My Irish Tangerine

I’m supposed to blog about green,
good luck or March seventeen;
but it’s nice out today
and I wanna go play…
So here’s a lil’ Irish tangerine.


As for any other thoughts on luck and green and St. Patrick’s day..

have a grand one… all of them!

Do you have a Limerick you’d care to share for the day?

Pay yourself first

With so many tasks to complete and so many ideas I want to start, it’s often difficult to point out to myself which tasks are directly related to my paycheck. It seems everything I spend time on will have an impact or has a potential for an impact. However, when I really break it down, only a few are immediately associated with the stream of actual tangible income.

pay yourself first panda by jgoode

Really, is the topic today about financial issues and earning incoming?
No, not for me.

In times like these, where money is tighter and sales aren’t necessarily growing, it is indeed important to focus on where the money is coming from – do the tasks that will result in the best (not necessarily largest or fastest) return. However, for me the emotional bank account is what seems to be taking the greatest hit.

I am finding that the more people I worry about and the more tasks I assign myself, the less I’m taking care of myself. Really, we’re supposed to take care of ourselves first, right? How is that possible when we have kids and spouses and extended family and friends and associates and colleagues and even the new unknown people we are trying to connect with… all around us… all the time? The answer isn’t “take some alone time” nor is it “shorten your list”, all of these people and things I do are my inspiration and my brainfood – they are truly my happiness.

You are my happiness.

sad panda by jgoode

Yet there are days I feel like the one alone in the middle of the crowd.
Why is that? Well, I have a theory…

All of these people I surround myself have their own set of needs and tasks and others they too need to take care of. I can ask for assistance or recognition or whatever I need, all day long, but I am the only one that is capable of knowing what I need at any given moment. If I am spending all my time worrying about what everyone else needs, I’m not listening to myself — so how can I expect anyone else to?

I’m not sure either, but I do it anyway.

I rely on others, especially family, to listen, pay attention and offer what I need to feel important in the circle. When they don’t – from my perspective – come through, I feel let down and then disappointed or forgotten.. and usually unimportant which then turns into a feeling of wondering if they really love me anyway. How draining. So how do I fix this? I’m not quite sure. My instinct says if I do for me first, I’m being selfish, but my gut says if I don’t do for me first… who will? I think the right answer is, its a fine balance and we should be able to expect from others, but on their terms, not ours.

This is not an easy concept for me to accept.

I’ve said for years, when you love someone, you need to love them how they need it, not how you think they need it. Yet, I need to learn to take care of myself with what I know I need yet also learn to accept what I receive is the gesture I am looking for, just not in the packaging I expected. I think in reality there is a middle ground – we need to love others as they need it, yet we need to appreciate the love as we are given as well – give them the same value.

hugging panda by jgoodeWhere is this middle ground and how do you find your own comfort sitting there? I don’t have an answer for that either.

So for today, I’ll just work on paying myself first –

Patience, my missing virtue

A virtue, according to the dictionary is, a good or admirable quality or property or conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles. So “patience is a virtue” would mean that I’m conforming to patience being a part of my daily life. Or maybe I could be admired for having such a grand quality as patience.


Don’t worry, I am not patient, you don’t have to admire me today and I’ve never been one to conform to much of anything for very long. “Conforming” reminds me of the plastic vacuum mold making I did in 7th grade techarts class. Patience, however, is one of my never-ending battles. Some days I can hold my composure and be calm and understanding, yet my family will laugh and remind the world that more times than not I fly off the handle at the smallest irritants. I know I’m capable of patiently seeing the whole picture, but sometimes an innocent comment just hits me the wrong way. I don’t mean to be so short fused. This is one attribute I’d love to say I have more of – I’m even willing to conform. Patience, for me really is a missing virtue.


So what is it about patience that is so difficult for so many?

I think “patience” can be applied to some facets of our lives while not to others. I am more than capable of sitting for hours creating something, patiently waiting for “paint to dry”. I’m so patient with time frames for things that I tend to be late 75% of the time. Yet, when it comes to communication or waiting for others to do their part in a group effort… I’m not so patient.

What do you think is the magic that allows some to endure and be calm? What does it really mean to learn patience… I mean really, how does it all work?


I challenge you to a bigger patience goal:
I will try and remember to stop and breath a minute more before I react. Let’s see how our list of virtues look in a month or so…

Never know who you'll meet

I tend to meet people everywhere I go. Whether it’s introductions by friends or just starting conversations with the person sitting next to me on the plane. I like people and I like meeting new people, and although there have been times in my life I’ve been more of a recluse and shy, I always enjoy the people around me.

Over the years I’ve learned, you never know who you’ll meet and there’s no telling when or where those meetings will occur. Who you are, how you present yourself, in every facet of your life determines many of the variables involved with these opportunities

Example 1

I am actively involved with a huge community of online marketers and entrepreneurs. I didn’t, however, discover these people all on my own. About 3.5 years ago, a woman posted a message on a mailing list I was subscribed to. She was asking for programming help for a project she wanted to start. I wasn’t looking for work, nor had I spoken with this woman before. I let curiosity get the best of me, the project sounded intriguing and like something I could easily help with. So, I responded and it went from there. Since then, we have become fantastic friends. She’s introduced me to an entire world I didn’t know existed.


We never did work on that programming project.

Example 2

A few summers ago I went to a lunch meeting with a group of people I had never met. I wanted to start mingling with internet professionals closer to home and this group was just people I was looking for. I found out about the group from a friend that lives down in Florida, yet knows the man here in Colorado. While at this meeting we all introduced ourselves, said a little about who we were and what we did. I said my piece and listened as the conversation moved around the “circle”. When the introductions reached a woman who had stopped in for lunch on her way home to Arkansas, she looked right at me and announced how much she loved my work and she had been following my progress for quite a while. I was speechless and over joyed!


My favorite and most unexpected example story…

Over the years I have supported Breast Cancer fund raising in a variety of ways. I’ve sponsored various people involved in BCA walks or donated to different organizations to help support the cause. A few years ago I heard of two women who were walking – I knew of both of them, yet didn’t know either well. Because of my knowledge of who they were and what they did I got involved to support. Then just this last year, I asked if they were walking again and could I join the effort. The team grew to about 12 men and women, most of whom I didn’t know at all previously. Since that experience I have gained so many more fabulous friends.


I also met a family on my flight to the event that lives just an hour from me (the walk was in Seattle, I’m outside of Denver) – the husband was walking for his wife and the children were traveling along so they could all experience the event together. We’ve been building a friendship through facebook ever since. I hope to support them on their efforts to walk this year in Colorado.

More example snippets of people we meet

I’ve connected with people via Twitter – introductions that seemed to start out of thin air, yet I’ve gained new friends and colleagues from mini lines of communication. I’ve run across names I haven’t heard in a decade to find we have kids of the same age and our lives have followed a similar path. No idea we would have so much in common as life progressed. I’ve made connections in two directions only to find out that both sides know one person in the middle.. talk about full circle relationships.

I could write all day with examples I’d love to share. People I’ve met and become friends with through the most unexpected circumstances.

The idea that these examples all have in common

The opportunity for a new connections can happen anywhere, at any time, for any reason. Many times not related to what you are really doing. You will never know what you’ve said or done that inspires someone to speak (or not to speak) with you. How friendly do you appear to others? Do you intimidate or invite? How open are you to something new, someone different and the unexpected connection?

For me, I am the same person right here on paper as I am if we met in the grocery store or crossed paths at a conference. Part of that is my inability to stay organized enough to have different personas. But really, for me, what it comes down to is… I am just me and that’s the best I can be.


If you want to connect with me, leave a comment below, follow me on twitter, or say hello on facebook. I’m always around and delighted have a happy hello thrown at me!

I don't wanna grow up!

I’m a Toys R Us kid…happy-nut wait, no, I didn’t mean to sound like a plug for toys. But if I didn’t put that down on paper, it would be stuck in my head for days. If you aren’t familiar with the tune, this post might not make any sense to you either.

One of the added benefits of having children is the ability to use them as a scapegoat for all the things we do that are childish. I recently bought the sparkly pink plastic dress-up high heels I’ve always wanted, because my daughter needs to stop playing with my shoes. Every Christmas for the past 13 years I’ve made a point to purchase some cool lego set because my kids really need to work on their hand eye coordination and problem solving skills. At my daughter’s first birthday, I was more excited about the obnoxiously loud bubble making machine than all the kids combined – my mother, in turn, borrowed the machine only to make it even better by adding pineapple scented bubbles. Yay for the luau of happiness!

Do I need the excuse to behave this way? Probably not. Just seems to prevent a lot of looks and stares and snickers – people give you slack for how you behave if there are associated kids in the room – or at least a mention of them at the time.

daves-legSO, what’s the excuse for all these adults that behave like complete bafoons when there isn’t a child in sight for miles? They don’t have one. Some are just pretending to be idiots. I think that’s fabulous! (Sometimes.) Of course, it is important to note that behaving like a kid can have consequences. Sometimes our physical abilities don’t play nice with our mental state… unfortunate, but true when dealing with the laws of aging.

I think “growing up” is entirely over-rated. Peter Pan had it all right. When adults realize they are adults and they take on their adult duties, they go through this weird transformation that enables them to forget or look past all the whimsical fun kids enjoy just because they aren’t of grown up age. Grown ups also have a bizarre ability to see past the raw truth and formulate story lines, and formulate polite-nesses that really come out as point blank untruths. I don’t understand why we, as adults, need to over complicate so much. To avoid hurting a feeling or looking dumb? We hurt feelings regardless and I know I look dumb more times than I would like. Kids are capable of laughing it off and then sticking the crayon up their nose a second time. Adults should be too (maybe leave the crayon out, literally).


This is an old photo, make fun if you must. Please take note of the different tongue sticking comfort levels.

I think it’s ok to continue with that breathing in of daily happiness. I also think that growing up is a matter of age and experience which equates to maturity only in the sense that intelligent (hopefully) decisions are made. Growing up does not require a boredom factor or a dullness mode. Adulthood should not mean putting the rollskates out in the trash and replacing them with blister madness heels and our convincing ourselves the fuzzy pink slippers are not out favorites. There is no handbook that says “once you pass 25 you are no longer allowed to skip down the street”.

I think some people actually think they’ve grown up, when really they’ve grown dull and stressed. However, if you can find that favorite little memory, burried deep within their heads, just about everyone will go skipping down memory lane with a giggle, even if only for a moment. Here’s an example… my family (mom, sister, etc.) have always included stockings for the adults as part of our Christmas festivities. They’re fun bags of mini goodies we all enjoy. So the first year we spent with my husband’s family I brought this tradition along and came equipped with stocking fun for all the adults. Turns out, his grandmother had never once received a stocking… not even as a child. Watching her open her bag of little lotions and candies and nicknacks was as much fun as watching the kids open theirs. There was a twinkle you don’t see in every day activities.

It’s in there. It’s in all of us, every day. We just don’t always give ourselves an opportunity to let the twinkle show.


Try this.. the next time you’re stuck in an elevator, somewhat quietly, but loud enough to be heard sing… “old Mcdonald had a farm…”, stop right there. Chances are, someone, will look at you and grin; Not because they think you’re crazy (if you just sang you probably are crazy anyway, right?), but because they had to catch themselves from saying “e i e i OH!”.

– side note: In case you are unclear about my true mental age level.. have you stopped to look at JGoode Designs … ever?

I'm a Hypocrite, are you?

I regularly have people comment to me along the lines that they are impressed with how organized and continually productive I am, or how sweet, upbeat and happy I always seem to be.

It’s not true. I must have a body double somewhere. I collect more than my fair share of stuff and junk and more stuff… both tangible and digital. It may all be organized in my head, but so are a ton of lost thoughts and day dreams. I try to be happy and productive and a darn nice gal, yet I find some days I just can’t do it.  I find it interesting that I’m may be told I inspire others to do more or how to be happier, yet I can be a giant pain in the rear and rather grumpy… for no specially defined reason. I shout out that people need to be kind and giving yet I have moments of complete selfishness and my kids will tell you I yell… a lot.

So does this make me a hypocrit, a liar, a poser? Does this make me fake for what I appear to represent?

Sometimes I feel like it does. Sometimes I think, “how can I possibly accept compliments from those that don’t see who I really am?”.

Then when I stop, like today, to think about it… I realize, It’s ok. At least I am willing to admit these faults, right? I’m not saying I expect mysef to be perfect. However, if I go around with the intent of “inspiring smiles every day”, shouldn’t I, too, be smiling?


There is no humanly possible way to be wonderful 100% of the time. I doubt Mother Theresa never had a bad moment. It happens. What we do with those bad moments is probably where the dividing line is. I for one am still in training as far as learning what to do with myself and my actions when the world around me creates what seems like chaos. Sometimes the moment is so overwhelming, it feels like there is no way out. Do I then grab a smiley cupcake and go skipping on my way? Heck no! But every day, I try to overcome the frustrating pulls and pushes – some days I win and some days I should be put in timeout myself.

I’m not proud of myself when my 5 year old behaves better than I do. I am not happy when I’ve just yelled at my husband. I can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed being grumpy nor have I noted that complaining ever helped me. This is why my smiley side tends to come shining through… to help counter the gloom. Sometimes, my worse days result in my niceness doodles. If I am having a rotten day, making myself refocus on something positive helps really does help re-establish my thinking process for the day.

You should try it. The next time you are having a horrible rotten, no good day… grab a big fat marker and draw the cutest thing you can think of. If you aren’t an illustrator, the silliness of your attempted masterpiece might just turn your moment around.

raspberryMy point being today… just be who you are  and try your hardest at being a darn good you. You can’t be perfect all the time but if you are trying to be what you say you believe in, that’s a step in the right direction.

Searching for Clarity

I have spent the last 5 days in Las Vegas at a conference for performance marketing. I have been attending this conference on and off since early 2006, and yet when asked the what I do, I still don’t have a clear answer. Why? Because I personally hit work the industry from two angles. I enjoy both sides of the playing field. I enjoy both aspects and roles of this facinating arena. Yet, this time around I have realized where my passion lies… where it’s always been… in the skills I myself offer.

I haven’t recieved any magnificent revelation nor insight. Yet I now, at this very moment, feel like I actually know which direction means the most to me. This clarity in understanding which path I want to take will definitely lead to more unknowns I am sure, but for today, it’s very encouraging to know that I finally have yet another piece in the big picture of “what I want to be when I grow up”.


What this personal understanding will leave to, I haven’t the slightest idea. It’s merely a nice refreshing thought to be able to look back and say – I know when the light bulb went on.

I encourage you to take a moment and discover something new about your own goals and dreams. Are you moving in the direction you really know you want to go?

Happiness is a Matter of Perspective

There are as many ways to feel happy as there are photos to show happiness.

Everyone has their own set of needs and requirements to feel whole, to feel special, to be happy. How much do we really pay attention to how others need to feel happiness, before we try to make them happy?

Not everyone needs the same things or the same approaches to really feel important. Some need to be surrounded by happiness while others are their own happiness. Little do many of us realize, sometimes those overly sunshiney faces, you know, the ones that appear to be happy all the time… aren’t. And the grumps in the world aren’t grumpy at all, they just don’t have a need to grin at our every comment.

What happens when we stop to think about all of this in how we show others we care or we think we’re making others happy? I was reminded this holiday season that what I need, to know someone cares, and how I show someone I care isn’t always what they do for me or need from me.


Confused yet?

It isn’t easy to see all the variables… that is what I realized. But the sooner we realize our needs and our own giving don’t have to match our receiving and our sharing, the sooner we can get on with appreciating and maybe giving what is needed.

Let me explain…

What you need to feel special or happy and how you think you need to tell/show someone else that they are special, is not necessarily the same things others will do for you or need to hear/see from you.


Example, those flowers the guy brings to his girlfriend every time he sees her, really are a sweet gesture. Little does  he know, she just prefers a hug or a little note. Or worse, shes allergic. They haven’t talked about it – he wants to show he cares and she wants to show she’s appreciative regardless.

Happiness is a matter of perspective.

So how do we work with this? The easy answer…  don’t worry about it. Just do your best to show those you care about, that you care, as often as you can however you think you need to. Also appreciate the love you are given the way it is given and all shall be smiley.

Peace , Love and Happiness

No, that’s not right. Thats nice and smiley and plastic. Real love and appreciation isn’t plastic, it’s truly organic.

The real answer… Communicate. Find out what makes others happy and try your hardest to make them happy, how they like to be happy. Share your needs with others so they can do the same for you. Sure, be appreciative for the time and opportunities you have to share and show the love. But go that one step further to make it all truly unique and you honestly yours.

Here’s a simple example.

From a materialistic perspective… My 13 year old son, like many 13 year olds love getting “things”. He especially LOVEs gift cards to places like Walmart and Target. He is also a big fan of cash. Sure, he loves gifts and surprises, family time and (shh, it’s a secret) hugs… but there are always things he wants that are not on the buying list from any one person. So as a result he likes to combine gifts to get the dream item on the list. The counter thought to that is, I really dislike giving gift cards. I’d rather put more thought and effort into paying attention to what someone likes, search for that perfect gift, maybe even make a special gift and spend time and effort picking it out. I feel like I am better able to shout out “you are so special to me” with my gift buying skills. Really, my perspective on gifts is for my own happiness in the gift giving experience than it is for my son and what he would like to receive.

Perspectives on what makes us each happy are just as diverse.

Stephen Covey shared a story about a father who spent his summer traveling around the country to visit baseball fields and games for every team. When the man was questioned about his love for baseball he commented back – I don’t love baseball, but I do love my son that much.

The big question or me this past holiday season was
How do we really view how we make others happy?

And better yet, when we do things for others, who are we really trying to make happy?

Happy Pig

I tend to really enjoy the holiday season because it’s a time of year I can justify planning parties – spending time with some of my favorite people. I love getting my friends and family together and seeing everyone all in one place. I love all the smiling faces in my own home. However, this year was too crazy and too involved in too many directions to host the annual Goode party. On top of that, the kids got sick at the same time we had planned to see local family before we left town to visit inlaws. We made arrangements to meet up when we returned home… but I left town sad and hurt. I hadn’t seen a single person and here I was leaving town… and it was Christmas.


No one else seemed nearly as upset as I felt and I couldn’t figure out why. So I stopped to think about this. What I realized was, the party planning and family gathering wasn’t for everyone else as I always thought it was. Sure, everyone enjoys getting together and seeing eachother. But really, the events in themselves were for me. I needed to see everyone to feel the holiday happiness and know they knew I was thinking about them. When I didn’t see a single person, it just didn’t feel like the holidays. I didn’t feel like I had had the opportunity to give anyone anything.

Then it hit me. We were leaving town, they weren’t – we made other plans, they were ok with it – we told everyone how much we loved them and we would see them soon, they were happy.  I felt the disappointment and sadness because I didn’t get what I needed… to see them happy.

So the moral of the story in my own world… require happy photos when I can’t see actual faces and all will be well.

Finding out what we need ourselves is just as important to find out what others need.

When we know what makes us truly happy, we can share this with those who care about us. We can avoid the disappointment by seeing what others do for us or give to us in their own way, knowing they’re happy having intended to make us happy too.