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Category Archives: Personal assets

..schlepping thru January

January ( and sometimes February and part of March ) are slow times in the road warrior portion of my career.  I use those term very loosely, both slow times and career.  None the less, traveling anywhere to do much of anything comes to a screeching halt this time of year.  It’s called  “First Quarter Inertia”.  Just because I can’t be driving down the highway with my stereo blasting smooth jazz or quickly hopping on a plane to parts unknown  (again using the term quickly very loosely in this day of long lines at the airport), doesn’t mean that I am just sitting around the house waiting for work to come to me.  Well, maybe a little bit, but I won’t admit it.  So anyway,  it’s the hunker down month and the opportunity to do a multitude of things.

That being said, this is a time for reflection, contemplation, reevaluation, creativity, expansion of knowledge,  sharpening of skills and organization of surroundings.

Reflection:  It’s the start of  tax preparation  and I reflect on the sad state of my 1099’s.   Well money isn’t everything, yeah, “tell that to my creditors”, one thinks to ones self.  No really it isn’t and I know that.   I think back on the wonderful, “cough-cough”, well, various places we visited last year and the experiences we were able to add not only to our work portfolios but to our life souvenirs.  Adding wonderful memories to ones mental movie reel makes the long winter days and nights more tolerable.  You should never live in the past, but having the ability to press play and revisit beauty and serenity in your mind’s eye often gets you through the toughest of times.

Contemplation:  I contemplate on what I want out of the coming year.  When I was younger ( note I didn’t say when I was young) contemplation was not even a word in my vocabulary.  Youth only looks forward  with a “get outta my way” approach.  Planing and envisioning don’t figure in much, when you are in a rush.  I’ve finally discovered that there  is NO RUSH.  You will get where you are suppose  to get, when the time is right for you to get there.  You can help to shape your future, map out things a little better, develop fall back plans and strategies and generally prepare for what you think is ahead.  Contemplation helps to smooth out the road a bit.  January is a good time for it.  It provides a sense of well-balance, while giving you 11 months to realize how little control you really have over life.

Reevaluation:  This goes hand in hand with Creativity.  It’s like a potter’s wheel.  You shape and mold the clay and when it looses momentum and disintegrates  into a pile of mud, you get to reevaluate the potential and create something that will work better.  I tend to rework my resumé this time of year.  Add the new things I’ve accomplished and discard the lesser ancillary items of filler.  You know of what I speak.  We all have filler not only in our resumé but in our lives.  The extra adverbs and adjectives that camouflage the mundane.  In these hard economic times, there is a lot of folks doing R & C (reflecting and creating) . We look over our spending, our habits, our relationships and our goals and attempt to become more  frugal, conscientious, focused  and inventive.     This is a time to get lean and mean and back to basics. I’m always amazed  that when I take a really hard look at something which began so simple, I realize it  has  morphed into something  fraught with negligible necessities .   I like to throw it out, cut it back, make some changes, weave it into a piece more useful.  I feel better about it in the long run.

Expansion of knowledge and Sharpening of skills:  Read, listen, create and re-balance. The “there is no rush”  also applies to this.  Life pretty much clips along at its own pace and we can decide if we want race ahead, go with the flow or take a bit of time to chill and reflect.  January is a good time to do the latter.  Not that I have a lot of choice; see paragraph one about not being much work this time of year. It’s not about being lazy, it’s about appreciating the limited time we have to enjoy.  Sometime it’s not all about you, but here and there, stealing a moment that is just for you becomes a necessity for your sanity.  You know the old saying, “all work and no play”….You have to intertwine the two.   So I catch up on my mandatory schooling, read some good books, write a little, watch some trashy television, cook my favorite foods, sleep a little later and just take a lot of deep breathes.  There is life  just around the corner and I need to be rested up and  ready  for it.

Organization of surroundings:  What is one of the great things about the slow time in my business?   Well, it is eventually over and all hell breaks loose.  The fun and chaos starts all over and for this I need to prepare.   Lining ones ducks in a row, not only makes the parade go smoother, you are more likely not to wobble and fall down.  It’s the whole  Girl Scout, “be prepared” thing.  No, my suitcases are not packed, nor is the gas tank full, but in my mind, I’m ready for what comes my way and the anticipation will soon make way for reality.   January will be a month just like any another month  in the past, my fretting over puny 1099’s will be a forgotten memory and opportunity will have knocked on the door and I will have answered.  Bring it on…..

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2010 in Personal assets, road warrior

 

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..Reality, platitudes and having it all.

And so we began the new decade.

I was ready with my supper of pork-to signify a positive forward looking attitude, my collards-bringing lots of green backs to my wallet and my black eye peas – guaranteeing a prosperity of friendship, love and luck  in the coming year.   Being southern, I tend to try and cover all bases whenever possible.  Gotta keep the Ya’ll gods happy, just in case.

Ahh, the New Year.   Do we move into it with the usual fluffy platitudes?  It will get better…Keep on keeping on..tomorrow will be a brighter day..every cloud has a silver lining.. and of course the all-encompassing – hang in there baby.  Or…do we look eyeball to eyeball with adversity and simply and realistically state, “I’ve dealt with you before and I’ll deal with you again, bring it on.”

Life can be hard.  It was made to be that way so that we don’t get too full of ourselves.  The smartest thing I think  we can do is gather those that we care about and trust and  bring them ever closer to us.  Through thick and thin,  they will  help us ride out the tide when the rip currents are too strong for one alone to paddle.  Two in a canoe is much more fun anyway and there is added incentive as well.  When they are close they also get to enjoy the calm seas, warm water and sharing of the inner tube, when the going is great and we can all  just float down stream and enjoy the ride.  All the more reason for entrenched companionship.

So onward into the New Year we go.  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”, so says Ecclesiastes.  I’m hoping the next decade will be the “season” of many good and positive things for a lot of the folks  I know and love.  For me as well, but I don’t want to be stingy with the serendipity, should it be right around the corner.

So where do we go from here and how do we enter into our “promised land” of accomplishment?   Do we realistically  rely on  hard work alone to arrive at the platform of what  wish to achieve, or do we roll the dice,  depend on a  plethora of old sayings,  say a prayer for a touch of saving grace,  serve up a slice of  southern superstitions or await the  kindnesses of  strangers and friends alike?  Perhaps a little of each is called for. Use them wisely and use them well.

A decade is a long time and many roads may have to be strolled down before the one that crosses that bridge that we are looking for is finally on the horizon.  So time to pack up your bags, prepare for the journey.  Take your sturdiest tools, your best companions and your faith in yourself and get on the road.  You have no hope of  getting  to the top of the mountain, until the climbing starts.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2010 in humor, Personal assets

 

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Begin at the beginning.

For some,  the holidays are at an end.    My house however  still wears the embellishments of the season and  they are  up because of  the adage  that proclaims a year of adversity should one dare to disassemble before January 6, the original Epiphany.  The story tells us that the Magi didn’t present their gifts to the New Born King until 12 days after His birth and this is known as the Little Epiphany.  The saga thus related to little children  is that the holiday lights must be kept up until that time,  so that the Magi can find their way.

On a personal note, I like to cover all bases whenever possible.  You see, adversity; I have had enough of,  these  past several years.  Good luck; well one can ever have a sufficient amount of  it and finally,  as far as  procurement of  an epiphany, I am ready for mine in the coming year as well.  I would like to think that something amazing will happen to me in the future months and days.  Wining the lottery, finding the perfect job, meeting great new friends, traveling to wonderfully exciting places or being very realistic and if all else fails,  just finding that I am very  happy about  my life as it is.  The latter is not a bad epiphany considering the alternatives that are out there.  Anyway and henceforth, I am making my stand, we will remain bright and twinkly  for a while longer,  just to be on the safe side.

So we begin the last week of the year.  This is supposedly the time that we all organize our thoughts and start to  begin to plan our New Years Resolutions.  What will we do or cease to do in the coming year that will make us better people?   That is such a tall order.  So tall that most of us fail horribly at resolutions.   I looked up the meaning of the word and pulled up synonyms cited  as;  strong willed, determination, perseverance, mettle, moxie, tenacity and stick-to-itiveness.  Good grief, no wonder we fail.  I mean how many folks have those traits solidly locked  in their personality makeup?  If we did, we wouldn’t be even thinking of having to make resoluations as we would already be perfect.

I propose that instead of New Years’  Resolutions, we make New Years’  “Have a go at” its.   That is pretty basic.  Language that everyone can understand and realistically something that we all can do.  “Having a go at it”  says, “Yep, I’m gonna give it a shot, but if I fail, I’m not going to beat myself up over the fact that I failed.  One can move past, “having a go at it” easier than a resolution.  Failure at a resolution, more often than not,  degenerates into a soul searching, “damn I found another character flaw I didn’t realize that I had”, sort of consequence.   Not completing a , “Having a go at it”, just seems to be a little less conducive of  transformation into  potentially self-degrading type moment lasting several days or longer.  I don’t know about your world, but in my world, I get enough lashing and chastising from outside influences and don’t need to be adding to the brouhaha on a personal level any more than necessary.

So here is the beginning of my “Having a go at it” list for the coming year.  I’m going to have a go at…………………………….

..well, you didn’t think I was going to actually tell you, did you?

I just said this was the beginning of my list, so now I ‘m going to have a go at figuring out what I want and need to put on my list.  How bout you?  Have you begun to begin?

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2009 in humor, Personal assets

 

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..Time. Our greatest asset

Some folks go through their lives wasting time  with cautious thoughts, anxious  decisions and frugal appetites.  I admit that I have tread with care too often while weaving through this maze we call  life.  One tries mightily not to hit too many pot holes, dent too many fenders or end up in too many ditches, but sometimes the right thing to do is just  hit that  gas pedal  and  go.  Yep, take your foot off the brake and make the run for it.  Don’t hold back, get out there, take a stand and go with your gut.  Make the most of every second.   They say life is short, and if you don’t believe it, well I’m just too much of a Southerner to tell you what a fool  you are.

This poses the question, what is the best way to spend your time?   Anxious and overly frugal or lively and large?   I ask these questions of you only because  I am asking them of myself.

I’m in a profession that like so many others is on again, off again.  Feast or famine.  Make good money in a short expanse, then you best squirrel it away  for the lean times.  That is the motto of so many folks  that I have had the pleasure to work with over the past several years..  With the economy in the toilet, many look back at the boom periods  and lament the “things” bought, the  “places” seen or the “investments” gambled upon. ” If only I hadn’t done…. , gone there and spent …., purchased that bigger…., then it would all be better.”    How devastating remorse can play on ones’  spirit.

What if you applied this theory to how you spend your time?  When the opportunity of  taking a chance came around, what if you hadn’t grabbed at it?   Where would you  be now?  Doing without  this,  never having experienced that or living with regret for not standing up, giving it your all  and Poking the Bear?    Time unlike money, cannot be put in a suitcase under the mattress, saved for the future.  The just in case fund.   I wasted yesterday but I’ll make up for it tomorrow, just really doesn’t work all that well.

I propose making time our  most important asset.    Not that we are going to do wondrous and vital to mankind things every minute of every day.  Not hardly.  What I mean is that taking total appreciation of  how one spends the day, should take top priority.  If you are working on a project, make every second valuable to it’s  true purpose.  If you are preparing  for time spent with your family, put your total soul into it.  If you are committing to a new endeavor, envelope the concept with your heart as well as your mind.   Things done in a cursory manner tell the tale in the final result.   If time is our most valuable asset, shouldn’t it be handled with the utmost care and given our full attention while we spend it?

We all face the  dreaded “white space” of the future.  How shall we  color our days?  Shall we paint them with vibrant animation or with humdrum inertia?   Assets should always be  employed  to their highest and best use.  Time is no exception.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2009 in Personal assets

 

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