Tag: Personal Growth

What a Response!

What a Response!

You have all blown my mind with the amazing response to the first What’s Your Why Not post.

In the spirit of chasing and achieving our Why Nots, I’ve been working on something that is by no means complete and seems utterly crazy, but it feels right, so I’m throwing it out there for all of you.

Instead of doing What’s Your Why Not as a series here, I’ve started an entirely separate website dedicated to just that. As I said in the introductory video, I would love to see this grow organically… I by no means have an entire series all outlined and ready to go. In order to have the room we may need to explore this crazy-huge topic together, a new site seems to be the right move.

This website here, my site, isn’t going anywhere, so don’t worry about that. This site will remain the same as it is now; only the What’s Your Why Not content will be on the new site.

My biggest reason for doing this is all of you. It has been amazing to see the conversations that sprouted up from the introductory video. In more than one social media arena, one person said, “Here’s my Why Not,” shortly followed by a response from someone else saying, “That’s my Why Not too! I started a year ago, and here’s where I am now.”

It made my heart warm to see people relating to each other and helping each other find their Why Nots. In order for that to continue to grow, I felt that we might try some forums… one place where we can all discuss our Why Nots, our struggles, our achievements, and help others.

So, go take a peek! As I said before, it’s by no means completely what I envision in full, but I want to start in bits & pieces like I did with this site.

I hope you all enjoy it, and I truly hope you all join in.

The Whys and Hows of A Brain Dump

The Whys and Hows of A Brain Dump

Your brain is for thinking, not for storage.

This has been my mantra for years. As the boys have gotten older and then we decided to add another one to the bunch, it has definitely become a necessary reminder to myself that I need to maximize my mental energy in every way possible. I don’t know about your mind, but mine can go from barely-functioning-head-fog one day to creative-burst-overload the next.

Enter the need for a Brain Dump.

We all have a finite amount of mental energy; why waste that precious energy hanging on to random ideas and loose threads when we could let those things go and reallocate that energy into action instead?

Personally, I have three “rules” for doing a Brain Dump:

  1. Have it in one convenient place that is always with you. If I have multiple Brain Dump lists in multiple places, I’m undermining the entire point of doing a Brain Dump because, instead of reallocating mental energy into action, I’m using mental energy to remember where I wrote all of those lists.
  2. Don’t organize, just write. If I stop in the middle of a Brain Dump to write something elsewhere instead of just putting it on the list, my brain seizes up and I lose all of the other things that were “in line” behind that particular appointment or idea.
  3. Be proactive. I’ve been able to make a ginormous creative leap since I began scheduling a Brain Dump at least once a week rather than waiting for the impending mental overload. Use an Incompletion Trigger List like this one from GTD Portal or this very detailed list from Mungo’s Adult ADHD Blog to guide you to an extremely thorough mental housecleaning.

Want more Brain Dump info? Go check out both Rhomany’s and Vicky’s Brain Dump Videos!

ChicSparrow Notebook for Class Notes & Journaling

ChicSparrow Notebook for Class Notes & Journaling

Before you watch this… click over to ChicSparrow on Etsy (the brainchild of Jennifer Harvey) and have a drool at all of the loveliness. I understand completely. Then come back and watch this video!

(Edited to add: Because so many of you good people requested the exact same notebook from Jennifer, she has so kindly named it after me. 🙂 Here’s the direct link:

Leather Traveler’s Notebook – “The Carie Harling” )

Achieving vs. Surviving

Achieving vs. Surviving

In beginning to truly PLAN things again, I realized that I lack many identifiable, specific, long-term goals for myself. Please don’t misunderstand… I have family goals, goals for the kids, but nothing that’s really mine.

When the feeling of twisting in the wind became too much and I knew I needed to start keeping track of what I did each day to combat that sneaky, undermining feeling that I wasn’t doing enough, I proceeded exactly as you’d expect if you know me in the slightest; in true Geek form, I started reading. A lot. And I ran across something that made my visceral brakes lock up tight.

What have I achieved? A simple enough question, really; but, the longer I thought about it, only the achievements of others that I had helped to make came to mind. The kids’ accomplishments, Mike’s career and the burgeoning steps it has taken in the last year, getting myself out of an abusive situation a few years ago…

And that’s where it hit me. Again, in the viscera. Deep.

I ran my tongue along the little chip in the edge of my front tooth, and I remembered.

I had been surviving. I had been in a frightening place for far too long, and I spent so long there that the idea of achieving anything had become foreign to me– I had to constantly focus on surviving.

And now, years later, I no longer have to focus on surviving. I actually have a real chance at achieving something that’s mine, just mine.

I will probably never be able to verbalize how thankful I am to be out of That Place, no longer abused, hurt, and publicly humiliated. My life is completely different than it was three years ago. But I hope I never forget; remembering that fear and desolation will be fuel for my fire. I am not a victim any longer. In fact, I was never a victim to begin with. I am a survivor.

It’s high time I move on from surviving to achieving. Getting out of the mire has freed my legs to take great strides in whatever direction I choose. And, wherever that may be, I will carry with me the knowledge that once, I survived.

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