how to make a life pivot

How to Pivot Like You Mean It

I know everyone doesn’t love the show “Friends” like I do, but stay with me as I bring up a classic episode that I swear does relate to the topic I’m about to get into. Some of you are already chuckling, it’s the “pivot” couch episode.

Instead of paying to have his couch delivered by the professionals, Ross decides he will deliver the couch himself—up several flights of stairs in a Manhattan apartment building.

He convinces Rachel and Chandler to help him and they hate him every minute of carrying that 300-pound couch together. As the trio attempts to squeeze the couch through the narrow stairwell, Ross’ iconic “pivot” screaming moment happens. The couch eventually makes it to the apartment…only after being sawed in half.

You have been warned: A pivot comes in many forms and it’s best not to wing it.

Many of you reading this are bloggers and authors. Perhaps you want to change your blog focus entirely because you aren’t really passionate about the subject matter you initially chose, or you’re a fiction author who wants to transition into non-fiction because fiction isn’t as fulfilling and/or fruitful as it once was.

For others, you might be looking for ways to create or diversify revenue streams.

And yet another group has been forced to pivot because of the times we live in. Whatever you were doing before took a direct hit from COVID, your livelihood was jeopardized, and you need to figure some shit out to survive.

I’ve pivoted a time or two and I know many others who have done so successfully. Here are some things I’ve learned from myself and others about how to pivot on purpose—even if you had absolutely no intention of making a pivot at all.

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protect your attention

Your Attention is Your Most Precious Commodity

All of us are knee-deep in the Information Age. We must figure out how to manage and consume information that travels at the speed of light. Our attention is in high demand.

I don’t know about you, but I always thought it was time—that time was our most precious commodity. That’s almost it, but not quite.

When we are distracted, our attention wavers. Being distracted not only takes time away from us, but it also takes energy away from us. Refocusing after just one interruption can take up to 23 minutes. This fight for our attention seriously adds up.

You start to see just how precious your attention is. And you’re possibly arriving at the same conclusion as me…I need to be better about protecting my attention.

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i can't do it

Yep, Still Choosing to Be a Life Enthusiast

Well, shit. Here we all were just trying to have an unobtrusive start to the new year, but that didn’t exactly pan out. I’m not going to get into what happened at the U.S. Capitol this week, because you’ve heard enough about it already. And, if you want to hear more? Don’t worry, the media’s on it.

My initial plan for this post was to focus on this week’s episode of Love Your Enthusiasm as I thought all of you that follow my blog would really dig this one.

I kicked off the year with something totally different—a host takeover, where my longtime friend and fabulous author Victoria Dougherty hosted my podcast and interviewed me about being a life enthusiast. Being that so many of you are writers, what’s better than two authors yapping about creativity and zeal for an hour?

Once again, the timing of sharing this particular episode about life enthusiasm wasn’t great…story of my life with my entire podcast. The episode released right before the U.S. Capitol riot/siege/attack happened. (No idea what to even call this.)

As expected, many listened to the show then downloads swiftly dropped off after the news hit. Since I started Love Your Enthusiasm last June, don’t think I haven’t considered the absurdity of feeling enthusiastic while riding this never-ending rollercoaster of WTF.

Continue reading “Yep, Still Choosing to Be a Life Enthusiast”

goodbye 2020

Just One More Thing Before This Epic Year Ends

I don’t know about you, but I rolled up into 2020 with a swagger and a smile, thinking…this is going to be an epic year. Back then my definition of “epic” was filled with nothing but good intentions. You could even call it childlike giddiness and innocence.

I never knew I would move away from Portland without having a chance to say goodbye to a single soul after living there for six years.

I felt like I was skipping town after botching a bank robbery. Except that when I skipped town, the world was cloaked in silence and isolation. We drove through snowy mountain passes, spotless highways, and empty hotel parking lots in a moving van…just us and the cats in a strange new world.

bozeman snow on the road

I never knew I would learn how to do ballet with a mask. But here I am, pirouettes and all. Before 2020 I would have thought I was about to be robbed on the sidewalk when a masked hooded person approached me. Now harmless people are picking up dog poop, looking like assassins, ninjas, and gangsters.

I never know I would become closer than ever to my home and to my husband. But, that happened too.

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beaches in bali

Touched by an Indonesian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina

Jungle insects whispered and the air conditioner whirred, but otherwise, the air was thick with humidity and silence in our Balinese bungalow. Some disturbance had jolted me out of bed, an odd feeling since I had slept like a stone up until that night. I realized that disturbing energy was radiating from my phone. I saw the crack of light from my phone screen on the nightstand, glowing with news I knew I didn’t want to hear.

I was tucked away in a picturesque rice field just outside of Ubud—the only chaos that happened here was early morning rooster noises. I swiped my phone from the nightstand and squinted at the numerous missed calls, texts, and Facebook messages from my family.

My mom’s voice was angry and shaky in her voicemail: “Now would be a really good time to talk to me!”

It was 2am, two days before Christmas, two years ago..and we were two weeks into our three-week trip in Bali. The night before, on December 22, 2018, part of the Anak Krakatau volcano collapsed into the sea in Indonesia, generating a tsunami that swept over the coastlines of southeastern Sumatra and western Java.

Continue reading “Touched by an Indonesian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina”