observation rant

Time & Priorities

Time is money, right?

In this past week, I’ve noticed more how people are with their time. I’ve been running a cynical joke in my head about the difference between graduate students and “real world” people: graduate students think their time is so valuable that they cannot make it to a mentor meeting or what-have-you. “Real world” people, i.e., other businesspeople, meanwhile will make the time for important connections….even informational interviews.

I say this as being cynical because I notice how some of my peers have acted with some invitations. Yes, time is money, but would you really turn down a valuable connection’s invitation for lunch? Dinner? With the excuse of “I’ve been SO busy.”

Do you think that your time is that much more valuable than your connection’s time?

I had sent out an email to a colleague earlier this week asking to see if this person had time to meet this summer for lunch or coffee or whatnot. This person replied saying the same thing as above: “I’m too busy.”

I understand that people have packed schedules. I have a crazy schedule, too. Thank goodness for Google Calendar; it keeps all my appointments, engagements in order. I’ve had scheduling issues with a few of my connections, but we have volleyed emails back and forth to find a time that will work for both of us. THIS is how you should handle time issues: don’t just walk away and say “I’m TOO BUSY” and make the other person feel like their time is not valuable. Work out a time to meet with that person, even if you believe you will not do business with them in the future.

I find that many people don’t realize the power of connections. Say “no” to one person, and you could be closing the door on many opportunities. I don’t like being treated like a commodity, so I value all the connections I make, no matter big or small. People are … human. We’re not commodities. So don’t treat your connections, colleagues, etc. as if they’re commodities.

observation Who I Am

How Do You Say My Name?

I used to be quite sensitive when it came to how people would pronounce my name.

(I’m feeling a little deja-vu writing this….have I talked about this before?)

When I was in elementary school, I became upset around Valentine’s Day..ALL THE TIME. This was mainly because we were to exchange V-Day cards with our classmates…and none of my classmates ever spelled my name right.





– sad face –

Growing up, it’s always been an issue when I introduce myself–somehow people never know how to pronounce “Helene”.





I must say my name strangely or something. When it came to meeting people only once, I’d let them say “Helen” because it was easier to let them say that than to correct them & never meet them again.

I used to get prickly about closer friends saying “Helen”.

Over the weekend, I realized that it doesn’t matter. My mentor and her family called me “Helen” the whole evening I was at their house. I found the way they said “Helen” was very endearing. And I didn’t have the heart to correct them.

After that night, I wondered if there’s a way for me to stylize my name; make it into “Helen/e” so people can call me either interchangeably. It’s a weird thought. But it’s possible. “Helen” is growing on me, although I prefer “Helene” more because of its uniqueness.

Well, we shall see….


Daily Post Day 59: What Keeps Me Up at Night

I’ll admit, I have had trouble sleeping for awhile now. While in New York this past month, I couldn’t fall asleep at a normal time due to the change in time zones. You’d think I could adjust quickly from the three-hour difference but I kept my California time to stay in touch with loved ones back West.

I also end up overloading my mind with too many thoughts before bedtime. Which in turn spins my train of thought into many other paths and I roll around in bed for many hours not being able to fall asleep. Even white noise sometimes doesn’t help as my mind’s chatter becomes louder over the white noise in the room.

Maybe I lack a sufficient amount of melatonin. Or maybe I just need to not use electronics so close to bedtime (studies say that electronics keep the brain alert, so we should all power down at least an hour before bedtime). I’ll try out different methods and see how things work out.

life observation OWOP

Daily Post Day 3

Topic #3 from the Daily Post blog:

What’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010?

Short and simple, I persevered through a near-death experience at the beginning of last year. Coincidentally, this incident occurred on my 25th birthday and gave new meaning to “Quarter-Life Crisis”.

Yes, I realize I’m writing this post a few days after; this week has involved a lot of traveling for me. WordPress for iPhone still has issues so I couldn’t post from my phone. So now I’m catching up.

OWOP update: Still going strong somewhat but it’s only been a week and interest is waning as well. Of course, it’s not too late to still jump on board for those of you who are interested.

In random news: there’s a cat sitting outside my window staring at me. Luckily it’s not a black cat.

editing observation

Finally Revising & A Clutter Realization

Well, well.

Looks like I have not been able to keep up with my blogging schedule the past few weeks (supposed to release posts on Tuesdays and Fridays).

Instead of feeling guilty about the irregular schedule, I need to re-think which days are best for me to post. At the end of the last post, I thought about starting to post everyday again. Then, the next day came, the next, and the next…and no posts.

This morning I finally tackled a story I had originally written early last year. After the first read-through, I was impressed with how the story went along in only the first draft; however, I notice that the draft has more telling than showing. So, I dissected the darn draft with a red pen, which is my pen of choice for self-editing. Even though people think of red pens negatively in terms of corrections, it helps me focus on what I can improve.

Something else I’ve noticed about myself this past week: I collect way too many things. I’m not talking about just physical things, but also digital. It’s time to declutter and free up my physical and digital space…which will in turn free up my mental/emotional space as well.

I enjoy Saturdays where all I need to do during the day is work on writing and website design.