Category Archives: Happiness

Get Out of Your House

Ever notice how the days when the kids spend all their time in the house, staring at screens or kicking around with no fixed agenda, are also the days when they bicker the most about the pettiest things?  Like whether X is allowed to go into Y’s room without asking; or whether Y should have to clean up the toys, since X made “most” of the mess and Y cleaned up “everything” the last time; or why X “always” gets to choose which Wii game to play, and “never” cares what anyone else wants; or why Y is allowed to get away with stuff that X was never allowed to; or whether X or Y started the fight; or whether Y or X is being more annoying; or which one said what offensive thing to whom first….

Yikes.  It takes all my best refereeing skills to get through days like that.  Although you and I both know that if I’m smart or have the available time, I can cut all the squabbling short by doing one simple thing: getting them out of the house.

Being the Driver in Your Own Life

Today’s contributor: my aunt, Else Pedersen, owner/operator of Perceptive Edge, a thriving human resource consulting company. When I was a kid, I saw her as the free-wheeling, be-your-own-person aunt (as I recall, her motto at that time was “Live-Love-Laugh”). Today she is still all those things in spades, and as her story shows, those qualities have been important drivers in bringing her to a successful and satisfying place in her life, both personally and professionally, despite a few detours and bumps in the road.

Here is her story, in her own words.

My mantra:

Everything happens for a reason…so pay close attention.

My beginning:

I immigrated to Canada from Denmark when I was two years old, with my parents and three older sisters. Within a few short years, the number of my siblings grew to seven, making me a true middle child. We lived in small rural towns for my entire childhood and adolescence. The largest one, Zephyr,  had a population of about 500 people.

The gift of sleep

We have been in our new house for about a month now.  Here is the view from my living room window.  It speaks for itself.

In the past month, as if unpacking and getting oriented while trying to carry on with normal life was not enough, we have also spent three non-stop weeks hosting family from both George’s side and mine.  It has been a lot of fun to have them here, sharing our new surroundings with them, and it has made our new home really feel like home in a big hurry. Not to mention that they provided invaluable help with some of the unpacking and assembling, and brought playmates (well-loved cousins) for our children.  So it has been great to have them here, and we look forward to having them back again soon.

But I do have to admit, it has also left us a bit worn from all the action and late nights and simple logistics of managing such a full house. And so last night, after another full day (even without guests) I went to bed feeling bone-tired and with a pretty sharp headache radiating from behind my right eyeball.  We have had a lot going on; I just needed some sleep.

Starting points

First, a bit about this blog.

Like the title says, it’s about women, and about the lives they live. Not famous women, necessarily, or spectacular women, but ordinary women, like you and me, and like your mother, sister, daughter, neighbor, colleague, teacher, student, friend….

It’s also about the pieces that go together to make a life, and how each of us chooses to arrange them. Pieces like love, family, money and health. Work and marriage.  Children (or not). Your past. Your future. Your self-esteem. Sex. Faith. Education. Loss. Etc .

Imagine sitting down to make a list of all the elements of your life that are jostling for time and space and attention, both inside and outside of you. Imagine taking the time to think about how all these pieces fit together, and how they have come to be arranged in the way that they are. (Imagine you had the time to do that – it’s a stretch, I know, but bear with me…)

Now imagine that lots of women you know and even more that you don’t all made their own lists. Imagine getting the chance to look at their lists, and hear them talk about why their lists look the way they do. If you like the sound of that, stick around.  Because that is what I hope to do with this blog.