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Procrastination Sucks

Procrastination2011 – New Year, New goals, same challenge with procrastination. When I say procrastination sucks, I mean it will literally suck the energy, momentum and life right out of you. It’s been my Achilles heel for as long as I can remember. Most of the time it’s just a horrible habit that feeds my somewhat twisted enjoyment of working under pressure. The adrenaline rush of beating the clock to get something done. I’ll easily pull through a pressure situation and feed the chaos I created for myself with a false sense of accomplishment. Sound familiar?

Most of the time, it just means a self imposed adrenaline rush. Today it cost me something I really wanted and I am trying not to kick myself too hard or too many times over it. I’m telling myself to use it as fuel for getting past this procrastination habit. That’s all it is, a bad habit, one I’m more than ready to kick. I juggle multiple projects, am writing a book, training for the Rock n Roll half marathon, work full time, am launching a new site all while maintaining a decent balance with my family of two boys, a husband, house and two dogs. I get all the hard stuff done, but buying two tickets to a symposium I really want to attend – that’s the stuff that kills me, the simple stuff!

The symposium’s keynote speaker, Peter Shankman, is someone that I admire and respect greatly. He’s a brilliant entrepreneur, speaker, and adventurist among a zillion other things and loves to live life to its fullest. I share his enthusiasm for life, running and doing. Thanks to answering a query in his “baby” HARO, I was in a Family Circle article about moms who did something daring. In my instance, I went skydiving with my son on his eighteenth birthday, something I could get addicted to in a heartbeat. Coincidentally, Peter is an avid skydiver. He’s been my inspiration for many years, for many reasons. His 2011 challenge and the fact that my procrastination blew my opportunity for my son and I to see him as a keynote speaker this Friday are the reason for this post. His challenge is different than mine, yet it seems as we’re both ready to make a change. He is authentic and honest and I respect and relate to the rawness in his posts.

I have huge goals and procrastination has no place in helping me achieve any of them. If you share this Achilles heel – please do something today that you have been putting off. No matter how small, give yourself a success today. Repeat tomorrow until a new habit forms – one that will take you to great places in 2011.

RIP Patrick Swayze

Just a short post to say farewell to a man who became the epitiome of living life. Because of his fame, he fought his battle with cancer in the public eye.  With grace and dignity, Patrick found a way to battle his disease while pursuing his dreams and passion to the very end. The most important gift Patrick gave us was the reminder to live life to the fullest each and every day.

Choreographer Kenny Ortega had this to say “Patrick loved life, and had such an enthusiasm for everything he did. If he could climb it, he climbed it. If he could write it, he wrote it. If he could dance it, well, we all know he did. He lived.”

If I’ve learned nothing else in life from the deaths of many friends and family, it is to always live life to the fullest, relentlessly pursue your passions, be kind to others along the way, always be present in the moment and leave this world better than you found it.

For more on Patrick’s life.

Your Mindset

I was so prepared to start 2009 on top of my game, my “stop making resolutions” musings were waiting for me to hit the post button, I was happy, rested and into the full swing of a new year.

On January 3rd, I received a call letting me know that my beloved mom-in-law passed away. I was originally going to say that she lost her three-year battle to leukemia but I think it’s far more accurate to say that she won her wish to live her life the way she intended to for as long as possible.

This vibrant and courageous woman who also happened to be a breast cancer survivor, was every bit a “mom” to me — not an “in law”.  I’ll miss her incredibly even though I realize so much from our relationship will always remain. From the beginning, she always treated me, and made me feel as though I were her daughter by birth. We had a bond that grew deeply over a period of seventeen and a half years.

The first time we ever met, I was afraid she was going to see my hands shaking or hear my knees knocking but in five minutes, I felt as though we’d known each other a lifetime. She was always gracious yet said exactly what was on her mind –one of the few people I’ve met who was completely comfortable in their own skin. Whether you agreed or disagreed with something she said, you loved her for who she was and she always loved you back.

Our last visit was much like our first, filled with laughter and happiness. She was at home and feeling well enough to join my husband, sister in law, father in law and myself for lunch at her favorite restaurant. She was in rare form and when our visit ended we hugged goodbye as we always did. That memory or a great conversation by phone is how I know she’d want us to remember her. We received the call three days after that visit.

The essence of what I share with you on this blog boils down to your mindset — which effects how you approach life, how you react to change and how you “reframe” your views. These things all determine how you view your life and all of its infinite possibilities. Only you are in your head and only you control those thoughts and views.

You could look at the situation and see it as unfair and be consumed with anger and sorrow over what was taken away or lost rather than the greatness of what was experienced during a lifetime. It might even be easier to fall into that thinking if you had lost as many people as I have in my lifetime. A different mindset allows you to see the beauty in each encounter with another human being. Whether the relationship ends due to death or some other separation, I believe each and every one of those encounters leaves us with the gift of a lesson.  It’s up to you to find each lesson. Perhaps it’s unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, or perhaps acceptance.  It doesn’t mean that you won’t mourn the loss, simply that you’ll also be able to see the gain.

denise-bry-alaska2

Mom “What we have once enjoyed
we can never lose.

All that we love deeply becomes part of us”

Helen Keller


San Diego Earthquake

Yes  we felt the earthquake in San Diego, and yes we’re ok – thank you for thinking of us. For those of you going home from Comic-Con, we just wanted to give ya a little excitement on the way out!  I was on the first floor of a two story building and the windows rattled and the wall shook enough to let me know that it was bigger than a 3.0

My in-laws (who are real family, not “in-law” family) live in L.A. and endured the Northridge quake in ’94. My first thought was that it was a strong quake and wanted to make sure everyone was ok. I researched it online first, as the Northridge quake taught me not to tie up the phone lines in case people needed to call out because of emergencies.

Everyone is fine and it’s a great reminder that your whole world can literally be shaken up in a second.  Are you “ok” with everyone you love right now? Is there anything that needs to be said? Have you told them you love them and appreciate them lately? Life can change in an instant. Make sure you’re prepared in every way.

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch: October 23, 1960 – July 24, 2008
 
If you haven’t watched this video, please make the time to watch it. If you have watched it, make the time to watch it again, and then give yourself the gift of living as Randy Pausch did. Not just waking up every morning and getting on the hamster wheel of life, but really living and being present in each moment.

Learn to share your gift with the world, we all have one. Don’t put things off until “someday”. What if you knew that today was your last day on earth, what would you do? Why aren’t you doing it now?

Please watch this in honor of a man who truly understood what it meant to be alive. Thank you Randy Pausch, you gave us a gift of a lifetime.