Work Life Balance Feed

Today's True Story

About a month ago I went to an event planner networking thing in midtown Manhattan and had an unexpectedly amazing time. 

The reason that it was 'unexpected'? I have been a little down lately and was actually looking for a reason not to go. But I'm glad I pushed through that and went anyway. I made a couple new contacts and got to spend time with a favorite colleague.

But above that, for about an hour, I was able to put all the things that I'm down about to the side and simply have a drink, some sushi, and meet some new (to me) vendors.

I also ended up winning a bag made from a pineapple (!) and a super cool door prize all courtesy of the branded products company, LR Paris that was sponsoring the event You know, it's a certain feeling when you are talking and suddenly hear your name being called from the stage and wonder 'oh great, what did I do NOW?' :)

Anyway, I wanted to share this picture (below) taken by a colleague because it is a 'me' that I miss - laughing, energetic, outgoing. I have not seen that 'me' in awhile and miss 'him' dearly. But I think the takeaway is - that 'me' is still there, just dormant.

I am grateful that I got to get out from what I'm dealing with and have a little fun for a change even if it was for just an hour. I would not wish how I've been feeling lately on my worst enemy so if you are feeling down these days for whatever reason, my wish to you - that you find the 'you' that you miss, that you spread your metaphorical wings, and soar! :)


MEMO 1: FEATURING ANGIE - August 6, 2016

Starting today and for the next few Saturdays, I'll be posting a little 'pet' project of mine - a weekly strip called MEMO featuring Angie.

Back in high school, my best friend Brian and I co-created and wrote a weekly strip for the paper in our hometown local paper, The Mosinee Times. For two years we created a gallery of characters that we grew to love.

35 years have passed and, during this recent time of unemployment, I rediscovered my art and the MEMO characters. So, here now, for the first time, the return of our favorite character, Angie.


Life in the Mozzarella

Good morning, all - I am just dropping a little note this morning to wish you a great Wednesday - pardon some dust here on the J4J site but I'm in the midst of a huge life/ blog reno. There are some additional changes coming including the debut of a project that I've been working on during the sabbatical I've taken these past few months. Don't want to talk too much about it until after it's posted. But I'm aiming for a debut of August 6th. As they say, 'watch this space'. And, before I forget, thank you in advance for coming along on the journey with me!  

MozzerellablogIn the meantime, please take a moment to click on the boxes to your left - my Joan Project and the box above it about my Officiant work. As you know, my core work is as an Event Planner/Producer but I like to dabble in these other pieces of life as well - a healthy life/work balance is something to strive for. More on all of this as we go forward.

As you scroll down, you'll notice my blog post, Facing The Mountain. I wrote it on a day I was breaking through to a new way of thinking. Looking back on it, it's a little jumbled. I thought about editing it and/or rewriting it entirely, but ... then I realized that it had more value to me personally as a document of the moment, rather than a fully edited, fully polished piece. So it stands but with an asterisk (the asterisk being, I know that I can write better than that! LOL) :)

Anyway, have an incredible day and make it your goal to do one nice thing for someone today!

And, meanwhile, enjoy this beautiful mozzarella dish made my incredible partner Matthew for a party we went to last weekend. I can't take credit for the pic, that was someone else at the party, because sometimes the things we do, the things we put our heart and soul into, get appreciated by others - and we don't even realize it until later.

Have a great Wednesday!


EarthAfter a harrowing week, I spent part of today simply sitting.

Sure, I have a million things to do - but what I really needed, even if just for a minute, was to just sit. And feel the Earth breathe.

There will be more things to get mad about. More things to be offended and hurt by. There will be more tears, and, thankfully, more laughter.

There will be more sunrises and sunsets, hellos and goodbyes. There will be jobs, roommates, and loved ones.

But today, even if just for a minute, what I really needed was Peace.

A simple silence.

I recommend it to all of you, especially those of us who have spent the last few days, justifiably upset and trying to find some sense in all of this madness. I can't promise that it will change the world, but it might start to change yours. Peace.





Lemons and The Three Options

LEMONSWhen Life gives you lemons, you have three options: 

ONE: MAKE LEMONADE - make the best of it, do what you can, stay the course, dig your heels in, turn that frown upside down, etc.

TWO: THROW THE LEMONS AT THOSE THAT GAVE THEM TO YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE - rail, argue, fight, be angry, give 'em back what they sent your way.

THREE: MAKE COCKTAILS - on the surface, I suppose this is the same as "make lemonade" but if that's what you see, then clearly you don't know the difference between lemonade and a fabulous cocktail. :) Mix, stir, shake, sip, sit back and relax and know that tomorrow is another day.

 Have a great weekend!

Facing the Mountain

MountainI thought I'd catch up with you all on what's going on over here at West 102nd St. Well, truth to tell, not too much. I've had some great interviews over the past few weeks but nothing's caught fire yet but I'm keeping the faith. (Really, what else can I do?) I still have a super wonderful bf (whom I won't embarrass by going on and on about him.. but I could) - and a new roommate has moved in who is really terrific.

This time out of the work world has ultimately, I think, been pretty good for me. I was in need of a short break to attend to things in my world (including, but not limited to, the death of my friend Joe, which I wrote about in April). I miss my former co-workers something fierce but that time and place are gone but at least I am still pals with them and that definitely counts for something!

So I'm rapidly approaching a decision about a creative endeavor and I have to admit that it's scaring the carp out of me to even consider doing it. But I think that I just might. I don't mean to be cryptic - it's not me being a good marketer (although I think I do OK... those of you who know my nightlife work probably can speak to that better than I since I'm too close to it) but it's me Facing the Monolith and wondering if I can scale it ....

Do you face the mountain even if you don't know that you can reach the top... or do you wait (even longer than I already have) until maybe you might be kind of sort of more ready for it?? (Admittedly I may be mixing my metaphors here. I mean, you REALLY don't start climbing Everest without the right equipment... but I assume you know I'm talking metaphorically here... but maybe that works anyway... )

The time feels to be right now but I don't know. I don't have all the tools yet ....and yet ....that's never really stopped me before LOL (again, as my friends aware of my former work in nightlife can certainly attest). I have mostly dove into things and well, they've (mostly) turned out alright. Like the time I drove a stick shift to San Francisco. I really didn't know how to operate a stick shift and I didn't really know anyone in San Fran nor did I have a job there. I just went. I climbed the mountain...... Like the time I walked in to the Mosinee Times with my best pal Woody and we somehow talked our way into a weekly comic strip.... Like the time I threw that first pool party together, like the time I started producing a weekly bingo night, like the time I started working in corporate America at a Japanese bank.......

Friendly advice and gentle kicks in the pants welcome (and appreciated) below in the comments section and/or on my Facebook page (Sound of Music memes welcome)

Jumping for Joy on Saturday: Patti Graham's Crackerjack Performance and This Afternoon's Short - "Closet Space"

Good morning.. er... afternoon all .. hope you've spent your week Jumping for Joy - a friend asked why all the sudden motion on this blog and in the Jumping for Joy Facebook group after a long dormancy - and the answer is quite simply that the world today - especially right now - is so bleak what with the campaign running on and on and on that I thought we could all use some reminders of the things that we have that make us happy  (and by the way, can we, in the future, just start the Presidential election process around May 1 of the election year? How many years do you really need to vet a candidate who has been in the public eye for decades? Although this is nothing new - I remember in, I think it was 2008, when people were asked on the eve of the election who they were voting for and they claimed that they still didn't know.. .I call BS on that and think these people just wanted to be on camera, but I digress).

PattiBLOGAnyway, I'm trying in my own way to bring some Joy into my life and I hope along the way that you find something to be Joyful about as well. On Thursday night I joined my former colleagues for a night of music sung by the incomparable Patti Graham who performed as part of the Uncle Floyd show at the Cutting Room. Patti is a former work friend as well and has an amazing other life as a fantastic performer. I heard her CD of old romantic standards a couple months ago but having the opportunity to see her perform on stage live was a real treat. The hour flew by it wasn't even marred by the boisterous group behind us who, I think, thought that they were at a football game not a cabaret concert. Oh well. LOL Anyway, the highlight (for me) was her rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You" - the best word that I can find to use to describe the performance is "exquisite"... tender, emotional, but not maudlin. That's quite a feat to accomplish that. When Patti has her next performance, I'll make sure to alert you all because she's someone that you shouldn't miss! You can read her bio here.

You know, it's one of those things that people tell you when they find out that you work in corporate America - that all your other non work interests will end...  But I believe in a work-life balance and Patti's proof of how one can have your awesome job and still find the time to pursue your passions. If that's not an expression of Joy, I don't know what is. :)

Today, a little video that I found about the joys of discovery. Me, I don't think that I would have put my husband in the closet, I think that I would have first put a $20 and see what happened with that first LOL. It's very Twilight Zoney and gave me that spooky/prickly feeling that I like so much. Joy comes in many forms! :) And in this case, "Jumping for Joy to be Creeped Out!"

Closet Space from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.