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2015 in Review

In Contributors, News on December 30, 2015 at 09:04

Here it is!

One of my favorite reports of the year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for “Now That I Am in My Thirties”!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks for your readership and ongoing support!

Happy 2016!

Always yours,

Laura

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See You in April

In Family, Lifestyle, News, Spirituality on March 22, 2015 at 21:30

February 18th was Ash Wednesday. I saw it on Facebook. Even though I’ve been planning in detail for the weeks before, during and after Easter, it didn’t cross my mind to think when was the beginning of Lent.

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Growing up in a Catholic environment, I remember Ash Wednesday, as an exciting day. At school, we’d have a long mass where our Director/Priest would impose ashes on our foreheads, student by student, while repeating “Del polvo vienes y en polvo te convertirás” (“For dust you are and to dust you will return”. -Genesis 3:19) At home, we wouldn’t eat meat that day and then the following Fridays until Good Friday. I’ve never been a big fan of meat, there was my excitement. Friday lunch at the vegetarian restaurant? Bring it on!

In spite of years of hearing about it, repeating these symbolic acts, receiving catechism instruction, and having devoted friends and family around since little, I admit that I never reflected much about Lent and the idea of preparation for it, sacrifice, fasting, and abstinence. I do remember that we don’t sing the alleluia during lent. I remember some friends planning sacrifices such as not eating sweets, my aunt taking a vow of silence during Easter, and my grandpa staying quiet and almost silent on Good Friday. It’s not that I was a rebel, I just didn’t feel the call to renounce to some given pleasures, maybe because they were not even that pleasant to me and anyway, I was used to offering promises (not talking on the phone, not wearing earrings, and practical deals like that) in exchange of good grades every month.

A week off of school will come with Easter and that was exciting enough. A trip to the beach, the mountains, or at least to grandma’s house, almost three hours away from home. A few counted years, I remember going to a viacrucis (way of the Cross), a procession and visiting churches to see the “Monumentos”. Every four years, Easter will be right before presidential elections in the Dominican Republic, therefore was part of the last stretch of the political campaign, just to add some color, noise and folklore to our so called highways and toll stations. Then the news would report the balance of the losses of the week. Confusing.

When I moved to the United States I lost touch with all those traditions. I almost never realized when Easter was happening, unless I had a Spring Break type of show to work on, friends were visiting from DR during their time off, or one of my favorite bosses would announce that she will be taking Friday off because it was Good Friday.

Now that I am in my thirties, one of my goals is to awaken and strengthen that spiritual being that has been dormant inside me. I have been learning about how much sacrifice, fasting and prayer help to grow our spirits. Considering how blessed I have always felt, I started looking for ways to do more, not necessarily to ask and get more, but to first rejoice in how much I have.

This is why this year; I am giving up social networks during the Lenten season. I have been thinking about making this sacrifice for a while, in the name of productivity because, beyond of the time that I set apart to work on clients’ campaigns or share content for our blog, I waste a lot more just in pure procrastination and stalking, modern acts of sloth. Productivity was not convincing enough (“I need to know what’s going on”, “I need to be ‘out’ there because I live away from everybody”, “It’s helpful, I learn a lot there”, etc.), because I didn’t want to stop. Guilty pleasure or addiction? Not sure. But today is the perfect day to connect and give through my heart because I have a bigger purpose: Sacrifice as an act of gratitude for what I have received and as humble preparation for what is yet to come, thanking God for his mercy.

I will miss the Oscars’ gossip, big and small announcements, and compliments to recent and old pictures. I will also miss good news and bad news. I am sure I will hear about Daylight Savings Day (even though time doesn’t change in my current coordinates), the Irish Pubs around won’t let me forget St. Patrick’s Day and I might fall for a couple April’s Fool jokes.

I apologize in advance, because I know I will miss birthdays.

It’s OK because He gave up everything for us.

The hard part? I will miss all of you.

Wishing you a beautiful time of reflection and spiritual growth,

Laura

NOTE: I might post on the blog, but I won’t share it on the social networks until April 6th. If you would like to receive our posts, make sure you sign up below to receive them in your inbox. Thank you!

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2014 Won’t Be Over Until…

In Career, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality on December 15, 2014 at 16:38

…I have the chance to catch up with all of you!

I have tons of things to tell you about. I am happy to let you know that I am back, charged with positivism, fresh ideas and newfound energy to share with you.

My last post was a bit melancholic and bittersweet. Thankfully, some time has passed since then.

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That is why, without planning, I just had two great months, with the only downside of being away from you and the blogosphere. Thinking about you all day, but being respectful of the time and attention that my clients were paying for.

Business and family affairs took me to some of my favorite places on Earth. Ordinary but productive errands consumed the time in-between.

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Or to those who pray I like to add. Love and magic reveal when we close our eyes, open our heart, express our wishes and take the time to observe humbly.

While we wait, there is still time to take a look at our goals for 2014 and give them a last try. We have fifteen more days to go, before we move them to the 2015 list. Never forget them, just reschedule.

Before we kiss 2014 goodbye, I am taking a moment to look back and think how I would like to remember 2014.

8 facts that I will never forget about this year:

  1. Marked the end of an era in my career.
  2. Kicked me out of my comfort zone.
  3. Inspired me to reconnect with my most genuine talents and ambitions.
  4. Reminded me the fragility of happiness.
  5. Taught me that if I want something to happen, I must be willing to do it myself.
  6. Challenged the resilience of my heart.
  7. Showed me how much I can give.
  8. Kept giving me reasons to be forever grateful.

That was my 2014.

How was yours?

What did you experience this year? What touched you? What did you learn?

How would you like to remember 2014?

Hope you had a meaningful one!

Here’s to us!

Laura

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2014: Midyear Recap

In Career, Family, Lifestyle, News on July 1, 2014 at 09:00
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Looking back…grateful!

The first half of the year is getting close to its end. As we start preparing for a summer filled with fun and activities, I would like to look back and share with you a quick mid-year recap. In some aspects it has been a slow year, valuable work projects have been cancelled or postponed, but I have learned my lessons and made important progress in different areas of my life. Keeping an eye on quality over quantity, it’s been a positive year.

What have I done so far in 2014?

-January:

As I mentioned on “Back for Good”, 2014 started with a contrasting mix of productivity and lethargy. Excited about being devoted to an amazing professional project indeed, even strength training every day. Mid-January, fun came in all different forms: family and friends joined us for a special corporate extravaganza: My husband’s company anniversary and annual beach week. Perfect dose of excitement and exhaustion!

-February:

My “creative” year started in February. After a long break, I started blogging and writing again and through them, found love in  everything around as you can read on “Love Now”.

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Looking back…grateful!

I also went away for a production gig and celebrated my dear Dominican Republic posting our National Poem on February 27th, our Independence Day.

-March:

Without planning it, March was a great month for reflection.  I started “Learning From Those Younger Than Us” sharing with you the short film  “NICA”  about a mid-20s young man who trades in his dismal 9-5 lifestyle in an urban metropolis for a “simpler life” thousands of miles away. On March 8th, I invited you to celebrate what unites all of us without exception: LIFE with “International Life Day”. And the highlight of the month was the wonderful experience I had working an awards show in my country. I am proud to realize how much we have learned and how eager we are to keep learning!

-April:

I was planning for an uneventful month. No traveling, which occasionally sounds more exciting than the opposite. House hunting got in the way, and there I was visiting, emailing, calling, texting, harassing landlords and real estate agentsjust to move to the first place we saw! But that didn’t happen until June 1st; therefore you need to keep reading! Then the unexpected happened: My husband surprised me with tickets to Little Corn Island! Beautiful piece of land off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea. To arrive, we drove one hour, flew one hour and sailed for one hour but then we were pedestrians for four days! Neither cars nor roads on the island!

Little Corn Island Collage

Looking back…grateful!

Everything was worth it! We had a wonderful getaway, ate delicious food, enjoyed nature, relaxedcan’t wait to go back!

-May:

May was fun! It started with the wedding of one of my best male friends. I can’t recall the last time I had so much fun before that night! What a blast!

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Looking back…grateful!

The middle of the second quarter of the year was also a great opportunity to refocus on what matters most and regain the passion to pursue our goals. I shared my empirical exercise on how I do that on “Six Steps to Achieve Your Goals”. While spending much needed quality time with family and friends, they convinced me to open an Instagram account that you can follow here @Laura.Sgroi.

-June:

On Sunday, June 1st, we moved to our new house.

Our house

Looking back…grateful!

A beautiful colonial residence that feels like home since the first day we stepped in. Here I started P90X for the 90th time, wrote that application for that dream project that I am dying to tell you about, but that I’ll keep a secret until I have the results;), celebrated my husband and my friend Malena’s birthday and started writing again while cheering for the World Cup matches.

This is my 2014 so far. What about yours?

How were the first six months of the year for you?

Hope you are having a great year!

Please share your mid-year recap and stay tuned for our next post about our Plans for the Second Half of 2014!

Thanks for stopping by!

Yours all year round,

Laura

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