Archive for December, 2013

Many Hats Mommy

As an autism spectrum parent, I’ve had to get creative to find ways to break through my son’s ability to block out the world. Actually, don’t all parents deal with that at some point? I’ve got twelve tricks for you to try.

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The British place their fortunes for the coming year in the hands of their first guest. They believe the first visitor of each year should be male and bearing gifts. Traditional gifts are coal for the fire, a loaf for the table and a drink for the master.

For good luck, the guest should enter through the front door and leave through the back. Guests who are empty-handed or unwanted are not allowed to enter first.

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In Germany people would drop molten lead into cold water and try to tell the future from the shape it made. A heart or ring shape meant a wedding, a ship a journey, and a pig plenty of food in the year ahead.

People also would leave a bit of every food eaten on New Year’s Eve on their plate until after Midnight as a way of ensuring a well-stocked larder. Carp…

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Hooray! Hooray! It’s New Year’s Day!
The day we start anew.
So this year I’ve decided
to become a kangaroo.

Or maybe I will learn to fly,
or how to walk through walls,
or how to turn invisible,
or surf on waterfalls.

I’ll make myself elastic
and I’ll teach myself to shrink.
I’ll turn into a liquid
and I’ll pour me down the sink.

I’ll visit other planets
and meet aliens galore.
I’ll travel to the distant past
and ride a dinosaur.

I’ve got so many wondrous plans.
I’m starting right away.
Yes, this will be the best year yet.
Hooray! It’s New Year’s Day!

–Kenn Nesbitt

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I always love a new year as it signifies a fresh start, a change in habits and a time for new stretch goals.

It also means a time for reflection on all that I’ve learned in the previous year, what I want to take through into 2014 and what I need to leave behind.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you take time out for yourself to write down what you want your 2014 to look like.

As the experts say, if you don’t know where you’re going how will you know how to get there. The same is true for what you envisage for yourself, if you don’t have a clear mental picture of how you’d like your life to look next year, then how will you know what it should look like?

To ensure your 2010 is truly exceptional, here are the top 10 things you can start doing now:

1. Expect the best for yourself.
There’s nothing selfish in wanting to live the best possible life. Set your sights high, push yourself and always keep the big picture in mind. You’re going to need a fair amount of discipline to stay focused and achieve a life that you love, that you’re passionate about and that makes you happy. You know it’ll be worth it!

2. Love your gorgeous self.
The above can’t be achieved if you don’t appreciate yourself, warts and all. I’m my own toughest critic, but when I let up on myself once and while and pat myself on the back for my achievements I feel pretty damn proud. So congratulate yourself during the year when you’re making great progress. Take time out to treat yourself each time you reach a milestone.

3. Have a grand vision for your business.
Let’s face it 2013 was a tough year for anyone in business. 2014 can only get better so it’s time to envision the success your business will have in the New Year, the growth it will experience and the traction you’ll make through consistent and concerted effort in the right places. Keep that picture in your mind and solidify it on a daily basis through whatever works for you – vision boards, written statements, weekly progress sheets or constructive team meetings.

4. Surround yourself with positivity.
No matter what, stay positive.  Just stick to your company’s vision and think positive. Remember that problems don’t last long and having an optimistic outlook will get you through the toughest times. If you can’t muster it yourself, then turn to your support network of your best friends, mentors and advisors. Learn to let other people help you.

5. Plan ahead.
It is always best to have a clear plan in anything you do in life, especially in business. Better yet you should aim to have a plan A and a plan B for those times when things just aren’t working out. Flexibility and acting decisively on changes in your business landscape are key to success.

6. Bridge the gap.
A new year is also a year to re-connect with contacts and to start afresh with previous business relationships that may have gone sour. Learn to forgive. If you had a client or customer interaction that ended on a bad note then get in touch and ask how they are doing. Conduct business with an open heart and mind. It’s the best way forward for everyone.

7. Socialize more.
Get out and experience the world outside of your comfort zone, known as your office. Meet new people and exchange business cards with them. Who knows, that new acquaintance might be your next loyal client or future business collaboration. It invigorates your soul to meet with like-minded people and to learn from them.

8. Become trendy.
Study the market and visualize what your target market may need or be interested in for the coming year. Read up on daily basis about emerging trends in your business space so you can stay ahead of the game, and prepare for your next move towards making your business more profitable.

9. Share your fortunes.
Become a shining example of corporate social responsibility. Plan an activity where your company can contribute and help the less fortunate members of the community. It doesn’t have to be a grand party that needs to be publicized. A simple act of donating to an organization that’s making a difference is enough to show you care.

10. Relax and enjoy life.
It’s easy to say this when you’re on holiday but it really won’t hurt if let yourself enjoy yourself with mini breaks throughout the year. Yes, as entrepreneurs we tend to love our business and become addicted to it, but taking a break to recharge will do you and your business wonders.

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Roaming Rosie

Franklin is my favorite turtle.  🙂

I read this book with my girls all the time.  The rhythm is fantastic, so it’s especially great at bedtime.

It’s about being brave, it’s about problem solving, and it’s about family.  A great combination.  But mostly, kids just find it fun and entertaining.  Can’t beat that.  🙂

Franklin recently celebrated his 25th anniversary.  You can find him here.


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My Best Christmas Gifts: The Inventive Blogger Award and The Blog Of The year 2013 Award…

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpegdoncharisma-org-the-inventive-blogger-award (1)

There are all sorts of Christmas gifts. Getting awards as a blogger is indeed a special one because it gives me the opportunity to share it with all the wonderful people from All countries  across the world who have taken out time and resources to visit, read, comment, follow, reblog and make useful criticisms of my blog/posts. I really appreciate you all :) Thus, I am dedicating my gifts/awards, The Inventive Blogger Award and The Blog Of The year 2013 Award to you all. Thanks a lot for the inspiration and encouragement :)

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Being an avid fan of both blogging and reading blogs, I think it is important to address the psychological challenges bloggers can face. All is not always rosy in Blogger Land. Believe it or not, it is possible to become addicted to this social medium. In this article I examine some of the myths, behaviors, personality characteristics, and red flags of a blogging addiction.

Here are some common myths about bloggers and addiction.

  • I can’t be addicted to blogging because it isn’t a mind-altering chemical.
  • I am employed, and only blog when I am not busy with my job, although I might blog at work if I have time.
  • I only blog on important topics – well, important topics to me.
  • I only blog to make a difference in people’s lives. If I don’t do it, who will?
  • I can stop blogging anytime I want. I just don’t want to stop. This is not hurting me or anyone else.
  • I am not addicted, that is a term for alcoholics and substance abusers – coke heads, meth addicts. Blogging isn’t a drug.
  • I still go to work every day and it doesn’t count if I work on my blog(s) during my downtime or check the website(s) for comments.
  • I hardly ever use a sick day to stay home and blog or to catch up on errands that didn’t get completed because of blogging.

Do you recognize yourself in any of those?

There are also some behaviors that have been identified as common in addictive personalities.  With respect to blogging, these include:

  • Denying there is an issue with blogging. Denial is the ability to overlook negative consequences so as to be able to justify continuing to engage in a behavior. There might be an awareness that the blogging is creating turmoil, but the desire to blog is stronger than the pressure to stop. Loss of control, being unable to stop the behavior, and continuing to engage in the behavior regardless of adverse consequences are some of the most definitive features of addiction.
  • Lying about the time spent engaged in “blogging behaviors.”
  • Losing track of time and being late for events, appointments, and celebrations because of blogging.
  • Changes in sleep habits and patterns because of blogging or needing to respond to comments. Getting up in the middle or the night or very early before going to work to check the blog, write the blog, or make comments.
  • Feeling guilty or confused about the effect blogging is having on your life.
  • Disbelief that it is possible to be addicted to blogging.
  • Financial problems due to blogging—such as not paying bills on time because of being consumed by blogging.

Not all of these may apply, but if more than two describe you and your current blogging lifestyle it could be a red flag that blogging is impacting your life in a negative manner.

To sort this out, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you ever lost time from work because of blogging?
  • Does blogging create problems for you with other people in your life?
  • Do you blog because you feel shy and uncomfortable around others?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about blogging?
  • Have you ever argued with someone significant in your life about blogging and the time constraints involved?
  • Are you more careless in other areas of your life because of blogging?
  • Have you lost interest in other areas of your life since beginning to blog?
  • Do you blog to escape anything in your life?
  • Do you use blogging as a replacement for social interactions in the real world?
  • Do you feel compelled to blog and then feel a sense of elation once the blog entry is published – yet the high is short-lived and you feel compelled to begin again?
  • Do you feel restless if you do not blog?

If you answered “Yes” to two or more of those questions, blogging could be taking over your life.

Finally, let’s consider the characteristics of an addictive personality in general.

  • Impatience with self and others.
  • Anxiety in an exaggerated form. It is normal to feel anxious, but in addicts it is constant and chronic. Using the substance of choice, whether it be alcohol, substances, or the Internet, brings momentary relief.
  • Grandiosity – feelings of deep worthlessness and low self-esteem covered by haughtiness or pretending to “have It all together.”
  • Perfectionism – setting impossible and improbable goals for oneself. Perceived failures result in guilt and self-deprecation.
  • Rationalizations – Addicts of any sort are pros at this. Finding justifications for doing what one wants and making it all seem reasonable and plausible.
  • Isolation – Blogging is so consuming that it prohibits you from forming deep and lasting relationships outside the Internet world. You becomes a loner in the real world.
  • Sensitivity – to criticisms from others related to blogging behaviors.
  • Impulsivity – Having a great idea for a blog post and feeling the need to address it and write about it immediately. Becoming irritated if you are unable to blog when the idea presents itself.
  • Dependence – A strong dependence on others’ reactions and responses to what was posted. A need to be affirmed.

Discussing blogging as an addiction may seem odd, but it is possible to become addicted to anything. Addiction is addiction is addiction, regardless of the substance of choice. Can you identify with much of what has been written in this piece? A “Yes” may indicate a need to take a hiatus from the blogosphere for a time. If you are unable to stop blogging, then talking to a professional about this compulsion may be helpful. Underneath an addiction is a whole host of unresolved issues. The addiction just momentarily medicates the pain.


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friends are like Flowers

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Here comes the New Year
And its time to make resolutions
For I promise to be sincere
And bring in me a revolution

In class I’ll talk less
In studies I’ll surely progress
All my lies I’ll confess
I’ll go to play with egress

To my friends I’ll be kind
Have my character refined
To a helper of mankind
With a sound mind

I’ll follow my teacher’s advice
Regularly I’ll exercise
My mother I’ll idolize
Beyond doubt I’ll civilize

These are my resolutions
To bring in me an evolution
To follow them I’ll try my best
Until then I’ll no

Aditya Chattopadhyay

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It’s the day after Christmas. My house is chaos, the kids have been hyper and and we have all consumed far too much. Our stress levels at times have been off the scale and the parties feel like a distant memory already. Yet for parents like me so much about Christmas is just a reflection of real life all year round. Let me explain:

1. At Christmas time you spend a lot of time inviting people to, and attending parties.

As a special needs parent I spend much of the year inviting professionals to meetings and attending meetings and training courses. Other than parties specifically for special needs children we seldom get invited to other parties. Who wants a screaming, non verbal child with limited social skills at thier party, especially when he would think nothing of throwing all the party food all over the floor? And to get invites…

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