failing forward

“Live the Life You’ve Imagined”

So many of us are waiting. Waiting for a new year. Waiting until we lose weight. Waiting until we have enough money.

But isn’t waiting just our way of deflecting insecurities, doubt and even (gasp) FEAR!

Of course it is.

We all do it. We delay the our own happiness because we are afraid to fail.

One of the things I love about my journey over the past year is that I am really delving into personal growth. Through blogging with MommyWurk and training I receive with Rodan + Fields, I have learned a concept called failing forward. John C. Maxwell coined the phrase in his book Failing Forward – Turning failures into the stepping stones for success.

He states that the difference between an average person and a person that consistently achieves success isn’t luck, it is how they perceive failure.

Live the life you have imaginedMy wish for all of us in 2016 is to stop the waiting game and to start living the life we imagine. How am I doing that? I started with a journal. I am using the journal to chronicle my wildest dreams as if they have already occurred. Then I reread passages every night in order to envision this amazing year.

How are you going kick off 2016? Are you going to stop waiting and dare to achieve those bigger than life dreams?

Peace, Love & No Fear,

 

Kristen

 

For support and motivation to live the life you’ve imagined, join our working mom team. 

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Be Ahhhmazing

Are you ready for 2016? I can’t believe that another year has come and gone. It is crazy. As I reflect back on just a few of the things that happened in 15 I am astounded.

  1. Ran a 5k for the 1st time
  2. Generated money for children in need, global disease, ovarian cancer and breast cancer through ONEHOPE
  3. Had a little boy turn 2 and another little boy turn 1
  4. Started consulting for Rodan + Fields
  5. Taught a PR class at a local university

2016 hasn’t even started and I can already tell it is going to be another wonderful and crazy year!

Being a parent time seems to fly, but being a working mom creates a fast paced life that doesn’t always feel sustainable.

I have a lot of plans for 2016, but one of them is to slow down the pace of my life so that I can really focus on spending my time with the people that matter most to me.

Do you ever feel the need to slow things down? If so, let’s chat. The power of many affects change much faster than the power of one. Working moms working together, now that is something I can get behind!

Peace, Love and Cheers to 2016!

Kristen

 

What are You Worth?

Image from monster.com

Walking into my evaluation, I had no idea what to expect. My direct supervisor always seemed to have a hidden agenda. At the last meeting, I was seen as “border-line insubordinate” for my views and responses. I was often criticized for not doing something unethical and was never offered an apology when falsely accused.

I headed into the meeting with my notepad, calendar, water, and pencil. I was 38 ½ weeks pregnant and afraid that I would have to look for another job while on welfare still sore after having my baby – of course they were going to fire me, right? I’d been overlooked for promotions; my work received little praise except in the presence of a few political leaders – which made me assume it was not sincere. Everyone I started with in this company had left or been fired. What was I going to do?

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I walked into my supervisor’s office and sat down waiting for her to respond with her thoughts on my performance over the past year. I wasn’t concerned about my numbers; I’d doubled those with a full quarter left in the program year. It wasn’t my relationship with my clients I was worried about – many sent in raving evaluations. It wasn’t even my attendance; my boss came in at least an hour after I did daily! I had not taken more than 2 days off this entire year.

I’d put in 4 years of school for my BA, 3 yrs to obtain my Master’s, almost $70,000 of student loans, 6 years of loyalty to this company, placing my reputation on the line out in the community, yet was earning a salary I could never raise a family with. I wasn’t supported by the very leadership I was working for but because of my upbringing and personal convictions, I remained loyal and humble. I would even help new staff acclimate to our toxic work environment hoping that would influence change. It never did.

My evaluation should have been on my job performance and possibly my attitude in the workplace. What could I do better? I was hoping to get some constructive criticism but instead I received a document and was told to look it over at home, write down any comments or questions, and turn it in tomorrow…the day I was to be induced for labor – as if tomorrow would not be stressful enough.

It was in that moment I reminded myself of my value. I gathered my things and went back into my office. There was only 25 minutes left in the work day and I took that entire time to read through and type up my response to the evaluation.  There was nothing constructive in the evaluation that I could do, just to do “more” with less time. As I carefully typed my response, I reminded myself of my value. I knew my work was very professional and important to the company. I knew that if I had not carried the integrity I did, many of our partners would refuse to work with us and I knew that my clients were pleased.

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Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of our own worth. You are more than your paycheck, more than your assets, your car, and your rebellious children. We are worth more than our education or what others perceive of us. Why? Our value is not determined by other’s opinions, people change their minds everyday! We’re not perfect, always on time, or extremely fit and beautiful. Our worth is determined by us. Value yourself. You can always perform better if you so desire – that’s why our worth is so high – we can change, transform, and renew our thoughts and mindset. I could have chosen to focus on the negative situation and stress myself out causing complications within my body. But I chose to give myself an evaluation and remind myself of my worth. I came up with my own regiment of doing better – set my own goals to be more productive, and treated myself to a nice meal afterward. : )

~ladiSims

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ladiSims is a Workforce Consultant committed to “ Monetizing your Mission: Saving and increasing revenue for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses through empowering employment readiness, social media marketing, and discounted operations. She has over 6 years of extensive experience in social services, workforce development, small business development, recruiting and case management. She serves a variety of job seekers, including veterans and disabled adults, with finding employment and adjusting to career changes. Many of her clients seek to transition into new careers with financial and educational barriers hindering their success. ladiSims also shares resources, teaches Employment Readiness, and provides solutions for small businesses in her community. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, ladiSims has a passion for helping people progress towards their career, family, and entrepreneurial goals – she is also an advocate for education. Her BA degree is in English with a minor in African America Studies from SIUC where she also studied creative writing, journalism, and education. She also has a Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) with a concentration in Community Development from UIC. Her ‘why’ includes her daughter Charlotte, 2 moms, 2 dads, numerous siblings, faith in Christ, and the youth of ChiCity. Among her peers, she is known for simplifying complex issues, offering conflict resolution, and being able to connect with individuals of various socioeconomic statuses, cultures, skill sets, & educational backgrounds. ladiSims uses her ability to create and maintain strategic partnerships to influence both rural and urban communities. Find ladiSims on Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope for more of her shenanigans!

Senior year, College Apps and Menopause…Oh MY!

Well hello there my Mommywurk friends!  Listen, I know… it’s been a while but after I catch you up with the shenanigans you will grant me mercy.  Well at least I hope…  Grab a coffee, some tea or a glass of wine (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere)!!

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Image credit:  www.youtube.com

September 23 marked our official change into the Fall season.  But for me & my family the season change represents a total overhaul of our lives.  Peanut 2 is in her senior year of high school and I can’t be anything less than terrified.  Do you have any idea the crap I put my mom thru that year?  Sorry, not sorry, it was life changing hehehe!  She is narrowing her college choices and well for me… Menopause has kicked in high gear (it’s the devil).  HOLD UP, STOP…yes menopause has a high gear.  Oh and Peanut 1 moved out but needs to come back home. Yes, I am being punished.

So I started thinking, as a mom you normally give up practically your entire life to nurture your little loved ones.  Then middle & high school happens and you begin to recognize that you have been so wrapped up in parenting that you forgot to live.  Hmmm, well what in the world have I been doing??  I mean, do you ever stop and ask yourself this question?  Really ask yourself, What am I doing?  Just think on that for a minute.

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Image source: Image source: http://www.recaption.com/chemistry-cat/1564/

I found myself doing everything in my power over the last 22 years to be the BEST mom that I could be.  If that meant driving 30 minutes across town to take my kids to schools that would provide them the opportunities I didn’t have or paying rent for my son’s apartment in college because we didn’t get aid and didn’t save for college, I made it happen.  But now, I realize that I forgot about little ole me.  So right as the season has changed and my peanuts are preparing to live their lives I wonder what will I do to fill this void?  I didn’t prepare for this moment.  I was sitting back watching my Peanuts blossom into these fine young adults as I was slowly losing the core of who I was.

As happy as we are to see the summer heat leave, we will miss those sunny days but must fill them up with something else.  So my advice to all the Mommywurkers, don’t forget about YOU.  The kids are going to be fine.  We always make sure they are fine.  But who is making sure that YOU are ok?  Read a book, join a challenge, Eat clean, start a business, change jobs, join a club.  Whatever you do, don’t forget about who you were before kids because you will meet up with her again someday.  And she will stare you in the face and say… Oh, you again!  “Eyes rolling, lips curled”.

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Between these hot flashes, college application fees and my brain fog, I am having a hard time finding 5 minutes to pee so I better run.

Until next time…Stop, drop and Prepare for the Seasons to Change.

DeeMommy

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Dee is a single mom of two who has thoroughly enjoyed parenting her son who is now 21 and daughter who is 16. She calls them Peanut 1 & 2. Dee enjoys her job as a Sales & Business Coach which allows her to work at home as well as travel.

936

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That’s the number of Saturdays we get with our kids between birth and when they turn 18. Less than 1,000 Saturdays before they become adults. Since I work full time Monday through Friday, my weekend are pretty sacred to me already. I had never thought about how finite those weekends were until I saw another mom mention it. It’s amazing how fast those Saturdays go. Now that Super F is 7, we only have 572 left! It got me thinking about how I’ve spent those first 364 Saturdays, and whether I’ve made the most of them. We have definitely had some fantastic Saturdays in those years, but I’m sure some were squandered away. Now that I know the number, I’m going to do my best to fill those Saturdays with some awesome memories for him to carry with him after we hit the 936th one.

Briana

 

photo credit: http://maanumberaday.blogspot.com/2013/01/936.html

Letting Go and Pressing Foreword…Passion First!~

Image from chalenejohnson.com

Many times in our lives we experience heartbreaking circumstances that cause us to reevaluate our choices in life. During my time as a case manager in Workforce Development, I often sat across from someone who would question their previous actions in their career and education. I almost always gently explained that we never know what is going to happen in our lives and that they should have comfort in knowing that they made the best choice possible at the time. We just won’t know that a certain stock will crash, or a business would close, nor do we expect to be laid off from a job we’ve sacrificed years of hard work for. Nothing is certain anymore. We used to be able to rely on experience and loyalty in the workplace in order to maintain employment. We used to be able to rely on college education and degrees in order to assure success and promotion – that is just not the case anymore. We have to make the decision to make better choices for what is going on RIGHT NOW!

Image from keywestef.org

No one has to be tied down to a position title anymore. Many of us are surprised when we feel so hopeless after losing our jobs. We often lose our way a bit. As a culture, we rely on our occupations to guide us through our careers, give us pride, pay our bills, and warrant us the opportunity to pursue more out of life. But what happens when our jobs are snatched from us? Are we doomed to rely on public assistance and/or wait for retirement? Do we have to accept our circumstance and failure? Sometimes we lose our way when we lose our jobs but we don’t have to.

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It is often during difficult circumstances when we can think deeply about where we actually want our lives to go. I would often sit with a client and listen to their ideas about their future. My duty was to provide the resources to start clients toward accomplishing their goals. I would make clients aware of the path necessary to achieve their desired goals – including information on industry, wages, location and growth. Some clients expressed wanting to own their own business, go back to school, or change industry completely. Either way, it was a chance for exploration and re-evaluation. A devastating lay off could also be the chance to follow one’s passion instead of the paycheck. Have you become what you wanted to be? What is your passion? How can you turn it into a paycheck?

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Why you should work in your passion?  Time works against us in a regular 9-to-5, but in your passion you lose track of time. You believe in your work. You know you do your work well, so everyone else’s opinion doesn’t sway you as easily. You constantly want to evolve. No one sets your hours or limits you. You can speak candidly about what you do – in a crowd, at a networking event, during an interview, at a job fair, etc.  Have you thought of consulting? Do you have a skill or trade that many people need but do not want to do themselves?

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Many people question their decisions in life with regret – I’ve personally decided not to do such a wasteful thing! We go through things in life that make us question out previous motives and intelligence but we cannot dwell on the past, it will not help us to be hopeful for the future. I take it upon myself to seek out why I made decisions and how that should effect my future decisions in life…and then I consciously decide to move on.

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~ladiSims

Be Still

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Are you always on the move?  To work, to doctor’s appointments, to kids’ activities, to run errands, and the list goes on.  How often do we, as working moms, take the time to BE STILL?

My mind (and body) has been all over the place lately, as I contemplate my personal and professional goals, dreams and desires.  But, as a working mom with dependents and many responsibilities, my decisions do not only affect me.  I have a husband and children to consider.

When making decisions I consult many resources – my husband, Google, experts, God and the Bible, family and close friends.  And I make sure to keep it moving during my time of consideration and contemplation.  But, lately I have been receiving a nudge to BE STILL.

I am realizing that being busy or active does not make me productive.  Sometimes less is more and it is important to take the time to BE STILL in order to hear from God through prayer, meditation and reading His word – the Bible.  God is my source.  And lately I have been operating on my own, outside of His will. 

I have so much that I want to accomplish and I have been trying to do it all on my own.  Now, I am tired and worn out – physically, mentally and spiritually.  And it doesn’t feel good.

As working moms, and moms in general, we must take the time to BE STILL before making important moves in our lives.  Whether they be personal or professional, we must make time for contemplation and consideration…and that requires that we BE STILL.

Until next time-

Be still before the Lord  and wait patiently for him;… (Psalms 37:7 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

Image credit: centeringprayeralabama.wordpress.com

Grown Ups are Lazy!

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             Image credit: guff.com

As I was playing frisbee with Junior and Kid Flash last week I spent the whole time telling them I was going inside soon because I was tired.  I was literally drained.  Then Kid Flash, in a moment of brilliance, made the following observation.  “You don’t have no energy.  Grown ups are LAZY!”  OUCH!

I could take this opportunity to rattle off all the statistics about what percentage of Americans are obese and overweight.  Or the percentage of Americans who suffer from diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol.  But, the only person who matters right now is YOU, Mommy!

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        Image credit: ocmomblog.com

In a previous post, “Hey! What About Me? (Update)”, I shared the beginning of my journey to start taking care of my physical health…for the umpteenth time.  I committed to physical exercise, in the form of walking.  I also began a daily regimen of starting my day with hot water with lemon and drinking water infused with lemon and strawberries throughout the day. 

Huh?  What did you say!  You wanna know how it’s going?  Well, I am happy to report that I am still walking, literally I am walking as I type this post. [I know, I know, but it’s the only way I can get it in.  It’s called multitasking. MommyWurk, remember?]  And I am still drinking all of my water.  [Sidebar: I pee all the time now.]   I also tried a new recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.  I finally stopped reading and starting DOING.  The Kale and Apple salad was delish!  I was able to get a bunch of kale from Food Lion for only $0.99.  Who the heck said healthy, whole food is expensive?  And, kale is not any old regular healthy, whole food.  It’s a superfood.

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Now, don’t misunderstand me.  I haven’t turned into one of those “all or nothing” chicks.  I am a firm believer that moderation is the key.  Otherwise, you fall off the wagon and are too embarrassed to get back on because you feel like a failure.  So, I have given myself permission to take a junk break, but I don’t go overboard.  For instance, last night for dinner I had 2 small pieces of cheese pizza and a half a can of Coke.  Oh yes, she did!  I hadn’t had a Coke in a whole week after previously drinking 1-2 cans/day.  Yaaay for me!  That’s a major improvement. 

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             Image credit: favim.com

I have 2 more laps…

The moral of the story:  Eating healthy + Exercise = Energy

How are you taking care of your physical self so you can have more energy?

Until next time-

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 1:2 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

D.R.E.A.M. Big!

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Image credit: http://www.sportingnews.com

Harriette Thompson, a 92 year old resident of Charlotte, NC, made history yesterday as she ran and finished the Suja Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in San Diego.  When I heard her story on the news last night all I could think was, “Wow!”  I pray I just make it to 92, let alone be able to run a marathon.  I can’t even run a marathon now and I’m only [cough]. 

I was also inspired because she is a living witness that you’re never too old, or too anything for that matter, to accomplish a goal or see a dream come true.

Have you been looking for a new career, a better job, a higher-paying job, a more flexible job, or just a job period?   D.R.E.A.M. big!

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  Image credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Discover your gifts, talents and passion.
Research your options.
Explore the available opportunities.
Apply yourself.
Make it happen!

Remember, it’s never too late for a new beginning!

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Image credit: info.codingcamp.us

Until next time-

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

Thankful Thursday

Here we go again…

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Image credit: http://www.quotesfrenzy.com

I am thankful that tomorrow is the last day of school!  I need a break from getting kids ready early in the morning, trying to figure out school lunch and checking homework folders.

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Until next time-

Praise the Lord ! Oh, give thanks to the Lord , for He  is good! For His mercy endures forever.  (Psalm 106:1 NKJV)

God’s best-

Alexis