Every time I hear the word "inspiration" I think of the Chicago song "You're the Inspiration" which is both a cool and sad take on the word. As I've gotten older, inspiration has become synonymous in my world with a precursor to greatness.

  • Inspiration for innovation
  • Inspiration for writing / singing / creating
  • Inspiration to be a better person / parent / lover / friend
  • Inspiration of others
The last probably being the greatest gift we as people can give - sharing our story, letting people know they aren't alone, reminding them they can accomplish greatness. 

I found inspiration for peace, trust, and faith reading The Alchemist. I read it while unemployed and in the serious throes of a discouraging job search. It inspired (and reminded) me to listen to my gut, trust in God's plan (or the universe if you're so inclined), and my "plan" doesn't matter - the right thing will come along when it's supposed to (in my case 3 weeks before my unemployment ran out, but I digress). 

What does inspiration mean to you?


"Worrying is the new candy"

Day 3 and although I'm a little late to the posting party - it still counts :)

Today's prompt is:

"Choose your favorite blog and put the 4th and 14th words in the following phrase: ______ is the new ______"

Are you freaking kidding me? Do you know how many 4th and 14th words in paragraphs before I got to  something that made sense (because "know is the new ear" makes absolutely no sense - even in Oz!)?

Anyway, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to give commentary on why or how I feel about this phrase, but I'll give it a shot.

Worrying is bad.
Candy is bad.
Worrying makes you anxious.
Candy makes you anxious (and hyper).
Worrying is not yummy.
Candy is SO yummy.
Worrying < Candy
So worrying can't be the new candy.

I worry this candy may haunt my dreams later. Mmmmmmmmmm CANDY!


Simply the Best

It's my second day in a row to post! Not a record, but YAY I'm back for another day (don't worry I'll only celebrate for a few more days).

Today's prompt courtesy of www.dailypost.wordpress.com is:
NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?
I prefer to answer this in list format (because I love lists!) and in no particular order:
Paderno World Cuisine Rouet Spiral Slicer

  • cheese
  • spiral veggie cutter (because seriously, who doesn't love noodle veggies?)
  • microwave (hopefully, whoever finds it will have electricity)
  • refrigerator
  • air conditioner / heater
  • indoor plumbing & shower
  • music player (be it a cd or mp3 player)
  • crop irrigation system
  • sewing machine
  • industrial manufacturing machines
  • dry erase markers
  • velcro
  • sleep machine
  • books
Okay, WiFi is pretty important too!
Ok - I don't want to make an exhaustive list because I don't know how big this spacecraft is. I love technology, but I don't think that it's necessarily the "best" of modern human culture. While it makes information more accessible and daily life easier - I feel lucky for some of the "given" things we take for granted (indoor plumbing, temperature regulators, mass manufacturing technology). While I could (and did) go without a phone / smartphone in my pocket, I don't think I would last too long in a world where I had to go outside and dig a hole to relieve myself. Plus technology fails - books are forever :)

What would you add or remove? 


It's been awhile

Wait... I think I have a post with this title already.  Oh well, I'm not feeling too original today. Ha!

I've decided that I need to write more and you 4 subscriber people get to benefit (or be tortured) by this decision. Thanks to my Writetastic Pinterest board I have no shortage for ideas (fair warning) so buckle up and ride along with me. I'd love to hear your super extra positive feedback :)

Today's prompt:
You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is and what happens to you while you're there.
This one is a tough one - I have so many favorite movies. I guess I'd have to go with the one I use most often Back to the Future.

I'd love nothing more than to go back to November 5, 1955. My dad was 6 weeks old - nowhere near Hill Valley, California (I totally could've made it onto an Air Force Base in Panama, right?!). It would be awesome to see my grandmother again - especially as a young new mom - and meet my grandfather. Then I'd like to hurry up to Louisiana and to see my other grandparents. Although my mom wouldn't be born for 2 more years, getting to meet my grandfather (sadly, I never met either of my bio grandfathers - but I had a super awesome bonus grandfather) would also be pretty neat. Of course, I'd have to borrow the DeLorean but I could totally be low key in that, right?

After meeting up with my grandparents, I'd probably just hang with Marty. (Michael J Fox was indeed foxy in1985). Of course, I'd have to go back as the age I'm at now because 6-year-old me (circa July 1985) wouldn't be near as much fun as 36-year-old me (Shit! I'm feeling old!!).  I could help him defeat Biff and quite possibly even help him get his parents together sooner. Although my name IS Jennifer, I wouldn't want to play her part in the movie - she misses all of the action!

Ok - I'm seriously rusty! I clearly missed the point of the prompt, but I don't feel like telling a story today so you get what you get. At least I'm writing something.

Until tomorrow, friends!



It's not you... It's me... Just kidding - It's You!

Most people hate awkward conversations. I am not the exception, but I think I might be from this point moving forward.
He may be an ass, but at least you know where you stand.

As you may know, I'm unemployed right now and deep in the throes of a job search. I didn't realize how much I had chronicled in this sparsely kept blog... eek! Before this time in my life, I had never ever been on a job interview and not gotten an offer. I've had LOTS of jobs (often 2 or 3 simultaneously) but I am by no means a job hopper.

Professionally speaking, I've stayed with my employers no less than 4 years, with the exception of the last one that just laid me off. That being said, I am a firm believer in the adage If you don't use it, you lose it. So, in an effort to keep myself sharp I would apply for jobs here and there. The opportunity had to interest me to the point that I could see myself leaving my current-at-the-time wonderful job. Inevitably it wouldn't be enough money, or the supervisor was a megalomaniac helicopter boss so I stayed put.

I promise I have a point and I'll make it soon!
In the event the person we hired
instead of you can't fulfil their duties...

This experience has been a real eye opener. I've met a lot of great people. Learned more about a few fabulous organizations.  Interviewed for some amazing opportunities. And the ones that have had the awkward conversation / email / letter it's been shared that I've been named runner-up for those amazing opportunities at the fabulous companies with the great people more times than I care to admit. Honestly, I'm okay with that - there's some stiff competition out there and I know some of them are better than me! 

My problem is with these fabulous organizations that don't bother to tell me that the job has been filled. Like it's some big secret.

Here's the deal - If I schlep myself out to your place of business, give you a great interview (or a shitty interview for that matter), and take the time to write thank you note / email and I'm not chosen for the position - let me know! I'm a big girl, I can take it. 

Not only is it free, it's respectful
There are more than a dozen organizations right now that if I were called and offered a job today (mind you my unemployment benefits expire in 5 short weeks) I would say thanks, but no thanks. 

It's about respect.

Respect for my time. Respect for my professionalism. Respect for me as a human being. 

Since good 'ol Bill Gates invented Microsoft Word and his buddy Al Gore gave us the internet it's never been easier to let someone know they didn't get a job. (Do you hear that HR people - it's called a mail merge?!? I'm willing to do a tutorial on it, just ask.). 
I guess I should give this back now...

I might be crazy for putting this out there since I'm still job searching, but the thing is - who wants to work for an organization that can't be bothered to tell someone who's spent time (the only truly non-renewable priceless resource we are afforded) that they position they applied for is filled. 

WOW! That was cathartic. I feel like I've just channeled Chevy Chase in the timeless holiday classic: Christmas Vacation -  Holy $H!7! Where's the Tylenol?


What you think vs What you know

When I went to work with a bunch of engineers at a local university, I figured
that I would be okay because my dad is an engineer and nothing can quite prepare you for working with an engineer like living with an engineer...

I grew up with a very analytical father (an engineer), I too am quite analytical but I lack the scientific brain to back it up so most of the minutia that I word vomit tends to be more subjective and creative. This is where I got into trouble. Fast forward to the university job.

I worked for one of the (seemingly) most intimidating men ever put on the face of the earth. Picture a 70-something Westpoint grad / former military interrogator / all-around bad ass that knows everyone in the defense contracting world and is very politically connected. We shall call him "Mr. Westpoint". 

I'm in a meeting with lots of executives and very important partners / stakeholders and Mr. Westpoint asks me a question about the capacity of a room for an event I'm planning. 

"I think it holds a maximum of 750 people for the set up we've been discussing." I reply in an innocent 27 year old wet-behind-the-ears fashion (because, ya know... I am).
Mr. Wespoint leans in and says really quietly, sternly and for the sole effect (I believe) of making my blood run stone cold "You think or you know."
This is one of those situations that makes or breaks a person; I can feel it. I calmly look down and flip through my notes where I see, that YES - the room will hold 750 people in a classroom style setting. 
"I know it will hold 750 people in a classroom-style setting, Mr. Westpoint." I feel my face turning the color of a ripe strawberry, but I hold his gaze and speak with as much confidence as I can muster.
"Thank you." Mr. W replies and we move on.

Professionally speaking - that was the last time I started a sentence with "I think...". I realized that when you are looked to as a subject matter expert you can't afford to think you have to know. You're hired for a job because you have the expertise in that arena, repeatedly responding with your opinion or like you're guessing systematically chips away at your expertise. 

I don't want someone who thinks they know how to disarm a bomb - I want a freaking bomb disarming EXPERT! 

Do you agree? Do you have any similar stories? Did I leave anything out?



With faith comes patience

My entire life, I've been told a few things... 

  • Patience is a virtue
  • You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need (Thanks, Mick Jagger)
  • When you give your worries to God, you will find peace
I do my best to "live" these things every day. Admittedly, I've had varying times of success and failure - now being one of those times of recent failure followed by a brief pity party and then re-realization that although "I want what I want, when I want it" (thanks Father John) life rarely gives us what we want when (and how) we want it. 

I've half-jokingly posted on my Facebook that God is trying to teach me a lesson that (after 35 years) I still haven't learned. But more so, I think He's also trying to give me a gift. The lesson is patience; the gift is faith. Faith in Him. Faith in His plan. Faith that He will take care of me (because He always has / does).

So this week, I've decided to stop acting like the stalker ex to the job I desperately want. I'm not calling, emailing, sending notes, popping by or devising some intricate and complicated code that probably wouldn't work anyway - I'm just stopping. I get it. No more praying for this job or that job. I will continue applying for the things that interest me. I will continue kicking ass at job interviews. I will continue helping myself and then let God take it the rest of the way. (I refuse to add any more song lyrics to this post - sorry Carrie Underwood).

So I will ask for, and graciously accept, your prayers, happy thoughts, good mo-jo, good luck, positive juju and any other karmic universal fabulousness you are willing to throw my way. Happy begets happy. Positive begets positive. Faith begets faith. 

Here I am - Happy. Positive. Faithful. Ready.