Archive for May, 2009

Just-in-time living

“There are two ways of going through life: Gather everything in sight, just in case you need it. Or trust that you’ll find exactly what you need, just in time.” – Martha Beck, O magazine, July 2009

I read an article in O magazine about just-in-time versus just-in-case living that made me think about how I live my life. I have always been a dreamer; someone who lingers in the past or anticipates the future, and as a result often misses the present.  I want to become more present-focused and at peace with the here and now.  The article spoke volumes to me in relation to many aspects of my life.

First, I’m a planner. That’s what I do. I create a plan, make list, and then execute the plan. The problem is I have a 90-10 rule for execution. Meaning I complete 90% and leave 10% unfinished. For example, let’s consider the way I buy products: Buy Now. Finish Later. The realization of this habit came to me when I was packing in preparation to sublet my apartment for the summer.  I packed up my toiletries and had tons of duplicate products (7 shampoos, 5 different soaps, 5 lotions, etc.). I realized that when I am running low on something, I immediately put it on the shopping list. I’ll buy a second one, but will never finish the first. I like to stock up “just in case” I run out of something instead of buying it as I need it. To counter this, I’ve decided to set a rule for myself that I CANNOT put something on the list until it has been used up and thrown away.

I have been using this same JIC mentality for my job search.  I applied for 30+ jobs, but only really liked about five of them. With so many people I know out of work, I felt the pressure of getting a job as soon as possible, “just in case (fill in the blank)”…the economy gets worse, there are more talented people flooding the workforce, etc. I was again planning for the future instead of living in the present.  My upcoming trip to Spain is my step in the direction towards “just-in-time” living. Yes, I am concerned about delaying the job search. Yes, I am worried about spending money that I could be saving. But even stronger than both these concerns, is my faith.  I believe that good things are in store for me. Everything will work out as it should.

Living a “just-in-time” life eliminates the uncertainty of the future. It instills a belief that everything we need is available and will be provided to us in due time. I know that good things are in store for me in the future and God will provide what I need. I have shifted mentally, now I need to align my actions to my thoughts.

The Acomodador

Just a few days ago, I was so conflicted about what I would do this summer that I almost ended up doing nothing. So how do you go from two wonderful options to nothing? You allow yourself to get paralyzed by fear. Paulo Coelho calls it the Acomodador, or giving up point (see excerpt below). Looking back, I realize  that this is what happened to me. I allowed the fear of the unknown (a.k.a. the “what ifs?”) to consume my thoughts and completely change them. What if I don’t find a job? What if no one wants to rent my place? What if I go broke? What if…What if…What if…? As you can see the “what ifs” get progressively worse and more absurd as time goes on. Just allow yourself to sit with fear and it’ll take you on a mental ride where you find yourself questioning everything. I had reached my acomodador. Fortunately, I knew the source of my anxiety and  did finally  make a decision thanks to the listening ear of a few friends and a kick in the butt from one who basically told me to stop the foolishness and just do it.

So, I’m going to Spain!  I had to take it back to focusing on my dreams and aspirations, and not my fears. I love to travel, I want to learn Spanish, I have the time travel, I have people to travel with, my ideal job is to be a travel journalist…the paella, sangria and siestas are an added bonus.

“The Acomodador, or giving up point – There is always an event in our lives that is responsible for us failing to progress: a trauma, a particular defeat, disappointment in love, even a victory that we did not understand, can make cowards of us and prevent us from moving on. As part of the process of increasing our powers, we must first free ourselves from that giving up point, and to do so, you must review your life and find out where it occurred.” -The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

Happy Mother’s Day

MomI wanted to send thoughts, prayers and love to all the mother’s of world, especially my mother, grandmother, sister and aunts. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful to my parents for loving me and raising me to become the woman I am today. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family filled with wonderful mothers. Aside from appreciating my own mother’s greatness, I’ve watched my sister grow into a beautiful mother over the past 18 months ago. I’ve seen her patience, love and selflessness expand as Myles has given her a run for her money. Being surrounded by such great mothers makes me look forward to the day when I will experience this journey.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Spain vs. New Orleans

So I was all ready to step outside my comfort zone and spend the summer studying Spanish in Madrid and traveling to Eastern Europe for 6 weeks. I had done all the planning and was close to putting a deposit down. Then, this morning I got a call from a business school classmate who was interested in having me work with a non-profit in New Orleans for eight weeks. Wow. Life comes as you fast. So here I am, two hours later seriously considering changing course and changing my plans to head to Europe for this opportunity in New Orleans. It sounds crazy, but there was something compelling about the New Orleans opportunity. So, what’s a girl to do?

Well, I do what I do best and that is analyze both options to death. Option 1: Study Spanish in Spain vs. Option 2: Work with a non-profit in New Orleans. The pros of Option 2 are: it’s more economical, it’s a chance to work with a great non-profit that is making a difference, it will provide work experience to add to my resume, etc.  The pros of Option 1 are: It was the original plan, it will allow me to improve my Spanish and travel internationally, and take a step back from the job search. I guess it comes down to helping myself vs. helping others.  I must make up my mind by Monday, so the decision will come down to this question my friend asked me: Which experience will I be most excited to share with others at the end of the summer?