.

 

  • It’s my set time allotted to myself-which is why I respect it.

 

  • At home, I don’t need to fight anyone for that seat. It’s there whenever I need it and that’s probably why I take it for granted. I misuse it with fake, wasted, internet surfing and a million breaks to straighten, organize, make my bed, alpabetize my credit cards, and refold towels. All in the name of wasting time and avoiding the task at hand.

 

  • If you ever came to my place while I’m writing and see that it‘s spotless, and everything is in order, it means I’ve been wasting time. Scold me.

 

  • If you come to my place while I’m writing and see a mess, papers everywhere, the dishes not washed, the bed unmade and my hair disheveled but I still look happy, that means I’ve been a good girl. Give me a cookie. Then I will kick you out so that I can write some more.

 

Note: Nothing makes a writer more insane than someone who tries to disturb that writing time with a phone call, repeated texts or an ill-timed visit.

  • Don’t take it personally. You are wonderful. It’s being in what I like to call, “The writing zone”, that can make any writer crazy when it is disturbed. We often behave like lions who just found out that someone was trying to hurt their babies. Our baby is our writing time. It’s a precious gift in this busy world.

 

  •  It’s like we are Smeagol from Lord of the rings and you are the trespasser trying to take our “Precious” away. Be careful. We may bite ;) (and yes, I actually took the time to look up the correct spelling of Sméagol. I Googled. Can’t help it.)

 

  • Do you have a hiding place that you go to? What hobby or dream do you cultivate there?

 

  • If you don’t have a hiding place, you need to get one. The louder and messier your life is, the more you need one. It will keep you sane. You will get back in touch with yourself, your purpose and what you are meant to do.

 

  • Your hiding place makes it possible for you to endure the crazy world we live in. You are better equipped to handle the rest of the world outside of your cozy hiding place.

 

When you find it, you must protect your time there and guard it with your life.

Caroline

Share

How To Listen To Yourself

 

  • Staying true to yourself is the most challenging thing you will ever do.
  • You have people coming at you from every direction. Your family has their set of expectations of who they want you to be. Even some of your friends may be used to seeing you in a certain way. Even society will try to tell you who you should be.
  • It’s hard to keep listening to your own voice above the fracas of the outer world.
  • Keep trying. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life or who you should be. If something doesn’t feel right to you then don’t do it. Don’t listen to “them”. Listen to you.
  • 5 years ago I bought a house because everyone around me said, I “should” want it. I “need” to own something. It was “time”.
  • Everything inside of me said it was not time. It was not a good decision for me. Somehow all the outside voices drowned out my inner voice of reason.
  • Soon, I found myself also thinking that I needed to own a home. I forgot the fact that I wasn’t ready to own.
  • I take the responsibility for my decision. No one else is at fault.
  • This year I sold the house and I’m happier than I’ve been in 5 years. Selling also went against the advice of many in my life, but this time I didn’t listen to them.
  • I realized I spent much of my life listening to others and not myself in every area of my life. Luckily I can still save myself and my future.
  • Do you do that? If yes, what can you do to change that? It’s fairly simple to do it. You just have to listen and pay attention to yourself. Then you must ignore everyone else.
  • Don’t waste your life doing what others want you to do.
Caroline
Share

Run and Hide From Negative People

  • You know how there are people in this world who are just brimming with positive energy? You’ve met them as your friends, acquaintances or even strangers in an elevator who always manage to make everyone smile and feel good about life.
  • They are the ones who seem to have a glow about them. Spending just 5 seconds with them can turn your Monday morning at 8 am mood right around.
  • Then, there are the people who are the exact opposite of all of that.

 

  • I recently had an encounter with someone I barely know who is the opposite of a ray of sunshine. 5 seconds with her and your happy mood can fly out the window and suddenly your mind is racing with all kinds of sad and gloomy thoughts.

 

  • She is not a bad person. She is smart, successful and seems kind, but for some reason she always carries a cloud of doom and gloom with her.
  • Every encounter I’ve had with her has cast a shadow on the rest of my day. She is a glass is half empty person who wants to share with you the details of why that glass is empty and how it will never be full no matter what you do.
  • Every time I see this person my instincts tell me to head for the hills.
  • I once made the mistake of telling this person about my plans and dreams and she shot back with a pleasant smile and casually said they will not come true.
  • Lesson I learned: Don’t share your dreams with everyone, especially the Debbie Downers of this world.
  • They don’t need to know about your life. Learn to recognize who they are and do your best to stay away. Run if you have to. Who cares if you look silly. You have your dreams to protect. You have your mood to protect too.
  • Don’t let anyone, no matter who they are, cast a dark shadow on your day, your week, your year or your life. Learn to cut these people out of your life or at least don’t tell them a thing about your plans.
  • Sometimes it’s good to keep your life a secret to certain people. They will think you are mysterious, or even weird. Let them think whatever they want.
  • Go find that person who is a ray of sunshine instead. They usually have cookies ;)

 

Caroline

Share

Is It Good To Be The Youngest Child?

Are you the youngest child?

  • It’s the plight of the youngest child. We are under appreciated and constantly feel the need to prove ourselves to our families who are used to not taking us seriously.
  • We are also the dreamers. We are the ones who go after our dreams. We march to the beat of our own drum.
  • Most people in our family think our ideas are nuts and are often surprised when we become a success. Maybe it’s because they still see us as the baby, the 5 year old, the silly one.
  • We are inquisitive. We see life from a different angle. We are less likely to follow what everyone else is doing. We don’t want to conform.
  • Years of being compared to our older siblings led us to become our own unique version who is anything but boring. We strive to be different.
  • It is the youngest child’s lot in life to always want to stand out. To make our mark. Whether you are 10 or 35 or 82 you will always have the symptoms of the youngest child.
  • Is  it a blessing or a curse?
  • If you ask me, I’d say its a blessing. As a child I thought it was a curse. I hated being the youngest.  Sure I got away with more things than my sister did but I was never taken seriously, and none of my opinions counted. I was often just a voice that no one listened to. Most of my opinions were dismissed with an, “aww isn’t that cute, she has an opinion” or an, ” who taught you to think that way?”
  • Now I understand it has only made me who I am. I wouldn’t change that for the world. It gave me the drive to change things, chase after my dreams and become who I am meant to be.

So in conclusion, yes, it is good to be the youngest :)

Caroline

Share

How To Leave The Past Behind

Do you ever wish you could do things differently? Do you ever look at your life and wonder what would have happened if you went another way instead of the direction you went?
There is no clear cut answer as to whether your life would have turned out better or worse if you had changed direction in the past.
The only thing you do know is that you are here now and are the person you are now. Your history and your past decisions made you who you are today but they don’t define who you will be in the future.
It is what you think and do now that defines who you will become.
Don’t beat yourself up over your past decisions. You don’t know if they were really mistakes. They were just a step you took that led to the next step and the one after that until you got here. That’s all they were.
Our past does not have to be earth shattering unless we treat it that way.
Try not to think about the so-called mistakes you made in the past, instead think of where you are going today. Then keep moving forward until you reach your dreams.
The past is your history. Leave it there. Don’t be a frequent visitor there.
Caroline
Share

The Person You Really Are

  • In this crazy, messy, busy world, it an be very easy to forget who you are. You have to first understand who you are before you can know where you need to go in life.
  • It may sound silly, but when it comes to getting back in touch with who you are, it helps to just simply write down a list.
  • Jot down a list of things about you. Don’t think too hard, just write. Do it fast without over thinking it.  When you don’t think, that is when your true feelings come out.
  • Below is an example of one I did for myself. It varies from the silly to the more serious.

I’m the girl who wears sunblock on a rainy day

I’m the girl who likes to see things from a different point of view

I’m the girl who secretly  goes insane when others emails have misspelled words
I’m the girl who despite the independent spirit, still secretly wishes to meet her soul mate
I’m the girl who doesn’t know how to drive a stick shift
I’m the girl who never got around to taking the training wheels off her bike but learned how to figure skate
I’m the girl who is starting to  figure out who she is and what she wants
I’m the girl who decided to finally swim in the deep end of the pool
I’m the girl who prefers it when people are real
I’m the girl who knows how to use a power drill, caulk a tub and still can do a perfect manicure
I’m the girl who considers a bookstore or a coffee shop to be a sanctuary
I’m the girl who wishes summer could last all year long
I’m the girl who can sit and stare at the ocean for hours as if it’s telling me a story
I’m the girl who will sit fearlessly  under the palm tree with dangling coconuts overhead
I’m the girl who would rather sit outside all day and write
I’m the girl who will probably forget your birthday but will make it up to you with a great gift
I’m the girl who never forgets a face but might forget a name right after hearing it
I’m the girl who once got a cat despite the fact that she’s a dog person
I’m the girl who will rarely say no to chocolate
I’m the girl who trusts her intuition now instead of ignoring  it
I’m the girl who will pick an apple over a cupcake
I’m the girl who you will think you have figured out but will realize you were all wrong
I’m the girl with two sides to her personality..and a third and fourth
I’m the girl who can seem calm on the surface but is often anything but
I’m the girl who believes that dreams come true
Caroline
Share

Being Happy With Where You Are…For Now

 

  • It happened overnight. I woke up this morning and realized that I no longer dislike where I live. I actually kind of love it. But after years of having ill feelings about my geography, how do I handle this new insight?

 

  • It almosts felt like telling someone I broke up with that I love them again.
    Yet as soon as I began feeling this way I realized that I will be leaving this place soon. To a place that I know I love even more.

 

  • Isn’t that always the way? As soon as you begin to appreciate something, that’s when you will move on from it.

 

  • It’s almost as if you need to fall in love with a place again before you can move forward. When I say “place” I mean either a place geographically or whatever stage you are in your life.

 

  • You need to make peace with where you are in life before you can take the next step and change things.

 

  • The icky feelings you have about your situation will keep you there until you either make peace with it or learn to love it. Your choice.

 

  • Sometimes our situations in life may not be perfect, but if we try to make the best of it and know it is not permanent then it gets easier.

 

  • Then you can move on to the next stage in your life.

Hope you get the clarity you need!

Caroline

Sent from my iPhone

Share

Why Kids Are Smarter

Situation:  The moment your 11 year old nephew easily comes up with the perfect title for one of your books when you spent longer than you care to admit wracking your brain for one.

  • You should have seen the look on my face.
First I was….

Then, when I had some time to recover, I was…

  • It actually makes perfect sense that a child would have an amazing imagination.
  • This illustrates my point that children often have a better perspective than we do and their imagination is untainted with the worries and cares that often plague adults.

 

  • The point is that they can tap into their creativity with more ease than most adults.
  • My advice? Next time you have a creative dilemma, go ask a kid. They have an insight most adults have to fight for.

 

  • Actually any time you have any type of dilemma, it doesn’t hurt to ask a kid. You never know what crazy, yet wise thing they will have to say.
  • We often have too much brain clutter where our worries and responsibilities take up too much space in our minds and they leave very little room for our imagination to develop or be heard. It makes it harder to tap into our imagination.
  • Most kids don’t have that problem.
  • Oh and I’m crediting my nephew in the book :)

 

Caroline

Share