Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Motivator

Crabby Monday!

Not what you expected? Me neither, and just why is it that Monday is equated with a bad thing? I know the standard answer about just coming off a weekend, and now we all have to go back to work. It seems to me that the problem is not with Monday, but with where you have to go every Monday, and in the big picture, don't you have a choice? I say you do. Some will disagree, like Dave, saying that he can't just quit his job because we have a mortgage to pay. To that, I say, he is right however, he could lay some solid plans for a new career path, and start working in that direction. There's a choice.

I find that even if I can't be doing exactly what I feel I would love to be doing right now, if I am doing something that is moving me in that direction, I feel better about all of my circumstances. When I wanted to be an actor, I signed up for workshops, that lead to classes, that lead to doing commercials. The funny thing is, I felt successful just having signed up for the class! The same holds true for my new career as an author and motivational speaker. I made the choice, smiled, made it known I was available to speak, smiled some more, and viola, I have my first speaking gig tomorrow night in Walnut Creek. Ironically, I have a radio interview today about my participation in the Chicken Soup series. Two gigs in one week, how is that for intention?

Today, I have to go to work, doing the job that makes me dread Monday, but after sharing all this with you, I am going to smile all day, as I head to the radio station and after that, prepare to speak tomorrow night. Happy Monday I say!

If you find your Mondays to be less than welcome, ask yourself what you would rather be doing. If you can't just do it, find a way to start doing it, and follow through. It will make you feel better than you can imagine, even though you still have to do the other stuff, too!

Take a minute and post in the comments what you will do to move you in the direction you want to go. Let's see how many of us will take at least that much action.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Motivator

Happy Monday!

Dave and I just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with friends in Nevada City. We took a mini road trip to Nevada City. First, we went almost to Reno, and then back to Truckee taking highway 89 through Downieville to Nevada City. It was pretty, but the best part was the kind of conversation you have on long drives. For me, it was a good time to take stock of our marriage and see if Dave is as happy as I am.

We talked about our individual expectations, the ones that have been met, one that has not, and most of them have been far exceeded. I hear people everyday talk about how much work marriage is, how "hard" it is to make it work, and I don't find that to be true. From the day we got engaged, to the day Dave moved into the house in Alameda, all the way through money struggles, and military deployments, we have worked together, finding solutions that make both of us mostly happy. For us, the keys are respect, communication, and laughter.

Our celebration with our friends made us realize yet again, how lucky we are to be surrounded by such phenomenal people. The few people that made the trip this weekend barely scratch the surface of the real numbers of great people we have in our life. It would appear that success is imminent when you have such wonderful love and support. Thank you to all of you that make our marriage so much more wonderful than it already is!

Todays motivaotr is a definition. Read it a couple of times so it stays with you. As you go through your week, see how many times you recall this moment and how much respect plays a part in everyday of your life.

Respect is an assumption of good faith and competence in another person, or in the whole of oneself. Depth of integrity, trust, complementary moral values, and skill are necessary components.

Respect adds general reliability to social interactions. It enables people to work together in a complimentary fashion, instead of each person having to understand or even agree with everyone, respect is very important to the community because people must have respect to get along with other people

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Honoring those who serve

Today is Veteran's Day and it's hard for me to watch the news and not get emotional. I see all the faces of the men and women who gave their lives for the freedoms of others, and I can't help thinking how lucky my family is.

I come from a military family and married a Soldier. My dad served as a sergeant in WWII, and the Korean war. Dave has served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and numerous other local deployments. I am grateful for the praise and thanks our Veterans get, but I want to recognize some others who serve. The families of our service men and women.

Being home is certainly the better place to be, however, it comes with it's own set of stressors. My experience was such that, I worried about Dave every minute of every day, but it was not something that I could easily share. I felt I needed to be strong for him, for Mason who was just an infant, and for everyone else who could not understand how I could do what I was doing. I didn't have a choice! Now don't misunderstand, Dave certainly chose to enlist in the Army, so from that point of view, yes, we did have a choice. At the point that the phone call comes to report for deployment, the only decisions you make are about finances, wills, power of attorneys, and fear.

I learned what true longing meant. It is one thing to miss someone, and it is a completely different thing to feel deep, painful longing.

Finally, I feel that families of deployed soldiers experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I have done some research and found that there is nothing regarding this for family members. I believe with all my heart that there comes a time after your Soldier returns, that all the suppressed fear and angst, comes to the surface and you need to deal with it. It was more than eighteen months after Dave's return that I started experiencing signs of PTSD. For me, when I could sleep, I was having horrible dreams about Dave being tortured as a POW. Other nights I didn't sleep a wink and I just cried. I didn't realize it initially, but the connection was always with the recent death of a local Soldier, or a group of Soldiers arriving home at the airport. I still feel some anxiety about all of this, but I now choose to concentrate on how lucky I am, how lucky we are, and that is the one thing I always have control over.

Thank you Veterans, and thank you to your families. They keep you connected to home, maintain your home life, take care of your family and serve this country by supporting all of you!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mirror, Mirror...

What is a picture really worth? A thousand words? Okay, I buy that, but I sure want those words to be kind! This picture was taken last weekend in Truckee (the one of just me on the page to the left), and until I get a new, really great pic, this will have to do.

What do you think? Did you like the other one better? Do you think a blog even needs a picture. Just curious, and mostly I'm trying to get familiar with this format and all it has to offer.

This weekend, Dave and I are off to celebrate six wonderful years of marriage in Nevada City with the people who cheered us all the way to "I do." I will have lots to share with you on Monday.

Have a wonderful week and weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Motivator

Welcome to the first Monday in November.

There are only nine more Mondays this year including this one, and can you believe that we only have 50 more shopping days until Christmas?

Thank you to those of you who looked at my blog and gave me your input. It was all positive, and the free editing was much appreciated. It still amazes me that you can write something, read it, read it again, and again, and even one more time, and still have misspelled words. Several of you asked me why I created the blog so let me share with you my vision.

I have been working all year on a book with my friend Dahlynn. Originally, the book was to be titled "Intentional Winning on the Radio and in Life" and it was to show how I have manifested the power of intention, winning on the radio, over the last twenty-five years. After getting it written, Dahlynn and I decided to rethink the radio concept, and introduce Intentional Winning in a more basic format that would be applicable to so many other subjects. The radio book is still written, I just don't know how we will produce/distribute it.

Intentional Winning: Victory by design. Creating the journey, and the outcome for every aspect of your life by participating in the process.

Our vision is to get the first book, "Intentional Winning, a handbook for life" published, and then model a company much like the Chicken Soup for the Soul company. I see books being co-authored with titles like "Intentional Winning in Marriage," "Intentional Winning in Parenting," and "Intentional Winning in Wine Making." You name it, and we can plug it in. Intentional Winning is a cross between a how-to like the Dummies series, and a more spiritual slant on life much like The Secret.

I plan to move into a career as a motivational speaker with Intentional Winning being my subject. We have the web address reserved and hope to make it a resource for all the books, journals, IW products, booking motivational speakers, and hiring success coaches. This blog is my way of communicating with all of you, and branching out beyond just an e-mail list in my address book. It may be a little less personal, but it may not. I have not yet decided how I will proceed in that respect.

So there it is. It is a work in process and will likely be ever evolving. I hope that makes this whole book idea and business plan a little more clear. Like so many successful concepts, I realize that my information is not new, or revolutionary. What I do think, is that my perception and delivery of good information will reach some that would otherwise not have been hooked. I also know that I am an average Joe, no MBA, I'm not a CEO of a million dollar company (yet!), and that in and of itself will be appealing to many.

This will also be the new format for my Monday Motivator. What do you think? I hope you like it, and will continue to enjoy this journey with me. Have a great week and next week, I will have a more MM format.

Friday, November 2, 2007

It really does work!

I am a mortgage broker and I specialize in clients with credit issues. I can specialize in this area because I have had my fair share of personal issues with credit ranging from lots of good credit, to years of rebuilding after situations that lead to really poor credit.

In March, 2002, I called a friend of mine, the mortgage broker who inspired me to follow in her footsteps, to help me get my credit in shape. My credit score at that time was 650. She gave me the basic, good advice and then instructed me to behave while time worked it's magic. Time, and good behavior was what it was going to take.

The basic good advice was to get a copy of my credit report and scour it for inaccuracies. The most common inaccuracy is your birthdate, of all things. I did this, and much to my dismay, all the bad info was factual. For my husband, he had a repossession that was showing a wrong year, meaning, it was appearing as if it has just occurred, instead of being factual of 3 years ago. We fixed that right away and got to work on the other things we could fix. We negotiated the payment of a few collections and followed through on those payments. After that, we had to do a few things and be diligent. #1, Always pay our bills on time, no matter what! Payment history, or more specifically, late payments are 35% of your credit score. Next we needed to pay down our balances. Using too much of your available credit is 30% of your score. We were advised not to open any new accounts as that is 15% and with that, come inquiries, which is another 10%.

Well, here we are in April, 2007, and both of our credit scores were in the low 600's. We did all the work, and in a difficult time, we used all of our available credit. This being 30% of our score, we were back down in the dumps with a middle score of 618. We had been working all year to pay off debt and turn this situation around when an angel appeared and gave us the lift we needed. Dave's dad loaned us the money to pay off the debt that was bringing our otherwise good credit down. From 618 in April to 702 today, November 2, 2007. Almost 100 points gained from time and good behavior...and a little strategic help.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 1, 2007 Happy Fall!

It's official! Fall is here. I love this time of year. Those of you who know me, know that the changing colors of this time of year just excite me from my core.

I love all the seasons and I am usually ready for them as it is their appropriate time to come, but fall is something special. This time of year is a time of reconnecting, of coming back together.

During the winter months, we all bundle up and keep warm. It is dark for so many hours of the day, that when spring arrives, we are ready to come out from under the heavy clothes and breathe in the fresh new air. We watch everything outside come to life and there is a sense that we are arriving again, too. Baby animals are born, flowers are painting primary colors everywhere, and the sun is starting to warm us again.

Not long after spring arrives, along comes summer. Here is the big preparation for what I love about fall. We shed our blankets, open our windows and doors and even take off many of our clothes. We start our days early and use them all the way up until the last ray of sunshine is gone. This usually isn't until after 9 pm. For my family, we are going, going, going, and going some more, and almost always in different directions!

As summer comes to a close, everyone seems to want to come back home. Not just back into the house, but they want to help cook and eat dinner together, the pace slows as we metaphorically prepare for the long, dark months ahead. In the process of preparing for winter, we get to enjoy warm days and cool nights. There are hints of fragrant fires burning in fireplaces and the scent of autumn that is different for all of us. The colors mother nature uses to redecorate are spectacular, but the show is for a limited engagement. A big gust of wind or an early rain, will shorten the run of her show. This is where I love to take it all in. Take a moment to notice the way the (earlier) setting sun lights up the colors of these gorgeous trees. I do, and in doing so, I give my family the gift of taking notice as well.

I love this time of year because as spring is about new life, I feel so is fall. I get to know my kids again, as we spend more time talking at the dinner table. My husband and I snuggle in bed because it is not too hot, and in general, we are preparing to take care of each other through the long, dark months ahead of us. Happy Fall!