Where does the light meet the darkness? As I look out my window I see the rainbow of colors that meet the darkness. It is not one straight line in the sand. It does not appear to stop abruptly, it melds one into the other. The hazy clouds of darkness blend into the blue and orange hues below.
This is often how loss and love meet. This is often how pain and pleasure meet. This is often how sadness and joy meet. This is often how doubt and faith meet.
The blinking line on my computer is taunting me. I know I want to write about the hard truth but struggle with the words. If you focus long enough, you can hear every ticking clock and sound surrounding you.
Why do I shy away from writing about the truth of my own faults? Maybe it is because people tend to not want others to know and we don’t want to be judged. Guilty as charged.
The other day I spent an hour long car ride talking out loud about my frustrations the things I feel guilty for. Yes I am admitting talking to myself don’t judge me. I know you were not but my inner voice says you might be just a little bit.
So the words of guilt just kept pouring out. Guilty that I don’t spend enough time with my kids, guilty for not seeing my grandparents enough, guilty for not cleaning the house enough, for not cooking enough, for not seeing my friends enough, for not exercising, for not doing more in the community, for not reading the bible more, for not….guilty for being guilty so much.
Everyone gets their oil changed but how many of us put our phones down while sitting in the waiting area of the dealership? This is me sitting there staring around at my surroundings and checking out what others are doing. Maybe this all started in college when one of my professors tasked us with doing just this to observe others. Who knows maybe I am just odd.
It never fails there is always one other odd person sitting there doing the same thing and you know what at some point you even begin to talk to each other. Children for those of you, who are unsure of this word it is when you look someone in the eye, open your mouth and words come out instead of texts from your fingers. Kidding around aside we all fall into this trap in this day and age.
|Adapted: flickr. Lunch Box by Scott Rubin.|
Ever sit around a bonfire with people you have just met and try to figure everyone out? This is exhilarating for some and painful for others. It may feel somewhat like a date, fear and excitement.
You ask questions like:
Where are you from?
What do you do for a living?
Do you have children?
How long have you lived in…?
Or maybe you just observe their facial expressions or how they interact with others.And as the night progresses you can’t believe how quickly you have grown to know these strangers around your bonfire.
Do you find yourself placing people into various categories? Who is introverted, who is extroverted, who might be good at certain tasks, who seems ambitious, who is a great mother or father and on and on.
No you say this is not what you do, well then maybe I am just weird. Well if not please feel free to check out other blog posts of mine that may interest you like top ten ways to give your mind a break.
So now fast forward many years later as you sit around that same bonfire reminiscing about the first day each of you met and remember all that occurred since those days. Were many of your first impressions correct? Why do you think for some they usually are?
There sure are mixed reviews out there on whether first impressions are accurate but I would have to agree with an article I read that talks about how you must possess both intuition and logic. In the article How Important is Your First Impression Really? Kristi Hedges concludes if you can pull in both your intuition with emotion and tie in your logic and reasoning your first impressions most of the time are accurate.
Some may be gifted with this while others fail miserably. Until you realize this is a gift you may not even think of it as one.
How can you apply this new found gift you ask? Well definitely do not push your assumptions on others. Often times we think out loud and sometimes people even believe us. Well that’s okay if you always want people taking your opinion but make sure to give room for them to figure things out too.
So where can we apply it? In work situations this can really come in handy. Do you find that others come to you to ask such things? Are you often the one providing this insight to leadership without even knowing you are? Do you use this to help with project assignments and task delegation?
Gifts are there for a purpose. They are meant to be used for good not evil. Don’t use them to put people into a negative category, use your super powers to put them in a role that fits them best. Build on your first impression and most importantly reassess as you get to know them more. First impressions may be a piece of the puzzle but there is so much more to see when you fit it all together.
What do you think about first impressions? Do you believe it is possible to evaluate so quickly? If you are good at it consider this a valuable gift. If you are not don’t be concerned you have many others gifts that you contribute to this world.
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The rain had managed to sneak its way into the sand box just enough to make it perfect for building castles. I sat there working so hard to build up tall hills of sand with my daughter only to have her laugh at me when she stomped on them like King Kong. If I have to admit it, I became frustrated over time internally. Why couldn’t she just let us finish?
Then I stopped and thought there is a great lesson here. You put all of your effort into something time and time again, only to have others tear it down. This time I will wipe my hands off in time to take her smiling face in front of the beautiful sand hills we have made together. Determination!
If you want to meet someone who can go from screaming mad to normal in five minutes well then you have come to the right place. When my Inside Out emotions take over look out people! That movie is great by the way if you haven’t seen it check it out. So does this all sound familiar? Yes you say well we all have them, the evil mood swings.
When we are angry, frustrated, tired, sick or just plain down in the dumps everything we wish to accomplish just vanishes away. This is why it is very important to take time out. There are many ways to do this but for a few ideas I hope you will check out my Napkin Thoughts post.
But what about those times when it is not just a break we need; it is more of a disappearing act. We still have to get up and do our jobs. We still have to take care of sick kids even when we want to be taken care of. We close our eyes and pretend the mood swings we are currently experiencing will go away or at least those annoying us will.
We all see those pictures of crabby women in robes with their coffee cup in hand and know exactly what everyone is in for. By the way why are they always crabby women? Don’t pretend we don’t ever encounter moody men. They are out there hiding in their football games and bathroom breaks. Yep I said it bathrooms are a hiding spot for men just like women resort to blankets and darkness.
So in times like these what should we do? Well many people would say get up and look in the mirror and tell yourself it is going to be a good day. Many would say smile until the smile becomes real. We tell ourselves we will not complain or grumble or hide. But of course we do. We are in fact human.
So here are my two cents on what I do or at least attempt to do.
- Pray about it. Yes I know this is kind of like looking in the mirror and saying it is going to be a good day or smiling when you can’t, but believe me asking for strength from God turns out a lot better than relying on your own will power.
- Do only what is necessary.
- Stay away from interaction with people if you can.
- Give yourself some grace and know that it will pass.
- Be honest and just tell others.
- Only work on the mundane tasks and keep ear buds in so others know it is not the time to talk to you.
- Do not make any big decisions.
- Definitely do not be the one to speak up on a topic in a meeting.
- Do not go hang out with a group or friends or family members.
- Do not use this time to have a conflicting conversation with your significant other or child.
- Do not post on Facebook, Twitter, send texts or call anyone.
And last by not least remember all these things when you see someone up against the evil mood swing bandit.
What do you do when the evil mood swing bandit takes over? Tell me so I can add to my list of how to avoid putting family members in a mood because I am in a mood list.
Share your answer below or on social media.
Recently I sat in my room thinking about the purpose and style of my blog. Turning to my husband I asked what I should focus on when I have so many different ideas. He said my mind can have many thoughts and many ideas but often they are random in nature. All I heard when he said “random” was not clearly thought out and not organized. He of course didn’t mean anything other than I have lots of good ideas to write about so why only try and pick one. Then I went back to my notebook and looked at one thing I had written on what to focus my blog on. The very first sentence I wrote was “To show my vulnerability”.
Then many pages later and a great video by Brené Brown The Power of Vulnerability this post all came together. Admitting I had no clue where to go would mean I would have to be vulnerable to others. Not having a planned out purpose or even solid name for my blog was because I tend to be a random thinker these days. Ideas just come and go but they don’t seem to stick together.
In the video Brené talks about being vulnerable often means expressing empathy. We cannot truly express empathy if we are not vulnerable to others and admit our own faults. Then she talks about blame. We often blame others or even ourselves rather than being vulnerable and just human. She notes blaming is just a discharge of anger. Which if you ask me sometimes does help us feel better but if we don’t address the real issue it will just come up again and again. Blaming others and not being empathetic is much easier than allowing people to see us for who we are or what we have been through.
So a few thoughts I revisited in my original chicken scratch notes:
To know that you don’t know
To let someone else know you
To give the keys away
To admit you don’t know what you are doing
Well here I am admitting. Exposed to the entire world. But it is alright and I am sure there are many others who feel the same.
If I had not been reminded enough then while working the very next day I was reminded again. Let me take you on a journey:
Computer not working, shut it down, turn back on, forget password over and over and over. The memory was just gone like when you suddenly forget how to spell the word the. I blame myself for not writing it down. I blame my computer for not working. I felt stupid and lost. Then came panic of what others will think. I would have to admit I could not get on my computer because I never thought to write the password down somewhere other than on a document within my computer. I would be missing emails and projects and to do items.
Then reminder number two. I finally remembered the password, got on and then no internet connection. In comes blame, stupid storm causing me issues with internet. Stupid cable company that provides internet service. A brick wall went up. You would have thought I was the only in the world this has ever happened to and admitting it would mean admitting defeat or fault or failure. Although in this situation there were no other parties involved in my debacle, I could not be vulnerable to the fact that these things happen, it will pass and maybe there was reason I was supposed to take a time out.
So why do I say just be vulnerable? Brené says being vulnerable means we are wholehearted. If we are wholehearted then we can connect with people. We live in a world of fear of judgement. Fear of being as she says, “Never ____ enough”, you fill in the word. If we are vulnerable we will stop worrying so much about what others think because we will know they too have areas of vulnerability. People will trust us because they have seen a glimpse of our wholeheartedness.
How often are you vulnerable with others?
Today I decided if I want to move forward I have to put the car in drive. If I keep waiting for the perfect picture or perfect blog post words we will be seeing my first post at the age of 90. So here goes. I hope you enjoy it and if you don’t well then I hope you share your wisdom and words of advice with me.
Am I the only one who hears a song in their head when they read these words???
For those struggling Google will help you out later, nope stay with me for now.
When we look at how many dynamics of life there are and how many different people there are, sitcoms often tell a true story.
They show us everyone is different, everyone has different issues, everyone experiences different things and at different times; and yet life still continues to go on. But you are smart, I am sure you knew that.
So why do so many of us struggle when it comes to working in teams or when leading? It is getting to know people and trying to understand these differences that makes or breaks us. It takes time.
We did not sit through a whole season of Life Goes On to learn about each of our fellow peers or employees lives.
These differences make up who we are, which of course leads us to the type of employee we become and the type of leader we become.
who is an introvert
who is an extrovert
who is good at math
who faces a mental disability
who is diverse
who has a child
who wants to own their own business
who gets fired
who changes jobs many times
who quits their job
who (you fill in yours)
At every job I always end up being the one they turn to for “people” advice or the communication aspect as they say when it comes to leadership, teams and process. So why not share this knowledge with the world.
There is of course one disclaimer; this is my first blog so bear with me on this. To be truthful I did attempt one once but didn’t post anything and can’t even remember how to find that darn little thing. You may have already realized I think out loud and apparently type what I think as well. This might be why I am labeled an extrovert as they say. If you have not had the pleasure of already knowing me check out my about me page.
Question: Life Goes On, but will you go on in life where you are or will you be a better employee, better boss, a better leader? Share your answer below or with any of the many social networks listed.
Oh and if the song is still stuck in your head for all those who loved Becca, Corky, Libby and Drew click here: LINK