Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Take a Chill Pill

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2012 by cklaslan

Yesterday I experienced  my first transportation disruption since moving to NYC.  A fire in a subway station caused shutdown of 2 major lines, the N/Q/R and the B/D/F/M lines, specifically cutting off Brooklyn from Manhattan.  It occurred during rush hour as many were trying to get home.

For me it was just a minor inconvenience as I was trying to get from Hells Kitchen down to 23rd so I simply had to take another train (a 1) and do some extra walking across town.

But for many it turned their 30 minute commute home into 2+ hours.

For entertainment I read Twitter and #MTA tags and realized that some people have a knack for over reacting and a flare for drama.

Here is a very small sampling :

  • #MTA absolute disaster the worth organization EVER I hope that MTA rots in hell
  • Just walked 40 something blocks in my dress shoes before I caught a less crowded bus. There’s sweat where swear should not be. Fuck the #MTA
  • what kind of world do we live in where D,Q,N and R trains are suspended between 34th and Dekalb due to debris on the track?#mta
  • Please don’t do this to me when my fall semester starts or else I will seriously curse you out #MTA
  • Hey #mta workers, I know you get shit on all the time, but that does not give you license to be a raging asshole

And then my favorite :

  • who makes the decisions to reroute trains? If I were this incompetent @ my job I’d been fired long ago. #mta

Now I know there are some devious people in the world, and yes even in NYC.  But I think it’s a pretty sure bet that there is not an MTA employee who sits behind some console monitors, eating Pringles, drinking coffee, randomly pressing buttons to reroute trains at a whim just to piss off riders.

At least here you have the option of taking a bus or another train.  In Atlanta, it’s a common occurrence for the connector (where I75 and I85 combine downtown) to be shut down for hours due to jumpers, accidents, or just plain congestion.  You could be stuck there for hours.  No alternate train to take.  No bus to catch.  Just you in your car waiting for it to reopen or traffic to move another 3 feet.  Take a look at the photo to the right, and that’s the connector on a good night.

Get a grip people.  Shit happens.  Accidents occur.  Mistakes are made.  Parts fail.  People disappoint.  So Chill!

But yelling, screaming, blaming, and worrying do nothing for you, others, or the problem at hand.  It accomplishes nothing.  It resolves nothing.  It contributes nothing.  You have absolutely no control over MTA or the schedule of trains so why worry about it?

I’ve always lived by the motto “If you don’t control it don’t worry about it”.  If you do, it’s simply a waste of your time and effort.

Then if something IS in your control, you still shouldn’t spend time worrying about it — You should spend time doing something about it.  If you’re unhappy with your weight, do something about it.  If you’re unhappy with your financial situation, do something about it.  If you’re unhappy with your job, commute, or relationship, then do something about.  Moaning, whining, complaining, and worrying about things doesn’t alter the reality of the situation.

So if it’s out of your control, then forget about it.  If it’s in your control, make a change and do something about it.  Just don’t freak out, fret, and make a scene.  It’s just a waste of time when you do.

But I do admire reading the Tweets about it 🙂


betterME Day 30 : GOooooAaaalll !!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 by cklaslan

The challenge of the day was to create short term goals. At first I thought that might give me some trouble.  So for inspiration I spent part of the day reviewing the past posts I’ve made.  As I read them I noticed a lot of comments where I said “I’ll keep this up” or “I’ll come back to this later” so I realized that most of the short term goals have been made thru betterME.  So I used that as a starting place and then added a few more to the list.

Here they are in no particular order :

  • continue betterME in some format
  • smile and say “hi” to everyone I pass (week 2 challenge)
  • continue looking at ways to go green and implementing them (week 4 challenge)
  • beef up my training for the half marathon  (challenge 3)
  • expand my comfort zone in talking to strangers thru social skydiving (challenge 5)
  • at random times leave random notes (challenge 7)
  • do more geocaching (challenge 8 )
  • continue learning sign language on my own (challenge 9) : i’ve completed 3 lessons and signed up for a fall class
  • keep fine tuning ad adhering to a budget (challenge 14)
  • seek what needs to be improved and ways to improve it  (challenge 19)
  • practice random acts of kindness (challenge 20)
  • maintain my lists which include things that make me happy (24), things to be thankful and grateful for (25), and things I can’t control (26) : I’ve started using EverNote to keep my lists on.  EverNote has web, desktop, and mobile apps so I can read and add to my lists at my PC at work, laptop at home, and on my cell phone.  I’ll also maintain this list of goals (challenge 30 — LOL)
  • surround myself with people that help me achieve my goals and encourage me
  • get my 3rd tattoo within the next 60 days
  • continue working on relationships improving and reconnecting where needing, moving on where needing, and seeking new people to meet

I think that’s a pretty good start and for short term goals enough to fill my time and energy over the next few months.  What do you think?   What are your goals?  Got em?  If not what are you working towards?  What motivates you?

Go for day 31 is to decide what to do next with betterME!



betterME Day 29 : Service, Please!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2011 by cklaslan

The challenge today was to contact customer service after GOOD service.  Since it was random there was no guarantee that a chance for this would come up.  I’m actually in a customer service oriented job (as most of us are) so the shoe is usually on the other foot, as it’s usually clients calling us to report on good or bad customer service.

However a situation did come up that fit the criteria for this challenge so I took it.

As you know last week I was out of town at a client site completing an 8-month long project.  It was a big project for a big client.  I was fortunate to work with 3 individuals on the project team that went above and beyond what most clients do.  They accommodated every request I made, made sure I had everything I needed and more, and took all the steps necessary to make the project a success.

The night we kicked off the final phase we ran into issue after issue and complication after complication.  Instead of laying blame, panicing, or giving up, they worked together, with me, as a team to focus on the issue and come up with a solution.  That made for an incredibly stress free environment.

They project went well, completed with zero errors or issues and everyone was happy.

So I found out who the Vice President was in charge of the division I was working with.  I wrote her an email praising the individuals I worked with, noting there dedication, effort, and help.

In return I got a message from my boss thanking me for sending the email to the VP and thanking me for my efforts on the project.  It’s true – what goes around comes around.

So when you get good or great service, let someone know!  Email it, call it, blog it, post it, share it.  Let someone know you appreciate service out of the ordinary!

The challenge for day 30 is to create some short term goals.

Coming to wind down and getting ready for the next phase of betterME, but what shall it be?

betterME Day 27 : Rest for the Weary

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2011 by cklaslan

Yup, even during a 30 day blog everyone needs a rest.  So today’s “challenge” was to take a day of rest and enjoy it. And that’s just what I did.  Anytime you’re in the middle of a long project or challenge (even a long run or workout) it’s good, and ok, to take a rest.

          • It gets you ready for more work & improvement after.
          • A little rest can make you more efficient as well.

“Rest when you’re weary.  Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit.  Then get back to work” — Ralph Marston

So I slept in this morning… till 9am which is really late for me.   Then I surfed the net will about 12:30pm and then took a 3mile run on the Silver Comet trail, walked a mile after that, and then did a 30 minute workout.  Now that may not sound like resting to most of you, but it is to me.  The Silver Comet Trail was really nice and since it’s shady and there was a slight breeze, it wasn’t as hot as it could have been.  Not to mention it’s outdoors and nature is always relaxing.  After all that I chilled at Starbucks for a couple of hours and updated the blog.  And YAY!, now I’m caught up 🙂

Now I’m home and doing some more chilling and that’s pretty much the plan for the rest of the night.  Tomorrow starts the final days and week of the original betterME challenge.

As  I mentioned earlier, the challenge for the week is to start going green where possible.

And for tomorrow, the daily challenge is to catch up with an old friend.

I hope all of you had a great weekend and I’ll catch ya tomorrow.


betterME Day 25 : A Day of Thanks (a day late)

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 by cklaslan

Sorry today’s post is a little late.

The challenge for yesterday was to make a list of things I’m thankful/grateful for.

We get so caught up in life it becomes a simple task to overlook what you have in life.  How many times do we read stories about someone that seems to have it all going for them but they choose to end their own life?

The best part about this is the fact by doing this, you don’t take up any extra time. You can do this in the shower, you can do this while driving to work, you can even do this while going for your run, all you need to be able to do is think about all the things you’re grateful for.

By doing this I found another thing to add to my happy list : making a list of things I’m grateful for — it can’t help but bring a smile to your face.  To no surprise many things on the list were on the list for challenge 24 (list things that make me happy).

Here’s what I have so far :

  • I’m thankful that God has given me everything I’ve ever needed, much of what I’ve wanted, been there for me when my absence from him has been great, been my everything, and never given up on me when I’ve given up on myself
  • I’m thank for my parents, for the love they have for each other, and for the values, morals, and beliefs they instilled in me
  • My sister and her family
  • For that matter, all my family — good memories in years past
  • I’m thankful for each and every friend I’ve had or ever had — you’re all incredibly special!
  • In these economic times I have a job and can make ends meet
  • The gifts, talents (yes I do have some), and skills I’ve been blessed with
  • I am honestly thankful for every person who as ever come into my life — I truly believe that people meet for a purpose and we glean the best of them and make it part of ourselves.  So we are in essence made up of everyone we meet
  • Music 🙂
  • Coffee 🙂
  • As I look around and see the way people are dressed and act, I’m thankful I live in a country  that is ‘mostly’ tolerate of diversity and individual expression
  • I’m thankful for my health

And the list continues.  As with my “happy list” this will be something I keep and continuously add to.  When things look down, I can simply look back on the list and remember how good I do have it.

I challenge all of you reading this to do the last 2 days of challenges : to list what makes you happy and list what you’re thankful for.  Beyond that I challenge to keep those lists, add to them, and periodically refer back to them.   Who’s up for it?

To the twitter reader who noted I didn’t have  weekly challenge this week, you are correct.  Since my week started out of town I didn’t get to select one.  But I will for next week for sure.

Continuing the recent theme of making lists : make a list of the things you can’t control and be happy with them.

There you go.. see ya later tonight (hopefully).

betterME Day 24 : If You’re Happy & Ya Know it.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2011 by cklaslan

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” – Groucho Marx

The challenge today was to identify what makes me happy. Easy, right?  Hmm, for the most part yes.  First, why is it important to know and list what makes you happy?

  • it will help get away from an unhappy state by doing things that make us smile
  • we can attempt to do everything on the list and therefore fulfill our day, everyday.
  • if we become unhappy we know what we need to do to change to a happy state quicker

As I started doing this I realized there are two types of things that make me happy.  Things that immediately put me in a better mood and things that set me up for a better day later on.

Things that immediately make me happy:

  • Family
  • Friends (you know who you are)
  • Making others laugh
  • Smiling
  • Exercising
  • Playing games
  • Sharing things I like with others
  • And to the dismay of others, being sarcastic and a smart ass 😉
  • Family Guy
  • Helping others

Things that are happiness grenades

  • Having a good morning usually means a better day/night which makes me happy

The “helping others” on the list I considered to be iffy. Perhaps I was over thinking but I realized that while I very much enjoy doing things for others and it does make me happy.  But more than that it makes me feel good.  Are those the same thing??  I can be in a bad mood, and do something for someone else and that makes me feel good but I could still be sad.  So to me feeling good and being happy are slightly independent.  They can happen at the same time, but they don’t have to, at least not for me.  Does that make sense?  Hmm maybe I need to reconsider all that.

I’m saving this list and over the next few days I’ll continue to add to it.  Then I can focus on surrounding myself with things that make me happy 🙂

The goal for tomorrow is : to make a list of things you’re grateful & thankful for.

So what’s on your list?  What makes you happy?  Got enough happiness in your life?

betterME Day 23 : Stop That !

Posted in Uncategorized on June 22, 2011 by cklaslan

Challenge 23 was to stop a bad habit. Tough one.  Not only stopping a habit but picking one to stop. LOL  I picked the most obvious : to stop biting/picking my fingernails, which I do when I get bored, stressed, and well, many other times.

You don’t realize how much you do something until you are trying to stop doing it.  And yeah, I do bite my nails A LOT.  With that in mind I did make a conscious effort to stop.  But there were times when I’d catch myself and be like “Oh crap, I’m not supposed to be doing this”. So I’d stop.  That counts, right?

It’s going to take more than a day and a lot more effort to make this one stick, but I’ll give it a go.  I’ll add this to the list of challenges that need to be weekly or longer.

Short posting tonight, but I am back home. YAY

The goal for tomorrow is to : identify what makes you happy and make a list.

Keep em coming : comment and suggestions.  Catch ya tomorrow!