July 31, 2012

.Be Fierce With Your Time.

There simply aren’t enough hours to get everything done.
Which is precisely why you shouldn’t even try.
Life’s not about getting everything done.
It’s about exalting the tasks, activities and relationships that hold the greatest potential for leverage and impact.
Ask yourself…
Can I do this once and have it ripple out 10x?

Will this one thing move the impact needle in a meaningful way, for me or for someone I care deeply about reaching?

Will I get a disproportionate return on the investment in this person, activity or idea?
Do these things before you do anything else.
Even better, find someone else to do the other stuff. And, however you can do it…
Identify and strip away as much of the 80% that gives you 20% as possible.
Fiercely protect opportunities for leverage and impact.
This one shift will make a huge difference.
Go now. Do it.
Be fierce with your time.
It’s the one currency you cannot bank.

July 30, 2012

.Ad Fin.

And we're getting to the end of this long road.  

Tonight I have finished my last class... ever.  Like... forever ever.  As in, get me hospitalized if I ever so much as mention any consideration to get another degree, because I've certainly had a psychotic break. 

No more tests.  No more finals.  No more papers.  No more hours of course lectures.  No more class presentations.  Not unless I'm the one assigning the work at least.

So for my last two semesters until that sweet graduation ceremony, I'll be buried with finishing my dissertation (two chapters down, three to go!), teaching, working, and keeping this active little girl as happy as possible.

Maybe I'll even fit in some of that idleness we talked about before. :)

July 24, 2012

.Exciting (and kind of scary) News!

We have exciting news in the Tyler household.

G is following one of his life dreams and partnering with his boss to open a new business!  Garrett has been working hard and brainstorming for this downtown frozen yogurt shoppe for some time, so I'm incredibly proud to see all his planning come into fruition.  This weekend, we three went by the building and excitedly discussed layouts and logistics.

1100 Broadway, soon-to-be home of Freeze Frame Yogurt Shoppe.
Cheers to this new (and kind of scary) adventure!

July 19, 2012

.On the topic of friends.

Dear Dylan,

Since adolescence, I've been trying to figure this one out.  This one is a doozy because it has almost broken me a time or two, but here is what I've got so far...

...friends are the people who don't control.  Who have high expectations of you, but don't guilt or punish you when you make mistakes.  Who inspire and support you, not belittle and drain.  They give before taking.  They celebrate in your successes and are not jealous or resentful.  They delight in your happiness and do not make you feel less than them.  They are not mean and curt to you just to make themselves feel better.  Friends do not make you feel paranoid and insecure.  They appreciate your idiosyncrasies.  They are quality, not quantity.  They are open, caring, thoughtful.  They have firm boundaries and are assertive in their opinions and beliefs, but they are not dismissive, condescending, or  cruel.  

Friends know you.  They work to have a deeper understanding of what makes you, you.  They make you a part of their world, but they don't rely on and suffocate you.  They share their joys along with their sorrows.  If it's only ever the latter, that's not a friend.  They don't treat you like an inconvenience or a consolation prize.  They value your company, your words.  They respectfully challenge you.  You don't need to do anything, it's just natural.  Friendship shouldn't be hard, and it shouldn't have to be declared.  It should feel like your soul was meant to know this person for whatever reason. They are protective, but not intrusive.  It is actions, not words (for some reason, this was the hardest for me to learn).  

Friendship is the long-term.  It is the constant.  It is refreshing.  You feel better after time spent together, and that time is spent sharing ideas, hobbies, beliefs, insight, feelings... not just gossiping and tearing others down.  Be the example of what you expect in a friendship, and do not settle.  This might mean a little loneliness, yes.  And yes, friends make life richer, but not when they're bad, destructive friends.  Friends want to grow with you, experience new adventures with you, not just remain stagnant or living for past happenings.  Friends are interested and curious about your life, and value loyalty and fidelity.  Friends are forgiving, but not forgetful.  

Good friends are the exception, not the rule.  And sometimes friendships go through seasons, changing and fading.  That's okay too.  We learn what we can from the time spent and apply it to the next experience.  Friendship is not perfect because people are not perfect but you look at the big picture and you focus on the people who actually bring value to this world, to your world.

And know this, that even the people outside of your world deserve respect and well wishes, even when you want to do the opposite.  Because you should never regret being kind.  And sometimes you'll still be hurt regardless, but in that comes greater understanding of the human condition, and growth in character.

I love you always,
Your mama

July 17, 2012

.Summer Skin.

Squeaky swings and tall grass
The longest shadows ever cast
The water's warm and children swim
And we frolicked about in our summer skin
I don't recall a single care
Just greenery and humid air
.Death Cab for Cutie.

July 6, 2012

.Am I addicted?

An interesting article to chew on for the weekend.

Am I addicted to the busyness?  Will I always feel the need to maximize on every single minute of the day?  I continue to tell myself that once I graduate, once I get licensure, once I pay my dues, life will slow down... I will slow down.  Is that true? 
"Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done."
I'll especially be reflecting on this quote from the article along with the author's ending statement, "Life is too short to be busy," as I hammer out several assignments that I have been neglecting this weekend.  To be honest, idleness sounds as likely as a purple-spotted unicorn right about now, but I am determined to work on this; I just have to add it to my to-do list :)

July 4, 2012

.Happy 4th!

It's Independence Day!  

I'm not too upset that it falls on a week day this year because this little break from work is quite nice.  Wishing you all a fun day in the sun, with lots of good grilling.  We're off to get ready for a day full of swimming, a fish fry, and fireworks!  It should be a good time now that Dylan is officially a little walking machine.  Watch out world!  Dylan the explorer is on the loose.

P.S. Past fourths herehere and here.

July 3, 2012

.The best irresponsible idea ever.

Last night, I went to the Coldplay concert in Atlanta with my friends Ashley and Roxi.

Today at work, I was more than sleep deprived, my voice is raspy from singing my heart out, and I'm sore all over from moving to that great music.

It was the best irresponsible idea ever.

Oh, and Chris Martin?
I totally get the hype now.

July 2, 2012

.The Best Wedding There Ever Was.

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

This weekend, we took a road trip to Richmond, Virginia for my best friend's wedding.  The weather was ridiculous though, full of 100 degree heat and an unexpected crazy storm the night before the wedding that knocked out the power all over the area... including the wedding venue.

With any other couple, this could have spelled a complete disaster.  With Lauren and Aaron though, everyone involved with this event was determined to make the best of the situation.  It was unbearably hot, so we made our way in, out, and along the reception area by candlelight.  Then it started raining, hard, and we all had to huddle inside.  

But the beautiful thing?

Everyone just wanted to have a good time, and guarantee that Lauren and Aaron would have an unforgettable and romantic night.  And that it became.  We danced in the rain.  Everyone jumped in the pool (including the parents!).  It was amazing and refreshing.  In that time, everyone forgot about the stress of the past days and just had fun together.  

Dozens of people flew across the country and traveled far and wide to witness this union; several spoke about the goodness in this couple (I made a toast at the rehearsal dinner without even getting emotional!) and how they deserved nothing but the best that life and love had to offer.  

This all reinforced that with the right attitudes and with the right priorities, nothing can be a complete disaster.  I'll never forget this lesson or the incredible time spent with friends.  

Definitely a wedding to remember.

P.S. Previous weekends with friends here and here.