Chase

All day long, day after day, sometimes that’s how it feels: chase.

Long lists made longer by hundreds of email, how can that be? Feels like more to do every moment: chase.

Dishes and laundry and honey-do: chase.

Dream of a race, gun goes off, I can’t run fast enough, slow off the line, sloth-like: chase.

When it’s like that, here’s the answer:

One thing at a time. KEEP GOING.

Dark and Light

Like each day, this year, dark and light. Just when the darkness seems endless, a glimmer in the distance, hope.

Faith helps. Sometimes. Other times not so; much too much it seems all the struggle and challenge and unexpected twists.

Run through, stay true, to the path, the course, the way.

The Way, and they say, and in the dark, I find my way, to the light, to be the light, to do what’s right.

From Dark, to Light.

Courage, Strength, Trust

These traits emerge anew. Found in words from Psalm 33. I discovered the verse via my cousin who lives in western New York. I think I need to read the whole psalm; thanks for the inspiration, cuz.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” – Psalm 33:20.

So simple; and sometimes easy to feel, and follow; and sometimes so damn hard, so fleeting.

When we can find that trust, that faith, everything else follows; we are stronger, we have more courage, going forward is easier.

Faith and trust, let it be. Let us be stronger too, in that trust. And thus, easier.

Just easier.

Story Telling

Do you like to tell stories? Like to listen to them? Both?

Listening to my daughter tell a story recently, it occurred to me…

If you’re a parent, listening to stories is a key skill for the vocation. The more you listen to your kids, the more stories they tell, the more you learn about them.

What else? The more confident and creative they become, too. The closer you’ll become.

In fact, you’ll also realize listening is good for you too. And not just with your kids.

Imagine the positive effect of listening more actively at work? With your friends? In your club? In our politics?

So listen up, listen to the stories, listen actively and learn. The effect? GOOD.

Work Spaces

Early Arrival or Late Departure?

Where do you work? When do you get there? When do you leave?

One space

What does your work space look like? How does it make you feel?

Another space

Does it reflect who you are? Or is it neutral? What does it do for you?

And another space

Is it a place you enjoy? Do you like being there?

And yet another space

My two cents? Be content to work wherever you can, where ever you can find space. But given the opportunity, make it your own, however humble, leave a bit of yourself there, welcoming to you, to all.

Why Worry

Why worry? Don’t give it much time, the worry itself. Those things on your mind? The worry tells you they matter to you, it’s a sign.

Beyond that though, don’t give it much time. Worry likes to hang out, as much time as you’ll give it.

But don’t give it that time. Don’t stay in the worry. For worry’s sake, and your own, take note, be grateful, and then move to the action, the doing.

It’s the doing that worry needs; don’t let it be an end, let it be a sign to spur you along.

Why worry? It’s time to move. It’s time to do. Thanks for reminder. Let’s go~

Captain Napkin

Thank Goodness for Daughter Number Two, a.k.a., “Captain Napkin”…!

Last night she disappeared into a bedroom and emerged a few minutes later saying, “I was helping Mom fold the napkins. I just love doing that.” I think she also said it helps her relax(!).

And so I got to thinking, “Do what you can; do a bit, here and there, chip away, even if the list is long and getting longer.

Do what you can. Like Captain Napkin.

#halffullallgood #parenting #dadlife #dadslife #gratitude

Master List

Back in the Fourth Grade I remember the class, “Study Skills.” It was the first time I recall being taught the concepts behind good learning, good practice, instead of the topics themselves.

From then until now I’ve been on a periodic yet constant journey of trying to make the most of my time. I’ve found repeatedly that I get a buzz from the organizational effort, the IDEA of organizing things. But the proof is in the pudding, in the habits you create and then stick-to to get your work done. That’s where the magic, where the peace of mind, where the productivity is.

And here I am again, fine-tuning, recommitting, adjusting my practice to be more productive. Work Life has morphed to where I MUST tighten up my practice, because it’s a little too loose and floppy just now. And floppy and loose is no place to be when work gets busy.

The fundamental lesson just now is this:

Use the most simple and reliable tools to manage your activities to be effective and productive.

Technology is cool and can certainly make you more productive and efficient.

The To-Do / Task List on Microsoft Outlook is a GREAT tool. Integrated into the email client tens of millions of folks use at work, it’s a fantastic way to harness the information already in email to organize, remind on, and tackle work tasks.

That said, it’s not as effective as a pad of paper and a hand-written list. Using a hand-written list, you can easily determine if something from a fresh email is already on your radar or not. If so, retain the newest email with the necessary information; but otherwise, don’t create a redundant to-do task. Seems obvious enough, but with a hundred emails a day plus, often with a “dialogue quality” that muddies things a bit, well, things get muddy pretty quick.

On the paper list, your tasks are easy enough to keep track of. You can update with new info from email, but not add redundant tasks and topics to your list of things to-do.

And so? So, you can stay focused on the things that need to get done. And for sure there are many things to get done. And with a Master List, you’ll get the job done.

Make your Master List today. I just did. And USE IT.

Let The Noise Go

Let the noise go. Life’s too short to let that noise distract you for long. Let it go, fall away, “like water off a duck’s back,” so the saying goes.

It takes a certain strength I think, To let acknowledge whatever “it” is, and feel some of what it offers, and then, THEN, let it go.

What is the noise?

Divisive rhetoric, negative attitudes, gently grating relationships, loud little kids, a meeting that doesn’t resolve its intended purpose, etc. You get the idea, right?

If it might bring you down, it might be noise I’m talking about.

LET IT GO.

And then circle back to what matters, and get after it.

The Unexpected

A bunch in life might go in this category.

I think we humans crave stability as a result. Trying to create predictable, repeatable outcomes. But it doesn’t always go that way.

The numbers you thought were correct aren’t. People you work with get sick or otherwise are unavailable to help with an important project. There’s an unexpected downpour that hampers everything.

What can result? Anxiety, heightened heart rate, shallowed breath…maybe a little panic…maybe a lot…?

Here’s the double whammy in my little world recently:

our regular support person for distance learning was sick, so we had to scramble to support ourselves; while on the hook for work of our own;

and then on my work side, some reporting problems to deal with; and behind otherwise.

So what to do?

Often life doesn’t go as planned. And it’s in those moments where Calm, Patience, Focus and Perseverance are paramount.

When the expected happens, pause, take a few breaths, and get after it.

Addendum: The image included below was from my son’s learning screen, and a little song the teacher put up for the kids to have a little pause, a little break, with “The Penguin Song.” Kids need to pause too, sometimes.