Category Archives: Inspiration

Green

Green can mean a lot of things.

Green can mean new…which we are.

Green can mean go…which is the “signal” our cards give.

And green can mean “environmentally-conscious”…which we try to be each and every day.  Greenlight Cards are printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. Our tin-plated steel card cases are recyclable, as new steel is made from recycled steel. Even our shipping paks are 100% recycled.

In the spirit of love for our planet, I thought I’d share this wonderful little video:

 

The video is great because it applauds making a small, but important effort. We’d also like to applaud everyone who gives someone a Greenlight Card. We know it takes a little courage to put yourself out there and go after what you want. So, while we won’t publicly applaud you when you give that card to someone (that might be just a tad embarrassing)–the next time you give someone your card, hear the applause in your head because we’re right here, applauding your go-get-’em attitude and cheering you on, even if you can’t see us doing it.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Greenlighting, Inspiration, video

The Power of Vulnerability

Lizzie Williams, one of the founders of GreenlightCard.com, sent me a link to a video on TED.com recently, saying “watch this–it’s worth 20 minutes!”  And I thought, 20 minutes? Maybe I’ll give it five.

TED describes itself as a “small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.”  I had a brief love affair with TED sometime back, and then left TED, heartlessly, because dear old TED was a time-sapper.  I would find myself spending hours with TED, at the expense of my work and other people in my life.  TED is wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  TED is smart and funny.  TED gives me fresh perspectives and ideas that absorb my thoughts. But TED can be sort of addicting.

To be honest, TED also makes me feel a teensy bit bad about myself–I wish I were as profound and entertaining as TED.

So it’s sort of ironic that the video that brought me back to TED is about vulnerability and shame–and more specifically, about embracing your vulnerability. In this video, “researcher storyteller” Brene Brown talks about her quest to figure out what “wholehearted” people have in common–people who have a sense of love and belonging because they feels worthy of love and belonging.  She found that it comes down to embracing vulnerability, a discovery that wasn’t easy for her to accept.

Like Lizzie, I watched this and immediately wanted to share it.  Worth your 20 minutes?  Absolutely!  Brown is engaging and honest and real and I really believe her message.  Instead of giving it just five minutes, I found myself wishing I could spend more than 20 minutes listening to her…and I think I’ll find myself spending a little more time with TED again.  I just can’t help myself.

Brene Brown says “connection is why we’re here”–and we at GreenlightCard.com happen to agree!

About.com Reader's Choice Best Dating-Related Blog FinalistAbout.com Reader's Choice Best New Dating Site of 2011 Finalist

1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, video

Valentine Countdown: VDay – 1

Drumroll, please…tomorrow is the day for lovebirds to sing and if you don’t have someone to be all lovey-dovey with, it might be really annoying or even depressing. Or it can be just another day, with the promise of half-price candy the day after. For the last installment of Greenlight Card‘s Valentine Countdown: 21 Ways to Meet a Mate, I’m not going to suggest another class to join or place to go…your mission for tomorrow is to embrace the idea that keeps on giving…

Feb. 14: It’s all about you today. Make yourself feel good. Do what brings you joy. Talk to people who lift you up. All the books and movies and plays and your wise Aunt Mabel are exactly right when they say that if you can’t make yourself happy, no one else can. So invest your time and energy into your personal happiness first. Give yourself what you need and what you want. And realize that there’s that crazy phenomenon where we seem to find what we’re looking for when we stop trying so hard to find it. I hope you use my “ways to meet a mate” ideas as ways to go out and have fun and enjoy life. Because meeting a mate, or a date for that matter, shouldn’t be what it takes to make you happy–it should just make you happier.

But wait–I promised 21 ways to meet a mate, and today’s idea makes only 20. Well, today is a two-fer day. Here’s one final way to meet someone and it goes along with all the other ideas. USE YOUR GREENLIGHT CARDS!! Because if you don’t let someone know you’re interested, you just may be letting the perfect opportunity pass right by.

Feb. 13: Be an art tart…go see what’s hangin’ at a local gallery. Just don’t get so absorbed in what’s on the walls that you forget to look at who’s roaming the halls! Whether the piece you’re looking at moves you or confuses you, talk about it with another art gallery go-er and you’re sure to strike up an interesting conversation.

Feb. 12: Use your weekend wisely–volunteer for a cause you care about. While you’re making a difference (the primary goal!), you just may meet someone you have something in common with. Having at least this one thing you both care about is a great start. Is there a more natural, comfortable way to meet someone than while working on a project together? I don’t think so. Plus, I feel certain there are good-deed endorphins that kick in and make you extra attractive!

Feb. 11: WAKA. WAKA. This is your chance to embrace your inner child or come to terms with playground angst of yesteryear. In the World Adult Kickball Association, you will not be the last to be picked–just register, show up, and get ready to WAKA the ball! Their motto is “Best Parties. Best Games. Best Friends.” What a fun way to meet new people, so go online and see if there’s a spring league near you that’s registering right now.

Feb. 10: Let’s get physical, physical…I wanna get physical… Enough with the treadmill! Unplug your earbuds and head over to the free weights–a better singles scene than you’ll find at happy hour at your favorite dive. Really.

Feb. 9: Attending a tasting or cooking demonstration is a great way to meet new people–and trying a hands-on cooking class is even better. Cooking is chemistry, after all. Maybe you’ll find a little extra chemistry with a classmate.

Feb. 8: This one’s for all of you who’ve had it up to here with all the snow and ice. Look for a group trip and sign up before all the spots are taken. There are, of course, plenty of singles’ cruises and singles groups who offer great trips, but if that feels a little too weird to you, check out your college alumni office-they often plan great excursions. Or surf on over to voluntourism.org for a feel-good, do-good getaway.

Feb. 7: Being a single parent is tough, but since you want the best for your child, make a point to go to the next PTA meeting. Then look around for parents without partners…

Feb. 6: It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Watch with a crowd and make sure to look up now and then to see who else is around. Cheering for the same team–or engaging in a little friendly competition–can spark an extra dose of attraction.  Or if you absolutely hate football, go wherever the game isn’t, and see who else shares your disinterest.

Feb. 5: Put your local wine shop at the top of your to-do list today. But give yourself time to go in and browse. Get into a conversation about what’s good. Finding great wine (especially at a great price) is like a treasure hunt. What someone’s looking for–a bargain, a hostess gift, the perfect complement to a new recipe–gives you a clue about the person buying, and whether they’re worth a longer conversation.

Feb. 4: Friday night I crashed her party…channel your inner Billy Joel and get yourself invited to your friend’s friend’s party. Going to a friend’s party doesn’t count, you probably already know most everyone there. Instead, go to your friend’s friend’s party and see some new faces. It’s fun to mix things up now and again, isn’t it?

Feb. 3: This one takes a little Chutzpah–enroll in an adult acting class. Some of the best performers are shy in “real life” so even if you’re the wallflower type, that’s really no excuse. Acting lets you pretend to be someone else and in the end puts you more in touch with who you are. Plus you’ll meet a lot of fun people in class and get to know them pretty intimately. Keep your Greenlight Cards handy and maybe an onstage scene will lead to an offstage romance.

Feb. 2: In honor of hump day, join a networking group or, if that’s too big a commitment, schedule in time to attend at least one networking event–this one simple move could get you over the hump and onto something bigger in both your career and your love life. You’ll probably be surprised how much help and motivation you can find among a group of strangers.

Feb. 1: Lace up your running shoes and head over to your local Irish pub’s weekly fun run. What? That’s not an option in your town? Well it is in mine and it’s hugely popular, so if it’s missing where you live, pick your favorite fun establishment and suggest it.

Jan. 31: Here’s one I’ve suggested before. Go get in line at the Genius Bar at the Apple store. Trendy, friendly, intelligent, connected–they’re job requirements there, you know!

Jan. 30: Browse your neighborhood bookstore for the next title by your favorite author. If you see someone interesting in the same aisle, hey, maybe you two have something in common. At least it’s easy to break the ice and say hello.

Jan. 29: Hang out in the stands and talk about your weekend plans during your kids’ sports games or practices. It’s a stealthy way to figure out who’s single and to signal your own availability. (I once heard a clever woman at a Little League game tell the guy next to her that she was going bathing suit shopping  because it was her ex’s weekend with the kids…um, if he didn’t get that hint he wasn’t worth the trouble!)

Jan. 28: Happy hour not all that fruitful? Instead of heading home, stop in at Home Depot (or your favorite home improvement store) and see who’s there on a Friday night. Good chance you’ll find some single people in the store.

Jan. 27: Attend your friend’s friend’s party. You’ll be sure to meet someone new if you break away from your usual crowd.

Jan. 26: Don’t complain about the snow, get up and go! (Thankfully, I’m not about to suggest a poetry reading. The rhymes stop here, I promise.) Ski a few runs, then head for the lodge with those cute flushed cheeks and check out the scenery. And don’t forget to say “hi,” it works much better than a cheesy pick up line.

Jan. 25: Head over to the car dealership and get your car tuned up while you wait. (Just scooch on over and make room for someone else to sit next to you on one of those cushy leather sofas. Long, boring wait? Gone!)

1 Comment

Filed under Dating Unplugged, Inspiration, Valentine's Day

Valentine Countdown: VDay – 3

It’s really close, I can feel the flowers and candy and cards closing in. But don’t let Valentine claustrophobia get you down. Greenlight Card‘s been counting down the days to Valentine’s Day with this list of 21 ways to meet a mate, so that when the day rolls around you will feel just fine. Maybe you’ll have a date, maybe you won’t, but you’ll know you’ve been looking for love in all the right places and it’s only a matter of time before the right person comes along. So read on for a feel-good way of meeting someone and then don’t delay–put it on tomorrow’s to do list.

Feb. 12: Use your weekend wisely–volunteer for a cause you care about. While you’re making a difference (the primary goal!), you just may meet someone you have something in common with. Having at least this one thing you both care about is a great start. Is there a more natural, comfortable way to meet someone than while working on a project together? I don’t think so. Plus, I feel certain there are good-deed endorphins that kick in and make you extra attractive!

Feb. 11: WAKA. WAKA. This is your chance to embrace your inner child or come to terms with playground angst of yesteryear. In the World Adult Kickball Association, you will not be the last to be picked–just register, show up, and get ready to WAKA the ball! Their motto is “Best Parties. Best Games. Best Friends.” What a fun way to meet new people, so go online and see if there’s a spring league near you that’s registering right now.

Feb. 10: Let’s get physical, physical…I wanna get physical… Enough with the treadmill! Unplug your earbuds and head over to the free weights–a better singles scene than you’ll find at happy hour at your favorite dive. Really.

Feb. 9: Attending a tasting or cooking demonstration is a great way to meet new people–and trying a hands-on cooking class is even better. Cooking is chemistry, after all. Maybe you’ll find a little extra chemistry with a classmate.

Feb. 8: This one’s for all of you who’ve had it up to here with all the snow and ice. Look for a group trip and sign up before all the spots are taken. There are, of course, plenty of singles’ cruises and singles groups who offer great trips, but if that feels a little too weird to you, check out your college alumni office-they often plan great excursions. Or surf on over to voluntourism.org for a feel-good, do-good getaway.

Feb. 7: Being a single parent is tough, but since you want the best for your child, make a point to go to the next PTA meeting. Then look around for parents without partners…

Feb. 6: It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Watch with a crowd and make sure to look up now and then to see who else is around. Cheering for the same team–or engaging in a little friendly competition–can spark an extra dose of attraction.  Or if you absolutely hate football, go wherever the game isn’t, and see who else shares your disinterest.

Feb. 5: Put your local wine shop at the top of your to-do list today. But give yourself time to go in and browse. Get into a conversation about what’s good. Finding great wine (especially at a great price) is like a treasure hunt. What someone’s looking for–a bargain, a hostess gift, the perfect complement to a new recipe–gives you a clue about the person buying, and whether they’re worth a longer conversation.

Feb. 4: Friday night I crashed her party…channel your inner Billy Joel and get yourself invited to your friend’s friend’s party. Going to a friend’s party doesn’t count, you probably already know most everyone there. Instead, go to your friend’s friend’s party and see some new faces. It’s fun to mix things up now and again, isn’t it?

Feb. 3: This one takes a little Chutzpah–enroll in an adult acting class. Some of the best performers are shy in “real life” so even if you’re the wallflower type, that’s really no excuse. Acting lets you pretend to be someone else and in the end puts you more in touch with who you are. Plus you’ll meet a lot of fun people in class and get to know them pretty intimately. Keep your Greenlight Cards handy and maybe an onstage scene will lead to an offstage romance.

Feb. 2: In honor of hump day, join a networking group or, if that’s too big a commitment, schedule in time to attend at least one networking event–this one simple move could get you over the hump and onto something bigger in both your career and your love life. You’ll probably be surprised how much help and motivation you can find among a group of strangers.

Feb. 1: Lace up your running shoes and head over to your local Irish pub’s weekly fun run. What? That’s not an option in your town? Well it is in mine and it’s hugely popular, so if it’s missing where you live, pick your favorite fun establishment and suggest it.

Jan. 31: Here’s one I’ve suggested before. Go get in line at the Genius Bar at the Apple store. Trendy, friendly, intelligent, connected–they’re job requirements there, you know!

Jan. 30: Browse your neighborhood bookstore for the next title by your favorite author. If you see someone interesting in the same aisle, hey, maybe you two have something in common. At least it’s easy to break the ice and say hello.

Jan. 29: Hang out in the stands and talk about your weekend plans during your kids’ sports games or practices. It’s a stealthy way to figure out who’s single and to signal your own availability. (I once heard a clever woman at a Little League game tell the guy next to her that she was going bathing suit shopping  because it was her ex’s weekend with the kids…um, if he didn’t get that hint he wasn’t worth the trouble!)

Jan. 28: Happy hour not all that fruitful? Instead of heading home, stop in at Home Depot (or your favorite home improvement store) and see who’s there on a Friday night. Good chance you’ll find some single people in the store.

Jan. 27: Attend your friend’s friend’s party. You’ll be sure to meet someone new if you break away from your usual crowd.

Jan. 26: Don’t complain about the snow, get up and go! (Thankfully, I’m not about to suggest a poetry reading. The rhymes stop here, I promise.) Ski a few runs, then head for the lodge with those cute flushed cheeks and check out the scenery. And don’t forget to say “hi,” it works much better than a cheesy pick up line.

Jan. 25: Head over to the car dealership and get your car tuned up while you wait. (Just scooch on over and make room for someone else to sit next to you on one of those cushy leather sofas. Long, boring wait? Gone!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Dating Unplugged, Inspiration, Offline Dating, Valentine's Day

Let There Be Light

The strangest thing happened to me this morning.

The alarm had buzzed and so, as I do every morning, I turned it off, rolled over, and kept my eyes shut.  I lay there thinking of all the reasons I needed to get up, what I needed to do, how long it would take, realizing that every minute I stayed there thinking was a minute of stress I was adding to my morning. And yet, I still couldn’t bring myself to open my eyes.

Several minutes passed as I remained in that cartoon state where one side of my conscience was telling me to get up and the other was saying “just a couple minutes more.”  And then, this very strange thing happened.

The lights above my bed turned on.

Hello! Talk about a wake up call. I am sure there is a scientific explanation for why the lights went on of their own accord, but I’m not a science-y type of girl. The lights were sending me a clear message: “Enough! Stop thinking about what you need to do and just do it!!”

And so, I got up.

And I did all the morning things I had to do and got on with my day.  And I kept thinking…I’ve got to write about this.  And then I wondered whether readers would really believe I didn’t make this up. Was it all an invention in order to put forth that overused, annoying message–“Just do it!”–in a new way?

Well, I am telling you it really happened. And I’m not sure as I write this that the total weirdness of it comes through. So just for a second, go lie down in a very dark room and then picture it gradually but quickly getting lighter and lighter until the room is brightly lit. Like a time lapse scene from a movie only it’s the chandelier and not the sun that’s lighting up your room.

So what’s the takeaway? I think this is something all of us need. And often. Not necessarily to get ourselves out of bed but to get ourselves moving towards something we want but aren’t doing enough to get. It applies to many facets of our lives but of course, since this is GreenlightCard.com’s blog, I’m especially thinking about dating.

Too often, we want to date but we let our busy lives serve as an excuse for not making any effort to meet someone. So we convince ourselves we’re too busy or our lives are too complicated or that we know every available person in town and none of them are right for us.

Enough! Stop thinking about what you need to do and just do it.

You know you won’t meet anyone if you go home after work and just stay there, night after night. You know you won’t meet anyone new if you continue to move in the same exact circles week after week after week. And you know you are VERY UNLIKELY to get a date with the person you’ve been dreaming of if you don’t at least do something obvious to let that person know you’re interested. (Hint, hint–this is where your Greenlight Cards come in handy!)

I’m grateful the lights went on this morning. My day started out smoothly and I’m getting things done. I feel confident and able. And I’ll remember the feeling tomorrow when my alarm buzzes. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll encourage me to get up instead of rolling over for that last five minutes of unproductive procrastination.

As long as the lights don’t decide to turn themselves on at 6:40 a.m. on Saturday morning, I’m good.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Greenlighting, Inspiration

Of Resolutions and Possibilities

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet?  Have you followed the wise advice of all the “experts” and set reasonable, attainable goals?

Cruise the blogosphere and you’ll find plenty of people who didn’t.  People who made highly unreasonable resolutions…the single, completely unattached person who resolves to get married this year, for example.  That’s bad enough, but then there’s the bride-to-be who had every detail of her wedding planned, booked and paid for and only needed one more thing–a groom.  (This was perhaps the craziest story I heard last year–there really was such a person.  Talk about pressure on a first date! Alas, I never heard the outcome of her outlandishly optimistic, build-it-and-he-will-come madness.)

And you’ll find people who make very reasonable resolutions…who resolve to “live flirtatiously” or simply to go on more dates.  Some resolve to try online dating for the first time and some resolve to never try it again.  Still others  promise not to be “that guy” with the bad lines that make women uncomfortable.

What about you?

Of course, I hope you’ll resolve to give Greenlighting a try.  But more than that, I hope you’ll resolve to look at this year as a year of possibility.  A year of possibilities when it comes to dating, sure.  But beyond that too.  Let it be a year full of all kinds of possibilities.

I think waking up with a sense of possibility is the coolest thing about the New Year.  Every January 1st, I take a deep breath…the frenetic, fun holidays behind me, remembered fondly and with a slight sense of relief.  And a whole new year ahead.  I love that feeling.

And if you resolve to look at this entire year as a year of possibility, you don’t have to wait until 2012 to feel that sense of possibility again.  Possibility is all around us, every week, every month, all year long.

Tomorrow, for me anyway, is my getting-back-to-a-routine day.  There’s a sense of possibility in that.  The good feeling of focusing on work, getting things done, and regaining a sense of order and organization (okay, I don’t really have a sense of organization, but there’s a possibility it will present itself one of these Monday mornings!).

I’m thinking of throwing a party in January, since I didn’t manage to host one during the holidays.  There’s nothing like a party to add a sense of possibility to your week.  Except perhaps a vacation.  Traveling, especially when I’m headed someplace I haven’t been before, is my favorite way to add a sense of “who knows what’s around the corner” to my everyday life.

The point is, possibilities abound.  They exist when you discover a new restaurant, when you walk out of Home Depot with fresh cans of paint, when you change the color of your hair or your choice of exercise.

So get used to that sense of possibility.  It gives you a fresh outlook on life in general.

We create many of our possibilities, but there are also plenty of surprises waiting for us.  And while some of those surprises will knock us down, many will make our lives happier–for a moment or for much longer.  Embrace the idea that something good may be right outside your door.

I agree with the “experts” that you should make at least some reasonable resolutions.  A sense of accomplishment is wonderful.  We all need that.

I also think one or two wild, pie-in-the-sky resolutions are great too.  If we never want more, we’ll never get it, right?

But most of all, I think we should all have at least one resolution that’s about attitude adjustment…not about what we do, but about how we see, what we feel, and who we are.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Uncategorized

5 Ways For Singles to Have a Jolly Holiday

If you dread the holidays because you’re not sharing them with a significant other, it’s time to change your mind about the season and seize the opportunities that are unique to this time of year. Who knows, your best gift might be that special someone stepping under your mistletoe. So get out and participate in the fun and rejoice in your freedom and availability to take on new terrain.

  1. Give gifts of time: Lots of charitable organizations ramp up their services during the holidays and it’s a great time to get involved. With the economic slump, help is needed now more than ever. A few years ago I volunteered as a waitress at a Christmas Dinner served to hundreds of my local community’s homeless and met dozens of great people. The spirit of the event added to the quick comradarie between us as a team working for a good cause. What better icebreaker than rolling up your sleeves and digging into a job along side an interesting stranger? The win/win: meet someone or not, you’ll feel great to make a contribution to society.
  2. Party anyone? Cocktail parties abound this time of year and they’re a great excuse to get dressed up and put your best foot forward into festive gatherings. Arriving solo or with other single friends gives you freedom to mix and mingle as you please. The season itself is perfect food for fodder. Striking up a conversation about best Christmas memories or favorite New Year’s past times can tell you a lot about a new acquaintance. Learning about how a person’s family celebrates Hanukkah or Kwanza, shows interest and makes conversation easy… everyone’s got a good story to tell.
  3. Lose the Scrooge and consider travel delays an opportunity. If holiday travel has you stuck in a jammed airport waiting for a blizzard to pass around the holidays, don’t despair. Look around! There are plenty of other single travelers out there who might just enjoy a little company during the wait and have had it with talking on their cell phone to pass the time. Grab a Peppermint Coffee at Starbucks and find out if that fruitcake meets carry-on requirements.
  4. Warm up with a winter escape. Storybook holiday gatherings with the family are a reality for some, but not all of us. If getting together with family is a happy fun experience, go for it and enjoy! But if you’d honestly rather watch a TV marathon of Twilight Zone, you might want to consider a getaway instead. Head to the mountains with other single friends and hit the slopes. Park City, Utah; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Winter Park, Colorado; Mammoth, California; Killington, Vermont; Sugarloaf, Maine and Lake Tahoe, California all have resorts for singles and score high ratings with TheSkiChannel.com. Apres-ski at the base lodge, sip your Mocha Nog Punch and take notice, you are far from being the only single in town!
  5. Try sippin’ pretty in a warm, sunny spot. If your idea of a White Christmas is digging your toes in white sand, hit the beach to mingle with other singles. And while kicking back with warm sunshine isn’t all Bing Crosby-ish, it’s a great way to celebrate the holidays. Nostalgic dreams of sleigh rides quickly dissipate when you try your skills at surfing or kayaking and commune with nature. Expand your horizons with adventure travel groups specifically for singles. Sharing a soul-enriching active vacation is a great way to ring in the New Year.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, embrace the holidays. Whether you’re going to a tree lighting ceremony, a winter festival or just heading out to buy a turkey to cook for your family, holiday spirit makes people friendlier and more approachable. The festive nature of the season makes it easier to start up conversation. Seize the moment, don’t be shy… “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Inspiration, The Single Life, Top Five