Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What The Heck Is My New Job About?

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."
 - Charles Dickens

In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin mentions that reading "memoirs of catastrophe" gave her a new and instant appreciation for her obedient body - for the simple ability "to eat or walk or pee" in the usual fashion.

So what does this have to do with my new job?

Well...lots, in fact.

Lots of people have asked me what exactly it is I am doing now that I am back working full-time.

To be honest, I have hesitated for a few reasons.

The first reason is that my new job is significantly more junior than what I have been doing for most of my career that began back in 1995.

But I have quickly gotten over that, and talked a bit more about it in my recent post "Working is Working!".

The other reason is because what I deal with on a day-to-day basis concerns some very sensitive and personal health care issues.

On the surface, if I just came out and told you what I do you may think it was gross or nasty or even nauseating.

But it is far from all of those things.

And so...I'm going to explain.

The company I work for is called Coloplast (Canada). If you want to learn more about it you can check out their website here.

Because I myself am still learning, I feel it is best to pull some info right from the Coloplast Canada website. Straight from their site:

Coloplast develops products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions. 

Working closely with the people who use our products, we create solutions that are sensitive to their special needs. 

We call this intimate health care. 

Our business includes ostomy care, urology and continence care, and wound and skin care. We operate globally and employ more than 7,000 people.

My position at Coloplast could be called a number of things, but I think it is best described as "Patient Care/Product Advisor".

I am on the phone A LOT, speaking with end-users (and sometimes ET Nurses) about the products that would best help them for their unique situations. We send out sample product and we follow-up to see if things are working, what isn't and then we work with them to try to figure out what we can do to help. Often it takes several tries before the appropriate products are found as each patient has very specific needs.

There are two main areas that I cover in my position.

One is Ostomy care and the other is Continence care.

Also straight from their site:

Understanding Ostomy Care

Coloplast researches, develops and produces appliances for people with a stoma.

A stoma is created by an operation, which brings the end of the intestine to an opening on the abdominal wall. Bodily wastes are then excreted and collected into an ostomy appliance which is attached to the area around the stoma.

Through our work with the people who use our products and with health care professionals when developing products we have gained experience in all aspects of ostomy care.

Understanding Continence Care

Urology is the diagnosis and treatment of medical issues related to the urinary system and the reproductive system. Continence care is about helping people empty their bladder and bowels.

Through listening to our customers' needs, we've developed unique, high quality products that help make their everyday life easier.

Through our work with the people who use our products and with health care professionals when developing products we have gained experience in all aspects of urology and continence care.

Now I realize this does not cover everything...but in short, I speak to people with bowel and urology issues that make their lives very difficult. Coloplast makes products that helps these people makes their day-to-day lives easier and much more manageable.

Again, some of you make think that dealing with such issues would be unappealing.

And I get that.

But my main point here is that it is not so much about WHAT the issues are.

Is it more about being able to help people who have some very life-altering health issues.

Helping people is something that I find extremely gratifying and rewarding.

In prior positions, I was used to helping people with business problems and issues - which was gratifying too...but this, I feel, is much more in line with my authentic self.

Talking to these patients and hearing that the products that we sent to them have changed their lives for the better is an amazing feeling.

I am not helping people make more money or increase their ROI or la la la.

I am helping people increase the quality of their personal lives.

This, again, resonates with my personality much more.

I may have found a "work home" in Coloplast.

Who knows?

My goal is to move back in to a management role in the next year or so...and I am hoping that perhaps something may come up at this growing company. Something feels right about it.

Time will tell.

For now, I am learning and gaining a great deal of expertise as I go.

And that is a great place to start.

So while this is just a small look at what I do, I hope it helps explain a little bit.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment. I will try my best to reply with a thoughtful answer.

Because that is what I do.

And I'm kinda diggin' it.



Friday, February 22, 2013

Act The Way You Want To Feel

"Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not."
 - William James

As I am sure you know by now...if you are a regular reader of this blog, I have started reading The New York Times #1 best-selling book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you have probably heard about it.

Usually, I jump on books like this as soon as I hear the bandwagon coming.

Guess I had my ear plugs in when they came along!

But for some reason, I never picked this one up.

I had been thinking about buying it for a few years now...but other books, magazines, writing...oh...and 3 children...have kinda kept me busy.

However, because it is a new year and because I am seeking to make it the best year yet...I thought now was the time.

So a few days into 2013, I took a visit to Chapters and picked up a copy.

I know I have already posted a few of the things I have learned from this book, and there will be more I'm sure.

One thing that really captured my attention was one of Rubin's initial "Twelve Commandments" that she outlines at the beginning of the book: "Act the way I want to feel."

It's kind of a Law of Attraction thing.

OK. So I admit.

When people ask me how I'm doing or how I'm feeling, my reply of late (translation: ever since I can remember...translation: ever since I became a mother...translation: close to 12 years)...has most often been "I'm tired."

I'm tired!

And I'm pretty sure that people are pretty tired of hearing about how tired I am.

I'm frickin' tired of hearing about how tired I am.

I makes me feel...well...rather tired to be honest.


But what I SAY is only the tip of the iceberg of my point.

An icicle if you will.

The more I say I am tired, the more tired I feel and the more tired I GET.

Get it?

So I am looking to change.

I am seeking to to be a more fulfilled, happier person in general...and so...apparently I need to ACT fulfilled and happy.

I'm fulfilled and happy!

And guess what?

Whatever feelings I give off...vibes, if you will...are catching. That is why people get tired of hearing me be and seeing be act tired. And that is not what I want.

I want the people I surround myself with to be and feel fulfilled and happy...and if I can help in any way, I want to do that.

So even if I AM tired...I am going to try my best to ACT happy! Then I will FEEL happier...and so will those around me.

This will be difficult to master...but I am gonna give it a shot.

I am feeling happier about things just thinking about it!



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Random Acts of Poetry

"Poetry should...strike the reader as a wording of his own thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance." 
- John Keats

I like to write what I call "random acts of poetry".

Basically, it is stream of consciousness writing, and as words come to me, often in rhyme, a theme develops in my head and I go from there.

Sometimes I go through periods of my life where these poems come out of me like wild fire...and then they go dormant for a while.

I'm inspired when I'm inspired!

I don't usually try to explain these - or any of my other - poems to people, because like any form of art, the person taking it in should interpret it through their own personal lens.

And I don't edit...I just write.

That is the fun part.

So these poems are no masterpieces that is for sure! It is kind of a fun word/emotion/mind game that I like to play with myself.

I'm kinda strange that way.

So...I just wrote this 5 minutes ago right on my blog post page here.

Chasing Butterflies

Blowing by
the sky
it's light
not bright
enough for her to notice.

She must run
beyond the sun
it's song
so long
yet short
because she missed it.

Chasing butterflies
so hard she tries
to stop
to mop
up tears of joy.

Or despair?
Does she dare
take a leap
mountain steep
or take task
and ask
and look up
is the cup
half empty or half full?

By: Lora Rossi (Feb, 2013)

And here's a little fun exercise.

If you would like me to write you a short, random act of poetry, just leave me a word, a theme, a quote, whatever...in a comment below, and I will write one for you based on your comment and post it as a reply to your comment.

Try me!



Saturday, February 16, 2013

WellX Article #35: On Climbing Mountains

Hey there friends!

As I always do, I will begin by pointing you in the direction of my first thirty-four articles published by WellX here.

WellnessX is off their food-kick it seems...and today we are back to some inspirational food for thought. OK...well, I guess it is still kinda about food!

The ups and downs in life are what make it interesting. And when we are down in a valley...the only way is up...and it is the perfect opportunity to climb and to grow!

I am so happy to continue to work with WellnessX and share my thoughts with you and wellness professionals around the world.

Here's the link!

Thanks as always to Brad and Mel and everyone at WellnessX for continuing to share my work and for their on-going support and great work with the wellness community!



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stop, Collaborate and Listen!

"If there was a problem, Yo -- I'll solve it! Check out the hook while the DJ revolves it."
 - Vanilla Ice (Ice Ice Baby)

OK...listen up peeps!

Ice is back with a brand new invention!
(I always thought it was "addition"...until I...well...stopped and listened!
OK...so this post is not about Vanilla Ice.

Or Vanilla.

Or Ice.

Although it is rather cold out.

But I digress.

And no. This post is not about love and I am not gonna pull out my parachute pants.

Good tune!

Who MAKES these signs?

For those who WANT MC Hammer parachute pants, there is a sewing pattern available.
You're welcome.

Again...who MAKES these signs?

I kind of got on a "stop sign with music lyrics" roll there...
But sadly...I could not find a "STOP...cause I really love you' one.
Maybe I should make THAT one!
OK...enough Lora!

What was I gonna talk about now?

Let me stop and think about it for a sec.

Hold on now...
OK...digressing....and DONE!

I'm back!

What I REALLY wanted to write about in the post was the benefits of stopping, collaborating and listening.

Hence the above tangents that turned into more tangents. But you know me.

The ability to take the time to realize that you are not the keeper of all of the information in the world is a good thing.

And collaboration is the key.

When you have a problem or need answers or a second opinion or what-have-you...there is always someone who can help.

And there is no shame in seeking it out.

In fact, that is the way the world works.

Finding people...be them family, friends, co-workers, medical professionals...or whomever...who are knowledgable on the subject for which you are seeking out information...is smart.

And then comes the listening part.

Listen to what people have to say. Listen to advise. Listen to suggestions. Listen to what has and has not worked for others.

And then take it all for what it is worth.

And THEN...make your OWN decision.

For example...all, some or none of the above could or could not be for you.

Even experts don't know exactly what is best for YOU.

They provide food for thought...valuable information...access to other resources you may not have considered...and collaborating with such folks only can enhance your own ability to make a more educated and well-researched choice about what to do in your own life.

But that does not mean you should shut out the thoughts and opinions of others.
Just listen.

And who would have thought that Vanilla Ice would be one of those peeps we should consider listening to?

Certainly not me!

But hey...that goes to show you.

Everyone has something interesting to say.

Even an old-school, cheese-ball, white "rapper".

Yo Yo!
Word to your mother!

So I said it before...and I'll say (or rap!) it again!

Stop, collaborate and listen!

(Ice, Ice baby!)



Monday, February 11, 2013

My Second Article for Women Business Owners Today!

Over a year ago, I was contacted via LinkedIn by the President of a company that publishes a magazine and e-zine/website called Women Business Owners Today.

The page on my blog entitled My Published Work caught her eye and she told me that she then spent a good little chunk of time exploring my articles and posts here.

She then noted that she thought my style of writing would fit in nicely with an area on the site called "Beyond Business" and asked if I would be interested in becoming one of their Contributing Writers.

Well...of course I was! My first article was published back in December, 2011. You can find it here.

So, as I always say...without further ado...I am linking you up to this great resourceful website. If you are a woman with a business, I urge you to take a look at everything this site has to offer here.

They also have a great network called "Biz Chick Network" and it is free to join...so why don't you? I did! Check it out here!

Check it out! It's FREE!

And so...here is my second article!

YOLO  By: Lora Rossi  February, 2013

Many thanks to Christine Dubyts, President, Dubyts Communications and Editor, Women Business Network Today for reaching out and encouraging me to get involved.

Christine Dubyts
I greatly appreciate it Christine - and I have been invited to contribute again... and look forward to my next piece!



Saturday, February 09, 2013

Fog Happiness

"Fog happiness is the kind of happiness you get from activities that, closely examined, don't really seem to bring much happiness at all - yet somehow they do."
 - Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project)

So what is "fog happiness"?

I had never heard of it before until I read about it in Gretchen Rubin's now famous book The Happiness Project.

I have been reading this slowly and have been writing about some of the notions, observations and realizations that ring true to me. For example, Hostess Neurosis.

There will be more I am sure...but this one focuses on what Rubin calls "fog happiness".

Rubin writes: "In many ways, the happiness of having children falls into the kind of happiness that could be called fog happiness. Fog is elusive. Fog surrounds you and transforms the atmosphere, but when you try to examine it, it vanishes."

She continues: "Many activities that I consider enjoyable aren't much fun while they are happening - or ahead of time or afterwards. Throwing a party. Giving a performance. Writing. When I stop to analyze my motions during the various stages of these activities, I see procrastination, dread, anxiety, nervousness, annoyance at having to do errands and busywork, irritation, distraction, time pressure and anticlimax. Yet these activities undoubtedly make me 'happy'."

And on she goes: "And so it is with raising children. At any one time, the negative may swamp the positive, and I might wish I were doing something else. Nevertheless, the experience of having children gives me tremendous fog happiness. It surrounds me, I see it everywhere, despite the fact that when I zoom in on any particular moment, it can be hard to identify."


I don't usually quote quite so much from a single source, but since this notion of "fog happiness" really caught my attention as it resonated with me, and yet I had never heard the term before (probably since I had never read this book before and Rubin coined the term), I felt I needed to explain a little - in her words - in case you have not had the chance to read it yet (which, so far, I highly recommend you do!).

In the book, she talks about all of this in the larger framework of parenting and how in her own, personal 'Happiness Project', she set certain resolutions for herself to lighten up in this area.

Basically, instead of seeing the fog...look beyond it and notice the small, little moments that make parenthood (or anything else for that matter) enjoyable.

In my own experience, like any other parent, I often find it hard to see the happy moments from the fog (kind of the opposite - albeit using a different metaphor - of seeing the forest from the trees).

We go through our days...trying to find our way through the fog...stumbling...complaining...squinting to see all of the things on our long to-do lists.

And because of all of the "fog"...we sail right past the little, bright moments of joy that present themselves everyday.

The way your baby sings in his crib every morning. The look on your daughter's face when she brings home a wicked grade on the test she studies so hard for. The taste of the homemade meatballs your mother-in-law made because she knows you love them so much.

Parenting is frickin' hard shit peeps and we all know it. That fog can be pretty think sometimes.

But if someone were to ask you what brought you your greatest sense of happiness in your life...what would your answer be?

I know that the fog cleared pretty quickly when I asked myself that very question just now.

And I know you know my answer.




Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I Want to Be A Part Of My Life

Sometimes us Moms get to a point in our lives when we realize that motherhood has taken over.

Every aspect of our lives seem to revolve around our children.


Diapers, feeding, driving, homework, extracurricular activities, shopping, worrying, planning, appointments, birthday parties, play dates, disciplining, decisions, cleaning, laundry, explaining, nursing and...well...you know.


Obviously, my list could go on to fill a thousand posts and more. But if you are a parent...you know exactly what I mean.

Even working outside of the home involves constantly juggling responsibilities to our children.

What if one of them gets sick? What if one of them gets hurt? Who is going to take one of them to hockey practice, the other one to the doctor and make sure they all have clean underwear for the next day?

Mother guilt is constant in one way or another. At least it is for me. And I know I am not alone.

I'm guilty. Perhaps these shades will keep me under cover.

We love our kids so much that it trumps everyone and everything else in our lives.

But hey...at least I can say my hair is better than Donald's.  (Speaking of trump.)

Our interests, our spouses, our friends, our work, our own well-being...even our happiness...often take a back seat if it means tending to our kids the way we think they need to be tended to.

And sometimes it goes too far.

I have written about all of this stuff before.

Several times.

But here I am writing about it again because I am on a mission to make changes.

I am on a mission to make myself more a part of my life.

Does that make sense?

It sounds funny as I read that back to myself...but that is kinda my point.

If you feel that your life is more about others...even your kids...more than it is about yourself...then you are on a road to losing who you are.

Being a parent is a massive responsibility. But part of that responsibility needs to be to ourselves. We need to take responsibility for our own happiness.

And just because your children are...or seem...happy...that is not the end all and be all.

There is a great amount of truth to to the saying "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".

Kids are very receptive. They pick up on toxicity and have this magical ability to take on the feelings that they are surrounded with.

So if you are unhappy...they will feel that. If you are stressed...they will feel that. And of course, the last thing we want is unhappy, stressed-out children.

Change is always difficult...but it is often very healthy.

...and that kind of change is good too!

Making personal adjustments to improve your level of well-being will only prove to do the same for your kids...and the other peeps you share your life with.

It's a journey...but I have the wander-lust bug.

So here I go.

Change'll do me good!

Care to join me?