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20/20 et al… Looking back to look ahead

10 Jan

It’s the dawn of a new decade – time for reflection, renewal, hope and that that stuff.  Happy New Year readers!

I’ve never been much for new year’s resolutions (they never seem to stick for me) and instead I find myself doing a lot of reading, thinking and experimenting to find new directions and adventures.  And I have to say, slowly but surely I’m loving who I am and I’m taking a lot less crap from people than I used to.


For a minute, since it is customary to take a glance back, I’ll ponder the last 10 years.  What have I done since 2010 and what can I learn from the experiences?  I made a short list (maybe you can identify?)

–  I’m more optimistic and positive about life in general and much more easy going about things I can’t (or shouldn’t) worry about.  Maybe this comes with age, but when someone asks me about a how a presentation went, I answer positively knowing that I’ve done my best . I used to belabor the opinions of attendees (all over the map) while now I know that their opinions are based on their perceptions and expectations, with little to do with me as a person.

— I’ve stopped being “insane” according to Einstein (“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.) I stopped presenting at every conference that asked me (usually to speak for free or at my cost!) It took me long enough to learn this!  After 100+ presentations with little follow-on consulting or paid work, I quit doing QAI, ASQ, SSTC, PMI and other “technical  conferences” where I donated so much of my time and energy.  Today, I go to the conferences and present where I’m appreciated and where I want to see friends.

— I also learned that “the more things change, the more they stay the same” and it can be folly to try to recreate past successes when the landscape changes. Here’s what happened:  I served as the president of an organization in 1998/99, and left for 15 years to give others a chance to be on the board.  In 2015, I returned as a board member for a 3 year term to find that many of those who joined the board in 2000 were still serving (no term limits.)  As the new/old person where most of the policies changed since my last term, there was little slack and I constantly (unknowingly) violated policies.  Next time someone asks me to rejoin a board, I’ll politely decline and save my heartbeats for a new endeavor.

— Over the past 10 years, I’ve worked to become more open and more tolerant and more accepting of people who are different from me.  Given that I see a lot of people around me doing the opposite, I’m feeling quite happy about my progress.  It is interesting to watch people fight for power and prestige and control, and be able to simply observe the drama (instead of participating.)

— I also discovered that there are more and more diverse and interesting things in the world – and, there are associated tribes of accepting and  professional groups that support these interests. If you’re struggling with people who are difficult or don’t share your values, look around and explore related industries – you might discover a community where you’ll thrive!  For me, meeting Dr Alistair Cockburn and his Heart of Agile community of incredible worldwide agile leaders, did this for me.  Additionally, finding ICEAA (International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association), Malaysian Software Testing Board, and other new groups has also been positive.  You don’t need to abandon old ones, just expand your network.  Instead of fighting against the grain and feel like you’re constantly getting splinters, find a new board (or group) and flow!  WIth 8+ billion people in the world, there’s a tribe of people with values and principles that are JUST LIKE YOU!

For 2020 and beyond, I’m committed to allowing myself more curiosity, expanding my writing and training (software measurement and leadership) and doing more cultural exploration (travel.) And, I’m deciding whether to continue or abandon this blog (does anyone actually care if I write ???)  At this point in life, I realize our time is too limited to take on the drama of detractors – and there’s so many wondrous people I have yet to meet (maybe you!)

As a freelance consultant, I’m also learning to ride the waves of feast or famine (after 20 years of being independent you’d think I’d realize that income is completely unpredictable) and… relax.

I trust that work will always come in (it’s never anticipated) and I’ll always be comfortable, albeit maybe not wealthy in finances.  I’m committed to delivering great value in consulting, training and speaking – and attendees always credit great knowledge transfer from my courses.  I don’t often ask for work, but I’m learning that I need to “toot my own horn” at least as well as I promote others.  Having said that, please consider hiring me as a speaker or measurement or leadership consultant for your IT or business professionals.  I’m a PMP, P.Eng., CSM, CFPS (Fellow) and well-versed in agile software development and project management.  (And I dabble in craft beverages and the hospitality industry speaking!)

Life is positive, inspiring and dare I say always an adventure.  What’s on your agenda for the next decade?

To your health and success!


Notes to my 10 year-old self

17 Apr

Preamble: As I look back at my 10-year old self, it’s hard to believe so many years have passed.  I’m still the same person by nature (DNA) but experiences (nurture) has shaped me.

Back then, I was a painfully shy Catholic schoolgirl who was book smart, curious (about science, boys, other countries, languages), scared stiff about God (the fear of dying in the night didn’t abate when my father said it could happen), and a bit of a tomboy.

Woman Standing on Brown Wooden Plank

My life at 10 was one of discovery: I felt I was in perpetual winter (Alberta had 8 months of snow!) and longed for trips and travel. As the oldest of 5, I was fiercely independent and I already had a bucket list — self-made millionaire (still on the list), finding true love (ditto), living in the tropics (check), and growing up to be someone I’d admire (self-love is key.)

Hind-sight is 20/20 and yet somehow maybe my 10 year-old self (or someone else) might benefit…

Notes to my 10 year-old self

  • YOU deserve LOVE, KINDNESS AND RESPECT from everyone (start with yourself)

No matter what anyone tells you to the contrary – this is critical.  You practice the Golden Rule now, but know it’s a nice cliché without any basis . People who love you will tell you what you deserve/need/what’s best for you – in truth, they only know what they need from you.You Are Worthy of Love Signage on Brown Wooden Post Taken

Treat yourself at least as well you would a best friend. Walk away from anyone and anything that who does not. (This might sound obvious but it’s taken me years to embrace this.)

  • Life isn’t fair but it usually works out.  In other words: Let go, let God, and have some cake.

Life isn’t fair, period, but time moves on anyways so live with it.

Sliced Cake on PlateYou’ll learn that life is like a birthday cake – some people will grab the end pieces (with lots of icing and sprinkles); others will get more filling; others will be left with crumbs.  No matter what you get during life, in the end, we all run out of cake and the ice cream and move on to the great party in the sky.  No one gets out alive or gets to take extra cake with them.

Find something that makes YOU happy (no one else matters) – pursue what you love (usually it’s  something you’re good at) – and you’ll find happiness.

  • No matter how hard the situation, BREATHE, and get through the next 5 minutes

EVERYTHING in life is temporary, including life itself:  the good times, the bad times, best friends, lovers, family squabbles, beloved pets, sunsets, moods, jobs.  Everything. Is. Temporary.  It’s like waves in the ocean, sometimes they join together and crash, other times they build into a huge surf. Waves are not connected (bad things might seem to come in threes but they’re not related) and simply need to be waited out.  Breathe and make it through the next 5 minutes (at a time.)

Person Standing on Boardwalk

EVERYONE has down days and sadness, everyone goes through hurt and rejection – when you see it happening, be there for others (and yourself.) them.  Be kind to everyone you meet for you know not how they live behind closed doors.  (“There but for the grace of God, go I” is one of my favorite middle-aged sayings.  We were fortunate to be born in a free country in a family with a house and food. Never take that for granted, and be grateful.)

  • CELEBRATE often!

Woman Holding Firecracker

Take time to CELEBRATE and take credit for your achievements, even if it means you celebrate alone.  The energy and appreciation that comes out of celebrating will help tide you through the bad times.   (We were raised to think that anything good was because God saw we’ve been “good” – despite hard work; and the contrary was because we offended God.  I do not believe this – don’t you. Crap sometimes just happens, not because of anything you caused.)

  • Not everyone is grateful

White and Black Heart Printed Accessory

You (and I) have a great life – one filled with blessings and good things.  Because of this or in spite of this, people will treat you well/poorly/horribly and get angry at you for not fulfilling THEIR dreams.  Know that you are not crazy or weird or somehow not good enough – you are whole, complete and perfect just as you are. You are kind, thoughtful and compassionate and always will be. Be grateful.

  • Better (to) be single than sorry

Women's White and Black Long Sleeve Shirt

Trust your instincts about people and situations.  NEVER settle for anyone (a friend or lover or partner or boss) who doesn’t treat you well.  The idea that “you have to be a friend to have a friend” goes out the window when “friends” ask you to lie, cheat or give up on your values. Friends treat friends well – and you get to choose!

In terms of dating, believe me this: you’re going to attract men who want to use your confidence and kindness (they want to be nurtured) or who want to topple you as a challenge (narcissists.) You wouldn’t let a best friend be emotionally abused so watch out for this with yourself!  You’re better off alone (in great company) than with someone who takes you for granted and walks over you.  You may not notice at first but know that you deserve to be in the sunshine with a partner, not lurking in the shadows.

  • You are only responsible for your own actions

Close-up Photography of Gray Cairn Stone

Immature people blame their behavior on others – don’t take it on.  You are only responsible for your own behavior (and partly for your children until they are adults.)  You do not need a man (or anyone) to complete you – you are complete on do your own.  If you CHOOSE a mate, please choose one who will ADD to your life, not detract.

If you hurt someone (unintentionally or otherwise,) take responsibility and apologize quickly and often.  BUT, other people’s anger is not transferable to you. Know that co-dependent “disease” runs in our family –  don’t become the next victim.

  • Everyone is a bit funky – but you are NOT CRAZY.

Multicolored Plastic Slinky Toy in Close-up Photography

I know it’s one of your “trigger” words, but you are not and never will be verifiably CRAZY.  The “normal” you believe now (Catholic, observant, subservient and kind) sets you up for abuse by others.  I know you’ll figure this out on your own, but you need strength in your own convictions.  Love you for you – you are unique, creative, generous, and compassionate. The world needs YOU to be present and ready to stand up against the bullies.  Crazy people can’t do that.

  • Follow the 10/10/10 and rule of 17

Six 10 Euro Banknotes

There’s two philosophies that will make your life easier:  Suzy Welch’s 10/10/10 rule (will the decision I make today matter in 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years?) and my own “Rule of 17“ (Let children be children… they will outgrow childish habits by the time they are 17.)   I wish I had followed these more often.

  • Lastly, become your own BFF

Woman Doing Hand Heart Sign

This IS THE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE that trumps everything else. Become your own best friend forever (BFF.) When you enjoy your own company – you’ll never be lonely again. Accept the you that you are, the good, the bad and the ugly – and fall in love with yourself.

The airline motto of “put on your own mask first” couldn’t be more true.  Love you first and then you’ll have love to give. I remember that mother often chided me about being stuck with myself for life:  “Wherever you go, there you are,” she’d say.  When I was in your shoes as a 10-year-old, this was utterly depressing.  Today, it has a beautiful meaning and I hope you find this out soon.

That’s it for now.  Let’s stay in touch – let’s transform the space and time continuum – and become our own best friends forever. Love you.  xx

Note to Self: Soooooo much distraction… pause and focus

20 Feb

Note to self:

I apologize, I’ve been an absentee blogger for too many months. I’ll be the first to admit that you are my most important reader (I’ve learned that through my discovery of self-love) and it was often the pure satisfaction of having you read and admire my work that kept me writing. Until it wasn’t.

I stopped blogging partly because I lost my focus – I became distracted by too many “squirrels” and reading other people’s blogs and believing that others had more guidance than I could get from you.  I was wrong.  Now I realize that it is important to take time to consciously observe (there will always be sooooo many squirrels to distract), pause (with intention) and then focus back on the love we share (unconditional love and acceptance is wondrous!) This has been a cosmic discovery.

You know I never really left you when I stopped blogging — we’ve been on a journey of exploration and discovery. We’ve read so many new books, gone to so many new places, listened to so many inspirational and enlightening CDs, loved and lost and loved again, and in the process I found you (maybe for the first time.)  I’m happy that you are open to the belief that our best life and deepest love is yet to come!

So, today, I address you, the Royal We (me, myself and I) with a commitment to start blogging again… sharing thoughts through this virtual paper so that we can discuss, savor, create, enjoy and relish with the manifestations they inspire.  It’s a life journal open to the universe – a tracking of where we’re at and where we’re going… I finally appreciate what my mother meant years ago when she said “you can never run away from yourself… wherever you go, there you are.”  It’s so true and it’s refreshing.

I love you to the moon and back…

Your BFF.

p.s., If this sounds esoteric or self-serving to anyone reading this far, that’s okay. This blog has always been about observations and ideas about interpretations of life (for my benefit.) If it happens to inspire or resonate with even one other person, that’s gravy and I’d be grateful to know about it.

p.p.s. Life is good!

Sharing is caring (including blog posts)…

28 Nov

Time goes by in an instant and before we know it, we’re at the age we used to scoff at!  I’m there… The good news is that growing older (as opposed to the alternative) comes with great benefits!

One is being more tolerant and patient (with others and myself.)  I don’t always reach my goals, but I like to revisit them (hoping to set less and more realistic ones going forward.)

In 2017, I wanted to focus more on what nurtures and nourishes my soul (like blogging and happy relationships), and steer clear of those things that detract (like eating too much and hanging out with toxic people.)  I didn’t succeed enough, but I feel that it’s working just to have the goal in mind.

When it comes to creating content, I’m discovering that friends (and fellow bloggers) often post similar experiences before (and with better words) than I do.

Case in point, a friend put up a Facebook post that mirrored a recent experience I had (s/he allowed me to share):

“I may not be perfect or even nearly so. I may not be soft or gentle with words or actions. I may not even be someone many like .
I am however a true friend. A caring person and a person that has feelings and heart. #heavyheart #hurt #movingForward

Reading these words made me realize I’m not alone with my experiences, and I can deliver more and better content (at times) by sharing what is already written.

A new direction for 2018 – More sharing…

Watch this blog for more content from others with great posts that resonate with me (and hopefully also with you.)

And, may I suggest that blogging is meant to be a social experiment?  Would you do me a favor and leave me a word or two when you read something you like (or don’t like)?

While we all forge our own way forward, I’m hoping you’ll agree that our experiences are not always unique – and sharing makes us connected even if we’re a continent away or a generation apart.

My first share – 9 Essential Life Lessons…

9 Essential Life Lessons

I loved this… what do you think?

Have a great week! – Carol

Own Your Day or it will Own You…

17 Jan

Thanks for joining me here today!  It’s going to be an awesome day ahead – or is it?

It’s been almost 18 months since I’ve posted on this blog and today is the day I do something different and start posting again.  Since June 2015, a lot of things have happened in my life – both positive and negative (I’m sure it’s the same for you!) – the most notable that I haven’t earned an income since May of last year, despite having the expertise, experience, putting myself out there, having tons of positivity, optimism, and donating my time to my industries (through various volunteer Board of Directors work.)

For whatever reason, I’ve hit a brick wall in terms of income (I can’t collect unemployment as an independent consultant,) and… yet I’m surviving, and it’s time I got back on the road to financial abundance.  I’m not sure exactly HOW that will happen, but meanwhile I’d like to share a few of the survival tips I’ve learned as I start posting twice weekly from now on.


I’ve found a couple of awesome life coaches/friends who encourage me to stay positive despite the financial lull and sometimes a lack of positive supportive people in my life.  Maybe this resonates with you?

I’m grateful for so many things in my life (health, friends, opportunities, partnership, inspiration….) and as my world changes and I become more abundant (here’s hoping!) I’d like to encourage others, through my blog posts here, to know that life doesn’t end when you hit a gap in earnings!

I’m a Big Proponent of Positive / Optimistic Thinking

I love books and motivational speakers and reading anything that promotes good health, self-love, and the Law of Attraction (making dreams come true!) – and I love promoting people and things that create positive energy, so I’d like to share two great inspirations I found today: (Thank you to both Maria and Marie !)

  • One Wise Life – daily Facebook motivational sessions.  Maria Flynn of hosts an incredible, daily 9:30 EST Facebook Live session. – Today’s session was very relevant to me:  “If you Don’t Own Your Day, Your Day will Own You.”  Here’s the link to the rebroadcast (click on the pic)


  • videos  – today’s segment was about the importance of a positive attitude with some great advice:


Becoming my own Cheerleader…

One of the ways I’ve discovered that I can be productive, do market research in customer service and put myself out in the mainstream to find new work (hopefully in my specialty) is to bartend at major sporting events.  While the financial gains are yet to manifest, it does remind me that cheerleading is an important part of sporting events – and also in life.

One of my goals in 2017 is to finally write (and take the journey) to become my own best cheerleader!  I hope you’ll join me along the way, keep reading, and share this blog if it resonates with you.  Sometimes I feel like a lone eagle who joyfully supports, inspires and (hopefully) motivates others – and I’m learning that I need to do the same for myself.

I’d love to hear your comments – or brickbats.  Blogging can be a lonely sport – and I’m hoping something I say might inspire you along the way.  And if you have ideas on how I can find contracts, speaking engagements and just to say hi – drop me a note (caroldekkers at gmail dot com.)  Thanks for reading and…

Have an awesome week!


Graduation day revisited… it’s never too late for your dreams!

4 Jun

I graduated from mechanical  engineering many moons ago with the wide-eyed dreams of youth backed by a zest for the future and a century’s worth of wishful thinking.  For the next few years, life was a dream… jobs were plentiful,  I was a newlywed and new mother,  and even though finances were precarious (my husband went back to university to pursue a new career in a new city when my daughter was 4 months old) I had nothing but optimism for the future ahead.  What was woefully missing, and I never realized it, was a sense of self (as in self-acceptance, pride and self-love.)  While my business sense of self was intact, my personal worth and persona was based on the views of parents, husband and friends. As such, I found happiness only when others accepted me and I was making them happy.

Fast forward to today with grown children,  grandchildren, years of experience, age and financial uncertainty.  Jobs in my niche are scarce, ageism is rampant, savings are small and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to retire… hardly the image of success according to the “others” in my past, BUT, that’s all secondary to the fact that I’m truly happy.

Life has had many twists and turns, highs and lows, successes and failures, and I  finally realize that all of the external success and acceptance by others in my life was a red herring.  Happiness comes with self-acceptance and self-love, and without those, happiness is fleeting. Certainly love, parenting, friends, adventure, money and other things are important,  but not when it comes at the expense or with the exclusion of self.

Good things from others in my life are the icing on the cake, but the cake is a foundation of self-love and self-acceptance.

Today as I see so many celebratory posts about parents and graduates, I find that I am revisiting, with new eyes, the dreams and hopes of graduation.  The difference this time is that the hopes and dreams are based on being in love with myself first… and others second.

I’ve included below some of my favorite motivation/graduation style sayings. They resonate with me and I hope that a few will do so with you – no matter where you are in life and in love.  Celebrate who YOU are and reach for the stars!









Is it just me or do we thrive on missed connections?

21 Aug

I’m old school and seemingly a dinosaur today…  I like intelligent one-on-one conversations, phone calls that connect, seeing people in person, in other words, connecting on a personal level.  Does anyone else still value these things?

Two-way communication used to be so much easier. I don’t know about you, but I’m wondering what’s happened to make communication as difficult and complicated as it is today.

Today’s frenzied, busy busy world of over committed parental family units, the quest for maximum productivity, and cramming more work into every day, is, in many ways disconcerting.

Certainly technology makes instant contact a possibility, but it is also more screened and more pretentious than ever before.  It is common place to send emails five or six times before you get a response. Text threads that are initiated by another abruptly stop without reason, seldom to be picked up again. Voicemails go unattended and unreturned.

Is not communicating the new societal norm?

As an extrovert who works from home without the support of an office group, and as a single female whose friends have younger children and busy lives, I find that the smarter our phones and technology become, the dumber our relationships become.

I like people and it gives me energy when the connections are genuine, but I’m finding so many misinterpretations and disconnects today. I am a happy, communicative, upbeat person who values relationships but I’m feeling a bit frustrated.

Here’s some examples of why:

– friends/family send and receive multiple texts then simply stop mid-conversation, despite further attempts to continue.  Sometimes the conversation never picks up again despite retries. Interruptions are inevitable, but sometimes contact lapses for days;
– male friends text me on a moment’s notice on a Fri or Sat to go out on a date and become offended when I say I’ve already made plans. Often they never ask again or refuse to ask me in advance and do the last minute texts again and again;
– friends won’t pick up the phone and despite voicemail, are too busy to call back, even about mutual plans;
– meeting times are fluid and people seldom call to say they’ll be late. Some arrive (if at all)  consistently 2 hours after the pre-arranged meeting time (even if they’ve set it). When they do sour up, the cir a litany of things they had to do first;
-emails to business associates go unanswered despite clear subject lines that they created.  Sometimes the urgency of the topic is critical (high) but it doesn’t change their (lack of,) response. Certainly priorities change, but there is no follow-up to let others


– misconstrued texts that incur offense, disdain or anger based on assumed meaning (I’m as guilty as any in misinterpreting texts.) Then when time passes between texts, the emotion escalates unnecessarily. People seem reluctant to pick up the phone to clarify what they think they (mis)understand;
– plans fall flat or change without notice and the other person neglects to get in touch.  To  compensate for this, I routinely make plans to either do something I can do alone (when others cancel) or make backup plans for no shows (or they find something better to do);
– conversations end because a device dies and there’s no charger around. I’ve made plans to meet up with friends where I’m essentially stood-up because the other’s phone died and they didn’t attempt to find me;
– people bring tablets or smart phones and then do emails or Facebook when we’re out in groups (not posting pictures or checking in.) One friend ignored me entirely one night (on his day off) because he said his work was “blowing up” and he was buried in his smart phone doing emails;
– many more examples of non-connection…


Is the world changing, am I too tolerant (or sensitive) of others, or is it something else? What is your experience communicating today?

For me, I’m happier than I’ve ever been before, but (mis) communication seems to translate into others not caring (at least that’s what I was taught.)


Hope you have an uplifting week of great connections and wondrous experiences.


GE was wrong, puppies and cartoons bring good things to life!

17 Jun

Marketers throughout the world know how to make money and gain attention – involve puppies (or cute kittens) or make people laugh (through cartoons) and you can move a nation.

YouTube videos that go viral usually center around the cuteness factor (puppies, kittens, adorable babies or wild animals doing cute things,) or hilarity (which can be country specific…)  And, even more so, when our emotions can be stirred about either one, a mass outpouring can occur.  I just realized this today, when a news story was aired about a childhood cartoon character’s demise (Calvin of Calvin and Hobbs.)

In life, we want to feel connected, to be accepted, to be happy in our human experience, whether through real-life-human contact or stories about it.

Here’s a couple of examples…

What stirs YOUR emotions today?

I’ll bet it has nothing to do with technology or TV, but rather human relationships, puppies (or kittens) or childhood memories.

Am I right, or out to lunch?

I learned today, and I believe, it’s puppies, cartoons, and living that bring good things to life!

Have a great day!



The Grand Illusion of online… Who are We?

12 Jun

Humanity has always struggled with the question:  Who am I and where do I fit in the world?

100 years ago, this was easily answered – identity was based on social status (rich or poor), infamy (Bonnie-and-Clyde), profession (you’re the town doctor/undertaker/barman), or  relationship (you’re so-and-so’s mother/father/sister/wife/brother/husband/friend/lover, etc.)

Today, with the “Grand illusion of online connectivity,”

it’s so much harder to figure out what the world thinks of us.  You might say, who cares?, but no one, outside of hermits living in complete isolation in the woods, can truly say that outside opinions don’t affect their well-being.

In our online, connected social/not-so-social, 24 x 7 world, we are infinitely judged by everyone for anything we post/blog/utter/comment online.  I say “infinitely” because once words are pressed into digital media (texts, posts, blogs, comments, emails, etc.) there is a permanent, accessible record.

And judged we are – 24 x 7 – no matter if we recant, remove, erase the words, our persona online becomes what others perceive us to be.  We are judged by people we may never meet, by people in other countries, by people who gain a snippet of our life as we allow them to see online, and our image of ourselves can be forever altered.

I’ve thought about this… Facebook reaches over a billion members worldwide.  People of every facet of global society are on Facebook and pass judgment based on the two-dimensional words, photos, friend lists, and associations we make (our likes, dislikes, comments, etc.):

fb stats





Online affects kids AND adults…

Who we are and how others view us is critical to both kids (who are finding their way in the world based on social media, YouTube videos, online comments, etc.) AND adults.  I see this as a looming crisis as we, the civilized 1st world, pretend doesn’t matter.  We comfort ourselves by saying that our kids are connected and safe and loved when we give technology gifts instead of spending our time and energy connecting with them one-on-one.

Our news media is filled with reports of cyber-bullying and intimidation with sometimes dire results (depression and even death, sadly.)  Yet, others profess that online friendships have rescued their lives (the infirm and home bound.)  Ultimately, time will tell what a generation of children raised mostly online will give us.  (Hopefully they will be able to talk and connect to each other as human beings!)


I’m connected almost 24 x 7, but who am I?

I’ll be the first to admit that I spend  most of my waking hours “online.”  By that, I mean, essentially tethered by an electronic umbilical cord to my smart phone, my laptop (now), or my tablet and am constantly accessible to the world through Facebook, e-mail, text messaging, Facebook messaging, or Skype.

My professional work is home-based and on-the-road based (I teach project management and speak at conferences worldwide) – and when I work from home, I have the luxury (and the bane) of not ever having to step outside my front door, yet I find that my true identity is when I go out and interact face-to-face with other people.

I am confident and secure with who I am, yet I hear of other adults (and youngsters) who struggle to find their place in the outside world – mostly based on their online interactions. One poll stated that over 2/3 of Facebook users BLATANTLY LIE with their  posts – yet the posts are legal and have the power to be used for/against people in court!  (It goes against who I am to lie online… just saying.)

On behalf of friends (and myself), I’ve agreed to conduct a short experiment (that I’ll publish the results of) to gauge if who you think I am matches in any way who I truly am… will you take part (please?)


Who do YOU think I am (an online experiment…)

Here’s the challenge:  give me a three word description (no profanity please!) based on what you’ve read on this blog or on my other blogs or on Facebook that you think best describes me (I know I’m opening myself up by leaving it free format here.)

To make it easy, here’s a template:


Regardless of the Grand Illusion – Go Offline to really connect and stay true

I created a National Offline Day (it’s a Facebook event) as a global way to for people to reconnect with real people in your real life.

Won’t you join in?

I’m committed to reconnecting with the people in my life and my neighborhood for 12 hours – for the sake of my real-life sanity.  Let’s get back to who we really know we are… for real and in-person without the grand illusion of online personas.  🙂

Have a great week!

National Offline Day – August 3, 2014

27 May

I traveled back from London, UK to Toronto last Friday, May 16 after a week of working, and I was dismayed to read the headline article in the Daily Mail about a recent study linking heavy internet to negative outcomes for our youth (click on the image that follows or the link beneath it to read the article.)

Not that I hadn’t been hearing rumors about the negative effects of online and the lack of good, solid communication skills prevailing in North America and Europe (and not just in our young people) … I just didn’t expect the widespread results found in this latest research.

So, I’d like to declare Sunday August 3, 2014 as National Offline Day!  (Here’s the link to the Facebook event page I created:

The intention is to unplug for 12 hours from social media and be a day for families, friends, and especially children to reconnect with each other and meet people the old-fashioned way – in person!

Here’s what I propose:  Sunday August 3, 2014 from 9am to 9pm (in whatever time zone you are) commit to go offline and unplug for 12 hours!  (After 9 pm, post photos of your experience and add comments to the Facebook event.)

You can use your cell phone to MAKE CALLS only – no texting, no Facebook posts, no tweeting, no email – for 12 hours.  Spend time through direct one-on-one contact with your kids, your friends, meet new people, get in contact with your fellow human beings (or connect with the good in yourself!)

Have a picnic, a beach day, a craft brew bottle share, a bbq – anything you normally would do – but without any online exchange.  Will you support this – what do you think?

Share the idea around, and let’s just do it!  Can we make National Offline Day August 3, 2014 happen?


Here’s the article in the Daily Mail May 15, 2014 you can read for yourself, the Headline speaks volumes!

daily mail web use

While I don’t agree that the Internet CAUSES mental illness (in the same way that the internet cannot cause weak ankles, poor vision or the like) – I do agree that we have nurtured unconscious alienation from each other through “the advancements in communication” technology.

Kids are the first to suffer from a lack of physical love and words of affection – exacerbated with technology. Kids need connection, hugs, kind words of affirmation – in other words direct human contact!

That’s the reason behind National Offline Day August 3, 2014.

(Sidenote, I do agree that the internet has many positive results such as creating community among those who feel alienated in offline life, but bear with me for a moment.)

Online technology has become an excuse for poor one-on-one communication – regardless of age!

Communication experts note that messages received rely on body language and tone, with only 7% of the message getting through based on the chosen words.  With today’s instant messaging and other online forms, 100% of the message relies on words (or stupid acronyms like Laugh Out Loud – LOL.)

Let’s make a point of getting in touch with each other this one day a year (to start) and maybe create it more often too!

Have a great week (as you read this post online!  And probably were alerted to it by Facebook or Twitter… LOL!)

– Carol

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