Rehab Program for Perfection?

I recently underwent a major surgery.  Have no fear – I am fine and have no residual medical issues except my ever so slow recovery.  During my LONG time sitting at home I did some personal reflection.  You know, that examine yourself, inner peace crap….yeah.  I read a lot of books.  When I returned to work I had a revelation.  All the books I read discussed perfectionism, letting perfectionism go, and feeling good about it.

Holy crap, right?  I already knew I was a perfectionist, but I really had no idea the effect it had on my life.  For example, I can never complete a project unless I know I did it correctly and to the best of my ability.  So what happens?  My projects never gets completed and they feel utterly overwhelming to me!  For example, I have a love/hate relationship with myself when I purchase a new journal.  Part of me is so excited to write and write in it, and the other side of me does not want to mess it up….how do I solve that problem?  I bought Keri Smith’s journal “Wreck This Journal.”  Needless to say…..I still haven ‘t had the courage to mess it up even with permission from the author.

How does one let perfectionism go when it has been a part of their life for so long?  I am guessing that I am not the only person who struggles with this issue since there seems to be a number of books related to the topic on the market.  Do you know how much work it is for a perfectionist to not be perfect?  A LOT!

I am sure you are wondering what “steps,” (totally therapist terminology – blah), I am taking to work through this.  One major change I have undergone is realizing that you can’t make everyone happy.  If you work so hard at making other people happy you will become stressed out, frazzled, and sad.  Saying “no” and prioritizing my life have also been a big change I implemented.  Identifying what is important to ME in my life is another major adjustment I have made.

I still have a long way to go to move out of my perfectionist thinking patterns (therapist term again – sorry).  The most important part of releasing the perfectionism to identifying it.  It’s there – everyday, and I have to consciously work on it – much like a person who is quitting smoking.

Now that I wrote this blog on perfectionism I am feeling a little stressed about posting it because of what people will think because it might not be perfect- well guess what – I don’t care….I am not even going to proof read it…yep – embracing the imperfections…..


My first visit to Target after my surgery....far from perfection...but having a great time!

My first visit to Target after my surgery….far from perfection…but having a great time!


Mind Blown

I have not written a blog post forever – ok not forever, but it has been since February.  I am sure you all wonder where I went.  As you all know I am working on my Doctorate degree.  The months of February and March were a test of my true desire to earn my Doctorate.  I spent an unrealistic amount of time studying philosophy…at a Doctoral level.  Needless to say my mind was blown!

Those of you who are right-brained thinkers, like myself, imagine trying to read, interpret, and write scholarly papers about ancient philosophers.  My creativity was completely shut-off, which I didn’t know could happen!  (If you ever have too many creative ideas I highly recommend reading philosophy…it will stop all creativity in it’s tracks)!  I had a break from classes last week, and it was amazing how my brain began firing off new, creative ideas.  Be prepared for fun, new blog posts to come!

How I think....

How I think….

Judgments & Journeys

I was having lunch with a friend the other day when she made a comment about society being highly “judgmental.”  In the context of this conversation she was referring to being judged for her tattoos and piercings.  I have continued to think about this statement for the past couple of days, and I have to agree with her.  Why are we such a judgmental society?  Who are we to judge other people when we don’t know the story of their journey?

Her comment about judgments resonated with because of an experience I had a couple of weeks ago.  I attended a class for my Doctoral program.  When I entered the room I immediately became aware of the fact that I was clearly the youngest person in the room, I had visible tattoos and body piercings, and I was wearing the most casual clothing (which was permitted) in the classroom.  What really stuck out for me was a couple of hours after class started and I looked around the room – everyone sat with their black laptops, black Ipads, and black roller-bags….and I sat with my bright pink laptop, pink Ipad, and zebra print bag.  I could literally feel the judgment from the other students, but I thought to myself “I have worked my butt off, I am a successful business woman at a young age, I DESERVE to be here as much as they do, and I choose not to conform.”  By the end of the five-day class the group had bonded, judgments had passed, and I remained unchanged.

The moral of the story is we need to stop and think people as people – not stereotypes or judgments.  We need to look beyond the piercings, tattoos, age, hairstyle, clothing, etc. and see the person in front of us.  Just because other people may not “conform” to what is acceptable does not mean they are “bad” – they are just fabulously unique!

By the way – after my friend and I finished lunch we went and got more body piercings!  We are who we are!



Magical Me Makeover Day 7 – Reflections

I have asked you all the questions for the Magical Me Makeover, and now it is time for some reflection.  Go back and review how you answered each of the questions for the Magical Me Makeover.  Are there any themes among your answers?  What is similar in your answers?  Different?  What does this mean to you?


New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!  It is 2013, and, as with every new year, it is a great time for resolutions.  Honestly, I hate the thought of a new years resolution.  So many of us fabulous human beings say we are going to change something in our life, but abandon the motivation to change within weeks of making the resolution.  How does one avoid this constant cycle year after year?  Follow these simple steps to success:

1)  Don’t set ONE BIG goal for the whole year.  When a person sets one big goal for the entire year it is a set-up for failure.

2)  Set smaller goals, like daily, weekly or monthly.  This will take you down the right path to be successful.

3)  Get a dry-erase board (or chalkboard, or piece of paper – whatever).  Write down your smaller goals.  For example, I use a dry-erase board and write down my small goals for the day (a new blog post is the last one on my list today;)

4)  Clear blocks or barriers for avoiding the completion of your goals.  These barriers are your problems and do not belong to anybody else.  Address them, face them, and get rid of them!

5)  Reward yourself.  Once you have reached your smaller goals give yourself a reward.  It can be something simple like a piece of gum or something big like a shopping spree!

Before you know it all your small goals will have added up to one big goal.  It is like a puzzle.  Take the time to put the pieces together.  If you take it slow, you will enjoy the achievement when you have completed the puzzle;)

2012 in review – Not bad for a few short months!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Prematurity Awareness Day

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day!  I just wanted to remind you all that you can help by donating to the March of Dimes, volunteering at your local hospital’s NICU, or by asking your local hospital how you can help.  Thank you to everyone who supported my husband and I during our three journey’s through the birth of our three premature babies.  They are strong and healthy “big” kids now!

Thanks for the support!


NICU Top Ten (in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month)

One important fun fact about me is that ALL 3 of my beautiful children were born prematurely.  Each year my family works hard to support the March of Dimes through the March for Babies, and by donating time and funds to the NICU Family Support Program at our local hospital.  Typically I like to use my blog to share fun ideas, thoughts, and my creative works.  Today I feel it is important to dedicate my blog to all the mom’s and dad’s of premature babies in honor of November being Prematurity Awareness Month. Being the mother of babies who has been in the NICU, and knowing the aspects of the NICU I felt that I needed to speak the truth, but mix in a little humor.

The NICU Top Ten According to Nikki:

1.  You are your child’s advocate.  Always be their voice because they cannot speak.

2.  No person will ever know what it is like to leave their baby in the hospital until it happens to you.  Nothing will make it better, and that is ok.

3.  After you leave the NICU any beeping sound creates instant panic within you – even if it is only a dump truck backing up.

4.  You are officially the best hand-washer and germ-buster in the area.

5.  When your baby is discharged from the NICU they should put “Dr.” in front of your name for all the medical terms and conditions you now know exist.

6.  You change your vision of the “perfect” birth and homecoming.  You realize it is perfect just to bring you baby home.

7.  You celebrate EVERY milestone of your baby.  Even if it is “just” the opening of the eyes.

8.  You are the best poopy diaper changer in town since you did it so long through tiny doors in the isolette, and around all the tubes hooked to your baby.

9.  Newborn diapers seem HUGE to you.

10.  You never have tangled up Christmas lights anymore – heck – you kept all your baby’s cords un-tangled in the NICU – why can’t you apply that to basic household items?

So there it is – what I learned from the NICU.  It has been almost 5 years since my last child was in the NICU, but it is an experience that you never forget.  Here is to my happy and health babies!

Please support The March of Dimes and celebrate World Prematurity Awareness Day on November 17, 2012!

Our family at the 2012 March for Babies. Those are my three peanuts growing up happy and healthy thanks to the NICU and the March of Dimes!

Your Life Journey

New chapters happen everyday in our lives.  I recently had  to close a chapter in my life – one that had been near and dear to me for many years.  People change and grow apart.  Human behavior can be analyzed, but never really explained.  When you find yourself at a crossroads in your life allow yourself time to celebrate the good times, keep the good memories close to your heart, and grieve what you have lost.  Move forward with strength and courage, knowing that you are on a journey through life.  You write your story – make it one worth reading.

The place where I renewed my wedding vows with my wonderful husband on Laguna Beach.

Undies in a Bunch? Find Balance

Why is it that we live in a society with high levels of stress?  People are always on the go and running from one place to another.  I am just as guilty.  On the days I work at the office I find that am from one meeting to another with a latte or diet coke in hand (which does not help with stress as we all know).  How do we slow down?  Having high levels of stress is like constantly having your “undies in a bunch.”

Slowing down actually takes some practice and you have to be conscious about it.  When we are stressed out or rushing our nervous system is highly activated.  We have to work to maintain a BALANCED nervous system.  Just like anything else in life – you need balance.  Become aware of your “rushing” or stress.  Notice it, then ask yourself “what can I do right now, in this moment, to pull my undies out of a bunch?”  Then do it.  It can be as simple as deep breathing, or as big as getting up and taking a walk.  You will find that if your nervous system is balanced you will be more productive, relaxed, and focused.  When we are stressed out we tend to have “multiple” things on our mind, and we are not paying attention to what is happening in the now.  We are already thinking about the next appointment or task.  Balance yourself and relax.  Give your full attention to the here and now.

Being in a constant state of “having your undies in a bunch” is not pleasurable or enjoyable.  Take the time to slow down and live a balanced life.  If you find that you cannot un-bunch your undies you might want to switch to a thong – that way you can keep that unpleasant state of bunched up undies day and night.  You will not enjoy it and you will end up even more miserable and stressed out.