Friday, October 13, 2006
Hey there, hi there!
My blog seems to be turning into a bibliography. I do apologize. It seems that books are my current raison d'être...
I read a surprisingly deep book called What Your Clothes Say About You by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine (of BBC TV series What Not to Wear fame). The book inspired me to go through my closets and to commit a whole big trashbag-full of old clothes to recycling (check out the What Not to Wear style baromater (quiz) too!)
The book has some lovely photos and great ideas on how anyone can update their wardrobe. However, it really goes very deep into the female psyche, explaining why we make certain fashion faux-pas (mainly lack of self esteem). And they believe (as do I) that making a positive step will also improve your inner self, i.e. dressing in a way you truly love is a step towards loving yourself more. I also believe that the same applies to our surroundings, so I undertook the seemingly overwhelming task of clearing my study from under piles of accumulated junk. I had to do it because my physical therapist forbade me from using my laptop placed in my lap while sitting on the sofa - so I had to clear my desk. It feels great. We now only have one junk room left in the house....yes, I still have a lot o' growing to do.
Speaking of growing, I am still reading the amazing, A-mazing book, Principle-Centered Leadership. The more I read it, the more I totally fall in love with it. Here's a quote:
"Principle-centered leadership suggests that the highest level of human motivation is a sense of personal contribution. It views people as the most valuable organizational asset - as stewards of certain resources - and stewardship as the key to discovering, developing, and managing all other assets. Each person is recognized as a free agent, capable of immense achievement, not as a victim or pawn limited by conditions or conditioning".
Wow!!! I love the idea of stewardship: "...the idea that you don't own anything, that you give your life to higher principles, causes and purposes."
It's kind of like in Out of Africa: Karen comes to realize that we don't own anything in this life, we are only allowed to borrow it (whatever it is, it can even be a person) for a while and our job is to make the most of it.
Another lovely book that I finished reading yesterday is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman . It's about how different things make different people feel loved. One person needs physical touch more than anything else, another needs gifts. So a well-meaning husband could be showering his wife with presents, yet she could feel unloved because he doesn't hug her often enough. So it's useful to find out what our (and our mate's) primary love language is so that we can "speak" that language. It's really a lovely, positive book. The five love langues are: gifts, physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation and acts of service. Do check it out!
P.S. The photo is Pink Lady with Black-and-White Cat
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Hey There Bloggers!
The news of the death of Pink Lady's blog have been greatly exaggerated - Pink Lady has simply been busy with other things...
I am reading a book called Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey (the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and also known as a "modern day Socrates"). He has some brilliant things in the book. Here is one: The Seven Habits of Ineffective People - I love it! It's funny - yet sadly also many people really do live like this (I can't claim that I don't occasionally succumb to these habits...).
The Seven Habits of Ineffective People
1. Be reactive: doubt yourself and blame others.
2. Work without any clear end in mind.
3. Do the urgent thing first.
4. Think win/lose.
5. Seek first to be understood.
6. If you can’t win, compromise.
7. Fear change and put off improvement
Something else that really struck me in the book is that Covey says that he often asks this question at his seminars: "How many of you would agree that the vast majority of the work force possess far more capability, creativity, talent, initiative, and resourcefulness than their present jobs allow or require them to use?". About 99% of people agree with this statement. Covey goes on to say:
"We all admit that our greatest resources are being wasted and that poor human resource management hurts our bottom line".
Wow!!!! I could have written that line myself. That really sums up what I live for - to somehow make the business community come to grips with this truth and, what's more, to do something about it. That's my mission in life.
I wonder why it is so easy for us to see the infinite potential for growth and development in children, yet we forget that the same applies to us adults. We may stop growing in size (or at least in height!) but there is no need for us to ever stop growing intellectually, phychologically, emotionally, etc. In the words of the former TV ad for the US Army: "The mind is a terrible thing to waste". Did you know that our minds are more powerful than any computer? And the same thing that applies to our muscles applies to our minds: use 'em or lose 'em!
So keep pumping those cranial muscles! :-)
P.S. The little girl in the photo is Pink Lady - at her uncle's summer cottage.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I am just finishing up reading a book called Personality Plus by Florence Littauer - and I'm recommending it to all who will listen to my ranting. If any book is truly life-changing, this one is it!!
It was Hippocrates (also known as the father of medicine) who first defined the four basic temperaments:
Ms. Littauer does a brilliant job of explaining the tempraments in a modern way. This book is such an eye-opener: I thought I knew something about people already, but having read this book I feel as if the scales have been lifted from my eyes.
I took the personality quiz in the book and it turns out that I am sanguine (not a surprise to anyone who knows me) but I also have a lot of melancholic and choleric traits - also not a surprise to anyone who knows me well. However, I now realize that I did the quiz wrong - that's how sanguine I am; I did not read the instructions! So I'll need to take the test again and perhaps the result will be slightly different.
However, the most important thing about this book is that it helps you to identify and better understand both your strengths and your weaknesses - and also gives tips on how to lessen the effects of your weaknesses.
The book also helps us to understand other people much better. I can't recommend this book highly enough - do check it out!
For many, many years now, I have been obsessed with two things: personal growth and leadership. But mainly the first one - I'm interested in leadership mainly because I feel that growing to be a true leader supports us in our personal growth.
I've even defined a personal mission statement for myself already several years ago: "To be instrumental in the creation of the organizational culture of the future". My mission statement does not explain what that culture is, but I mean the kind of culture where the goals, needs and dreams of the individual are met at the same time as the company is profitable. See my earlier post for more on the same topic.
P.S. The chair in the photo was hand made by my boyfriend - when he was 9 years old.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I've been thinking about why so many people would like to live by the sea. What is the fascination? it might be something to do with being able to look into infinity. And the power of the ocean - even the potential danger. It's something very exciting. I'm not even interested in sailing and yet I'd still love to live by the sea.
I was watching the movie Basic Instinct (the first one, from 1992) and Sharon Stone's character's beach house simply took my breath away. It's simply my dream home!! It's high up on some cliffs with a view of the roaring ocean beneath - there's rocks so the sea is not calm and quiet. In one scene, she sits on a balcony/terrace having a cigarette - and the view is simply amazing. There's also some stairs so you can go down to the beach, where there is a big bonfire. It's just a magical house. It's worth renting the DVD just to see that house.
As a teenager, I used to laugh at my Mom because she'd watch a movie "just for the beautiful scenery" - I now do the same thing! I loved Under the Tuscan Sun mainly because of the beautiful Tuscan landscapes. The same applies to The Talented Mr. Ripley, which was filmed in various parts of Italy. I guess that somewhere along the way, our priorities just change.
Another equally gorgeous - though very different - beach house can be seen in the movie Something's Gotta Give. I don't know who the decorator of the set was, but I'd love to find out - because it was just perfect. I could've just moved into that house without having to change a single thing. It's that perfectly aligned with my tastes in decorating.
By the way, I believe that it's no coincidence that both of my dream houses are owned by wealthy, successful women writers. I want something else besides their beach homes...I want their whole lifestyles.
My boyfriend and I recently visited our neighbours' house - neighbours that have just fairly recently moved in. They live a couple of doors away from us. I was amazed at how finished everything looked in their house. It looked like they had always lived there - or like a professional decorator had just finished with it. I told them that now I'd be too embarrassed to have them visit our place; we've been here for two years and we still have two whole rooms as "junk rooms" and we haven't put up a single set of curtains yet in the whole house (we do have venetian blinds everywhere).
Our neighbours had even done some remodeling: they had put in a jacuzzi and they had to move the location of the shower etc. I now realize how differently they have behaved compared to us - we just talk about putting in a jacuzzi. However, I'm sure that they just took a bigger house loan and used some of the money for the decorating. Their house is only half the size of ours and with the size loan we took, we simply wouldn't be able to borrow anymore even if we wanted to. So in practice, we don't have money for furniture. All of our furniture is either stuff we had already or stuff that we got for free from relatives etc. And I've been renovating some of it.
Anyway, seeing how beautiful our neighbour's place looks gave me a new incentive to start fixing our place up - even if it just means tidying up and getting rid of excess junk. Buying new stuff will come later - when we can afford it. We refuse to buy anything on credit; we'll wait until we can afford to pay cash.
Lots o' Love,
P.S. The photo was taken in Naxos, Greece.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Whispers of Immortality
(By T.S. Eliot)
Webster was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin;
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin.
Daffodil bulbs instead of balls
Stared from the sockets of the eyes!
He knew that thought clings round dead limbs
Tightening its lusts and luxuries.
Donne, I suppose, was such another
Who found no substitute for sense;
To seize and clutch and penetrate,
Expert beyond experience,
He knew the anguish of the marrow
The ague of the skeleton;
No contact possible to flesh
Allayed the fever of the bone.
. . . . .
Grishkin is nice: her
Russian eye is underlined for emphasis;
Uncorseted, her friendly bust
Gives promise of pneumatic bliss.
The couched Brazilian jaguar
Compels the scampering marmoset
With subtle effluence of cat;
Grishkin has a maisonette;
The sleek Brazilian jaguar
Does not in its arboreal gloom
Distil so rank a feline smell
As Grishkin in a drawing-room.
And even the Abstract Entities
Circumambulate her charm;
But our lot crawls between dry ribs
To keep our metaphysics warm.
That was another all-time fave poem by an all-time fave poet: T.S. Eliot. I have memorized lots of his poetry over the years. This is one of the ones I memorized way back in high school and I still remembered most of it. T.S. Eliot is easy to memorize because his poems have such fantastic rhythm.
Friday, September 01, 2006
In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I went out with a bunch of women last night. We had a lot in common, but there was one thing that distinguished me from the rest: I was the only one out of six women who does not have children. One of the first things they all did was to break out the baby pictures or pictures of their kids (one lady had three). As the pictures were being passed around, at some point they all noticed that I was not taking out any pictures. But nobody commented on it.
At some point these mothers were complaining about how tough their lives are. One was saying that she did not intend on becoming pregnant so quickly. One had a third child who was an "accident" and she had considered abortion. In the end she had decided to have the baby. At this point I finally couldn't take it anymore and told them that if being a mother is so bad, try not being a mother. Try not being able to get pregnant. Try crying every time you get your period for years and years. Try injecting your tummy with a needle every day. Try having women with kids look at you with pity. Obviously I don't know what it's like to be a mother, but they also don't know how I feel.
OK, so the converstation changed "slightly" around this time. Towards the end of the evening, one lady said that I was the only woman she had met who is (or has been so far...) unable to have kids but who is not bitter. That's true I suppose. I just find that bitterness serves no purpose. I prefer constructive feelings - and yes, we do choose our feelings! If you don't believe that, take an NLP course. In NLP, we learn to "change state" in an instant from happy to sad or vice versa. It's actually very easy.
I sometimes also wonder if not having any kids is so terrible. It does have its advantages too. I just fill my life with other things - writing this blog for one thing. And I read a lot. And get to do what I want. I eat out a lot. Us childless couples have a lot of peace and quiet - except when we throw parties. We get to choose our noise level.
Women without children are sometimes (often?) portrayed as being selfish. Perhaps some are. I find that since I have a lot of time on my hands to just sit and think, I spend a lot of time thinking about values - so I really am thinking about the whole world and its future and well-being and not just about myself. Although I do find that I think about myself and things related to myself way too much - it really bores me. I'm bored with myself. That's why I love spending time with other people. And why I love to read. They're both activities that allow me to get new, fresh ideas.
Recently, I've also discovered audiobooks. They're great! I can jog and "read" a book at the same time. Or drive a car and read a book. Not a new thing of course, but new for me. I'm such a book lover that I resisted the idea for a long time. But I'm converted now. I still read books as well, but I get to read more by also listening to audiobooks whenever I can. I listen to at least one CD per day. I listen to the same CDs over and over again - repetition is the mother of learning.
But back to the baby discussion. The mothers mentioned last night that becoming a mother changes you forever. I'm sure it does, although of course I can't know how it feels. But mothers also have no idea how a woman who is unable to have children feels. But if motherhood makes you grow, then maybe being childless also makes you grow. I feel that for years I've mourned the children that I did not have. It's a different growth process - and one that women with children know nothing about.
It's not necessarily too late for me to have children, but I do find that if I'm to be a happy person, I can't make having children or trying to have children central to my life. I have to just live my life.
The mothers also said that children are a gift. I suppose so. So why is it that some of us are not given that gift? Or is it so that life itself is a gift? We just all have different lives and we all give back in different ways and to different people. Maybe I give more to my friends because I have more time to spend with them than women with kids do. Maybe I give more at work.
The biggest lesson for me has been this: we cannot always choose what happens in our lives. We can't control everything. Sometimes we just have to work with what we're given.
I went to a really interesting reunion tonight. There were 6 of us girls and some of us hadn't seen each other in 13 years. We had all at one time or another worked in the same café - a very beautiful one in a very beautiful place.
It was amazing catching up and getting to know each other as grown women. We all work in very different fields and have had very different lives, but we seemed to have something in common. We talked for 5 hours straight and about very deep and even intimate subjects: the death of grandparents or other loved ones, the birth of children, finding our way in the world, love, friendship. What an amazing evening!
I only knew 2 of the 5 women, but felt as if I'd known all of them forever. We sometimes have a lot in common with friends of friends. We were six women of approximately the same age, sharing our lives.
Something that we repeated several times during the conversation was that when talking about some things, words seem inadequate - we seemed to have trouble describing the depth of what we were really feeling. I feel that way now: eventhough I am very seldom at a loss for words, I find that I have trouble describing the beauty of this evening's conversation and how special it was. Very rarely does a group reach such a level of true caring and sharing.
I entitled this post "Ladies Who Dine", but we actually did not dine: we only had dessert and a bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut! :-)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I mentioned in the previous post that I used to memorize a lot of poetry. Here is one (written from memory - I did, however, check the punctuation):
The Sick Rose
O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
It's by one of my all-time fave poets: William Blake - a brilliant poet and artist.
P.S. The photo is not mine this time, it's from FreeFoto.com. I happened to not have a picture of a rose handy.
I was reading a friend's blog where she gives this "Book Challenge". So here goes:
- One book that changed your life:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It changed the way I view business life, my career and money. It really opened my eyes. I bought it on a business trip to the UK. I was there for a week and was reading the book in my hotel room. I became so disgusted with all my credit card debt that I wanted to cut up all my credit cards right then and there. However, I did not have a pair of scissors handy! But I was so determined to destroy my credit cards that I actually bent and twisted them out of shape so that I would no longer be able to use them!! And I haven't used them since then - it was about a year ago. I only have one credit card left and it's the company one. I realized that buying something on sale with a credit card just does not make sense - at least not if you end up paying interest on it for several months (years?)...
- One book you've read more than once:
1984 by George Orwell. It's to this day, the only book I've ever read more than twice. I read it in high school when I was around 15 and I read it three times in a row. It made a huge impression on me. I still feel that all I ever learnt about politics, I learnt from that book.
- One book you'd want on a desert island:
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
- One book that made you giddy:
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. It's probably also partly been the inspiration for this blog.
- One book that wracked you with sobs:
I have trouble remembering. Perhaps the Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller? Or Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte? I really don't remember. Movies make me cry all the time, but books do it more rarely. They do make me cry, but I just can't remember which ones did...
- One book that you wish had been written:
"A Complete Guide to Happiness". I checked in Amazon and there is no such book. However, there is one called The Complete Guide to Happiness and Success by Hazel Krantz. Perhaps I need to check it out? ;-)
- One book you wish had never been written:
All books have their place. There are of course books that I choose not to read. Such as Harlequin romance novels. However, I have often thought that it might be fun to write them! There's money to be made in that. Maybe some day I will... ;-)
- One book you're currently reading:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. It's not, BTW, a book about motorcycle maintenance but a novel about values.
- One book you've been meaning to read:
I could list about a thousand books here. Perhaps Moby Dick by Herman Melville would best qualify. I've even memorized the first page but have never read it! "Call me Ishmael. Some years ago, never mind how long precisely, having little money in my pocket and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I decide to sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation..." (or something along those lines). I used to memorize a lot of poetry when I was young-er: I've always had a burning need to use my brain in some way. But I've never done crossword puzzles and I don't do math or play chess. I have, however, studied 13 languages and memorized tons of poetry. I was once in a bar in Paris with an international group and I started reciting poetry. I could've kept going for hours (and I'm only slightly exaggerating!) A South African guy (whom I didn't actually know) said "It must be really wonderful to have all that poetry inside your head!". I'd never thought about it that way. For me it was just a way of challenging my brain - kind of like flexing my cranial muscles. ;-)
- Now tag five bloggers:
I won't but the Book Challenge is here - up for grabs. Drop me a note if you decide to take the challenge, so I can go check out what you write. :-)
Be readin' ya!
P.S. The photo shows a nice place for reading. It's from the summer house mentioned in the previous post.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Hey There Bloggers and Blog-Readers,
In my previous blog, I mentioned having attended a birthday party recently. It was at a summer "cottage" - well, more of a summer house, really. It was an amazingly beautiful place in Särkisalo. My boyfriend's uncle and his wife have owned the place for about 20 years and have been making improvements the whole time. It really was like paradise. The garden was really well kept, there were many different kinds of flowers, an orchard, a separate sauna building by the sea (a wood-heated sauna of course) and even a japanese-style bathtub (like a wooden hot tub). I'd like to have a house to live in all year round in a place like that, not just for the summer.
This beautiful pot of sunflowers was one of the many bouquets of flowers displayed - doesn't it look a lot like the Van Gogh painting?!!? :-)
I am now planning on planting sunflower seeds in our own garden! :-)
Now this is what a bunch of roses should look like!!!
I went to my boyfriend's uncle's 60th B-day party last weekend and he had received a bouquet of sixty roses - they were sooooo gorgeous!!
This is also a "slight" hint for my boyfriend, since I have a big birthday coming up... ;-) Well, not 'til January...
Here's a thought: every birthday, I'd like to get a bouquet of roses with the same number of roses as my age! And no, flowers do not replace the gift, they come in addition to the gift! Oh, and take a wild guess what colour roses I'd like! ;-)
Pink Lady with the Rosy Cheeks
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Well Bloggers, Bloggees, et al,
This is a historic moment: this is Pink Lady's post number 100!
Here are some stats:
Pink Lady's first post was on March 25th of this year - so about 5 months ago. That means that Pink Lady has posted 20 times per month on average! That's a lot! It's an average of about 5 times a week. I didn't realize it was that much. The post currently has 843 hits - that's around 8 per post.
Anyhoo that was just some fun (??) facts....
Why blog? Isn't it kind of just like hanging out your dirty laundry for all the world to see?
I was reading an interesting booklet by Seth Godin on blogging (Godin is a famous blogger himself). According to him, there are 3 types of blogs:
- Cat blogs: about you and your cat, i.e. of no interest to anyone but you (this is according to Godin)
- Boss blogs: blogs intended for a certain group of people - so kind of like an internal communications channel for a company or for an organization, group, etc.
- Buzz blogs: blogs intended to sell something - products, services - or ideas whose time has come.
I was wondering what category my blog falls into - surely the first one according to Godin. However, I like to think (though I'm probably enormously conceited even to think this!!) that I create a little bit of positive buzz in the world as well. But who knows.
The other thing that I'm wondering about is why then - if cat blogs interest no-one - are blogs such as Greek Tragedy so hugely popular? Stephanie Klein's blog is so popular that she got a book deal out of it.
Maybe it's because we humans simply are voyeuristic: we like reality TV - and we like to read about other people's lives. And not just famous ones, we like to read about anybody's life if he or she writes about it in an interesting enough way.
And how do we define interesting in this context? I would say that what makes it interesting is that it has universal appeal: so we're back from the personal to the general!
Keep on Bloggin'
P.S. The photo was taken in Mykonos, Greece. Sun-dried squid is a local delicacy - I wouldn't know, didn't taste it...
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
This is a traditional Finnish rag rug. People my grandmother's age (and sometimes much younger) used to cut up all of their old clothing to make rugs out of. This rug is one of the many, many at my boyfriend's parents' farm - they are all hand-made. Wow! That's somehow so ecological! Talk about Wardrobe Refashion! ;-)
Speking of rags to riches, I've lately been thinking about money - what is it's value really? Are we free when we have lots of money? Or are we free when we realize that we don't really need any? Hmmmmm.....
I'm not really sure what I think. I heard this somewhere: "Money doesn't buy happiness, but it also doesn't buy sadness. Would you rather be happy and rich or happy and poor?".
Is money really the root of all evil? I think not. I think that money is simply power and power can be used for good or for evil. Money is a tool. And it's up to the user of that tool to decide what to use it for. A hammer can be used to build a house or to hit someone on the head with - but that doesn't mean that a hammer is evil.
I guess the problems come when people think so highly of money that they're willing to do anything to get it. But then, is the problem money - or simply selfishness and immorality?
This gorgeous creature was sculpted by some "sand artist" in Naxos, Greece - I have no idea who, but I simply had to get the photo.
The title of this post is a reference to a Neil Young song where he sings "Hello cowgirl in the sand" (I don't remember which album or even which song...!). I saw Neil Young live in Helsinki several years ago - it was by far the best rock concert I've ever seen!!! I've seen lots of artists like Madonna and The Rolling Stones (at Wembley Stadium in London!) who have a lot of props and back-up dancers and what-not. Those are OK, but there was something simply magical about the combination of a big stadium and a guy wearing jeans, a T-shirt and looking like he hadn't washed his hair in a week. He's such a good performer that the audience was just spell-bound. He didn't need anything - just a guitar and a mike and he had a whole stadium full of people hanging from his every word and every note. Amazing concert!
This mermaid reminds me of another old Madonna song: Cherish - and only because of the video!
So tired of broken hearts and losing at this game
Before I start this dance
I'll take a chance in telling you
I want more than just romance
You are my destiny
I can't let go -- baby, can't you see?
Cupid please take your aim at me
Cherish the thought
Of always having you here by my side
Oh baby I cherish the joy
You keep bringing it into my life
I'm always singing it
Cherish the strength
You got the power to make me feel good
And baby I perish the thought
Of ever leaving, I never would
I was never satisfied with casual encounters
I can't hide my need for two hearts that bleed with burning love
That's the way it's got to be
Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet
So don't underestimate my point of view
Cherish the thought
Of always having you here by my side
Oh baby I cherish the joy
You keep bringing it into my life
I'm always singing it
Cherish the strength
You got the power to make me feel good
And baby I perish the thought
Of ever leaving, I never would
Who? You! Can't get away I won't let you
Who? You! I could never forget to
Cherish is the word I use to remind me of your love
Keep giving it, keep giving it to me
Boy keep giving me all, all of your joy
Give me faith -- I will always cherish you
Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet
So don't underestimate my point of view
Give me faith, give me joy, my boy
I will always cherish you
Hey There Blogeroos!
This photo was also taken in Naxos, Greece. It somehow makes me think of the Narnia books - maybe there was a street lamp like that in one of the books? I really can't remember, since it's been so many years since I last saw those books.
My Mom used to read the books out loud to us when we were kids. She read in Finnish and one of my earliest memories is wondering why my Mom reads so badly - it was only years later that I realized that back then, the books hadn't been translated into Finnish yet: she was reading to us from an English book and translating as she read! :-)
Here's some more Madonna lyrics for your reading pleasure, this is ye old song called "Open Your Heart":
I see you on the street and you walk on by
You make me wanna hang my head down and cry
If you gave me half a chance you'd see
My desire burning inside of me
But you choose to look the other way
I've had to work much harder than this
For something I want don't try to resist me
Open your heart to me, baby
I hold the lock and you hold the key
Open your heart to me, darlin'
I'll give you love if you, you turn the key
I think that you're afraid to look in my eyes
You look a little sad boy, I wonder why
I follow you around but you can't see
You're too wrapped up in yourself to notice
So you choose to look the other way
Well, I've got something to say
Don't try to run I can keep up with you
Nothing can stop me from trying, you've got to
Open your heart to me, baby
I hold the lock and you hold the key
Open your heart to me, darlin'
I'll give you love if you, you turn the key
Open your heart with the key
One is such a lonely number
Seeing a beach this blue
Makes me blue
Because I'm not there!
It's still warm in Finland - which is highly unusual for this time of year. The funny thing is, many people are saying that now they don't mind that fall is coming - they seem to be saying that summer should be over now - we've had hot weather for about 3 and a half months now - enough is enough! I don't think that!!! But it seems that many Finns do. It seems that some people are just never happy....! ;-)
The photo was taken in Naxos, Greece.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I was reading this blog and saw this Sonnet By Shakespeare that I haven't read in a long time. It's so beautiful that I was inspired to copy it here. Enjoy! :-)
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116
If you need an explanation of the poem, you can find it here. You can find the rest of Shakespeares 154 sonnets here. The photo was taken in Naxos, Greece.
I somehow imagine that if I were to step throught the door in the last post, I would arrive somewhere like this. In reality, this is a storefront in Mykonos, Greece. And the sunlight was so blazing hot that it would not be pleasant to lounge here in the middle of the day - but imagine what a wonderful place to hang out on when the evening is just a little bit cool....mmmmmmmm... :-)
Here's another amazing courtyard in Mykonos, Greece. To me this somehow symbolizes goal setting: we are standing in the dark but we are looking into the bright sunshine. It is so close that we can see the goal already but all that we have to do is walk through the door into the bright sunlight.
However, in real life, stepping through the door - symbolically speaking - is not as easy. It means that we must grow and growth is always painful.
I heard on a CD recently (not a music CD, an inspirational lecture) that there are three zones in life that we can spend time in:
- The Coasting Zone
- The Comfort Zone
- The Challenge Zone
The speaker (Skip Ross) said that he used to think that he always had to be in the challenge zone. But, as he got older, he realized that it's not wise. Because if we are always outside of our comfort zone and pushing ourselves, it means that we are always doing things that we are not yet very good at. And that's not fun or rewarding - at least not at that moment.
So we also need to spend time in our comfort zone. We need to also do things that we have truly mastered so that we can get a lot done and can really enjoy ourselves.
But we also need to spend time coasting because we need to relax. And we can also "outsource" things that we are not very good at to other people - we don't need to do everything ourselves. This is where teamwork comes in. A team of people with the right skills can be good at everything - a single person never can.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
I went to a really cool party this week. It was a Finnish-Italian party and we had dinner in the courtyard of an apartment building on Tehtaankatu. It's in downtown Helsinki. I know the area quite well, since my parents live very close to there (and I too used to live there years ago). But I'd never known that they have such amazing courtyards there hidden away!!
It's not the courtyard pictured here, by the way! This one is from the island of Mykonos in Greece - isn't it just perfect!?! Annoyingly, I hadn't brought my camera to the party. The courtyard at my friend's place is not quite as perfect, but still really gorgeous - we felt like we were in Italy or Greece! Of course having Italian people there helped too: they had cooked two different kinds of pasta for us. Really, really simple, but all the more delicious. One was spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and fresh basil, the other was fusilli with a tomato-based sauce. And we Finns served them some typical Finnish things such as Karelian pastries buttered with a mixture of butter and hard-boiled egg (much more delicious than it sounds!), fresh berries of all kinds and also "bread-cheese" (don't make me explain that one! - but you can see the photo behind the link). A good time was had by all.
We sang a lot since there were several professional musicians present. Our hostess was actually quite a famous Finnish musician - a real sweetheart, everyone simply adores her. The most warm-hearted person you'll ever meet. And what a voice on the girl!! She sang "Let's Twist Again" and "A Hard Day's Night" and I swear it was better than the originals!!
OK, now Pink Lady really must go beddy-bye - a busy weekend ahead!! :-)
Pink & Sleepy
Friday, August 18, 2006
Pink Lady is feeling very boooooring today: no deep, philosophical musings, just posting photos of her crappy shoe collection... ;-)
This is another fave pair of shoes for summer. I bought them in Oulu years and years and years ago (2000 maybe?) and still wear them all the time. They actually look really great with a pair of beige pants - even quite business like. I would even wear them to a job interview (although apparently you're not supposed to wear open-toed shoes to one - whatever!)
Here's yet another self-inflicted piece of photography of Pink Lady's hand. This time jewel-encrusted with rings from the Finnish Kalevala jewelry. They make really cool jewelry based on ancient Finnish designs - a bit like Viking jewelry in some cases. Do check it out.
This jewelry is as popular with elderly ladies as it is with gothic pre-teens: something for everybody. Even for men. I've got tons of jewelry from them - many of the pieces have been gifts. However, I also worked next to the Kalevala jewelry factory for a while and we had a deal with them so we could use their canteen. We were given a 10% (I think?) discount on everything and once there was a huge sale where everything was at 70% off - I bought a "few" pieces during that shopping spree... ;-). The pieces are mostly available in gold, silver or bronze.
By the way, the Kalevala is Finland's national epic - kind of like our Shakespeare or something. J.R.R. Tolkien (of Lord-of-the-Rings-fame) was a big fan. It's full of legends and wierd gods and stuff - and has been translated into English and a host of other languages.
I am the kind of person that you should never give a digital camera to, 'cause I get all wierd and start shooting everything in sight (with the camera, I mean). I was making dinner and slicing up some red onions when I noticed that my nail polish is exactly the same colour as the onions - isn't that wierd! The nail polish is called Chrome Shine by L'Oreal and it's number 346 (no it doesn't have one of those cute names like "Moon beam" or "Perfect Romance" or something). It's vintage nail polish circa 2003 (I think - I got it in Dallas). It's kind of like the metallic paint on cars. I am sure it's no longer available.
Yes, I actually use my nail polish for years and years. When it dries out, I use nail polish thinner from Mavala. Highly recommended. The cutting board is from Ikea. Red onions - available at grocery stores (almost) everywhere.
This cute little purse is a tiny, tiny backpack - it's just big enough to fit a wallet. I've been on InterRail lots of times in the past and carried a somewhat bigger backpack. Imagine - if you had enough money, you'd only need a backpack this size - you could buy everything along the way... ;-)
You could stay in 5-star hotels, have your clothes laundered over-night - or you could throw away your dirty clothes and buy new ones. Or if you really loved the clothes, you could have them laundered and then sent home. You could eat in the best restaurants. And whatever shopping you did, you could have it sent home.
Now that would be my kind of backpacking trip!! ;-)
Speaking of travel, I was inspired to make a list of all the countries I've visited. It's a bit hard sometimes to say what counts as a country, but anyway, here's some kind of a list. I've also indicated if I've lived in the country and for how long:
- Canada (lived there for 8 years, Canadian citizenship)
- China (PRC, Hong Kong) - lived in Tianjin, PRC for 2 years
- Cyprus (lived there one summer - maybe 3 months?)
- Czech Republic
- Finland (born in Helsinki, currently live in Espoo, Finnish citizenship)
- France (lived in Paris for a year)
- Martinique (actually a part of France, but it's a Caribbean island)
- United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) - lived near Cambridge for 1.5 years
- USA (lived in Dallas, Texas for 4 months)
Did you notice that I've never been to Russia?!!? And I live in Helsinki - right next door! I would love to go to St. Petersburg some time soon...
This cute fake snakeskin purse is not only fake snake, but also fake leather - it's plastic really, but somehow "good quality" plastic, i.e. it's pretty durable. I used to have shoes in the same material, but I got rid of them years ago. These are from a Finnish designer called Pertti Palmroth. He sells a lot of shoes in this material - they call them shoes "for all types of weather" - actually extremely practical in this country, since we (unfortunately) get a lot of weather that's both cold and wet. :-(
We still don't have cold weather, but the wet season seems to have started. But for once, I'm actually glad - I never thought I'd say that!! But it's been so dry for so long and the past week or more has been really muggy and stuffy. Now we've had big thunder storms and lots of rain on a couple of days and it's really cleared the air.
Here is Pink Lady's shoe line. Obviously not all of her shoes!! These were just the ones that I was trying on when I was about to go out.
If you look very closely, you can see where the mules from the previous post are disintegrating on the inside. The inner soles have already been repaired with good quality leather. They used to be the same material as the inside of the straps.
Here's another shoe photo. I got these babies in Cyprus several years ago. I've worn them twice, I think. One reason is that they're a bit challenging (for me) to walk in. I have a bit of trouble walking in a high-heeled mule - lack of practice. I wore them once all night and my calf muscles got a real workout; they were really sore for days. The other reason that I haven't worn these shoes very often is that the quality isn't so great. The inner sole fell apart after I'd only worn them once and I had to have it replaced at the cobbler's. And when I wore them a second time, the inner lining of the straps started to fall apart. So now I have to take them to be repaired again. The inside was fake leather and it kind of just disintegrated. Well, at least I got them really cheap...and they do look great! :-)
I took the photo myself using a mirror and you can see the flash on the mirror.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Well...speaking of shedding one's inhibitions, here is a photo of Pink Lady's legs. Dressed to kill and ready to go party. This was taken a couple of weeks back - I actually took the photo myself (yes, of myself) through the mirror. Well, you can see the frame of the mirror in the photo.
The shoes pictured are my fave party shoes: they are fairly high-heeled, yet really comfy. They actually don't look all that high-heeled - but that's just cause by feet are so big!!! (The sandals are a size 39, but my closed shoes are 40 or 41). They are my strappy sandals, yet - alas - not Manolos! :-(
I got the dress in Rome - it's Pink Lady's first ever LBD (that's "Little Black Dress" y'all!). Yet another TLA (Three Letter Acronym).
I now have this idea that instead of just photographing my shoes and clothes, I may occasionally photograph myself in them! ;-)
Ta-Taa For Now!
P.S. The title of this post is obviously a reference to the old ZZ Top song.
OK, here's another business-related post - but it does relate to the wider concept of human happiness. Excuses, excuses...
I have been reading a guy called Bernd Schmitt. I highly recommend his books: he has lots of revolutionary ideas - and he's really funny! He has written books such as Experiental Marketing and Customer Experience Management. I've just finished reading the latter and found some exciting things in there. Here are some quotes:
"In most companies, employees simply do not care about their jobs. According to a Gallup survey based on a random sample of 800 employees, only 25% of employees are "actively engaged" in their jobs; the other 75% are just muddling through. Dave Ulrich, an HR expert and professor at the School of Business at the University of Michigan, observes that "job depression" is on the rise. Don't expect the job depressed to deliver a great experience to customers. Therefore, it is key for business to foster what Ulrich calls "employee contribution".
Employee contribution becomes a critical business issue because in trying to produce more output with fewer employees, companies have no choice but to try to engage not only the body but the mind and soul of every employee" (emphasis mine).
What does Schmitt suggest as the way to engage the mind and soul of every employee? The traditional methods (which are by no means implemented in all companies!!!) are good, but not sufficient:
- challenging work
- fun at work
"If employees are internal customers, then let's treat them as customers, and let's find out what these customers want."
What do people want? According to Schmitt, people want to experience work as flow.
"What is flow? It is the state people achieve when they become so involved in what they are doing that they lose track of time. It is a kind of absorption in the process. Flow is about optimal experiences and enjoyment in life, and the ultimate goal is "turning all life into a unified flow experience". When that happens, work does not feel like work, and the separation of work and leisure becomes meaningless. Work and leisure are one whole - called life."
Now how can employees get to this state? What can management do to help make this happen? .....
- learn about the experiential world of your employees
- find out what they want
- ask them what they would change
- let employees help develop their own work environment
- get employees involved in the brand so they can live the brand
- seek your employees' input about innovation
Schmitt concludes: "If you pay attention to your employees' experiences, you will be rewarded with a happier, more productive, more proactive workforce" (emphasis mine).
Schmitt continues: "Utopia? Yes, sadly, many companies today still operate according to a command-and-control system. Strategy is developed at the top and disseminated to the front lines in an environment of fear. This experience-destroying, military model of the organization fails to recognize the innovative and value-creating forces that a positive employee experience can unleash".
So is that the secret to happiness: flow? I guess it's why e.g. artists are so happy with their jobs. The book The Hacker Ethic explores similar issues, but concentrates on knowledge workers. Schmitt, however, talks about service workers too: salespeople, people who work in coffee shops - anywhere really. In a previous post I quote Peter Drucker saying that the "productivity of knowledge workers and the dignity of service workers" are the most important things in the near future. The ideas that Schmitt presents seem to give an answer to how to achieve these goals.
Schmitt and Pink Lady have spoken
Monday, August 14, 2006
Well, the photos just don't stop tonight! This is our entry hall - in an uncharacteristically organized state, which is why I was inspired to photograph it.
I dabble in feng shui, and practitioners believe that the way the entrance to your home looks is one of the most important things. Well, seeing a mess first thing when you come home certainly can be a downer!
I read in some comic book (I think that it was Naisen Kanssa i.e. a Finnish comic book called "With a Woman") that it is possible for a woman to both believe and not believe in horoscopes at the same time. And I think that's true! It's very hard to explain, it's kind of like when we were old enough to know that there was no Santa Claus but we still had fun pretending that there was one. And in our excitement we even forgot that we were pretending and for a little while we still really believed.
I was never really into the bagua, i.e. the sections that a home is supposed to be divided into. It means that one corner of your home is your "wealth corner" and one is your "relationship corner" and if you have a pile of junk in that corner, it can cause problems in that area of your life.
It wasn't until I read the book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston that I really became fascinated. I've read the book twice and I'd really like to read it again. It's about getting rid of all the things that you don't want or need in your life - including dirt in your house, stuff you don't use or want, people who no longer contribute positively to your life and even food that does not contribute to your health. It's about not living in the past and about looking towards the future.
When you start to think about it, it's amazing how many of us really do live in the past! Memories are very important for us. That's OK as long as we don't stop longing for new experiences - instead of re-living old ones!
What I most loved about Ms. Kingston's book was this: she says that ideally, we should know exactly where every single one of our possessions is. We should know exactly what's in our closets, in our basement, in our attic, etc. If we do, we can easily make a "mental connection" with our possessions.
It all sounds very New Age, but to me it kind of makes sense. If I think about it, it does somehow bother me if I don't know where something is. And it feels really good if everything is well organized. There's a certain intuitive logic to it.
The main point of feng shui is that our surroundings affect our feelings - and I'm sure that no one can deny that. It's probaly scientifically proven. Think about how depressing it is to be in a room with inadequate lighting or in a very messy room. It may even cause depression! Clearing your clutter is a step towards improving your mental health! :-)
I spent the past three days going through a big pile of old magazines. I ripped out some articles and then dumped the magazines. Felt great! Eventually I'll also need to do the same to my magazine and newspaper clippings. I'm starting to slowly become more and more modern: I'm starting to realize that whatever info I need can be found on-line and that I don't need to keep it on pieces of paper.
I'm a very cluttered person, i.e. I have tended to keep everything, but I'm now working on changing and growing also in that respect. :-)
Pink Lady, signing out - for now!
"Hello, my name is Pink Lady and I'm an Italophile. I haven't been to Italy in over a year". "Hello Pink Lady!".
Yes, I love all things Italian. I wonder why? A former boss of mine - an equally huge Italophile - was of the opinion that people love Italy only because of the food. Well, I admit that it's a big attraction, but it really isn't all there is to it. At least not for me.
Other Italian things I love:
- The coffee (pictured)
- The culture of coffee shops
- The fashion!!!!!
- The way so many Italians are well-dress - especially the men
- How the Italians look (lots of very attractive people)
- The sound of the language
- The art
- The architecture
- The beauty of the cities
- The beauty of the countryside
- The fact that the clothes are cheaper than in Finland (especially the lingerie is great!)
- The shoes
- The manners, the way they treat women (well, this can also be a con in some cases, depends - my friends says it's horrible to travel alone in Italy as a woman.)
- Opera (I'm not super-crazy about Italian popular music. I do listen to Eros Ramazzotti, but I'm not so familiar with their pop stars).
- They way they love children
- The way they respect their elders
- The weather
- The food
- The wine
I'm sure I could add a lot more items to this list, but those were the first things I could think of.
I've always loved these old VW vans. And this colour is so great - it even matches the shed in the back! Great photo op - and I've never noticed it before: simply because I wasn't carrying my camera.
Whenever I'm carrying my camera, I seem to find beauty simply everywhere. It's like I put on my "photographer's hat". :-)
Here's another fall phenomenon: no more roses in the bushes, only hips. Yep, for the non-English-speakers: these "berries" are called rose hips. I think that it must be a different hip than what we have on our bodies! ;-)
Rose hips are really good for you - lots of vitamin C. I had one yesterday. Yum!
Great photo - if I say so myself. The flower is so amazing that it wasn't hard to get a terrific shot of it.
Very close to our house, there are some lands owned by the city of Espoo, where you can rent just a little piece of land in order to cultivate something. I had seen the sunflowers - which are really one of my ab fave flowers in the world!! - from the car window and that's why I took my camera along on this walk.
When we got to the plot, there was an old man working on his garden - they were his sunflowers. I said hello and asked him if I could take photos of the flowers. I'm not sure he understood, he seemed not to be a Finn but he of course understood because I was holding a camera and motioning towards the flowers. So I climbed into his plot and took the photos, thanked him and left. He had quite a lot of different things growing there. I think he grows food for himself there. Quite a nice hobby for a pentioner.
I have a magnet on my fridge that says "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need (Cicero)". I have both. I have been collecting books my whole life and have five bookcases absolutely overflowing with books. And we have a tiny garden. However, I don't really work on it - no time. Ooops, I'm not supposed to say "No time". What I meant was that it's not high enough on my list of priorities...
I also recently heard that an old Chinese saying is "The only important thing in life is gardening - and even that's not so important". I love that!!! If I get stressed, I'll try to remember that. It helps one to not take oneself too seriously.
Sunflowers of course also always remind me of Van Gogh because of the amazing painting. Van Gogh is one of my fave artists. If you haven't seen his paintings live, make sure you do, it's a whole new experience. He really packs on the paint; it's so thick!! What a genius. Wow!
P.S. On a completely unrelated note, I found this interesting blog today called China Trip. I find it interesting because I spent two years in China (around 1999-2001). But what I found unusual in this blog is that Kendo gives quite a detailed report about his extensive night clubbing in China. What's more, he claims that night clubs are a good way to get an idea of the level of economic development of a country (I'll bet he's a business student). Check it out!
Yesterday, my boyfriend and I took a long Sunday walk and, for once, I brought my camera. I took quite a few photos and this is the first time I've photographed my own neighbourhood (Espoo).
The photos have quite an autumn feel already! Some trees are already changing their colours. However, that is because of the dryness - not yet cold weather, since it's still amazingly warm here in Finland.
I read in the paper that this has been the driest summer in one hundred years. I'm not surprised, since it hardly rained at all. And we've had many summers when it seems to do nothing but rain... :-(
It also felt like fall because of the other vegetation such as the fruit and flowers. I'll publish some of the photos here.
Pictured is a gorgeous apple tree heavy with fruit in our neighbourhood.
Friday, August 11, 2006
OK, OK, no more of Pink Lady's own poems today. But here are some more song lyrics. The album that I'm listening to the most these days is Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor. I didn't like it all that much at first, but it's really grown on me (as the song below states!). I don't know how many times I've listened to it, but it might well be nearly a hundred times! I tend to get very obsessive that way. However, another reason that I keep listening to the same album over and over again is that I work in a typical cubicle hell and I need to wear headphones at work to block out the noise. I'm such a curious person that otherwise I get nothing done because I just keep listening to what co-workers are saying! And listening to music that I know very well distracts me less - I almost don't hear it anymore. But for this to work, I really have to love the album. Otherwise it would just drive me crazy.
It took a while for the album to grow on me, but the song Like It Or Not, however, I simply loved right from the start. I love the lyrics, I think that they are very inspirational (as are many Madonna lyrics these days, she keeps getting "deeper and deeper"). And I love the melody too, it's like something from the 30s or 40s (Maybe? I'm not that hugely knowledgeable on the subject of music history). So here are those lyrics (I chopped the repetitive part off the end):
Like it or Not (by Madonna)
You can call me a sinner
and you can call me a saint
Celebrate me for who I am
Dislike me for what I ain’t
Put me up on a pedestal
Or drag me down in the dirt
Sticks and stones will break my bones
But your names will never hurt
I’ll be the garden, you’ll be the snake
All of my fruit is yours to take
Better the devil that you know
Your love for me will grow
This is who I am
You can like it or not
You can love me or leave me
Cause I’m never gonna stop, no no
Cleopatra had her way
Mata Hari too
Whether they were good or bad
Is strictly up to you
Life is a paradox
And it doesn’t make much sense
You can't have the femme without the fatale
Please don’t take offense
Don’t let the fruit rot under the vine
Fill up your cup and let’s drink the wine
Better the devil that you know
Your love for me will grow
This is who I am...
The photo was taken on my boyfriend's parents' farm a couple of weeks back. The red currants were simply perfectly ripe and very sweet and, for a city girl, it was amazing to just pick and eat as much as I could right off the bush. I'm used to paying for them!
Thursday, August 10, 2006
OK, one more poem. Well, I actually intended this to be a song lyric, but not being a composer, I don't have a melody for it. I wrote this when I was getting divorced. In 2002 - the year of my divorce - I wrote 54 poems! So about a poem a week...
In her heart
She knew from the start
She fell so fast
It would never last
To just tell him no
Was the way to go
But she was afraid
So that's not what she said
This is forever
She wanted to believe
Let's be together
I won't ever leave
But deep in her heart
She knew, she knew
It was never really true
The passion's gone
But what's done is done
She took that vow
Just live with it now
She couldn't be alone
In an empty home
Like a mother's hand
She needed her man
By Pink Lady
Helsinki, Finland, 2002
OK, now I'm on a roll: here's another poem written by Pink Lady. I showed this one to a friend (quite a brilliant writer and poet herself) and she said that it was "very jim-morrisonesque". I am not sure if she meant it as an insult or a compliment, but I chose to take it as a compliment. Well, I do adore the Doors and Jim Morrison! (see my previous post).
The face of love
The face of fear
Face your fears
While you're here
Never fear -
The end is near.
By Pink Lady
San Diego, California, August 1st, 2002
Encouraged by TJ 's kind words, (he commented my last two posts), I decided to post a poem I've written myself. This is the first time I've done this! So behold Pink Lady losing her poetic virginity:
In the trenches of love
We wade through mud
The blood of those we've loved
On our hands
And coursing through our veins
Every victory, every defeat
Becomes a super-human feat
We lay our lives on the line
Every single time
To dare to love
Means waging war
Daring to hope
Risking our lives
Putting our hearts on the line
Time after painful time
By Pink Lady
Helsinki, Finland, October 6th, 2002
I guess that was very sex-and-the-city! ;-)
The photo shows Pink Lady's hand - as photographed by her own hand. And not with a tripod, I just was somehow able to take a photo with just one hand. I was inspired to take this photo because I noticed that the colour of my nail polish matched my perfume bottle. The perfume is Calvin Klein's Eternity Purple Orchid. And, by the way, my nails are my own, not artificial. "Oh that's OK - many people have made that mistake!" ;-)
Take Care - of yourself and of those you love,
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Robert Frost is one of my Mom's fave poets, and I love him too. I occasionally intend to publish some poems written by other people in this blog. Perhaps later on some of my own as well. I'll have to go through the stuff I've written and see if there's anything I'm not ashamed to publish... ;-)
This is a poem by Robert Frost that we studied at University in Canada (I went to the U of T, i.e. University of Toronto). I immediately thought of the poem when I first saw this photo (I took it myself). The photo shows my boyfriend in Naxos, Greece.
Neither Out Far Nor in Deep
The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.
As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull
The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be--
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.
They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Well guys and dolls,
It was inevitable...in my last post I mentioned that my ab fave car is a Jag, so I do now have to give you the details. Here's the model I like: the S model in a colour they call "quartz" (pictured). And yes, I nicked this pic off the Jag website. Some day...
The point I want to make is this: don't ever stop dreaming! About little things, about big things, about superficial, material things, about deep, personal, ethical things.
The first step in personal development is defining your values. I did that in a previous post. The second step is to start setting goals: figuring out what you actually want. What kind of a life do you want? How and where do you want to live? What kind of a marriage/relationship/family do you want to have? How happy do you want to be? And more importantly, who do you want to be? I don't mean a profession, I mean what kind of a person do you want to be?
I recently took the time to write down what kind of a person I want to be/become. Now mind you, I am not like this - yet. This is a goal. Just like I don't have the car in the photo yet. I'll leave it up to those who know me personally to judge which of these characteristics I already possess and which I don't! ;-)
Robert Browning said: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?" So dream big!! Nobody ever attained a goal bigger than their dreams!
So what kind of a person am I? (NB: Goals should always be stated in the present tense - as if they were already true. Positive thinking you know...)
Smiles a lot, laughs a lot
Fun to be around
Funny, has a great sense of humour
The life of the party
Can tell a good story
Gives people lots of attention, supportive of them, always speaks well of people (including behind their back)
Makes everyone around her feel special (even people she doesn’t know)
Caring, kind, loving, empathetic
An inspiration to others (because of who she is)
Radiant, it feels like sunshine when she walks into a room
Very high ethical and moral standards
A reliable, trustworthy, loyal, dependable, wonderful, loving wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, grand-daughter, human being, co-worker, manager, employee, leader, mentor, coach…
Athletic (strong, muscular, low fat percentage, flexible, coordinated, aerobically fit)
Takes good care of herself in every way (physically and psychologically)
In radiant health (including hair, skin, teeth, nails)
Tons of energy
Energetic, active approach to life
Beautiful inside and out
Stylish, fashionable, elegant, dresses well, a trend-setter
Hip, with it, very modern, follows trends
Has a beautiful walk
Has a voice that is beautiful and magical to listen to
Beautifully made up (when she wants to be)
Excellent taste (in everything)
A gourmet chef
A wine connoisseur
Cultured and civilized in every sense of the word
Has traveled all around the world
Has impeccable manners at all times, considerate of others
Remembers both faces and names, calls people by their names in speaking and writing
Well read (including in the Classics)
Good all-round education, a true renaissance woman
Speaks many languages fluently
Familiar with many cultures, has friends from many countries
A deep thinker, a philosopher
A feminist and humanist
A therapist and counselor
Has found inner peace
Helps others in their spiritual growth and in finding inner peace
Plays a musical instrument
Sings, has a beautiful voice
A good dancer
A brilliant writer
A brilliant artist and photographer
A business owner
A business woman
An inspirational leader
An inspirational speaker
Good with money and with financial planning
A good investor
Good at math
Good with numbers
Highly disciplined, sets goals and achieves them
Persistent, does not give up on her dreams but keeps working hard for them
Hard working, enthusiastic
Accepts criticism without resentment (sees it as a growth opportunity - even if not given constructively)
Patient (with herself and with others)
Has wonderful self-esteem, super-confident
Never feels that she has to put other people down
Continuously growing spiritually and psychologically
Happy all the time (has chosen happiness as the way to live)
Very positive outlook on life
Believes that no matter what happens, her life will turn out to be just wonderful
Sees the good in people, things and situations
Surrounds herself with interesting people and also people that are very different from herself (as a way to grow and to challenge her own thinking)
Sees problems, difficulties and challenges as opportunities for further growth (Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.).
Not attached to material possessions, has a clutter-free home and life
What kind of a person do you want to be? What are you doing today to become that person tomorrow?