Someone who makes me happy

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpricemitchell/7046625921/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpricemitchell/7046625547/in/photostream

Via Flickr:
I took these pictures of Flora for the #aprilphotoaday challenge taking place right now on Instagram. The theme was “someone who makes you happy”. When I told Flora that I needed her help and explained the photo challenge, she shouted “Me! I make you happy!”

And she does.

For the pictures she decided she wanted to twirl like a ballerina. The actual twirling pics are a bit blurry so I’m glad I caught her up close. 🙂

I’m also very grateful to know that she is very, very loved.

(The one on the top made the challenge. You can follow my Instagram feed here, even if you don’t use the app.)

My word for 2012

Happy… Old Year?

I’m a little behind. Forgive me, I’ve been busy.

Like so many other bloggers, I’ve chosen a word for 2012. I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a big year, and not just because there are theories that the world is going to end come December. (Personally I don’t buy it, but lots of people do so I have to acknowledge it.)

The word I’ve chosen for 2012 is:

create

  • I want to create  great content for hellomelissa.net
  • I want to create more in general
  • I want to create a happy, settled, comfortable home for me and my family
  • I want to create the life I want for myself, which will benefit my family

It’s a short list, but they’re pretty lofty ambitions. Wish me luck.

 

Progress

I’ve done a few things since I wrote my post on the winter blues that have really improved my mood.

I bought an energy light and have been using it for a couple of weeks. I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping better and my overall mood is better than it was earlier in the winter. I’ve been using it at work during the first half an hour of the day. It’s been such an unobtrusive, easy thing to use and while the results are subtle, they are noticeable.

I’ve also maintained my commitment to getting dressed on the weekend. My weekend clothes aren’t much fancier than pajamas, but they aren’t pajamas and the ritual of getting dressed in clothes I can go outside in takes away the sad, sloth-like feelings I end up with on Sunday nights after a day – or weekend – without getting dressed or accomplishing anything.

Speaking of accomplishing, I’m also trying to accomplish something every day that is outside of the routine stuff I have to do. It’s usually something small, but whether it’s a chore I’ve been putting off, or something I struggle to find the time to do, I’m making the effort.

Because I am worth the effort. Realizing that has been a big mood lifter too.

#reverb10 – Day 14: Appreciate

December 14 Prompt

Author: Victoria Klein
27 Things to Know About Yoga
@victoriaklein

Prompt: Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

reverb10.com

This year, I started trying harder to appreciate everything in my life. I tried keeping an offline gratitude journal (link leads to a post from earlier this year where I talk about my experience with it). I found I didn’t really stick to it, but I do write the occasional moment down in the Momento app on my iPhone. I also believe that sharing happy stories about what’s going on in my life, whether it’s pictures on Flickr, a status on Facebook, a quick tweet or a longer blog post helps me to express my gratitude for the things I’m sharing.

But the most important way to express gratitude is to just express it. Say thank you. Tell someone you appreciate what they did. Tell them why you appreciate it. Not just people who went out of their way, but anyone who did something for you. Sean and I get along better when we remember to thank each other for the little things we do for each other.

I’ve heard good manners referred to as “social lubricant”*. Good manners really do grease the wheels of society. You’re more likely to go out of your way to do something for someone who will appreciate what you did. Make sure you appreciate what other people do for you. It really makes a difference, in your life and in theirs.

*I’ve also heard of booze being referred to as “social lubricant”. That certainly has its time and place. So thank your bartender for your beer.

My experience at Blissdom Canada 2010

I attended my first blogging/social media conference last week. I’m finally starting to catch up with the cool kids on the interwebs!

I even lived to tweet about it.

I went to Blissdom Canada 2010 here in Toronto. Billed as “Canada’s first social media conference for women” it came with a lot of hype, and some high expectations. Tickets sold out very quickly so I was extra grateful to get my earlybird tickets. I would have been kicking myself if I had missed such an event taking place in my own city.

The conference ended on Friday so I’ve been processing it for a few days now. I’m struggling with how to put my feelings into words outside of “I had a fabulous time and learned a lot“.

It was great to be able to meet women who care about writing – and writing online – as much as I do. Matching faces to Twitter avatars is always fun – I joked that people would recognize me if I turned my head a certain way. I met and spoke to so many people I hoped to meet. I met and spoke to people I didn’t know of until we met, and now I have tons more blogs and tweets to follow.

Watching the smartphones and laptops going nonstop during the conference was a neat thing to watch. Some people are really great at live-tweeting or live-blogging an event or panel, which is really valuable for those following along at home. I tried to keep that to a minimum because I’m not great at it – I find I tweet one thought and miss the next one. I wanted to be sure I heard everything so I tried to keep my communications to a minimum during panels. It was neat to check my email and discover that my table mates had already started following my Twitter account. An extra bonus is that I’m already finding that I’m having more conversations on Twitter. I hope to keep that up. The fact that so many people are still using the #BlissdomCanada hashtag days after the conference ended says a lot about how much people got out of it.

What I wish that I had done differently

I wish that I had spoken up more! I have a tendency to speak less and listen more when I’m around people or situations I don’t know well. This is not a bad thing but listening to a conversation without contributing more than the bare minimum doesn’t show my best side. Once I warm up a bit, I can usually jump in and out as necessary, but I may end up saying something stupid or awkward. I know everyone does this, but I’d love a few less facepalm moments in my life.

I wish that I had asked more questions at the panels! This is related to my first point. I tend to not ask the questions I want to ask until close to the end or not at all. I want to listen to everyone else and see if they ask – or answer – my questions before I have to ask them. That doesn’t always happen so I need to learn to speak up for myself, whether it’s a question or a point I’d like to make.

I wish that I had a better “elevator pitch”! People would ask me about hellomelissa.net and I would say “I’m a personal blogger”. The next question would be “how long have you been doing this?” and my answer would be “over ten years”. I’m a dinosaur by blogging standards (and to a lesser degree, by Twitter standards, seeing that I started tweeting in 2007), and sometimes it shows. I was a little embarrassed that I depended on my longevity in the medium to try and legitimize myself. (I’ve struggled with this for awhile now as the link to a post from earlier this year mentions.) I struggle with the whole “elevator pitch” thing in real life too though so this is not a new thing for me.

I don’t want to be completely negative on myself so here’s some good stuff.

What I’m glad that I did right (for me)

I’m glad I mingled. I tried to sit with different people for each session. I came alone (and got a smiley face sticker to prove it) so it wasn’t like I had a group of friends I could hang with by default. Since I wasn’t staying in the hotel (hometown advantage! or disadvantage depending on how you look at it), I didn’t have roommates or travel mates. That left me free to sit with and talk to whomever I wanted. I spoke to lots of people – many of whom I may not have gotten to meet if I had sat with the same people all the time. When I went to the panels, I always sat at an empty or near-empty table and welcomed anyone who wanted to sit with me. That’s probably a passive form of networking, but it was networking  nonetheless. If I wanted to go lone wolf and do things on my own, that didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings either.

RockersI’m glad I dressed up for Halloween party. I was having a hard time trying to figure out a costume for the closing party. A frenzied trip to Value Village on the Wednesday before got me the stuff I needed. It wasn’t a fabulous costume, but I made an effort and that’s what really mattered. The fact that I ended up accidentally meshing with a couple of other costumes was a happy accident. Rockers unite!

I’m glad I sang karaoke at the party. I love karaoke, and I don’t get to do it often. I could have taken the easy way out and let everyone else do the singing. I’m fine once I get up there but I spend the time until they call my name super nervous and wishing I had never signed up. Once I’m done, I’m dying to go up again. I’m not the best singer by any means – I follow the “if you can’t sing it well, sing it loud”  school of thought. But getting out of my sometimes shy, take a while to warm up, listening self to get up in front of people and potentially make an ass out of myself is a great way to get out of my comfort zone. That and I have a secret rockstar living inside of me.

In Summary

A+++, will attend again. You should come too.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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