Posts filed under Uncategorized

Candy and Grace

 Bittersweet

Bittersweet

I've been on a reading streak recently and though I'm not even halfway through Shauna's Niequist's beautiful essay collection I can't help but recommend it based on the passage below.

So these days, I'm on the lookout for grace, and I'm especially on the lookout for ways that I withhold grace from myself and from other people. At first, showing people grace makes you feel powerful, like scattering candy from a float in a parade -- grace for you, grace for you. You become almost giddy, thinking of people in generous ways, allowing for their faults, absorbing minor irritations. You feel great, and then you start to feel just ever so slightly superior, because you're so incredibly evolved and gracious.

But then inevitably something happens, and it usually involves you confronting one of your worst selves, often in public, and you realize you're not throwing candy off a float to a nameless, dirty public, but rather that you are that nameless, dirty public, and that you are starving and on your knees, praying for a little piece of sweetness just one mouthful of grace. -Shauna Niequist from "Grace is the new math" in Bittersweet.

Posted on August 10, 2013 and filed under Uncategorized.

The Carwash

 The Carwash

The Carwash

When my son was younger he was afraid of the carwash. Young toddlers , they freak out about everything. They are so cute, but also... unpredictably unpleasant. I like spending time with him a lot more now that he is almost five. He has so many fun things to say and his sincere enthusiasm for running errands with me never fails to brighten my day. Now that he is older he LOVES the carwash so the other day I took him there as a special treat for him, me and our car.

As we pulled in he exclaimed "Oh mommy, I'm so exciting!"

To which I replied. "Yes sweetheart, you most definitely are."

Posted on May 27, 2013 and filed under Uncategorized.

The Scales

I learned about the Jewish concept of "weighing the scales" in someone else's favor a few months back from a book I read with my Bible Study. "Weighing the scales" is basically an enhanced version of giving someone the benefit of the doubt, looking kindly upon their actions before assuming the worst. It comes from the practice of rounding weight to the customers favor when selling something. I have always liked the idea even if the cynic in me does not. This video reminded me of weighing the scales. It is a more beautiful way to go about your day.

Posted on May 13, 2013 and filed under Uncategorized.

Leaving the MumbleCorps

drop-the-micUnlike many people I don’t fear public speaking. I’m generally happy to take the mic and start bossing (ahem) directing people. The problem is the mic doesn’t help if you mumble (check), speak too quickly (double-check) and have a smallish voice (three strikes-I’m out). Despite all this I’m still a relatively good public speaker, when I concentrate I can control all of those vocal issues but concentration is tricky when 100 people are staring at you. I’m a fairly good public speaker, but I want to be a great one. I want to facilitate large rooms of people with ease instead of frustration. I want to pick up a microphone with Kanye West-level confidence. So logically I'm creating a self-designed “run the room like a boss” course. First up are Comedy Improv classes. Have you ever seen people trained in improv comedy? They are amazing. They assimilate a suggestion and then immediately start performing with commitment and swagger. Rolling with the punches, fearlessness and communication with the audience is imperative for improv and if that’s not good training for running a room I don’t know what is. I’ve been doing the comedy improv classes for a little while and hope to blog about them eventually but until then I’m interested in hearing what else I might add to my coursework. Suggestions? Does anybody want to come over and yell "You have a voice!" at me King's Speech style? Be bold. :)

Posted on February 9, 2013 and filed under Uncategorized.

Choices

You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. - Fred Rogers

Image from Nate Berkus' Book "The Things that Matter"
Image from Nate Berkus' Book "The Things that Matter"

Something that you hear a lot from people who are older is "I wish I had cared less what other people thought". I'm not overly inclined to care about others opinions. I am weird and I like that about myself. I do however have an annoying and deep-seeded desire to please people. I want the friggin gold star on my worksheet. This works well in some settings. When I'm at Crossfit, my wish to please the instructor pushes me through the last set of burpees. It works less-well in other settings where I cave to doing things a certain way to make other people happy. I am thinking in particular of a weekend I spent doing hours upon hours of preschool laundry to fulfill an expectation at my child's school. Life is too short to do that much laundry people. It was my fault too. I VOLUNTEERED TO DO IT, because sometimes I am a dumbass. A dumbass who wants gold stars.

Compromise is part of life, but I don't want to look back and be filled with regrets. Why would I waste a weekend washing laundry instead of having fun with my kid?! It applies to the little things too: I want to be cool with painting "Make tacos not war" over my kitchen sink and wearing fuchsia every day and Mr. T style jewelery if that is what suits me. One of my colleagues dresses impeccably every day for work. She told me once "I know I overdress, but I don't care. I like nice clothes and I want to wear them!" The day she told me that she was wearing a dress that I own but never wear because I'm always "saving" it for an appropriate occasion and I'm a little embarrassed that it has a giant fish print. I think that part of the year of being bold is learning to stand behind my honest opinions even when they will be unpopular, uncool or even inconvenient for other people. The trick is learning to do this gently. After all if I am really being myself I am far more interested in making tacos than war.

Posted on January 24, 2013 and filed under Uncategorized.