Friday, February 18, 2011

The phone just rang. Who do you hope is NOT calling?

About two years ago, a letter arrived in the mail that asked me to help millions of Americans get the resources they need. All I needed to do was respond with an emphatic ‘yes’ I am willing to help the United States Census Bureau by agreeing to answer a few dozen questions. How terrible of a commitment could this be? They even offered me a twenty dollar Visa gift card as a token of their appreciation. I proudly signed my name and awaited my phone interview a few weeks later. This initial call lasted about an hour. Yup, initial. At the end, she asked if this was a good number to call back on for future interviews. What I hadn’t realized was that I had signed up to participate in these information gathering interviews for the next five years. I’ve got three more years to go! I groan and moan before each time, and when it’s done, it honestly is never as terrible a time crunch as I anticipated it would be. But, still, if I’m being honest, I would be SO much happier to pick up the phone if I knew my mom or sister was on the other end!

In reality, the census bureau is doing a wonderful job. They send me a compiled annual report and I get to see the kind of important information they gather from other participants, and how we help provide crucial stats for support of social programs.
This is one of those situations where the anticipation is a million times worse than the reality. My interview is today by the way!

Proud to be involved. Really I am!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When I’m in a rut…

Yesterday I had ‘one of those days’. I set out intent to produce some great stuff and ended on a lazy note with not much more to show for my progress than a restless sigh. My goal - to begin revising my third book, Two Feet Off The Ground. My result – a saved document time-stamped with yesterday’s date with nothing more than a face lift to the title page. I spent half my day reading emails, browsing twitter feeds, staring at walls, fishing for someone to talk to, seemingly anything other than editing. I like editing. That’s not my problem. I just happened to jump into a cave and couldn’t find the way out. Then, last night, frustrated and needing at least a speck of realized gain, I dropped to my Pergo floor and popped out twenty push ups. When I climbed to my feet, I felt present for the first time all day. That was all the gain I needed. For, this morning, after pounding out another twenty, I revised not just a page, but the entire first chapter!

How do you climb out of a rut?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What are you competitive about?

I’ll just start off by admitting that I am the last person with whom you want to enter into a competition. Why you might ask? Because, my friends, I am one fierce competitor. When someone insinuates I can’t do something, ha, watch out world! Suzie Carr is just revving up. You might want to move out of the way because you’ve never seen the dust kick up heavier than when my engine spurs into action.

A couple of competitive moments stick out brightest in my mind. I remember when I first graduated hairdressing school and was working at a small salon making less money than I dreamed. Someone said to me, “Well, you don’t deserve to make as much as someone who went to college.” I was young and took this to mean that this person thought I wasn’t capable. What did I do? I enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program and earned Summa Cum Laude, graduating at the top 5% of my class, and coveted the Communication’s Achievement Award. And just to ensure I proved my point, I majored in something I feared more than death, public speaking.

Another moment that stands out was when someone suggested my office embark on a biggest loser competition. I never saw myself as overweight, but apparently someone in my office thought otherwise because she looked at me and said, “You’re in, right?” Call it a spark, an explosion, some cosmic phenomenon, but whatever it was surely jumpstarted my competitive engine that day. Each day, I climbed four flights of steps five times, ran 3 miles, managed fifty pushups, and sweated to endless Insanity DVD’s. Add to this cutting out all forms of bad sugars and bad carbs and within two months dropped thirty pounds and four dress sizes. That was a year-and-a-half ago and I am still fitting into the new wardrobe I purchased with my winnings as the crowned Biggest Loser.

I love proving I can do something I set my mind to. I find this incredibly empowering.

Bring it on!

What gets your engine revving?!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What makes you laugh?

What Makes you Laugh?

My dogs, Sunshine and Bumblebee, make me laugh. Hands down! I could walk through my front door feeling the weight of the world on my back and as soon as I see those adorable faces bounding towards me, I instantly smile. They just have this effect on me. What I love most is that they don't realize how silly they are. That's what makes them irresistibly funny to me! They play off each other. Sunshine knows how annoyed Bumblebee gets when someone walks by our front window. So, if she has coveted the key position on the couch and he wants it, he'll bark at the front window so she comes running and he slips nicely into her warm spot on the cushion. And, if she wants to play tug-o-war, she will nudge the rope into his face until he has no choice but to latch on and go along for the ride. They crack me up. Life is just better with dogs.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What song do you need to sing out loud?

Sing. Sing a Song.

When I was a few years younger, I was one of those wanna-be-singers you'd most likely find breaking the sound barrier at karoake bars. My song back then: I Will Survive. Oh, and I sang it with a vengeance, too. Someone had just broken my heart, twisted it into a thousand different directions and left me feeling rather sad. So, to soothe my weary soul, I took to the makeshift stages wherever I could find one. Oh, I thought I sounded awesome up there, singing and strutting my stuff, entertaining the drunken crowds with my rendition of the popular karoake song, a rendition that managed to catapult me to greater heights; straight out of the dumps and onto bigger and better days. Of course, not until someone actually recorded me did I realize how badly I jerked that song around, and how wonderfully supportive drunken crowds could be! I've since replaced the microphone and need to scream out lyrics in front of unsuspecting crowds with a more refined approach to finding that inner sweet spot - with writing my novels like Tangerine Twist and The Fiche Room, however I can't deny that when I Will Survive comes on the radio, I still belt out those lyrics like I was singing to a room of fans.

Now, if only I could actually sing... Until then, I'll just keep on writing...