Cultivating creativity in a non-creative job.

color painted child handI work in a non-creative role (corporate legal) in a creative company (broadcast television and media).

There are days where I really envy our marketing, advertising, digital and social media folks. They get to brainstorm and experiment and, you know, have fun.

And then there are days where the thought of constantly having to come up with something new and exciting and innovative sounds so… so mentally draining to me, to be honest. Continue reading

How to train your brain to be happier.

ku-xlargeThere might be a reason why we tend to focus more on our weaknesses instead of celebrating our strengths:

Our brains tend to naturally tune in to the bad v. the good.

And, well, I guess we don’t need to look any further than our own Facebook newsfeeds on a Monday morning to realize that: I honestly think the ratio of disgruntled complaints to fun, upbeat updates on mine this morning was something like… 10:1 – which, if you take into account that experts often cite 5:1 as the ideal ratio for positive v. negative interactions in order for a romantic relationship to thrive, we could then infer that many of us seem to be pretty unhappy in our relationship with our lives.

So, how do we train ourselves to be happier, exactly?

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You will connect the dots, eventually.

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I recently had plans of attending an event co-hosted by my company’s Military Channel, to be held at the Newseum in downtown DC. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been feeling well in the few days leading up to the event, so I settled for the internal event recap the next morning at work instead.

As I scrolled through the photos, someone looked very familiar to me. The photo caption confirmed who he was: I interviewed for a position at the museum with him and his staff two years ago, during the summer of 2011.

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Feed yourself well – financially.

Financial Planning and Review of Year End ReportsWhen I was five, maybe a little younger, my father’s mortgage and real estate development company went bankrupt when the Canadian house bubble burst.

In the aftermath, my family spent nearly a year or so without a place to call “home”. We were poor for a very long time.

And, honestly, I don’t think any of us ever fully recovered from that financial downfall.

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Taking emotional responsibility.

For anyone who grew up in an emotionally intense, emotionally volatile household like I did, managing our emotions might be something that’s easier said than done.

Some of us might even wish that knowing how to do so came more naturally to us – like learning how to work out our frustrations on our own v. taking it out on the nearest person, for example, or learning how to resolve conflict in a constructive manner v. broadcasting our angst and anger via our social media networks.

Sounds familiar? Continue reading

Why I’d rather plan (and pay) for my own wedding.

Most guys settle for planning (and executing) great marriage proposals.

But this guy? This guy planned the proposal as well as an entire secret wedding day based on his girlfriend’s Pinterest wedding board, all without her suspecting a thing.

The romantic in me aww’ed for about a second. Then the realist in me started to wonder:

1) How much did everything cost, and

2) Does he plan on sharing those numbers with her?

I hope he did. Considering how money issues are the leading predictor of divorce, I truly believe that discussing many wedding-related spending decisions together with my husband gave us a good foundation to deal with more serious financial matters in the future.

I am no financial expert. And, as a writer, I dislike dealing with numbers.

Photo courtesy of Stefani Chung Photography

But I do like getting creative (e.g., check out our DIY wedding candy buffet!), and I am proud of myself and my husband for putting our hearts and wallets together to plan a fun, memorable wedding without spending a ridiculous amount of money.

Of course, what constitutes as “a ridiculous amount of money” is relative: the average DC wedding apparently costs almost $34K these days

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