Going Pro

Heya! Guess what… a job change as in I’m unemployed, has led to reflection and I’m going to be trying a whole new approach. Time to get things balanced and rearrange life to better use the gifts and talents to which I have been entrusted.

All this to say – I’ve moved! Check me out at Birdy’s View.

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Decision Making

After several years of homeschooling our children, and then a few years of working whatever job I could that fit our family schedule, I returned to work full-time for a really amazing company.

I was initially hired to be Executive Assistant to the General Manager, but rather quickly that changed.  I’ve since been put on the path to becoming one of the company consultants.  This means that I get to go and work with a wide range of boards in a broad range of topics.  It is very interesting.  To use a term that falls dangerously close to cliché, it is very “dynamic.”

I love the work.

Part of my responsibility to our clients is to spend a lot of time reading and learning.   We’re hired to facilitate, teach, advise/provide outside perspective, and assist.

Part of my self-directed education has been to read lots of books, blogs, news-feeds, etc.  A recent trending topic is our ability to make sound/good decisions.

It appears that we humans are pretty lousy at sound decision-making.  It appears that we are continuously swayed by our biases, emotion frequently trumps logic, and we frequently over-assume our abilities to decide well.  To paraphrase what I learned in PSY 101, 85% of people surveyed scored themselves above average in abilities.

According to several sources, our ability to make a successful decision works out the same odds as flipping a coin.

A book that I’ve recently read about making the most of our decision-making process is called Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath.

I recommend this book.  They took the time to do a lot of research and have come up with a decision-making paradigm that should help improve your decision-making process.

Meanwhile, to share a quote I heard today:

Sometimes you win; sometimes you learn.”  John Maxwell.

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Trust or Not to Trust?

I had planned to come on here and blog tonight.  My husband is on his two week night-shift cycle.  Plus the new laptop we bought me to use for work arrived and affords me a wonderful keyboard which makes typing easy when compared to the netbook.  I had some wonderful ideas to share.

But then, when my husband picked me up from work this afternoon, he was on the phone with our soon to be 14 year old son.  Our son was asking when I’d be home because he had to talk to me.

The first thing he said to me when I got home was, “Don’t worry Mom, I’m not in trouble.”

Those words don’t work coming from a teenaged boy!

When he could express in words, he told me that while waiting for the bus this morning, he witnessed a hit-&-run between a car and a bicyclist.  There had been a University student standing beside him and that person had a cell phone and called 911.  When the police arrived, they decided to send our son along his way without taking his statement as the other person was giving a good statement.  Or so I am told.

Our son then walked 45 minutes to school.  Or so he told me. Late this evening I could tell he wasn’t okay.  I had already promised to walk him to the bus stop tomorrow, being grateful that a day with clients meant I had the flexibility to walk with him.

So we called a support line together.  That is when I learned that our son had a panic attack on the way to his school and actually spent a good hour or so hiding in the bushes on the way to school.

As we talked with the Counselor, our son repeated about how hard it was to trust.  I can’t say for sure, but the cyclist was likely gravely hurt from the amount of blood and his length of time unconscious according to our son’s account.

He asked, “How can I trust?”

I thought, “Yes, how can I help him regain trust?”

She replied, “Yes, you can’t trust everyone.  But just like that driver fled the scene, remember the person standing right next to you called 911.  He got help; he was trustworthy.”

“Yes,” said our son, “yes, that helps.  Thank you.”

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Vulnerability and Transparency

To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers … of love is Hell.

C. S. Lewis

It was shortly after I started blogging that I had a realization about myself.  I had written a post and noticed that I was “white-washing” the events of that post, because I was not willing to admit, publicly, the truth.  It became a transformative moment for me.  After some searching, I came to accept that if I was to be authentic, honest and true; not ashamed, secretive and hypocritical, then I needed to live in such a way that I would not need to apply white-wash.  I decided to live so that I could be transparent.

It was initially difficult.  I found myself confronting things I didn’t like about myself.  I felt a lot of shame.  But I’ve come to appreciate the awareness that resulted.  And in sharing, I felt I achieved growth.

This past month the concept of vulnerability has been repeatedly drawn to my attention.  My first response was that I had this under control.  I am willing to be transparent.

I’ve become aware that I’ve been shielding myself, much like Lewis’s chest.  For over a year now I’ve been working full-time with a team of really amazing people.  They’ve been encouraging me to break out of the walls that I built while trying to survive.  I’m grateful that my new “team” are amazing at gently removing the bricks of protection one by one.  I’m also very grateful that even though I’m experiencing new moments of pain at the newly exposed points of vulnerability, that I’m also being shown how much more joy I can experience by breaking down the walls.

Is being transparent the same as being vulnerable?  In this example, I say no.  But being transparent is an essential element of being vulnerable.

Here is a TED talk about being vulnerable.  One of the many”vulnerability” things brought to my attention this month.

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Start by doing …

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -Saint Francis of Assisi

I remember being so happy to celebrate January 1st, 2010.  It was a huge relief to be able to say “Good bye” to that year.  Like so many who have experience “that year,” it was good to start with the mental relief of turning a page on the calendar.  With time I’ve come to realize that it was only a start.  My emotions and heart are still working on finding ways to live at peace with the events of that year.

I closed this blog early in 2010, but it was with so much pain.  Much of me just wanted to keep the release and peace that writing gave to me.  For some time I blogged under another title.  But this blog was home and I wanted to be here.  I had made the decision to let this blog rest because it seemed best for the relationships in my life.  Also, I also didn’t have the strength left within me to tell others that this place, Birdy’s Blog, was my place and I needed it.

Time has passed.  Many, many changes have taken place in my life.  I’ve come to a place of being able to do what I thought impossible.  It is in that spirit that I have decided, it is time to write here again.

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#2 Teaches Regrouping

Regrouping!   Because teaching math is much more fun than doing math…

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#2 Teaches Ragged Addition

Adding numbers of different lengths!

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The Daughter Teaches Math

 

My daughter has decided that she wants to teach her math instead…

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In the middle of Furniture Moving

I’m in the middle of moving furniture. School goes on anyways. I’ll be back to my ‘feature’ later on, but thought I’d share a sampling of my 8 year old daughter’s penmanship of the day. She didn’t know I was going to post it up, so this isn’t ‘her best work’ and she’s not the most impressed with me, lol!

#2's Penmanship for the day

And here you can see that it is very important to practice safety while doing your school work:

#1 hard at work doing penmanship

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What I want for Christmas

 

A while ago someone posted a link to this youtube on Facebook.  Since then, I’ve listened to many, many clips from this group Perpetuum Jazzile and I simply love their work.  True, much of it is in another language and I’ve tried hard to make sure that I’m not listening to really ‘bad’ stuff but so far haven’t found that its much worse than what is playing on the airwaves here, if anything, its better!

 

Anyhow, what I want for Christmas is their latest CD, Africa.  That… that would make me really happy, lol!

[and as #2 added to her list, I’d also be happy with a kiss from each of my kids and my husband.  Because, as she said, “Its free Mommy, and the free stuff is the best!”]

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