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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Grateful Flip-Flop-Wearing Freelancer

Just call me Flip-Flop Freelancer for short. Flip-flops make me smile. They segue into great summertime memories and feelings of complete freedom (before I became an adult). They are a talisman for me. But I have lots more freedom in my adult life now as a freelancer. I'm feeling so grateful for this life of self-employment that I had to post about it. Again.

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I'm a Deep South gal from Baton Rouge now living in the DFW area. So I can wear flip-flops ten months out of the year (and mow my lawn about nine months out of the year too). My casual attire in my home office is such a wonderful freedom from my years spent as a legal assistant, where you wouldn't believe the strange rules I worked under.

One law firm didn't want their female employees to wear sleeveless dresses or tops (even if going through early menopause after a hysterectomy and suffering through hot flashes for years). Another firm wouldn't let women wear pants (even if below freezing outside).

So to wear flip-flops (no hose, no heels, no slips) is freedom to me.

The other thought I wanted to share here is that we should all do something today (and every day hereafter if possible) that we have been putting off for later, whether for a theoretical vacation or for that magical day when all our work is done or for when we retire.

I see such problems with that line of thought. First, my work is my vacation. I've never been big on traveling as I am such a homebody, loving cooking, reading, watching movies, being in nature. So spending money on some vacation doesn't sound like a good use of funds, IMO. Yet ... I would love to see firsthand some great wonders of the world. But I'm happy to peruse awesome photos in the meantime.

Second, when will all our work ever be done? Granted, there is paying work (freelancing), and there is nonpaying work (DIY projects at home). And I was raised with a strong work ethic, so I tended to be such a workaholic when in the corporate world. When I started working for myself, my high-octane "normal" mode just doubled. Tripled even.

And retiring? I plan on working long after I retire, as I'm an author as well as a copy editor.

So, while I put in more hours to my freelancing, I spend downtime at night either reading for pleasure or watching movies on DVD or on Netflix. This week I'm motivated to read more than watch movies. And I have a sudden urge to paint my nails (which is not altogether wise when involved in DIY projects or even handwashing dishes, rubber gloves or no rubber gloves). Still it makes me smile to see my nails done (fingers and toes because, as mentioned above, I wear flip-flops).

This post is to share my happiness and to hope it is contagious, plus to remind us all to be grateful daily and to stop putting off doing enjoyable things for "later."

Therefore, I urge you all to treat yourself to a minivacation at some point in each day.

"If your vocation isn’t a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Welcome to My World, Readers and Authors, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Vote for Your Dream Life with Your Time and Your Focus

What do I mean by that? Choose your top three areas where you need to do more, where you should focus more so that it leads to the creation of your dream life.

Why three? It's more impactful than one, and it's not so overwhelming as seven. Plus, it only involves one hour of time total (if I just do the minimum time allotted). If I want to work longer on each, so be it.

Here's my take on this:

  1. Physical Goal: Start exercising again. I've set it up for fifteen minutes a day, as early in the day as I can, since I'm more likely to do it that way. Plus it sets me up for more successes throughout the day. Success begets success, right? This is both a short-term and long-term goal. I feel the benefits of exercise while I'm doing it, pushing my body, and afterward I feel renewed energy. Plus I can look forward to long-term benefits of added health and longevity and newly defined muscles and more flexibility.
  2. Mental Goal: Decluttering for at least fifteen minutes a day. I'm a paper-gathering pack rat, what with all my writing-related info and my recipe collecting and my massive library of books (which will remain regardless). I've already cleared out one shelf. Totally empty. I smile every time I see it. Getting this done gives me mental head space as I clear out my physical space. One less thing to worry about, right? Even if I don't get through all my paper piles and boxes of research in one day (not possible), I'm making continuous progress. It's all good. Again I remind myself of both the short-term and long-term benefits of this.
  3. Monetary Goal: Upload more of my own ebooks by setting aside thirty minutes each day to focus on this production. Granted, the money benefit is a long-term goal. But the satisfaction of getting this done and off my To Do list is a gratifying short-term goal. I'm currently working on a menu-planning series (my adaptation of a recipe book but presented in sections, like bread, chicken, desserts, etc.). Whether I'm doing the next book cover, researching some health element, sorting through my recipes for the ones to add to this current ebook, it all counts.
So what are your three top picks to focus on? Write it down. Make a plan. Start today.

Welcome to My World, Readers and Authors, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

I Dare You To ...

Be honest today. About yourself. No holding back.

Be honest to others, using tact as needed.

I've said this before, and I'll probably keep saying it forever. I'm an author, a blogger, a copy editor. Communication is key. Honest communication is the best. How can we make an informed decision if we don't have all the details? How can we have a truly healthy and rewarding relationship (whether as friends or as coworkers or as parents or as spouses) if both parties are withholding key elements about themselves?

Granted, even when our hearts are in the right place and even when we communicate honestly, our message can be totally distorted on both the giving end (wrong choice of words maybe?) and on the receiving end (hot buttons pushed maybe?). Hopefully further communication can clear up that disconnect. But also remember: their response is more telling about them and their beliefs than it is about you and what you said.

Talk about a tell. That will give you further insight into that person. Use that information wisely.

Welcome to My World, Readers and Authors, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Art of True Communication

I'm an author, blogger, copy editor. Communication is key in everything I do. I propose that it is vital in all that any of us do, if we are to meet with success, whether in our personal relationships or in our business interactions.

So here is the art of true communication in a nutshell:

  • With your heart and mind and body aligned with your higher purpose,
  • Speak honestly and truthfully about your emotions and your wants,
  • Using tact as needed,
  • Not presuming to know other people's feelings and desires,
  • As no one can fully realize your fears and hopes without your input.
Make the world a better place. Improve your relationships. Be honest. Be truthful. Be bold. Share your innermost self.

Welcome to My World, Readers and Authors, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker
Author, Blogger, Copy Editor

Friday, January 4, 2019

Our Identities

This will be a short post, just putting this thought out there, for you to contemplate and maybe for me to expound upon later.

I watched a Hallmark movie recently, with a very intrusive mother trying to fix up her grown business-oriented daughter, getting her into a relationship. The mother was being pressured by the father into retiring from her real estate business just for six months this year so they could go to Italy. But the mother had problems with the word "retirement," even on a part-time basis. The movie is Love by Chance and stars Beau Garrett as the harassed daughter. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAYLXIS2-VY.


Then the next day I watched a Hack Your Sleep video by Dr. Mark Hyman with Shawn Stevenson. Very interesting. If you have an hour, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LERJSdRdeB0. Shawn had been this promising young athlete who suffered a major injury early on. He had to reidentify himself.


And thank goodness for that. His background as an athlete gave him a great insight into his later endeavors in researching medical advances and scientific data regarding sleep. It affects, ... well, everything. Our body is a miraculous system of systems.

Plus Shawn touched on how active and vocal our brains are. Not like the other organs of our body. And how the placebo effect works 30 percent of the time. How to "decide" is to "cut off other possibilities."

What I get from that is: Tell yourself what you need to hear to heal. To prosper. To be happy. Be your own cheerleader. Exhort, uplift and encourage yourself.

Watch what labels you affix to your self-identity.

To others' sense of self.

Like that old saying, Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, we must be careful not to label a person (us or anyone else) by one measuring stick. Like I'm an author, blogger and copy editor. However, I'm also this eternal student, sucking up myriad topics from various sources; a voracious reader; a lover of coffee, cats and antique cars; a movieholic; and a foodie. And that doesn't touch upon my hobbies.

Don't box yourself in. Don't discount your gifts, whether because of a lack of monetization or even the current lack of time to indulge in them.

Keep your options open.

Be kind to yourself.

Be kind to others.

In closing, I ran across this Bible verse recently, and I find it applicable here:

He hath showed thee, O Man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: surely to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble thyself, to walk with thy God. Micah 6:8 (Geneva Bible)

In other words, be nice to yourself as well as to others.

Welcome to My World, Readers and Authors, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker
Author, Blogger, Copy Editor

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year 2019

Tomorrow we step into 2019. May we all experience true love, faith and hope, with many successes and much happiness, in a world filled with peace and goodwill. God bless us all.

Denise Barker