Today’s Purpose: Self-Care and Sacred Things

[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?

 

 

CAP Exam Review Boot Camp

Thank you for your patience!

My CAP Exam Review Boot Camp course registration opens at 9:30am 11/22/17.  Seating is limited to 15 attendees in order to provide the best learning experience.

Remember, this is a review.  This course is not endorsed by the International Association of Administrative Professionals.  If you would like to talk with any previous boot camp attendees prior to signing up, let me know.

Who should sign up?

Candidates for the 2018 CAP exam (course does not cover any of the specialty exams)

Potential exam registrants who want to get an intense overview of the what content can be covered in the exam.

I encourage CAP candidates that are seeking a more in-depth, online course to sign up for Marie Herman’s study group ( I receive no monetary benefit for this referral.)

Course registrants should bring their 2017 CAP Exam Study Guide, snack food to keep energy up through the day and a notebook. That’s right. A notebook. Single subject, lined notebook. You’ll thank me later. Always suggested? Bring a water bottle, your laptop or tablet, your phone and phone charger.

I’ll be there with coffee in hand.day13

~ Kemetia

 

You’ve Gotta Dance When You Can!

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Yes. That’s me.

I’m dancing with my late father, Wm. T. Foley, Jr. (Or, as we lovingly call him in our family circle, WTF. or sometimes he’s known as the original FIC, Foley-in-Charge.) We’re at a family wedding. Having a grand time.

It’s the last time I recall dancing with my dad. He was battling cancer but was not about to miss a party, or a chance to dance. It’s that bittersweet mix of feelings that prompted me to post today, You’ve Gotta Dance When You Can! because when something brings you joy, jump in. Feel it. Recognize it and bless it for what it is.

The arrival of Executive Secretary LIVE conference in Washington DC brings me great joy. I love sharing my second hometown with colleagues and new friends. I felt a huge swell of pride listening to the oohs and aahs from first-time visitors while we toured the monuments of the city last night.  I still get goosebumps when I stand at the top of the Lincoln Memorial steps and look down over the Mall to the U.S. Capitol building.

I loved hearing the stories of what prompted attendees to come to #ExecSecLIVE DC and how so many of them did it on a whim, as a chance to try something new, something different. I had a chance to meet several people face-to-face that I’d only known via Twitter.

The formal part of the conference kicks off tomorrow. It’s a new crowd, a new network of friends. And, it’s a chance to learn something new. Or, learn lots of things that are new to me.  So when ES LIVE DC was announced, I knew it was a chance to dance,  an opportunity to feel that sense of community that can be so rare and one I couldn’t pass up.

If you’re an attendee, come find me. Make sure we meet. I met an attendee from Mauritius last night.  Mauritius! Admit it! You had to look up where it was, right? I know most people do. And I asked this attendee all about the travel from Mauritius to DC.  How often do we get to learn about our peers from other countries?  That’s one reason I love ES LIVE.  When I attend, I get to meet amazing people, hear inspirational stories. Learn more than I anticipated.

As I love to say, it’s a great opportunity to #KeepLearningKeepGrowing.

You gotta dance when you can.

 

A Tsunami of Learning…and Love.

 

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I don’t know about you, but this past weekend’s #WebathonWeekend was astonishing. [WebathonWeekend, a fundraising effort to provide financial support to the most amazing Microsoft trainer and presenter, entrepreneur, single mom, and fierce cancer warrior, Vickie Sokol Evans. I can’t wait to see the final dollars and data from Lucy Brazier.  This was a fine tsunami of love if you ask me.

The quality of the educational content was impressive! I highly encourage you to get a sense of the event by reading the Storify transcript provided by Matthew Want, PA to Lucy Brazier, CEO Marcham Publishing.  Lucy was the driving force behind #webathonweekend, which featured administrative educational content and interviews with over 50 speakers.

If you would like to donate to help provide financial support for Vickie, please visit the donation link on Debbi Shaffer’s Audacious Divas page.

PS.

Kudos also to Diana Brandl for creating the #WeAreinThisTogether hashtag and her blog which provides a continuous storyline reflecting on administrative professionals.

Administrative Professionals Week 2017

Dear Administrative Peers,

I hope this finds you healthy and happy. I hope your week is full of demonstrations of employer recognition that is valuable to you.

I hope that you recognize and understand your true value, not only to your company, to your co-workers, but to the overall economic good.

I hope you are able to see that people count on you, your work, your ability to communicate clearly and honestly, and to deliver on tasks. I hope you have the respect of those you work alongside.

I hope your supervisor(s), your company, your co-workers can acknowledge your continuous effort to keep all the pieces moving in the right direction.

For those of you that hate being in the administrative field, I hope you can find a different employer, or perhaps a different career field, that makes you content.

Some may say this week of recognition is nothing but a  made up holiday in order to sell more flowers or cards. Some  say this week of recognition is just a small opportunity to make others aware of the work we do.  I see it as a week of pride, almost like a homecoming celebration. One time a year, we gather as a profession to acknowledge the hard work loads and  sometime challenging personalities we encounter in our daily work. I like to think of it as one big ‘Clink’ of glass as we toast one another for a successful year.

Best wishes to each and every one of you. I am so very proud to be part of this community- For the exceptional assistant, this is not a job. It's a vocation. They've dedicated their life to it, and it compels them to greatness in the role.- - Jan Jones, the CEO's Secret Weap.

~ K.