Girls with Goals

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We’re Moving!

Hey everyone! We’ve moved to our very own domain! Visit the NEW and IMPROVED Life Anonymous Girls, and subscribe to our RSS feed or by email (links towards the bottom on the right)!

We hope you join us at our new home. We have new posts up, and we’ll be posting a lot more often!

Hope to see you there!
Allegra


“Career Move Mondays” – Today is Tuesday

Well, I’ve already fallen off of the blogging wagon! Yesterday was my day to discuss the triumphs and troubles in my working life. Since yesterday was President’s Day, I was super busy doing a lot of things that have nothing to do with my career. Very fitting, I know.

Anyway, I really have been busy. I’ve been applying for jobs, going to interviews, and shortly after getting turned down. The constant rejection got me thinking about what I’m really trying to accomplish in life. Why do I want a new job? Why do I dislike my current job? Why should I even care about a job?

Sadly, it all boils down to money. I need a new job because I’m not making enough money where I am now. So why would I want to go get a new job that would probably turn out to be only slightly less awful than the job I have now? To make more money.

“But money can’t buy you happiness!” you say? I agree. Money can’t buy you family, friends, love, sunshine, laughter, or an unlimited supply of red wine.

Okay, maybe the wine.

Call me materialistic if you wish, but there are a lot of things that make me happy that I can buy. Would I survive without them if I had to? Of course. Would I be unhappy without them? Maybe for a little while.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t need a career to so I can establish my self-worth by climbing a ladder the rest of my life. Some people find this intriguing, and others find it disgusting. Maybe I was meant to be a 1950’s housewife, where ideas like this are accepted and praised!

We’ll see how this all pans out. I’ll keep you updated on my hunt for a well-paying, careerless job, if such a thing even exists. Until then, I will continue to sit here at my desk with an uncomfortable smile on my face and an uncomfortable number in my bank account.

Ciao!

Florence

 


And the winner is…..

“Sit”…… click….. praise. 

“Heel”… click…treat.

“Off”… click… pat.

So, the clicker training continues and I am learning that consistency is hard.  I feel like my life has been overrun by sharp tinny noises and monosyllabic commands!

However much of a commitment this clicker training has been, my trusty pal has definitely developed a keen ear for the “click.”  On walks he knows right where I keep it in my pocket and continually gazes up at it while prancing down the sidewalk.   He knows that sooner or later he will do something “click worthy” and will get to enjoy a yummy reward.

And while I am overall pretty impressed with the progression of the clicker training, I am even more amazed at my attitude throughout the whole process.  You see, while doing research on the clicker method, I came across a book called Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, by Alexandra Horowitz, and this book has changed my life.

One night, I came across a concept proposed by Horowitz that totally went against everything I thought I knew about dogs (and I read A LOT of dog books.)  According to Alexandra and her research, you, as the owner (or adoptive parent, if you prefer) of your dog do not need to be the alpha of the pack!

photo by Erin Vey

In fact…there really isn’t a deep pack mentality engrained in most domestic dog breeds!  She explains that because we, as humans, are not sure what to do with animals living among us, we assign these notions of packs and alphas to our living environments in an attempt to create order and organization in our lives.  In other words, we are not doing it for the dogs, we are doing it for ourselves.  Brilliant!

Now, I will be the first to admit that I was incredibly skeptical about this whole concept upon first read because I have been attributing all of my dogs naughty actions to the fact that he thinks he is “the alpha” for about 2 ½ years now (I am a big Dog Whisperer fan!)

But, what if…… what if……I was letting this “alpha business” get to me, essentially jading my view of the relationship that my dog and I really have?  What if my stress and frustration surrounding my efforts at becoming “master” of my dog was actually damaging our relationsip?  After reading these eye-opening pages, I started slowly (and somewhat skeptically) letting go of my “I always need to be in charge” mentality and started placing a little more trust in my dog.

I stopped nit-picking every little thing he did (getting too excited when another dog walked by, stopping too many times to lift his leg on walks, pulling ahead of me on the leash) and started giving him some of that freedom, while also asking for him to give me some respect in return. 

I slowly began to realize that our walks became a kind of dance.  He gets a little out of line, I calm him down, ask him to sit, reward him with a treat (and click of course!) and let him spend some additional time sniffing next to the mailbox.  It is a compromise, not a power struggle!

I have started to realize that trying to control all of his actions (while trying to be the alpha) was stressing me out and setting me up for failed expectations.  He could sense that (as our dogs are truly are mirrors of our emotions) and would, in turn, become more agitated and rebellious on our walks.  An endless, negative cycle.

Now, I am not saying that we are a perfect pair that will ride (or walk) off into the sunset with never a problem to deal with, or that I will totally discount all that I have learned from the great Cesar Millan, but I am learning to be more open minded with how I communicate with my dog. 

What he and I have is a companionship, not a contest.

Please post your stories (and challenges!) of raising your dog to be a happy, healthy companion.


To un Ristorante and Beyond!

Caffe LatteIn case you didn’t know, I’m taking an Italian class to prepare for my (late) honeymoon to Italy this summer. After only four classes, I’m very proud to be able to tell you my name, ask you where you’re from, count to 100 and name everything one would find in a classroom. The only problem is – I will not be visiting un’aula in Italy, nor do I plan to make someone listen to me count from zero to cento!

I know that all of these skills build a foundation to learn more complex aspects of the language, but I want to start practicing travel-y things like, “I would like some wine,” “How much does this cost?” and “Table for two.” So I’ve done a little independent study.

I know that to order my beloved latte, I would ask for un caffè latte. I could sit and drink this at un ristorante. This is a good start. So far I won’t go thirsty during my trip. However, I will need to eat, find the restroom, buy tickets to things, ask for a menu, order the raspberry gelato…you get the idea. So I started compiling a list of key phrases I want to memorize sooner rather than later.

My question to all of you is – in your own international travels, what phrases do you find most helpful to know? For example, when I was dining in Paris, I learned that you will only get your check when you ask for it. So I quickly learned how to say, L’addition, s’il vous plaît!

I would love to know what YOU would put on your own “must-know travel-speak” list. Grazie mille!

*Kiki


“Career Move Mondays” – Workin’ for a livin’

“So, what do you do?”

This question is easily the most frequently asked in introductory conversations, and I hate it. From the moment you meet someone, you’re immediately judged based on what you do for a living. Which, I guess, for most people is fine. But those people probably like what they do for work.

I think a more relevant question, which would be so much better for the whole getting-to know-you phase of a conversation, is, “So, what do you wish you could do for a living?”. Because in all honesty, how many people are actually doing what they truly love to support themselves?

Off the top of my head, I can name one person that I know, and I wouldn’t exactly call him “financially fit”. Doing what you love comes with a hefty price tag. But what could be greater than getting paid (however much or little) to do something you would easily do for free?

A couple of years ago, fresh out of college, when I was stressed and depressed about figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, my boyfriend brought up a great point. He said to me, “Some people do what they love for work. You work so you can do the things you love.”

This was the best little piece of insight I’ve gotten in a long time. I shouldn’t base my self-worth on what I do at work every day. There are so many other important aspects to life.

I love travel and adventure. I love seeing new places (even if its around the corner from my house). I love trying new restaurants. I love cooking. I love hosting parties. I love DIY projects and decorating my house. I love my pets. I love spending time with my family.

Why can’t my life be summed up based on all of these things I love, rather than where I work?

I’d love to find a job where I’m happy every day and like the work I do (which isn’t the case right now). I’d like to find a job where I make enough money to support all of the things I love, my true passions (which definitely isn’t the case right now).

Throughout the “Career Move Mondays” series, I’ll share my successes and failures in the hunt for the perfect job.  And if any of you come across an opening for a traveling cook who is inspired by trying new restaurants and dishes, who hosts parties for friends, pets and family in her beautifully decorated DIY house, please send it my way!

Ciao,

Florence


Forgive me!

I’m playing with the site design, but we’ll have it settled shortly!

 

Freckles


Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now?

As a kid, Dr. Seuss’s “Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!” was my favorite book. After the narrator suggests a number of ways in which Marvin can, “go, go, GO!” I would yell the infamous line, “Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!” with all of the dramatic frustration that a four year-old can muster.

A lesser known tidbit about this book is that in 1974 Art Buchwald of The Washington Post published a version of the book substituting “Marvin K. Mooney” with former U.S. President “Richard M. Nixon.” Ten days later, Nixon resigned. You can read more about this here and here (read the original Washington Post article here).

To keep the New Year’s theme going, I would like to look at the flipside of the New Year’s list of goals some of us posted earlier this month. As we eagerly and optimistically welcome into 2011 a slew of new goals, good habits and earnest promises to ourselves, what negative things are we asking to leave? To what “Marvin K. Mooney’s” do we need to demand a farewell in order to become our fabulous 2011 selves?

Here are mine. The substitutions I made are in italics with an * around them.

“*Poor body image* will you please go now!
The time has come.
The time has come.
The time is now.
Just go.
Go.
Go!
I don’t care how.
You can go by foot.
You can go by cow. 
*Procrastination* will you please go now!
You can go on skates.
You can go on skis.
You can go in a hat.
But
Please go.
Please!
I don’t care.
You can go
By bike.
You can go
On a Zike-Bike
If you like.
If you like
You can go
In an old blue shoe.
Just go, go, GO!
Please do, do, do, DO!
*Losing my temper*                                                                                                                          I don’t care how. 
*Sleeping past my alarm* 
Will you please
GO NOW!
You can go on stilts.
You can go by fish.
You can go in a Crunk-Car
If you wish.
If you wish
You may go
By lion’s tale.
Or stamp yourself
And go by mail.
*Driving too fast*                                                                                                                         Don’t you know
The time has come
To go, go, GO!
Get on your way!
Please *not thinking before I say*                                                                                                                                                 You might like going in a Zumble-Zay.
You can go by balloon . . .
Or broomstick.
Or
You can go by camel
In a bureau drawer.
You can go by bumble-boat
. . . or jet.
I don’t care how you go.
Just get!
*Being judgemental!*
I don’t care how.
*Nagging my husband*                                                                                                                  Will you please
GO NOW!
I said
GO
And
GO
I meant . . .
The time had come
So . . . 
*making excuses for not kicking bad habits* WENT.”

So maybe it doesn’t rhyme and it definitely doesn’t flow as well as Dr. Suess’s version, but it’s a fun way for me to say goodbye to my old ways. And it’s still really REALLY fun to yell, “Will you please go now!” What are your Marvin K. Mooney’s?

*Kiki*