Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Distractions: Good or Bad (Part 2)

Example of a good distraction (Photo
By P. Lynne Designs) copyright 2018
When we spoke last, I was talking about Distractions and how they can be good and how they can also be bad.  Let me tell you of two scenarios (in no particular order):
The first one happened in 2015.  A person was on their way to the last day of their event.  The road was clear, and she had all the typical distractions in her way:  Why was her hotel bill $356 (not an exact number but close)?  Why didn’t she get up in time for the buffet?   I wonder if Joann’s was going to have a good sale today?  So, she hopped in her Honda Accord, she cutely (rather her sister cutely) named Jessica, after piling all her things in the trunk.  No time to eat but will stop to get a donut.   Went to the nearby, but realized it was too far out of the way, Tim Horton’s to grab a donut and ate it along the way.  Made it to the exit and turned off the freeway.  Got to the street, Dave Longaberger Way, and proceeded to go across, when bam, hit by a truck going in the opposite direction.  The person survived, but the car was totaled, the engine, which could not take another impact force trauma from the year before, imploded, the fire did not reach the cabin of the car, and the car looked like someone gutted the hood area, while still looked normal from the back.  
For those who have been reading my blog for a while know that this was my accident from 2015.  The Lord spared my life and for that, I am truly grateful.  It was amazing how fast I got a new car (new to me-used). Since I loved my Honda so much, I hated my Dodge Caliber for a few months after the accident.  First of all, things, I NEVER get black cars.  When I think of a black car, I instantly think, funeral car.  I am driving a funeral car.  You might as well change my name from Patricia to Morticia, LOL. Second, when I first started driving this car, I had to research it (after all, it’s my job), and it has no value.  They stopped making them in 2013, and I have a 2008 car. So, screw the notion of me getting a 2018 because there are none and the car that replaced the Caliber, The Vie? Vision? Something like that had just retired itself.  In 2016!!!  I did not like the way the new car replacement looked. 
Third, I hate the fact that I had the accident in the first place.  Even though I had one little abrasion that did not completely heal until my follow-up mammogram (the doctor wanted to make sure it was not a mass), I was forever scared of making a left turn.  I would freeze up.  I still do, especially when there is a person behind me who is in a hurry.  Not sure if that feeling would ever go away.
Next Scenario….
A young woman traveling on Rt. 270 hits a semi. The report does not say but to say that she was instantly killed.  Her father is the local sports director/anchor for 10TV.  What this message of distracted driving brings that since his daughter’s death, it has prompted Dom Tiberi to create Maria’s Message, where he speaks about distracted driving, which it does kill a driver.  Millions of kids and young adults have taken the pledge.  Not only do you have to be aware of your surroundings as a driver, but also as a pedestrian as well.  He mentions things such as not using your cell phone, do not text while driving and other things that keep a person safe and well.
This was in 2013, and my accident, caused by me being distracted by trying to eat a donut in 2015 are not good distractions, but they teach some valuable lessons on how not to be distracted.
What are some of the Distractions:
First, a distraction is anything that takes your hands from the 10 and 2 positions of the steering wheel.  Most of us (including yours truly) love driving with one hand.  I am not sure what your reason is, but mine is simply because it feels comfortable, but if there is ever an accident, the police can blame you for not having both hands on the wheel.
Next, do you ride someone else in your car?   Children who constantly scream at each other and at you, a carpooler who will not shut up, a nervous pet on their way to the vet, or a spouse telling you about their day.  Yep, these are distractions too.
Finally, we all like a little music to pass the time away.  A favorite song starts playing, and you start singing.  You get a call in the middle of the song, and you must take it.   They now have cars that allow you to text while drive by allowing the driver to speak into the speaker of the vehicle.  Cool huh?  Maybe.  In a nearby town not far from my home, you are not allowed to touch your phone while in their city limits.  Your hands are at 10 and 2, and you are not holding your phone, so you are good right?  Maybe, it depends on what city, state, and country you are in. 
Some of you are probably wondering if no one or nothing should be in the car with you at all times.  no other persons (including children), radio, pets, nada should be in the car?  Yes and no.  You have to learn how to ignore them.  For instance, when a child starts yelling at you, or threaten to toss their two-year-old sister out the window, nicely tell them to stop and if they don’t, you will pull over and make them walk home.  My mom actually did that to my sister.  Seriously!  They were on the freeway near home, and my sister threw one of her 10-year-old tantrums.  Mom told my sister to stop, nicely, and she did not.  So, mom announced that she was pulling over.  She talked to my sister again, who was not hearing it, then asked my sister to get out of the car.  Once my sister was out, mom drove off, but she went to the nearest ramp, turned around and picked up my sister, who was stunned that mom would pull something like that.   Did it cure my sister?  Nope, not for a while, but all mom had to do was mention the words, “I am pulling to the side of the road”, then she would be quiet, and not say a word.  This is why my sister’s children are so good in my car, today.  I told them that story to them, and now I have good little riders.  I know, bad Auntie.
I am still working on my Radio skills to not sing along.  I am not perfect.
So, what is the lesson from parts one and two:
·         Distractions good, bad, or indifferent and they are there rather you like it or not. 
·         Learn to work around your plans.
·         If life happens (and it will), do not get mad because you did not get any sales from your Etsy shop, you cannot start on a project, or if you have to delay a massive clean-up job on your website or come home early from your trip because of an unexpected loss.
·         ONE ANSWER:   BUY AN ISLAND. LIVE ON IT AND HAVE ONLY YOU ON THAT ISLAND.  The only problem is you will miss civilization.  You cannot hide from life.  You must go with the flow, deal with the distractions, smile and say thank you Lord when you get through it.  There is another distraction coming


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Distractions: Good or bad-Part 1

Aww, Jamaica, the perfect distraction to
help get away from life's problems, but they
always come back.
  (Photo by P. Lynne Designs
copyright 2018)
Today’s topic is something I am sure you have encountered on your journey to earning the income you desired or extra income.  Heck, it might be getting through every life.
That dirty little word is called Distractions.  I capitalized the “D” in distractions to bring emphasis to that “it is what it is”, a quote that my “sister”, Judith always say. 
Let me put it another way, we will have distractions in life and there is no way to get rid of them.  It is how a person handles the distraction that determines if you are going to have a good day or a really crappy day. Let me give few scenarios:
1)      The night before your big Spring Cleanup, you plan on tackling 4 closets (Master Bed, child 1 and 2, and linen), and fully clean the Master bath.  You lay out your supplies and put them in a place where you can get to them, but your toddler cannot (Child 2, Child 1 is in Kindergarten).  You go to bed.  In the middle of the night, child 1 gets sick and throws up.  You get the child cleaned up and go back to bed.  The school has a “please do not send child to school when sick” policy.  What do you do with your cleaning plans?
2)      You are tired of your website looking the way it does.  You have not done anything to it in months.  You set in your calendar that on May 10, 2018, is the day you are going to clean up your website for the last time.  You are going to dedicate the entire day to it.  The day comes, and you get a bunch of phone calls, mostly from telemarketers.  One of those calls is from a friend of yours who is upset and has called for comfort.  What do you do?
3)      There is a death in the family while you are on vacation to Disney.  You planned this for months.  Your children could not wait.  What do you do when the family calls on you to be at grandma’s side when Grandpa dies suddenly?
I will get back to them in a moment.  I want to say something about the word and concept of “planning”.  I have said it in a previous blog, which I no longer have.  If you believe in God (and I hope you do), the word, “Planning” is sort of an inside joke that God has on His children, for “you do not know the plans I have for you” …. Jeremiah 29:11. God has never said that you cannot plan, just be prepared for when they change, good or bad.  This is where “distractions” and “planning run side by side.  Back to the scenarios ….
1)      Plan for an alternate Spring cleaning day.  So, your Kindergartener is sick, and you cannot send her to school.  This is when you make an appointment to the doctor, make sure that the toddler cannot get it, catch up on shots and other healthy things.  Come back home and make it a fun day of it (did anyone say, “Chilling my PJ’s” day).  Rent a couple of movies and have healthy junk food for dinner. Trust me, your closets and Master bath will not go on a strike that day.
2)      Your friendship is more important than your website.  Again, set aside that task and go to that friend.  Maybe she received that news that she did not want to hear.  Even still, you cannot ignore problems like this because it may also be a cry for help.
3)      No one knows how long grandpa has been sick.  He may have been declining for months.  It also depends on if you have just arrived Disney or have been there for a few days.  Maybe you can cut the vacation short.  Disney is good at adjusting your vacation.  Go to the front desk and explain your situation.  Not only that, call grandma, see how she is feeling.  She may not want you to come home, but to enjoy your vacation as your grandfather would have you to do.  Even when others, well-meaning others, might count on you and call you selfish when you want to stay on your vacation, there is nothing you can do about the situation.  It is bad timing.  Decide what is best for your situation.  Some families are not even that close to each other.
So, my little distraction is that I have either a cold, influenza “B” strain, which can act like a cold, mix in with my allergies.  Oh, how fun, is it?  I have been sick since Wednesday.  The week before, my father was in the hospital, so I had to stay with my mom.  I am behind in making notebooks, cards, invitation samples, blog posts, and editing and posting videos.  Am I upset?  Of course, I am.  But wait, there is more….
When is a Distraction a Good Distraction
Distraction is another word for, “interruptions”. When that voice inside your head tells you to go a different direction.  When you have unexpected delays at the airport.  When a buddy calls you to do something other what you are used to doing? Better listen.  Consider this….
I was looking up “near misses 911”, and a report from CNN, dated September 5, 2011, of people who would have died during these events, and here are a few …
1)      A woman, who was an executive with Morgan Stanley was called by a friend to have a cigarette with him.  She was in her office 10 minutes before the planes hit.  As she was riding down in the elevator, she felt a jolt but thought that the elevator was acting funny again, so she ignored it.  The woman, whose first name was Geer, went outside and froze like everyone when she saw the plane hit the side of South Tower.   If she had decided to stay in place, in her office, she would have been killed. The fireball went straight through her office.
2)      An artist, who backed out of a California Trip that would have put him on Flight 93.  His uncle invited him to Yosemite National Park, but he told his uncle that he had work obligations.  His uncle never made it to the park.  He died with the rest of the passengers and crew.
3)      A commuter was running 5 minutes late for work, only to find his office engulfed in flames in one of the towers.
4)       A flight attendant accidentally put in two codes that she did not want as her work schedule that September.  She tried to change it, but the system froze on her. When she finally was able to get in, it was passed the deadline for making any last-minute changes.  This was for the United Airlines Flight 175 bound for Los Angeles from Logan International.  She was upset when a colleague was happy that he had gotten on that flight.  When news of the plane running into the South Tower, she took a leave of absence and went to nursing school.  In 2005, Elise went back to flying and was assigned Flight 175, bounded for Los Angeles, she went to the bar that her colleague, Robert told her about, and had a Bloody Mary in his honor. Soon after that, she retired from flying, keeps in touch with Robert’s family, and is nursing full-time.
That last one I mentioned for a purpose.  What starts out to be a bad distraction (in this case not getting the schedule you wanted), turns out to be something good after all.

Sometimes being distracted by one person can be a lifetime of messages for a bunch of people.  This concludes part 1 in distractions: Good or Bad 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Transitions and Changes

Image result for images representing transition and change
Photo from What'
Today, I want to talk about what happens when you are stuck in your writing.  It may be your blog, a novel, a poem, or a letter to a loved one.  Whatever is the case, you are stuck, and you have no way of getting out of it,
Recently, you have been seeing a lot of vlogs on my blog.  The reason behind this and I have explained this before, but for my new readers, I have what is known as an ITTT command attached to my blog.  ITTT stands for “If This, Then That” command.  It helps you simplify everyday tasks on your computer, and this specific command allows my YouTube videos to be posted on this blog.  This helps with what I call, “Being stuck”.  I took time out to see why I was stuck, so, that is the reason lately you have been seeing more vlog than blog posts.  The other reason, which happens more often to most writers, especially if you are writing in a blog is the lack of subjects to write about.  Since I write a generalization blog for writing, meaning no subject is off-topic, except adult themes, this will happen from time to time.
This topic is the first one for 2018, even though I have written a couple of posts before this one.  I felt I needed to address this topic of transitions, changes, and being stuck because again it happens to a lot of writers. So why does a writer become stuck?  Let’s look at this for a minute, which by the way, this happens to vloggers as well.
1.       Your subject is too narrow.  I find this to be a very bad thing.  It is nice that you want to write about cardigans.  Yes, it is a trend, but there is only so much you can say about the garment.  I find this in the form of the Dr. Seuss term, “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish”, (try substituting the word” fish” with “cardigan”), and you will not get very far with the topic.  Try expanding the topic a little.
2.      Your topic is not trending enough, especially if you have a beauty blog or vlog channel.  Google, Bing, and other search engines have a plethora of information, including trends, but they also have their limitations on a subject as well.  Try researching your topic as though you have never heard of it before.  If you get lots of hits on it, you are good to go, and you can write to your heart’s content. However, if you keep seeing the same content on your topic, it is time to move on. Also, remember that trends come and go, so keep up.
3.      There is a physical problem.  I cannot stress this enough: GET SOME SLEEP, EAT SOME FOOD. Sometimes, you are not able to think about what you want to write about.  Sleep is important in anything you do.  You can focus better, and ideas come to you much faster.  You also cannot think if you do not have any food in your system (like I don’t as I am writing this now).  You need that energy to get going.

You are changing.  Oh, a game changer. This is the topic I want to get to talk about today.    When I took time out to find out what was the next step in this blog, besides the constant need to switch this blog to WordPress (One day, Lord, one day), I realized that I ran out of topics for my “Lessons Learned” series.  I had learned about being a “dutiful daughter” when both my parents were sick, filing taxes as a business person, and “Adulting”.  These were subjects that were on my heart because these were things that came naturally, but I have not done them in a while.  No one asked for a parent to be sick, especially if you are sick yourself.  I found out that I had gout, which is a form of Arthritis, and that I can control.  I cannot control when my parents get sick.  I cannot control my business’s tax (In fact, today, I got a notice to pay $2,000 because I failed to file August 2017 sales taxes.  I need to correct it, so I do not have to pay).  I need to have a system in place so that when I file, I can mark it done. This happened before with November 2016 taxes.  In both cases, I thought I did it since I filed the other months.  The adulting part, simple, remember to do the little things around the house and not just the business part, which is one of the downfalls of running a business from home.
As for the actual transition to your blog or writing style:
1.      Find out why you are transitioning.  My transition was simple.  I got tired of writing about current events.  That does not mean I will never write about a current event.  I do not find the current administration interesting enough to keep from turning my blog into a 24-hour gossip column.  Everyone who has read my blog so far knows my views on the current administration, and let’s keep it like that.  I am here to empower you to do your best work, I do not think the Trump Administration is doing that, and they are not good role models for what I am trying to achieve in this blog.  Neither is Abby Lee Miller.
2.      Find out what brought this change? Was it your health? An injustice? A lifestyle change?  a hobby change?  All of those are valid reasons for changing your vlog, blog, or writing style.  There is no such thing as “I have no more to learn about life”.  As long you are living, you can learn something new.
3.      While you are transitioning, find out what is it you want to write about.  It goes hand in hand with #2 under “why are you stuck”.  Research that subject.  Is it trending?  Can you talk about it for a long while?  Are you interested enough to put in the hard work, including researching the areas of this topic (which is also called a niche) that you know nothing about.  Keep in mind, that if it is a trending topic, make sure you are not catching the tail end of it. It can bring you back to #2 under “Why are you stuck?”
4.      Once you have transitioned over to this newness, inform your readers.  Do not announce it in a post or vlog that day, create a separate post. Why?  It gives them a chance to change with you.  If they love you for you, they will change along with you.  If not, they really did not tune to read or to hear what you have to say, and they will move on. Explain in your post what brought on this change, and they will understand.  Be real with them and tell the truth.  I try to be honest with my readers and viewers.  Also, understand that you may lose some people.  That is human nature, I already know I have lost some people by not posting a regular post these last few months. For this, you know to let them know when you are uploading a new post in your blog or vlog post and stick to it as much as possible.  We all know that life happens, and it happens for a reason.  When life does happen, do not panic, simply explain the reason for not upload a blog or vlog post.  If you do not feel up to an explanation, simply say, “Life needed to take care of itself”, and leave it at that.
Finally, it is very rare that a reader expects everything to stay the same on your blog or vlog channel.  You do not owe anyone an explanation at all. Sometimes a hiatus is simply a good way for you to refocus on why you decided to write a blog or have a video channel in the first place.  During that hiatus, you can review your work schedule, ethic, topics covered, platforms that your blog or channel are on, or rather your family wants you to continue or not.  I took my latest hiatus originally because I was going on my first cruise, and rather than sitting there on deck, pinning my vacation away on a sporadic network, I decided to soak in what I was experiencing.  This was from my first day of packing to staying the night with my parents.  I have lots to talk about, and lot of information to give you later.  As I quoted Janet Jackson in one of my last written posts (not vlogged), “Hello, it’s been a while.  Lots to talk about”. I hope you stay a while.