Category Archives: Reviews

I’ve been there

What is Pirate Calm?

Captain’s Log: Day Present  

When it seemed like my search for a Calm Brain was nowhere to be seen, finally, there is hope.   

Entry One: Three Thoughts

Previous: If my Brain were one of those fancy computer screens, I’d have hundreds of tabs open and one of those tabs would be playing a terrible-shanty music video. 

Honest: I understand not feeling great about having a lot of distracting thoughts. 

Hopeful: I can solve this emotional dilemma and relax.  

New Discoveries: Usually Works 

I try practicing a technique of what I call, “The Merriment.”  

Instead of allowing my brain to get distracted by negative things, I worked on combining the following emotional scenarios: 

  1. This makes me angry/upset. (Yes, embrace this briefly).
  2. I will try to say one positive statement about this. 
  3. Is there possibly a joke that can be made about this situation? 

Possible Epiphanies : Helps My Brain Feel Calm and Relaxed  

  1. Even self-proclaimed pirates like me can do this. 
  2. It’s important to relate and laugh through the process. 
  3. For every one negative thought, find two positives. 

#PirateCalm #Work4Happy   

@themerriment 

The 12 Ways We Act

The word Action, as a noun, is defined in 12 different ways

There are also 12 different ways people are approaching today’s world: 

1. Some people are doing good things while others are doing bad things. 

2. Some people are using their will power negatively or positively. 

3. Some people are trying to accelerate Action by means of force. 

4. Some people perform Action(s) through emotions, movements, and/or gestures. 

5. Some people prepare to take Action through political policies and procedures. 

6. Some people are relentlessly engaged in the unfolding of the Actions of others. 

7. Some people are fascinated about past Actions and how they have operated or worked.

8. Some people indulge personally to seek a piece of the Action for financial gain. 

9. Some people are unaware as they are only amused by sex as an Action. 

10. Some people are excitement seekers and addicted to being where the Action is. 

11. Some people are self-proclaimed directors and they demand immediate Action. 

12. Some people like to spin the Action(s) of others around to fit their own agendas. 

How people get ready to take Action on practical outcomes differs from person to person.

We all want Acts of Change.  

#UnderstandingMatters 

@themerriment

50 Ideas for The Muppets – An Open Letter from a Lovable Crazy

Hello/Hi-ho Imagineers, 

I am writing to you today because I have this semi-ridiculous file in my desk drawer called Pretend Conversations with Jim Henson. I’ve been compiling it’s contents for a while and I think you should know about it. 

Before I share it, you should know that this is coming from a fan who has incorporated The Muppets into my life events. Such as, my engagement party and wedding.  

(Evidence below of cupcakes and my homemade cake topper, see what I mean?) 

So naturally, I’m pumped that Disney+ announced that a new “unscripted” series, titled Muppets Now will debut sometime in 2020! To celebrate, I’m sharing some story ideas and thoughts with  @TheMuppets, from my above mentioned file (in no particular order and for their consideration).

It should also be noted that, while @MuppetCentral followers will probably comprehend the references to a greater extent, I still believe they still deserved to be shared to all. Enjoy. 

  1. There should be a Learning Lab makerspace/studio show that hosts live experiments with traveling-guest characters and people of interest. 
  1. I have a proposal for a new puppet who, under the mentorship of Walter (your biggest fan) will act as a field agent in search of hyper-relevant material. She could be the offspring of The Newsman, Louis Kazagger, or perhaps one of the Nigels. At times, she can be a bit flakey as well as sassy, but in the end, she’s just a girl who loves to learn. 
  1. Andy & Randy, Miss Piggy’s nephews have an origin story which needs a voice. Also- if the three of them went on a vacation together it would be hilarious. It could be a social experiment. Also, doesn’t Kermit have like 2400 siblings including his adorable nephew Robin? That’s a lot of conversations and minivans.
  1. Another origin story I’d like to see is how Sam, Harry, Yorick, and Kermit became friends in the first place. Harry the Hipster could discuss hyper relevant Science world trends.
  1. Muppet Learning Lab Inc. could have sponsors like Sam, from Sam and Friends, who now does commercials for hair growth formula. Rizzo (the hungry Rat who always tries to work an angle) can be in charge of promoting these. 
  1. Another Sponsor could be Bill, from Bubble Guy Hats, who promotes hats that were worn by Soap Opera celebrities. 
  1. Angus McGonagle could intentionally interrupt conversations people are having about Star Wars in revenge for the interruption of his (one-time chance) for fame on The Muppet Show. 
  1. The best fundraiser I ever went to was this guy who let people beat up his car. He had a bat and a crowbar and charged people money to take swings. It was a great way to relieve stress/anger and the proceeds went to charity. Now imagine Animal hosting the event. Am I right? 
  1. Animal, everyone’s favorite wild drummer, needs to make a short Fluffy Bunny Rabbits documentary. Petting zoos and Easter Bunny sightings could be good here.  
  1. Beaker should be a contestant on a dating show. He only had that unnamed girlfriend in the Letters to Santa Christmas movie. It could be called the Science of Love. 
  1. Maybe Camilla and Gonzo could discuss their horrible first date with couples who have had similar experiences. 
  1. Guests and Muppet dogs, like the Afghan Hound, Baskerville, and Foo Foo, could attend Rawlf’s professional development event that explores his curiosities through the lens of his actual career, as Veterinarian, Dr. Bob. 
  1. Dr. Phil Van Neuter could do the NeuroScience version on this episode. 
  1. Beauregard needs to pick people who need a ride to the show in his taxi. He makes all guests sit next to his wooden-handled mop that smacks them in the face on sharp turns. Rufus the dog can also work at the taxi agency. 
  1. I’d also like to see George the Janitor, Beauregard’s mentor, chat with people in retirement homes about what makes them happy. There could also be special appearances by Pops (Stage-doorman of The Muppet Theater), Cheese-knife-designer Mildred Huxtetter, Zelda Rose the Librarian, and Hilda the Seamstress. Geri and the Atrics can do the music. 
  1. Floral Bouquets with Beautiful Day. A Monster and his Dream is about having “how were you named” conversations with people. 
  1. Behemoth, plate specialist, can cover a gifting thoughtfully/collectors episode. In the episode he can tour and comment on people’s commemorative collections and sentimental keepsakes. 
  1. Maybe the Cannibals Big Mean Carl, Beautiful Day, Gorgon Heap and the Frackles need to attend the Stop Eating That Intervention where people can be interviewed about strange diet habits. 
  1. There are roughly 1500 Bobby Benson’s Baby Band members. Where are they now? I bet they could tell one hell of a “sometimes dark” story. 
  1. I’d like to see Bobo, Andy and Randy, and Clueless Morgan talk about Science. 
  1. I’d also like to see Brewster talk about Philosophy and Meditation with Dr. Teeth. 
  1. Bunsen Honeydew should explore his quest for the perfect grilled-cheese sandwich further by trying to open up a sandwich shop. 
  1. I feel like someone might have missed the Muppet Foods market in general. Could there be a demand for edible paper clips or mulligan stew? How does the Seven-foot Carrot character fit into this? So many questions here. 
  1. How did Clifford become a Jazzy Hawaiian? I’m curious about the music scene on the islands from his perspective. Maybe he can interview some Jazz Influencers over piña coladas and pineapple pizza?  
  1. I wonder about what the Clodhoppers would learn if they visited a drill team competition. 
  1. Constantine and Uncle Deadly can teach people about predator species in nature by creating a spooky and laughable documentary on wild animals. Thog and Sweetums should probably be there.  
  1. Crazy Harry would probably learn a lot if he hung out with a real demolition crew for the day. I’d imagine this might be funnier if he plays both Donald (the sensitive guy) and Harry using a Jekyll and Hyde approach. 
  1. Dr. Julius Strangepork needs better connections with NASA. This is really long overdue. 
  1. I want to see the bandmates of Electric Mayhem and the Jowls interview celebrities about jobs they used to have before they became musicians. 
  1. Emily Bear needs to do a special with co-host Mama Fiama about moms. 
  1. Fazoobs, Chickens, Bossmen and the Cactus Quartet should go on a concert tour together where the final performance takes place on planet Koozebanian. 
  1. I’d like to know what Fleet Scribbler, gossip writer turned tax auditor, found in people’s garbage and pockets. What’s in There? Gametime.  
  1. I wonder what The Flying Zucchini Brothers would learn about stunts and Italian food if they visited nearby State Fairs.  
  1. Someone should probably explore Dad Jokes on the street with Fozzy Bear and Mr. Poodlepants. 
  1. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if The Frog Scouts and the Woodland Creatures took a journey along the Appalachian Trail. There is a freshwater community of creatures dying for a debut here. 
  1. Someone let Gladys the Cafeteria Lady visit some actual schools and weigh in on the quality of the meals. Special guests can include Luncheon Counter Monster
  1. Gonzo needs to interview people who have struggled with being brave. This could also be a cool concept for people who want to try something new (like a stunt) and/or something adventurous for the first time. 
  1. What’s the progress on Jacques Roach’s book about a cockroach who turns into a man? Perhaps a few interviews with authors about their book ideas will fill this void. 
  1. I think I would enjoy (being a resident myself) seeing Johnny Fiama explain the culture and music scene of New Jersey. The Javas can perform this theme song. Sal Monella, Johnny’s chimp-bodyguard, would naturally be there and Lew Zealand, the boomerang fish-thrower and the misunderstood Mulch Heap can make appearances. 
  1.  If J.P. Grosse, ruthless and greedy real estate owner, weighed in on his thoughts about the non profit scene of business, I think The Sharks would love it. Plus, he is Scooter’s uncle, which I think could be an excellent segway for conversations about Leadership. 
  1. Who would say NO to Link Hogthrob, star of “Pigs in Space” at Comic Con? NO-ONE. He could interview people there in return for mini S.S. Swinetrek Spacecraft models. 
  1. I’ve seen a lot of Sweedish chef cooking. What I haven’t seen is PePé, the King Prawn, discussing all his dining experiences with what he refers to as the “womens.”
  1. Maybe Lubbock Lou Jughuggers could learn a thing or two from the banjo-playing community of Tennessee. Hatfield and Mckoy spinoff? Yes Please. 
  1.  Mahna Mahna and the Snowths is still legitamy entertaining to all age groups. I played the original song and the Mahna-main Rhapsody videos to a bunch of middle school students and they loved it. More interruptions of this kind should be throughout the show. 
  1. Lydia the Pig and Sam Eagle could interview people about their tattoo art. Apparently she has a Washington Crossing the Delaware tattoo. Americana Art anyone?  
  1.  I’ve enjoyed pointing at and saying “gentleman if you please” to my Statler and Waldorf picture (now action figure) for a number of years. The roasting of the digital content from social media platforms is in endless supply. I smell an opportunity. 
  1.  I always wondered why members of the Muppaphone never revolted or at least tried to encourage Marvin to stop playing music on their heads. Maybe they should take him to an arcade to play Whack A Gator with a friend.  
  1. The Moopets plus Real-life Vegas celebrity impersonators is a match made in heaven folks. Is it possible to, at the very least, arrange a coffee between Splurge and Grimus?
  1. Wanda and Wayne could attend concerts and ask people about lyric recognition and analysis, since this cute couple is always getting the end of songs incorrect, maybe they could try to convince people on the street that the lyrics they suggest are the actual words used by the bands/artists.  
  1. I’ve saved Piggy and Kermit for last (ek, I guess I am negating my no particular order clause afterall, my bad) because I think a lot can still be done with these characters in regards to love. I’d like to see them talk to couples about their journeys in seeking meaningful companionship(s). 

Thoughts and Crazy Conversations Welcomed. 

With Love, 

Erica Yvonnet @TheMerriment 

Positive Thinking During a Pandemic

Everyday we wake up in this foggy state and I am sure some of you might be wondering … how can anyone possibly be happy with what is currently going on in the world today?

So I thought I would answer that question by first, saying it is really hard to stay positive during a pandemic. And second, I acknowledge that my perspective is a work in progress and on a spectrum that leans closer to the happier side of things.  

Here is what I am working on: 

  • Acceptance – that I should not have to ignore what is going on in my life especially when it is a less than pleasant/fun situation. 
  • Progress – I am trying to give Positive Thinking a try. 
  • Mindset – I want to enjoy approaching unpleasantness/things that are not fun in a more positive and productive way. 

As a result, below are five positive things that I am feeling lately

1. I noticed that I have access to certain really helpful things and, by observation of my daily routines, I am reminded that I have so many reasons to feel grateful. 

I am so thankful that I have essential resources like running water at this time. It should be mentioned that, in my current location, it even tastes refreshingly decent. I can recall once asking if I could have some tap water at a distant friend’s house and she made an embarrassed face at the thought. I tried it anyway. It was terrible. So comparatively speaking, I’m in pretty good shape here. 

2. I noticed that there are positively tempting things about this time for me. 

Like not having to commute to work. I don’t miss getting up early to drink my coffee from a travel mug. I don’t miss washing that very same travel mug in the evening. I don’t miss everyday traffic. I don’t miss radio commercials or the repetitive jingles. And I definitely don’t miss spending money to  regularly fill my gas tank. 

3.  I noticed that there are some comforts worth celebrating like the fact that I am oddly enjoying the extended use of my pajamas!  

Being a tactile person, I’m drawn to the comfort of the fabrics and I applaud those companies who have successfully engineered the pockets. I’ve discovered that I have “dressy pajamas” that are more appropriate for outdoor tasks like neighborhood walks or light garden work. I know other people are probably thinking this is some kind of inside joke you are having with yourself, but I’m on to you. 

4. I noticed how my perspective of emotions has evolved and it’s really interesting. 

For instance, I went for a walk and saw a playground with caution tape I wanted to immediately be sad about this. The longer I stood there, the more I recognized that I have never seen this before. I am currently witnessing a hyper-relevant moment in our history. It was as if I was looking at the most brilliant controversial piece of art that is both emotionally driven and politically significant. This time, in our history, will be a case study for at least the next 30 years and I am part of it. 

5. I noticed how being productive has helped me remain positive and in reflection, I have become aware that I am always learning new things about myself.

I understand that not everyone is going to feel accomplished after this is all over and that everyone’s quarantine looks and feels different. To embrace this, I have been spending a lot of time in the garden and organizing to keep my brain delightfully busy. I have also been playing a lot of 80s new wave music in the house and dancing.   

I am trying to use my time differently and to see it through the lens of Positive Thinking. I have more time to make phone calls to people I miss chatting with. I have more time to indulge in things that entertain me and I’m finding joy in laughing with myself. 

For example, apparently, I like spending time in my office. I think it is amusing crossing stuff off in all sorts of rainbow colors and using sticky notes like a madwoman. I even resurrected a pen pal using some silly but carefully designed stationary. The icing on the cake is that I finally had time to figure out the perfect placement of my desktop lamp! 

I can think of a lot of reasons to be upset but I choose to think of reasons to make myself happy. When I am faced with a strange happening, I choose to change my perspective of it by trying to balance being an informed person and a person who would rather be smiling through the awkward unsettling issues of the world.

Positive Thinking is a Choice for All of us.

#SpreadTheMerriment 

Today #SpreadPeace

The topics of “violence and hate” came up during my lesson of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. It’s amazing how re-reading this book from an adult perspective has moved me emotionally. I had a discussion with my students today about how hate breeds violence; seemed appropriate especially during this time in history.

I want my students to learn that hate is taught. But how do you address this controversial issue? Because my essential question was, “What does it mean to respect humanity?” I knew I had to take a delicate-approach on current affairs as to not offend either perspective.

What did I say? I told them. Hate is powerful. It spreads. It is nearly impossible to correct not only how hate makes people feel but also to forgive what hate makes people do. The actions of  hate can take people decades of teaching to unlearn. Hate divides us- It makes people take sides in arguments that will inevitably spoil the beauty in our hearts and lives.

I hope that the next generation will never know the association that violence is synonymous with survival. I am reminded that making serious attempts to spread peace is vital.

Three Things I wish Contently Gave Me the Opportunity to Say

A Story for Shane Snow (can be nicely paired with a hot beverage, enjoy)

Dear Mr. Snow,

On June 23, 2015, I crafted this story just for you.

Before I begin, I want you to know that contrary to popular belief, I have always believed in the Latin phrase, “Audentes Fortuna Juvat,” or “Fortune Favors the Bold.” So naturally, I will be a bit bold in my delivery. For those of you who are reading this and are unfamiliar to who Mr. Snow is, here are a few facts:

• Shane Snow describes himself via Twitter as, “Tech journalist and cofounder of @Contently. Author of sha.ne/Smartcuts. Lover of pizza, science, and stories. Latest work at shanesnow.contently.com

• His LinkedIn profile summary reads as follows: “New York City-based technology journalist and web entrepreneur. Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Contently. I got my master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and write for some cool places like Fast Company, WIRED, and Advertising Age. In the past, I’ve designed infographics for MTV, Gizmodo, and The United Nations, among others. And I’m a member of the Sandbox Network, Young Entrepreneurs Council, and the Royal Society of The Arts.”

• When you go to www.contently .com TELL GREAT STORIES reads in bold type. They are described as a company that, “helps leading brands build loyal audiences through premium, original content.”

• To get my facts straight, I do believe that Mr. Snow is an epic writer, entrepreneur, and brand strategist. Also, I do adhere to the belief system that Contently is an epic brand. They truly do go beyond the traditional closing by demonstrating superior follow-through. I have no doubt that they set their clients up for achievable success. Bravo.

Recently I read an article by Damian Farnworth entitled, “Here’s How Shane Snow (Founder of Contently) Writes. He asked Shane to share one of his best-loved quotes and Shane replied with the wise words of Richard Ayoade.

Prepare to put mustard on those words. For you will soon be consuming them along with this slice of humble pie, that comes direct from the oven of shame, set at the gas mark ‘egg on your face.’

After reading this I felt empowered. I knew I wanted to apply to Contently to contribute to their epic mission. I read the job description for Sales Strategist. The top of the jobs section reads “Write Your Own Story.” Before applying, my motivation mantra was: Bring on the egg-y face, let me tell you a great story, be bold.

Mr. Snow I want you to know that my story begins in my backyard, just a few weeks ago. I had a great time. You weren’t there which is to be expected, since after all, we’ve never met.

Ah, yes. I had a great time. In order for you to understand what I mean about “a great time,” you should know that I am one of those quirky-nerds who loves to write and read. One of those happy but productive individuals who likes to celebrate victories via awkward dance. An edtech educator who adores random sticky-notes and just wrote this story while listening to eighties dance music, Yup. That’s me. I have been telling and writing stories for many moons.

My niece Amelia came over, she just turned five. I don’t mean to brag or anything, but she always tells me that I am her favorite person. Amelia quotes, “Aunt Erica, you tell the best stories.” I like to respond, “We write them together.”

I told Amelia that I wanted to write a story for someone I would like to work with and she told me to just be myself and that I didn’t have anything to worry about. She’s right. BUT Amelia doesn’t realize that applying for a job requires a professional cover-letter.

To a five year old, that’s just a boring story. Amelia decided that you might enjoy a story about a jungle instead of a story about work.
For entertainment sake. I’d imagine you might like to read something like this:

To set the scene, we had flashlights, my patio-furniture played various wild animal roles and my yoga-ball was our resident elephant. Though out the evening I made some rather convincing sound effects and we ended the night by piling various leaves, twigs, and pine cones in lieu of building a camp fire. It became an adventure because we flexed our imaginations and journeyed through my yard as “explorers.” Armed with lanterns and walking sticks, we collected rare stones, spotted a rhinoceros, and chased an elephant.

I applied for the sales strategist (New York Location) and I feel that your application process does not allow your applicant to tell a great story. It disappointed me to say the least. I know that, “a jungle tale” does not demonstrate how I could add value from day one. But I also know that simply asking for my first and last name, my email address, and my resume makes me feel devalued as a potential applicant.

Don’t you want to hear a great story? I am prepared to put mustard on my words. So much in fact, that I write you a non-traditional cover letter and boldly post it for all to see.

What I first want you to know about me is that on one hand, I know the sales process, how to increase conversations exponentially, and when to be professional. On the other hand, I am an innovative collaborator who will jump into the untested waters of unconventional stories and pitches. Most people would describe me as a clever person who is both kind and considerate.

Here are three things I wish Contently gave me the opportunity to say-

1. My name is Erica Yvonnet. I would like the opportunity to work with your team as a sales strategist. Can we talk? Two days ago @Contently tweeted that #Storytelling will be the top business skill in the next 5 years.

If you really believe that, allow your potential applicants to tell you a story.

Here is mine.

I used to be an edtech educator; my primary roles included the support of evaluation activities, the development of a high quality, researched-based, effective learning curriculum, and the objective-driven training of others. Contently is an advocate of empowering brands and journalists to connect and create original and compelling content; the commitment to a world that “builds something real” through innovative resources is synonymous to my own. I have practiced this skill as a professional development participant, a presenter to adult learners, and as a “Inducted Masters Level Sigma Tau Delta Honors member on the basis of English excellence, secondary education k-12 standard is with advanced standing,” educator.

2. On your website (for the sales strategist position) you seek to build a team of non-traditional sellers. Someone whom, as you quote, “Is a teacher. They don’t just pitch of instruct, they make their clients comfortable. They help them learn. They create better storytellers.”

Why not then, hire someone who was a teacher? But more importantly, ask your applicants to tell you why they believe they are a non-traditional seller.

Here’s why

A resume does not argue transferrable skills. It does not reveal professional demeanor, attitude, work ethic, appearance, etc. of a potential candidate. I can make thirty urban high school students write in absolute silence. I can make a student believe in themselves when no one else does. I know that the solutions for better learning are in a forward-thinking companies that place emphasis on hyper-relevant content and digital innovation. My real references should be my students whom I have helped feel comfortable, learn, and become better storytellers. I am capable of educating your future consumers BUT my resume resonates nothing of the sort.

3. If you want to identify, “a unique subset of sales people who are truly invested in the growth of the Contently brand.” Why not inquire what a potential applicant might suggest about Contently.
Don’t get me wrong, I am passionate about what you do. I just think your application process can be a better representation of your brand.

Here’s a suggestion

Your company claims that “We don’t hire based on Rolodexes.” But your application process suggests that you do. A video or portfolio submission might give you a better understanding of how real your candidates might be. If your mission is, “to build a better media world- for creatives who live to tell stories and tell stories to live, for businesses that want better ways to connect with consumers, and for everyday people who rely on stories to understand the world better.”

Let’s make storytelling the top business skill today. Won’t you, Mr. Snow, give your applicants a chance to tell a great story?

We can eat some humble pie together. Mustard anyone?

Why people find it so hard to be happy

hard to be happy

Quite often I have a longer than usual conversation with a friend on the telephone. Not necessarily to make plans or discuss grandiose accomplishments (if any) but really, just to have a discussion with someone who can relate to my feelings of being consumed by the day-to-day events that have become my life.

My life…ah, too often like a spinning mental rolodex I recall what it’s been like. Sometimes it shocks me that I had never imagined so many things that are my current reality. I read this quote recently and it really made me think.

Marcel Pagnol once said, “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”

Those words really resonated within me. I decided to remind myself (Adhering to my recent mantra that contrary to popular belief, happiness is hard work) I should be honest with myself about my past, my present, and my future.

Past:

I am not going to list all the mistakes I made. I really don’t think anybody should as it could lead to some unhealthy thoughts of what might be. What I will say is that I am grateful of a few things.

1. Thank goodness I was lucky enough to be a kid who made choices that lacked common sense and at the time, no one had to know about it. Video cameras and smartphones, not to mention the social media, have allowed today’s youth an over- exposure that would have made me wildly uncomfortable. I am grateful for the luxury of privacy that I have received.

2. I would have been far worse off had I not had a wonderfully patient and stern set of parents. To this day, I can still hear them in my mind reminding me that I can always be a better version of myself. As a writer, you can imagine how I might feel knowing that even in this moment, there are no words to describe the appreciation I have for them.

3. Sometimes I look back to my past and I have a “those were the days” kind of moment. I feel like nostalgia should be the name of a Greek goddess who lures people back in time.

Present:

I am not going to discuss where I think I should be in my present moment. What I will say is that I don’t suppose anyone thinks about the possibility that their thighs might be rubbing together by the time they are in their thirties. Sometimes I look at pictures of myself from the past and I can’t imagine why I had a complaint in the world of how I looked. When I am an old woman I bet I’ll have this same thought when I look at a picture of myself in this moment. These are a few things that help me be happy in the present moment.

1. I try to be consciously aware of my better-days and my not-so-good days. If I’m feeling mildly unhappy I avoid social media. I think it’s called the “happiness reel.” It makes me think that people are out there experiencing life and I am just sad. TRUST ME online most people appear to have their shit together and that’s just not the case.

2. I analyze my surroundings. This world (even the state I live in) is highly competitive and in the grand scheme of things I am doing okay. Things could certainly be worse.

3. Not only do I have a great family but I have stellar friends. I am at a point where I have eliminated toxic relationships and that has led me to love. Which brings me to-

4. I have the love of an incredible man. He understands and supports me. When I think about having him in my present it makes me feel better about my past. I must have done something right to deserve his companionship.

Future:

I try to smile about what might be. One of my favorite activities is imagining some of the infants I know as teenagers. Imagining myself five, ten, thirty years from now is less amusing. I’d adhere to a few things that make my thoughts of the future more delightful.

1. I try to live in the moment and keep a grasp on my finances, not living too much beyond my means. I still buy lotto tickets every now and again remembering that you can’t win if you don’t play. Possibility can be fun.

2. I play. On the daily. Working hard is inevitable but laughing hard is mandatory.

3. I often read and re-read what Marcel Pagnol once said.

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”

Bravo sir. And thank you for the reminder.

image

#workhappy and see my tweets @themerriment

A couple things to consider when contemplating a new job-
1. Be challenged
2. Work with great people
3. Make a difference
Happy and productive workday to you! What are some work culture must haves for you?

In the Works

Please allow me to give you some background information.

Since I have been unemployed, nearly one year, I have been doing a lot of “soul-searching.” Mostly, because, so much of what I did as a profession, I identified with as a person. Without a defined career path, I often stalled when people asked me to tell them about myself. In the beginning, I began with, “I used to be a High School English teacher.” I was someone who used to describe myself as someone I used to be. I felt broken. Add constant worry of how I will financially maintain my lifestyle plus the relentless, abysmal-tedious tasks of writing cover letters, filling out applications, “networking,” and editing resumes. Yup. That used to be me and I was unhappy about it.

I asked myself a series of questions to resolve things in my life that were causing my unhappiness, was I unhappy because I didn’t have a job? Was it possible to be an unemployed person and also be happy?

I decided that I would find a job but I would also make a conscious effort to be happy. Yes. That is how I would mend my deflated-ego. My plan was, from 9-5 apply for jobs, after 5pm, research happiness.

My life plan (on repeat) sort of looked like this:
8:30 AM: COFFEE
9 AM – 5 PM: Job hunting, occasional interview, ½ hour lunch break paired with phone for social media
6 – 7 PM: Dinner, clean-up house
8 PM – Bedtime: Try to obtain happiness
Weekends: Social events, try to obtain happiness, occasional job hunting

This is how I researched happiness:
Research/follow people and brands that promote happiness by reading articles, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. I also saved and spread others’ opinions on the topic as well as my own inspirational findings.
I tweeted about working happy @themerriment and blogged about promoting happiness at www.themerriment.com in efforts to outline my dream and the process of possible fulfillment.

After nearly one year, I have learned this:
It is my dream to have a career in which my objective is to promote happiness for students and professionals. There is a great need to promote happiness inside schools and within corporations. I have identified that many individuals struggle with balancing their emotional lives and their professional lives.

It has become my mission to address and spread a work-happy belief system.

My approach:
Research and compose hyper-relevant content which supports the notion that happy people work harder. I would also like to analyze and present some of my personal experiences as evidence.

Conduct seminars and facilitate events to encourage professionals to practice happiness in their careers in order to promote productiveness.

Some of my work-in-progress seminars:
“Epic Victory Dancing 101, Celebrating Professional Achievements”
“I Am an Awesome Professional, Emotional and Career Balance”
“My Work is the Cat’s Pajamas, How to be Productive and Happy”

More to Come #workhappy