Procrastination Disguised as Perfectionism

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I was listening to Jess Lively’s podcast (have you heard of it — it’s pretty awesome) with Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, the other day and something Gretchen said really stuck with me. Something along the lines of using perfectionism as a way to procrastinate. I have to say, I agree.

While I can be a bit OCD at times and tend to details so things are just the way I want them to be, I realize it can be really crippling at times. Take my blog, for example. I was into the whole blogosphere when it wasn’t even considered a profession (you know, back in the day of Salon and the beginnings of Dooce).

I kept waiting for the “right” moment. And then last December, I came to the conclusion that there was no right moment. That this moment is always the right moment because this moment is what we have. So I started blogging and was pretty consistent until April when I decided to switch hosts.

It pained me to learn to navigate my way around my new hosting site (and I am a person who believes in lifelong learning and love to learn new things). But, for some reason, I came up with one excuse after another. Oh, I have to wait until I perfect photoshop. I have to wait until I can build the perfect site. I have to wait until I can share the perfect life. LOLz on all of that.

The thing is, while there is nothing wrong with wanting things to be perfect, things will never be perfect by waiting. So, as of now, I am unhappy with some things in life that i would like to work out. I decided to start back up again because I miss the blogging community and I thought maybe, while I’m learning from others, I could teach and be inspiring to others as I share in all the trials and tribulations that will certainly come from getting zone and learning the best ways (for me) to be healthier, happier and all-around bad-ass.

So, here I am again sharing and not caring if anyone reads this, but hoping that my community will come together again and we can all learn from each other. Happy FriYaY!! :)

Summer To Do List

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{via here}

Maybe it’s the tropical island native girl in me, but I love warm weather! I relish in the sun. Though this summer has not been so kind (we’ve had quite the rainy season in June – sorry, California), I’m hopeful that the last few days of sunshine we’ve been having is here to stay (even if it’s just for the season). While I will be quite busy this summer with work and personal passion projects, I have a few things I’d like to accomplish before Labor Day and the unofficial start to the fall season begins. Here is my summer wishlist. What’s on yours?

1. Take my dog to the dog beach. My labrador fur baby loves the water and is an excellent swimmer so I’m sure he will love it!

2. Spend some time at the beach (we live within walking distance to the lakefront) reading and soaking up the sun (with sunscreen, of course!). On my summer reading list is this book and this one (which I’m re-reading because it’s a must).

3. Enjoy alfresco dining on my balcony (Ah! City life!) and on our beautiful community deck.

4. Finish some small DIY home projects.

5. Spend a day at Navy Pier just chilling out and watching the fireworks.

6. Spend a weekend at a lake cottage relaxing and hanging out with my family. Also flexing my board game muscles with this and this.

7. Take a weekend trip to Vegas.

8. Begin my meditation practice (again).

9. Practice daily yoga (again).

10. Try one new thing a week (for the next 9 weeks left of summer).

Monday Musings: Random Thoughts, or Not

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{via here}

Summer is in full swing and I already feel it slipping away; just as quickly as the first half of the year has gone by with the blink of an eye. Which brings to mind New Year’s Resolutions. Lots of LOLz from me on this. (If you didn’t know, laughing is often my go-to coping mechanism.)

Sitting at a coffee shop, I was taking stock of what I had done, what I have left to do (much) and what I need to let go of. And then it dawned on me: ALL of my goals (this year) boil down to 2! I often complicate things when they are so simple. Not easy, but simple. I cannot begin to explain the wave of relief that came over me as I thought of this. But, of course, I need to simplify my goals as I’ve been aiming to simplify my life!

This life-simplification project is not so much about minimalism (there are lots of resources on the www about this already), but more about how I can make the mundane things in my life simplified (like eating, exercising, budgeting, housework and the like) so I can have more time to do the things I enjoy (travel, creating, reading, etc.).

More times than not, I can get quite distracted, but I’m working on a little project to help me out with this. It’s actually been something on my mind for quite some time now. I’m going to make a little project out of it and report my findings; whether or not it works.

How is your season going? For a while there, I was going strong and keeping up my writing and then I had to take a little break. I miss this corner of the world and look forward to re-joining the community and seeing what everyone’s been up to. As it’s been said, sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward. I cannot wait to discover what’s out there: both in the real world and in blogland :)

The Creative Blogger Award

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I want to say a huge THANK YOU to 2 bloggers who’ve nominated me for the Creative Blogger award:

Paardje of Of Fitness, Books and Vanities

and

Dominique of Style Domination

Thank you, ladies! I love visiting your blogs and seeing the new and creative content you post. I am so happy to have began this blogging journey and “met” so many awesome blogging buddies. I appreciate all of you for taking time out of your day to visit my blog and add your input. I love reading your comments and thoughts.

Here are the rules for the award:

1. Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you.

2. Share five facts about yourself to your readers.

3. Nominate 10 other blogs and post their links.

4. Notify all nominees via their social media/blogs.

5. Pass these rules on to them.

FIVE FACTS ABOUT ME

1. I was a music major in high school (I played the clarinet) and got my university degree in mass communications/mass media, with a minor in theater

2. I am a huge travel enthusiast and my favorite place I’ve visited so far is Italy

3. I love shoes and bags more than I should

4. I once attended a week-long silence retreat

5. I am a middle child

Nominees

Zlatka Kramaric

Chey Chey From The Bay

She’s So NC

Nazneen Zainal

Styled With Joy

My Pink Champagne Life

Perfect Twenty

Princess Without the Tutu

By Emily

Rad Kitty

Please visit these other creative bloggers because they have amazing content to share. Ladies, if you’ve been nominated before or do not do awards, no worries. This is all meant to be fun :) Thanks again, Paardje and Dominique for nominating me :)

My Spring To Do List

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It’s been about a month now since spring has started. You wouldn’t know it if you lived in my city. Save for a day or two of nice weather, it still feels like winter. There are about 60 more days until summer and I don’t want this season to pass me up, so I’ve created a to-do list of sorts.

1. Spring Cleaning & Organizing – So this one is kind of obvious, but I’ve started it and I still cannot believe the amount of things I accumulate! I try to get rid of 1 or 2 things for every 1 thing I buy, but it still seems like that’s not accomplishing much by way of minimizing my things.

2. Meal Planning and Cooking Schedule – I plan to master this one day, but for now, I’ve yet to get a schedule together. Practice makes perfect, so I will be very intentional about this. If you have any tips, it would be much appreciated!

3. Read The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins – I admit, with my busy schedule, I haven’t managed to find a lot of time to read just for the fun of it (a hobby I enjoy immensely). I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book and look forward to devouring it.

4. Volunteer – I’ve made plans to participate in a company wide volunteer day this May. One day is not nearly enough time, but time is not really on my side these days.

5. Take a road trip – I love road tripping and used to do it on the whim a lot. This one will be scheduled and we won’t venture too far out (about 3 hours outside of home), but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully discovering some new things.

6. Complete the Couch to 5K – I’ve talked about this long enough already. It’s time for some action.

So, there you have it. My spring to-do list. How’s the spring weather in your part of the world? Are you a to-do list maker also? What are you hoping to accomplish this spring?

{photo via here}

10 Questions to Get to Know Me Better Tag

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There have been so many great tags I’ve been reading lately and thought it might be fun to do one myself. This is something I decided to create myself, so you can get to know me a little more:) Hope you enjoy reading and please feel free to do it yourself! I would love to read your answers!

1) What are 3 of your favorite shows on TV or YouTube or both?

Gosh! This is hard! I love to watch really interesting shows about things like watching paint dry, people staring at walls all day and ants crawling around.

2) What are 3 qualities you like in a best friend?

I usually look for friends who like to make me feel bad about myself, who are really mean to people and who are very negative towards life.

3) If you have the choice to pick your own name, what will it be?

I wish my parents would have named me Purple People Eater.

4) What is your fantasy dream?

To live in a world of chaos.

5) Do you wear makeup?

No. I don’t like makeup. I prefer to use clay as foundation, crayons as lipstick and chalk as blush. Sometimes, if I’m feeling festive, I will use tar (if I’m lucky to find some fresh on the ground) as eyeliner.

6) If you could write a book, what would the title be and what would it be about?

Like my TV preference, I am really drawn to fun and interesting books. I would write about water dripping from a faucet and call it “Water Dripping from a Faucet.”

7) What makes you happy?

I love freezing cold weather (the kind where my fingers are frost bitten), days when nothing goes my way and I’m especially happy when I am being taken advantage of and people are rude to me.

8) What are your 3 favorites snacks?

I LOVE to snack on onions, garlic and liver.

9) Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was Time magazine’s 2006 “Person of the Year”.

10) What is your favorite holiday?

Maybe it’s not my absolute favorite, but April Fool’s Day is always fun:)

Just in case anyone thought I was being serious :)

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Soul {Food For Thought} Sunday

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{Lake Michigan}

There are always going to be people who will try to bring you down, even those who are closest to you. Just remember that it’s not about you, but a reflection on their own thoughts. If it gets to be too much, then know you have the power to step away. It’s not worth having negative people in your life. Have faith in yourself and follow your guts, more than likely it will lead you in the right direction. Even if you can’t see the forest for the trees. You are enough and your dreams matter. As someone once told me, “It’s none of your business what other people think of you.” Word.

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.

It’s your place in the world; it’s your life.

Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”

{Mae Jemison ~ Physician, astronaut and the first black woman to travel in space}

How to Solve Problems in 5 Easy Steps

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I was having a pretty bad start to the week on Monday, but it got progressively better early one. One of the reasons was because I received an award at work for quickly resolving an issue.  I remember when the situation happened (just a couple of weeks ago) and how I resolved it. As it is, I do lots of problem solving so I have a good grasp on how to handle things. Funnily enough, my client (who is a CFO) said “Lourdes, I create problems and I solve problems and what matters most is how you resolve problems.” I think that is so true because we cannot escape life without problems. Problems will always present themselves no matter how great things are going. The important thing is to come up with a solution instead of complaining. Here are a few steps I take to resolve issues:

  1. Identify the problem quickly and own it – No matter what you are doing, whether at work or at home, you are bound to run into issues. Sometimes, it may seem easier to ignore the problem until it gets out of hand, but trust me, the sooner you deal with it, the easier your life will be (well, until the next problem presents itselfJ. Maybe you are throwing a party and the caterer is not going to make it, or maybe you have deliverables to show at work, but you are not ready. Whatever the case, identify the problem quickly and decide what is the most important outcome.
  2. Break down the solution and keep your focus on it – So many times, we tend to get caught up in blaming and focus on the problem instead of the solution. Who can take place of the caterer? Make a list of other restaurants/sources you can contact. How quickly can you get your work project finished? Who do you need to contact to help you? In my case, I jotted down some names and numbers and different processes that needed to be done.
  3. Take action – Now that you have broken down the solutions, start taking action. Make the calls, write the emails and delegate what you can. When I was dealing with my issue, there were many people on board. We all had the same goal – resolve the customer’s issue as quickly as possible. I took action and kept track of the items that needed to be done.
  4. Communicate clearly and often – Make sure you communicate clearly and keep everyone in the loop at all times. If it’s a customer you are dealing with and the issue could take hours (or maybe days, heck even if it’s just minutes) make sure you always keep them in the loop. They do not need to know every little detail, but always let them know you are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.
  5. Learn from the mistake – Once you have resolved the issue, take a step back and evaluate it. We are not perfect. We are human beings. Even when we do our best, something can (and usually will) go wrong. The important thing is to take it into account and learn from it. As long as you put your best efforts forward, know that mistakes happen to everyone. And, remember, it’s not the problem that is important, but how you resolve them.

How do you solve problems? Any tips and tricks are welcome in the comment section!

Lourdes Loves Lately

Happy Friday, Everyone! How was your week? I am so glad for the weekend to commence! What are you all up to this weekend? Any exciting plans in store? It is so cold here that I don’t feel like venturing out, but I might make a trip to a museum or gallery.  I am also in the mood to catch a really cheesy thriller or romcom movie (or a thrilling romcom?). Let me know if you have any recommendations. Here are some things I’m grateful for this week. Have a good one!

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{Lovely market floral bouquet.}

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{Apples galore at my local grocer. What’s your favorite? It’s a tough choice, but for now I’d have to say Fuji and Pink Lady aka Cripps Pink.}

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{It was like living inside a snow globe in my neighborhood.}

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{What happens when you are doing Whole30…window shopping…for cakes. How low can I go?}

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{Leo caught with his snow face on.}