Awesomeness in the World

…and we’re back! (kind of)

I promised back in October that we’d be back in touch come November and with one day left in the month, I want to keep my promise (though I have no idea how on earth it got to be the end of November, but somehow, here we are).

I also promised you updates on new happenings. You may have noticed some of our regular bloggers went a little quiet earlier this year. Melissa has moved on to a new adventure in her career and we wish her all the best. She’s going to be all kinds of crazy successful and we can’t wait to see what happens next. Ashley has also taken on some new job responsibilities and is also focusing on her new dog, Sawyer. It’s possible he may be the cutest dog ever and I don’t blame her for spending more time with him. I’m so grateful to both of them for sharing their wit and honesty with us, and hopefully we can have them back as guest bloggers in the future.

Additionally, I’ve been hard at work on a new project of mine, Good for Her Soul. Not to be confused with the consulting and training offerings here, Good for Her Soul is support and celebration of women at every stage of life. Through the new website, we make it easy to congratulate your friend on her achievement, toast to a new chapter or let her know you’re thinking about her during a difficult time. You’ve got her back, so let us have yours. We’ve brought together everything you need to show her you care — cards, gifts, services and educational resources.

We often want to reach out, but aren’t quite sure what to say or how to say it, and this is where Good for Her Soul can help. You can check out our inspiration wall to get ideas of what’s been helpful to others during times of joy or heartache, or browse ideas and options by type of occasion or event.

While things will be a little quieter on this front for a while, I’ll continue to check back in. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy Good for Her Soul, and I wish you success in all your adventures as well!

Awesomeness in the World Inside My Head

“We were on a break!”

For anyone alive in the era of NBC’s hit show Friends, you can’t help but remember Ross’ constant insistence that he didn’t cheat on Rachel because they were technically on a break when he hooked up with the copy girl. This is the phrase that keeps running through my guilt-ridden head as I think about this blog as of late. And while I haven’t broken up with you, dear readers, or hooked up with the copy girl, you might have noticed I haven’t been as attentive to our relationship as I should be. And I’m sorry about that.

Many of our contributors have been going through some changes, including me and as excited as I am, I can’t quite share the details…yet. I can just say that I’ve been working on another project that’s been taking up more and more of my time. So rather than continue to unintentionally ignore you, I’m going to put the Creative Community Blog on official hiatus for the month of October. Don’t worry – we’re not going anywhere and we’ll be back before you know it with exciting news to share. In the meantime, be good to yourselves and each other. I look forward to sharing more with you in November.

Awesomeness in the World

Passionate People are Contagious

It’s been a busy week for me with projects, training and introductory meetings. And now that Friday has arrived, I’m feeling the downside of being so productive – I’m pooped. But there’s still a whole day left to go until I can call it a day and begin the weekend (which isn’t shaping up to be less hectic, but that’s another story). As I started my Friday, I had an introductory meeting with a new potential partner for a project. We had been in touch via email, but this was the first we’d spoken on the phone. And despite how tired I am from the craziness of this week, her positive energy was contagious and the thirty minutes we spent on the phone was just the boost I needed. My contact was passionate about her business and couldn’t wait to share it with me. The more she talked and the more we engaged the better I felt.

I’m drawn to the energy of people who are passionate about what they do, whether it’s their profession or in their personal life. I guess that’s where my true extrovert comes out – getting my energy from being around others. There’s just something contagious about that spark in their eyes or the joy in their voice when they’re talking about what makes them tick – you can’t help but be drawn in and get excited yourself. For me, that sharing of passionate energy is better than any caffeine boost, adrenaline rush or runner’s high. It’s a unique energy you can only get from a connection with someone else, and it’s truly special.

What are you passionate about?



Awesomeness in the World Libby


I’m on a mild hiatus from full-time work this summer (I’m still doing some work to help pay the mortgage, but I don’t have to go to the office every day), so I’ve been trying to take advantage of my time and clean the house. Not the standard cleaning (I actually get some help with that), but the deep cleaning – the cleaning of drawers, closets, nooks and crannies.

It’s harder to do than I thought – I really thought that I’d grown less attached to stuff, especially that which I don’t see very often. But not so. I think because I haven’t seen it in a while, when I pull it out, it’s a flood of memories – anything from my grandmother to my childhood to a fun time with friends. And it’s hard to throw out memories.

Recently, there was an episode of Real Housewives of NYC (part of my hiatus, don’t judge) and Sonja was trying to clean out her basement. She had to enlist friends to come help her get rid of stuff because everything she pulled out reminded her of when her children were little and she was married and they were a happy family. I get that, and even if your life is totally different now, getting rid of stuff from back in the day can make it feel like you’re giving away bits of yourself.

Of course, this isn’t true – your memories are in your brain, not your basement. I tell myself that all the time. And, for me, I’m done growing my family – why am I holding on to random baby stuff? Or furniture that literally does not fit in my house? It’s time to move on. But how?

I think books have been written about this, but here are some tactics that work for me:

  1. Reminisce: As you clean, tell the stories that go along with the items. Share how your grandmother used to take you out for fancy tea when you were six and also bought you your own tea set. Go ahead and remember where in the house that table used to be when you were in 7th grade and you spilled paint on it. Send an email to your brother of you wearing that t-shirt he made for your 16th birthday.
  2. Find new homes: Some things are hard to let go of from a sentimental perspective and some are just in good enough shape that you might just still use them. I might start juicing/espresso making/pasta making one day.  If you’re holding on to some girl-baby things and your uterus is closed for business, think about passing them on to a friend, cousin or good friend. You may know yourself well-enough to know you won’t use a Depression Era punch bowl, but by golly, your neighbor down the street is crazy for the stuff. And when you give it to the designated receiver, share your stories with them – it gives the gift more meaning and life.
  3. Need: There are a lot of people in need of lots of things. Even if it can’t go to a hand-picked home, there are still lots of folks who will use and appreciate what you can offer through a donation organization. It’s not a bad way to go.
  4. A picture is worth 1,000 words: I’ve been taking pictures of some stuff before I toss, donate or give it away. This way, I can still have that same feeling of remembering something when I come across the picture instead of the item. It’s also a great way to get back in touch with family and friends – chances are they remember that lamp/glass/shirt/toy with fondness, too.

I’m not claiming victory over marginal hoarding, but I’m making incremental progress. I figure that what I’m really doing is making room for new memories. And then I’ll just give all my stuff to my son when (and if) he moves into his own home…along with a copy of my blog. Good luck with your cleaning and enjoy your memories!

– Libby Bingham

Awesomeness in the World Libby

Family Beach Vacation

We just got back from a family vacation at the beach…it was so nice and relaxing:

  1. No cooking: So we stayed in a hotel which meant that we had to eat all our meals out – so nice not to have to shop and cook…or clean up!
  2. No rules:  Being on a break from our regular routine means we don’t have to adhere to our standard rules and regulations – late bedtimes, more sweets, wearing whatever we want, more sweets…
  3. Togetherness: During the school year, I often feel like relaxing means being alone (or at least away from my family), but this vacation we were all about togetherness and it was nice to truly enjoy each other’s company.
  4. Fun: Rather than parsing out our fun having, we just let it all rip and had extra fun stuff every day: beach, roller coasters, arcades, unhealthy food, boardwalk games, movies – why wait until Friday?!
  5. Friendly: We were all so relaxed, we were so much more friendly to each other – less parental nagging, less spousal snapping and many more fart jokes.

What is it about being away that makes all these things possible? Why can’t we be as easy and breezy with each other when we’re at home? I’m pretty sure we can be, but I can’t say I’ve mastered the art of getting anywhere close to replicating the feelings of lightness that I have when I’m “away from it all.” I think that’s something to strive for throughout the year, keeping the spirit of vacation in my heart all year ‘round. I’ll probably fail, but I can get closer; if we all make an effort and collectively make headway, I think out time together will be special no matter where and when we are…that’s some memory-making!

– Libby Bingham

Awesomeness in the World Libby


Here are the top five things I love about summer:

  1. Relaxation: Once school is out, it seems that everyone – kids and adults alike – has shifted into relaxation mode. It’s weird – I see it in parents, co-workers, friends and myself. It’s like a switch has been flipped and suddenly people slow down and are friendlier, not any less busy, really, but with a different laid-back type of attitude. I love it and it’s contagious!
  2. Daylight:  It’s so awesome that it stays lighter out longer – it makes it seem like you actually have time to get things done (maybe that’s why we’re feeling more relaxed!). I’m pretty sleepy in general, but having it still light out at 8/8:30 gives me the extra boost I need to stay up until 9 or so…night owl – hoot, hoot!
  3. Music: Not only do I hear music everywhere – in the downtown common area, out of houses, in cars – but it’s all the catchy stuff. I think they wait until summer to release the catchiest, ear wormiest of pop, and the oldies bring back those summer memories from long ago.
  4. Food: Summer has great food – all that fresh produce, seasonal beers and drinks, grilling…awesome! And when it’s hot, it’s hard to overeat – it’s a lot easier to eat healthier in the summer (which is helpful for getting into that bathing suit).
  5. Family: Whether they’re your blood relatives or friends that feel like family, summertime is always the time when gatherings happen organically, when busy people can come together to relax, eat, and listen to music into the evenings…it’s fun and friendly.

What are you doing this summer?  See you at the pool!

– Libby Bingham

Awesomeness in the World


Driving home earlier this month, I caught an NPR piece on the Swedish Number and it’s quickly become one of my favorite things EVER. The idea was simple – let the people of Sweden represent the amazingness that is Sweden by connecting them directly with potential tourists. What a brilliant idea to promote tourism within the county. When I got home, I found that in addition to NPR, The New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post and countless others had already been talking about this for a couple months. How had I missed this fantastic story???

What I love so much about this idea is the basis that human connection is the best way to do almost anything. In a world where we live in front of screen after screen, chat for help and order things to be delivered by drones, going back to the basics of the telephone seems quaint. Why not a flashy social media campaign? A catching slogan? A contest? Because in the middle of all this noise, we’ve forgotten how powerful it can be to simply talk with each other. There were apparently no scripts or talking points given – just instructions on how to log into the system and be available for calls and see where the conversation takes you.

It got me thinking – how else could we connect and who else could we dial? Dial a new parent to check in and see how they’re coping and provide some adult conversation? Dial a senior who may not have many visitors? Dial someone who loves cooking when your mid-recipe and need a quick substitution for an ingredient? Dial a local for a great restaurant recommendation while traveling? Where else could we go back to human interaction for a fun twist?

Awesomeness in the World Karen

Innovators Spit on Worry and Carry On

What makes us shrink back or hold back?

When I’m hanging out with my wisest friends (who are 70 years and older), I notice a common occurrence: they are less affected by circumstances. They carry an acceptance about where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing in that very moment. All that matters is now. And in that now moment, they are real, true to themselves, honest, present, sincere and worry-free.

Innovators are similar.

Innovators are such a gift to the human race.  If you’re an innovator, stand tall. You have a greater purpose than simply coming up with new and exciting ideas.

Innovators seem to have the least amount of struggle with falsity. In my opinion, they are uncompromising people. They seem to not invest a lot of their energy in what other people think. They are unapologetic for their opinions, actions and convictions. Okay sure, some innovators are difficult to work with and have peculiarities that might occasionally drive us crazy, but wouldn’t that simply be their unique style, not a flaw in their character?

I am a fortunate woman because my clients are primarily innovators. They are a gift to my journey. Though they may identify with my moments of worry, they have the boldness to spit on worry and carry on.

Let me speak to the heart of an innovator for a moment. If you’re one of them, this is what I think of you.

You teach the rest of us how:

  1. to be present
  2. to remain true to our unique self
  3. to be confident in our thoughts and actions
  4. to be unapologetic for the decisions we make
  5. to embrace the convictions we want to live out
  6. to have faith in what we are pursuing
  7. to not give up
  8. to bend but not break
  9. to be immersed in thought
  10. to radically believe

You remind us to stay the course.

If you’re an innovator, part of your purpose is to inspire us to walk in our true self, worry-free. Those are big shoes to fill, but you’re the people that can fill them.

When I’m with an innovator, it’s amazing how quickly nothing else matters. What worried me, no longer has power. The world is full of options. How can we possibly accomplish anything if we worry? Worry breeds falsity. Possibilities diffuse worry. Innovators understand this.

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.  Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin


– Karen Thrall

*also published on


Awesomeness in the World Karen

Confessions of a Woman: I like Aging

Hi my name is Karen and I like aging.

Why are we afraid to show our age? Why do we love to hear that we look 10 years younger? (I do, too!)

But does it really matter that much?

I have wrinkles. The crow’s feet around my eyes continue to increase every year. Perhaps it’s partly due to playing golf and being out in the sun for several hours at a time? Or is it?

I noticed something today as I stared into the mirror looking at the present Karen who stood before me. It was a reflective moment (no pun intended). What I noticed is the wrinkles only show when I’m smiling. If I stand still, they are somewhat invisible. But once I beam with joy, the wrinkles are front and center. Imagine how ridiculous I must have looked, staring at myself stoic and serious, then switching to a big bright smile. Smile. No smile. Smile. No Smile. Lines. No lines. Lines. No lines. And so on and so forth.

Here’s my conclusion: it’s not my golf games that caused these lines on my face – it’s joy.

If my wrinkles symbolize the joy journey of my life, then I welcome them. And, I love them.

I have joy lines. Not bitter, angry, jaded wrinkles. No, rather, I have happiness crinkles.


It’s taken me over 40 years to design this story that everyone can see. And I won’t cover it up.

Would you like to know who I am? I will smile for you and then tell me please, what do you see?


KT: “Yes?”

ICV: “It’s clear to me that you are a joyful woman. Am I correct?”

KT: “Well yes, how did you know?”

ICV: “The lines around your eyes present that you are a woman of joy.”

May the aging lines of joy not be hidden. There is no shame in aging. The only wrinkles that should concern us are the ones of the heart. Make sure your heart never ages.

“To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent that is to triumph over old age.” – Amon Bronson Alcott

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” – Mark Twain

Here’s to joyful wrinkles and happy crinkles!

– Karen Thrall

*also published on

Awesomeness in the World Libby

Good Enough

Last week, I was listening to my favorite podcast, Dear Sugar, and they brought up the phrase “good enough” in terms of parenting. It’s a topic that they talk about often, how we (mostly as Americans) are obsessed with being “perfect” parents and how trying to attain perfection is, at least, impossible and, at most, destructive (this is my takeaway – they’re much more nuanced and articulate). It is beneficial for all involved – especially for the child! – for us to embrace the idea of simply being good enough. I thought I might try to apply the concept to our professional selves, as well.

My friend is super stressed about her job – she has a new boss who is micromanaging projects that my friend has been managing for over ten years – it is wreaking havoc with her schedule, her self-esteem and professional confidence. We’ve talked a few times about how it may be time to think about doing something else and moving on. Each time, however, she says she has SO much to do and she doesn’t want to do less than her best, and as a result, she has no time to save herself.

My question is why? Why do we feel compelled to be terrific/great/perfect at everything? Why is being a B student such a terrible thing? Another friend has edified me about the 80/20 rule – if we can get to 80%, call it done and stop obsessing about the remaining 20%. I’m not saying we should phone it in, but if I decide to put in 80% of the effort at work, I’ll have another 20% to put towards my son, my husband, self-care, friends, my aging parents, etc. And that 80% isn’t some ordinary 80%, it’s still kickass and worthwhile, it just doesn’t suck the life right out of me leaving nothing left for other things I care about.

I think it would be nice if we changed the dialogue a little bit, or at least the t-shirts:

  • World’s Most Okay Mom
  • I’m #2

Look, this might not be my best blog post, but I think it is good enough.

P.S. A belated happy birthday shout-out to my childhood friend, Susie…hope your day is beautiful, friend!

– Libby Bingham