Archives: November 2010

100 Things To Do While Unemployed

100 Things To Do While Unemployed     It’s estimated that 2.5 million people will lose their unemployment benefits by the end of the year if Congress does not approve an extension of benefits. Make no mistake, the same Republicans that are demanding the Bush Tax Cuts be extended for the wealthiest Americans are the ones voting against the poorest Americans and an unemployment extension. While I’m praying that Republicans show compassion, I’m also entrenched in finding something to do and ways to make an almighty buck.

So here is a list of 100 Things To Do While Unemployed:

1) File for Food Stamps

2) Search for a job: Workforce Colorado, Craigslist, Monster, FB, Linked-In

3) Get Overwhelmed

4) Take a Nap

If You Don’t Take It, Don’t Leave It


           I was cleaning, condensing, and preparing for a move. I’d been in my home with my three children for 10 years. In the last three years my boyfriend had joined the mix and his 21 year old son stayed for short stints here and there. Tommy was currently staying.

            I was moving into a girlfriend’s open basement. I had room for a few of my favorite things (actually, quite a few) but no room for fluff. Reducing to half my household content was the goal.

I had a staging area in the garage. As the closets got cleaned and cleared, every item was placed into boxes and piles: trash, goodwill/arc, Tommy’s pile, Jeff’s (my ex) pile, kid piles (Kaiti, Kyle, Justin), long-term storage, and immediate access pile.

            Tommy had been bouncing back and forth between Colorado Springs, Monument, Denver, and Fort Collins. He traveled light and most of his things he’d left in storage—in my garage. His pile was growing. He was looking forward to a steady home-base in the Springs and was collecting his things when I showed up to help him sort.

            I was lamenting on how easy it was for him to simply grab a few items and go. If only I were so unencumbered! I was sorting through ten years of memorabilia.

            As Tommy was deciding what to take with him, I requested “If you don’t want to take it, then please don’t leave it,” not wanting to move one more item than necessary. He felt the same. Tommy took time to choose what he needed for his new place, sorted through items no longer needed and cleaned out as well.


           We should all be required to clean up and out every ten years or so. Efficiency experts will say “what you own owns you,” and if you want to simplify your life, cleaning up and moving out is freeing.  We all need to take responsibility for our junk: use it or get rid of it.


          And no one gets to leave their junk behind!

Brainwashed by Steven Covey’s #2 Habit

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Women  

   The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is an audio series by Stephen Covey I first heard when I was 24—some 20 (eh-hum) years ago. I bought it (literally, spending $70 on the cassette-tape series)—hook, line, and sinker!


   I had a quick refresher course this week as I visited my girlfriends from National Seminars, Lisa Ann Landry and Jan Harrison, as they entertained and educated 50-some participants at a Leadership Conference in Denver.


   It was early in the morning session when Lisa Ann brought up The Seven Habits and I had a blinding flash of the obvious. I had been duped! It explained SO much.


   I can still recite my favorite Habits:

     Habit #7  Sharpen the Saw

        It makes sense it’s the last habit. True to Covey’s prediction, I’ve found people who continue learning—sharpening the saw—are the ones that are better adjusted and better able to cope with change. I know it’s how I cope with change. When what I know to be true is not working, I’ll turn to any source, any person, any perspective that helps me define, clarify, and control my thoughts.

     Habit #1  Be Proactive

        “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” “You go, Girl.” And my personal favorite from my Tennessee friend, Rob, “Go get yourself some.” In short, you have to get off your tush and push. Real go-getters make something happen, they manipulate, and connive, and force life to bend to their definition of success.

   And the Habit that brainwashed me into thinking that I needed to know “the end” before I could even get started?


     Habit #2 Begin with the End in Mind

        As I posted in my last blog, No End in Sight, I have no idea what “endings” are in store for me now. I’m dealing with all new beginnings—new work direction, new home, new relationship parameters. There’s been emotional anguish in those transitions—partly because Stephen Covey taught me to Begin with the End in Mind. Thinking back, I wonder how many times I put off starting a project, a story, a sentence because I had no idea how it was going to end? How many times did I fail to begin because I didn’t know where I’d end up?


   Stephen Covey clarifies his second habit by suggesting each of us develop a Personal Mission Statement that focuses on what we want to be and do. It’s a success plan that reaffirms who you are and your ability to lead and create your own life and destiny. But what happens when you don’t know what you want?


   My only mission right now is to: relax, breath, and consider. Today I’m adding: enjoy, believe, and create, but I have no idea what I’m creating. For now, just knowing I don’t have to begin with the end in mind, that I can begin in the middle, that I can write nothing but beginnings is liberating and inspiring.


   My revised version of Covey’s #2 Habit?

        Just Begin!