My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebrating Your Career Dreams

Our work life takes up a large portion of our time. It has been stated we work 80,000-100,000 in our lifetime. I always tell students how do they wish to spend that kind of time? No matter what kind of work we are doing, to live life more than ok we need to make our work life as positive we can. That is too much time to go through despairing or gritting our teeth in anger.

One creative idea about how we canview our work in a positive light, can be found each November with National Career Development Month. Each November the National Career Development Association sponsors a career Poetry & Poster Contest. The contest is an opportunity for Counselors to encourage creativity and inspire career development with a positive tone through mediums of Poetry and Artistic Posters. Age ranges are from Kindergarten to Older Adult. There are three categories:

• Poetry of which can be in any acceptable Poetic form; (e.g. cinquain, free verse, diamante, haiku, limerick, metered, rhyming, blank verse).
• Poster Traditional (C1 Category) using any of the traditional drawing styles --pencil, poster paints, magic marker, acrylics, or oil.
• Poster Mixed Media (C2 Category) utilizing photos, clipart, graphic art software, collage, or mixed media.

The theme this year is “Celebrating My Career Dreams”. I think it is important that National Career month is in November the same month we celebrate Thanksgiving. Especially at this time as the economy is difficult no matter what our work is, whether it is perceived as a job or a calling we should be thankful and celebrate that we have work. Many of those enduring unemployment would like to be in our shoes with steady employment. We should be thankful for the work we have. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t vent about having bad days at work. Those bad days will come and go and make sure you have a shoulder to lean on furing those times at work.

Here is the Link to the NCDA page about the contest and other resources for National Career Development Month: is also a link to last year’s winners so you can view some of the artwork and poetry for inspiration: you are a teacher you may want to speak with your school Counselors about being involved with the contest. If you are an older adult and would like to try out a poster or a poem about your career dreams you can contact me at as I am the National Contest Chairperson. I can find the state coordinator for you. Even if you don’t want to try out for the contest take some free time and draw out a picture of celebrating the work you do. Think about the lives you touch in the work you do. Also think of new dreams in your career journey.

Write down 5 things you are thankful for about your work.
Take some quiet time to draw out a picture about celebrating your work and career or write out a poem. Think about entering the contest. Who knows you may be a state winner or national winner.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Enjoying The Sun After A Rainy Day

Each of us have rainy days of difficulties that come into our lives from time to time. These are unplanned happenstance events that bring trouble to varying degrees. Sometimes the rain feels like a storm pounding you and knocking you around. These events may be a car accident, or an illnesses that hits you out of the blue. Really bad events may seem like a hurricane. The hurricane events may be a sudden death of a loved one, sudden loss of a job, or finding out of an infidelity in a relationship. Other rainy day events may be a dreary cold drizzle which are just the dull boring drudgeries of life that drag you down to that just getting by, just ok feeling.

Just like with the natural weather we can count on rainy days occurring. Life problems come with much less predictability than the rain shower that are predicted in the weather reports. During the rainy days it is hard to process what can be learned through the troubles that come to us. We are usually stuck in Why me mode. As with the real weather rainy days we know the sun will come out eventually. But during an extended time of personal troubles that feel like a stretch of rainy days, we often feel like the sun will never come again. Yet it does the sun will come back into our life.

Christ in His teachings recorded in Mathew 5:45 speaks to this issue, “…For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.” The “He” in this verse is speaking of God. That all people whoever they are experience sunny days of good times and problems and troubles on the rainy days. Of course we desire to enjoy more good days than bad days. The reality of life is that it comes with good and bad.

Recently I saw on PBS a Jimmy Cliff concert of him at Austin City Limits. At the end of the concert he did his popular song, “I Can See Clearly Now”. It made me think of rainy times in my life and yes the Sun does come back. Here are the lyrics of the song.

Click on the song title to view a video of Jimmy Cliff singing the song and take a few minutes to reflect on the song lyrics.

I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now the rain is gone I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Oh yes, I can make it now the pain is gone All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I've been praying for It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' day

Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies Look straight ahead, there's nothing but blue skies

I can see clearly now the rain is gone I can see all obstacles in my way
Here's the rainbow I've been praying for It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny dayReal, real, real, real bright, bright sunshiny day
Yeah, hey, it's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' day

I live in South Texas where we have a lot of sun compared to when I was living in Chicago. Sometimes we have so much sun people long for rain. Though down here after the rain of a hurricane or a long stretch of cloudy rainy days during Winter's rainy season it feels so great to see the sun again. It is like the sun is appreciated more after a rainy day. How I remember the cold dreary Winters in Chicago wishing for the sun. Peoples spirits always lightened when the sun would break up the dreariness of Winter.

The same is true of the problems that feel like rainy days. Once the sunshine of days finally going right, or solutions to problems occur, or happenstance surreptitiously brings good our way we feel so much better than ok. As the song sings “we can see clearly now”. After the rain we find new directions in our life the sky of our life journey is more of a bright blue. We can handle the obstacles of life with more confidence. We can refocus on the true North of our purpose God has for us in our journey.

Next time the rains come. Remember that your not alone. We all experience the rain. God is watching over us in the rain. Then you can be confident the rainbow and the sun will return.

Write about what a sunny day is like for you. Think back to a rainy period in your life. Looking back what did you learn from the experience? Did it help you appreciate your Sunny Days more?