Today’s Purpose: Self-Care and Sacred Things Pt. 2-[Update]

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Wrought iron beauties from my walk at lunchtime today

July 30, 2018 Update

So, it’s been a bit since I wrote this original post (Dec. 2017). 

I’d forgotten all about my self-care list — until that creepy thing that happens when you are thinking about something and it starts to show up everywhere… Kind of like how Facebook Weight Watcher ads show up after I post a gratitude list that includes Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream!…  That topic for me today was self-care.  

I wanted to look at my self-care list I wrote and assess where I was.

Things I’ll do this year- 2018

  1. Get to a hockey game√ with Christian Russell AND Richard Arnott
  2. Get to a Red Sox Game (preferably when they play the Nationals)√ July 3!
  3. Go to a symphony performance
  4. Take a day off from work to spend a day with the hubby√Rehoboth
  5. Write more cards and letters
  6. Visit the National Archives
  7. Go to Maine, preferably York Beach.√ Vacay!
  8. Run a 5k. It’s been too long between races.
  9. Hike at Great Falls
  10. Do volunteer work at University of Mary Washington and T.C. Williams
  11. See live marching band performance(s)
  12. Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial during Cherry Blossom time
  13. Host my Dish & Dessert event
  14. See a comedy performance√ Dave Chappelle!
  15. See a musician I like√ Patti Labelle
  16. Go to Boston for a weekend
  17. Go to Rehoboth Beach for a weekend
  18. Do Paint Your Own pottery again
  19. Walk the prayer labyrinth with my friend Ruthie
  20. Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum again when I return to London√ and got to see the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibit! 

Not too bad. Seven out of twenty.  Plenty of time to get some of these items checked off my list.

One item that was not on my list directly was to spend more time with my close friends. I need to let go of completing most of the rest of the list just so I can focus on that. I’ve recently re-experienced that most glorious experience of spending time with a friend that ‘gets you’. Like a really nice long visit! No laundry. No interruptions. Plenty of coffee. Plenty of sleep. That was the best weekend I’ve had for JUST ME! in a very long time.

When’s the last time you spent more than thirty minutes hanging out with a friend? No interruptions—just basking in time to listen and to share stories? Maybe add this activity to your self-care list or to your calendar.

I’ve had a rough go at it since April due to some work matters, so taking time to take care of me has been super important. And, I did take care of me!  Be sure to take care of you, okay?  ~ K.

[Original Post from Dec. 7, 2017]

[As I wrote this post, I found out that one of my social media connections, Carlos Gil (@CarlosGil83)  was in DC today, and I did not know it.  He’s on my long list of social folks that I want to meet.  I follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. He shares very useful insights regarding these platforms. Give him a follow, will ya?]

Every year I take December 7 off from work. I started doing this after my father passed away on December 7, 1997.  The irony is that my late father, William T. Foley, Jr,  (or as we affectionately refer to him as WTF) was a U.S. Navy veteran.  My siblings and I agree that he made sure to pass away on a day we’d never forget. (Hello, Pearl Harbor Day– Navy guy… Get it?) I usually travel to the military cemetery where is buried and have a quick chat with him there.  Some years I do things we loved to do together in D.C., in the city where he raised me.

Today, I took the day off from work to go into downtown D.C. to do things that make my heart happy, things that bring me peace, things that help me re-center. In my book, that’s called self-care. Self-care is sacred.

I had had an idea of what I wanted to do today but wasn’t certain I could get to it all because I slept in late.  I honored this day, starting at St. Matthew’s Cathedral and lit candles and chatted up the Big Guy Upstairs, and his dearest relative, Mary.  That was important. √ Nearby is the store, ChocolateChocolate – which, if I’m that close, I probably really need to go get some chocolate cappuccino cups!  I knew I was meeting up with my long-time mentor and dear friend, Carole. So, natch- I asked her to call into Loeb’s Deli and order me their redonkulous pastrami sandwich, and whatever she wanted for lunch.  I met her at her office and we caught up. I make the time to see her during work hours when I am in D.C.  She’s played such an important role in my career success. Listening. Provides honest feedback.  I met with a colleague of hers that also works in research. That was a definite bonus!

I decided to head over to the National Gallery of Art. Vermeer exhibit. A must. The hush of a gallery. The colors. The emotions that art stirs. If I’m in D.C., I’m making time to get some art in my system! It was such a beautiful day here today, about 50 degrees, partly sunny—perfect for walking on the National Mall.

At the end of the day, I walked over to the Navy Memorial, took some photos, and visited the museum. I guess because I hadn’t traveled to the cemetery today, my emotions caught up with me. I found myself crying in the museum store and asking the cashier for tissues.  I was overwhelmed, thinking about the stories I didn’t know about my father. No doubt he would have honored the Foley family trait of telling tales while exaggerating just a wee bit.

 

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William T. Foley, Jr., PRAN Korea

 

The thing is—when do we have time to honor and process these emotions? We have family and work obligations. Cars need oil changes and there are bills to pay. When do have time to do what we know we can’t get to on the weekend because of these obligations? Self-care, in my opinion, is to NOT continuously put off things we know we ‘should’ get to, or we’d ‘sure like to do that one day’.

Setting aside time—sacred time to honor the small and large things that refill our empty tank is self-care of the highest order. You know, in your heart, what you need to do. Please honor it.  ~ Kemetia

(At the bottom of the post is a list of some things I am going to set aside time to do this year, to refuel, refill, to honor my heart.)

Things I’ll do this year- 2018

  1. Get to a hockey game
  2. Get to a Red Sox Game (preferably when they play the Nationals)
  3. Go to a symphony performance
  4. Take a day off from work to spend a day with the hubby
  5. Write more cards and letters
  6. Visit the National Archives
  7. Go to Maine, preferably York Beach.
  8. Run a 5k. It’s been too long between races.
  9. Hike at Great Falls
  10. Do volunteer work at University of Mary Washington and T.C. Williams
  11. See live marching band performance(s)
  12. Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial during Cherry Blossom time
  13. Host my Dish & Dessert event
  14. See a comedy performance
  15. See a musician I like
  16. Go to Boston for a weekend
  17. Go to Rehoboth Beach for a weekend
  18. Do Paint Your Own pottery again
  19. Walk the prayer labyrinth with my friend Ruthie
  20. Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum again when I return to London

That’s a good start, don’t you think?

 

 

The Best Part? You are not alone.

Tonight I came home from work and per usual, hopped on Twitter.

I knew things would be kicking off in Sydney, Australia for #ExecSecLive.  I immediately searched the hashtag and starting following posts from the conference.

Executive Secretary Live is a fantastic administrative conference that travels the globe.  So many administrative conferences: IAAP Summit, AIOP ACT, IMA, ASAP Annual Conference, AdminToAdmin, EPAA,Office Dynamics, AEAP, Be the Ultimate Assistant, and this list is hardly complete! For a complete list, visit /http://executivesecretary.com/associations for an administrative association near you. Or, visit http://executivesecretary.com/events/ for a full list of training events. [Self-disclosure, I’ll be speaking at Executive Secretary LIVE, Johannesburg later this year.]

I get super excited when I think about administrative conferences! We are NOT alone! You have had a crazy work experience, and I can almost certainly guarantee you that another attendee has had either the exact same challenge or something very close.  There’s an instant recognition. An instant acknowledgment of mutual respect.

That feeling is wicked awesome—and that’s a good thing! It’s such a relief and also a tidal wave of joy to meet our career colleagues.

If you are an administrative or office professional, I promise you with all my heart that you simply MUST find a way to get to an administrative conference. It will change your world, your perspective, and expand your network in ways you cannot fathom.

Here’s a tiny sliver of the friends I’ve made via admin conferences.  As Diana Brandl says, “We are in this together!”

 

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Still buffering…

Buffering is a term which can be used to describe data being held in one part of the computer processor before moving to another part.  ‘Still Buffering’  a phrase which is frequently seen when trying to stream a video on a device that does not have the data speed and capacity to process it.

This term comes to my mind whenever I have to learn something that is complicated and I need to run through it several times before I can apply it across my workload. The best example I have is when I am learning more advanced functions in Excel.  I’m trying to process what I already know (cache), add-in the new function(s), and complete the task. The ‘buffering’ occurs because I personally have to slow down my thoughts so I can absorb (process)  the new information, and then I can apply it (output).

I think the phrase, ‘brain overload’ describes it fairly well.  If the information that is new to us comes in at a speed at which we cannot process it, we can’t move forward smoothly.

Do you have an example of ‘still buffering’ you’d like to share?

~ Kem

Start from Where You Are, Again.

A funny thing (not really) happened this week.

I fell ill. Nothing serious. Just a bad sinus thing-y and an unseemly need for sleep. What was funny about it? Well, my husband of almost 22 years came down with it, too. In the time we’ve been married, my husband has probably missed a total of five days of work, maybe ten.

But, we both caved to the illness and took to bed separately because our snoring was horrendous! Normally both of us would have pushed through, gone to work, and been fairly useless to those around us. Teleworking is not supported in our respective employers. My company allows it in winter when the weather is nasty and no one can get on the road to work. But, I digress.

Being home ill forced me to rest, which led to getting a clearer head, which lead to a recognition that I’d been in a funk for more than just the time that I’ve been sick. It’s been months. I’m sure my friends noticed. I’m sure my coworkers noticed. No one said a thing. I guess they figured I’d work my way out of it. *Sigh*

So, it’s time to start back at where I am. For me, acceptance is the key to everything. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. Just means I acknowledge it.
You see, I had been blaming work, blaming my weight, blaming the weather.. (fill in the blank here)when in reality, it was just the same old melatonin/seratonin struggles in my physical body impacting my ability to give a rat’s ass.

So today here’s where I am. Sitting across the dining room table from my sick hubby, with a box of tissues between us and mugs of hot tea. I will continue to rest and let my physical body recover. I will meditate and write to help my mental well-being recover. It’s strange when the fog lifts from a depressive episode. It’s like, wow! where the hell have I been? I certainly don’t know. I just know I wasn’t here.

It’s time to start from where I am, again…and that’s okay.

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~Lorraine Johnson

Not as Simple as I thought!

So I started a challenge, actually two challenges. One was to get peers up and moving during the work week and named it the #AprilDeskEscape challenge. The second was to participate in SSSVEDA (or Vlog Every Day in April) challenge from Amy Landino.

Not as easy as I thought it would be for either. Mostly due to a lack of planning on my part. And, given it is the first time I’ve done either of these— I’ll go easy on myself.

The idea is to just try! Take that first step.

Now I am aware that the next time I want to do a fun project outside of work involving tracking hashtags and creating videos, I still have to plan out the time for it.

Do keep sending those posts though as  I am very encouraged by the participation.

~ K.

 

fitbit April 10
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