The Go-To

There are few things in life that bring me instant joy like the images and videos of baby kangaroos. My only regret is I did not get to visit this joyous sanctuary on my visit to Australia.

Do you have something – an image? a song? – or a person? that immediately brings joy to your heart?

There’s a guy in my village who drives an old time convertible (small roadster-type) and he ALWAYS has his golden retriever sitting next to him in the front seat when he passes me on my way to work. One day my friend Rachel was visiting and on our way to Dunkin’ (duh) she got to squeal with me as they zoomed by us on the road. Driver and Dog-so freaking happy.

That’s it for today. Hope you have many moments of unexpected joy in your life. ~ Kemetia

Trust & Connection

I recently streamed a FB LIVE about the importance of connection and how trust factors in when the connection has been broken or dormant for many years. I talked some about how essential these links are to my personal happiness.

I thought that my renewed endeavors to re-connect with two friends with whom I had long lost contact was more recently inspired. I was wrong. When I contemplated my need for connection after I had successfully reached both women, it dawned on me that I have intensively focused on keeping the thinnest, spider-webbing of outreach to so many people over an entire lifetime. And no doubt, social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin have played a significant role in finding some of my lost connections.

How do we connect after losing touch for so many years? Better yet, why?

My ‘why’ is quite personal. I suffer from the sometimes exhausting dual diseases of hyperawareness and empathy. Instigated by a massive life change at thirty-one years of age, I became brutally aware of the many people (call them heroes or angels or spiritual beings) who had been instrumental in keeping me out of trouble, kept me alive, guided me, chided me, inspired me, and loved me when I could not love myself. To me, it’s imperative to thank these people so my conscience will not pester me about my lack of gratitude. I must check my motives, first and then, I can reach out. For those in my extended family, it’s harder to keep in touch. I joke with one of my nephews about the need for a 6′ x 6′ whiteboard to continuously update my side’s family tree.

Is it trust or blind faith to reach out to a person to whom you have not spoken a word to in 30+ years? My advice is to check your why when reconnecting or keeping a tenuous connection in tact. Will it bring more positivity and energy, or drain you? Does it feel obligatory or celebratory? I encourage you to contemplate if you are revisiting connections (similar to when that ex pops up on your feed as a friend of a friend), if you really need to engage. Not all vessels are safe. Often it is best to let a decision about reconnecting sit for twenty-four hours as to not let impulsive emotions dictate the outcome.

Now what? Perhaps there is no further engagement once you have reconnected. Or, after a less than encouraging effort to stay in touch with family you decide it is best to curtail efforts to remain in contact. As the lyric from Rush states, “If you choose to not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

Cheers! *Raises coffee mug* ~ Kemetia

Wishing for an escape…

I admit that I have been daydreaming about escaping. Are you doing the same? I guess it is not so much as an escape as it is a return to my previous routines.

I suspect that these quarantine times and restrictions have changed my routine and I never realized how comforting it was to have that routine. My good friend Kevin had sent me a notecard about the importance of routine at the beginning of lockdowns last year. I pooh-poohed it. Then I half-embraced the idea. With all the time that has passed, I realize I rely! on routine to help me, help free my brain up to be creative, to have energy to help others. It’s much like time-blocking, no?

7-8am Online morning Meditation Group
8:15-8:45am Drive to office
9am-5:30pm Work
5:30-6:15pm Drive home
6:30pm Dinner
7:30-9:30pm Chores, bill-paying (also considered a chore!) writing, watching hockey, reading, making lunch for the next day
9:30-10pm feed cat her snack, brush teeth, record fitbit steps on wall chart, crawl into bed
Rinse and Repeat Mon-Fri

It’s that 7:30 to 9:30pm slot that gets me. There are only 7 days a week. I can’t possibly fit all the things I’d love to do in those two hours. So, what did I do before we couldn’t travel places? I camped out at Barnes & Noble or met up with a friend for dinner, took a class.

Wait a minute! My routine is not as disrupted as I believed. The singular (most important) piece missing is time, face-to-face time with friends and family. I can still go explore or escape to new places in my region, I just really shouldn’t/can’t do it with a group of friends. And, that’s okay. What I can do this year is try to widen the circle of people participating in #AprilDeskEscape 2021. Just take thirty minutes, 3 times a week-and break that work routine. Get up. Get out. Get away from your desk. And, while you are out getting that lovely, healthy walk – you can daydream about the next time you can escape to a place of your choosing with family and friends.

I hope you’ll join in starting April 1. Get up. Get out and about. Get that 30 minutes of a different train of thought, a different routine, a different route – take some photos and share them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the #AprilDeskEscape hashtag. You’ll be amazed at all the places you will be able to visit through the posts of others.

~ Kemetia

PS. Don’t forget your mask

What direction is up?

I get it.

Everyone is in the same boat when it comes to feeling unsettled after a year of lockdowns. Best thing about it? We’re not alone. The worst thing about it? We feel all alone.

I’ve been preparing for two conferences. No matter the project management app, tool, time invested-It’s been terribly challenging to remain focused and motivated. Gratefully I know it is just where we are in the cycle of all things universal. This too shall pass. This too shall change.

All the letters, cards, and calls– sit there awaiting my action. I decided I would allow myself to complete three (3) things per day (outside of work) and be okay with it. In whatever was previously considered normal times, I’d start lunches, have something on the stove, put laundry in, be writing, be texting, be trying to catch the hockey game on TV. Enough! My mind said. I made a promise to myself to be kind and gentle. That means finishing this blog. Getting a big glass of water. Putting in some dry-eye eyedrops and crawling into bed before 10:00pm.

I may not know which way is up, but I know how to take the first step to finding out. Take care, friends. Be sure to tell the people you care about that you love them and cherish them. It’s a short journey on this rock in the Milky Way. Love, K.

And then what happened?

Wow. I love my blog. I love my intention to write about humor, health, happiness.

Here’s the truth. I was CRUSHED. I could not write. I could not cry. I was suffering from a tsunami of anxiety leading up the U.S. Presidential election, the outcomes, the lawsuits, the recounts…the whole damn thing. I know, I KNOW I am not alone in what happened.

So, here I am on the other side of that crisis. During that timeframe, friends lost spouses, parents or other family members. Peers in my field lost their job. I entered an unhealthy relationship with food. Now that I’ve emerged through that dense fog of anxiousness, I am trying to be kind to myself and share my experience with others.

Here is a superb article that provides one way to look at the grief suffered in the last 18 months.

My attempt at self-care in December/January

Ironically, Executive Secretary Magazine’s YouTube Channel ran my interview with Lucy Brazier yesterday. Title: Lessons Learned from Mental Health Challenges. Perfect timing. As I watched the replay and comments, I was reminded of my own advice- ‘Don’t go it alone’.

What’s next? Hopefully some decent weather and Spring will start to peek through a few days in March. I purchased roller skates so I can find new ways (that I like!) to get some exercise. Roller skates generally don’t work on snowy, icy roads or sidewalks.

So, time to pick myself back up and dust off the keyboard. Time to share stories again.

For the love of music

I love a great playlist. Isn’t music fantastic? It can inspire, change our moods, and take us immediately back to a moment in time. I was thrilled when a college classmate created a Spotify playlist that reflected the music we listened to and danced to at our college pub. I also created a playlist for my colleagues when I left my position at ASA. Each song was curated to reflect my perception of personalities.

I absolutely adore the feeling one gets when a song comes on and you know EXACTLY where you were the first time you heard a song. Whether it was a first school dance, a first wedding dance, your first road trip with a bestie…songs take us there.

Music has always played a huge role in my life. From the very first stereo album I heard at our home in Framingham (Herb Alpert) to seeing my brother, Mark, in Drum Corps, to my own marching band days, to my first concert (Billy Idol played a show at Mary Washington College, believe it or not.) My mother was known to be a phenomenal piano player and my father’s mother, Florence, not only had an organ in her home but was oblivious to tormenting her grandchildren with her singing voice in church, too loud and very Kate Smith- like.

So I encourage you to take 30 minutes within the next 72 and curate yourself a great memories playlist on the music service of your choice. ~ Kem