Random Joy: Non-burning Bush

This bush stopped me in my tracks yesterday. How lucky am I to walk past it each day?

This bush stopped me in my tracks yesterday. How lucky am I to walk past it each day?

Autumn and I have a precarious relationship. Every year I make the same statements (in this order).

1. “You like Fall? I don’t! All it means is that Winter is around the corner! And I HATE the cold! Why do I still live on the East coast?!”

2. “Okay, okay, if I go into Fall with this negative of an attitude, it’ll ruin this season that others seem to love so much. I am going to focus on the positive!”

3. “Look how beautiful these Fall colors are! Maybe it isn’t such a horrible season after all”

4. “Ugh! It’s getting colder – BOOOOO!”

5. “The best thing about cold weather is that I can do more cooking (since my NYC apartment literally turns into a sauna when the oven is on in the summer”

6. “Okay,” I reflect. “Get over yourself. There is no way you can control the weather. Just enjoy the endless supply of roasted vegetables and snuggling with your blankies.”

Any advice you can give to help me further appreciate Fall would be MUCH appreciated!

Joyous Joy 65: My 5 Favorite Things about a Rainy Day

Hundreds of people waited in line with hopes that the rain wouldn't ruin their Googa Mooga fun

Hundreds of people waited in line with hopes that the rain wouldn’t ruin their Googa Mooga fun

Sure, rain can be a huge bummer when it bombards it’s way into our lives at inopportune times. Sometimes it even ruins events, like it recently did for Googa Mooga in Brooklyn a few weeks ago.

But rain doesn’t always have to be a bummer — if you don’t let it be!  Continue reading

Joyous Joy 35: Who Needs New Year’s Resolutions Anyway?

A former boss shared the theory of Kaizen with me – it was by far his best nugget of knowledge.

Unlike most people, I avoid typical New Year’s resolutions. Instead I adopt yearly mantras to help me stay focused on a larger goal. These mantras become all encompassing of much smaller goals I set throughout the year.

I started this whole mantra thing in 2009. Since then I have never once felt the sense of disappointment and failure I used to when I didn’t follow through on resolutions.

  • Instead of beating myself up for not losing those 15 pounds I vowed to shed by bathing suit season, I felt proud of myself for eating better and dragging myself to the gym whenever possible.
  • Instead of feeling like a failure for not saving enough money for a Thailand adventure, I felt proud that I had savings to use in an emergency.

Each year, I write my mantra in bold letters at the top of my dry erase board and look at it each morning before I roll out of bed.

Here are some previous mantras and a few examples of how they enriched my life: Continue reading

Joyous Joy 24: To Each Their Own

I remember taking this photo in SoHo and having an, “oh my God…I really moved here” moment. It was beautiful.

Since moving to NYC, I’ve been frustrated by my family & friends’ perceptions of living in NYC. I’ve also really struggled with my NYC friends and acquaintances judging me for being from Ohio.

From the Ohioans:
· Oh my God, I could NEVER live there!
· How in the world do you deal with that many people? Isn’t it unsafe? Isn’t it dirty?
· You’re not staying there forever, are you?!

From the New Yorkers:
· Oh God, you’re from Ohio? No wonder you moved here, you must have been so bored!
· I can’t imagine living anywhere else than NYC, especially somewhere with nothing to do!
· So I am sure, you’ll never move back to Ohio now that you live in NYC, right? I mean, why would you ever want to leave here?!

I cannot begin to tell you how fired up I get when hearing these things. Continue reading

Joyous Joy 23: Bringing Out the Best

I’ve been planning to write this post for a very long time. The timing never felt right. My usual posts are in response to real-time events. This post is about a theory I developed years ago and has changed me forever. This gem of wisdom provides a rapidly growing seed, that once planted, helps you achieve consistent happiness.

When I moved to NYC 5 years ago, I was miserable.  Really, really miserable. By moving, I had the opportunity to completely change my life and developed a principle to guide me; a golden rule of sorts. Hell, it’s turned into the official Kate Forster mantra.

Repeat after me: “I surround myself with people and situations that bring out the best in me.” Continue reading

Joyous Joy 22: Noticing Rising Stars

A StarDuring my career transition, I’ve hit plenty of highs and lows.

Some days I feel like I’ve got the biggest, badest bull by the horns and am steering him straight in the direction of the greenest pasture I can see. He fights me at first, but once we see the green grass and serene lake in the distance, he’s a happy little camper who remembers how wonderful pastures are and happily moves along.

Other times, I feel a bit lost and defeated. How can I not feel a tad let down when I hear radio silence after submitting my resume for a position I know I would rock out like nobody’s business? Then there are of course opportunities that come my way that are simply mirages. They are alluring and seem like such a good fit, but upon closer examination are not at all suited for me and my goals.

Then there are moments of renewed hope. Continue reading

Joyous Joy 13: The Sweet Sounds of Summer

Each day as I walk to the train, I look up all around me and admire the beauty of the trees and the sun shining through their leaves. I begin listening to the birds as they fly above me chirping away and smile.

In true NY fashion, I mean pigeons when I say "birds".

In true NY fashion, I mean pigeons when I say "birds".

If you listen closely, you can pick up the rhythm of their songs. When the train rushes by, the sounds of city life comes rushing back. You always hear the birds again…if you’re listening…

I will always be a country girl at heart.

What do you appreciate about nature?