My Brave Moment: Skydiving!

Sue Sky Diving
I did it! I jumped out of a plane!

On Saturday, I went skydiving. I actually jumped out of a plane at 13,500 feet and made it safely to the ground! Since I am not a dare devil (pretty obvious given that my hobbies are reading and quilting), this was totally out of character and a huge surprise for family and friends. My teenage son went with me and was shocked that I made it out of the plane. But I did!

The actual jump takes less than 5 minutes. However it was a huge emotional step. It was a moment of being fearless and taking a leap into the unknown. It’s almost a week later, and I am still grinning knowing that I had the courage to jump out of a moving plane.

My friend Gillian, who went skydiving more than 20 years ago, said the experience was a pivotal point in her life. When she gets stressed or afraid, she remembers skydiving, and reminds herself that she can do anything. I think that will be true for me, as well, in the future.

Today, write about a time when you were exceedingly brave. Then share how it changed (or didn’t change) your life.

Blog About Your Secret Life

Top Secret StampI’m always amazed to learn more about people’s interests. I’ve known a teacher who was an avid motorcyclist, a physician who worked in the family fireworks business, and a (male) accountant who did amazing needlework. Many people have unusual hobbies and interests — it’s just a matter of learning a little more about them.

People are often surprised to discover I’m a passionate quilter. They vaguely recall quilting as being something their grandmother did, but they have no idea it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that appeals to both men and women of all ages. They are shocked to learn that the American quilt industry includes two national trade shows, plus dozens of national and regional shows and exhibitions.

So what don’t people know about you? Are you a marathon runner? Cancer survivor? Animal shelter volunteer? Take a chance and blog about a piece of your life that may surprise your readers.


Comment on current events

Breaking NewsThe daily news provides great inspiration for bloggers. The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting case is a good example of a current event that evokes strong emotions within the blogging community (and the rest of America). But does that mean we should blog about it?

I think every blogger needs to decide if their blog should contain political and/or religious content. Clearly a political writer or a Christian pro-lifer have made the decision to include controversial topics in their blogs. Others — myself included — try to avoid dealing with inflammatory topics. Either choice is perfectly fine, but I believe you need to be consistent when writing content. For instance, it would be out of character for me to start analyzing the stock market or covering new medical discoveries, as my topics are related to personal experiences and social media. Changing focus may cause you to lose readers.

Thankfully, the daily news provides lots of great ideas for non-controversial content. The recent birth of Queen Elizabeth’s new grandson can inspire a post about the new baby in your family. The heat wave in New England is a fabulous reason to share some “stay cool” ideas or recipes. And an increase in the employment rate could spark a post about your first summer or full-time job. Today, use something in the news as inspiration for your post.

Is Workplace Fun Overrated?

beach partyI just finished an excellent business book called Brand Against the Machine. It’s an incredibly informative read about setting your business apart from your competition.

While I mostly agreed with the author , I disagreed with his statement that all businesses should be fun. I believe his goal is to have all of us be like Zappos, where both customers and employees experience a playland-type environment that includes video games and whipped cream fights.

I think that is a great goal for some businesses. There’s no argument that we could all use a little more fun in our lives. For example, I love traveling on Southwest Airlines, because the flight attendants take a light-hearted look at air travel.  But do I want my local funeral director to be wearing clown shoes? My tax attorney to be telling knock-knock jokes? Or the person performing my colonoscopy to be grinning while I’m being put under anesthesia? Nope.

I want to feel valued and protected. I want to feel that the person in charge acknowledges what is going on in my life and treats me with the appropriate amount of compassion. And, because I’m an introvert, I don’t like to be forced into situations where I get embarrassed.

When I’m working with people, it’s not always fun. Some of my clients have a lot of painful emotions around writing. Others struggle to have their voice be heard in an overcrowded marketplace. Sometimes we laugh, but other times things get very serious and very emotional. That’s okay.  I feel that it’s much more important to create a respectful, safe environment than to make clients feel like they’ve had a day at the theme park.

There’s a time and a place for all of our emotions. Just like there’s a time and place to have fun. But it’s not always at work.