Saturday, March 7, 2009

Financial Independence

Wow! What is financial independence? It means you can wake up and decide if you want to work...or not. Personally, I have no interest in retiring - maybe because it is at least 20 years away, but this was a great workshop that has 8 steps to financial independence.

#1 Financial Self Awareness - You must get a clear understanding of your current financial situation

#2 Focus on what you CAN control - Who are you listening to...and does that change how you act and think?

#3 Get organized!

#4 Write specific financial goals

#5 Create a more realistic spending plan

#6 Pay yourself first - keep saving for the future

#7 Pay off credit cards and establish an emergency fund

#8 Find a good advisor

How many of these can you say you've done? I can personally say that I haven't done ANY of them. But my compelling outcome is to be financially I am ready to start working on Step #1 - getting a clear understanding of my current financial situation.

Leader of the Pack

Our NAEOP President conducted a session called "Leader of the Pack". She covered the six principles of leadership
  • The Power of Self-Mastery
  • The Power of Focus
  • The Power with People
  • The Power of Persuasive Communication
  • The Power of Execution
  • The Power of Giving
We learned what color we are:

We had to choose between orange, gold, green or blue

I thought I would be blue...and I was - but I was also a little bit of each one of those colors. There is nothing wrong with being one color or being them all.

Conference is in full swing

It is Day 3 of the conference, and we are all in attendance at the Membership meeting. I'm looking around the room at all the ladies in Red, White, and Blue!

We got our wires crossed and half of us wore Red, White, and Blue yesterday!

The entertainment has been stellar, including the Irish clog dancers at Affiliate's Night, the bagpipers and choral group at Opening Ceremonies, the barbershop quartet at the Membership Breakfast...and I hope you enjoyed our surprise Rolling Chair Drill Team performance. We are going to post the video to this blog very soon. We have already gotten our first booking - at the 2012 NAEOP Conference (which will be held in California). Just drop me a line if you would like to schedule a performance at your next big event!

I've also admired all of the centerpieces at each of our events. I noticed many ladies carrying off new decor for their homes or offices. Hey, $5 for the flowers and vases and $15 for those handpainted pots and paper flowers, that's a deal you can't beat.

Friday was such a whirlwind day. The opening ceremonies included welcome greetings from many local dignitaries. The Superintended of San Diego Unified School District voiced his support for CAEOP, and he spoke eloquently about how important his office professionals are in his organization and for fulfilling the mission of schools. I especially enjoyed Dr. Mark Arapostathis - the Vice Mayor of La Mesa, who spoke from his heart about all the roles of office staff that he's seen in his years of teaching; counselor, boo-boo healer, mediator, translater, and disciplinarian.

Carol LeBeau was the Keynote Speaker and gave a one-hour talk, "Healthy for Life", which touched on keeping ourself both physically and mentally well. I really liked that she touched on thinking before you say "yes", and asking yourself (1) Why am I saying yes? (2) By saying yes to this, will I have to say no to something more important? (3) Am I only saying yes so that someone will like me or I feel accepted?

Cherie Leonard gave a rousing two-hour presentation about the power of breaking down goals into achievable chunks. We learned that the language we use to describe our compelling outcome (instead of calling it a "goal") can give impetus to ACTION! Instead of using words like "should" or "later" or "never", say "I'm ready to begin working on..." and you'll find yourself beginning! That first action creates momentum - ask yourself "What is the next right thing to do?" We looked at the anatomy of the words commitment and perseverance. It is through commitment that we come forth with "might" in a strong and powerful way, and perseverance means that we are cutting off the option to quit.

We were released to pursue our own dinners, and boy did I have a good one! The La Mesa-Spring Valley contingent went to Hash House a Go Go in Hillcrest. Not only did we eat to our heart's content, we carried away many boxes of food to nibble on for the rest of the weekend.

Such fun. The membership breakfast and meeting is done, and I want to give my full attention to our keynote session this morning "Silver Linings".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Big Surprise at Conference on Friday

I can't tell you very much about the BIG SURPRISE on Friday after the General Session. All I can say is that we have been practicing for weeks! You won't want to miss it - so listen for the announcement about where to go. So far its been called wacky, silly, funny, whimsical, and extraordinary.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Conference Suggested Packing List

Packing is the often the greatest cause of anxiety for First Timers, so please take
some time to organize what you’d like to bring. I recommend packing one or two
outfits per day - in case you want to change from the business casual clothes into
something more evening appropriate or you spill something horrible on yourself.
Keep in mind the average temperatures for San Diego in early March are a high of
66 and a low of 53.

Here is a suggested list that I put together. It is neither all-inclusive nor required,
in fact I don't own or use many of these things! However, this will give you an idea
of what to think about packing. Please tailor them to your own needs:

Clothing The Essentials
1-2 outfits per day
  • At least one semi-formal to formal dress and shoes (Saturday evening Installation Dinner)
  • One red, white, and blue outfit (Saturday morning Membership Breakfast)
  • Pantyhose, Stockings, Socks
  • Shoes (at least one pair of comfortable walking shoes, heels, to match outfits, poolside flipflops, slippers)
  • Sleepwear (It is not uncommon to visit with friends in their rooms after a long day, so lounging pajamas are really nice)
  • Undergarments (bras, strapless bra your fancy attire might require, panties, slips)
  • Outer garments (light coat, sweater)
  • Bathing suit
Accessories Going from Hum Drum to Va Va Voom
• Jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings)
• Belts

• Purse(s)
(Do you need one for your more formal outfit?)
• Glasses
• Sunglasses

Image Enhancers Because there will be a camera!
• Breast forms/adhesive
• Corsets/waist cinchers
• Hip pads
• Wig(s) and wig accessories
• Hair accessories (bobby pins, scrunchies, barrettes, hairband, scarf)
• Fragrance (cologne, perfume)

Toiletries An extravaganza of cleanliness
• Dental tools (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash)
• Hair products (shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, hair spray)
• Hair tools (brush, comb, curling iron, straightening iron)
• Razors (electric, hand, face/body)
• Shaving gel/cream
• Tweezers
• Antiperspirant/Deodorant
Hand/Body Lotion
• Soaps (face, body, hypoallergenic)
• Lip Balm
• Sun Block
• Contacts (lenses, storage case, cleaning solution)
• Moisturizer

Medicines/First Aid Keep yourself feeling good!

Pain Relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen)
• Vitamins
• Band-Aids
• Antacids, Beano
• Prescription Drugs
• Visine

Cosmetics Put your best face forward
• Skin (foundation, concealer, loose powder, compact powder, blush, bronzer)
• Eyes (eyeshadow, eye pencil, eye liner, mascara, false eyelashes/adhesive
• Tools (makeup brushes, eyelash curler, mirror, pencil sharpener)
• Lips (lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss)
• Clean up (makeup sponges, eye makeup remover, wipes, Q-tips, cotton balls and pads)
• Nails (nail polish, polish remover, nail file, nail clippers)

Extras You might want to bring...
Electonic Devices (Cell phone and charger, camera and batteries, MP3 player,
PDA, laptop and power cord)

Drivers’ license
• Cash (especially some spare change and $1 bills for tipping)
• Credit cards
• Keys
• Directions/addresses/maps
• Friendship/business cards
• Journal/notebook/book to read
• Ear plugs
• Facial tissue pack
• Mints/Gum
• Plastic baggies

Sewing kit
• Lint brush
• Safety Pins

Final thought:
You're not going to be in a remote area, if you forget anything there
are convenience stores nearby and two very large malls for your shopping pleasure.
If you are going on the preconference tour, you'll be visiting Horton Plaza, which is a real shopping experience.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Delighted it is finally payday?

I don't know about you, but the month of January seemed like it would never end! I was so relieved to get a paycheck after that long drought - since the middle of December. I had been putting off turning in my registration for conference, but now I'm all set to go.

If you're in the same boat, this is a good time to get that registration form filled out. You can pay online or send in a check. Scroll down the blog or click on the quick link to the first January post called Registration to get the details.

I look forward to seeing you in 32 days!

Your conference scout,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Note for first-time conference attendees

Mistakes & Silver Linings
I still remember the first CAEOP conference I attended. I was working as a Library Clerk at an elementary school. Kim J., the school's Secretary, suggested that I go with her (Mistake 1.) It was in Newport Beach that year, which was convenient because my parents lived nearby. I wouldn't even have to get a hotel room (Mistake 2.) Practically all the meals were pre-paid so I only brought a few dollars (Mistake 3.) So, I threw some comfy clothes (Mistake 4) into a bag and drove up from San Diego.

Why were these mistakes? ... and where exactly were the silver linings?
1. Kim J. didn't even actually go that year - she canceled out after I'd already registered and made plans. When I got to the conference I didn't know a single person! I scanned the room for the table with a tent sign that had my district's name on it. When I left the conference I had a dozen new friends! The conference attendees were mostly longtime CAEOP members that welcomed me and made me a part of the group from the start. I met Library Clerks from other districts, too. Lesson for me: Finding others that do the same kind of work reduces isolation and creates a network of resources for the future. It is okay, and even wonderful, to come alone - believe me you'll leave with a bunch of new friends. As the conference scout, I am ready to befriend each and every newcomer - so I'll be looking for you!

2. Even though I saved money by staying with my folks, I wished that I'd been able to stay at the hotel. Some of the nights can run late (especially if you stay up in the lobby talking and talking...), and those morning meetings are starting before you know it. It is also nice to be able to run up to your room and rest, use the bathroom and spiffy up, or change clothes between events (more about that later.) Since I didn't have a room, my new friends invited me up to their room between events and even gave me a mini-makeover before the Installation dinner (thanks Sandie C. and Vicki B.) Lesson for me: I get a room. Over the years I've had four different roommates! Each and every time we stayed up half the night talking and laughing (remember Carol P., Andi L., Gail S., Kathy C.?) This year...Teri C. (our fabulous decorations chair) will be my roomie - look for the bleary eyes and happy faces...that'll be us!

3. Yes, the meals are pre-paid, but I only brought a few dollars and there were remarkable things at the vendor/craft fair that I ended up wanting to buy! There was jewelry and art and handbags and scarfs and ... so many other things. My new friends loaned me $5 to buy some raffle tickets - and I won! Lesson for me: Bring some extra cash. Not only do I want to be able to buy things from the vendors if I see something I like, the raffles are great fun. Also, Friday night is "on your own" and you'll want to go to a fun restaurant...scroll down to the first posting for a list of local recommendations.

4. Finally, throwing a few comfy things in a bag? What was I thinking? I was not prepared for the dress code at the conference! I walked in with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, and I was surrounded by elegant women in slacks and blouses or skirts and sweaters! I was clearly underdressed. And remember, I had not brought much money. I asked my new friends to tell me about the rest of the weekend and I counted 6 (yes, 6!) clothing changes would be needed. I jumped in my car, drove to the nearest thrift store, and bought 6 outfits. Lesson for me: Bring lots of clothes. While there is no official dress code, the word Professional is part of our group's name! The Installation Dinner, in particular, is very dressy AND there is a photographer there that takes a picture.

Watch for a future posting with a suggested packing list for conference!

~ Respectfully, your conference scout