Time Management. There I said it…

I need help. I really truly do.

I, Anne Kemp, the ultimate organizer and planner, is in need of someone to come assist me. I have organized the crap-oh-la out of many folks, to the point that I hear from them that they are over-organized (personally never thought that could be an issue). Yet, I cannot get my own act together to save my life.

Apparently this is a common illness among other uber-organized folks as well – We’ve been so thorough and put together for our “jobby-jobs” that we get paid the bucks for, that when we come home, we’re done. And I mean DONE. Juggling my writing, the freelance writing aspect of my career, my column and blog, the production company we are in the throes of…well, it’s all a wee bit daunting. And I still want to be a good friend and have time to go “duh” when needed. Plus there’s sleeping, exercising and eating (in order of importance).

In the past, it’s been at the point I would come home  and just stare at the wall, the dishes and the stack of bills I needed to pay and not know where to go with it all. I just could not figure out where to start! I eventually would, but no with the same “vigor” I would attack projects for clients or my bosses. It’s not that bad anymore, but now that I am totally freelancing my writing all by my big girl self, it’s a whole new set of responsibility. I have learned that I don’t have to answer my phone just because a friend is calling, and I can’t say yes to everything because I “have time”. Oh no…I really don’t have the time, because I need to be working.

I’m actually going to have to get up earlier than I thought in order to get my work-that-pays-my-bills done and also be able to concentrate on other projects (like my book!) and have a life. I guess it all feels weird because it’s like I’m an adult. Again-ish. Or maybe this is what people feel like when they have kids, this sudden wave of overwhelming responsibility. Knowing it’s all totally up to me and if I fall on my face at this point…I only have the chick in the mirror to blame.

So, my first step to claim back my “time” is to get up tomorrow at 6 AM, and by 6:30, I will be writing my fingers off. And I will plug away and work hard, as much as I don’t want to. Not trying to whine, just trying to understand when the growing up part had to start happening. I moved to LA to stay immature forever 🙂

Anyone out there have any time management suggestions they wanna share? I’ll take them!

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Not All Relationships are the Same…(printed in the Frederick News Post)

A few weeks back, I wrote a column all about my opinion on open marriages and honesty in relationships. I have to say; I know I’m not an expert on the topic of open marriages, but those of you that are or the ones that responded to me with your reasons why open marriages and relationships work made a lot of sense.

Everyone views their relationship differently; society is not so intent on patterns that follow the old-fashioned anymore. It’s sooo 2010 and instead of pooh-poohing the newness, I need to just sit back and let be what needs to be, well…let be.

I was talking to my friend Abby, who’s just the nicest hot mess you could ever imagine. Now Abby is very opinionated on the topic of “Everyone’s Relationship But The One I Don’t Have”. So much so that she will stick her foot in her mouth with her friends, and even strangers, when it comes to giving advice about their relationships.

Abby was telling me that a few months ago she was in New York City visiting a good friend, and was caught up in a drunken discussion about said friends “poor” relationship. Tossing up her honesty to having way too much sangria, Abby was letting her friend have it – and I mean HAVE it – about how he had not told his current girlfriend that he loved her yet, and they had been dating (GASP!) a whole year.

Abby was so sure of her opinion on this subject and her knowledge about what is supposed, “to be”, that she asked the waiter to weigh in on the topic (alcohol makes you do funny stuff).  Abby of course did not quietly call this man over – Oh no. Abby waved and whistled, ever the quiet and demure class act that she is.  When he walked over, Abby quickly filled him in on her question for him. As he was sitting down at the table, the waiter looked Abby directly in the eye and said, “Girl…is it your relationship?”

“Well, no…” Abby answered (slurred is the proper term).

“Ok, then are you in it?”

“Ummm…No.” (Her eyes were seeing double here).

“Ok then – It’s none of your business. No one knows how things work in any given relationship, so get your nose out of it”, and with a twirl and a wink, he was gone, floating off to the next table.

Abby said it not only shut her up to hear it but it shed light on her little world of thinking that she always knew best. It made her realize that everyone has a different approach in life to affairs of the heart. Hell, she even knows someone that heard “I love you” for the first time and then was broken up with in the same minute…so who says that those three words really mean everything in a relationship?

Personally, when it comes to open marriages, I will be looking at them like this from now on: I know I can’t judge them based on Abby’s lesson she learned. Who am I to say how another person should live their romantic life? What works in one scenario, may not work in another, but none of us should ever judge anyone unless we are truly willing to walk a mile in the other person’s stiletto’s…or flats…or converse. Whatever.  You get it.

Abby’s funny. She told me that she got so much insight into her own judgmental actions that day she wanted to shout it from the rooftops, or at least bellow an apology to all of those folks she had berated for so many years.  I feel like I should do the same…Well, I don’t ever voice my judgments. I just think them when you walk in the room.

Abby’s got one on me there.

Taking the High Road – Why?

It’s no secret I admire the spirit and strength of Sandra Bullock. Watching her on the MTV Movie Awards the other night, there was one sentence she said that made me smile and realize she’s on to something!

And I quote,” Whoever said it was best to take the high road should be fired.” I like that. Why do we always have to take the stinking high road?

I can hear my Mom now, in my ear, reminding me to be gracious and to “show I raised you well,  you should take  this path”. Ppffttt!!!!  This path, the road they call “high”. I think the person that said it was high themselves at the time and should have shut up and had a cup of coffee.

If I listed all the times I took the “high road”, well it’s too many to list here. Not to mention, the fact that I remember most of them makes me look like a big jerk for holding on to the memories all this time. That I didn’t just “let them go”. Well, I’m not a monk, I’m a girl that has dealt with some crap through the years and has always been the one that people have looked to and said, ” You handled that well.” Actually, sometimes, I handle things well when I step out of my apartment, and these folks never get to see the way I handle them when the door is closed. 😉

To those of you that have people out there that YOU had to take the high road with, I’d be interested in hearing how you did it. It will be kept confidential, I just know that we all do it everyday and there are somedays we have our own little fantasy moments to have a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”-like freak out. I KNOW I do!!

So, email me at anneinprogress@me.com and let me know YOUR HIGH ROAD STORY!! I’d love to be able to post a few I really enjoy here, with your permission of course! Let’s get them in by Thursday June 10th at 11 PM Eastern, ok?

It’s life – and we’re all in it together. I’m gonna go put on my hiking shoes now. More roads to walk…

An Ode to a Legend: Coach John Wooden

I was in a cab in NYC the other night when I saw the news come up on a ticker in the backseat that Coach (as some of the lucky few get to call him) had been hospitalized and was in grave condition. Many know him from his days with UCLA or as “The Wizard of Westwood”…I gripped my nephew’s leg, my eyes welling with tears and demanded we go back to our hotel so I could begin making calls.

I was privileged enough to get a chance to sit down with this wonderful man and his daughter a few years a go through another mutual friend, Coach Dale Brown of L.S.U. Strange circumstances led us to this meeting, none of them having to do with sports. Coach Brown is someone that I hold in my heart dearly, and therefore along came Coach Wooden as well. I was forever changed by the words of Coach Wooden one of the days I got to spend with him at his home here in LA, in fact I keep the notes I took during our talk next to my computer. I read them every time I hit a rut or think that adversity is going to get the best of me.

The news stations are a buzz with his perfect records, the players he created and the push he had for education in a time when some coaches wanted to just turn out “sports-playing-machines”. Not Coach Wooden. His boys needed to be respectful, smart and then they could play some basketball, too.

He has so many quotable sayings that have been passed on, and I am going to share a few I have here from my notes with you. Enjoy – and know that this world has a hole in its heart where one of the greatest men ever filled it. RIP Coach…and thank you.

  1. “Failure to prepare is preparation to fail.”
  2. “It’s not what we give…It’s what we share.”
  3. “Be on time.”
  4. “Be a teacher. To someone you are a teacher – You may never know it, but you are.”
  5. “If we can get rid of ‘me’ it would help a lot.”