There is a ton of information out there on the web and countless books telling us humans how to be happy. In the American Dream poll by CNN Money, respondent’s claimed happiness lied in income. That magic income for emotional well-being was between $50,000 and $74,999. Perhaps money can indeed buy happiness!
OK I’ll admit it; I’m a bit of a control freak.
I like rules and order they give me balance and a sense of place to exist within. Generally this translates to multiple areas of my life but since starting school I was finding myself just feeling out of control.
Within the last few years my grandmother passed away and while it wasn’t unexpected the sheer volume of stuff we as a family had to go through and make sense of was voluminous.
Wikipedia definition: Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.
I’ve been bitten by the wanderlust bug. This isn’t a recent development; I’ve always been a wanderer, dreaming of exploring distant lands, meeting new people, and trying new things. Part of the reason I write is because I can create those places, people, and ideas on the page. It opens up a new world, an escapism, for others to enjoy.
Writing, though, isn’t a replacement for the desire to travel. In fact, I’ve realized my impulse to just go somewhere gets stronger every day. I find myself checking airline prices and reading travel blogs, daydreaming about when I might be able to stop living vicariously through other peoples’ pictures, stories, and happiness. Wouldn’t it be great to just get up, hop on a plane, and fly to Japan? Or backpack through the countryside of France and sip wine with the locals? I would, in a heartbeat, snap up a ticket to Thailand to visit a place that has different thoughts, experiences, and attitudes than my own.
Its election season again and just like every other American you’ve seen enough politics to be done for the next 4 years and its not even November yet. one of the things you’ve surely seen is at least one circumstance of a candidate attacking another candidate. Often times they can get quite personal with their attacks. In this cycle, I feel like the presidential debates were more insults than politics.
Delayed Adulthood. Social scientist have developed this term to describe the slow progression Millennials are making towards achieving the same marks of maturity (buying a house, getting married, having children, and settling on a career) that were set by generations before them. In this article We millennials lack a roadmap to adulthood, Stafford talks about the struggle Millennials face in finding their purpose and direction.
Much to my Mother’s dismay, I can strongly relate. At the age of 25, I’m nowhere near where my grandparents were at my age decades ago. I don’t own a home, I’m currently single, I have no desire for children, and I’m still searching of what I want to do with my life. While I have a great hopes and dreams for the journey ahead, I don’t necessarily aspire for the same ideals of the generations before me. Even more frustrating is the societal judgment disseminating from generations who have chosen a more traditional path that isn’t for me. However, I think there is a simple solution for building generational competence. Continue reading Intergenerational Friendship
As a technical communication major, I am more aware of the importance of good document design and creating user-centered content. Whether writing instructions on how to assemble a table or writing content for the web, the information needs to reflect the user-experience. Letting Go of the Words, by Ginny Redish was my go-to book for the “Writing & Designing for the Web I & II” courses. The book helped me to create more purposeful content.
User-experience applies to verbal communication, too. The exchange of information needs to be clear, so the listener understands the way the message was intended. It’s never to late to work on improving communication. You can start by:
- Actively listening
- Paying attention to nonverbal cues
- Keeping stress in check
- Asserting yourself
Effective communication is important in all areas of our lives—even when the topic is uncomfortable.
Communicating your Wishes
After I shared the news about my car accident with one of our daughters, the conversation turned to an uncomfortable topic (for me)—end-of-life wishes. As a medical resident, she has seen her fair share of families that were forced to make difficult decisions in the midst of their profound grief.
When our kids were young, my husband and I got a will and advanced directive. The main purpose was to ensure our four children were taken care of, in the event something happened to us. As a young parent, I didn’t want to think about not being around to watch our children grow-up, get married, and have children of their own. We had to answer if we wanted to be resuscitated, put on a mechanical ventilator, and donate our organs—not fun stuff to think about.
Completing the directive was an emotional experience. I was so freaked out that I wrote I had to be “REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DEAD” (in all caps) before anyone removes my organs. Our lawyer laughed when she saw my note. She understood most people felt that way about donations, but no one had ever listed their request the way I did.
Twenty years later, I’m still uneasy when people bring up the end-of-life topic. However, I saw firsthand how the benefits of communicating the wishes eliminated added stress on the family, when my mother-in-law became ill.
The conversation with my daughter made me realize that it’s time for us to update our documents. Time will tell if I’m ready to remove my special request.
Have you communicated your end-of-life wishes with your family?
Have you ever felt as though you may have an anxiety disorder? Do you get so easily overwhelmed and scared that you can’t help but shut down?
Anxiety is a creature of sorts. For many individuals, it creeps into every area it can get its hands on. It grabs your brain; it clenches your emotions. Many people can experience anxiety and stress from time to time. Most of the time, it can be a good thing because it drives us to complete various tasks on our to-do lists. However, for some individuals, anxiety is very real and it can be completely debilitating.
Anxiety is difficult to define because people experience various levels of it so differently and at various times in life. If I wanted to define the mental illness level of anxiety, I would say that it is simply uncontrollable and unexpected. Now, that doesn’t explain anything having to do with the feelings an individual feels when he/she experiences anxiety—that can vary so much (as I said at the beginning of this paragraph).
My point in saying this is to shed light on the fact that those who actually experience real, daily anxiety that is uncontrollable (perhaps an anxiety disorder) should not be told not to stress out or not to be nervous. Because anxiety that is debilitating is really a psychological and neurological illness, it is far beyond the control of the inflicted individual.
That being said, this does not mean that people with uncontrollable anxiety should sit in a well of self-pity their whole lives. It would be damaging on many levels (emotionally, relationally, etc.) to live this way and not deal with the overwhelming anxiety. People who think that their anxiety is a real issue should go to their doctor and/or see a therapist and take the necessary action steps to begin conquering their anxiety because there is help out there.
In the process, individuals around the person who is experiencing uncontrollable anxiety should be gracious and supportive. It’s important to understand that, though you may not experience anxiety as intensely as so-and-so, that doesn’t mean that you should tell them, “Just be happy.” I guarantee that is the last thing he/she will want to hear amidst the daily battle between the head (the anxiety) and the heart (not wanting to feel/think the anxious thoughts that are occurring).
On a lazy day (if I ever have the gift of having one of these so-called-days) I love to browse magazines and the worldwide web for the latest fashion trends. When I was younger, I took pride in owning pieces in my wardrobe that rivaled the trends in Hollywood and NY. I always found a deal and certainly didn’t shop in high-end stores, but on my budget, I could find items that spruced up my attire. In the 80’s, it was the pop of neon or oddly-patterned bulky sweaters with patent penny loafers, tightly cuffed stone-washed jeans and a coordinating scrunchi in the hair. The 90’s led to plaid Vans, combat boots, bib overalls, over-sized plaid button down flannels and maybe the “Rachel” as a haircut. The new century brought a mix of the 70’s and 90’s with boot-cut jeans, the cami under a cardigan or shrug, the comeback of the capri, from chunky shoes to flip-flops and hair with chunky low-lights and the occasional “crimped”strand for a surprise.
Staying up with these trends can really be exhausting!
Lately, I have found respite in the so-called “Staple” wardrobe. This wardrobe contains pieces that experts build on as a foundation to anybody’s style. These are your go-to pieces when you just don’t know what to wear for an occasion, or when you just don’t feel like putting together a trendy ensemble but still look and feel put-together.
According to New York Magazine’s The CUT You can put 50 “simple” items in your closet and you will own a solid wardrobe foundation. If 50 items are too much to manage, Elle Magazine narrows the foundation to 30 Essential Wardrobe Pieces that if you mix and match on any given day, will provide you with a “pulled together” look. Each of these expert lists contain items we would expect: the Little Black Dress, fitted blazer, the Pump, perfectly fitting jeans and a handbag, along with items that are not quite as obvious: Matching Pajamas, wrap coat and a Bateau shirt.
Images from elle.com
And don’t think I forgot about the men that are looking for ways to step up their game! You also can build your wardrobe around staple pieces to ensure you have something for every occasion. Forbes narrows your staples to 10 must have items.Khaki pants, the perfect fitting solid-colored pair of jeans, watch and blue blazer are just a handful of items you may want to have on hand.
Images from forbes.com
If you are on a budget, try shopping at Nordstrom Rack, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. You can find name brand named or not-so-known brand name items that will help you build your wardrobe foundation that won’t break your bank.
Now that you have the tools to pick staple pieces for your wardrobe, grab a friend and go shopping!
What do Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? You might have thought you would never see these two names together in one sentence. But, I’m going to explain and point out some connections.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an exceptional leader. During a time in history, when our country was segregated and full of racism. Martin Luther King Jr. was a beacon of hope and equality. He spoke out and helped African Americans have a voice. He started in the churches by being a pastor just like his father. It’s the church that influenced his speech giving abilities. He also found the church to be a go too for sharing ideals, beliefs and hope for African Americans. He is known for his nonviolent approach for equality. He turned negative situations into learning experiences and was not afraid to take a stand and encourage others to take a stand for equality in a peaceful manner. Martin Luther King Jr. helped bridge a gap at a time when African Americans felt there was no hope for equality. He lead and organized the Civil Rights Movement.
Adolf Hitler was a military operations leader during World War II. He was determined to have complete control and a master race of Germany and even the world. He was a leader that demanded authority and “lead with an iron fist” creating his dictatorship. He was known for his influential speech giving where he made a majority of his country believe in his personal beliefs and to follow outrageous demands. He used fear and violence as a tactic to control the people around him. He used the media of the time to get his word out to the people. Adolf Hitler gave a fighting spirit back to Germany after World War I, with his speeches and determination. Unfortunately, he was power hungry and had violent ideals of what the country and world should be.
So how are these two connected? Both came during a time when people were tired and wanted changes they were looking for answers and hope. They were both extremely influential leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. and Hitler had igniting and influential ability to reach people with their speeches. Both used media to their advantage to spread and get their messages heard. Both of these leaders were passionate and believed completely in what they were fighting for. Just goes to show you how impactful a leader can be in desperate times.
I still give myself a hard time for majoring in Communications because it’s a degree that is frowned upon by many. I often hear people say things such as, “what are you going to do with a Communications degree?” or “It’s a useless degree to have”. To an extent, I agree with those statements. It was even once listed as, “Top Ten Worst Majors”, on Forbes and might still be listed as so. A Communications degree is fairly general and broad, most of us don’t know what to do with it after graduation, it may not pay us as well as other specific majors such as nursing and computer technology, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee us job security upon graduation. Why are we majoring in it then? What’s so great about it?
It took me awhile to figure out that I should pursue what makes me happy. I think that everything else that I desire will fall into place if I follow that path. On September 6th of 2015, I married my best friend. Our wedding plans were in full force and part of that plan was to find an officiator. We met with several, but we fell in love with just one. Her name was Liz. Her story captivated and enticed me. She graduated from college with a degree in journalism. Sound familiar? It’s a degree, like Communications, that is just as doubtful.
I would have never imagined that someone who majored in journalism could have such a thriving business as a marriage officiator, but Liz has proved me wrong. Liz was inspired to become an officiator for her friends’ wedding when she noticed the high ministry costs for people in the LGBTA community. Since then, she has been booked back to back on weekends and has been running a successful business as a wedding officiator. Liz is able to do what she loves, which is write and make a business out of it by officiating weddings. I think that’s amazing.
It goes to show that you can do something with a degree as general as Communications. You may not see it yet, but if you follow what you love to do; you might just end up with a successful business like Liz. What are you guys going to do with a Communications degree?
Check out her website @ http://www.lizrae.com/
Check out the Martha Stewart Weddings for those who just love all things wedding like me @ http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/
Check out Elite Daily where Liz spent some time writing @ http://elitedaily.com/