The Golden Rule

13 10 2013

I would not have been able to imagine a few years ago that I would have hundreds of “friends” that I don’t really know. Social media has changed and connected the world in unimaginable ways. But the same basics of friendship are the same whether you’re in real life or in the online world.

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I’ve had lots of sharing between friends IRL and online this week. Two stories I’ve recently written have involved real-life friendships that go back decades and I’ve shared those stories with my virtual friends. My story of reinvention was my way of celebrating a dear friendship as it moves into a new chapter.  I hold this friendship and our story sacred and it was important for me to tell it. I’m grateful it has been life affirming for those who read it.

I wrote an open letter to another old friend this week. He is my congressman in Washington DC and we differ politically. I’ve known him for years and believe him to be a good man. I held that memory of the boy I’ve known since we were barely teens when I wrote the letter. I’ve stayed away from writing anything political because we all know that the conversation can get ugly fast and end friendships. I am not friends with people IRL or online who spew vitriol.

Not all agreed my position in my open letter, but the conversation stayed respectful and civil. Friends should be OK when they disagree with each other. We should know that differing opinions could be expressed, if spoken kindly. Friends don’t have to always agree with each other, but they do have to respect each other. I’m grateful that I have friends who have different opinions. How boring the world would be if we were all alike.

I have been part of a wonderful group of midlife women bloggers for most of this year. I call myself a writer these days because of the encouragement I’ve found in this online group. I traveled to Chicago for the BlogHer conference this summer because of the strong connection I felt to these fabulous women. I learned that odds were if you connected with someone online, a friendship IRL is easily formed. This week the three creators of that online group publically split.

We all have known a couple that looks like they have a rock-solid relationship, one admired or even envied. What a shock it is when this couple splits up. This splitting of this business partnership felt like that divorce.

I am saddened by this business split and fortunately I don’t have to take sides. Different people have different truths. Relationships shift and change over time. Friendships come and go, because we grow and evolve differently. I’m grateful for the old and the new friendships in my life. I’m even grateful for those I’m no longer friends with because I’ve learned something from everyone.

The timeless Golden Rule still applies IRL and in social media world, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.“ Here’s my virtual toast to you all, “To my friends, be kind to each other.” Now I’ll have a glass of wine IRL.





Salut! It’s My One-Year Blogging Anniversary.

6 07 2013

Salut

This month marks one year of blogging! WOO HOO! It has been an amazing year and this little blog ‘o mine has taken me to unexpected places. I started it because I needed to have my creative voice out there. A few months into blogging, I stumbled upon this fabulous group of women at Generation Fabulous. They were remarkably supportive of one another and read my blog and even commented on it. Then GenFab bloghops were in the freakin’ Huffington Post and there I was!  This led to writing for another group, Better After 50 and more amazing writers. GenFab has grown in just the few months since I joined and  now has a website featuring the powerful voices of midlife. I was a featured blogger and had a video interview with Chloe Jeffreys for her feature Coffee with Chloe. I still am surprised when I look back on this past year and see where My Creative Journey has taken me.

Another surprise is that I didn’t expect that each post I’ve written would become a blog child. I must admit while I love all my blog children I do have favorites. So in honor of my one-year anniversary I’m going to tell the world my favorites and why.

These are what I consider my 3 best posts:

the jump

Taking the Leap
This is about my attempt to become fearless.

Me and my sweetie, Steve

Soul Mates and Angels
Even though I wrote this, I can still tear up when I read it. It’s me and Steve’s love story.

Full view w detail

If You Give Connie a Glass of Wine
This chronicles the birth of my business, Greenview Designs in that meandering way that is my creatve processs. It’s written in the style of, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a book I loved reading to my daughter when she was little.

These are about where I live:

katrina-08-28-2005

Bread, Batteries and Booze
Big shoutout to my buddy Juan Simoneux who posted it on at The Cajun American.  It’s because of his fans that this remains my most viewed post ever. It’s about living in hurricane country.

Flyin Alligator waterfront lounge

Luzianna Friday Nite
I love where I live. OK, I don’t love hurricanes (see above).

These are about my family:

  My mom dresses just like the Cosmo Girl.

Wild Woman
This is about my Mother. You’ll need to read the post to understand why that’s all I can say about this one. 

My Mom and me, 1961

The Sandwich Generation  
What make The Wild Woman story so special to me is where my Mom came from. This post tells that story.

letter

Large and Purple
My Dad, Lloyd McLeod, was a local character and a really great father.

My first apartment

Argo, the Ayatollah, Eudora Welty and First Apartments
Connections I share with my daughter.

These were unexpectedly popular:

mcleodyardwork

Timeless Tips From a Fashionista
This was inspired by the GenFab bloghop on epic fashion fails and it also made the Huffington Post. It proves I don’t care about embarrassing myself if it makes a good story.

Teresa from the Housewives of New Jersey flipping a table screaming Prostitution Whore!

My Guilty Pleasure
I was a little surprised how many other people admitted to the same guilty pleasure. Ssssshhh, it’s our little secret.

Sometime in the last year I heard about this amazing blogging conference called BlogHer. So I will be flying off to Chicago soon and rooming with a new friend from GenFab. I could never have imagined this a year ago. I’m sure a blog child will be birthed from this adventure. Time will tell if it’ll become a favorite.

Thanks to all who have read and supported me in the past year.

If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. My posts will then arrive in your email and I promise no spam.

I’m proud to be a GenFab blogger!





The Places I’ll Go

12 01 2013

dr-seuss

It’s time to turn a new page. That’s my thought as I write the last page of my journal.  I get a little reflective as I end something and start something new. Next week I’m facilitating my first group through the Art’s Council on The Artist Way at Work, based on a book that has been important to my journey. While reflecting on the past and the present, I look forward to where this journey is taking me.

My Creative Journey

Five years ago my then new boss told me I wouldn’t make another round of budget cuts and I should consider a job in sales. She saw me as a dinosaur. I was criticized for being a bad proofer. I’m a graphic designer, didn’t she know designers just look at words, we don’t read them?!

This led me to say YES to being on the Board of my professional club, the American Advertising Federation-Baton Rouge (AAF-BR).

I read the Artist’s Way for a second time.

This made me realize that while I still love design, when I started it wasn’t so solitary. I could now go all day sitting in front of a computer with no human interaction. I hate this. I’m an extrovert. I must talk to people in order to know what I’m thinking.

I make a decision to get over my fear of public speaking. I put myself in positions of HAVING to talk in front of people.

youer than you

That new boss quits and moves away. I become President of AAF-BR. Every email I send out as president has a typo in it and I still win District President of the Year.

I start giving workshops on Creativity and Innovation outside of my day job.

I started a side business, Greenview Designs. I designed my own logo and business card. I gave myself the title Creativity Coach.

Be who you say

I started this blog, My Creative Journey, so my creative  voice can be heard.

In the middle of the night, I stumble upon a bloghop by this group of midlife women bloggers called GenFab (Generation Fabulous).

weirdness

I become part of the FABULOUS GenFab blogger/writer tribe—a group of supportive, creative women who are changing how the world looks at midlife. (They don’t kick me out because of my typos.)

My blog makes it into a GenFab bloghop and I’m in Huffington freakin’ Post.

I make plans to attend BlogHer this summer in Chicago.

This week, I will lead a group based on the book The Artist’s Way at Work. It’s how to nurture the creative spirit within you.

today is your day

The thing about journeys is that they take you to unexpected places. I’ll keep telling you about my unexpected twists, turns and falls. Feel free to let me know yours. Oh, the places we’ll go!

You just have to click the follow button to enjoy “My Creative Journey”.