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What a year it has been, Wonderlings!
I am so honored and grateful to each and every one of you for your support and interest in this little blog of mine. I can proudly say that after 366 days (2012 was a Leap Year after all), 52 weeks, and 87 (this will be 88) posts, I have kept my resolution for the year.
Yes, this is Defining Wonderland’s first blogiversary! It has been a wonderful year with all of you. Thanks for joining me along this ride and I look forward to continuing to blog in the coming year.
It’s not that I’ve been avoiding you all, I swear it’s not. It’s just that I’ve been having so much fun enjoying the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the land along the Rhine. I think about you all the time and wish you could be here with me on this lovely holiday. There is so much I can’t wait to post about when I return home. I want to share it all with you and I hope you’ll enjoy the ride.
Sometimes, I find myself dwelling on the negatives in my life and all the things I wish were different. It can be easy to get wrapped up in imagining your life forever changed if just this or that were different. I’m sure I would be happier if I earned more money. I think I would find my soul mate if I lost a few pounds. My life would begin if I got the chance to start over someplace new. These are the kinds of thoughts that eat away at the very core of your happiness.
I’ve been noticing lately that my posts have been on the down side. I did not create this blog to wax on about every little thing that bothers me or how mopey I feel, especially because I’m a pretty happy person 99% of the time. Those aren’t the kind of words I like to read, so why on earth have I been writing them?
I am incredibly honored to receive this from two of my favorite blogging buddies. Thank you so much, girls!
Fittingly enough on this date, the recipient of the award is to answer eleven questions, award eleven other blogs, and ask eleven new questions. I love that this award allows the givers to dig a little deeper and learn what they want to learn about their favorite bloggers. Since I was nominated by two gals in the same day, you all get double the answered questions. As if you didn’t already know enough about me!
I hope those of you who had a long holiday weekend enjoyed wonderful days filled with laughter and great people. I know I did.
You can’t beat finding the perfect piece of art for an empty room or laughing with family while soaking up the sun at the beach or getting some much-needed deep-cleaning done throughout your home. A truly happy weekend prepared me for the start of September, the busiest time of year in my office. Though I’m not looking forward to the weekends spent at work or parties I will miss because I have to wake up early for status meetings the next day, I feel ready for this month.
That is, ready for it to be over.
I used to love the ninth month of the year. It symbolized new beginnings, the arrival of cooler temperatures, and the return of favorite TV shows. Now, September means heightened stress levels, tension among co-workers, a blackout on vacation time, and an increase in the consumption of crappy foods over the next thirty days. Add all that to my organization going through a poorly planned merger and the departure of many co-workers and you can understand why I can’t wait to see the harvest festivities of October.
Fifteen years ago today, my family gathered around the television for a breaking news story: Diana, Princess of Wales had been in a car accident in Paris. I was 12 and not at all interested in the Royal Family, but we were glued to the news channel. My mom stayed up well into the night watching the coverage and when the announcement was made that the princess had died, she took it especially hard because she was only one year older than Diana and I was one year younger than Prince Harry.
The world mourned the death of the People’s Princess. Thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace to pay their respects by leaving photos, bouquets, and fallen tears along the gates. At the time, I didn’t get why everyone was so upset. Yes, a young mother had died in a horrific way, but it’s not like any of these people actually knew her.
I understand now.
A few weeks ago, I received one of the nicest emails from my blogging soul mate Stephanie with a completely unexpected request: she asked me to guest post on Simply Stephanie for her Inspiration Week.
I was completely touched that someone would put their blog in my hands and allow me to share more than a comment’s worth of space on their site. This being my first year blogging, I had never really thought about what it would be like to guest post. With blogs being so incredibly personal, how could anyone give someone else the reins and write for them? How do you essentially substitute for a fellow blogger while staying true to both their blog and your style?
I was surprised to learn just how easy it was. The trick is: be yourself. With little more than some basic pointers, I set out to complete my first guest post and even got it in days before it was due (college professors from my undergraduate years are dumbfounded).
And today is the day! Check out my guest blog here and don’t forget to browse through the other Inspiration Week posts by Laura of Not So Skinny Genes, Melissa from the Existential Detective, and Amber from Arbitrary Ambrosia. It’s been an absolute pleasure to share the blogging stage with these awesome ladies and thank you Stephanie for the honor!
I also have another bit of news for you all. I have a winner to announce of the Blog-Warming Giveaway, Take 2.
When it comes to change, most people are reluctant. There is a certain fear associated with exchanging the known path for the unknown. Questions run through the mind: Where will it lead? What might happen if everything you know is suddenly thrown into a spiral where up is down and black is white?
Folks react differently to change. They get angry and sulk. Denial sets in. Some fall into a depression, sad that their known world is no longer known. Some jump for joy, thrilled that the monotony is over.
Business leaders see this all the time. They have to prepare their workforce to make sure any transition is seamless and understood by their employees. My organization is currently undergoing a consolidation with a sister organization. This week, we got our first look at our department’s new structure. Some people were upset, having to work for a new manager and in a new position. Very few were happy with the proposed change. Others, like me, focused on the fact that having a job in the new organization was more important than where that job fit within the new structure.
Maybe I’m callous when it comes to workplace change or maybe I’m more comfortable with the challenges of working with different people in a different environment. I am not as bothered as many of my co-workers are with this new stage in the organization’s life. But I get it. These people have been doing one job for decades and want to ride out their last few years before retirement with no pressure to perform any other tasks than the ones they can do with their eyes closed. There is a certain comfort in the stability of knowing what to expect in day-to-day life.
But some things are easy to change. Who hasn’t wanted to change their hairstyle, their outfit, or even their blog?
And that gets me to my big announcement. After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to make a few changes around here.