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All Work and No Play

11 Oct

… makes me an uninspired, uncreative, dull, dull, dull girl.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad I have a job. Maybe even lucky. But lately, my job has left me completely drained – of energy, of time, of creativity, of inspiration. Every day, I go to office, put in eight hours (sometimes more) of my time, my energy, my talents, my heart, my mind, my LIFE.  And at the end of the day, I feel I am left with nothing but fatigue and frustration.  I have nothing left for God, for my husband, my friends, my family, even myself.

I know that part of the problem is my own perfectionism. It kills me to have to deal with mediocrity. (And that can almost be taken in a literal sense, as my intensely high daily stress level surely is doing nothing good for my health.) But every day, mediocrity is what I deal with. On top of that, the people I am surrounded with don’t seem to even notice it. So, every day, I take it upon myself to “cure” us (by us, I mean the media company I work for) of mediocrity. And I’ve realized that I CANNOT do that anymore. I can’t take it upon myself to “fix” everything. I just can’t.

I need balance. I need ME back. When I leave work, I need to LEAVE work. No more taking work home every weekend. No more stressing out during my vacation time and being unable to RELAX because I’m worried about this project, or that impossible deadline, or this article that I need to finish and to perfect. No more skipping workouts or turning down social invitations because I’m exhausted, because I’ve spent too much of myself on work, work, work. No more. I’m done. Done.

Well, until the next time I lose sight or my priorities and lose myself again. Help keep me accountable, will you?


Word of the Day: Ambulate

1 Apr


Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): am·bu·lat·ed; am·bu·lat·ing
Etymology: Latin ambulatus, past participle of ambulare
Date: circa 1623
: to move from place to place : walk

Why would you use the word “ambulate” when the word “walk” will work just fine, especially if you have already used the word “walk” to set up the sentence in which you use the word “ambulate”? The word “ambulate” does not add anything to your writing. I know in grammar school, we were all taught to use descriptive language and replace words like “walk” with flowery synonyms like “saunter,” “stomp,” and “lumber.” However, if “walk” works just fine and gets your point across, then just use “walk.” Don’t try to replace it with some random word that most people will have look up in the dictionary anyway. It’s pointless.
People who use unnecessarily complicated words in an attempt to come across as well-read, well-educated, intelligent, or whatever are just plain annoying, not to mention bombastic, grandiloquent, and possibly supercilious.

From My Inbox: My Mom’s Last Wish

14 Mar
E-mails like this one I got today make my job both very difficult and very rewarding.  It’s hard when you know that a lot of the people who write for you may not have very much longer to live.  But it is also rewarding to know that you, if even in a small way, have made a difference in someone’s life.  This is from the son of a lady who wrote a small piece for the magazine: 
I want to thank you for all the prayers!
My family needs your prayers for peace, love, finances, relationship!
NO DOOM or GLOOM! My mom was positive to the end and peaceful!!! Very strong woman!
She wanted everyone to read her Article in a cancer magazine! See the attached PDF file!
One regret is that I never video taped her before it got bad. Please do this for your yourself, your kids, your grand kids, great grand kids!
Maybe write a letter to them before it is the end. State your wishes and directions for each person. Write your favorite things and why!
Have a wonderful day and week!
God bless you and Over flow your cup with love, peace, finances, joy, healing, happiness, relationships! Take care!


24 Jan

From my inbox:

Congrads on your new position as editor.

Seriously? Come on people. For clarification, this was not some casual e-mail sent to me by a friend. If it were, I would have ignored it. (After all, I don’t spell check casual e-mails I send to friends. I don’t always spell check my blog.) But it wasn’t. It concluded the opening paragraph of a well thought out 800+ word testimonial pitch (we don’t publish those anyway) sent to me by a PR representative. Sure, “conGRADulations” is cute on a graduation card … but if you’re trying to pitch a story to an editor, please use spell check. Thanks.

So You Had a Bad Day

22 Jan

It might be "worth while" to learn the difference between affect and effect.

21 Jan

From my Inbox:

One suggestion I do have is to possibly get on a call with our president…He can talk about mold and its affect on allergies, and he can also provide solutions, with a VERY soft sell of our product (fact sheet attached). Let me know if that’s something worth while to pursue and I’d be happy to set it up for you (or the writer).

Manager, Marketing Communications

Q&A with John Kerry

13 Dec

This is just one question out of eight in the actual interview. It was the one that I found the most interesting. Enjoy!

Senator John Kerry was diagnosed with prostate cancer while on the presidential campaign trail in 2002. In a recent interview with Coping With Cancer magazine, he speaks candidly about beating cancer, losing an election and advocating for the American people.

CM: What has been the one most difficult challenge you have faced since having cancer? How did you overcome it?

JK: You know, there are a lot of challenges at my age. You lose friends and family to illness and death. And in my case, I lost a pretty close election. The learning gained from getting knocked on my ass in defeat is not my favorite way to gain insight and knowledge, but it is an event in life that sticks with you, I’ll tell you that much. I was forced to confront my shortcomings, figure out what I did wrong, listen, and in defeat, I also was reminded what really mattered to me. As lousy as it felt to lose, life was a hell of a lot harder after November 2, 2004, for the working father who woke up still without healthcare for his kids, for families in New Orleans abandoned on rooftops while the water rose, or for troops in Iraq who got up every day in the middle of a civil war. I felt a really personal obligation not to lay around licking my wounds but to dust myself off and fight for those people.

From My Inbox: It Gives Me Great Joy

5 Dec

E-mails like these (in reply to an acceptance letter I sent for her poetry submission) totally make my day and make the occasional stress worth it.

Laura, You cannot image how your email lifted my spirits yesterday. I teach struggling high school students, and by the end of the day yesterday, I rather felt that my essence had been vacuumed out entirely. It was nice to be reminded that I am a women who thinks, feels, and writes, as well as, teaches. It gives me great joy to know that my poem will be published and read in the waiting room where whence I spent many a day….

Football on the Brain?

10 Oct

Every so often at work, I send out assignment letters asking doctors, nurses, and others in the oncology field to write articles for our magazine. After I make the assignments, I keep an Excel document with the authors, the article title, etc. so I can track their progress and make follow-ups if necessary.

Well, one of them called me today saying she would love to write for Coping. Her last name was Hornig, and when I looked up her name (in the middle of the phone conversation, mind you, because it is hard to keep track of everyone, and I never want to give the impression that I don’t remember someone, which happens a lot, anyway, back to the point), she wasn’t there.

She wasn’t there because I had typed her name in as “Henig” instead of “Hornig.” So not only does he frustrate me during games, but he also pops up at work. How is this possible?

Anne Thompson and Dr. Death

10 Oct

Here are snippets from my latest Coping magazine articles. If you want to read the full versions, you’ll have to visit my Facebook or ask for a copy. I don’t think I can post them here. At some point in time, I may post parts of my older interviews, like Olivia Newton-John or Patrick Dempsey, but those are currently on my Facebook as well.

NBC News Correspondent Anne Thompson
‘Every day is going to have a moment to savor’Cancer isn’t about dying, it is about living. I know, I’ve been living with cancer for the past year, and you’ve been watching me. These words, penned by NBC News’ chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson, began a confession of sorts, a divulgence of a secret that Anne had kept from her television audience, and many of her NBC colleagues, for a year. The response from viewers, she confides in an interview with Coping magazine, “blew me away.”

Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2006. She decided early on that work would be her “cancer-free zone.” As a journalist, she wanted to keep her diagnosis private. “My job is to get people to talk about themselves or an issue they’re involved in. And nothing stops a conversation quicker than to say, ‘I have cancer.’ And I didn’t want the focus to be on me,” Anne says. “If my appearance changed dramatically and I didn’t look good, I didn’t want to be on the air because that would detract from my story. I didn’t want to be the story.”

Professional Wrestler Dr. Death: In the Ring with Cancer

During his professional wrestling career, which spans over two decades, Dr. Death has stepped into the ring against numerous menacing foes, including tough guys like Dick Murdoch, Ric Flair, and Dustin Rhodes. But in 2004, he faced his toughest opponent yet when he was diagnosed with throat cancer. Though he was unable to speak at all for several months following surgery to remove his tumor, Doc now uses his voice to inspire others by sharing his story from the wrestling ring.

Recently, I had the chance to talk with Doc about how he went head to head with cancer and came out on top. He relies on a stoma to communicate, but his voice is clear and strong. It’s the kind of voice you would expect from a man with the nickname “Dr. Death.” Despite his menacing name and his gargantuan stature, Doc admits he is not dauntless. “Cancer was the scariest thing I have ever been through in my life,” he confides.