Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's New Year (2018) Already?! aka My Why

Eagles beat the Patriots in the biggest football game of the year this past Sunday. My favorite ad was the Dirty Dancing Themed NFL commercial with Eli Manning & Odell Beckham, Jr. Way Fun!  The Tide ad was a close second... but wait, this wasn't going to be a post about the Big Game ads... (However, if you want to see more of *those* ads from 1980 to now... Super Ads Database is your place!)

Okay... so what am I writing about? Ummm... well, according to my last blog post in *cough cough* October, I'm supposed to be purposefully writing 1,000 words a day.

I can't defend myself of my massive failure at that. But if you watch this video, you'll see how I've done.

Himself & I decided that New Year Resolutions of healthy eating and habits (a continual resolution, often restarted on arbitrary days in the middle of the year) begin after the Big Game day. I joined Weight Watchers 2 weeks ago for online and meetings, but haven't been to a meeting yet. I've tracked a few meals, but have not earnestly devoted my thoughts and time to get back on the plant-based wagon.

And regaining stamina and energy through losing weight and walking every day for 40 minutes is key to this post: the discovery of My Why.

My Why is Barbershop. There. I said it. Singing a cappella is encompassed in that, but honestly... Singing and Performing, Learning and Teaching Barbershop is my why.  The other day I likened Barbershop music to the Tardis (12 min vid) - small and square on the outside, but when you enter inside, it is So Much Bigger! Love Matt Smith at 4:10, by the way.

Yes, there can be Barbershop that is cheesy. But really, we love cheese. We are a cheese-loving nation, aren't we? Cheese on anything (almost) makes it better. Cheesy Grits. Nachos. Cheese in rice. Cheesy beans on toast. Cheese on a baked potato. Only Barbershop Cheese doesn't pile on fat or calories. I happen to be going slowly toward eating plant-based... which means no more cheese for me. But believe me that I know cheese is a beautifully-tasty food, and yes, for me, the cornier the joke is, the better (corn = cheese in this comparison). So I am not disparaging cheese.

Yes, Barbershop has (among the uninitiated) the perception of only being sung by old guys in boater hats and striped vests... So? Who cares if they're a little cheesy? I'd rather have cheesy nice guys than slick, despicable snakes in the grass. And there are some super talented young 'uns (men and women) who are definitely NOT "your grandparents barbershoppers." Young or old, good singing attracts everyone!

Thanks to Deke Sharon, who has been described as the "Father of contemporary a cappella," the distinct style of singing known as Barbershop has been blessed as A Cappella's Martial Art. In other words, if you learn to sing Barbershop harmony well than you have the foundation on which to become a Ninja of a cappella singing.
"You might think Barbershop is only old guys singing old songs, but you're wrong. Sometimes the songs are new, sometimes the guys are young, but you know what? There's a lot to be learned from your elders, and if a song has lasted a century, it's still around for a good reason." ~ Deke Sharon
So, you ask, why exactly is Barbershop like the Tardis? Because on the outside, Barbershop is square, and not very complicated. Heck, one of the hallmarks of the style is that it is built on simple melodies and relatively easy to sing. Once you learn more about how an overtone is produced (which is the goal of every quartet and chorus singer) however, you realize that there is so much more to what barbershop singing requires in order for those chords to ring. The Merriam-Webster technical definition of an overtone is:
"one of the higher tones produced simultaneously with the fundamental and that with the fundamental comprise a complex musical tone."
Sweet Adelines International defines it a thus:
"When the music is sung accurately and with good breath support and vocal techniques, barbershop harmony produces overtone vibrations that create a resonant ring unique to this form of music."
In other words... when you're doing it right, the singing produces another audible "voice" heard high above (and sometimes below) the actual notes being vocally produced. It's acoustical magic and way-hey too much math for me to even try to explain in more precise language... but singing barbershop, when it's all done correctly - creates a bigger sound than what is actually being sung. Barbershoppers call that "Expanded Sound" and it sounds like more people are singing than are actually singing. Like the Tardis. See? It looks all square and normal, and then you enter in to the overtone series and Banga-boom(!) it's BIGGER!

And wait, there's MORE! It won't be in this post... but there's so much more to reveal regarding vowels, arrangements, music theory, physical and emotional benefits of singing alone and singing together... The Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), formerly known as SPEBQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America) has it right in their motto #everyoneinharmony. As does Deke Sharon with his #harmonythroughharmony.

Singing together, I believe, can change the world.

Understanding that physiologically it is easier on our vocal mechanism to sing than it is to talk; leads me to believe that while not everyone has the natural, born-this-way voice gift... Everyone has the physical mechanism to sing. And has to ability to learn to sing. It is something that can be taught.

And singing together in a barbershop chorus (where not everyone has to have a solo voice), creating those overtones and sharing the pure joy of creating music and overtones with others might just possibly change the world.

In the Christian world, since 1982 when Keith Lancaster wanted to form a ministry through a cappella singing, there's been Acappella Ministry. #hearitinourvoice was a motto they used, and is now a collection of released songs from the Acappella company. This ministry has brought so much joy and music to people around the world!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Re-thinking The Work Day Schedule (Do we really need 8 hours?)

THIS! This This This This This.

I subscribed to an online magazine of sorts, called Medium. You can sign up for articles/topics that interest you, and then you get updates in your email inbox. I particularly like that it gives estimates at how long a particular read will be.

"3 minute read" or "9 minute read" - it is a fabulous expectation tool which helps me decide if I have time at that moment to take a quick reading break.

The "THIS!" link above makes some great points about how our 8 hour work day really should be made a thing of the past; at least for most careers... Srinivas Rao is the author of the article, and so far, I really appreciate all of what he has written.
"Parkinson’s law states that a task will end up taking the amount of time that we’ve allotted for it. So perhaps it’s possible that everything that happens over the course of an 8 hour work day could happen over the course of a 4 hour work day." ~ Srinivas Rao

These past couple of weeks I've been really focused on reading and discovering "My Why." With two successful real estate transactions done and dusted in September, and looking toward a future of continuing this rewarding experience, I need to know what is going to get me through it when times are lean and mean.

As I'm trying to put a plan together - a routine - good habits... "My Why" becomes important to actually "doing" and not just "researching" and "reading" and sharing things on Facebook.

I've come to a number of conclusions, and one of them that I believe is critical to "My Why" is to write 1,000 words a day. I have not journalled or written on a regular basis since college - and I think many ducks will shut up if I can get back to writing on a consistent basis. Again, Srinivas has written an inspiring article, which I found via Medium - "How Writing 1000 Words a Day Changed My Life."

You see, I don't want to be be a full-time realtor forever... or for even more than a couple years.

I want to work full-ish time (30 hours a week) as a realtor, still make enough to save some money and want to be able to have some Smart Passive Income, along with traveling around the USA for 6 months of the year while performing at Mobile Home/RV parks. To have my backtrack Cabaret Act or me and guitar and/or ukulele is my ideal way to help fund my travels.

So, reading inspiring and creative articles is great - but I have to really set my routine up! Our Real Estate Team, the Vallee Gold Team is putting the team through some fabulous coaching with Verl Workman. He is big on processes and procedures, accountability and measuring results. All good stuff! But... my routine that I'm trying to set up isn't just about Real Estate. 

Maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew...

Verl Workman is also the one, who said in last week's video conference call, that we all need to "Find Your Why." I took him seriously.

It's time to take action (while still reading) on all these great ideas on how best to succeed.

Oh, and I want to read 100 books (at least) next year. I'd be content to finish 12 books before the end of the year. Whoop!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Accountability = Love

When we lie to ourselves... When we don't hold ourselves accountable to what we tell ourselves, it is essentially a lie.
Think on it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


"If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it."
I started back in Real Estate in the middle of May - and this quote helps keep me focused.

Today I've been researching Teaching English as a Second Language in a foreign country. The desire to run away has been really strong lately.

I found this blog, and this resource to spend time while I wait to go show some more houses.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

I'm unsettled. Anxious. Curious. Frustrated. Grateful.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Science has proved vs Science is catching up

This is not to disparage science. But I think often that things that we've known (or perhaps I should say believed) for a long time; are now being 'proven' by science, when, in fact, we've known them for a long time.

If it isn't backed by science, does this mean it isn't true?

I am a person of faith. And someone who completely trusts my gut. Truly, it gives me accurate intuition regarding people and who I should trust and who I should hold at arm's length - and I cannot think of a time when it has been wrong. I have no science but my life experience. And my predisposed beliefs about some things affect how I make decisions. I research and find out facts, and then I still will go with my gut. I often am not logical, and I'm okay with that.

I was at a really awesome and dynamic talk by Jeanette Mare', the founder of Ben's Bells.  If you are not aware of Ben's Bells, her story and what this Be Kind movement is doing is worth your time. And worth conversation in a different post.

She talked about how science has proven that Kindness is a better indication of success in the workplace over IQ. (Google it... lots of emotional intelligence articles out there)

Aesop's fable of the The Wind and The Sun proved "Kindness effects more than severity" way back in ancient times.

So... what if some things that are believed but are not proven, and perhaps "P-shaw'd" by science and scientific types have just not been proven - yet?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

365 Days of Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my diversity of friends. They give me perspective, other opinions, and perception. They contribute to my sense of empathy. They anger me, but I love them, so Love overrules anger. They are not me, and I am not them, but we are compliments. Together we create harmony.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Fear & Less

Fear of Loss.

Loss of Health. Loss of Family. Loss of Friends. Loss of Love. Loss of Time. Loss of Freedom. Loss of Integrity. Loss of Truth.

Fear of Inadequacy. Fear of the Truth. Fear of the Lies. Fear of Physical Pain. Fear of my government. Fear of my neighbor. Fear of the Global World we live in. Fear of Opinions. Fear of Routine. Fear of Discipline. Fear of Success. Fear of Failure. Fear of Not Doing Enough. Fear of Not Being Enough. Fear of Doing Too Much. Fear of Action. Fear of Staying the Same. Fear of the Unknown. Fear of THE METEOR de-magnetizing this amazing time we live in. Fear of Drought. Fear of Fire. Fear of GMOs. Fear of Big Business. Fear of the Ignorant (read the Haters). Fear of Disapproval.

The Joy of less | Kim Coupounas | TEDxBoulder

"What is that abundance, that joy, that your heart aches for? And what can you have less of to make room for it?" ~ Kim Coupounas

18 months almost to the day when I wrote my last post.

It still comes down to Focus. "Hacking away at the unessential" (thank you Bruce Lee).

I've met some new people, been able to get rid of a lot more craft items, but am not close to living simply. I have slowly come to realize over the last few months that I have an extremely deep Fear.

I Fear I Am Not Enough. My head knows this is garbage. And yet it is the driving force behind the majority of my daily decisions.

Perhaps I equate Less with Loss. Fear of needing the information in the book on Herbal Remedies that I just donated to the Salvation Army. Some of the fear is real, some of it is imagined, some of it comes from the Preppers (TSHTF group -  when 'the shit hits the fan' group), most of it comes through the media, and Social Media.

So what prompted me to write today, this minute, on this subject? A 25 minute conversation with my cousin - who had worked for a company himself has applied to. I had emailed my cousin to ask about his time with that company, company culture etc... and in response to my email to him, he said "I'm free now if you'd like to call me" - with his phone number.

Some background: This cousin and I love our shared family - his grandfather (Earl) loved me as a little girl because I reminded his grandfather of his daughter, Betty Kay, who is this cousin's mother, and who died much too young. His grandmother (Tess), was my paternal grandmother, Ethel's sister (my great-aunt), and they are siblings in "This Family" and this Family is special. I last saw my cousin at the funeral of great-aunt CJ, and because the cousins are spread out, we are not connected.

So I called him. And we talked longer than I thought we would - and after we talked about the company he used to work for, we agreed we miss the Lindsey Family gatherings. And we talked about how much we both love my dad. And how it blows our minds that my younger brother is 40. And we talked about his recent move, and what he does now. And I caught up on what his sisters are doing - not a lot of detail, but I know where they're living at least. And we talked about camping - and how I asked himself for a pop-up trailer and I came home to a tent in the back yard (Sooooo not a pop-up trailer - lol!). And we connected. I want more of that in my life.

Connection. I still want to have a business I can run from the internet, and travel around in a trailer and stay connected to my family and my friends. I want to be able to sing and perform with my guitar and ukulele (which I played with on the day I got it, but I think about playing it every single day, along with getting back to the guitar) and meet new people all across the country. This thrills my wandering soul. I don't know why exactly I'm not afraid of that.

But -
But - ~
But - ~ ...

What stops me? Why am I unable to stay Focused on What I Want (what I really really want ♪)?

Go back to the quote - what can I have less of to make room for it?

I feel like I'm closer to action. Today, at least.

Recently I had a conversation and I shared that I am just so tired. Tired of being anxious, tired of feeling hopeless in trying to change some of my behaviors. Tired of not accepting myself for being enough. Tired of saying at the beginning of each day, "I will not have the donuts or the bagels or the brownies or the cookies or the pita bread or the flour tortilla" and by 10am I've had the boston cream donut, and the banana cream pie, and the chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzel bites from Trader Joe's. I know my tiredness in part is because I haven't budged on the weight loss. I'm 3 lbs away from when I started Medi-Fast. That's another whole post.

We had some new friends over for Scotch Eggs and Haggis last night - and I cleaned the house. It looks so nice and smells so good. The living room is mostly clear of the random stuff that collects, that goes unnoticed because there is So. Much. Stuff. to keep track of and it has no permanent home. I love this clean feeling. And when I think about what I 'should' do to keep it up, then I'm instantly tired and hopeless. The Overwhelm of Life. Managing the Details. Negotiating throughout the day - because really, Life is All Negotiation.

No wonder the ideas of "Be More With Less" and "Tiny Houses" and "Becoming Minimalist" are so attractive and gaining momentum.

I live in my head. I collect information. I  know things, but I don't necessarily understand. And while I've been known to make fast decisions (hello, marry himself and then move out of the country in a span of less than 6 months...), this idea of living with so much less is huge change. Acting on this "Less is More" thing is scary. I have all that Fear.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Slow Start

Penelope Trunk
I like her blog. A lot.

Amazing 2015
Great, as usual, post from Zen Habits.

It has been a slow start to 2015.

I'm finding a new passion in Vintage Trailers - obtaining one, re-doing it myself, then traveling around in it and making money teaching craft classes to senior citizens in the variety of residences they live in (mobile home retirement communities to assisted living care facilities); singing and performing at the same locations, and having some kind of online business that pays me.

Intentional is my word for 2015.

Not exactly sure what this means for me, intentional... but it has something to do with creating an intentional life without extra 'stuff' - sort of like minimalism, but not really. "Will it fit in my tiny house?" is still a strong motivator for me to get rid of excess stuff, however.

Currently I'm a Realtor - started the process in June last year, and well... the jury is still out. I'm certainly not passionate about it, and yet there are aspects of it I enjoy.  I've learned a lot - and will be taking a Negotiation course, which I believe will be helpful regardless of what I end up doing.

Bible Thought for the day:
"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21

It reminds me that taking it all to God - praying, meditating, sending it out to the universe - whichever phrase resonates with you - that is what I think I mean by intentional. Giving more thought and energy behind positive outcomes, and always being thankful for the situation I am in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Busy Busy!

Long time no post....

First ~ a sunrise

The sunrise this morning was at 7:14am ~ it was not a spectacular one, as there was a few mornings ago... but I want to make it a goal of mine to be sure I'm up and outside (if it isn't raining) a few minutes before the sunrise and take a picture, and post it somewhere (here, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter). It is difficult for me to be an early riser, but I am better than I was a few years ago.

I'm reading on my Kindle "The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)" by Hal Elrod. Before reading this book, I have already read a number of articles along the vein of "what successful people do that most of us don't" from LifeHack or similar all say the same thing - get up early and Pray/Meditate, Exercise, Focus on your Goals, Review your day ahead, etc... I like "Miracle Morning" because it digs a little deeper (not much) into the nuts and bolts of HOW (though there is a lot [a LOT] of 'this is why you will love this book...' and 'when you do the things I'm going to tell you about, you will love...' which drives me crazy. I've bought the book, stop selling it to me!).

One quote I love from the book: "How you do anything is how you do everything."

In my thought process, this is similar to one of  Gretchin Rubin's Secrets of Adulthood (from the Happiness Project): "What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE."

How I do what I do today matters... because I will either build on it tomorrow, or have to lay the foundation again.  For me, getting up at 5AM means going to sleep before 11PM. My stomach hurts when I don't get enough sleep, and I am so busy doing singing stuff I can't afford to get sick, and without enough sleep, historically I get sick. So, saying "no" to watching the second newer Star Trek (which we started watching at 9:50pm) is where my self-discipline has to kick in.

That being said, one of the strategies is to affirm to myself, before going to sleep, that the amount of sleep I'm going to have is going to be perfect, that I'll have exactly the amount of sleep I need and will feel rested and energized in the morning. When I plant that thought in my brain before going to sleep (instead of counting on my fingers how much sleep I should get, and lamenting that it is never enough, and berating myself for my lack of self-discipline), I do wake up with a kickier step.

I woke up at 5:25 this morning, I didn't snooze - and got up and came in to organize calendars and write goals, do some things on my 'To Do' list. My Real Estate mentor and I have purchased "Passion Planners" and I've been looking at that a little... it is exactly the kind of planner I've been looking for and I'm incredibly excited about it!

So my point... I haven't really applied myself to working the Real Estate business. My floating along time has come to an end, I have some tools I need to use, and we've started an Accountability Group, which - for tomorrow I'm supposed to have my goals written down. So many goals, so little time, right?! Work-related goals. My Why to motivate me toward Real Estate is Independence and Flexibility. Both things are necessary for me to do what I love which is sing.

Singing/Performing is my passion. Why am I not pursuing it?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Month So Far

A long, boring post of what I've done since the beginning of October, 2014. I'm so distracted in the clutter and being overwhelmed, I just thought I'd list, rather than create. But, it is in the spirit of trying to write more regularly... which I've been horribly irregular about, here's my month so far:

10/1 - Met a friend at the Good Egg for 8am breakfast and to receive the goodies from my Origami Owl party (held on 9/21) to give to my friends who bought some pretty jewelry goodies! I've known this gal since my second time around at American Airlines Reservations employment (SWRO). She and I went through the coaching program together, and she's still working for them! At home, but still... I admire that tenacity!

10/2 - Haircut... I thought I was going to let my hair grow into a shaped bob, but can't deal with that right now... I started this day with writing down goals for the next week... taking time to write a "To Do List" and timing how long that took (7 minutes)... how long it would take to follow my Social Media plan (started with 15 minutes, but it went into 1 hour - and from what I've done today, I need to have a Serious Chat with myself about how I work this into my business plan... because days go by and I do nothing else). I wrote down a huge list of things to do, and I got some stuff done (like organizing tickets to the Tucson Desert Harmony October 18th Cabaret Show and getting my table of 8 guests done). I did talk to my tax guy, who advised - "Every time you take out your wallet and pay for something, write it down." He also suggested paying 20% of my Real Estate pay (commission checks) to the IRS every. single. check.  Which I think is a good idea for me. I think I spent a lot of time organizing my friends and groups in Facebook...
I texted a friend from ARC, talked to another friend about voice lessons for her daughter.

10/3 - I worked a lot on the Facebook messages about starting out in Real Estate. I received a possible lead. I worked on my personal excel spreadsheet of people I know, and how I can get their information to add to my RE Contact Management System. I did laundry. I sorted my "To Do List" A1, A2 etc...  I did start something for my first Open House which was held 10/5.

10/4 - Followed up with the potential lead from the Facebook Message, researched some house stuff. Had a long conversation with my mentor person about the Open House, changed my voicemail message.  Went to a friend's and picked up a few things that I ordered from Stampin' Up. That night himself and I watched "Life of Pi" and "Lincoln" ~ I enjoyed both movies quite a bit. I made lists of what to bring to the Open House.

10/5 - went to the College Class for church, grabbed some donuts and left, since the Open House started at 1pm. I called AT&T about my phone Hotspot, which they refreshed, or whatever, and it now works. The Open House was very educational. I have so much to learn. Potential leads - can't buy a house until January, not sure how often to contact, but did put them in the CRM for RE and sent out one email.

10/6 - Went to the RE Office and the "Map to Success" they have for the new agents. Made Zombie Finger Breadsticks for the Bunco that night (I was subbing).

10/7 - Office Meeting in the morning, met a friend for lunch at Chipotle, went back to the office for the tour of Procedures from the Office Administrator, who has been around for 20 years. (Which reminds me I need to do some serious thank you notes!) I deposited a check to the bank for show tickets. I wrote down in my "write everything down" notebook that I need to focus on [1] aspect of Real Estate a week to LEARN. Contracts (there are a bunch, so one week = Contracts and break it down to individual buyers, sellers, addendums, cures, etc...), Home Warranties, MLS etc.

10/8 - I started losing track of the days/dates on this day... I was supposed to go up and preview the house for the Open House tomorrow (Sunday, 10/12) - but it rained and my friend who lives up there had a hard time getting home, so I was thwarted. I don't think I left the house. But I did shower and dress as if I was. This is huge for me (!) This day was a 3 (quite bad) on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best. I broke down and had a crying jag. Just so completely overwhelmed with new career, messy house, so many things I want to accomplish. I ran out of pages in my "write everything down" notebook and well, basically Lost the Plot. I started watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and had a mini-fest. My brain needed the break... but this cycle needs to stop.

10/9 - Was on the phone for a while with a couple of different people - one called me for computer help, which is flattering. Another I called with a question about dues for my Tucson Chorus. Discussed branding and Message for this chorus, and how we really have to take our vibrant and fun hobby to a less-retired age group. I met another ARC friend at Starbucks and caught up on some of the goings on there...

10/10 - REBarCamp from 8 to 3 (I left earlier) - a whole day networking and going to break out sessions focused on Social Media and Technology in the field of Real Estate. Free food... goodies (pens, pads of paper, t-shirts, bags) and lots of new business cards. I have a new Facebook friend, and learned that I want to download and use Evernote. It was a good day, but I really struggle with mass networking like that. *REBarCamp - Real Estate BarCamp - BarCamp is such unhelpful name to understand what a great thing this is. "BarCamp is an international network of user-generated conferences primarily focused around technology and the web. They are open, participatory workshop-events, the content of which is provided by participants...The format has also been used for a variety of other topics, including public transit, health care, education, and political organizing. The BarCamp format has also been adapted for specific industries like banking, education, real estate and social media." (wikipedia) Himself and I went to dinner to one of my favorite local restaurants, The Blue Willow, with some friends, and had a great night. We came home and then watched Bones, then Criminal Minds. Went to bed pretty early.

Long Post!

So that is what I did. I feel like the list of what I didn't do far far supersedes anything I did. I've been tweeting more @hav2sing is my Twitter handle.

There is no wrap-up or conclusion. It is today, and I have to start a new "write everything down" notebook, put my mileage and receipts together, pay some bills, finish laundry, etc.