The Beauty of a Woman…

I was having such a hard time with this.
My mom, Joan Kennedy, the most beautiful woman I know--inside, outside, all sides. Protector, confidant, mentor, teacher, cheerleader, friend. When she would come for school visits at St. John the Baptist, I could barely contain myself. My mother was coming to SCHOOL! Everyone would bask in her awesomeness.

I felt the same way in high school--I know! I never "hated" my mom, or thought she was "lame"--okay, maybe she really didn't "understand" how much I loved that boy, but she sure knew how to help me get on with my life:

"Put on your sunglasses and clean out your drawers--make room for good things in your life."

I am still excited to introduce her to new friends or colleagues. "This," I say with reverence, "is my mom, Joan Kennedy."

I know I am only scratching at the surface of this, I feel words can't describe it all, but a picture, well that's worth thousands of those.
Joan 74.jpg
the beauty of a woman
sharing wisdom


A tiny snippet of her life--at 92 she continues to share her wisdom and laugh, she is a motivational speaker, seminar/workshop leader, and an author. I love her like crazy and I hope to grow up to be just like her.
be sure to stop by and visit other Beauty of a Woman blog posts!
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Beauty of a Woman



I was crabby.Crabby, crabby, crabby. Like not talking crabby and snapping at people (family people) when I did talk. And totally in my head. Yuck.

Why was I crabby? Work. 'Nuff said. Luckily, my husband called me on it. He said, "This isn't work, this is our home and it's supposed to be a sanctuary. This is where we go to leave all the crap behind. This is where people love you." Okay, first he said, "What the hell?" Then he said the cool stuff.

Aaaah, I brought all the crap from work and pretty much placed it on the kitchen table and said, "Here, eat this." Not good.

Now, I'm a pretty happy gal, but when things bother me, they REALLY bother me, yet it so wasn't fair to my family to be bitchy with them when they weren't the fracking problem, plus being crabby and bitchy and unhappy SUCKS. The question was though, how was I going to leave my work drama at work?

So, I've been experimenting with some decompression stuff. Such as:

  • Listening to a book on CD during my commute home
  • Essential oils*
  • Be intentional--before walking through front door: this is my sanctuary, and I will not shit where I eat.
  • Think about the day and then set it aside.
  • Florence and the Machine, because, Shake It Out.
When I leave work at work and give myself over to being my best me for my family and friends, it's not just better for them it's better for me too. It feels good to not be mired in my head with crap. It feels good to smile and listen and laugh.

*Essential oils are my first choice for most things: colds, bug bites, can't fall asleep, need to wake up, have to speak in front of 50 people...anything. So, it's funny that I didn't think of using them in my car a long time ago. I'm making caromas (did you see what I did there?) hangy doo-dad thingies (I'm working on a name) Here are some pictures:

It's definitely a prototype! but I like that I can pull the corks off the magnates to add more essential oils. Right now we are enjoying the scents of Peppermint and Lemon Young Living Essential Oils. Plus, just looking at it reminds me to leave the crap behind.
How about you, what's you're decompression trick(s)?


How I Did On My 12 Things To Do Before I turn 56

Let's review, shall we?

I was totally and completely inspired by Heather's Blog, Write. Sew. Drink. Repeat 32 Things to do While I'm 32! I loved the large and not so large things she accomplished. And now she has a new list, 'cause, she's 33...

So, I only have 12 (roughly) weeks left before my next birthday, which will not *ahem* be my 33rd. I'm going to have a crap ton of things to do! How exciting!

But since I hate waiting, I'm going to do: 12 things to do BEFORE I turn 56 (and then I'll do my massive 56 things to do while I'm 56).

1. Hang out with my kids (all of them at the same time) twice. Seems measly, but it's not easy getting us all together at the same time! Once before and once after

2. Hang out with my mom (at least) 3 times. Yup! And then some.

3. Seesters! One lunch date downtown and one long distance phone call. No lunch date, but had a couple of happy hours and fun times. and did have one, maybe two long distance calls.

4. Meditate (at least) once a week for the next 12 weeks. Did pretty crappy on thios one. Meditated three times. But have started something that I'm super excited about...will tell you about it next time. Almost as good as meditating. Almost.

5. Date night! We can do this. We went out to eat a few times, but not full blown dates. Need to do better at this!

6. Hang out with Friends (at least) 3 times. Hung out with few friends--more than 3 times. Yay!

7. Blog 12 times to Those Kennedy Women. Errr, whoops. Terrible, terrible awful on this one!

8. Blog 6 times to Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Women. Three times. :/

9. Outline rest of What The Hex! Wrote more, and brainstormed and notecarded...but not really outlined.

10. Fast draft What the. Hex! With online group. Nope. A miserable fail

11. Attend (at least) 4 high school football games--Go Eagles! Yes!

12. Draft outline/structure of double secret awesome inspirational small group workshop with my mom! Ooooh, double secret...Yes! Can't wait to introduce this in 2015!

Okay. There's my list. I'm glad I updated it for you (but mainly for myself) it's good to see how I could have done better and what I did do. How about you? Did you do a list? Early next week, I'll do my list for 56!


What's in My Closet?

Recently, I wrote a post about How to Dress Your Best Self, I said, you dilute your wardrobe with too much detritus--in other words too many clothes ruin everything! I'm in the middle of slowly adding cooler weather clothing to my closet without packing away everything warm weather. Because, living in a state where it's 57 one week and 80 all the next week can make the switch a bit tricky!

I was confronted with a crap ton of clothes, detritus up the wazoo. See, that's why you can look in a closet crammed with clothes and think you have nothing to wear--it's just too damned hard to see anything.
I knew I had to do something about it, because it was getting harder and harder to pick out something to wear.

Do you ever look a project in the eye and sigh, because of the enormity of it? Yeah, me too. But, I had heard of a good trick to help with the clearing: pretend you are in a store and with each article of clothing ask yourself, "Would I buy this today?" But there were too many ways for me to justify saying, yes, yes I would buy that. I might need it...someday.

I had to extremify the process. EXTREMIFY, look it up.

I looked in my closet and asked myself, self, what do you love, like, love-love to wear? I mean, it makes you feel glorious and you. Really you.

I started with jackets--I love me some jackets! They are the magic ingredient to any wardrobe, a jacket can turn a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt into a Ralph Lauren weekend in the country.

Four jackets were out of my closet and on the bed, the first happens to actually be a Ralph Lauren, it's my absolute favorite, and not because it's a RL, but because of the way I feel in a Ralph Lauren weekend! (Joan bought this for me for my birthday, maybe 8 years ago and still so fabulous.)

A long sleek black jacket was my second. I don't know how Bebe manages it, but this jacket is sexy and that's how I feel in it. (got this jacket at a thrift store.)

Then a pink jean jacket, of course. This turns any outfit into something funky and fun. Which is how I feel when I'm wearing it. Plus, pink makes me happy. (this was given to me, used.)

And my fitted denim jacket. Again love to pair this with something unexpected--that way I don't take myself so seriously, okay, even less seriously than I normally do. (another thrift store find.)

I added a few more jackets (yeah, I so do not agree with any fashion list that says you only need two jackets (pffft!), then moved on to my blouses...

Honestly, it starts easier than it ends, and there were some in the give away pile-out of the give away pile goings-on. But my clothes can breathe now and I can see what I've got. I think it will be easier to do again.

Now, it's your turn--you can do this. And be gentle with yourself--you still have to do it--don't beat yourself up if you end up with a measly donation pile. It's a first step.

What's the thing you love the most in your closet?


There Are No Flippin' Rules

Twice yesterday I received the message, "there are no rules." Once from *The Universe (I am not even kidding, we'll talk more on that later!) and once from a newsletter I subscribe to. The first, actually said, "there are no rules." My shoulders relaxed. The second time, it was more of a message gleaned from, "You're never going to get there by trying to get there. There is no path you just need to find..."

My brain did one of those fast action thoughts, all jumbly and toppling over each other: wait, so all those marketing techniques, and sales funnels, and Pinterest analytics I've been searching for and stressing about, all these outside "rules" don't mean anything?

It's up to me to create the way I want to do this.

It is up to me.

Pretty heady stuff--there's definitely responsibility attached to "it's up to me." I'm responsible for my own shit. Right?  There are no rules does not mean there is no working your ass off. It means you decide how the work is done and what kind of work you do and most importantly why you're doing the work.

And, when I say "work" I don't necessarily mean your job, unless that's what you want it to mean, because this can work for work, but it can work for your life too. (Wow. That is almost confusing.)

So, there is a load of personal responsibility with "there are no rules" but there is sweet sweet freedom too.

I stopped writing for a while--nearly everything--the manuscript I was working on, my blog posts, Facebook updates, even tweets were too much for me to muster, because I thought I was doing them wrong. My tweets weren't as clever as this person's, my blog was nothing like that much more successful person's, my book will never touch another person the way this author's books do...

And so I just stopped. When I tried to be like these other people (follow their rules) it didn't work, it came out flat, I felt like a fraud (duh). So I stopped trying and stopped writing. How sad.

When I first became a supervisor a few years ago, I struggled. Not that I couldn't do the work, I could. I struggled with what kind of a supervisor to be--I read books (not the right ones!) I took webinars (blech!) I went to classes (okay) and yet every single day I walked into work nearly sad, shoulders slumped, and with no idea who I was.

And it wasn't until I was having a random conversation with one of my nephews (thank you Nick!) where I said: "I don't like being a supervisor, I don't know how I'm supposed to be one."

and he said: "Amy, they hired you for who you are. Be you."

Shoulders relaxed.


This opened up my world. I fell back into me. I stopped TRYING to be a boss, and instead became me again--really good at all things circulation, kind of goofy, really happy, laughing a lot, expecting great things from the team. I led by example and made my expectations clear, I also admitted my weaknesses. And I was okay again, hell, I was great.

My point is: 
stop trying to live up to who you are not. 
stop trying to to follow a set of made-up rules that maybe worked for some other person, but sure the hell are not working for you.
Be you and make your own rules.

(Unless you are a serial killer, and you are trying not to be one, then, yes, please keep trying.
Also, this isn't a free keep smoking card.)

But the word "try" is so damned full of I-probably-won't-succeed-and-then-I'll-have-to-FRACKIN-try-mofo-try-again, and that just feels deflating and long and icky.

There are no rules

Freedom, not anarchy, but freedom to create from who you are to get you to who your best self is. 
I'm reading Danielle LaPorte's The Desire Map. AWESOME book, (fantastic website) helps you figure out not the tangible goals for your life but how you want to feel--and then figure out how to feel that. So, one of my core desired feelings is free, I want to feel free.Free to work how I want, at what I want, free to take the day off and hang with my kids or my mom or anyone. Free to not worry.

After I read: there are no rules, I realized freedom (free) is not something I have to reach for, I already have it. I just needed to recognize where in my life it existed. Sure, I'd like it in more aspects of my life (can you say, fly to Paris?) but that is a huge part of manifesting something--already believing you have it, to find examples in your life now and then to focus on it and love it and really feel it--which will bring more of it to you. Holy Sh*t. 

*Now, as promised, here's my Note from the Universe:


Got Strategy? How 'Bout Soul?

I've been thinking a lot lately about life and work and family and friends and soul. Not James Brown soul, more like keeping everything together with soul. Like, not losing your being, your self, your " thine own self be true." soul. You feel me?

Lets back up a few weeks...It was a day off--off of the work that pays the bills, I did have my personal emails to catch-up on and I listened to a webinar and discovered a super cool writing coach teacher liberator--Alexandra Franzen and saw what she did and thought:

Why don't I have a system?

I mean, why don't I have a plan, or a time frame or...anything?

Especially since I want to be a creative entrepreneur -- uh, du-uh -- you kinda have to plan these things and actually work toward them. And not just sporadically, as the spirit/muse/whatever calls, there's no, tra-la-la whatever will be will be, bullshit. Uh-huh. 

So. I was going to make a plan--a P.L.A.N. plan. We're talkin' serious plan.

Then Nathan wanted to go to Kennedy (his high school) and get his football helmet and when we got back Rick was home and I remembered I wanted to return something to Bed, Bath & Beyond and then I needed to register Nathan for football (you can start non-coach practice w/o signing up) online and then weed the garden and dinner. And then take Nathan to to a friend's baseball game.

And then something must have broken inside of me (possibly my soul?).

Because, super simple directions to the field and I went in the opposite direction. And then turned around and found the right street and turned the wrong way--or thought I did--so I turned around and, of course, now I really was going the wrong, I turned around (again *sigh*) but then was in the WRONG freakin' turn lane and had to f#*%ing turn around again.

By this time I had a headache, felt disconnected and light headed. My son was pretty awesome, he kept telling me it would be okay and gave me some water. We finally were headed in the right direction and--

I missed the turn.

 So...I turned into an apartment complex to get back on the right track but you couldn't turn the way I needed to. So. I had to go past where the turn was and TURN AROUND. I am not even kidding.

By the time we got to the ball field I was exhausted. And even though there was a possibility a friend was there -- I had to go home. HAD TO.

On the way home my husband called, BECAUSE IT HAD TAKEN SO LONG, he thought I had stayed. I told him what happened, and that I just wanted to get home. He was sitting outside waiting for me when I turned in the driveway--I guess I scared him! I ended-up lying down, nearly crying, and finally sleeping for about a half an hour. I woke up and made rhubarb crisp (I DON'T KNOW WHY). 

What's all this rambling leading to, you ask? I will tell you: I am figuring out a system. And not just a system, a strategy--THINGS, as they say, are in the works. I want a Strategy, but one with Soul. I want a plan, but one with heart. I want to feel good. I want to do good.

I know I do better when I've spent time on things that raise me up: like creativity, spending time with awesome women, writing, spending time with family (not just driving them places), planning cool new endeavors with my mama...

More on that one soon! (ooooh, double secret)

Have you endured any craziness lately? What happened? What realization did you come to? I seriously want to know. 

12 Things To Do Before I Turn 56

I was totally and completely inspired by Heather's Blog, Write. Sew. Drink. Repeat 32 Things to do While I'm 32! I loved the large and not so large things she accomplished. And now she has a new list, 'cause, she's 33...

So, I only have 12 (roughly) weeks left before my next birthday, which will not *ahem* be my 33rd. I'm going to have a crap ton of things to do! How exciting!

But since I hate waiting, I'm going to do: 12 things to do BEFORE I turn 56 (and then I'll do my massive 56 things to do while I'm 56).

1. Hang out with my kids (all of them at the same time) twice. Seems measly, but it's not easy getting us all together at the same time!

2. Hang out with my mom (at least) 3 times

3. Seesters! One lunch date downtown and one long distance phone call

4. Meditate (at least) once a week for the next 12 weeks

5. Date night! We can do this.

6. Hang out with Friends (at least) 3 times

7. Blog 12 times to Those Kennedy Women

8. Blog 6 times to Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Women

9. Outline rest of What The Hex!

10. Fast draft What the. Hex! With online group

11. Attend (at least) 4 high school football games--Go Eagles!

12. Draft outline/structure of double secret awesome inspirational small group workshop with my mom! Ooooh, double secret...

Okay. There's my list. How about you, it's a throw down, a lift you up kind of throw down. Tell us what you want to do, or wish you could do, or what you think of my list.