Overcoming Fears – Lessons Learned from my Dog

November 2, 2010 at 7:39 am | Posted in Life and Living | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

When my labrador was just a year old, I took him to a park on the Hudson River to play with my friend’s dog. It’s not technically a dog park, but nobody bothered us.  The dogs had a ball running around like dogs do, until my dog ended up in the water. I somehow missed the split second when this happened, so I don’t know if he fell in or jumped in, but it was the first time he ever swam.  I was so proud! It was only later that I would learn that this experience would be the last time I’d ever see my water dog swim… or so I thought.

Over the next three years I would take him to open swims at the local pool and he would never go near the water. You couldn’t make him.  During the summer, when lawns (and subsequently, sidewalks) were watered by sprinklers, he’d actually cross over to the other side of me so he wouldn’t get wet.  Surely my labrador retriever, bred for hunting and swimming, wasn’t afraid of the water!  But he was.  That’s until just recently, when my father discovered a stream down a path, a quarter mile behind our local dog park.  My father took him off the leash, and he showed us where it was, making sure he could see us at all times, and in he went!

Now, we can’t keep him out of the water. Last night, I get a phone call from my boyfriend telling me the dog has jumped into the Bronx River. Who does this dog think he is?

Here’s what I learned from this.  You can overcome your fears, but you cannot be pushed.  It needs to happen naturally, and the comfort level needs to be just right. And once you face your fears, you may fall in love with something you were once afraid of.

What’s interesting about fears, is that they evolve with age. As a child, you may be afraid of learning new things like riding a bike, or of things that don’t exist like monsters.  As an adult, you may be afraid of walking home from the train station alone late at night, or flying.  Most people will always be afraid of something, whether it’s a rational fear or not.  I don’t think anyone is completely fearless, though I know there’s always an exception to every rule.  While it can’t be expected that you will get over all of your fears, you can get over some, if you really want to.  But you also have to know your limits.  Deep down, you know what you can handle and what you can’t, and only push your limits when you it seems right.

And when you need a little inspiration, think about the dog who was afraid of the water, and how proud his owners were when he overcame his fear.

Thanks for Not Smoking

October 19, 2010 at 7:55 am | Posted in Life and Living | 204 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Last week, I arrived late at night to a hotel on a business trip.  I couldn’t wait to get into my room and just relax.  On the first try, they sent me to a room that was already occupied by my photographer (somehow they thought we were sharing a room and I was not about to share a room with my male colleague, though it did make for an interesting story the next day)  So they gave me another room.  At this point, it’s about 11:30 at night and I had a meeting at 8 AM.  I just wanted to shower and go to bed.  Turns out, this room was a smoking room.  They still have those?  Apparently!  I couldn’t bare going back downstairs to ask for another room, and I reasoned with myself that I wouldn’t be in there that much, so I sucked it up… and it sucked!

I’m not a smoker.  Never have been, never will be.  And quite frankly, I don’t understand people who still are.  I can’t imagine paying $9 a pack for something that will slowly kill me.  I was thrilled when smoking was banned in restaurants and bars, and I’ve gotten so used to not breathing in smoke, that when I walk down the street I get offended when somebody six feet away from me is smoking.

But I wasn’t always so against smoking.  I had a lot of good friends and boyfriends that smoked (some eek — still do), and many people assumed that I did too, probably because of the company I kept.  Kids my age smoked when they hung out, when they drove around, when they went clubbing or bar hopping. Smoking was “cool.” And of course, I had to try it.  How could I make an educated decision without trying it?  I think trying smoking is a rite of passage.  It’s when you make the right decision not to be a smoker that you can be declared a responsible adult.

So sorry mom and dad.  I tried smoking for the first time in 7th grade.  I was hanging out with friends in town when we came across an abandoned pack, probably left behind by other teenagers scared off by lurking cops.  Over the years, I would have a cigarette on occasion, but there was never any commitment.

I think there can be a time and place for smoking; a rare time and place when you are just so hammered or hungover nothing will help except a little inhalation.  I do credit cigarettes with helping me recover from an alcohol-induced upset stomach on occasion (hey, we all have our remedies). Of course, at the point I was already doing a ton of damage.

But all in all, I can’t stand smoking.  It’s amazing to me the change in the culture of smoking that has taken place in my lifetime.  It’s certainly been a long time coming!  It’s great that my kids won’t have to inhale the stuff everywhere they go like past generations.  Now, if only smoking was banned in hotels, I would have slept much better.  One day, I’m sure.  One day.

Want to hear from a reformed smoker?  Click here!

Escaping the Chaos

October 14, 2010 at 7:42 am | Posted in Career Moves | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , ,

When I originally launched this blog, I thought I’d write a lot about my career.  Having started a new job just a month before starting this blog, it seemed a likely topic at the time.  After all, I was lucky enough to find a better job in this economy when I know so many people who are unemployed or unhappy with their current employment.  But as the weeks go by and I look at my list of ideas for blog posts in order to think about and plan out what I want to blog about for the following week, I find myself consistently skipping over the “career” section.

I think there are three reasons why I skip over this section.

  • Number 1: I have some good ideas, but the pieces of the puzzle are not yet in place for me to blog about.
  • Number 2: I am passionate about my job, but I want to be careful not to bore people with the details if they don’t know anything about my field of work.  I can spend a long time explaining what I do, and since part of my job is to translate jargon into every day language, I try to make it so that anyone can understand.  Somehow, I still don’t know if people do. Actually, I know for a fact they don’t and who can blame them? I know nothing about the financial industry or real estate, or the stock market, or cars. Why should my job be any harder to comprehend?
  • And now for the third reason, which I think is the real kicker.  I am currently doing so much at my job that when it comes to blogging, or time spent outside of work, I just need a break from it all.  In order for me to function at my highest level at work, I have to have something that is completely non-work-related to free my mind.

I think I have pretty good time management skills. I work well on deadline and on schedule and deliver high quality results.  I try to avoid working overtime other than sending a few emails, but there are nights I can’t sleep because I am thinking about work.  As you do well in a job, you get asked to do more and more, so I am balancing more and more, (and I still am delivering my blog posts consistently on the schedule I set up for myself.  To tell you how dedicated I am, I’m actually traveling on business while you are reading this).

A lot of my friends turn to me for career advice because I seem to have it together, and I want to share my trials, errors and successes with my readers, so sorry for the lack of career stories lately.  As soon as I am grounded, able to clear my mind, and have something really interesting to tell you, to hopefully inspire you, I will bring it.  Thanks for letting me escape the chaos with you all!

« Previous PageNext Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: