Today marks day four of broadcasting live from home because of the coronavirus. Every day, it gets a little bit easier to troubleshoot IT problems, find a routine and feel like there is a start and end to the "work day." All week I have been focused on making small progress each day. While what I want to do right now is have everything figured out and a plan moving forward - our current circumstances really force us to look at one day at a time.
Starting small means you won't overwhelm yourself. It means giving yourself the compassion to know that you won't be operating on the same level that you do normally. You are working toward being as efficient as you were before - not giving up. The results won't come instantly, but they will come.
Before I went on air Tuesday morning, I had a few (okay, many) tears fall into my lap. Small problems that were out of my control overwhelmed me - I was trying to do too much. Since that moment, I took a step back and gave myself some space to just be. One of the small business owners I talked to this week said she keeps telling herself to operate with grace. Give yourself grace right now. I love that. We aren't where we want to be, but we will get there.
In the meantime, find ways to make these extra hours at home significant. That will look different for everyone. Some people might take the time to really be home and present with the family. Others might work on that project they always say they want to get to but "never have the time." Though I originally set out to finish reading a couple of books a week, my progress has been stalled because I've been making my way through watching "The Wire." I'm on the season 2 finale... It's so good. And instead of beating myself for not staying on task, I'm embracing having the time to watch a series everyone at work references.
I hope you are safe and happy. We will get through this. For now, give yourself that grace and patience to focus on making small progress toward this new normal.
One night every year, the DC news women step into every shade of pink outfits imaginable and meet up for a night to bash breast cancer. This year, the funds raised went to the Step Sisters, an organization that improves the quality of life for people impacted by breast cancer.
Thank you to the core team - the legendary women you've seen on your TV screens in D.C. for decades - who work throughout the year to raise a total of more than $200,000 total through DC NewsBash. A special thanks to our WUSA 9 leaders Lesli Foster and Andrea Roane. Your selflessness and determination to make a difference for others shines through always!
A month into 2020, I sat at the dining room table and thought, "Wow. So much happened in one year." Leading into the new year, I felt exhausted and was having trouble establishing any sort of resolution (or word) for 2020 because everything sounded like so much work. In the past, I used a new year as a chance to refresh my goals and get started once again - so my attitude of "I don't want to do anything in 2020" was surprising.
I felt myself drawn to books about simplicity and slowing down. Two books I read over the holidays included: When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley and The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton. Both books spoke right to my soul about the need to find some peace within the fast pace of life.
Growth is important. Tenacity, persistence and diligence are important. But what I know now is that slowing down and taking inventory are just as important. Recognizing how far you've come, honoring yourself for the work you've completed - you can't leave those steps out.
I thought if I slowed down that I might miss out on an opportunity. I'm a list-maker, an efficient doer and love nothing more than crossing off a line under my to-do list. The brilliance I've learned in slowing down is that it actually helps you make room for more growth. It opens up your mind, it replenishes the holes weariness cut in your heart and sends you back out into the world to continue your journey.
What has slowing down looked like for me? Meditation. Daily meditation. I look forward to that moment of stillness so much every day. It's the one time when I bundle up my swirling thoughts, place them on the shelf and say, "They will wait for me." It's meant less mindless social media scrolling. It's meant not responding to every single text, email and post the minute it comes my way. It's meant starting my morning (before I even open my eyes) with listing three things I'm grateful for today. And it's meant taking a moment to realize how far I've come.
Slowing down no longer feels like I'm losing business momentum or getting lazy. It just means that I need a few moments a day to stop life from passing by in a blur and finally see it's full, colorful beauty.
About this time of year, I start to get really antsy for spring to arrive. Okay, I'm kidding. Not spring... summer! Please 80 degree days come back to us soon.
I was driving through Rock Creek Parkway in Washington, D.C. yesterday and couldn't help but frown as I was passing all of the bare tree branches and continuous gray, rainy skies. Why can't we see those tree branches covered in green leaves already?!
While the February blues are kicking in and my desire to leave the house without bundling up head to toe first is going strong, last night I forced myself to slow it down and remember to embrace what's good right now. So I made a fire in the fireplace.
Winter evening fireplace fires have brought me so much joy this season. I've been plowing my way through our firewood supply and not even apologizing for it. And as much as I want spring to be here already, I know I will certainly miss these fires come the summertime.
Watching those logs burn last night was the reminder I needed to find the good in every season. Instead of getting caught up in what we don't have right now, embrace what makes this time so unique.
Take the initiative. Stop waiting for someone to come along, take you by the hand and say, "Now is the time and let me show you the step by step process to make it happen."
Do you know when people come from everywhere to help you out? When they see that you are already putting in the work. When they see that you are dedicated to seeing your dreams realized and you're already taking the small steps to make it happen.
I am amazed by how action creates more action. Let's say you complete one small small task today that aligns with your goals. Don't be surprised if tomorrow you see an email in your inbox with an opportunity to take that step to the next level.
But that email won't come if you never get to work. You must get started and take the initiative. Don't look for others to start on your dreams for you.
For decades, I've started my day by asking myself, "What's so exciting about today?" A few months ago I updated my morning wake-up conversation. I like it because it centers myself in gratitude first thing for the day, so I'm hoping you can find it helpful too! Here's my inner dialogue first thing in the mornings:
• Thank you for today.
• List three things I am feeling deep appreciation for that morning.
• Ask myself (and answer), "What's so exciting about today?"
• Get up and get going!
It's not a heavy lift at all. It takes just a couple minutes, but can change your mindset and the course of your day.
If you would like an autographed copy of A Work in Progress, send your email address to email@example.com. Autographed books (shipped to your home!) are $25.
If you're in the DC area, I have several book signings coming up. Including one at The Georgetown Club on September 15th at 11:30 a.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets. It includes a brunch buffet! Tickets are $35 + tax and gratuity.
For more than five years, I've been waking up for work as most of the world is going to bed. The midnight to 2 a.m. alarm clocks have been manageable, mostly because I love the work I get to do every day. From the NBC 5 morning team in Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas to Wake Up Washington and Get Up DC with WUSA 9, I am so thankful for the people I have been able to learn from along the way.
As I inch closer to a decade in the TV business, I've been able to figure out more of where my passion and purpose lie. And so it comes with the most joyful heart to be able to tell you that on Monday, August 19th I will be starting my new role as co-host of Great Day Washington, alongside Markette Sheppard and Kristen Berset Harris.
I could open up my journals from the past three years and show you where I wrote working on this show as a career goal of mine. To see that dream coming true... I am incredibly grateful.
Look for new lifestyle content on all of my social media pages and check out the show which runs daily at 9 a.m. on WUSA 9.
Thank you all for being part of this journey. It's time for the next chapter!
August... the month of transition. I've been feeling it lately, have you? Our vacations are wrapping up, our last few days before the school year are ticking away, everything at work is about to ramp up... This month can end up feeling like a loooong Sunday evening. What do I mean by that? You know that feeling on a Sunday night when you are facing a busy workweek ahead? Sometimes dread, sometimes anxiety, sometimes overwhelm... It can feel like that as you anticipate the entire year ahead.
Two tips that worked for me this weekend as I've been preparing for a big change in my own schedule: (1) focus on the joys of the new season + (2) take it day by day.
It started with me getting lost in football preseason photos this weekend. Those photos led me to daydreaming about football returning and all of the feelings that surround it. i.e. Having the games on all weekend long, a warm meal cooking in the Crock-Pot, blankets, layers, and candles burning... that slower, cozy pace sounds really nice right now.
More than that though, it showed me that day by day, we will charge forward through the new season. It only seems overwhelming now because we are caught in a holding pattern. We are soaking up the last moments of summer, but not fully able to relax anymore because the future is calling on us to get started.
Don't you worry, it's nearly time to take that first step of the next chapter. Instead of feeling dread for all that is sitting on your plate, focus on what you love about the changes coming. Know that the details will work themselves out in time. Your future is so very bright.
For many years, I waited for someone else to tell me I was ready. I waited for other people to provide me with the resources, the confidence and the permission to get started. But last year, as I entered a new decade, I realized there were so many more dreams I had in my heart, but no one was opening the door for me to get started on them.
So in my 30th year, I just went ahead and did it. I stopped looking around to see what other people would think of me if I took some crazy chances and I simply got started. I started my own business, I started writing (and then eight months later published) my first book, I started living life on my own timeline instead of comparing my journey to everyone else's, I started asking for a new role at work (stay tuned for that!), and I started approaching everything I did and said from a place of love.
It turned out to be an incredible year - the best yet by far - and I thought it would be impossible to top. But just four days into turning 31-years-old and life is even sweeter. I've come to realize that once you get started on your dreams it just keeps snowballing into something even better. You put yourself on a course for happiness and success, and despite the ups and downs as you are figuring it all out, life just keeps getting better.
So what are you waiting for? Why are you looking to your right and left hoping someone else will give you a chance to get in the game? Put yourself in the game. Be your own cheerleader. And go get started today.