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31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Yesterday I had two inspirational experiences. I’ve been questioning my path and direction a lot lately. I guess I’m not happy or content with my career’s path at the moment.

I’m a journalist, a writer, and insecurity and emotional turmoil are de ri·gueur, however these feelings have been more annoying than usual.

I met the most lovely man, Zang Toi, a couture fashion designer whom I interviewed for his trunk show at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Let’s be clear here, I am not a fashionable person, nor a fashion journalist for that matter. But I LOVE clothes, always have, even when I was little. And more than that I really LOVE people ~ I also adore learning about them (sociologist minor here).

As I listened to him, as I watched him talk about his beautiful clothes, I was struck by his spirit. He was warm, engaging, friendly and not an air of hautiness?? He too loved what he was doing. He talked to everyone. He smiled at everyone.

This warm, happy man, the seventh child who grew up helping out in his father’s Malaysian grocery store, was humble. Toi was grateful to his family, his clients and his fortune.

When I asked him what inspired him, he
said simply; beauty.

So eloquently, in his heavily accented English, he said it is his place in life to make women feel beautiful. To make beautiful clothes for women so they feel good.

Simply, he said; “We aren’t curing cancer, we aren’t saving lives as designers, but I see it as my place to make women feel beautiful.”

Yet, he recently raised over $600,000 for breast cancer research with his clothing.

A man whose elegance, whose humble belief is that it is his “place” in this world just to make women feel beautiful, also finds a way to help eradicate a disease that makes women feel ugly.

What could be more beautiful than that?

As I walked away from my interview, I questioned my “place” in life. “What is it that makes me happy? What joy do I share with others that brings them happiness?”

My lunch with my new “Tribe” mom, Preethy Kalbara, closed the loop on that question.

Originally we met to discuss collaboration on a book she wants to write, but the conversation turned more to a “life coach” counseling session.

As we talked, we discussed the challenges of being EMUS – Educated Moms in Urban Society (EMUS) – MY made up acronym for moms who are educated, and are blessed to not HAVE to work, but want to do something more, to give back to our communities, but struggle with how to manage it AND be a good mom to our kids. Moms who struggle to find our place.

She made me laugh, she gave me killer quotes, inspirational ideas and she asked me a tough question: do I really want to write?

I actually thought about it before I answered her, which surprised me.

I do. I most definitely do.

BUT not how I’ve been doing it lately. I want to do something different, more. Simply, I want to LOVE writing and I want to make people happy when they read my writing. I want to show them something they haven’t seen or thought of before. I want to SHOW THEM beauty.

K – that wasn’t SO simple, but I think you get the picture: I want to make people happier, even if it is for just a moment in their day.

So I write this as much for you dear reader as for me, the anxious, insecure, disorganized writer. I write this hoping I am starting a new chapter.

I also hope I put a smile on your face and thank you for reading.

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So this is my new challenge, suggested to me by friend and photographer, Gidget Clayton.

Each week or month I come up with a theme, then ever day I post something, anything about it. I toyed with changing my blog name to 365 Days of BJW Post, so I could have a wide range of topics, but hey whatever, I’m blogging and that’s what I want to do.

My frist theme is going to be 365 Days of BJW Post.

So we’ll see what I come up with… kinda exciting and very liberating. Whew! I did it.

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we all have them. Sometimes they are in our head, sometimes on scraps of paper or as the techi-est of us all they may be in our SmartPhone. I’m guessing they are in all of the above.

I have on my check list that I am supposed to post a list on my blog for the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog that I signed up for. Sadly, my list kept getting edited. I didn’t know what to post as a list. Which is remarkable to me since I keep lists EVERYWHERE, just ask my poor husband!

But when I sat down to write said list – I came up blank. You know why? I’ll tell you: Because of the inner journalist/reporter critic.

See, when I was a reporter I had to work to keep my opinions out of the story. I was just to report, nothing else. So in my head I think, “who cares what I think?” Blogging isn’t that way though. I read many blogs and I love what their writers think, which is why I read them!

So, without much further ado and analyzing, here is my list – it’s of the things that make me smile (in no particular order):

1) The little red-headed bird that felt comfortable enough to just come on into my hotel room while I’m writing this. He hopped around on the floor chirping away.

2) When someone comments on on of my blog posts.

3) When I make my husband laugh out loud. He has a sharp wit and tends to be the funnier one of us, but now and again I say or do something that just busts him up. I love that!

4) My son, Henry, saying, “Let’s all be together” and then wrapping his arms around me and my husband and pulling us close to him.

5) Surfing a wave all the way to shore, especially when it’s the last one of the day.

6) Older couples walking hand-in-hand.

7) The Meanest Mom blog. She has me more than smiling, she has me busting a gut half the time.

8) Having nothing to do but watch the grass grow or the wind move the clouds in the sky.

9) A nap in the afternoon.

10) When my son tells me “You’re in my heart mommy.” That gives me the biggest smile of all.

Do you have a list of what makes you smile? If so, let me know so we can all share a smile – it’s good for the soul.

Love the Life you Live,


"Let's be all together"

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