Fall into Fall

fall 2

Fall might be my favorite season. Don’t worry, it is not due to anything pumpkin flavored. Things just seem to slow down in the fall. People become a bit more reflective as they start to cover up with scarves, boots, jackets, and hats. The air is easier to breathe and the crispness makes you want to roll out of bed in the morning. God shakes us like an etch-a-sketch and the leaves begin to change colors leaving us all in awe since we’ve actually taken the time to look up and witness art that money can’t buy. Virginia in the fall, North Carolina in the fall, Tennessee in the fall, and last year I had the fortune of walking through Central Park in the fall. I still get chills thinking about all that gorgeousness. It’s just a good chill time. I want to be outside, I want to move slower, I want to write, and eat warm things while hiding in a book. Wrapping a scarf around me in the morning makes me smile and boot shopping is on the schedule. There’s a freshness about this season that makes it almost a cleansing we all so badly need after summer filled adventures and heat driven questionable decisions. Summer is so revealing as you peel off your protective layers but fall allows you to retreat and take care of what lies beneath. So, take a deep breath, inhale fall and exhale summer. Let’s apologize, let’s forgive, let’s pray to do better next time. Throw on a light sweater, your riding boots, and a cozy scarf, take a walk and get lost in the green, orange, and yellow. Think about it, learn from it, and leave it all behind as you fall bravely into fall.

Adventures to come.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Thanks for reading.

Later Y’all.

fall

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Summer Snaps

Happy Monday!

Steeplechase to Bonnaroo to Alpha Xi Delta’s Founders’ Academy to Katy Perry to Beyonce to the DCC Locker Room to University of Tampa, to Delta Delta Delta Executive Office, and an incredible amount of  additional adventures –all big–because adventure is always and should always be BIG. Take no adventure for granted. 

Summer 2014 was real good. I spent a nice amount of time outside of Nashville and it was needed. Above are just a few highlights.  One of my family members believes that no matter where I go, I have a good time. He’s 98% accurate. I have the gift of finding giggles in the mundane and belly laughs in the extraordinary. I’ve become a calmer traveler and a more go with the flow guest. There’s something about taking a minute, closing your eyes, and breathing in new air. Taking in the blessing that has allowed me to get away from it all. Getting there is more than a feat of transportation. When I travel, I’m all there and nothing about Nashville weighs down my heart or mind.

My mom doesn’t fly and we only traveled by car when I was little. I didn’t fly until I was 18 and my brother never flew until he joined the Air Force. My mom marvels at my ability to navigate the air and I know that she exhales the biggest breath in Virginia when I alert her that “I’ve arrived.” I think I go on my adventures for her just as much as  I do for me.

Our students are officially back on campus and today marks the end of quiet and all that planning for the fall. Fall is here and ’tis time to put in the best work we got.

Looking forward to making Fall 2014 just as fun.  Next stop: Seattle, WA for exploring and a BFF wedding. Follow me on Instagram to keep up @clarkkn.

Lata Y’all.

Fall, is that you?

I live my life in semesters. I have since I was 18 and will do so for the foreseeable future. Just know, that if you ask me to commit to anything it will be based on what “the kids” are doing in school. Not my biological children but other people’s children who are sent away to college and put in the hands of inside of the classroom and outside of the classroom educators that are charged with creating the ultimate collegiate experience. The object is learn. Learn what’s in the books, learn what makes you tick, and learn how to use all of that to create positive change in the world. No biggie!

goodbye fall

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Fall, is that you? The lovelies are back and August 16th is MOVE-IN DAY. Can’t wait to see all the first-year students in their brand new cowboy boots,  overstuffed cars and over the top U-Hauls with their eager, proud, and concerned parents in tow.  It’s always a fun day to watch them move into their new home. Sigh.

With all of this comes the cold, hard truth. SUMMER is CAPUT! Bye Felicia!

In an earlier entry I listed all of the things I wanted to do this summer in Nashville:

1. Drag Brunch at Suzy Wong’s House of Yum
2. The Zoo
3. Cheekwood
4. Belle Meade Plantation
5. The Peach Truck
6. Oz
7. Grand Ole Opry
8. Movie at Elmington Park
9. Full Moon Pickin’ Party–might become a fall activity?
10. Concert: Woods at Fontanel
11. 12th & Broad Events
12. Musician’s Corner
13. Movies at the Schermerhorn–West Side Story is coming this fall!
14. Belcourt to see Belle
15. Visit to the Farmer’s Market
16. Intense sits on rooftops and patios
17. Johnny Cash Museum
18. POOL! –Already had 2 days in a row 🙂

19. Apparently, we have an arena football team?

10/19 ain’t bad and I still have a few days to go plus I can make some of this stuff happen in the fall. Let’s just say that my Summer Play to-do list got a lot more action than my Summer Work to-do list. I’ll be paying for those decisions for the next couple of weeks. However, I ain’t mad at myself for choosing to do me this summer. It was a necessity.

So, how’d you do on your Summer Play to-do list? I’m a huge advocate for being a tourist in the place that you live. Why not? I’m fortunate to live in a place that I can’t possibly stay up to date on all of the new things to do but I certainly give it a full faith effort.

If you didn’t get to experience all that you wanted, how can you intentionally plan some time to continue attacking your list during the early fall months? Perhaps your friends’ schedules will be back to normal and you can arrange a group outing? I would also say that the cooler weather for many of these activities is actually going to make them more appealing like The Zoo and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.

This was a bang up summer and I haven’t even told you all of the cool things I got to do including Bonnaroo, Dallas/Fort Worth adventure, my time with Alpha Xi Delta, a trip home, National Leadership Symposium in Tampa, CONCERTS. and a killer tourist trip from my aunt.

miss summer

Summer 2014 was certainly a better fit for me than Summer 2013.  I felt like I got back to me. Being away helped me clear my head and rest some toxicity in my heart. I feel that alone would deem this season a success.

Don’t we all feel better in the summer? People are cheerful, tan (I’m always tan), just want to have a good time, and go on adventures.  During summer, we’re more likely to say, “Why not?”, “Yes.”, “Let’s make it happen.”, “Sure, I can stay longer.”, “That can wait.”  You meet a lot of people that you might never see again and you visit those people you haven’t seen in a long time. You close that laptop and put away that phone. You celebrate others and you treat yo’ self. You cross those things off your Bucket List that you’ve only allowed yourself time to complete during the summer.

So, now what? Now, I launch myself into Fall 2014. I take what I learned this summer and I hold it close to me. I cling to that sense of adventure and I intentionally work it into my fall. I don’t allow myself to get buried by the work and I always make sure that when I need to, I can extend my arm with the flag of surrender waving courageously (without shame) in the wind. When I need a break, I’ll take a break. Deal with it!

I’m clearing my plate and making some room for other delicious entrees. I’ve realized that breathing feels great and I’m going to do that more. That whole “invincible summer” thing needs to become a reality.

How are you going to keep summer alive? Don’t let all of this goodness die simply because it’s August. Do us all a favor and keep a piece of it tightly wound up in your heart. Refuse to let it go and break out your summer self when you need to.

Later Y’all.

 

 

Summer is Here!! Part 2: The Work Edition

I work at a university and fortunately, I get the summer months off from my clients aka my students. I adore them BUT we all need a break from each other and this May-August split is cherished.

My previous post was about my various Nashville/US adventures BUT I still have to work. I have A LOT of work to get done this summer before the youngsters return and invade my world in only the way they can do so.

I have a summer to-do list about as long as the Mississippi River and I have to squeeze it all in around my vacation time and general periods of that feeling I call “I don’t want to do work! Wahhh!” I can’t be the only one that suffers from that condition, correct?

every single day

It is practically June. Yes, June! Deal with it.

Here’s my next steps to success:
1. Refine the list. Currently it is on multiple sheets of paper in three different notebooks and on my computer. I have to make the list practical and manageable. What do I actually need to get done to accomplish my office’s and my goals? What can I reasonably accomplish this summer? What projects can I complete by just taking them off the list? I love that Arianna Huffington has introduced that notion into our world. Check out this video of her discussing “Thrive” with Marie Forleo. Also, just check out Marie Forleo. She’s fantastic and MarieTV is perfect lunchtime professional and personal development.

2. Prioritize my priorities. Just because it is on the list doesn’t mean it has to happen ASAP. There are things that I could push off until July or the beginning of August. A timeline will be super helpful. Deadlines are a MUST! I don’t function well without them. I can then plop all of this information on my calendar. If it’s on my calendar, there is a 97% chance that it will happen. I often print out a template calendar and write it all old school with a pen on a sheet of paper. I’ll then transfer it to my Outlook Calendar.

3. Accountability is so necessary. I will share the list and the calendar with my staff and my supervisor. They can then know what to expect of me this summer and what to hold me accountable for this season. During my 1:1 meetings with my boss, I will use this list as the agenda for our meeting. It is also important that I don’t allow him to keep refilling up my plate with things that are not essential for my or my office’s success. Exploring all options and saying “no” is powerful because if I”m not careful, my list will grow longer and longer.

4. Be okay that everything may not happen this summer and keep plugging away into the fall. If it’s important then it’ll happen. The goal is not to beat myself up but to do the most best essential work I can this summer.

To make everything happen I’m going to have to design and create time and space to focus on the projects at hand.

1. I have to step away from my desk and often my office. I have a table in my office that allows me to think in a more creative and open manner. I don’t know what it is about the table but I am able to sit and stare at my blank whiteboard and then fill it with ideas and outlines for curriculum, workshops, or speeches that I need to write. I also work really well at Starbucks. I think it’s because I feel like College Krystal and that girl was a master at getting sh*t done. No one did it better. I may also hit up the campus library. Arriving to work before everyone else and working on Sundays is also a move of mine when I have a lot to get done. Don’t worry, I’ll make up the weekend time during the week :).

2. Put time on my calendar to just be away. Close my door, leave the office, and just be creative and productive. I can’t let anyone usurp that time. It is mine! Back off! I already block off 3-4pm as Krystal, Inc. so I may just extend that time since I don’t have any student visitors during the summer.

3. I have to be okay with using time to think and not rushing through that process in order to just “do work”. I have a longing for using my creative abilities more at work and because my office was created from scratch, I have a lot of freedom to do just that.

4. Because I’ve packed my summer schedule to the brim, I’m going to have to be way more discriminating about whatever else I add to the list. Pretty sure unless it’s a weekend trip, I can’t leave town anymore than I already am at this time. Some of my weeknights might need to be spent on work. That’s the trade-off and trade-offs can’t be avoided.

What are your tips for getting things done during the summer?

Alright, so now I’m going to get off this blog and get some stuff done. Ready, set, go!

get shit done steps

Lata Y’all

Summer is Here!!!

Hey Y’all,

I’ve been quite a bum on this fine Memorial Day. My actions have been the total antithesis of the men and women for whom we celebrate on this special day. I’m the proud daughter, sister, and cousin of men who have served our country in the United States Army and the United States Air Force. I respect them greatly for their courage and sacrifice. I don’t have a relationship with my father but I will always be in awe that he served in the Vietnam War and in the Gulf War. My heart grows for him when I take that into account. I know that he’s seen a lot and done a lot to ensure that I’m able to live my life of freedom. For that, I am eternally grateful. We’ll work it out one day. I know God will see to that.

Memorial Day also marks the beginning of SUMMER! She has officially arrived.

summer1

I made a list earlier in May of all the things I want to do this summer. Ahem! Drumroll please:

1. Drag Brunch at Suzy Wong’s House of Yum
2. The Zoo
3. Cheekwood
4. Belle Meade Plantation
5. The Peach Truck
6. Oz
7. Grand Ole Opry
8. Movie at Elmington Park
9. Full Moon Pickin’ Party–might become a fall activity?
10. Concert: Woods at Fontanel
11. 12th & Broad Events
12. Musician’s Corner
13. Movies at the Schermerhorn
14. Belcourt to see Belle
15. Visit to the Farmer’s Market
16. Intense sits on rooftops and patios
17. Johnny Cash Museum
18. POOL! –Already had 2 days in a row :).
19. Apparently, we have an arena football team?!

So far, so good. I’m excited to work my way through these items. I’m sure more will be added to the list as I catch up on the happenings of Nashville. I’ll also be taking trips to VA, GA, TX, and FL. Strong maybe on DE and later in the summer I’ll be off to WA.

As for music, I’ll see Katy Perry in June and Beyonce/Jay-Z in July. There are some others shows I’d like to add to this list including Sara Bareilles and JOHNNYSWIM.

summer4

I do love the summer. It is a time to replenish. My skin looks great and my smile is bigger. People and time are more flexible. You get to see folks you haven’t seen in ages and the margaritas and my never ending collection of dresses are flowing.

I made a lot of mistakes last summer and did things that took a huge detour from my instincts. I’ve been paying for those mistakes ever since. It is now time for me to “let it go” and keep it moving. Pray for me in that endeavor. Forgiveness is hard, but it is what is commanded of me by my God.

summer2

Cheers to the summer!

Later Y’all.