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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Ahhh, the show is almost open, the books here any minute..

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Computers need naps too

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Imagine my daughter’s surprise when she popped in one day awhile back and a lovely blanket was covering the computer. 

“Mom, what the ?” she commented, with the ‘look’ that says, “oh, what is my strange mother up to now?”

“It’s taking a nap, dear.” I answered.

Sometimes, the computer dons a sweater.  That’s when it wants to go out.

At Christmas time, it dresses festively to suit the occasion.

It’s common knowledge that computers can be a very enticing distraction from doing other things.  A couple emails leads to hours of exploring.  A word game leads to more word games.  A youtube video  leads to more and more videos.  A quiz leads to another quiz.  And of course, your fairyland on facebook always needs some attention – and you feel good about that because you are saving the rainforest.  

And if you are one of those people who have signed up for a lot of free resources, you could spend your entire day going through the newsletters.. and that’s just to delete them!   (If you are in that arena,  here’s a hint: pick two to five that you do read.  Unsubscribe from the rest.  Sure, there are some that you know you’ll want in your life someday.  You could mark those sites as favourites for the future, or simply know you will come across it again when you do need it.)

In my particular case, the computer is central to much of my business: 

  • I maintain an online console for my clients and me.
  • I coach both in person and by telephone, and clients are most welcome to communicate via email between sessions. 
  • I manage my website, my blogs, my marketing and graphics.  
  • I twitter, I facebook, I belong to networks of coaches, I attend forums and webinars related to creativity, life coaching, business coaching, marketing.
  • And be darned if the computer isn’t a big part of publishing a book!  (a whole new area for me!  Book will be out in a couple of weeks! whoo hoo)
  • And of course, I write work(play!)books.

Yup, my computer is key to my business. 

Do you know how easy it is to be doing something else nearby and think, “oh, I have an idea..” and suddenly be immersed in doing ‘something’ on the computer.  Or be doing my taxes, and get inspired to write  a post about napping computers?  (Yup, this post is an inspired escape from boredom!)

And that, dear readers, is why my computer takes naps or goes out.  Sure, I could just turn it off… but 1. I’d have to save everything, finish everything, or remember to reopen everything AND that takes time!  2. I could just as easily turn it back on.

But if I whip back to the computer to do a quick email, or pay a bill, and I see that it is napping.. well, I smile  (in fact, I laugh) and know it’s supposed to be sleeping for a little while.   I’m even more respectful when it ‘goes out’ .. usually that means I REALLY need a break, and threw the closest thing possible over it’s sweet little head.  er.. monitor.

Does your computer need a nap?  Do you have a blanket?  Give this little trick a shot.  If there’s one thing I do know, using humour and ‘lightening up’ methods to change habits is a lot more fun than more traditional ways that, darn it, just aren’t working.

“The Perfect is the enemy of the Done.”

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I feel like my life is an ongoing learning curve that occasionally does huge leaps – kind of like my blog stats on days that Jill Badonsky stops by.   Creating sculptural illustrations that would become a book was a challenge, but who knew the process of getting the book ready for publishing was such a challenge too?   Seriously, there are a billion options and ways to produce a book from photos of Clay Illustrations.     My wise and kind and very resourceful photographer and self-publishing expert, William McAusland, ( http://www.mcauslandstudios.com ) shared this with me: “One thing I have heard from successful creative people is to keep in mind that “The Perfect is the enemy of the Done.”

Ya, I know that.  I help people all the time to know that.  Perfectionism can sometimes stop a creative being from ever creating.  But it was a brilliant reminder on William’s part – because now the book is DONE.  Yay!   Well, one more run by my daughter – who, with her Masters in Communication Design, is the best editor I could even imagine.. then it’s off for publishing.  Phew.

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"Page 3- The Wizard" The Demise of Noshud Hafta by Janet L Whitehead ©2009

Packing for Travelling… written on the sixth week of a travel adventure; when one really knows what is necessary and what is not!

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These packing tips were written on the sixth week of a travel adventure; when one really knows what is necessary and what is not!   I’ve just typed this up for a friend about to go travelling and decided to share it here.  If you wonder what kind of trip this list was for, please see blog posts under category: “Adventures – Turkey, Greece, and Wedding”

Luggage:
• Small backpack  or small rolling suitcase.  Ideal for me would be backpack style that has ability to roll with extended handle.  I believe they do exist.

• Purse of sorts.   Comfortable to carry, closes securely.  Large enough for  what you need for day excursions.   Alternately, a hands-free waist style, and pack a lightweight compact bag that can be opened up and used if required.

• Waist style ‘hidden’ passport and money belt.

Important Things:
• Passport
They say keep a copy of passport and cards in separate piece of luggage.  You can also have the number recorded (or scanned) and leave it with a friend who can email info to you if required.  DO leave a copy of important documents with someone at home.
• Airline tickets/ info/ itinerary of pre-booked flights
• Bank Debit Card – make sure in advance it will work in the country you are going to.  Important to have 4 digit pin number
• Charge card.   Take the one you charged your flights to, as they use this for easier check-in at airports.  An alternate card or debit card might also be reassuring just in case one gets cancelled because the charge card company thinks it’s been stolen.  It happens. Honest.
o Important: Contact both your bank and your charge card company and tell them where you are going and for how long or they will likely cancel your card if they can’t reach you to ask if unusual charges are yours.
o Also important, when accessing funds with your debit, use a machine at a bank. .. not a random independent machine.  This way if your card gets ‘eaten’ (ie: not returned) the bank can return it to you.  This happens too.  It happened to me.
• Take cash in local currency. Really nice to have in advance if you arrive late in an airport and cash exchange booths are not open.
NOTE: What I didn’t need was traveller’s cheques. In Turkey and
Greece they were not accepted in stores, not wanted at
accomodations, and fees were high to cash in at banks.
• Medical Insurance Card
• International Driver’s License and Driver’s License if you plan to drive there.
• Accessible email account.
• Prepay and schedule your bill payments if you have that ability so you don’t need to worry about that while travelling.

Clothing:
• 2 pairs easy wash/dry capris.
• 1 pair warmer pants – yoga pants good.
• 1 skirt or dress
• 3 easy wash shirts
• 1 light sweater
• 1 warmer raincoat
• 1 pretty scarf that makes everything look lovely and is surprisingly handy for warmth if required. Also works when you strain your wrist as a tensor bandage.  (Ya, I’m living proof that works)
• 2 pairs shoes – both good for climbing .. or at least 1 is.  I recommend Chaco sandals… great for everything and even look okay with a dress.
• Socks 1 pair
• Mitts 1 – if travelling during cool weather season.
• Bathing Suit
• Small towel.
• 3 prs panties, 1 bra – althought I think they should be banned. Boys, you don’t need this.

Comfy:
• Blanket.   Something that compacts small can be very handy if you don’t like the bedding where you are, or if you are on a very cold ferry or bus.
• Small travel Pillow can be handy and comforting in buses and in some places you stay.

Clean:
• Shampoo, Conditioner.
• Body wash.   I highly recommend Sense body wash from Usana.  Only a drop goes a long way, and I used this for washing clothes too.   If it works for your hair, it could be the only item you’d need – my hair is too fussy though.  Otherwise, include a product to wash clothes.
• Whatever is easiest to ‘do hair’:  For me, a hair pic and mousse, elastics, and one pretty hair clasp.
o Do not take hairdryer or curling irons unless you also take the proper converter to allow them to function there.
• Make up – keep it simple. If you are a guy, you might not need this.
• Toothbrush, toothpaste, Dental Floss.
• Sewing needle that fits dental floss through eye of needle. Dental floss is great for repairs.
• Deodorant
• Tweezers
• Small scissors

Healthy:
• Sunscreen
• Cortisone cream
• Antibiotic cream
• bandaids
• Gravol
• immodium
• antihistamine
• gastrolyte
• Painkiller/muscle relaxer
• Vitamins
• Prescription meds if needed
– There are great essential oil alternatives to the above.  One good one to have is Oil of Oregano.
– Although I  might not ever use  the medications listed above at home … they are pretty nice to have when you are ill or develop strange rashes and can’t easily get to a doctor.

Depending on where you are going:
o water purifying pills
o Off – insect repellant
– mosquito net.

Important, too:
• VERY Small sewing kit
• Spoon, fork, utility knife.  (These must go in your checked in luggage – as will most liquids. Check regulations before you go, so you don’t have stuff taken away from your ‘onboard’ luggage)
• Travel clock with alarm.
• Camera
o Extra memory cards
o Battery charger
o Power converter for Battery charger

Nice to have:
• Books:
–  1 novel  (that can be given away when you are finished)
–  1 Learning  (for extended vacations nice to have something related to hobby, history, art, self development, etc)
– 1 guide book (this is IMPORTANT)  Note: you can exchange books in many hostels.

• Journal, pens.

• If you are an artist ,writer, etc -bring tools you need.  Often not easy to find those while travelling. Can be fun to discover alternatives, but keep in mind that quality tools and mediums you prefer may not be easily available.

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