Thursday, December 29, 2011

Passages - from one year to the next

2011 revisited
The year started with a lot of promise. New job and new outlook were going to change things up a lot. I don't think it got quite there. I got tangled a few times, lost in labyrinths of work and stress and questioning myself. Other stessors arose like monsters from the bogs, intent on tripping me up, dragging me down, and getting me lost forever in dark, dank, and smelly places.

How did I do on my three words? Not horrible, but there's definitely opportunity for improvement.

- Creativity- Apparently I was going to work on monthly themes. While I did more this past year than I have prior (including 30Days of Creativity on Pinterest, several cool projects, learning new things online and off), I did get stuck on some (Mom's tray took tooooo long) and creativity fell to the wayside when work got nuts.

- Confidence - Again, a strong start, but a weak finish. We'll leave it at that for now.

- Energy - While changes didn't impact stress levels as much as I thought they would, I think energy has improved. Especially since I've been playing SuperBetter and working on the Core workout.

Looking forward to 2012
2011 was rough. Besides the other stressors, it was a year marked by loss. There were some very great moments - Sonny & Pam's wedding and the trip to Paris were standouts. Sometimes those get lost in the shuffle, so it's good to call them out here.

So, what am I thinking for next year?

Following @fitarella's lead, I MAY come up with monthly challenges, but I'm wary about swearing that now - going to think on it over the weekend. I want to keep my 3 words top-of-mind and active, but don't want to feel like all I'm doing is making my list longer when I was time stressed already, so I have to figure that out.
I did like Chris Brogan's idea of a 3 item list each day with one item per theme.
By the turn of the year, I hope to have a better plan of attack.

Here are the 3 words that I've set as themes for Aprille for 2012:

- Initiative - I have sooooo many ideas in my head, on paper, fluttering around in various places. I need to organize and act. Hopefully you will see a big impact from that on this blog, in particular.

- Conversations - I went from a job where part of the definition was to constantly watch the social space for trends and ideas, where I prided myself on being the shy chic who was able to emerge from her corner in the online space and chat with cool people all over. From there to a job where I have yet to fully integrate trend watching into my time and conversation opportunities are minimal to none. This drastic difference in time spent in the social space has really limited my conversations. I've also been horrible about email (that's not necessarily new). 2012 will reverse the trend. I'll make time for convos. They're important to the story.

- Discipline - I need to stick to everything more. Workouts, chores, themes, projects, etc. A big part of this will be planning and focusing on keeping this stuff going. Using tactics I'm learning in SuperBetter to motivate myself properly to not get distracted. Distract-i-girl should not keep me from accomplishing what I hope to in 2012.

I think these three themes are what I need in order to do what I want with exploring, discovering, creating, story, and all the rest. They should keep the year interesting!

What are you thinking for 2012? Do you have 3 themes?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stories and Paris

My husband and I went to Paris recently for a wonderful, though brief, vacation. After our arrival, and a nap to return us to humanity, we headed to Notre Dame. It would be, I thought, a good place to visit without having to think too much.

We approached from Ile de la Cite, crossing to Ile St Louis at the back of the cathedral. And the bells were ringing. My heart and soul filled with the sound, it echoed in the tingling of my fingertips and toes. The line to enter, we discovered, was quite long. Instead, we spent our time scrutinizing the exterior, the statue of Charlemange (talk about 'staches! but that's a different story), and the buildings & people visible in and around the square.

For me, Notre Dame is a great representation of one of the reasons I love Paris. Walking the square, eyeing the gargoyles, being there, I connect to the stories of ages past - of its creators, real and fictionalized accounts of life in days gone by. I feel a part of something big and long-lived. I feel closer to those who inhabit these stories, as well as those that I see around, and those who have been before.

It is energizing, a rush, and can become overwhelming.

It brings to mind a brief synopsis I read of Stowe Boyd's talk on Social Cognition from the 140 Characters conference in June. I have just found this link and plan to read it more and report back. I think stories are a key element of the connections he is talking about.

Stories are powerful tools that, as I've said before, help us to process our experiences and to pass our learnings and culture on to others, to create and explore identity and a whole slew of other things (running out of time for this post).

Adding another layer of contact - standing beneath the gargoyles or shaking a hero's hand - boosts the power of stories exponentially. It brings them home and puts us inside them.

I have to take this somewhere.

Monday, March 7, 2011


For me, a good story is all about setting up expectations and delivering on them in an exciting and surprising way.
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Innovation thru the eyes of others

Let's take the last story post to othe aspects of business tonight.

Sometimes a new perspective, a new way to see old ways of doing things, is needed in order to get change to happen. We get stuck in our old ways of doing things and lose sight of potential opportunities for change because "that's how things are".

It takes an outsider to shake up our view of the world.

This week saw two great examples of this in the medical space.
First, the TEDMed presentation by Thomas Goetz. He speaks on involving patients more in decisions about their care by giving them information about their health in a digestable format.

"It took Wired less than $10,000 to do this. Why is Wired doing this?"

Second is the story of a UK engineer faced with a frightening diagnosis. He saw flaws in the device doctors wanted to implant in his heart and set out to develop an alternative. Two years of modeling and rapid prototyping later, he had the device implanted and it's now being used for other patients with Marfan syndrome.

Two stories of outsiders looking at the status quo and saying "This can be better". V cool.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.6

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seeing through another's eyes

When I was building the career map that led me to "story", I was trying to understand what theme ran underneath my varied interests.
Why Oliver Sacks, Caro & Jeunet, creole literature, and indie music?
The answer I came up with is "perspective". I love seeing the world through someone else's eyes.

This is an important element of story. Hearing and telling the tales of others gives you perspective on what life is like for others. How they deal in times of crisis. How different life can be.

They broaden horizons, letting you witness and process experiences that will never happen to you in life. Living in a waterless cabin in Alaska ( ; ) Hi, Kriss!), performing an operation with Tourettes (sp?), fighting for your life against people who hate you for who your family is.

They inspire and activate you to make connections, right wrongs, change the way you treat people.

Stories are personal. They help us understand our lives. They connect us to our past. And they connect us to each other by opening our eyes.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monday, January 10, 2011

3 words for 2011

(Btw, this is the picture that I couldn't get where I wanted it the other day.)

(This is my first full post from my phone, as I'm have a dispute w the desktop's monitor@ the mo. Plz forgive spacing errors& other typos)

3 words to set the tone for 2011. I like this idea better than resolutions. I've always been one for themes above discrete concepts.

Funny that it's 3. So many things are in 3s. 3 points in a callout list. 3's in fables (pigs, bears, & whatnot). Tries for the prize. And the 3s that permeate so many classic stories. Why do we gravitate so to 3?

Anyway. Mine are:
- Creativity- In blogs, work, crafts, food, home. I'm always excited at the thought. I intend to theme each month around a type of craft or specific project - besides ongoing other stuff. Since january is a break from crafts, creativity will come in handiwork on the tub (wahoo!) And organizing my study.

- Confidence.- I'm changing a bunch of stuff up this year. Treading where I have not yet put footprints in the snow. I can rock it. I just need to keep remembering that.

- Energy.- To feed the rest. To break down that wall my scale has raised before me. To be someone who stirs excitement in others thru her own enthusiasm. I refuse to let nonsense bog me down any more. Done!

What are your 3?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New perspective

(grr the photo I wanted is not cooperating, skipping it)
If you read RoelleKids or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know already that I've started a new job. I've left Kodak and joined a small, young, but fast growing market research supplier called KJT Group. As always, what I post is my opinion alone and should not reflect on my work.

I spent the first few days at the new job absorbing. Trying to get a feel for the projects and clients underway. The style of KJT storytelling/ reporting. Market research is in my blood, so that won't be a big adjustment.

I also tried to start my brainstorm engine of a brain on thoughts on how I could grow the business - in what new directions I could take it. I struggled a bit because my brain kept going to things to make instead of questions to ask, but hey, I've been on the job all of 3 days - and ideas are starting to form.

What should be cool is that, minus certain stressors that left me headachey, tormented, with a sour stomach the last few falls, I'm thinking I'll be able to do a lot more here. Watch for it. Consider this a transition post - I'm kicking the game up a level starting now.

More soon! Next up - my 3 words for 2011 - only a week behind!