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New Year, Same Me, Gets Me Every Time

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Mr. Gets Me Every Time and I spent the holidays in Florida, visiting my family and it was a great, relaxing few days away from work/chores/cold. Sunny skies and warm afternoons were just what we needed. I just ordered a print of this photo I snapped to help me get through the rest of the winter too.

We’re a full week and a half into 2016, so I thought I’d hit you with a few “new year” type of thoughts.

On Resolutions. I didn’t really make any. Each day I’m trying to be a better version of myself (i.e. having more patience with myself & others.) And each week I’m trying to do things that make life easier (i.e. cooking a huge batch of chicken on Sunday, or packing a lunch the night before.) Like the title of the post says, new year… same me.

On One Little Word. Lots of people pick a word for the year and use it as a type of mantra for all types of situations they approach. I’ve done this before, and I can never seem to stick with it, so I didn’t really pick a word either. I did think about it though and the word that came to me was “open.” I’m keeping it pretty open-ended, though.

On Goals. Again. Didn’t make any plans for this. Thought about things like organizing all my digital photos or finishing project x, y and z. But, I’m deciding not to make it official. I did buy a planner, and I am trying to write down things I want to do, just to have a running list. (I also set a goal on GoodReads to read 25 books this year. I made it to 21 last year, we’ll see how it goes.)

On 2016. Basically, I feel incredibly grateful for how 2015 turned out. It was a year to reevaluate and reset. I’m looking forward to what the year ahead brings and I’m looking forward to sharing some of it here.

January, currently

reading Cat’s Cradle.

catching up on stockpiled DVR shows.

looking forward to the long weekend.

rejoicing that there hasn’t been too much snow to shovel. (Yet, I know, yet.)

writing every day.

baking up a batch of brownies (over the long weekend.)

slashing prices (in my Etsy shop).

keeping up with New Year’s Resolutions.

tracking my steps with my new FitBit (more on that soon.)

taking life one day at a time.

planning to see Whiplash.

listening to podcasts. (updated list to come soon.)

enjoying the daily grind.

I’ll be back with some links over the weekend. See you then, or catch up with you next week, lovelies.

Hitting Refresh Gets Me Every Time

010515_refresh_kellymcauleyHappy New Year, world. My first post of 2015 may be coming on the fifth day of the year, but I’m still excited to get this new year kicked off.

For me, a new year hasn’t always been that much of a draw. The reason being is I think you can wipe the slate clean at any time you feel like you need it. At the beginning of the month. Or a new week. Or heck, any given Thursday morning that you feel like it’s time to start over again.

But this year, I’m right there will all you bell ringers and resolution makers. I’m all in for a fresh start. I’m planning on hitting the proverbial refresh button on a few things, but today I want to share a more literal refresh. It’s an online one.

Gets Me Every Time—aka, the blog you are reading right now—has been a great online home for me for the past three years. But, I’ve decided it’s time to switch things up just a little bit. So, I’m moving on up to KellyMcauley.com. You can head there right now to check it out, and starting tomorrow you’ll be automatically redirected over there if you land here instead.

So, go ahead and update your Feedly reader right now. I’m not quite sure how that BlogLovin’ thing works, but you should update there too.

Hitting Refresh Gets Me Every Time

010515_refresh_kellymcauley

Happy New Year, world. My first post of 2015 may be coming on the fifth day of the year, but I’m still excited to get this new year kicked off.

For me, a new year hasn’t always been that much of a draw. The reason being is I think you can wipe the slate clean at any time you feel like you need it. At the beginning of the month. Or a new week. Or heck, any given Thursday morning that you feel like it’s time to start over again.

But this year, I’m right there will all you bell ringers and resolution makers. I’m all in for a fresh start. I’m planning on hitting the proverbial refresh button on a few things, but today I want to share a more literal refresh. It’s an online one.

Gets Me Every Time—aka, the blog you are reading right now—has been a great online home for me for the past three years. But, I’ve decided it’s time to switch things up just a little bit. So, I’m moving on up to KellyMcauley.com. You can head there right now to check it out, and starting tomorrow you’ll be automatically redirected over there if you land here instead.

So, go ahead and update your Feedly reader right now. I’m not quite sure how that BlogLovin’ thing works, but you should update there too.

2014 Gets Me Every Time

SugarPlanner2014Sometimes I am “over” a day… that’s typically every Monday.

Sometimes I am “over” a week… this crops up on Thursdays or Fridays.

But I don’t think I’ve ever been “over” a year. Until now. 2014 has given me so many experiences. Filled me with so many emotions. Tested me in ways I never imagined. And, I’m over it.

Here are 5 posts that are my, or your, favorites from this past year. If you missed ’em, catch up now and let’s put the year behind us.

1. I like crafts. If you do too, you should see The Craft House.

2. A story about a special little girl.

3. How we decided where to buy a home.

4. Crafts, remember? Like this little llama.

5. On achieving happiness. It’s possible.

Now. Please, stay to your right as we make our way over to 2015.

The Happiness Contagion Gets Me Every Time

via: emojis irl lol

There’s this quote from John Cusack’s character, Lloyd, from the hit 80s film, Say Anything,

Get in a good mood. How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood?

Happiness. It’s contagious you guys. This isn’t new, groundbreaking information. Think of how you feel when you’re smiling and someone smiles back at you. And how you end up feeling when you’re not smiling until you look at someone who is smiling. That. That feeling of happiness that comes out of nowhere and gets all up in your business.

So, “the happiness contagion” is actually something that I think about often while around others, say, in the office. You can either be the guy who’s usually a little grumpy, or you can be the person who when asked how your day is going, you simply respond, “best damn day of my life.” Because why not? You’re here. You’re alive. You’re employed.

Now, that grumpy person. Imagine they come bouncing into the office today in a good mood. You’d be surprised, right? But think of how that might affect your mood. It would probably make you happy. Or happier, if you were already drinking the sunshine-flavored Kool-Aid this morning.

In a world with so much bad—seriously, just turn on the news—it’s so much better to just choose happy. And if you think you can’t find anything to be happy about, hello, that’s what the internet is for. For instance, Real Life Emojis, seen above. Or baby animals. Or free overnight shipping on almost anything from any website ever… because that’s a thing these days, people.

No one can force you to be happy. Not me, not the baby animals and certainly not the robots that make shipping automation happen. But for today, and well, for any day, really, I’m going to ask you to get in a good mood. This is my way, today, of spreading the happiness through the written word. How else can we spread happiness today?

 

Being an Expert Gets Me Every Time

Are you an expert? Of what? At what? On whom? How did you become an expert?

Merriam-Webster defines an expert as “a person who has special skill or knowledge relating to a particular subject.”

When you google, “How do you become an expert?” the search results are mostly sites about entrepreneurship, recruiting, business and psychology. All have great ways to become an expert. Most are about studying a person or subject or practicing a subject. That’s how they say you become an expert.

In those regards, I’d like to think I’m an expert on dancing. And writing. And cats. Definitely cats. (probably not cats, I’m no veterinarian.)

But I’ve recently discovered there’s one more way to become an expert—live through it. It’s like a story of survival. If you survive an avalanche, you, in my book anyway, are an expert on how to survive an avalanche. It might not be the expertise you want, but it’s an expertise you now have.

So now that you’re an expert, what do you do with your expertise? You can do nothing. Tell no one. Be a guy who survived an avalanche and go on with your life. Let go of your avalanche story and not let your avalanche story define you. You can keep it close, tell people you know who might encounter an avalanche someday how they could survive said avalanche.

Or maybe you don’t think you’re an avalanche-surviving-expert. You’ve only survived it once. And barely. And you don’t know if you could do it again. Or what caused the avalanche. Or how you really survived. You just know you did.

Or you can take your avalanche experience and share what you do know. What it taught you about avalanches and mountains and snow and breathing and surviving and living and what comes next. You can embrace your expertise.

This year I’ve gained some expertise that I expected. I’ve also gained some that I never dreamt of. Never hoped for. Never wished for. Would never want for anyone. But things happen. And I’m learning that it’s harder to not tell anyone about any of it than it is to start from the beginning.

What I’m learning is that when you experience something, no matter how good or bad or fulfilling or dreadful, the greatest gift you can give is to share your newfound expertise with others. All you can do is hope that, if it is something that’s frightening or dreadful, those you share this expert advice with never, ever have to experience any of it. Because, as humans, how can we hope for anything but the best for other humans?

While I hope no one reading this becomes an expert on the things I have learned this year, I do want share what I know and what I wished I had known.

I’ve started to share my story here, here and here. And, when the time is right, I hope to be able to share more of my new, unwanted expertise with the world.

How the Worst Can Be The Best Gets Me Every Time

I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently. It’s nice to be so easily transported to someplace else these days. To not think about what’s happening in my life, but in the lives of characters instead. I’m in the middle of reading The Collected Short Stories of Amy Hempel, and I just love her keep-you-guessing style of writing. And since I’m reading short stories, I never have to get too invested in any one story. Perfection.

This post is about one of the short stories that really spoke to me called “The Man In Bogota.” It’s only about 3 pages long and I’m not going to spoil it for you (ok, maybe I will), but here’s the long and short of it. A woman tells a story about an old man in Bogota who was kidnapped. His kidnappers had to keep this out-of-shape, aging man alive in order to get their ransom. So he went on a diet and exercised—all at the hand of his captors.

Years later, his ransom was paid. The man was free. What was probably one of the worst things in his life was over. That should be relief enough. What’s better? He went to the doctor who said he’d never been in better shape. Any health problems he’d had were gone. His kidnappers inadvertently saved his life.

This most awful thing in this man’s life turned into something with a great outcome.

The worst, flipped on it’s head. It became the best. From last to first.

In this story it took years. But it happened.

We’re never quite sure why things happen. Me? I like to think they happen for a reason. I know they do. And right now, I’m learning to be OK with having to wait to see why they happened the way they did.

Top 5 Dream Jobs Get Me Every Time

The other night, I shared a photo of an old college notebook. It was an “idea book” for a class that we got graded on… not on the quality of the ideas necessarily, but on the quantity of ideas. But this post isn’t about showing off my ability to get an “A” on filling a notebook with ideas.

One thing I found in the notebook was a list, “Top 5 Dream Jobs.” This must have been a notebook from a when I was going through my John Cusack phase, watching High Fidelity in chunks in between classes and studying and partying. If you’re not familiar with the story, there are myriads of “Top 5” lists covered, the most pivotal one being “Top 5 Dream Jobs.”

Now, it’s probably not a coincidence that I just happened to finish reading the book of the same name last week. I’d been thinking about my current Top 5 Dream Jobs because of reading the book and then I got go into my past and see my former Top 5 Dream Jobs. The former top 5 looked like this:

  1. Creative Director
  2. Dance Studio Owner
  3. Typographer
  4. Screen Writer
  5. Broadway Star

Let’s skip straight to the second half of this list. Typographer? Broadway Star? I think they are definitely off the list now, some 8 years later. And screen writer, not so much. But some type of writer will always be in the Top 5 list.

So I guess that’s it. I seem to be living some version of one the Top 5 Dream Jobs I had in college.

I’ve been thinking about my new Top 5 Dream Jobs List, but I’m happy to know that I’m living out some part of my dreams. In making my new list, I think I might include some fun, never-gonna-happen-type-of-job like archeologist (Indiana Jones style),

Now it’s your turn. Top 5 Dream Jobs. There, in the comments. Do it.