I write this blog just for fun Most days can’t wait ‘til I’m done At my work place so I can Come home and blog for you
It’s just a hobby, it’s true But it began, not a fluke I had just one major dream To win awards from you
I wrote my goal down And the time has come now Black Web Awards – a showdown All the best bloggers, baby!
Hey, I don’t know you And this crazy, But voting’s open Nominate me, maybe?
I’d do it myself But that’s just lazy Please click this link and Nominate me, maybe?
I know it cost three dollars, but I want it so bad I want it so bad I want it so, so bad
I’d do it myself But that’s just lazy Please click this link and Nominate me, maybe?So, how 'bout it? Nominate me . . . maybe? [caption id="attachment_4508" align="aligncenter" width="525"] CLICK HERE!!![/caption]
I think of statement pieces as interesting, attractive and relatively eye-catching wardrobe items that reflect your personality. They are usually quite bold and unique, but not necessarily brightly coloured and oversized. They are often, but not always, the thing people notice first about your outfit. Sometimes they become items that people associate with your signature style.Sounds great to me! Unsure of how to rock a statement jewelry piece? Check out this great tutorial from Jeannie Mai. All set? Here are a few great pieces to get you started . . . . [slideshow] Check out more great options from Refinery29.com!
I am well aware that the majority of American women face problems far greater than any discussed in this article. I am writing for my demographic—highly educated, well-off women who are privileged enough to have choices in the first place. We may not have choices about whether to do paid work, as dual incomes have become indispensable. But we have choices about the type and tempo of the work we do.Holding all of that aside, the piece really resonated with me and several other professional women I know (as evidenced by the constant facebook postings, retweets, forwarded emails and so on). In the days and then weeks following the article's publication, I planned to write a brilliant, ground-breaking response - one that synthesized all of the spin-off articles and came up with THE solution that has alluded the modern working woman for decades. But I didn't. I couldn't. I didn't have the time. Yes. Single, childless Curvy CEO could not find the time. Between working a 12-14 hour a day job, keeping my apartment looking semi-decent, fitting in some exercise and tending to relationships with my family, friends and even a gentleman caller or two, I could not find the time. Even when I did find the time, I felt an enormous amount of pressure . . . like I had to write THE best blog post ever because hundreds (well, tens) of readers were counting on me to come up with a solution. (This pressure - rooted in my perfectionism - seems to be another symptom of trying to "have it all".) The fact that Professor Slaughter's article pretty much obliterates my typical take on the "having it all" debate didn't help either. Up until this point, I felt confident that you could, in fact, have it all . . . just not all at the same time. I believe this so strongly, I even have a little plaque in my apartment that says as much . . . see? [caption id="attachment_4444" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The plaque reads, "Having it all doesn't necessarily mean having it all at once."[/caption] In response to this notion, Slaughter writes:
Young women should be wary of the assertion “You can have it all; you just can’t have it all at once.” This 21st-century addendum to the original line is now proffered by many senior women to their younger mentees. To the extent that it means, in the words of one working mother, “I’m going to do my best and I’m going to keep the long term in mind and know that it’s not always going to be this hard to balance,” it is sound advice. But to the extent that it means that women can have it all if they just find the right sequence of career and family, it’s cheerfully wrong. The most important sequencing issue is when to have children....A child born when his mother is 25 will finish high school when his mother is 43, an age at which, with full-time immersion in a career, she still has plenty of time and energy for advancement. Yet, this sequence has fallen out of favor with many high-potential women, and understandably so. People tend to marry later now, and anyway, if you have children earlier, you may have difficulty getting a graduate degree, a good first job, and opportunities for advancement in the crucial early years of your career. Making matters worse, you will also have less income while raising your children, and hence less ability to hire the help that can be indispensable to your juggling act.Great. So, what then is an ambitious, yet family-oriented woman to do? I think it boils down to acknowledging the different trade-offs you will have to make and being brave enough to make those tough choices. I know that for me, personally, I am constantly being reminded by my friends and family to "slow down" and "not be so busy" with my career and hobbies (of which there are many) that I don't carve out time to meet The One and build a family. Above all, I try to keep the words of another plaque in my home at the forefront of my mind: [caption id="attachment_4453" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The plaque reads: "Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."[/caption] Tomorrow, I'll share what some mommy bloggers had to say on this issue. In the meantime, here are some interesting books you might want to check out on the subject.
Having It All? : Black Women and Success In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman's Guide to Balance and Direction Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation--And What to Do about ItWhat about you, dear readers? What are your thoughts on the notion of "having it all"?
Last year, a friend introduced me to the concept of "kaizen" - a Japanese business philosophy of introducing slow, small changes over time that lead to high quality results. There is a great post over at The Simple Mom that walks through how this concept can be applied to personal goals, like eating healthier, getting more sleep, or watching less television. As I mentioned at the end of last year, I generally find that trying to do major habit overhauls in broad, sweeping strokes does not work for me. Set a New Year's Resolution on December 31; fall flat on my face by January 3. No bueno. So, discovering this concept of kaizen has been really refreshing for me.
At first blush, today's quote from Goethe may seem like it's the opposite of kaizen. I mean, if each step must equal a goal, these must be some pretty outrageous steps, right? Not really. What I'm realizing is that because changing a well-established pattern in your life can be such a major challenge, that even accomplishing a small, incremental step is a note worthy goal. Because, if you keep it up, eventually these small changes will snowball into the new habit you've been itching to achieve for so long.
For me, one thing I've been working on lately is getting more sleep. It's tough working a 12-to-14 hour day and then coming home with only a few minutes to spare before bedtime. My immediate thought once I come home is, "It can't be time to go to bed - I just got here! I need some 'me time' first!" And with that, I'd flop on the couch or hop up on the internet and indulge in a little mindless entertainment. Pretty soon, it's one o'clock in the morning . . . which leaves me only a few hours before I have to get up and head back to work. The result? I end up getting only a fraction of the sleep I need and in the morning, I'm usually super-cranky and running behind schedule. Again, no bueno.
In order to assist myself in getting the sleep I need while also allowing myself just a wee bit of "me time" in the evenings, I've begun to set my clock for bed. Yes, you read that right. I set my alarm to let me know that it's time to go to sleep. This has proved to be a big help . . . it gives me the freedom to unwind in front of the tv or computer without having to guiltily keep my eye on the clock. And, while it is contrary to my natural tendency to allow myself "just a few more minutes" of web-surfing or reality tv foolishness, each evening that I set and actually respond to the alarm feels like a victory...even moreso in the mornings when I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. (You have no idea what a shock it was to me to learn that I don't have to feel like crap every morning.) This positive feedback prompts me to keep up this practice . . . and, I daresay, I think I am on the way to forming a new habit.[pullquote] Need Help to Kaizen Your Way to Change? Check out These Book Recommendations:
I'm starting to apply this whole kaizen philosophy to my eating habits as well. So, instead of saying that I'm going to do a fast or cleanse to prompt a new vegetarian/vegan/low-carb lifestyle, instead I simply eat the way I always eat, but work to add more fruits and vegetables to the mix. (This idea - of adding to my diet, instead of taking away - is a tip I learned from Erika over at Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss.) So far, this approach seems to be working. While I can't say that I've lost X amount of pounds (yet ;)) it feels good to know that I'm feeding my body better fuel and discovering that carrot sticks and a fruit smoothie from the health food shop aren't so bad as an afternoon snack, instead of, say, chips and soda from the vending machine. (Don't get it twisted. I still snack on my junkfood . . . just not as much.)
I know in the past, I've viewed this "small, incremental steps" approach as a cop-out . . . a way of having my cake and eating it, too. But, that's mostly because I never got past the initial steps. Now, my focus is really on trying to maintain the small changes and adding in additional changes. It gets tricky. There are so many areas of my life I want to improve that sometimes it gets overwhelming. I have to remind myself that it's not worth trying to make five different changes at the same time if it will lead me to ultimately fail at them all.
Over a month ago, I started reading 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You, which is basically is a week-by-week, kaizen-style approach to building better habits. The idea is that each week you focus on a new habit (getting aerobic activity, drinking more water, cutting back your salt intake, etc.) and at the end of the year, you will have mastered each of them and be living an awesome, healthy life.
For the last month, I've been stuck at week 3 - Keep Off the Couch. (Basically, walk as often as you can to do errands and such.) I'm sorry, but the record-breaking heatwave of the last several weeks has prevented me from walking much of anywhere. But instead of just skipping this week, I've decided to sit tight until I can really embrace the habit fully. I've decided that I'd rather take a year and a half (or even two years!) to really incorporate the changes instead of getting overwhelmed and just quitting altogether.
What do you think about this concept of kaizen? Are there any particular changes you're hoping to make in your life? Perhaps you've already successfully adopted changes that have enhanced the quality of your life. Please share in the comments section!