Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Do You Miss Receiving Greeting Cards?

Greeting card created for our nonprofit, Pawsitively Humane.
Deb Barnes is my dear friend and fellow board member.

As I write this I scan my home and notice two Christmas greetings cards.  Ten years ago it would have been two-fold.

What ever happened to the physical greeting card for the holidays, birthdays or any special occasion?  Well we all know the answer. INTERNET and LESS TIME.

What I miss most is opening the mailbox, spotting the square-shape, bright white or linen textured envelope buried between pile of bills and direct mail letters and flyers; sliding out the personal card and reading the handwritten address in long stroke cursive. A personal card. It was like opening the oven to warm, fresh baked cookies, the aroma of sweetness lingering.  Like the tooth fairy leaving a token quarter or dollar under the pillow; like neatly wrapped gifts under the twinkling Christmas tree.

In our hectic lives, receiving a card meant someone took more than a click, more than a minute to think about you. A personal message inside the card was the frosting or cherry on the cake.

The physical connection is a lost art or means of communication. As I get older, that physical touch and friendships mean more to me than ever.  Sadly, caught in the torrents of modern day life in the cosmopolitan world, leaves me precious little time to talk on the phone, pay a visit or share a meal. I can't even return an email or two!

Am I the only one who feels sappy about this subject?

So what happened? Growing responsibilities, survival, technology  = diminishing free time.

Sure, technology makes our lives easier. Internet, emails, cell phones, are meant to streamline processes and simplify our lives, thus saving time.  But it's time we lose in the challenge to work more, acquire more...

Speaking of time and technology, the Holderness family leverages  the technology of video camera and makes the time to create this clever video!  Where did they find the time? Wait, I know a little something about making music videos. There's is much better-- with 5 million views and counting!!

Do you miss receiving greetings cards? 

Share your thoughts, by clicking on "Post a Comment" below. All opinions, sentiments are welcome!

Chances are I don't have your physical address. If I may ask you to please email it to fit2bhealthy@yahoo.com (my personal email).

Christine Michaels
90 SW 3rd Street
Miami, FL  33130

If you're like me and like to send physical Christmas cards, I would welcome your holiday cheer during this hectic time of commercialization. Jesus represents eternal love and he loves us all.  So Christmas is a message of love for all.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cat Women Know How to Have Fun!

This past Halloween I escaped to Dallas, TX to meet some real life characters of the talented kind. I have just returned from my very first Cat Writer's Association Conference. (And no I actually did not wear or bring my cat costume. Had to pack light! Almost impossible when I normally bring six pairs of shoes).

Deb Barnes and Angie Bailey at the ice breaker/costume party
(Photo by Glogirly)

CWA represents the best writers in the cat communications field. To join requires skill and experience and proof that your work has been published in print or online.

For two days I was in the presence of nationally recognized cat writers. Many of them have authored several books, magazine articles and received numerous awards.  As the founder of the blog and nonprofit Riverfront Cats, I'm just a kitten compared to these pros. But alas I had something to offer established offline writers--advice on how to transition to the world of blogging and social media. The spirit of CWA is one of support and mentoring.

Janiss Garza and Deb Barnes hug to keep warm
on a chilly November afternoon in Dallas

Year round we work hard, pen to paper, fingers to keyboard; thinking caps keeping the lid on brain smoke, adorned with reading glasses or a cat;  "crazy cat lady" or writer's mugs filled to the brim or coffee stains splattered across our desk thanks to some "dippers".  However at the conference, we know how to let loose and have fun.

JaneA Kelley shows her red petticoat used to perk up her dress.
Love that old-fashioned style!


On Friday night, we were entertained with a homemade musical production entitled "Strays the Musical" which explored furry foibles from a pet's point of view. The actors gave voice to a variety of cat and dog characters in this hilarious and often moving "drama-dy". Who knew they possessed such talent!

A six member cast dressed in pedestrian clothes with a dog or cat identifier (pig tails and furry leg warmers worn by Theresa Littlefield representing a dog) sashayed from behind the room to the front stage.

I recognized the vivacious Amy Shojai, one of the co-founders of CWA.  Little did I know what was to come--a hidden talent. Her operatic voice sent chills and nostalgic waves.  I love musicals! A favorite tradition my mother and I share to this day. The only thing missing was a limber cat to jump on the tables... As a former ballerina performing until the ripe age of 23, I always wanted to be in the cast of CATS... hmmm I wonder, as I lift my leg behind my head--who am I kidding. Those days are gone. But I could listen to Amy for hours. That voice that transports you to another world.

 I love these small, intimate conferences where we can scratch beneath the writing surface and learn more about our colleagues--their families, other interests, and hidden talents.

On the last evening, the night of the awards, attendees are prim and proper at the cocktail reception, still decompressing from the day's seminars.

(Before the award's ceremony)
Deb Barnes, Peter Keys, Christine Michaels, Janiss Garza

As soon as the last award was announced, the wine glasses empty, attendees stood and the genie came out of the bottle. Our rigid physiques from sitting all day turned into tween gymnasts as we twisted and contorted for memorable poses and photos.  Hand gestures signified the claw, magic fingers and the Midas touch.   It's amazing what a little recognition, adrenaline and wine can do to rejuvenate the body.  No Miley Cyrus acts needed to have fun.

(After the awards ceremony)

As the revelry subsided, we returned to our hotel rooms and my roommate gingerly tucked away her award in the suitcase. I was reminded of a prior celebration two weeks ago.

On a typical work day, I received an official looking envelope in the mail from CWA. A program or newsletter perhaps? My key slit across the top fold and inside I peered at an ominous document.  With caution and surgical  precision, I extracted the 9 x 12 linen sheet. "Certificate of Excellence" it read for my blog post "Lion King and the Circle of Love".  A simple gesture that heralded my efforts sent a surge through my core.  I gazed around the elevator lobby of my condo with dark gray slate, dim lights, a no nonsense cavernous space. Fireworks glared that only I could see. Trumpets blared that only I could hear. Sure it's not a major award, but someone, somewhere said good job. For that I am grateful. It keeps me going.

 I begged the elevator Gods for an express ride to the my floor. I wanted to show the cats that hard work pays off. The road may be filled with obstacles, but we felines know patience is golden.

 Rushing through my front door, I squealed "Babies!" and the cats predictably tumbled out of cat beds, my bed, my office chair.  Their reaction? "If it's not  Greenies or piece of chicken, we're returning to our nap!" It's my own fault. My beautiful fur angels turned gluttons from a certain stray swag bag full of cat treats.  Click here for proof of pilfering!

Warning: If you don't unpack immediately, the cats will do it for you!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you are a cat writer and if your work was published in print or online,  below are the requirements for consideration to join the exclusive Cat Writer's Association.  For any questions, please email CWA Secretary, Wendy Christensen at wendy@wendycats.com.

CWA Membership Requirements (as of November, 2013)

To be considered for membership in the CWA, you must include, along with your application and $40.00 fee (including $10.00 non-refundable application processing fee), CAT-RELATED samples of your work published or publicly produced during the preceding 12 months (24 months for books). All work samples must be dated, include the publication's name, and must contain significant "cat content," not just mention cats in passing or use them as props or scenery. Works that portray cats in a negative, inhumane or irresponsible manner do not qualify as work samples for CWA membership.

Applicants: Please review additional work sample guidelines, below, before selecting work samples to accompany your application!

Editor, agent, and publisher applicants: See the special Guidelines below, before submitting your application.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: For published cat writers, artists, broadcasters and other communications professionals who may or may not be paid for their work. Acceptable samples FOR ASSOCIATE STATUS include:
    1 published exhibit from newspaper, magazine, ezine/online publication, or internal publication; OR
    1 broadcast or file script or tape; OR
    1 public relations speech or technical materials exhibit.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP: For published cat writers, artists, broadcasters and other communications professionals who are regularly published and are paid for their work. Acceptable work samples for PROFESSIONAL STATUS include:
    2 published exhibits from newspaper, magazine, ezine/online publication, or internal publication; OR
    2 broadcast or file scripts or tapes; OR
    2 public relations speeches or technical material exhibits; OR
    1 book published within the preceding 24 months.

Need a CWA member sponsor? Applications naming CWA member(s) as sponsor(s) receive the highest consideration. The CWA encourages prospective members to contact a current CWA member to discuss possible sponsorship.) Don't specify a sponsor without their consent. Most CWA members will be happy to discuss your cat-related work and your CWA membership application with you.

  CWA guidelines for submitted work samples:
1) Vanity-published work, whether printed text or illustrations/photos, will not be accepted as work samples for CWA membership. The CWA defines "vanity publications" as works which the creator pays someone else to print, or which are self-published without meeting any of the criteria detailed in #5 below, or which are not professional quality. Applicants are responsible for affirming the type of publisher they work with. However, the CWA Membership Committee can be guided by other typical "vanity publisher" criteria, such as the fact that vanity publishers usually have numerous "published titles," in contrast to small, lesser-known presses which have only a handful of legitimate titles; or the fact that the publisher is a known vanity press.

2) Any work submitted for CWA membership consideration must be to a large extent about, or relevant to, cats. At least one-third of the content of non-fiction articles/books should cover cats. In fictional works, it's not essential that a cat be the main character, but felines must be integral to the plot and story, rather than incidental characters or walk-ons.

3) Electronically-published work (e.g., from online magazines or other "e-publications) are not considered qualifying work samples for professional or associate status if the works only appear on, or are printed from, an applicant's personal web site or a special-interest or discussion group web site. Applicants should affirm that they have been remunerated in some way for their electronically-published work. Materials published on commercial web sites or even on non-paying online sites can be acceptable if the applicant provides supporting documents (such as historical site information, evidence of a verifiable audience via subscription numbers or the number of site hits, a letter from the commercial site's "editor" or "employer"). Paid blogging counts as published work for purposes of CWA application.

4) Applicants submitting broadcast or film scripts, tapes that have been released to the public, or public relations speeches or technical material exhibits that have been presented to the public, must include substantiation of such distribution, presentation or publication, such as a signed letter from superior, clip of the publication, etc .

5) Books submitted by applicants as work samples will, ideally and preferably, be published/distributed by a commercial publisher. Authors of self-published books must submit supporting documentation that the book is being offered for sale by professional outlets such as book stores (whether physical buildings or online bookstores), commercial web sites, or other venues not owned by the author/creator. The CWA Membership Committee may additionally ask applicants for proof of book sale figures or other information.
6) Applicants submitting any other self-published work (articles, songs, photos, calendars,    artwork etc.) must additionally submit one of the following proofs. Either:
    a) Evidence that the published work has been vetted by a qualified professional; OR
    b) Up-to-date sales figures; OR
    c) Proof of payment/remuneration. AND
    d) Any other substantiating material requested by the CWA Membership Committee (e.g.,
    additional previously-published samples, writer's resume, etc.)
7) ) Any member of the CWA Membership Committee has the right to request additional writing or other work samples, or supporting documents, from any applicant. The Membership Committee also has the right to make exceptions to admit applicants under special considerations. 

In all cases, if the CWA membership Committee requests additional substantiation and/or information from an applicant, the amount of time given for consideration before final approval of the application may be extended by up to 30 days.

CWA Guidelines for editors, agents and publishers applying for membership

If you hold the title of Editor of a regularly-published cat newsletter, magazine or in a credentialed book publishing house, you may submit, as your work samples, two issues of the whole publication, with your name and title on the masthead, to be considered for Professional membership.

Editors of online magazines may provide two URLs for issues of their magazine. In the case of online magazines, the CWA Membership Committee may conduct careful monitoring of the magazine's site, and may request further credentials, such as your professional resume. If any member of the Membership Committee questions the legitimacy of the online publication, the burden of proof shall be on the applicant.

If you are an editor in a book publishing house, you'll need to submit your professional resume, along with a letter from your publisher (on official publishing house letterhead) detailing your qualifications for Professional membership in the CWA, including title(s) of cat book(s) you've edited.
If you're a publisher or literary agent who doesn't write yourself, but wants to be a CWA member, submit a professional resume  and a list of relevant books you've handled/published/agented. The Membership Committee will review the material you submit individually, and may request additional supporting documentation.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My First Music Video--Get Your Sexy On!

When you think about the most embarrassing moments in your life, were they ordinary actions that exploded into laughable accidents? Or was it something intentional, maybe an inpromptu Karaoke song where you were half drunk, and strutted to the stage with the confidence of a peacock and shaking your groove and belting notes thinking "Take that Beyonce!"

The question really is--would you humiliate yourself, with no assistance from Johnnie Walker or Grey Goose for the fun of it?  Or to entertain friends and loved ones? Or for any other reason?

Well I was put to that test.  I'm not a funny character and Lord knows my musical talents are limited to ballet and Latin dancing (Salsa, merengue).  Sure I have been known to sing in the shower, but I'm more likely to sing and wiggle in my car seat while driving. But in those celebratory moments I would never subject innocent eardrums to my vocal strains or attempt to crack a joke.

However, in my commitment to raise awareness about homeless pets and engage the average person to talk about the misconceptions surrounding stray cats and cat women, I took the plunge. For National Feral Cat Day, I created a music video and yes I still can NOT sing. But that's the point. 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. At least I had fun. 

Let me be perfectly clear--

Yes I'm Crazy.
Yes I love Cats.
But I'm not a Crazy Cat Lady.
I'm just crazy for Cats.  

Given the stereotype about cat ladies especially those who feed stray and feral cats, it was time to get crazy. While I normally feed the cats in a t-shirt, yoga pants and sneakers, I originally started feeding cats in sundresses --my uniform for work. As an outdoor walking tour guide, it gets hot in Miami, so I would feed the Riverfront cats on my way to work.  As pedestrians and local residents observed, they called me "Sexy Cat Lady".  Really? Wow, I'm getting older and with body parts fighting gravity, I'll take whatever crumb of a compliment I can get.

I think most women feel sexy on the inside even though we may not have the time or need to show it on the outside.  That includes cat women.  

So I donned my black cat costume and walked the streets of downtown Miami and Miami Beach in the middle of the day for filming this homemade video. (Honestly there are not many people outside at that time, so I wasn't as embarrassed just very hot).

The idea: cat women come from all backgrounds and professions.  We are not lonely or have 30 cats.  Our lives are full with regular jobs, family and giving back.  There's a special quality we all share--we think of others first before ourselves. Working with homeless cats, squatting or crawling on hands and knees in gravel lots, mosquito-infested woods, to feed or rescue injured cats (and dogs), I am humbled and grateful for the little things in life.

"I'm their maid" (See Romeo to the right looking at me--he's such a romantic)

Stray and feral cats are also harmless.  Their needs are the same as humans--food, shelter and affection. They show this everyday in their body language- rubbing against a tree trunk or edge of cardboard box, or my leg. Even the feral ones are happy to see you.

Please visit my website www.riverfrontcats.com to learn more about the unique essence of stray cats, and the humane solution to control over population.

So sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy  and share this video. And please laugh WITH me.

Monday, September 9, 2013

What is Twerking?

Today I learned a new slang word.  "TWERK". As a 44- year young, highly educated female, no children (therefore no teenagers) and who avoids using slang, keeping up with slang can be challenging. 

So when I heard the word "twerking" not once, but twice today, I felt OLD!

I've heard of "twerp", and "Twitter" and "tweeting".  But "twerk"?  Wait a second.  Maybe it's a new word and I'm not out of touch with lexicon of Generation Y. I'm only one generation before (Generation X).

I heard the term on the season premiere of the Ellen show today in her intro when she announced she was going to "twerk".  Then an hour later, in checking my emails on the laptop, the headline on the news section read:

Anna Wintour Cancels Miley Cyrus' Vogue Cover After VMAs Twerking

 Aah Miley Cyrus' infamous performance! That's a clear hint. While I did not watch the VMA's (that stand for Video Music Awards) I did watch the news highlights.  It doesn't deserve my attention on Joie de Vivre.  So upon Googling the definition of twerking, I was surprised to see the year 2006--that's seven  years ago!

On Yahoo Answers:
[Feb 28, 2006] Best Answer: Twerking is a frequently used slang word among young African Americans. To twerk is to dance sexually, grinding oneself against the partner. ~

 Then the same website updated the definition in 2012.

[Jan 11, 2012] Best Answer: Twerking is a type of dance in which a female rigorously shakes her booty, usually against a male's crotch area.

Even Yahoo! uses slang "booty" as part of the definition.

Wiki Answers used non colorful language to accurately define the action of twerking.
 Twerk also known as twerking, is a sexually provocative dance move. It involves hip thrusting moves in a low, squatting stance.
 After viewing videos on YouTube, it appears the term reached mainstream within the last 8 months. Now I can shake it and shimmy like any dancer (as in classical trained) but there is a difference between Dirty Dancing a la Patrick Swayze and Baby style and twerking. I could not in good conscious share any videos--butt cheeks overexposed and jiggling...you get the picture.  Save it for the bedroom.

Have you heard of Twerking?  What about parents of teenagers reading this? Do you talk to your kids not just about sex but what might be inappropriate behavior including dance moves?  Click on "Comment" below!

In the meantime, I still want to learn the Tango! Sexy but classy!

P.s.  Vogue magazine--wise call! Glad to see the magazine has standards.  Miley Cyrus is growing up but is still finding herself.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Meeting Inspiring Authors--this time Gwen Cooper

Last week was one of those moments where I was counting the days before I headed out to meet someone who I have held in high esteem --a famous figure in her own right.  No she's not a singer, or movie actress. Even better, she's an author.

Christine Michaels & Gwen Cooper

Meeting your favorite author is a highlight in life. For me it's more celebratory than meeting a  TV personality (with exceptions of course).  Their stories, words can move our hearts, enlighten our minds, make us laugh and/or inspire us to improve our lives and those around us.  I consider myself very fortunate to have met the authors of  my favorite books, all non fictional. I have three favorite books. Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir,
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and now Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper.  The first two are heavy drama material but are inspiring on many levels. Stolen Lives shows both the frailty and iron will of the human spirit. Malika Oufkir survived a desert prison for 20 years. In following a routine and exercising her brain daily to stay sane and alert, Malika escaped with her mother and siblings. This book has taught me to be constantly aware of my surroundings and to think fast and logically under pressure. By accident, I discovered that Malika lived in my condo building and soon I organized an Oprah- style interview in our party room and invited residents.

Greg Mortenson, in Three Cups of Tea is fighting terrorism abroad by building schools and educating girls in a country, Pakistan, that regards them merely above slaves. He made a promise to local villagers who saved him from an accident following a mountain climbing excursion, to return the favor and he did.  Little did Mortenson realize that by educating girls, Pakistanis would regard him as a hero and turn against the Taliban and other terrorists.  Mortenson, in my opinion deserved the Nobel Prize. Instead newly elected US President Obama received the award in 2008. While I have great respect for the Presidency, I am unclear as to his contribution to mankind.

Education is key to many societal ills.  Sometimes throwing millions of dollars to a government run program is less effective than an entrepreneurial program with less funding. Greg Mortenson's schools for girls is proof. I had the honor of meeting Greg in 2010. 

On March 28, 2013 I finally met my third favorite author. Gwen Cooper is a native Miamian  and overturned a taboo subject into a NY Times Bestselling book--a single woman living with three cats.  In the 90's living with more than two cats was frowned upon. But Gwen has a big heart and when the vet asked if she would a adopt a third cat, a blind, black kitten, she shunned society's labels.  Gwen was compassionate, not crazy.

Homer is the blind, black cat and in Homer's Odyssey, Gwen tackles stereotypes and educates readers:

1. about the unique essence of cats; they are not all aloof and scaredy cats
2. that black cats are sweet-natured and extremely intelligent and not bad luck; quite the opposite
3. how blind cats are not entirely handicapped; Homer would freely jump from great heights!
4. that a single woman with more than one cat is not a lonely woman and can lead a healthy, robust life.

My review years ago offers a more in-depth glimpse.

Gwen's book caught my attention the same time I moved into a new development where I discovered many stray cats in the neighborhood. I had heard about stray cats but never lived in a city in "depressed" conditions.  Homer's Odyssey inspired me to continue educating the public about the misconceptions of stray, feral and black cats to save them from becoming road kill or from the doom of the county shelter.

Her book was light-hearted, easy-to-read and made me laugh innumerable times.

And she recently launched "Love Saves the Day", an endearing fictional but enlightening story about an estranged mother and daughter. Hauntingly beautiful, heart touching, and at times painfully raw, this is a story about grief, hope and healing. It’s a story about the importance of memories, and of preserving a part of one’s past. The relationship between mother and daughter is complex but even deep rifts can be mended even after death. The simple presence and unconditional love of a pet, a cat, often like a child,  is greater than love spoken with words.  This book will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

These books collectively have given me the courage to take on a subject that is critically void of awareness and education. But I'm not afraid of a challenge and my mother always taught me to give back. Volunteering and helping others has always been part of my life. I truly believe if each person volunteered weekly or donated to a cause regularly the world would be a much better place.There would be more understanding, empathy, compassion and progress.

Here's to making the world a better place!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


simply click on any of the book images above, ORDER YOUR COPY (or any other product on Amazon) and my nonprofit Pawsitively Humane, Inc. receives a small proceed.  

**You must use these links to order so we get the credit.** 

Be sure to visit our nonprofit www.pawsitivelyhumane.org and use the Amazon banner links for any of your Amazon orders.  It's an easy way to help homeless cats and dogs just by starting your purchasing process with our site.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Favorite SuperBowl Commercials 2013

As a marketing professional I love to watch the SuperBowl mostly for the commercials. While I no longer work at an ad agency, it certainly serves as inspiration for campaigns for my own small company.

Creating an ad that is both memorable and impacts sales is extremely difficult.  Creative design reps and account executives huddle in rooms sometimes on oddly shaped chairs or bean bags with a multitude of snacks ranging from popcorn to pizza to soda and the brainstorm sessions commence, lasting hours.  Fumes seeping out of the door hinges.

Kudos to the agencies behind these popular and memorable advertisements. 

So here are my favorites and apparently my first three selections echoes that of American viewers. Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

#1 Budweiser, “Landslide”
Budweiser's use of Clydesdale horses is a perennial favorite of mine and for many viewers. How? Why? Well deep down Americans love animals and the reunion of a horse, a pet,  an animal with which we formed a special bond, pulls hearts strings. We can relate to unconditional love. Admittedly it still makes me cry. But then again, I do work with animals. (My other job. www.pawsitivelyhumane.org). On the marketing side, Anheuser- Busch simultaneously launched a social media campaign to name the foal featured in the ad.  It was a viral hit.  Click here to learn what name America named the new baby Clydesdale.

#2 Tide, “Miracle Stain” 
A little humor goes a long way; While other attempts are scored as "cheesy", this commercial hits the mark. A San Francisco fan spills nachos on his jersey only to find the resulting stain resembles 49ers legend Joe Montana. As pilgrims — a/k/a Niners fans — flock to Montanaland to pay homage, his wife (a Ravens supporter) gets the last laugh when the offending stain is removed thanks to Tide.

#3 Dodge Ram: So God made a Farmer 
I'm a sucker for pets and patriotism. This ad had me choked up. It wasn’t flashy or filled with special effects, but Dodge Ram’s Super Bowl commercial that featured the late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey’s tribute to U.S. farmers won the hearts and minds of viewers Sunday night.

The two-minute spot featured a series of stark photos of farmers at work.  Along with a montage of still images, Harvey’s distinctive voice delivers the narration: his “So God Made a Farmer” speech, which he gave in 1978 at the National Future Farmers of America Convention.  He died in 2009 at age 90.

#4 Best Buy: Amy Poehle
This caught my attention for the humor and Amy Poehle plays the perfect neurotic customer while the Best Buy employee politely follows her around. OK so we know that Best Buy sells electronics, washer and dryers, tablets, etc. Who doesn't know?  However the commercial falls short and only emphasizes the weakness of these chain stores--the employees often don't know the answers for a host of product questions, hence the employee never gets a word in. Well at least it was entertaining.

#5 Taco Bell: Party Seniors
So it's not realistic (along with 90% of the ads) but I love to dance and eat Taco Bell late at night. Except most are closed after midnight. Maybe by the time I'm 70, Taco Bell will stay open until 3am. Nightclubs and parties in Miami end at 6am. 

#6 Got Milk: The Rock 
As a former fitness trainer and one who knows healthcare would be less costly in our country if Americans improved their lifestyle and eating habits, I love this commercial. It's hip, fun, humorous and gets across a clear message. Do you drink milk?

Yes, the SuperBowl is a form of entertainment on various levels. So even if you don't follow football closely like me, the commercials are another competition. 

So which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Resolution for 2013

It's the New Year!

It is true--as you age, every year goes by faster and faster. At the age of 43 turning 44 in October, the year 2012 was a whirlwind. My goodness, does this mean when I'm in my 50's time moves at lightning speed? Anyone? (feel free to comment below).

With all the noisemakers, clinking of champagne glasses, smiling faces and hopes of a better year, it soon dissipates and the celebratory atmosphere is quickly followed by  the dreaded word "Resolutions". Such a weighted word, don't you think? Perhaps since most people associate it with goals of weight loss and the low success rate, the word resolution is often associated with failure.  It can be daunting.

So many years I have made resolutions and not a single one involved weight loss. My life increasingly grows in complexity, mostly because I choose to take on hefty challenges revolving around a nonprofit I started. At the onset of the New Year, I keep it simple.  When curve balls are thrown my way, I reflect on those resolutions I have achieved. Only two I never fulfilled

  • One year it was to learn to dance merengue and salsa. CHECK. (I was in my 20's living at home; no responsibilities other than my two jobs). 
  • 1997 move out on my own to Miami. CHECK. 
  • 1998 to get my Master's Degree, CHECK. 
  • 2000 to buy my first condo, CHECK. in later years to learn to dance advanced Salsa, CHECK (although I never used it); 
  • Next year to learn belly dancing CHECK (again I never used it). 
  • To read more books, CHECK (even started a book club with my friend). 
  • 2006 Learn to dance Tango. NEGATIVE.  
  • 2007 Learn French. NEGATIVE. 
  • 2009 Start a small part-time business. CHECK.
  • 2012 Start a nonprofit. CHECK
With career advances and other growing family responsibilities, it means less time for yourself.  Losing a job can send your life in a tailspin and survival means forgoing fun goals like learning the Tango and French.  

I don't look at years 2006 and 2007 as failures. I simply could not dedicate the time due to life emergencies.One of my strongest attributes is that when I make a commitment, I see it through 100% or more.  I may  not be a genius, or scored high on my SAT's. But I'm a hard worker and complete any job or task to the end. The reality is emergencies do occur and managing and overcoming them is a triumph. I pulled through dark times without getting into debt, or borrowing money or asking for help. I survived on my own and those are the greater accomplishments than my New Year's resolution.

But I'm back on track. So what is my resolution this year?  A big one for me. To fine tune my time management skills and prioritizing tasks. It's easy for me to get distracted with fun tasks and procrastinate on the more important ones.  Sorry to disappoint any readers. My resolution is nothing sexy like learning the Tango or French language. But putting it in writing will encourage me to make an earnest effort. Starting now. So instead of shopping online for new office furniture, I'm going to work on writing that article. 

What is your resolution?