Thursday, October 12, 2017

Technology Trouble?

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 11:38 AM 0 comments

I was inspired to write (again) about technology overload, albeit ironically in a blog, from my computer. I struggle with technology overload, addiction, and feel pulled in many directions. The sense of urgency, the immediate gratification, ugh! I spend time when it amps up trying to disconnect, limit my exposure, and shut down notifications and pop-ups. Basically, I attempt to take control of my life and give it back to myself and the people around me.

I listened to the most amazing video by this young man (creds to him!) TAKE a few minutes to watch and try, I dare you, to NOT be inspired to make a change. Just one. Little. Change.

The following touched me TO THE CORE:
  • The average person spends four years of life looking down at cell phone?
  • Touch screens make us lose touch 
  • iiiiiii mac, phone, so many I's, not enough WE...
  • Social media claims to connect us, but connection is no better
  • We have so many Friend LISTS, but many are friendLESS in actuality
  • Measuring self worth by numbers of followers and likes, ignoring those who actually like and love…
  • Humans have attention span one second LESS than a goldfish…WHAT???  
  • OMG, SRS, SMH, can we have a conversation without abbreviation?   
  • NEWS is now 140 characters, or 6-second videos, leading to further overstimulation and a high speed world.
  • ADD on the rise faster than LG, 4G. I myself feel I struggle with ADD/ADHD and have to take conscious efforts to reign myself in, take and keep control of my mind and my tie to tech
I have disconnected in order to reconnect before, and yet more and more that is challenging as sports, kids, or school groups function on Facebook. Or, I have a photography business Diva Digital Design that I need to share images with clients, sales, or make posts and shares too.

Ideally, I'd like to do the following:
  • NOT spoil a precious moment, but LIVE it! 
  • Not feel the need to check my phone, or respond the second someone messages me. 
  • I've already shut down all notification except FB messenger and text - because that at least is a human attempt at interaction. The rest can wait. It really can. 
  • Tuck my phone away - during all meals, when out with friends or family. 
  • Turn my phone on Do Not Disturb when I am needing to give my full attention to someone. Or turn it off. Guess what? It will all be there when I return! 
  • Date nights with NO technology or phones. Be real. Be together. 
  • Here are eight more ways to disconnect
And here's food for thought - WHO ARE WE to think that we are THAT important that we HAVE to check our phone when out?? Seriously, who do we think we ARE? An emergency can wait just like it did before cell phones existed, and our determination of what IS an emergency or "need" has shifted too. 

I have just recently finished my MBA and while my time was also sucked in that direction, I have made a conscious effort to interact with people, catch up, and in 2 weeks I have had lunch with two ladies that I had not previously, and enjoyed myself a LOT! I've texted a few people to at a minimum catch up in some way, shape, or form. I've limited my time on FB, and am considering taking a break from it again - with the exception of the kid or photography pages. No more getting sucked into a time warp.

Just yesterday, I was leaving work and got a "DING" so I stopped to check it. A gentleman also leaving said "hey, thanks for stopping while you check your phone!" which he meant as a compliment to common sense and safety. But I realized that I didn't HAVE to check it at all right then!

So, the gentleman in the video says: 
"Imagine a world where we smile when we have low batteries,
because we will be ONE BAR CLOSER TO HUMANITY…" 

I invite you to do even ONE thing to limit this disjointed 'connectedness' and take at least one effort to really connect and BE with someone, even powering down so you can fully immerse yourself and engage with who you are WITH. And solo time also important, so try sitting and NOT being on your phone. Read a book, enjoy the view, check out a garden, visit with a stranger, do a random act of kindness.
Disconnect to Reconnect…See you on the flip side folks!

~Daring, Delightful, NON-Digital Diva

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Desperately Done and soon-to-be Diploma'd

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 9:53 PM 0 comments
Image result for completion quotesI've been away a while. A long while. What have I been up to you ask? Obtaining my MBA and Marketing degree apparently. Learning and writing about social media instead of writing this blog on social media!

I feel weird. I feel I may be over-reacting? Then again, I live my life in sunshine and rainbows, excited over a new deodorant! I wouldn't have it any other way, life is more FUN that way!

But, I recognize that I am not the only one who has completed a master's degree. I am not the only one who has worked around a full-time job. Or children. Or four or five of them. Or a husband. Or a newlywed husband. Or hobbies, or friends, or travel, etc. I am not the only one who chose to put a honeymoon on hold. So WHY, oh WHY is this feeling like such a big deal to be DONE? Next week cannot come soon enough! What am I looking forward to?

THE LITTLE THINGS! Seriously. the. little. things.
coffee. breathing. slowing down. wine. mindfulness. anything. i. want.

While I feel that I have not "given up" a whole lot while in school for two years solid (with only Christmas break!), I feel that the time management of myself is what has sustained that ability. The ability to fit in date nights, attend all the kid activities, even do things with friends and travel. Mostly me, myself, and I paid the price. The early mornings on weekends while everyone else slumbers. The reading school work on lunch breaks, while waiting, on my phone, iPad, or computer, or while traveling. Taking lunch breaks to get homework done.

Image result for first i drink the coffee quoteSo what am I looking forward to next week when I am COMPLETE???

  • Of course, I am in wellness, so I am already counting on my exercise increasing, as well as meditation and mindfulness activities! I can't help myself! SLOWING down. Period. In soooo sooo many ways. 
  • I am high energy, don't get me wrong, but slowing down is so good for me! Enjoying that cup of COFFEE on the patio on a weekend morning...instead of reading school work with that cup of coffee because I have to. 
  • Coming home from work and SLOWING down, not rushing the kids through their day, what happened, what's due, or what they need...before jumping to homework. 
  • Having the kids hang out with me at the kitchen peninsula while IIII start and make some dinner! 
  • Speaking of dinner, I discovered an app called #BigOven that I LOVE, that gives me ideas, healthy, rate recipes, edit them, save them and ENJOY cooking. Yea, I am looking forward to enjoying cooking! Again, SLOWING down...after work. 
  • I am looking forward to SINGLE-tasking! You would not believe my workspace, with two computer monitors, iPad with my resources, phone and paper out. I have already been practicing SLOWING down - with less tabs open, less interferences, and less....less. LESS! 
  • READING - for real, paper books, kindle books, not just Audiobooks because I can listen while I drive (again with the multi-tasking!). I've already read one book and so missed it! 
  • Writing - I will get back to my blog, my thoughts, just me. Life, careers, thoughts, parenthood, marriage, and hopefully soon I can write about that delayed honeymoon! 
  • Choir and singing - If you've read any of my previous blogs or know me, you know that I always strive to push myself outside my comfort zone, learn, grow. So my latest thing that started last year was learning to SING - and I loved it, joined a choir and am continuing singing lessons! I will do it with more free time to practice and enjoy more fully, without squeezing one more thing in! 
  • The REMODEL! We recently nearly completed a remodel during this (ok, me not nearly as much as my oldest and hubby!) But I look forward to completing it, and working on some other projects that can fulfill my 'nesting' tendency when I am free of something.
  • TRAVEL! That is, travel without reading all my work on the plane, in the airport, finding wi-fi to connect and submit assignments. I have a trip coming up for a dear friend's wedding in which I get to simply BEEEEE with about 6-7 of my best friends. In a vacation home. On a lake. In the Poconos. With my friends. With a glass of wine. This shall be utterly divine! Freedom! 
Image result for free quotesFREEDOM!!!!  Regardless of what I will do with my newly found 

FREEDOM, or you as you wrap up projects, degrees, anything. I will utterly and completely and mindfully enjoy it! 

FREEDOM, here I come! Let's make it an early date next week. Let's shoot for SUNDAY, and not the following Sunday! Here here to non-procrastination! 

Daring, Delightful, Desperately DONE,
soon-to-be Diploma'd Diva! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Me Before WE

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 2:25 PM 0 comments
Overheard at work: "You need to become a ME before you're ready to become part of a WE". WOW! Brilliant phrase! And the concept is amazing!

As a mother of five, several being teenagers, they are learning about dating and relationships. I married young, far too young, and it ended in divorce. Nothing bad about either of us, but very well may have been simply starting out too young. Before we each were ME's before we entered into a WE.

My only hope for my children is that they become ME's. That they experience things, places, and people in the world. Before they commit to a WE.
  • College, education, and at least the first "real" job
  • Travel and experiencing different areas and lifestyles, regions, and people therein
  • Financial security - learn to live within their means, even if those means are meager at first. And handling your own credit cards, debt, spending, and saving.
  • Relationships - date other people, see what works or what doesn't, and hone in on who might be a good long-term fit. What do you like to do together, simply hanging out?
  • "#Adulting" as my kids say - even our oldest is learning to adult - deal with financial aid, make apartment decisions, job decisions, and financial. And he's only beginning!
  • Finding out more about yourself as a human - what makes you tick, how do you handle stress, happy times, bad times, and what you enjoy doing for hobbies and for fun. Who do you gravitate towards and what type of friends do you choose? Find out many of these things before you find a partner, and life is good!
By doing all of these things, I believe that my kids and many other young folks just like them have a chance to make a marriage or partnership last - through the good times and bad, and through the growth that inevitably will happen for each person.

Ahhh, Me Before We. I love it!
Daring, Delightful, Determined Diva

Friday, January 6, 2017

Courageous Authenticity

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 1:28 PM 0 comments
Today marks six years at my job. The one that I uprooted my life and moved myself and two kiddos to this new town just the three of us. Life has turned out lovely for me over the years, having met dear "family of choice", and built a new life filled with friends, adventure and activities, and met my husband and three bonus kids. Life is good.

Today, my new supervisor sent me a congratulations for the past six years and thanked me for my "COURAGEOUS AUTHENTICITY." Wow. That sparked some inner soul searching for me: that a boss fairly new to me, and remote to me since I am onsite with my client, could see and say that I exhibited this trait. Again, wow.

Authenticity is my life, and quite frankly I don't know how else TO BE. I have had friends joke that I cannot lie about the brand of deodorant that I use, and wear my heart on my sleeves, and the list goes on and on. I had not thought of being authentic as the courage to be yourself, or that many people are not. I suppose that's true, whether you are stuck in a dead end job, a terrible marriage, or in a sole role as a parent and have lost yourself as an individual. I tried online dating some years back and had several dates and gentlemen that said I was EXACTLY as they'd expected based off of my profile.  I remember thinking, how could you NOT be like what you write about yourself? Ahhh, see, I was being authentic and learned the hard way that some people are not, perhaps opting for embellishments, tall tales, and wishful thinking. I am authentic to the core: what you see is what you get.

Authenticity can also be expressed as a series of choices we make: being real, showing up, and being honest. To let my true self be seen. That is a life worth living. Why would we want to be fake, keep up a show, be someone or something we aren't?  What purpose does that serve? Does that honor ourselves as valuable and worthy individuals born to be here on this planet in this time and space, in this life, and with much to offer the world around us? 
Since this Courageous Authenticity was job-related, I have thought about my role, my job, and my leadership abilities. I have been pursuing my master's degree in Business and Marketing and have taken leadership courses within that. I have learned a lot about leaders and types of leadership, but I've learned about myself and my leadership qualities in the process. I suppose that's the point! I do try to be very authentic as a whole, and use that in my leadership style, whether that is speaking at a conference, setting an example to my children, or leading this wellness program for this client. This is the only way I know how to be.

I am glad that someone noticed, and Happy Anniversary to me! Here's to more courageous authenticity in 2017 and beyond!
Daring, Delightful, Dependable, Decent, Direct Diva :) 


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Year-End, Year-Beginning

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 4:31 PM 0 comments
How cliché that we reflect on the year end, but I cannot help it!  It comes naturally for me since I moved my two children and myself to a new town, new place, exactly on New Year's Day! So I shall carry on the tradition with reflections upon 2016 and life's twists and turns.

The Art and Science (NOT!) of Blended families: Since getting married in 2015, and merging our families of five kids, life has thrown some challenges our way. In one moment I can hear someone tell me that we should write a book we are doing so well, and other moments I might be in tears feeling like I am failing for all five. Here's what I know. Parenting is HARD. Parenting is real. Parenting is for a lifetime, whether your kids are your biological, or bonus. So we keep at it and try not to screw them up too badly, teaching them along the way.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Friendships: I wrote already of my struggles losing my best friend, so catch that here if you missed it: We are no longer friends, but Strangers with Memories, but I've reflected on friendship over the years. From shifts when you gain or lose during big life events such as a divorce, marriage, or move, to this most recent loss that I didn't see coming (really I was just in denial for a long, long time). Friendship is a premium to me. Regardless of being married or single, friendships sustain us, help us endure, bring us joy, laughter, and things to do with others. I will always have my friends, some with and some without my husband, and I will always need them and they will need me. It is vital for me to model relationships to our children, so we support them having and nurturing friendships too, and minimizing meanness or selfishness. While I have lost only one friend, I have gained more, nurtured some more, and feel blessed in all of those gains in my life.

Marriage and the Ebbs and Flows: I have been married before, very young and an ill-fit that is very hard to work on when you are young and immature and neither of you know what to do or not to do. We hope when we take another chance on love to do it better. And we have. The natural ebbs and flows of a marriage, the day-to-day life, the friendship that must endure, and the blended kids thing? Vital to have a strong foundation to handle all that. Have we done it perfectly all year? Nope! But we've made it through together and stronger!  My husband is an engineer, and I, a wellness "woo-woo" person, but we have found a balance for the most part in communication styles, letting things go, simplifying, and we are also just more mature and older that sometimes the little things don't matter.

Adventure. Striving. Tackling. Period. ALWAYS. Something that I learned about myself long, long ago, is that I don't idle well. I must be striving to be thriving. And each year that is about trying new things and pushing myself outside my comfort zone or box. In year's past I have learned to belly dance, run a 5k, a half marathon, a road relay, tango, and this year is no exception.  Two things I have done this year that are outside my comfort zone: ran a trail relay race with dear friends, and I LEARNED TO SING A SONG AND PERFORMED, as well as followed that up with a recital solo as well, and joining a choir. Life gets good in the parts where we push ourselves to grow, to learn, and to tackle fears. My children would never guess that I was shy when I was younger, or scared of things.
  • Stage fright? Learn to be on it.
  • Body issues? Try belly dancing and you'll own it. Video evidence HERE
  • Never tackled your masters? Start! (And I'm 2/3 done and a 4.0!)
  • Physical strength? Tackle a new challenge like a run, a race, and twist up those too!
  • Want to travel? Find a reason and people! I've even tied mine to some races, haha!
  • Lifelong fears? Tackle them head on! SINGING was a major fear of mine and I'd never sing in front of other humans! But, with lessons and a great teacher, as well as supportive first audience of wellness friends, I did it and you can too!
So for 2017 I am wondering what I can challenge myself with. I don't do New Year's Resolutions - I continually push myself all year long. I see in my future another Ragnar Trail Race, more singing, and perhaps another solo that is even better, stronger, and more beautiful. Regardless of what I see for myself, I know that I will learn, grow, thrive, and be a better person come this time next year!

Here's to your own challenges this year!
Daring, Delightful, Dreaming, Developing, Digital Diva

Monday, December 12, 2016

We're no longer friends...We are strangers with memories

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 4:28 PM 0 comments
Alas, it has happened to me.
You know, that thing that you never thought would. 
One of my best friends is gone.

It has been a struggle for me, and while she was not my only friend, this has been a bizarre twist of events that has come to finalization and realization at the end of this year time of reflection, letting go, and resolutions. She is no longer my friend and it is time to accept that.


I've spent the last year or two wondering what is going through her mind when we run into each other. Does she notice? Does she care? Is she oblivious? Does she wonder what went wrong? What truths is she telling herself?  What lies does she believe?

I feel that I have constantly and continually been a nice person, put in efforts to hang out, be there, ask about her life, defend her, help her, give, give, give, do, do, do, and get nothing in's time to let go. The person I may not recognize any longer is no longer worth my time or efforts. Period. It's time to mark up my own value and worth.  

She has been there for me, listened to me cry, she's cried, we've laughed together, and shared so many memories that I will cherish for years to come.  While there are things that hurt when someone lets you go in their life unexplained and you don't even understand, I can see through the fog that I have been blessed: by new people who've become friends, things I've done, adventures I've taken, ways I've pushed myself to learn, grow, and experience. I've genuinely had great times with her and that doesn't change, no matter the outcome I face now.

Friendship is supposed to be a two-way street, and while it ebbs and flows, it shouldn't be only a one-way path. Ever. You shouldn't become unworthy of a text, a how are you, a what's going on with you. Let alone a call or getting together.

It may simply be time to move on, let go, and I have enjoyed and noticed other friendships blossom and grow, so it reminds me of that saying "People enter your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime" and I guess I have been hung up on classifying her incorrectly all this time. I thought she was in the lifetime boat, but it turns out perhaps she was seasonal or for a variety of reasons. And that has to be okay. As a dear friend told me, "it might help you to reclassify her as an "acquaintance" rather than a "former best friend", as it might simply hurt less for you, and make a transition easier and possible."  Thank you, friend!  It is indeed time.

I look forward to letting this go, letting her go and moving forward to the land of "somebody I used to know." It's too hard to stay emotionally connected. For me. Time to let go, time to move on, time to stop worrying, wondering, wishing. Just time.

So, I forgive you my new acquaintance, or stranger with memories: for the hurts you have caused, the pains you have done, and that you no longer see value in my friendship. I thank you for your part in my journey while it lasted, and for those memories that I will cherish in my heart, tucked away. I release you.

Daring, Delightful, Diva

Friday, August 26, 2016

Dysfunctional, Distraught, Discouraged on Parenthood of new-Collegiate

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 2:32 PM 0 comments
I sit here post-mortem reflection after dropping our oldest of FIVE off at college. A big step everyone has told us about and warned us about!  It happened!  I have had so many thoughts in the last few weeks, but the one that stands out that I would like to share with ANY of you parents so that you can prepare NOW for your future (to avoid these feelings of course) is this:

I have done a disservice to society and sent my child out into the world not as prepared as I had hoped!!!!

Now, I will give you that I have only been bonus mom or even known the oldest for 4 years, so really how much could I accomplish right?  He didn't yet live with us right away, but moved with us two years ago, so that is my time of influence: 2 years compared to a lifetime of childhood history, example, etc.
  • Balance a checkbook?
  • Order textbooks online at various sites?
  • Look for items for yourself (while in your tiny half of a dorm room with one closet?)
  • Make a to do list?
  • Remember appointments?
  • Make a doctor's appointment?
  • Survive on own?
  • Feed yourself? Cook for yourself?
  • Remember the computer charger for college? That might be important!
Each one of those thoughts simply leads to other thoughts like this: Can he balance a checkbook? --> How would he pay bills? --> If he gets a job, can he set up autopay? --> Does he know what NSF is?  --> How will he know what money is "spoken for" for those bills, vs spend? --> Will he save some of each paycheck like we taught him? --> the list goes on and on.

Here is what I know. We did the best we could. Period.  We are not done by any means, but life is different now.  There is a young adult, not a child. Not on his own. New territory. 

ADVICE, TEACHINGS, and not ENABLING is the only solution I can seek.
Tough love. Real world.

I tested out this theory today when he texted me asking if I can bring an item when I come through town on Sunday.  Now I have made a list.  It occurred to me on this NOT ENABLING front that I am enabling him by keeping track and making a list. So here's how this conversation went:
  • Me: "You need to make a list, and I will bring it. That requires pen and paper, or that crazy little gadget of a phone with a notepad app, reminder app, or to do list app"
  • Him: texts me 2 items that he needs. Now mind you, he only remembered ONE of the TWO most important things for starting college: the laptop charger, and my list has about 8-10 items on it.  He did not even remember the textbook that arrived after he'd left. Lacrosse ball was on his mind I guess ;)
  • Me: "That's all I am supposed to bring? How about textbook, etc, etc,  You need to remember things without me now, so keep the list going!"
  • Him "List: Laptop charger, underroos, Geography textbook, 10 other secret things" (can I say that at least he cracks me up? He is funny funny to me!
  • Me: "Crack open that planner, write things down, and if you remember 3 more things, then I will bring you all the stuff on my list too"
  • Him: "awesome"
Lesson in this?
  • Teach your kids earlier to keep track of themselves and their things. Let them pay the price if they do not.  I could be farther than an hour away and not going through town. I could make him pay shipping for me to ship it to him. Now, he is not a bad kid by any means, but he sure can't keep track of stuff, remember stuff and it will affect him. Procrastination will affect him too at some point. He will miss a test, get fired from a job, or any number of things.  Let's hope that these things will also teach him to be better about it and that he will improve. 
  • Teach your kids finances earlier. He had a checking account with a debit card long before I could teach balancing a checkbook and how you would pay bills, account for your money and budget to live within your means.  Credit card offers abound when you are in college and too many people rack up credit cards at high interest rates. Verbally I taught him some tricks.
The trick for us now is to not bail him out, help him out, but enable him to help himself. Teach him to fish instead of feeding him fish. he remembered those fishing poles and fly-tying stuff - just not the computer charger or textbook in his list to bring! Here's to hoping things kick in soon! 

Discouraged, Dysfunctional, Distraught, Diva MAMA!

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