Sunday, February 09, 2014

Go deep, H

Blank page...
No deep thoughts;
Lost in a sea of quiet.

Sunday morning...
Something is rumbling;
The new buds of spring.

The new season of freshness
Renovation and change!

Let it arrive at my door,
Surprise me, please!

It's been too quiet and unusual here,
This new half of my life begins.

Nothing wrong with boredom,
But it's time to shake things up.

Now that I'm older, wiser;
I allow for its slow appearance,
Shapes coming out of the fog.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Fall 2013

Patricia's Bridal Shower
Camping with Sarah, Patti and Sarah
Welcome to the world Shira's little girl Rosalie Jude Apricot

Jean and Michael getting hitched!

2013 in review

In early 2013, I didn't devote any time to reflecting on 2012 or creating what I wanted in 2013.  This taught me a tough lesson as it was a relatively disorganized, stressful and "itchy" year.  I'm 41 and perhaps this was my mid-life crisis.
It was such a busy year and every free moment filled with work, work, then more work.  That's been the theme of this past year; swim, jump, leap, run, 100 MPH it's go-go-go time.  I got my feet wet (without drowning) at my first gig as a Corporate Sales Recruiter, continued grad school at a steady pace, and made the interesting decision to become Board President of my HOA association.  Add on top of that, two women's groups, helping plan my sister's wedding, lots of visits to see my new nephew Skyler and a 12 day trip to Peru. 

One of the classes I took this year was Career Counseling, and much of what I learned both transformed the way I think about careers and was a big wake-up call.  When I grouped all of the ways I spent my time, all those activities had the quality of "work" and took up 75% of my time.  In class we assessed different profile types (i.e. hover parents whose life is defined by their children) and the professor typed me as workaholic.  It was truly shocking for me to hear those words, and an absolutely killer insight.  

The only problem was there wasn't any way to drop any of my commitments, or so I thought.  The class ended up challenging me about why I was gripped in the role of Board President, since it's a volunteer position.  Why did I hold on?  Themes of being responsible or no one's going to do it but me were at the core. We had a terrible management company and I had basically been doing a good chunk of their work - and with 278 owners and only 50% owner-occupied, I had basically opened myself up for the potential of 417 owners or tenants to contact me.  And then, the devastating weather and floods in September happened; we had 2 carports collapse, 3 ceilings collapse (from roof leaks), 16 garden level units mostly destroyed by flooding and an elevator go out.  It almost broke me.  Finally, in late November I resigned as Board President and became the interim Treasurer (who resigned the same night).  Thank goodness we just hired an amazing new management company (or so we hope) and they are finally taking over some key projects. 

Today I'll be spending some time with friends to do what was missed last year... I want to take more time to blog the year more as I go; after all writing and pictures are two of my favorite things!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Patricia and Josh's wedding - photo snapshot

It will take me a long time to create a post about my sister's wedding, so here's a google album until I get around to it!  Amazing, absolute perfection.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

So THIS is 40!

  • Obsession with my face.  Over the past six months I discovered that my skin has either changed or has been changing, in a not so flattering way.  Breakouts, wrinkles, dryness, dullness... and this has resulted in a massive pursuit of every kind of thing you could imagine - a steamer, colloidial silver mask, vitamin D oil, alpha-beta peels, Ferulic and Retinol eye serum, skin primer, Mega Mushroom face cream, and more.  The result is more creamy, smooth, bright skin!  Happy Helen.

  • Success in work.  All the ways that I'm spending my time working are so well lined up.  I'm ridiculously well cut out for my day job (full-time Sales Recruiter), feeling empowered as the Board President of my HOA (277 units, $1M annual income), running my women's circle and working through my Masters in Counseling at Regis.  In all four of these areas of work, I'm using my strengths and everything is coming naturally for me.  Indeed, no one loves being the Boss more than I do.

  • And yet.  I'm fussy.  Irritable.  Feel like something is off.  I've felt this way since just after my 40th birthday, which was the most amazing, uplifting experience!  I absolutely cannot put my finger on it.  I'm NOT unhappy.  I'm NOT in a bad relationship or dissatisfying job.  I have financial abundance.  Around the time I started feeling this way, someone pointed out "that's why they call it a mid-life crisis."  Oh.  Shit. 

  • Self-care.  My life seems out of balance to me, and I'm not taking care of myself.  I'm watching TV at weird hours, eating foods that don't make me feel well, working too much (see bullet #2!), going to bed too late, feeling groggy and gross in the morning, doing wimpy 20 minute in-an-out gym workouts, never having (making) time to meditate - or falling asleep as soon as I start, rushed journaling for just a few minutes (instead of the 30 I've done for 10+ years).  This has been going on for a long time, and while I notice the need for a shift, I'm too freaking tired, unmotivated or actually just don't know what I need. 

  • This is a really strange time in my life.  I don't like myself right now, and ooh that's hard to write.  At least I'm not shaming myself about anything.  It's just... I'm off.  And I can't find the on. It will pass and I will have a breakthrough and be back to my shiny, empowered self.  But for now (as Shaya pointed out recently), "I'm so annoyed" is the start of about every other sentence.  And I find that SO annoying!

  • Otherwise, life continues to be amazing, as you can see:
    My niece Breauna graduated high school!

    And then there's this little nugget, my nephew Skyler:
    Good friends, family, civil unions, little doggies, a tan of freckles, my Dad, vacations (Sedona and Lake Havasu) and three great sisters....

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The cutest thing ever not a thing it's my nephew!!! Oh, and I would like to introduce you to his Godmother. It's me it's me! I'm so honored.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


As a very nice reward for hiring 111 (and counting) people within the last five months, I bought myself an iPad. I'm still trying to figure it all out - I am not a Mac user and think it is funny when people say they are so intuitive... not if you don't use a Mac! Shaya and I played around with photobooth app, that was fun. Anyway, on our team call this afternoon my boss was presenting out team scorecard and on our team of about 10 recruiters we have hired 400 people. Um. My lightening fast math brain tells me that I filled a Quarter of the requisitions (in the US) for one of the world's largest Software companies. My coworker said to me today "you're a machine!" I have never ever ever heard that.

In other exciting news... I bought my tickets to Peru for this awesomeness:

Patricia continues to stun me with her out of this world creativity for her wedding. Her / our goal is to get her wedding published in a magazine. Yep. It's gonna be that good. I just have to keep it all on task because she is so disorganized - just kidding. She has a 50+ page power point!

School. Oh right I'm in grad school! I took this whole semester off because the idea of working such crazy hours (I'm trying to keep the economy growing here, people) was impossible to bear. I just could not do it. I finally decided to give up volunteering with the precious horses. I'd something that brings me such joy but having to finish my work day at 4 to get out there required that I would have to work until 9 when I got back. It's been a really really rough five months for sure. I've never worked so hard in my life. While I'm so grateful that I've been given this opportunity for a shot at a new speciality, I'm completely burned out. The good news is that I have gotten double the experience because of the volume. It's all good in the end.

Well, Cheerios (the iPad hasn't learned "cheerio" yet)!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

little munchkin, my first visit

I met my new little nephew, Skyler Francisco through many Skype sessions.  Nothing compares to meeting him in person though!

The first weekend of my visit my brother spent the morning putting on this incredible semi-professional photo shoot.  A turtle, a superhero, a monkey.

I always love getting to see my niece and nephew, and I got to spend the night at their new house and take a ride in my niece's new Lexis!  I'm so proud of her, she is a very good kid, and look how big my nephew Brandon is!.

Subhadra drove down Friday and found me working on the lawn, so of course we had an impromptu on-the-grass makeover session.  We determined that we are getting far too many wrinkles and the top left picture is how we would look with a face lift (which on my life I will NEVER get).

I love this picture of Alexandra when I woke her up at 11am for his feeding.  Hee.

And because I just spent hours going through and editing excessive photo collection, there's not much else I can say.  Storybook says it al.

Saturday, February 09, 2013


I'm out here in Orange, southern California, visiting my newborn nephew Skyler. Woke up to the sheer pierce of a migraine and reflecting on my recent paper about  stress. I haven't written much yet about my new job but it's really nearly unbearable the amount of work I'm expected to do. We are supposedly in a hiring "push" but I worry this is the status quo. It's been years since I've had a job where there is no hope of completing my work at the end of the day or week, and no amount of structure or good habits would change that. But one thing is for sure, my health is taking a beating. I hate that it takes a migraine coming on to make me stop and rebalalance. It's not like the migraine is a surprise, as all the little pieces have been showing themselves along the way; a chain reaction like a freight train. More on all this later. Calgon please take me away!