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One crazy busy week

It’s going to be one crazy busy week. Tonight was birthday party #1 for my girl. Tomorrow is birthday party #2 with the grandparents followed by shopping with grandma in the evening. I have stuff up Wednesday and Thursday evenings as well as meetings and appointments during the days. For some people this might be a normal week but I do NOT like being this busy (especially when most of my evenings are taken up). I hope I’ll be able to rest on the weekend.


Inspiration eludes me

It’s November which means it’s NaBloPoMo month which means I’m supposed to write a blog post every day. I’ve been doing pretty good so far, with finding things to post. But today I’m stumped. I got nothing. And I’m going to post this just because I can and it counts.

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Courage

Brene Brown’s website COURAGEworks sends me an email every Monday with an inspirational quote. This was today’s quote:

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Empathy

My “40 days for Lent” haven’t gone as I had thought. I thought I would be able to post every day but that hasn’t happened. The last two months have been very busy for me – I’ve had my regular part-time job, contract work putting me up to full-time hours, spent a lot of time researching and submitting a proposal for a large contract (which I didn’t get), plus I’ve been on the planning committee for a major fundraising event (the event happened this past Thursday and was a great success). In the midst of all this was the 11th anniversary of my first husband’s death.

I’ve been “emotionally compromised”.

But I’ve continued to think about my theme for this time, “our common humanity”. I’ve been thinking a lot about “empathy” (the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another).

We all need to experience empathy. It’s how we gain connection with one another. It’s how we build friendships and relationships. When we meet someone for the first time, what do we do? Try to find things we have in common. Why? Because then we have a place to empathize, a way to start building a connection. I think at a certain level we all want to know how we are the same because then we know we are not alone.

And being alone is not a pleasant place to be. When I was married the first time my greatest fear was that my husband would die (i.e., that I would be alone). And then the thing I most feared…happened. I underwent a lot of growth as a result of that experience and learned a lot about myself (I’ll save that for another blog post). But my point is that we all have a deep need for connection with each other. We may seek it out in different ways but we all need it.

Empathy is a path to that connection. Over the past few weeks I have experienced empathy from others and also a lack of it. I’ve thought about how I’ve felt in those situations and come to realize more and more the importance of empathy.

My husband is great for showing empathy (and in response to that, compassion). In very real ways he acknowledges the stress I’m going through and communicates he cares about how I feel. He has helped me learn to be compassionate toward myself.

But there are many people who lack in the departments of empathy and compassion. I don’t think most of these people were born that way. Maybe they weren’t shown examples of empathy when they were children. Maybe empathy was perceived as weakness. Maybe they were abused and learned that the world was a dangerous place, that self-protection and striking first were the ways to survive, and that there was no place for empathy is their worldview.

I experienced the results of this empathy deficit twice in the past week. I was sharing with someone (whom I’d like to have a connection) that I had not gotten the contract I had bid on and that I was feeling really disappointed. This person didn’t even acknowledge what I was feeling and moved on to the next topic. In another instance I was sharing with a friend about how difficult it’s been for me the last couple of weeks with work and the fundraiser and Mike’s death. Again, this person did not acknowledge my difficulties, but rather moved onto their own needs.

I came away from those encounters feeling crappy, feeling like I don’t really matter to these people. How can we have personal relationships with each other when empathy is one-sided or completely lacking? Could they even be called ‘relationships’?

And it makes me feel sad. The empathy deficits these people have hinder them from experiencing meaningful relationships and through those relationships to learn empathy and the ability to extend it to others.

I have not been a “poster-child” for empathy. I did not learn empathy from my upbringing. Empathy would involve vulnerability and vulnerability was considered weakness. I was determined not to show weakness and I was insecure. I never learned to truly look beyond myself and “see” others. When my current husband and I were dating there were a couple of months where one thing after another was falling apart for him. He was really stressed but all I could think about was how he wasn’t spending as much time with me. I’m embarrassed to admit this. Looking back on the situation it seems utterly ridiculous that I would be so self-centered.

I’ve come a long way since that time. It’s comforting to know there is hope. I’ve gained more empathy and I wonder how I’ve learned that. There are many factors at play and I’m not even sure of the causes and effects. I know gaining an understanding of grace helped me to have compassion towards myself. I became more secure and accepting of myself. And more accepting of others. Learning to see the beauty in all people has helped a lot in the empathy department. I see myself ‘with’ others rather than ‘separate’ from others.

In many ways we are all the same. When we can see each other from this perspective, empathy can grow. And we all need empathy.


Feel-good videos

These two videos always bring a smile to my face.  I need to remind myself that though there is much brokenness and pain there is also much good in the world.  I admit, sometimes its hard for me to see it.


#36: Volleyball (40 Days of Fun)

I love volleyball.  I used to play volleyball in high school and college.  Even though I was a “bench warmer” for most of high school (I really didn’t start playing a lot until Grade 11/12) I always enjoyed it.  Volleyball was the only sport I was even remotely good at and I’d like to think that I got to be a fairly decent player particularly when I was in college.  It was hard work but very fulfilling.  I remember my college coach, Donna Andres, making me do this blocking drill – she would stand on a chair at the net and people would pass her volleyballs and she would continue to fire the balls over the net and I was supposed to block every one of them.  It was brutal!  I remember being so tired I wanted to stop jumping but she told me to keep blocking.  The really cool thing is that I got to be a pretty good blocker (thanks to that brutal drill).

Anyways, this year an old co-worker called me up and asked me if I’d like to play on her volleyball team.  They were losing a couple of players for the new season and wanted to know if I’d like to play full time (every Thursday night from September to the end of March).  I haven’t played volleyball for at least 10 years but I thought it would be fun to play it again.  So here I am, Thursday nights on the volleyball court (including tonight).  I’m having a great time although I’m feeling awfully rusty.  But each week I get a little better.  Today I got a nice block on a hitter and my spiking is improving.  It’s also fun to play in a competitive league so we generally get our bump-set-spike each rally.  I’m glad I agreed to play (even though I haven’t played for a really long time).  I’m having a lot of fun.


#37: Photo Hike (40 Days of Fun)

I took a walk along the riverbank downtown this morning and took pictures…just for the fun of it.  I love to take pictures and maybe once a year I’ll take a day where I spend a few hours walking around and taking pictures.  I wonder why I don’t do it more often because I enjoy it so much.

Here are some of my favourite shots from today:


Working it out

It’s quiet in the house this afternoon.  My youngest is sleeping, the boys are quiet in their rooms (my 10 year old is probably taking a nap), my husband is downstairs in the prayer room.  I’ve been puttering, doing little tasks that I keep putting off but that should get done.  In an hour, our friends will start arriving for house church.

I’ve been trying to think about what I should write.  It’s been so long and I’ve hardly written anything in 2010 (my husband threatened to de-link me if I didn’t post something – that would be part of the reason why I’m writing this post).  There are a lot of things I could write about.  The last year (2010) was a hard one, from my occupation standpoint and from our family life (particularly concerning our oldest son).

Where do I begin?

I’ll start with my job.  When I first became the Catering Manager, I was excited.  There were a ton of possibilities; I had ideas for improving things, and I was able to invest in people and make a difference.  But that attitude has shifted.  There has been a revolving door of people entering and leaving our office over the past 3 1/2 years.  And the hotel has been very busy.  Which means I haven’t been able to implement the ideas I’ve wanted to.  I can only help people grow to a certain extent because then they move on.  I keep shifting from picking up the slack from an unfilled position to training someone new.  There’s always more on my plate than I want there to be.

Maybe this is part and parcel of being a manager.  I don’t know.  There’s also all the bureaucracy and red tape that you have to deal with as a manager.  I’m not enjoying this.  I was so worn out by the time I hit December, I was granted a 3 1/2 week (much needed) vacation.  It was very good for me.  I know I was in rough shape going into my holidays because a few weeks in, my husband said to me one day, “It’s nice to have my wife back.”

Uck!  If this is what my occupation is doing to me, I don’t want it!  I used to rationalize that I didn’t have to put in a ton of overtime at my job.  Sure, I would have a fair amount of overtime building up in the Fall because that is the busiest time of year, but it wasn’t like that for 3/4 of the year.  “Hours” was the measuring stick I used to determine if my job was taking too much out of me or not.  But this summer I started to look at this differently.  Sure, I didn’t work a lot of overtime, but what was the effect on me when I wasn’t at work?  I didn’t have very much energy for my children, my husband.  Sometimes I was constantly thinking about work: what did I forget to do?  what do I need to remember to do?  I was angry and frustrated with all the stupid little (and big) things that were going on at my workplace.  My job was consuming me.

I decided I wanted to get out.  So I started looking for other employment (not in hospitality, mind you – I wanted to get out completely).  I have built up enough skills that I can translate them over to other lines of work.  But what do I want to do?  I started applying for jobs that I thought I could do (not necessarily what I wanted to do because I hadn’t worked those jobs before so how would I know if that is what I wanted to do or not).  Going into the job search process I had a sense that this whole thing might take some time.  I certainly didn’t think it would take over 4 months!

At first, I just wanted to escape.  Now that I feel much better after my vacation, I can think a little more objectively.  So I’ve started asking myself what do I WANT to do.  I haven’t figured it out yet.

There is something very positive that has come out of this process: I have lowered my expectations of myself at work.  I used to feel miserable because I wasn’t getting everything done in the time I thought I should do it.  Going into this Fall, I accepted the fact that I won’t get it all done.  This has taken a lot of pressure of me and it’s been good for my mental and emotional health.

I’m not sure what’s in store for me in 2011 with regards to occupation but I’m hoping for a positive change that will be better for me and my family.


Thankful List

I admit that I don’t often verbalize thankfulness.  As today is Thanksgiving, I thought it would be a good time to start a “thankful list”:

  • a loving husband
  • a family that knows it loves each other
  • my middle son – he’s a lot of fun to be with, he’s healthy and strong and loves his family
  • my oldest son – despite all his challenges and difficulties, he’s a good kid deep down inside and God loves him dearly
  • my parents – they’re still alive and generally healthy; they love me
  • my daughter – what joy she brings; she’s full of life and she loves freely
  • my health – I take it for granted
  • the ability to excel in my job
  • skills gained through experience that can be used in a variety of fields
  • the ability to provide together with my husband for our family
  • sight – if I were blind I would never be able to see the beauty of God’s creation
  • the wind – I love the feel of it blowing on my face and stirring my hair
  • fresh air, especially after a rain
  • rainbows – brilliant, beautiful, reminders of God’s mercy and grace
  • springtime – when everything becomes new again
  • the sky – the deep blue, clouds in all their diversity and beauty, the stars, the northern lights
  • birds – they soar above the confines of the earth; they remind me of how my spirit longs to soar
  • rest – the act of renewing and rejuvenating the body, soul, and mind
  • music (and the ability to hear it) – it stirs the soul and expresses emotions we cannot put into words
  • colour
  • variety in life, in experiences
  • the strength of the human spirit to persevere and endure hardship
  • the grace of God – which sustains us, fragile and broken as we are
  • the love of God
  • salvation – that I can be a friend and child of God
  • heroes – who go beyond the ordinary to help and save their fellow man
  • strength of character – noble, honest, strong, self-sacrificing for the greater good
  • books – you can experience different people and places
  • The Lord of the Rings – the best book ever! Where the weak and lowly outshine the strong, and good triumphs over evil
  • light
  • the warmth of the sun
  • the sensation of sleeping under sunlight streaming through a window

An picture of God’s patient love

God gave me a glimpse of what His love is like today.

I’m in the midst of toilet training my daughter.  She has some constipation issues and as a result does not like to do #2.  I had her sitting on the toilet as I was sure she was going to have to go.

She did not want to be there.  She was yelling and screaming, but I stayed firm that she needed to sit there as this was something she needed to learn.  She was too upset to hear what I was saying.  She was too upset to let me comfort and reassure her.  So I sat there in the bathroom with her.  I didn’t try to hug her because that’s not what she wanted.  I just stayed with her, never leaving her through her kicking and screaming and tears.

And suddenly God showed me that this is what He is like.

In the times when I’m in agony – all I can see and feel is my pain.  I’m too upset to listen, I’m too upset to be comforted.  I feel so terribly alone.  But God is always with me.  He never leaves me.  Even though I can’t see Him through my tears, even though I can’t feel Him because I’m kicking and screaming.  He never leaves me.  He sits there with me in my pain and waits patiently for the time when I’ve calmed down enough for Him to come and comfort me and tell me that He loves me and that everything will be ok.

God is so awesome!  He is so patient and loving!  What a beautiful picture!


Love Letters

VERSE:
The sky may be starless,
The night may be moonless,
But deep in my heart there’s a glow.
For deep in my heart
I know that you love me.
You love me because you told me so.

CHORUS:
Love letters straight from your heart
Keep us so near while apart.
I’m not alone in the night
When I can have all the love you write.

I memorize ev’ry line,
I kiss the name that you sign.
And, darling, then I read again right from the start
Love letters straight from your heart.

I’ve got this song on my Diana Krall CD, “The Look of Love”.  The song makes me think of God and how He wrote ‘love letters’ to us in His Word.  He tells us over and over again that He loves us.  He loves me.  I like that.


War of the Worlds

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I just finished listening to The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (book on CD).  It’s really got me thinking about our society.  This book was first published in 1898.  What strikes me is Wells’ commentary on humanity.  It feels more like the story (aliens invading England) is a ‘prop’ in which to study human society.  Who is man?  What defines us a human?  The writing seems so different from the media of today.  Back then people actually studied man and thought about what defines us.  I don’t think there are many people who do that anymore.

We still tell stories but the reverse has happened.  Humanity has become the ‘prop’ to tell a thrilling story.  We don’t ask ourselves what makes us human and what defines our society.  I think we’ve actually lost a bit of our humanity.  We have become desensitized to the human condition.  We watch graphic news reports but we don’t stop to think “Who is that person being killed or maimed on our TV screens? He/she is a human being just like me. What would I feel, how would I react in that situation?”.

Mass media distracts us from ourselves.

And so I am challenged to think about who I am as a member of humanity.  What false beliefs do I have about myself that drives my behavior, whether rational or irrational?  What truly defines me as ‘human’, different from the rest of Creation?  What defines our society?  What values do we hold to, whether beneficial or destructive?

I’m also thinking that I should be reading more classic literature.  It will challenge my thinking more than the media that’s thrown around today.


A great day along the river

Yesterday, I took the kids for a long walk along the river.  We headed down to the River Landing, walked all along the Meewasin trail to Kinsmen Park and back home again.  All in all, we were out and about for 3 1/2 hours.  While my children hardly even got rosy cheeks, I turned into a lobster, so I’m suffering today, but it was a lot of fun!  Here’s some pics…


“The Middle Wife”

The ‘Middle Wife’ by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back. When I was a kid, I loved show-and- tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.  She holds up a snapshot of an infant. ‘This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.’

‘First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.’  She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

‘Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!’ Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. ‘She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)  ‘My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.’ (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

‘And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!’ (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

‘Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe’. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.’

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ‘Middle Wife’ comes along.


What?! A blog post?

I love nature.  And I love taking pictures of the beauty I see.  Here’s some random photos I’ve taken.


Shall I blog?

My blog posts have been very few and far between over the last few months. The Fall is such a difficult time for me due to how busy it gets at work. And this year was worse than last year! It looks like we’ve had over 40% more business for the month of November this year compared to last year. That’s insane! Because November is always a busy month anyways. There’s been new people in the office to try to train and make sure they know what they’re doing (which isn’t easy when its so busy). I’ve felt like I’ve been running in a whirlwind for the past two months. I’m now starting to pull myself out of it (its starting to slow down) and get my bearings again.

I’m getting the sense that there is an area of growth that being tested right now – its the part of me that wants to keep everyone happy. But this does not work so well when you are a manager. There are three areas (all stemming from the above) that I see opportunity for growth: standing up for myself, time management, and delegation.

I don’t anticipate this being an easy process. Moving out of one’s comfort zone never is. But I get the sense that I will be a better person coming out of this growth process. So there’s a side of me that’s looking forward to the outcome.

Life is challenging. And I have friends who are hurting with some pretty severe emotional stuff. I wish I could speed up the healing process but I know I can’t. And then I look at my work stress and realize that it is NOTHING compared to emotional heartache and stress. So then I feel blessed with where I am at. I have a great marriage relationship with my husband (even in the midst of stress), our kids are healthy and for the more part happy. There are challenges and some days are really bad, but this week has been a good week so I’m feeling optimistic about things.

I’d better go. I’m starting to drift to sleep. There’s my update so far…


My place of refuge

I think I posted a couple of months ago that I was working on a ‘prayer room’ in our home. It’s a tiny room in our basement (8’x7′) that we renovated when we put up insulation . Previously, it was a very ugly storage room. Well, we got up the drywall eventually and then it took several months before I finished with all the mudding and sanding (boy is that tedious, time-consuming work!). We decided that this room would be for me – my own special place where I can escape from everyone else.

The room has been primed and painted and I’ve been using it for a few months now. I had ordered some Partylite holders (a tealight lamp that hangs from the ceiling, a beautiful wall sconce that I’ve been eyeing for a long time now and this neat little end table with candles) and I received those last weekend. Today I painted the door that was an ugly grey/brown color and hung a print that I’ve wanted to have in this room. The transformation is nearly complete. I purchased some muslin today and am hoping to hang that from the overhead floor joists as a makeshift ceiling tomorrow.

My prayer room is loaded with candles (when I use this room, I just go on candlelight) as well as a CD player with soothing ‘relaxation’ music. I’ve really been enjoying my room and find that it really helps when I use it. Life is so busy and particularly stressful at this time of the year (with work and home circumstances). I can feel myself getting sucked into a vortex of chaos if I don’t take some time to be by myself. This room is my refuge in the midst of the storm.


Loving my room

My room…my retreat…my hide-from-the-kids room…

the walls are painted, I have a rug on the floor, a table in the corner with candles, a CD player playing soothing music, a rocking chair with ottoman

I’m loving my room. I love the color of the walls illuminated by candle light.

I’m not posting any pictures yet. There’s still a few things I’m waiting for before the room will be complete (mostly – I still need to install a ceiling and baseboards, but I’m not doing that now). But I’m loving what I’ve got so far.


Tempted by ingenious marketing

So… I got this email from iTunes telling me about the 10K Human Race. Its a 10K race set up by Nike along with iPod that will be held in 25 cities across the globe on August 31 (but the website says you could race anywhere you are). Here comes the ingenious marketing: you can actually track your progress as you train and after the big race you can compare your results with the rest of the world. Cool, eh? Well… in order to do this you need to purchase the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, which is actually pretty cool. Here’s a bit of the description of what it does:

“Whether you’re running the Nike+ Human Race or just out for a jog, this ingenious kit works with your iPod nano to track your time, distance, pace, and calories burned. It even gives you voice feedback on your progress.”

This is sounding really cool. But wait… in order to use this you need to have Nike+ shoes. Here’s how the whole things works:

“Thanks to a unique partnership between Nike and Apple, your iPod nano becomes your coach. Your personal trainer. Your favorite workout companion.

Tune

Insert the wireless sensor inside the custom, built-in pocket beneath the insole of your Nike+ shoe, then plug the receiver into the Dock connector on your iPod nano.

Run

Now start your workout. As you run or walk, the sensor sends information to your iPod nano, tracking your time, distance, pace, and calories burned. If you choose, real-time, spoken feedback can even alert you to milestones throughout your workout.

Sync

Back at your computer, sync your iPod nano to transfer your workout data to iTunes and nikeplus.com. There, you can evaluate your performance history, set goals, and even challenge other runners to a virtual race.”

This sounds really cool. Of course, I don’t own an iPod Nano (I’ve got an iPod Shuffle), or Nike+ shoes or the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. So if I wanted to hop on board I’m looking at $159 for the Nano, at least $109 for the Nike+ shoes, and $39 for the Sport Kit, making it an investment of just over $300 before taxes. It’s actually not as much of an investment as I thought it would be when I started reading about how you’ll need and you’ll need that, etc… Which makes it that much more tempting (especially since yesterday I got a HUGE bonus cheque from work). But I will resist the temptation.

Besides… when I told my husband about this he said you could get almost all of the same training information from a GPS… which we already own.

But a GPS doesn’t sound as cool!


Wildlife galore!

So on Wednesday, we headed off for a long-anticipated vacation.  There were a few hiccups and we ended up leaving several hours later than we had planned, but we were finally on the road.

It was a glorious drive.  I saw so much wildlife – a fox, a meadowlark (which I saw AND heard when we stopped for supper at the side of the road – I miss the sound of meadowlarks), a badger, a coyote, a few deer, hawks, a great-blue heron, even a mouse.  PLUS I got to see the most awesome sunset!  At one point part of the entire sky was orange!  We drove in between two thunderstorms for a while and got to see some lightning.

It was so good.  I have been so looking forward to this holiday.  It’s the first real road trip we’ve been on and I’m loving it.  There have been times when the kids and fatigue have pushed my limits, but all in all, it’s been very good so far.

(and we’ve got a friend house-sitting for us while we’re gone, so no worries there)


It helps to understand personalities

I am an ‘ISFJ’ (according to the Myers-Briggs type indicator).  I am ‘Introverted’, ‘Sensing’ (meaning that I look at things as black and white, concrete), ‘Feeling’ (meaning I base my decisions on feelings – how I feel or how it will make someone else feel), and ‘Judging’ (meaning I need order and structure in my life).  It has been immensely helpful for me to understand these things about myself as well as understand the personalities of others. 

For instance, my husband is the exact opposite personality type as me: ENTP.  He’s extroverted, he sees the gray in things and is intuitive (iNtuition), he bases decisions on facts/truth (Thinking), and does not need structure to function (Perceiving).  Understanding these things about him helps me to respond lovingly when he appears ‘rude’, for example (functioning from the ‘thinking’, not ‘feeling’ side of things).  He’s acting in a way I wouldn’t because I’m not wired the way he is.  He doesn’t have to be like me.  Actually its a good thing we are opposite personality types.  We can compliment each other then.  But I’m sure having this understanding of his personality type has saved us from fighting because we understand the other person.  So many times fights happen as a result of lack of understanding the other’s perspective.

Knowledge of the Myers-Briggs type indicator has also been extremely helpful in relating to our children.  Our 7 1/2 year old boy is as ENFP which basically means he’s all about having fun.  Trying to get him to do work is like mission:impossible at times, but understanding that he’s wired this way keeps me from thinking that he’s deliberately being defiant and disobedient.  Most times that’s not the reason he isn’t working.  It’s just that its boring and he’d rather do something fun.

Our oldest son has similarities in his personality type to mine.  He’s concrete/black and white, and needs a lot of structure.  This explains why we can butt heads a lot.  We’re both not willing to back down on a point and if the one were to compromise it would mean upsetting the perceived order in the other person’s world.  However understanding this has helped me to ‘let go’ when we’ve entered into a disagreement.  I have to admit I don’t always do this, but without understanding his personality type, I’d never back down and always interpret his reactions as defiance.

I would suggest that everyone take the test and find out what their personality type is and find out the personality types of their family, if possible.  It’s made such a difference for me in how I relate to people (when I understand myself and understand others).  You can find an online test at http://www.mypersonality.info/personality-types/.

On a interesting note, it seems that my personality type changes when my sense of order is threatened.  I no longer operate based on feelings but on thinking, which means I’ll do things without worrying about how it will make people feel because it will enable things to run more smoothly. 


Challenging week

It’s been a challenging week at work.  Very challenging.  My boss was out of the office at training so that left me ultimately responsible for the office.  Every day something was thrown at me that I had to deal with.  While it was stressful a lot of the times, I actually feel good about the week.  With each ‘challenge’ thrown at me, I was able to address the issue and come up with a resolution and/or get help from others to address the problem. 

It feels very natural to be in a leadership role.  I’m very thankful for the company that I work for.  They allow people to grow in leadership.  They don’t micro-manage.  They allow people to question old ways of doing things and are open to new ideas.  They work as a team and offer support where needed and advice when asked.  The more leadership I’m given the more fulfilled I feel (even when faced with numerous challenges).  I think it’s because I feel like I’m making a real difference.  I’m in a position to make changes for the better and I love being able to do that.  I love helping people and equiping them to be the best at their job that they can be.

This week has been challenging but I know I’ve grown through it and am more confident coming out the other side.


Ramblings of an angry woman

The thing about anger is…it takes a lot of energy to sustain it.  After I’m finished with being angry and frustrated, I feel really tired.  It feels like there’s a hole left behind after the anger is gone.  An emptiness.  Feelings of anger are replaced with feelings of defeat.  Did all the being angry really accomplish anything?  Why do I get angry?  Is it a learned behavior?  Is it a survival tactic?

Ok, I’m totally rambling here.  What brought these thoughts on?  Something happened today that made me really angry.  I generally get frustrated and at times really angry if I perceive that someone is not listening to me.  This most often happens with my kids but it can happen with other people, too.  This is why I got angry today, but it was also the result of a bunch of little frustrations all building up to the ‘last straw’.

I’m sitting here thinking about how I felt at the time and also at how I carried that anger with me for a while afterwards.  I do believe I harbour resentment in my heart.  Sometimes I can be angry about something, calmed down for a couple of hours or a day and then I start telling someone about it and all of a sudden, I’m just as angry as when it first happened.  I’m wondering why I’m like this.

Some people cry almost every day.  I hardly ever cry.  But I get frustrated and angry.  Is this just another way of dealing with stress?

What is anger anyways?  It’s an emotion.  Anger, just like any emotion, is neutral.  It’s what we do with  our anger that makes it good or bad.  What do I do with my anger?  Complain about the circumstance or people that were the source of my anger; harbour resentment.  Ultimately, does this bring any satisfaction?  Initially, perhaps, but not in the long run.  What would be a better thing to do with my anger?  I don’t know.  This is the way I’ve handled my anger for a long time.  Maybe I need to find different, better outlets for my anger, but I don’t know what they would be.  Maybe it would just be doing things to relax, rather than fueling the flames by complaining to people.  I don’t know the answers but recognize that I could use some change in this area of my life.

As I’m writing this post, I’m also seeing a lot of my oldest son in this, although in his case, its more of an extreme.  He, too, gets angry about things.  I think most of the time he gets angry its because of a perceived injustice or feeling out of control in relation to his environment.  He also harbours resentment in his heart and can get angry about an incident that happened a long time ago.  We do have our similarities, but I never really saw it in the area of anger.

Hmmm…. food for thought.


Toe-tapping…amazing!

Riverdance

 

 

 

 

 

Last night, I saw Riverdance in Regina.  It was amazing!  I’ve seen it on TV, listened to the music, and absolutely loved it.  It was the one show that has come to Saskatoon that I had regretted not seeing (but at the time I couldn’t justify $90 a ticket to see it).  It’s one thing to see it on TV but it’s something else to see it live.  I’m still blown away by how fast these performers can move their feet and how all those people can do it in perfect unison.  It is an amazing experience.

I’ve always loved Celtic music.  It’s so haunting.  It can be mournful, melancholy, joyous.  I think what I like most about it is how it carries such emotion with it.  You feel it in the depths of your being.

Even though everything about Riverdance was so good, I think the highlight was watching the Russian Dance troupe.  They were amazing!  I can’t really put into words what they did, but the choreography was fantastic!  And the group looked liked they were having so much fun just doing it.  It was great!