Friday, January 14, 2011

Unlocking better habits is like winding a watch

Unlocking the blue door for the last time.
I pulled out an old watch I hadn't worn in a decade. The time on it's tiny face had stopped. I threw it in my pocket and at lunch dropped into the local jeweler to buy a battery to get it revved up again. The jeweler grinned and fiddled with the watch. "It doesn't have a battery. It's the wind up kind."

My head came up sharply and felt my face flush. I eyed him. He didn't smirk or comment on what an idiot it was to visit his establishment. He gazed down at the work at hand and rolled his thumb and forefinger over the tiny gold button-gear. When the watch was ticking solidly he handed it back.

I left the store and stopped at the corner before crossing Evergreen Boulevard and paused. How much of life do I expect to happen automatically? How much do I take for granted because it takes so little effort, takes nothing more than a sliver of metal that converts the chemical energy contained in its active materials into electrical energy that performs phenomenal tasks?

I take too much for granted.

One of the things I took for granted is the phenomenal team I worked with at the paper. On my final day, I bemoaned the fact that I hadn't praised enough, hadn't acknowledge the many simple and complex tasks people did to make the company a success.

I made my confession during my exit interview and the human resources manager didn't criticize or add fuel to the fire of my personal guilt. She simply said, "Take the learning experience forward, and do it better."

I think if we're smart and attentive we can learn from the mistakes of others. There isn't a need for all of us to make the same mistakes. So, turn to the person next to you and think about something that they do to make a difference in your company, in your community, or in your life.

Tell them.

Say it sincerely.

Unlocking better habits is like winding a watch. You have to do it everyday. If you don't, your watch or your good habits stop. There is no battery of life to keep you on track and ticking except your own desire.

So, to my phenomenal team, who pursues their dreams in a great media company, I say, "No one can do what you do as well as you. You are the best. I'm so glad I had a chance to work with you.

"You made me better."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Should you throw your own goodbye party?


Last night we packed the house at Niche Wine & Art to celebrate a long newspaper advertising career.


There was someone from the county, the library, Washington State University, Clark College, HP, the school district, Uptown and Downtown Associations, landlords, community services, the city attorney's wife, oh, and my State Farm agent. Friends from work piled in from advertising, production, layout, the newsroom, and fabulous Columbian friends from the past dropped by.

People traveled from out-of-state! Portland advertising, PR and media people trucked in. (Full disclosure: out-of-state is 15 minutes away, 30 minutes in bad traffic :-)

Greetings came from London, Canada, Hawaii, and Texas.
AND a videographer attended and taped the festivities for a future Chris Martin Studios feature.
I took the high heels off about 9 pm, plopped on the Niche couch and savored what it feels like to be part of generous community.

Thank you everybody!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

This is your year

One of my friends read this to me at lunch.
"It's a new year. You have 360+ days to make this your best year yet. Don't focus on what you think the world needs. Focus on what makes you come alive. Because what this world needs most is a world filled with people who have passion. Do what you love and do it better than you ever have. This is your year."
From Bryan Thayer, motivational, inspirational speaker who shares from the heart.

Ditto from me to YOU!

I quit my job

Working is hard, quitting is exhausting. In the meantime, let's have a party.