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Your Pot of Gold

Hey Wendy!

How do you deal with time management and motivation? I always plan my days out based on what I have to get done, but I never accomplish anything because I get distracted or bored! Thanks!

Sincerely,

Halli P.

Dear Halli,

This is an interesting question. When someone has to get something done, I would usually tell them to make a plan, mapping out how to get from point A to point B step by step. But, you, my dear, have the plan but are having a hard time sticking to it.

You say you either get bored or distracted. I wonder, Halli, do you feel connected to what you are doing? Sometimes we have to have the why before the how. Even though my work load seems overwhelming at times, I always endeavor to plow through it because it is the work that I love. Helping people in creative ways is my calling and I get to do it every day through writing this column, making a vlog, and working on my next book.

Now I realize that not everyone gets to spend their days doing exactly what they love. But, I also believe that we all deserve to be working towards that. So what is your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? What dream are you chasing? Do you want to be your own boss, do you want to travel the world, do you want to buy a house and make it your own?

I want you to really spend some time thinking about this and when you have an answer (or a few!), I want you to post reminders of that goal all around your work space. If you are more of a left-brained person, that may just be notes that say “Trip to Spain!” or “Opening my own yoga studio.” If you are more right brained, you might want to make a vision board or pick out an inspiring song to listen to any time you need a boost. The point is, if you keep reminding yourself of the ‘why’, the how will be easier to navigate.

Once you have your dream or, in other words, your motivation in mind, try some of these tricks for how to stay focused and avoid distractions. You say that you plan out your days already. That’s great! Now take that list of tasks and prioritize them. You can do this by urgency, but I suggest doing it by complexity of the task. The reason for this is that our first hour of working is when our brain is firing at all cylinders.  The longer we’re at it, the more tired our noggin gets.  So, use that magic time to get the most creative task accomplished.

Here’s an example. Let’s say this afternoon I have to shoot out some emails, clean my desk, and write an article. Well, often I am tempted to start with the mindless task first (most likely cleaning my desk) and build up to that hard one! But, unless one of the emails is URGENT, I should really start with the article while my brain is the least tired.

Recognize that even when you get your goals in order and you have your motivation, there will be times (probably a lot more than you’d like) when you just won’t feel like working. This is called resistance and it’s natural and annoying. You just have to recognize it for what it is and push through it. The difference between a professional athlete and an amateur is the former’s ability to work and practice even when they don’t feel like it.  Setting timers for yourself and putting your phone on airplane mode can help keep you on track.

Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year. Recognize that you are only human and only have so much energy, focus, and stamina. Be realistic about what you can feasibly accomplish in a day and spread your bigger projects out over weeks or months. If you whittle your todo list down to 3 items for the day rather then the never-ending list that just rolls over and over, you’ll have a much better chance at feeling a sense of peace and accomplishment rather than stress at the end of the day. Then you can rest, rejuvenate and be ready for your 3 items tomorrow.

All in all, be kind to yourself, Halli. Remember that you are more than your todo list, more than the sum of your achievements. You are a very human person who is probably delightful in lots of human ways just trying to figure it all out. The more you can be your own cheerleader rather than your own bully, the closer you’ll get to becoming the woman you want to be.

Always yours,

Wendy

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on March 9, 2017

A Lively Night

Hey Wendybirds!

I am so excited to bring Ask Wendy back to the new K-Chron!  Sooooo excited that I spent an hour last night giving advice live from my office at the new JH Media building visible from…well, everywhere in Neverland.  The last year has been a whirlwind and it was so magical to return to the place where it all began.  Me, you and a web cam in good, old Neverland, Ohio.

Always yours,

Wendy

PS) Hope you enjoy the input from my trusty assistant as much as I did.  Remember, darlings, no matter how hard life gets, a good friend can always make it better.  (And a good laugh, too!)

 

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on March 2, 2017

Neverspeak Weekly 2/28/17

OK-Chron! Everyone in Neverland is so excited to see the new changes in the Kensington Chronicle. A pleased Sheriff Tacos was overheard saying, “I still can’t believe what they’ve done to our paper!” Well, believe it. Neverland’s favorite son, Jas Hook has taken your beloved paper and brought it into the 21st century! Soon all the world will be reading about the very important topics we cover here at the paper. Why would anyone want to create a petition called Disinfect the Chronicle to return the paper to how it used to be? Why would anyone want to do that? Beats me.

Good Bye? On February 16, Neverlandians gathered to bid farewell to one of the town’s most beloved figures. George Darling has retired – completely voluntarily – from his post as Editor in Chief at what used to the Kensington Chronicle. He happily “passed the baton” in his words to the “magnanimous” Jas Hook who attended the party along with all the other Darlings. Though some people were crying into their root beer floats, Mr. Darling was all smiles as he proclaimed, “It just so happens that today I’m starting my all cake diet.”

Ask Her. Neverland’s favorite advice vlogger, writer, and redhead will be taking your questions tonight at 10PM Eastern time. As you know, Wendy Darling has remained on the recently edited staff here at the K-Chron. You can ask her anything, anything at all. Having followed Ms. Darling’s career for years, I know she is great at coming up with answers for everything from existential crises to romantic entanglements to really awkward questions about why one’s boyfriend might take over one’s family’s company only to completely change everything about it and stomp on the first amendment.

Newerlandians. Walking around town I’ve been glimpsing some new faces here in Neverland. We’ve got a psychic in town – which is great because I’m sure we’d all like to know how long we’re going to have to put up with this crazy guy who is messing with everything we hold dear. I’m talking about President Trump, of course. Please tell us it won’t be another 4 years, Heavenly Imagine! Also Jane Mannering is manning the cashier at Skull Rock Sweets, Codamae Elizabeth is sipping tea at Straight On Till Morning, Enya Rose is hosting Dance Fitness Parties, and Sarah Lightly is annoying Tinker Bell wherever she goes.

A Family Affair.  While crabbing in the Bering Sea for the last few weeks, I discovered a latent passion for marine biology. I’ve returned to Neverland not only to work at this glorious new version of our old paper, but also to apply to grad schools. This requires lots of studying musty old books rather than studying you.  I’ve always considered Neverland to be a great big family.  A great big family full of people who love each other, watch out for each other, and know all each other’s secrets. If you guys could help me assemble this column by sharing juicy tidbits and heartwarming stories you’d like to see posted, please DM me or use the Got Hot Gossip? form on the Neverspeak Weekly Page. With your help, I can keep this column cooking along with the crabs. So. Many. Crabs.

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In true form, La La Land only won Best Picture in a fantasy moment shared between former lovers imagining wistfully what might have been.

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on March 1, 2017

ASK WENDY Excerpt 7

Have you ever been down and had someone tell you to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”? Well, unless you happen to always be wearing strappy boots…this saying doesn’t help much. Sometimes life won’t be kind my Wendigos. It’s full of break ups, rejections, tragic loss, long lines, and empty pots of coffee. Whether your problems are big or small, it can be easy to draw your curtains, curl up into a ball, and decide you’re never washing your hair again. It’s important to know how to dig yourself out of these tunnels. This comes from a certain kind of self awareness.

Do something for me. List 3 things that always make you smile…got them? I’ll bet simply picturing them in your mind made you smile a tiny bit! It’s important to know what makes us happy. For me it’s moon pies, bookstores, and an A-line dress with a great print. When I’m having a rough time I pull out one of my mood miracles and remind myself that life has downs, but they’re only in between the ups.

Of course a few little life favorites aren’t always enough. It’s important to still apply problem solving skills to whatever your facing. And if you find what your facing is simply too much, know that it’s okay to reach out and find someone to talk to.

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 16, 2015

A Nickel’s Worth of Free Advice

Stop the presses! I’ve learned that my sister Wendy Darling’s book tour begins this Saturday at Neverland Books! So I figured I’d use this week’s editorial to talk a little bit about it. In case you haven’t read any of my earlier editorials on the subject, Wendy has written a book called “Ask Wendy: Advice on Life, Love and Living,” which is being put out by the publishing division of JH Media. We’re all familiar with her storied career as advice columnist during her tenure running “Dear Darling” for the Kensington Chronicle before she moved on to bigger and better things, and this book is a must-have for anyone who enjoyed that feature! Click on over to the JH Media site to read a few excepts, in case you’d like to try before you buy. And using the form right below that, you can sign up to have free excerpts delivered right to your inbox.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier that our brief and unfounded estrangement is at an end, as I find myself in dire need of advice in the “love” category. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little guilty asking about my love life when I know hers is currently in such bitter turmoil. I gather an ill-fated double date ended with her current and former beaus coming to blows. And given that several of the players in this drama are near and dear to my heart, my brother and I have been put in the unenviable position of having to navigate this interpersonal minefield. For the record, I personally have nothing but respect for Jas Hook, and based on what I’ve seen, he has comported himself as nothing but a perfect gentleman in regards to my sister. And a part of me regrets my involvement in a recent community theatre piece that shall remain nameless; to say it amounted to little more than a thinly veiled attack on the current object of my sister’s affections would do thin veils an injustice. [I should note that this is not meant as a slight against anyone but the play’s author; the cast and crew were nothing if not consummate professionals]

But I digress. While this won’t cure all of my sister’s woes, I suspect that all we need to do to take her mind off her troubles is to make her first book signing first book signing a rousing success. To that end, I hope all of you will join me this Saturday, 8/15, at 1:30 p.m. EST at Neverland Books. For more details, feel free to reach out to John Smee, Neverland Books proprietor Bri Valdivia, Cindy Sue, Constance Moriarty or any of the store’s other amazing employees.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on August 13, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 8/11/15

Neverspear In Love. This is why we love being Neverlandians! Everyone in town turned out to support Peter Pan in his artistic pursuit this past Thursday. Auditions took place on Wednesday, and with only a day’s notice actors took the stage the next night. John Darling, Michael Darling, G. Harrison Lestrade, Teresa Delacruz and Rowan O’Connor joined the cast along with Mr. Pan while Elsa Fairy, Lorelie Williams, Fish Girl Pond and yours truly helped bring the production together. Everyone celebrated a job well done with a toast at the Jolly Roger after the show.

Book It! In case you haven’t heard, Neverland’s own Wendy Darling is starting her book tour here in town at Neverland Books this Saturday at 1:30PM EST. So grab some brunch and come get in line for your very own signed copy of her book Ask Wendy! Advice on Life, Love & Living. If you can’t wait until Saturday, check out excerpts from the book at jhmediaworld.com.

Horse Play. Apparently, horses are the new black. This week saw two surprising horse cameos. After Mia decided to stay in Neverland, we all thought things had calmed down for the book store maven. That is until Eli Traynor rode up to her front door on a noble steed and made the maven into a maiden. In Panlet, the Ghost of Pancules played by G. Harrison Lestrade rode in on a horse as well. This mount was provided by Lorelie Williams who generously stayed behind to help shovel manure after the show.

Partners in Crime. It seems an unlikely duo has formed in the fight against crime. Barely a week into taking the position of Deputy Sheriff of Neverland, G. Harrison Lestrade has unofficially teamed up with Cleveland-based Slayer Teresa Delacruz to take on the forces of evil. Mr. Lestrade has been making quick work of the petty criminals in town, but has turned to the supernatural expertise of Ms. Delacruz when things skew to the spooky. Rumor has it the Neverland County Sheriff Office may be opening a paranormal investigation unit.

Engaging Affairs. Sarah Jane-Lakewood has announced that her engagement party will be taking place on August 28th. If trends continue it should be quite the romantic affair. As the summer is drawing to a close, it seems almost everyone in Neverland has paired off. First of all, I would like to assure all of those as single as me that those couples can’t sing “Single Ladies”. Second of all, I would really like to collect a comprehensive list of couple nicknames…Go!

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on August 12, 2015

ASK WENDY – Excerpt 6

“We accept the love we think we deserve” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The best advice I can give when people ask how to find love is to look inside. It doesn’t matter if your profile is 99% compatible, or if you spot them reading your favorite book while drinking your favorite tea. It doesn’t matter if the stars aligned and everything is perfect! If you don’t love yourself, your heart isn’t available to anyone. And your heart knows when you’re faking it. It can sense if you’re thinking “Fine. I’ll love myself just long enough to get a boyfriend, then it’s back to criticizing and self hate.”

If you’re seeking a romantic relationship because you think someone else’s love is going to replace what you deny yourself, you, my sweet friends, are in for a painful ride.

Imagine your heart is a baby kitten. What would happen if you waited for someone else to come along and give it food? Your heart-kitten might starve before you even find a partner! Not to mention, if your boyfriend or girlfriend realizes they’re the only one taking care of it, they could get tired of seeing the neglect and it might make them want to give up.

So before you can even think about getting into relationships with others, you need to start with a good relationship with you and your heart-kitten. Or heart-puppy if you happen to be allergic.

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on August 9, 2015

ASK WENDY – Introduction – Excerpt 1

Hello Wendigos,

First off, I’d just like to thank you for buying this book. A lot of sweat, tears, and coffee went into it (seriously, I spilled coffee on my laptop like six times and every time I hit the spacebar it smells like a StarShucks is on fire.).

What will you find in this book, you ask? Well, hopefully some laughter, some inspiration, and most importantly some advice. Now, what makes me qualified to give advice? Simple, I make mistakes…lots and lots and lots of mistakes…and through those mistakes I cry, I get angry, I get depressed, I get knowledge. Knowledge I hope can either help you avoid the same pitfalls, or at least let you know that you aren’t alone when in them.

I learned a lot about myself writing this book. There were times where things poured out of me I didn’t know were even there…some were joyful like finding a twenty in an old coat pocket…others were more like finding a bruise on your leg that you have no idea where it came from. I found there were a lot of wounds I thought had healed that were still open, and many old demons hiding behind painting of flowers I’d hung up in my memories.

That may all sound like bad things, but let me tell you something, having finished this book I’ve never felt lighter in my whole life. So here is my first piece of advice, Wendigos, WRITE. You don’t have to be a writer or ever have any intention of putting what you write out into the world, but there is something so freeing about taking what’s inside and putting it on paper. Let the page hold your pain, remind you of your joy, and leave room inside your heart for new and wonderful.

So that’s my first piece of advice…first of many, but before you turn the page I just want to say it one more time…Thank You.

Gratefully yours,
Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on July 1, 2015

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