Author Archives: Jennifer Gallaher

About Jennifer Gallaher

Owner of Virtual Assistance by Jen

How Full Is Your Love Tank?

With the impending Valentine’s Day holiday just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to write a little something about love.  However, I’m not going to take the generic route and talk about how this is the time of year (or day, actually) where couples all around the globe are getting all doe-eyed and mushy with each other.  Not that I don’t think that’s great, I do!  But, should we just be that way with each other only one time of the year?  I surely don’t subscribe to that theory.

Which brings me to my point.  Love is great, but there really is more going on behind the scenes then what others see.  For instance, do you ever feel like you just don’t have anything left to give?  What about those days when you have done everything possible to make everyone happy, but you aren’t?  Or you love talking to this girlfriend of yours, but you always feel drained after the call ends?  What if a client needed you do complete an already assigned project early as well as a new one that was just handed to you today?  Could you really do it?  Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? 

They certainly do for me and it wasn’t until I learned about the “Love Tank Theory,” that everything seemed to make sense.  The Love Tank Theory was created by two very inspirational and smart individuals-Debra Guzman and Carol Scissel.  I had the distinct pleasure of learning what this theory was all about personally.  You see, I was fortunate enough to work with these to wonderful ladies-one was my mom and the other is a great mentor.  I saw first-hand how they taught this great theory in their classrooms and the reactions it brought about.  Even better, I was able to not only apply this theory in my own life, but I had the opportunity to teach this theory as well.  Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying then seeing someone actually get what you are saying and apply the principles to their own lives and have it work.

In the most basic of terms, the Love Tank Theory is about the love and attention exchanges that happen between you and others on a daily basis.  When the balance of exchanges tips in favor of the other person, then we feel the effects-i.e. can’t do anything right, tired after talking to one of your most favorite people or feeling you have nothing left to possibly give to anyone, much less a client in “rush mode.”  These are clues letting you know that your internal “Love Tank” is running on empty or dangerously close to being empty.  Still not getting it?  Try this: think of the gas in your car.  How low do you let the tank get before you fill it back up with gas?  We know that the lower we let the tank get, the more chance we have at not being able to get that last errand ran.  What happens if there was an emergency?  Would you have enough gas in your tank to make it?  Probably not, if you are the type of individual who lets the tank go below the 1/4 line.  Now, think about your internal love tank.  How low do you let yourself get before you refuel?  Chances are, there is a direct correlation between the two. 

We get so busy throughout our day trying to meet the needs of everyone else (husband/wife, children, friends, business/clients) that we forget to take the time to meet our own needs.  When it’s too late, we crash!  We feel stretched too thin, overwhelmed and anxious.  When we are in this mode, we aren’t good for anyone, much less ourselves.  Don’t let yourself get this way. 

How can we prevent this from happening?  Learn to recognize the signs.  If you see your friends name pop up on your phone and you start to feel anxious, that’s a sign.  If you dread another snow day because that means your kids will be home with you all day, that could be another sign.  Take a step back and breathe.  Figure out what YOU need to bring your love tank back up again.  It could be as simple as taking a coffee break or turning on your favorite CD and zoning out to it for awhile.  Whatever it is, take heart and listen to your internal self.  Be honest with yourself and learn to LOVE YOURSELF!  Remember that old adage: “You have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else?”  It’s true.  If you aren’t taking care of yourself, then how can you possibly take care of anyone else or your business for that matter?

Here are a few simple and easy suggestions to get your tank full again:

  • Take a pottery class one night a week (or any other class that interests you) and have fun!
  • Got a new eReader for Christmas?  Download a book for it and actually set aside time each day to read a chapter or two.
  • Send yourself some flowers.
  • Color with your kids.
  • Have a new favorite group you love listening to?  Buy or download their new CD and blare it in the car. 
  • Go get that massage you’ve been wanting. 
  • Looking for a change-go to your hair stylist and see what she suggests for a new cut or color.
  • Have a night out with guys or girls and don’t worry about what’s happening at home.

Granted these ideas seem easy or even silly, but have you ever noticed that once you’ve done one of them, you feel happier?  Like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulder?  It could quite possibly be that you are tending to your own needs for a change and thereby filling up your “Love Tank”.  Once you’re full, you can conquer  whatever comes your way.  Just be sure to watch your gauge from here on out.  You deserve it!  So, enjoy this lovable holiday and embrace the love you have for yourself! 

 

31 Days of Wishes-The True Meaning of Christmas

I received this little story this morning forwarded to me by my mom, so I don’t know where it originated.  If anyone recognizes who the original owner is, please let me know so that I can give proper credit to him/her.

At any rate, I realized that this was a perfect “wish” and I wanted to share it with you.

Christmas at the Gas Station

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been
anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day
to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to
celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling
for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened
and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his
customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank
you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy,
I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger.
“It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew …. Made it myself. When
you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me,
be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy.
Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. “Mister can
you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is
with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The
block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.

“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George
as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old
truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the
garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was
waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you
ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into
the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ‘em
the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new .”
George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The
Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well,
at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked
slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had
been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas
Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was
just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he
said to himself. So he put a new one on.

“Those tires ain’t gonna get ‘em through the winter either.” He took the
snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he
wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a
police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left
shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had
received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention.
“Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been
there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct
tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he
said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for
his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the
policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an
ambulance.”

The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there
talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone
into the dashboard destroying the two-way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the
officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in
the area.”

George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the
Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check
for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through
‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time
you’re gonna be right as rain.”

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.

“None for me,” said the officer.

“Oh, yer gonna drink this.  Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no
donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun.
“Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was
shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this
before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon
away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now
give me the cash!”

The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to
the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you
need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put
that pea shooter away.”

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man,
reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man
released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not
very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and
son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got
repossessed last week.”

George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now
and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we
can.”

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from
the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a
cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human.
Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and
we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot
you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.”

“Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an
ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn.
“Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”

“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the
other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just
dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

“That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.

“Yep,”  George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man
leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”

Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks
for everything.”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve
some of your problems.”

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a
ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think
Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw.
“I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”

“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories.
That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared
next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell.
“Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old
man had handed him earlier.

“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that
too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in
the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”

“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you
come from? I thought you left?”

“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say
you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother
was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’
cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and
besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”

The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the
holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold
and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a
great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by
terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man
and not take any for himself. That is the spirit of the season and you
keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know
all this?” asked the old man.

“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when
your days are done you will be with Martha again.”

The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have
to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the
stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to
fill the room.

“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”.

Now, I realize that the ending of this story has a slight religious tone to it, but I believe the context of the story is what is important.  The true meaning of Christmas is not how  many gifts you can buy or for that matter, how many you receive; it’s the little things you do for others out of the goodness of your heart all throughout the year, including Christmas day that counts!  Let’s remember to take care of our fellow men and women when we see a need arise.

And for those of you who are young at heart like me, Christmas just isn’t the same without a little bit of Charlie Brown.   Even he finds out what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.  Gotta love that tree, too!  :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4Hv9YmhGpw]

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!!!

31 Days of Wishes: Forgiveness

This week, I am making a wish for forgiveness.

Wikipedia defines forgiveness as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.  Forgiveness can also simply be defined as a person who forgives, including forgiving themselves.

Let’s put our differences aside and forgive each other or ourselves.  Man up or woman up, as the expression goes.  Take the higher ground for the betterment of your own well-being.  Who needs all that toxic or negative emotion floating around anyway?

Forgive yourself for working too many hours and not spending enough time with your family.  Then, work on creating more of a balance between work and home life.  Forgive that so-called friend who decided to steal that client out from under you.  They must have really needed the extra income more than you at the time.  Then, work on speaking to your friend in a non-confrontational way to let them know how you feel.

This is one wish that is close to my heart.  I have high hopes that this wish will come true not only for me, but for all of you who may be struggling with forgiveness, as well.  Release the negative energy in order to let more positive energy into your life!

31 Days of Wishes: Our Contributions

A wonderful friend brought this interesting blog to our attention 31 Days of Wishes.  What a thought-provoking way to engage readers!  In a time like this where the economy is still tanked and people are STILL out of work, it’s refreshing to see others participating in positive, “wishful” things.

Halloween and Thanksgiving are over and one major holiday (dare I say it-Christmas) is fast approaching.  There is sure be trying times ahead with last-minute gifts to be found and family and friends all gathered under one small (or what seems to be small) roof.  Don’t fret!  It will all be over before you know it.

But, with all the hoop la still left to go through, we here at Work at Home Life thought it would be fun and inspiring to participate in “31 Days of Wishes;” if for no other reason than to show others compassion, understanding, humor and a few other pretty little adjectives.  :)  Each week we will come up with new wishes and we encourage you to share your wishes with us!

My first wish is for prosperity.  Prosperity in love, life and business.

I purposely left out the word ‘money’ to indicate that there is more than one way to become prosperous.  Although we all know it would be great to prosper financially, my wish for prosperity is directed towards those other areas.  I believe that when we feel overwhelmed with the duties and stressors of everyday life, we tend to forget about those other meaningful ways we can prosper.  It is in those other areas of prosperity that we truly need to revisit.

  • Love – Marriage, Children, Family
  • Life – Friends, Volunteer opportunities
  • Business – New network connections, Strengthen client relationships

These are just a sampling of ways we can work on becoming more prosperous.  What ways can you think of? Let us know!

Take a Vacation…It's Really Okay!

“A vacation is having nothing to do, and all day to do it in.” 

~Robert Orben, magician and comedy writer 

 

 

A few weeks ago, I took some time off.  My folks were coming into town for Halloween and they were only going to be in town for the weekend.  I had to make a decision…should I take the whole time off and spend what time I had with my folks or work around my family’s schedule?  I decided to actually take the whole time off.

To say I was a little apprehensive about actually taking the time off was an understatement.  I didn’t want to get behind on my projects nor did I want to feel disconnected from my clients.  However, I don’t get a lot of time with my folks, either.  So, I made sure to give all my clients enough notice and then went incognito.  YIKES!  J  It took every ounce of restraint I had, along with constant reminders from my hubby, to NOT answer any emails.  I actually took it as far as not evening jumping on the computer at all.  You know what?  It was really nice!  Not to mention peaceful.  I survived!

I learned something during this time off, as well.  Not only was I rested and clear-headed when I returned back to the office the following week, but I was able to give my family 100% of my attention.  We did a lot of fun activities with the kids along with Trick or Treating.  It was my son’s first time carving a pumpkin and I wouldn’t have been able to thoroughly enjoy that milestone if my mind was on a client’s pending project.  I had great one-on-one talks with my mom and dad and we even had a big BBQ and Smoke Out to welcome them to our home.

The quote I found below so perfectly sums up my time off that I wanted to share it with all of you.  I highly recommend taking some time off once in a while.  I mean, no client emails, computer time or phone calls.  Nothing.  You need the chance to recharge.  All of us do and we most certainly deserve it!  Show yourself that you are important!  I did and I’m much better off because if it.

 

 

“Your body cannot heal without play.  Your mind cannot heal without laughter.  Your soul cannot heal without joy.”

~Catherine Fenwick, motivational speaker and author of ‘Love and Laughter:  A Healing Journey’

Can You See the Clutter?

I came across a great article this morning in my inbox from Zen Habits. It talks about clutter, what it is, how to identify it and how to let go of it. I have come to look forward to those emails as I myself have been working really hard on creating a simpler, clutter-free lifestyle.

I guess my friends would consider me a minimalist. I don’t like knick knacks all over my house or all over my desk. Aside from my two computers, a phone, a printer and a notepad, the only other “decorative” thing on my desk is a picture of my sister-in-law and me on vacation. Actually, it’s not just a picture; it’s a picture on a pencil holder. See…less clutter. :)

At any rate, I really identified with this article. There are nine (9) suggested tips to help you identify whether or not something in your life, work or home is actually clutter. If it is, the article forces you (in a very gentle way) to honestly reevaluate whether or not it is necessary.

For me, going through this small checklist was more of an affirmation than anything else. That someone else out there was doing the same thing and coming up with the same or similar answers. Or perhaps, dilemmas. I have decided to make this an ongoing project and go through one room at a time throughout my office and house and start eliminating excess clutter. With winter and dare I say it…Christmas fast approaching, what better way to past the time and thus free up space, right?

I encourage all of you to read the article – Nine Quick Tips to Identify Clutter and see where you can perhaps de-clutter yourself. I promise you it’s a short read and can be read during your morning cup of coffee.

Before I go, I liked to share with you all my favorite step:

  • Is it nicely put away in an out-of-the-way place? One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: Just because things are nicely organized doesn’t mean they’re not clutter. No matter how tidily a thing is stored, if I never use it, why keep it?

Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?