Thursday, September 26, 2013

Week 3: Family and The Choices we Make

While I know this may seem obvious, I think family is something that is too often taken for granted and so I wanted to dedicate this week's post to my family, for whom I am so thankful. As I was thinking about my family and how to frame this blog post, I happened upon the theme of a conference, "The Choices we Make". Life is all about choices, but our family is not something we choose. Our relationships with our family, however, aren't chosen for us. 

A few weeks ago a conversation came up at the dinner table about family history and there were some stories told that many people around the table had never heard. That got us talking about how there is a lot of family history that we know very little about, and how between everyone we may be able to piece together a lot more, but without anyone from my grandparents generation left, there would inevitably be gaps that couldn't be filled. One thing I know about memories is that the more time that passes, the more fleeting these memories are, and how precious you realize they are when you can no longer remember/no longer have anyone to remember them. 

(some cousins at L&J's wedding weekend last fall)

Between that family dinner and the one the next night with the other side of the family (new marriages, new houses, new dogs, soon to be new babies), I made another resolution. Spend more time with family. Admittedly, I haven't been sticking to that resolution too well, but I really want to! And that is where you, my dear blog-readers come in to play! If I say this resolution aloud, for all of the internets to read, surely someone will hold me accountable to it. Please? 

So while I cannot choose my family, I can choose how important a part of my life they are, and the actions I take to maintain those relationships. My action item this week is to make more time for family! Also, Steinberg side of the family, if you are reading this, stay tuned! I've got a family tree up my sleeve! Can you say family reunion?!

What choices have you made recently that have been important to you? How do you maintain the relationships in your life that are important but not always easy to make time for?

Gratefully yours,

Jaime Ariella 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week Two: Lollipop Moments

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who visited my blog, and left a note on facebook or in the comments section. You all mean the world to me!

Now, on to week two.

Recently, a colleague sent out a link to a TED video about everyday leadership, which provided me with an "aha moment". I encourage you to watch the video below (it's a short one I promise) to get a better understanding of the concept.

(Video via TED Talks)

In the talk, Drew Dudley talks about "lollipop moments". A lollipop moment is a moment when somebody said or did something that you feel made your life fundamentally better. He talks about how everyone at some point has either been responsible for or been the catalyst for a lollipop moment in someone else's life, whether or not that person has told them the impact it had on them. Dudley encourages us to make leadership about lollipop moments, about how many of them we create, acknowledge, pay forward, and say thank you for them. 

This message both inspired me and was eerily close to the subject of this week's thank you note. 

A few months ago I had a conversation with an acquaintance who happens to be in the business of inspiration, and this conversation was about trying to find out what inspires me. Through this conversation this individual challenged me to love my job. He said it seemed that I really liked what I was doing at work, but what would it mean to love what I was doing? In the months since then that question has really stuck with me, through challenges at work and ultimately helped me to make the decision to leave my job for a new one, one that I knew I could love. I sent him a note this week, as I started that new job, thanking him for that lollipop moment in my life. Without having seen this video, I already agreed with Drew Dudley on the importance of recognizing and showing gratitude for these extremely powerful and inspirational moments/catalysts in life. This acquaintance agreed with Dudley in his response, when he challenged me to pay it forward, informing me that it was now my responsibility to inspire others to believe that they too can want to, and actually can have a job that they love (or realize they love the job they already have).

So now I am passing on the challenge to you. Two challenges actually. One, to recognize and acknowledge lollipop moments in your own life; and two, to not settle for less than a job that stimulates, inspires, challenges, and brings joy to your life. 

What has been a lollipop moment in your life? Have you told that person? What would it mean to love your job? Looking forward to hearing about it!

Gratefully yours,

Jaime Ariella

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week One: New Years Resolutions and Fabulous Friends

Happy New Year!

You may be thinking "Jaime, it's September..." but this past week we celebrated the Jewish New Year, and I got to thinking that this was as good a time as any to make some resolutions. A few days after the holiday, I happened across a Thank You card kit in a book store, designed to inspire a year of gratitude. That is how my first official new years resolution of "show more gratitude" came to be. That resolution, combined with the Thank You note kit and my love of greeting cards, is where the idea for this blog came from.

I am the first to admit that I take a lot for granted, and sometimes how much I have versus how much others lack is astounding. I am not, however, writing this blog to make myself feel better or show myself how great I have it. On the contrary, I think a quote by John F. Kennedy sums up how I feel about gratitude.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest 
appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them" 
- John F. Kennedy

I want to push the limits of my gratitude. I want not only to be grateful for all the wonderful people and things in my life, but to show those people how much they mean to me and how grateful I am for them. Maybe then I will be able to pay forward my gratitude and use it to help others.

So this week, the inaugural Thank You week, I thought it only appropriate to thank my amazing friend Stacey Beth! 

Me and Stacey Beth on a recent visit to NYC

Stacey Beth is an amazing blogger (check out her blog here), which has inspired me to start a blog myself (something I always wanted to do but never quite knew how, I am still figuring it out). Stacey Beth is the smartest, kindest, most amazing person I know. Stacey challenges me to think outside the box, pushes back on ideas that I haven't fully thought through, is supportive and honest, and is always there for me. I can only hope to be half the friend Stacey Beth is to me. While friendship is definitely a theme worth further exploring in another blog post, this week is dedicated especially to you, Stacey Beth! 

Do you have a friend that inspires you? Have you made any new years (Jewish or calendar) resolutions this year? Lets chat in the comments section.

Gratefully yours,

Jaime Ariella