It’s not personal. It’s business.

4 03 2009

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NOTE TO SELF: Do not take anything personal. Especially at work. Especially when you’re a girl.

NOTE TO READERS:  In hindsight, all references to women in this article can also apply to “nice guys”

I can’t help but think of  Meg Ryan’s character in “You’ve Got Mail.” She represents the woman who oozes sugar and spice and everything nice.  As a girl to a young woman, she as been successfully wired to be caring, optimistic, and polite.  This is very fitting for girl scouts, prom queens, and debutantes.  As a grown woman in the business world, it is important to understand how years of sugar and spice hardwiring affect a woman’s behavior in the workplace.  Often, a woman’s thoughtfulness, unselfish-ness, and consideration for others can make her look weak, unprofessional, or incompetent.

For example, many women have a terrible habit of over-apologizing, even when they are not at fault, mostly because we’ve been hardwired to be polite in every situation.  Some women can be too helpful, voluntarily putting themselves in subservient tasks that leave leadership opportunities amiss.  But the biggie is taking things too personally (comments, actions, or lack of comments or actions by others).  This is mostly because our environs have nurtured us to become sensitive, caring women carrying the burden of trying to be perfect porcelain dolls.  You would think that a lifetime of criticism from our parents, and relatives would help us take things less personally.  But with family, you assume they have to love you (somewhere deep down), and in the real world, its easier for people to dish criticism than taking the time to teach and encourage.

I’m not nearly as sensitive as Meg Ryan’s character, but I often think of the movie scene where she is told she must “go to the mat”  as I attempt to keep my cool, bite my tongue, and keep all forms of retaliation in check while at the office.  The office is no place for emotions… nor is the company restroom.  I take the elevator to escape to another floor altogether, because I don’t even want other ladies to see me that vulnerable, or that crazy.  More often than crying, sometimes I get so frustrated that I need to kick the hell out of the restroom partitions in order to release my rage.

In the movie, Tom Hanks’ character advises her:

“You’re  at war.  “It’s not personal.  It’s business.  It’s not personal.  It’s business.”  Recite that to yourself every time you feel you’re losing your nerve.”

Not taking things too personally can be a complicated process.  Its the stuff of self-esteem, nurturing environs, pep talks by close friends, even via the bathroom mirror.  The easiest way is to repeat the mantra “It’s not personal. It’s business.”  Business has many rules, this is just one of them.  Repeat it over and over again and remember that the most successful people don’t let criticism hold them down.  They keep an open mind, and instead of retaliating with fruitless comments, they try to use those comments to either improve themselves or prove the naysayers wrong.

This is how the most successful people in business, science, acting, or any other field PUSH THE ENVELOPE.

Taking things personally can be triple damage:

1.  You allow another person’s actions to penetrate your vulnerability.

2.  Oftentimes, you will react or retalliate in a manner most unbecoming, unprofessional, or uncivil.

3. Allowing another person’s comments to discourage/anger/make you cry,  is taking time and energy away from your path toward your goals.

They should really consider adding two new commandments.  “Thou shalt not criticize non-constructively.”  and “Thou shalt not take things personally (and retalliate in senseless anger).”  How do I get in touch with the Pope?





Singing in the shower

2 03 2009
LaLaLa, brmmp brmpp, Batata LaLa

LaLaLa, brmmp brmpp, Batata LaLa

I sang in the shower today.  It was fun. It was silly.  It was tremendously gratifying to express myself in a series of random sounds and humming.  Every time I came close to humming a recognizable tune, I veered sharply into another random melody.  I laughed at myself several times and that felt even better.  My eyes closed tightly against the shower spray and soapy foam, there were moments where I became so attune to the rapidly randomly developing tune that I found myself dancing a little, and then laughing at myself as soon as I noticed.

Try it.  It feels really good.

For some reason, it felt more powerful knowing someone might hear.  The walls in my apartment are thin.  I often hear my roomates, as well as my neighbors.  To blatantly be foolish in the presence of others.  Releasing a slight self-insecurity out into the world.  Try it.

Scientific Study backs me up:  Singing could reduce your pain and prolong your life





Kiss List

9 02 2009

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Check out the new Future Adventures Kiss List… and post your suggestions and insults.

BTW, I am spending my very-single Valentine’s Day at Bunny’s Bowling Birthday.  It should be fun, and I can’t help but hope to meet some new people.





Be the HOPE

4 02 2009
Snow on the High Museum Jan 2008

It feels this cold.....Snow on the High Museum Jan 2008

The wind is howling and it is COLD. 20’s, I think.  Many nights I lay myself to bed thinking of those colder and more vulnerable than I.  People experiencing homelessness, who may not have a blanket, let alone shelter. I am in a heated room with one blanket and one down comforter and long sleeved pjs…. and still cold… and feeling ridiculous about it.

So tonight I finally decided to google a way to help.  Check out the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless for many ways to help.

Here’s the fastest and easiest way!

other easy ways to help are:

1.  Become more aware of your language. Try to minimize language in your own and others’ vocabularies that refers to people experiencing homelessness in derogatory ways. By using expressions such as “people experiencing homelessness” rather than labels such as “bum,” “transient,” or even “the homeless,” we remind ourselves that people who are in such situations are still people first – just people who are going through a difficult period in their lives. In a time when they may find it difficult to hold onto their sense of humanity, it is particularly important that we do not use language that further diminishes the dignity of people in homeless situations.  (http://www.homelesstaskforce.org/advocate.html)

2.  Watch this you tube video

3.  STATISTICS AND MYTHBUSTERS (http://www.homelesstaskforce.org/thefacts.html)

The wealthiest nation on Earth has a wider gap between rich and poor than any other nation.

The fastest growing group of homeless people is children under 9 years of age.

Atlanta is the poorest city in the U.S. for children – more children in Atlanta live in poverty than in any other city.

Current welfare (TANF) benefits are $282 a month for a woman with two children. Could you find an apartment to rent on $282 a month?

Fewer than 20% of those women and children living on welfare get any kind of housing subsidy.

98 million children in the U.S. have no health insurance. Eight million of those children without health insurance live in working families.

Did you know that 40% – 60% of homeless people work?

Minimum wage in Georgia is $5.85 per hour, which yields $12,168 per year, before taxes.

HUD says you should pay no more than 30% of your income for your housing. (30% of minimum wage yields $270/mo. for rent)

The average two-bedroom apartment in Atlanta rents for $834/mo. (which is 30% of an annual income of $33,360 or hourly rate of $16+ per hour). Thus, you need to earn $16+ per hour to afford that apartment, according to HUD.

46% of the jobs with the most growth between 1994 and 2005 pay less than $16,000 a year.

40% of homeless men are veterans.





25 Random Things About Me

3 02 2009

1. I love lists.
2. I am easily recruited for random acts of gluttony.
3. I am a totally different personality in work situations where I’m tense, cautious, and very quiet.
4. I am addicted to watching Heroes (still on season 2)
5. I think its absurd to be a fan of products on facebook and not be getting paid for advertising, Suckers.
6. Yoga changed my life.
7. I will write a book one day… I wish I wrote the dictionary.
8. My roommate and I are each cooking one new recipe a week. Some of them bomb. Don’t ask about the salt cod.
9. I want to start a dozen websites, but haven’t learned how to do it yet.
10. Well-designed cars turn me on. Really.
11. I have a scavenger-hunt list of types of men I’d like to kiss before I get married.
12. I have a blog with 38,250 hits. http://www.lypala.wordpress.com
13. I like to eat things as big as my head (cookies, sandwiches, pancakes)
14. I am finally over my ex-boyfriend. I am single, but not quite ready to mingle.
15. Don’t ask me if I have a boyfriend unless you’re willing to introduce me to a likely candidate.
16. I am terrible about calling people back.
17. A booming voice in my head says “INAPPROPRIATE” whenever necessary.
18. I have a Crush whom I keep hoping to run into on the elevator.
19. I only like to run into my arch-nemesis fashion rival when I look stylish enough.
20. I love to travel. In 2005 I quit my job and backpacked though Europe on my own.
21. I want my own motorcycle.
22. I have no debt, zilch.
23. I am saving up to buy a condo in midtown.
25. I am most comfortable with strangers.





Be here, Be productive

3 02 2009

If you’re going to be here, BE HERE.

I was lecturing myself a day or two ago, buried under my down comforter I refer to as “the cave.”  January was boring, but it was supposed to be boring.  I was supposed to be studying for my interior design exam.  I was supposed to be saving money.  I was supposed to eat less, exercise more.  I was supposed to be productive in all aspects of life.  Not lying under the covers at half past noon.

The 31st of January was my mother’s 59th birthday.   She went to Disney’s Magic Kingdom with my middle sister and grandmother.  I wanted to go.  I would’ve at least liked to go home and visit her.  But I have limited my travel to maximize my goals of saving money and studying.  There are a dozen destinations I am postponing or depriving myself, based on my unrealized commitment to studying.  After squandering vital weekends in January, I am adopting a new mantra.  If you’re going to be here, BE PRODUCTIVE.





Tough Sticky

28 01 2009

avant_album

Lynne likes this song, “When it hurts” .  The message is important.  Relationships, dating/friendships/family are all measured by how we respond to the difficult moments.  The singer Avant has a lyric about “changing people’s definition of love” by reminding everyone that its the tough times that count.  Seeing as we’re in a tough time globally, I hope we’ll all remember.

I can happily say that my friends and family have always been there for me in troubling moments, whether in support or to argue a constructive point of their own.

Boyfriends are another story.  I can only think of one boyf that ever stuck around for an argument.  Granted, I don’t pick many fights, and most debates I have a winning point.  It seems strange, but I’m hoping my next boyfriend will invest enough of himself to argue for the sake of improving our relationship or clearing up misperceptions.  Not just giving up on things that don’t seem to work.  Not just giving up on me.

I agree, its easier to avoid conflict all together, especially at the risk of making a girl cry.  But delivering constructive criticism is a service of honesty between two friends.  Discussing personal opinions, no matter how controversial or awkward, should also be comfortable, if not mutually respectful.

Excerpted Lyrics: When it hurts” by Avant

When it hurts, will we still be
The same two lovers
All over each other
When it hurts, will we still see
What we got together
Promise that we’ll never
Never ever be
Temporary (Not Another)
Ordinary (Uh uh)
We should change people’s definition of love
So forget what you heard
The only way that this will work
Is if you love me when it hurts
Can you love when it hurts

Babygirl we gotta face it
There’ll be times that we let each other down
And on the days that you ain’t feeling me
Will you be able to stick around
Cause anything worth having is worth fighting for
If we really want this thing to work
We gotta go to war
Girl, I’m in this thing
I mean we’re in this thing
But through the tears will you still be here