Category Archives: organizing

:: Balance ::

image: thayer allyson gowdy

Today I designed something I haven’t designed in ages. A form. A printable form. To print. On actual paper. A financial management form. Much different from the picture above, but financial management guarantees a yield in more time for doing what I love most.

Years ago, beginning in early 1993 I worked in office administration for a member firm of the Pacific Stock Exchange. I worked my way up quickly from Temporary Receptionist > Administrative Assistant > Administrative Manager aka Executive Assistant. My first tasks on the first day was to station myself at the front desk, answer phones, sharpen pencils, greet customers, and log cash transactions. Those were easy enough to master. What I didn’t expect three weeks later was the offer to manage the upstairs operations with an exhaustive list of responsibilities I won’t bore you with here. Needless to say, learning everything lickety split quick and then devising new organization systems was the name of the game.

When I think of that time and how organized I was I can get frustrated because I don’t feel so organized now. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or dwelling on my glamourously organized life pre-children, I went back into the past and grabbed my tool belt and my big girl panties.

Here is a link to the new daily cash spreadsheet I’ve designed complete with updating formulas. You’re welcome to use it. Just send me an email and I’ll send you a copy for your own use. In addition, I’ll be using this to get my future in order.

How do you balance?

I’ll share favorite apps and tools for business and personal in a different post.

Thanks in advance for sharing!

ttfn,

{gena}

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You Are What You Eat

image and placemat: genaperduehandmade

Two and a half weeks ago, I walked into an FA meeting. FA is Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. I walked in because I wanted change. I walked in because I had known about the program a few years through a friend who was going through changes. I walked in because I was ready to change how I was living. I walked in because I knew that FA was not a diet or temporary change in foods. I walked in because I want to be healthier and yes, thinner. And perhaps, dare I say it: less miserable.

What I didn’t expect when I began was to walk into a room of thin, happy people. What I didn’t expect was to see anyone I knew. What I didn’t expect was to feel light and airy and have that blissful wind in my sails for a whole week. At theĀ  second, third and fourth meetings I attended I saw even more familiar faces, some which I am intimate with. I was both surprised and relieved to know I was not the only one struggling with this particular which is so important in life.

When I found a sponsor and we created a food plan for me, I was amazed at how similar I had already been eating. The only difference is that now I eat three consistent meals a day at regular intervals and eliminate all flours and sugars. Ounce for ounce, all of my food is weighed. When I know I am going to be away from home during meals, I bring my food with me. This may sound complicated, but I have been amazed at the peace and tranquility that living this way has brought into my life.

It’s about honesty. What I didn’t know about honesty is that honesty isn’t a selective behaviour. When I decided to become honest about food, everything in my life was up on the chopping block. Speaking up for myself and being brave, loud and proud of who I am and what I want from life is new. Am I sad to say goodbye to cocktails? Not really.

The next step is the hardest. Telling my extended family I am changing and letting them know that even though I am changing, I don’t expect them to change and I don’t want them to pity me because I don’t eat whatever it is I’m not eating. I don’t need my friends or family to behave differently around me. And because I’m not doing or eating something doesn’t mean that I’m judging someone who does. I’ve never felt braver and happier and life is becoming more fun and free by the day.

In my bowl above is 8oz. of nonfat Fage yogurt, 6 oz. mixed organic berries, and 1 oz. uncooked organic steelcut oatmeal. This is very similar to the way I would [sometimes] eat when I was doing triathlon. In twenty pounds I expect to be running comfortably again. In September I’ll be going on a Recovery Retreat that I was recently invited to, with amazing friends, amazing food, ziplines, and in one of the beautiful places in the world.

The upshot of all this: Currently: I have more confidence. I have more time. At 43 I feel happier and more balanced than ever before. I love my life. I am incredibly grateful.

Enough and More

image: { gena perdue handmade }

laptop sleeve?

ipad cover?

handbag?

wallet?

panel?

“I will become something,” said the green circle fabric. “I can be all of these things and more. For today, I will be a panel that separates a studio and a bathroom, and that will be enough.”

Do you ever find yourself out of focus? Overwhelmed by the tidal waves of to do lists? Wish lists and aspirations? Only to later discover an entire day has gone by like a dream?

It can be difficult with job pressures, family needs, and the burden of expectation with a sometimes unidentifiable source, to remember that we are enough.

We don’t have to accomplish everything today. We can instead choose what to accomplish today.

Choosing one thing to accomplish everyday (be kind and make it manageable at first until you get into the swing of things) and be amazed at your list of accomplishments after 7 days and then after 30 days.

Recently after reading this book, I have taken this approach and have been amazed at how much I accomplish in a week. As compared with my state of overwhelm awhile ago, which looked something like this:

1. Have my coffee to get energy for the day, 2. take kids to school, 3. clean up breakfast mess, 4. tidy up rooms, 5. make a long to do list of things, 6. check facebook to see what my friends are up to, 7. check my email and respond to anything necessary (or not), 8. pick up the living room and fluff up the couch pillows . . . you get where this goes. By the time I finish these things and barely begin to look at what’s number 1 on the giant to do list, it’s half hour before I pick up the kids and I haven’t eaten lunch yet and don’t even think about what I look like.

Do you have a list? Will you participate in a daily challenge with me to accomplish just one thing a day? Link back here and let’s continue the conversation and share our [small, but grand and amazing] victories.

Thanks for the visit.

In the Spring of Things

WIP

image: gena perdue handmade

This WIP is about seven years old, made from dress scraps and other quilting and craft scraps. The feelings are warm and happy when I look at it, making it the perfect demo for one of my summer sewing camp sessions this year. Also perfect that it’s a straight stitch project and that the cutting and piecing part was mostly finished. This demo will be used for my Hello Dolly! Dolly Quilt session.

Love, Time and Money

image: Little Miss Maggie

My last post was really a half post. Our film festival really ate my brain this year. In fact so much, that the book sadly fell to the wayside quickly. Reading was off to a good start, smart, sweet, funny – what’s not to love? I remember us reading books together when we first started dating. There seemed to be an Anne Rice craze around then and we decided to read Interview With The Vampire. Anyway, reading together reminded me of those times. Love was new, time was aplenty, and we needed less money. Back then we both worked on the Pacific Stock Exchange.

The time put into the film festival really paid off. Our ticket sales were up by 88% this year. That’s almost double! Could it have happened without the support of friends and family nearby? I don’t know.

Today we have two kids (three if you count the festival, she’s five just like our younger) and we both work in the arts. So Love is Huge, Time is Nil, Money is Gone.

And sew (hint) I have officially resigned as Filmmaker Liaison, Housing Coordinator, and Steering Committee member. A new beginning.