The Sometimes Unspoken…..

Words of another single full time working, student & parent

Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

And So It Starts

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The first morning of the new year has rolled in, expected and ready to provide adventures. Today is a new day, just like everyday we wake up to see, but today is one of 12 firsts during the year and it’s the first of the firsts.

All over people are holding a bit of inspiration to make changes to a something or a series of somethings in their lives. They will start with all the determination and motivation they can muster. Within a month, they fall back to their old patterns, simply because they fully believe they can make these changes on their own power. While it is true that you are not going to change unless you are ready, it is also true that you are not going to do it alone. See something substantial in your life has to change. There has to be a reason that means more to you than you do that drives you. For some it is the fear of death. For others the fear of God. Still there are even some that respond to the unexplainable compassion they find within someone that gives them the last opportunity when everyone else has long given up. Or it may be as simple as another person giving one permission to choose to be different. That may sound silly, but in some cases it is the hold up.

I am not an expert at anything really. Maybe an expert at making poor choices and learning to live with and do something with them. It has been a hard and difficult life. My adult life is thousands times better than those years of my teens. While I appreciate the people in my life from my past sometimes it can be a struggle, because they are reminders of those things that happened that we’re not right. The silent abuse that my sister and I were enduring at my fathers hand constantly pops into those memories. Yet it is a few of my friends from that time period that have kept me accountable to the goals that I have set for myself. They believe that I can do what my heart desires.

This past year has brought me in touch with a decent size group of friends from my childhood that are cheering me on with my education. They do not care what the obstacles are in front of me, the demons I contend with as I walk the journey or how impossible it seems to be. They simply believe that I can achieve.

My church family will pray for me, that if it’s God’s will, then those doors are open and I will accomplish the task at hand. They do not worry about my personal abilities. In fact, they do not care if I can or can not. They know that if God desires it and I am willing, it will be so. No science degree needed.

Thus I am reminded as we start the first day of this new year, that on my own, alone, I can accomplish very little. Each person praying and each person believing is walking with me. Every friend that tells me to get back to studying, that gives me something to push for and that has given me permission is holding my hand. God is holding all of our hands together.

I can not say where everything will end up or what the outcome will be. I know the journey itself is as much importance as the end of the journey. All this to simply say, realize today that you are not going to do it alone. Your motivation has to be bigger than yourself and more important than you. Even simple changes have large effects at their end. A one degree change may not seem like much at the beginning, but keep walking down the road and you soon find yourself miles away from where you were, not even on the same road you used to walk.

Different roads have different rules. The old you no longer applies, the old thinking has to fade away, otherwise you stop walking and end up running back to where you started from. Those around you help to keep you focused, help to keep you on the right path and constantly uplifted. Even if you seemingly stand alone each day, anything with God’s hand in it guarantees you that you are not alone. Regardless if there is a person placed there or God alone, you are not doing it by yourself, on your own strength or determination.

And so it starts, the new day. The light has draped the lands, exposing a new Sunday. How appropriate that it is the start of a new week, the start of a new year and a new month all in one. I hope this year is the year of accomplishments, that the impossible becomes possible and everyone is filled with awe and excitement each step of the way. I look forward to the day. Off I go to take a shower, wake the girls and get ready for the first church day of the year. There are treasures waiting for me today and I intend to collect them all. I am going to be greedy and will take every blessing that God allows me to have and to take those that were given to my family long ago. No stone will be left untouched. I am greedy for those treasure for they hold what I need most to walk the journey, accomplish the things required and desired. Today is an awesome adventure and I am blessed that my family and friend are with me. Let’s do it!

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Sometimes it Takes a Moment….a Dance with Productivity

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I have been on a search the last six months to find productivity skill sets.  I know, many of my friends are reading this and rolling their eyes.  Not because they feel that I am lazy, but because they have accused me of being a chronic workaholic.  I will take on more than I should or that I am truly capable of doing.  I do that habitually.  Many of my friends would not accuse me of lacking or needing productivity skills.

It is almost like parenting to me.  I am a parent.  It is a huge part of my life, in fact, is my life.  I can not run away, hide or escape the role of being a parent.  That does not make me an expert at parenting.  I love to discover new tips and skill sets that I can stick in my tool box for use.  I constantly research parenting at different age ranges, but mostly for the ages of my children.  If something isn’t working, I need to find something that does.  As a parent, there is one choice and that is to deal with whatever issues and matters that present themselves to me.

The same is for productivity.  I do many things.  I have lots of projects going on besides work and school.  There are many demands on my time.  Productivity is important to me and though I may exercise skills in it daily, I honestly can do better.  I strive to do so.  It is not easy to have a job where everything is critical and an A priority.  Staying on the Dean’s list is not a simple task either.  Toss in a family life and things can get down right interesting if each has something critical going on at the same time.

A good example:  A child gets too ill to care for themselves, work has a critical project that has to be done that same day and there is an exam that you must take that night.  If you miss the exam it is a zero, there is usually no retakes.  The project has to be completed, there is no choice and the child has to be tended to.  Just a little stressful, but I am not complaining.  But it is days like that, it is good to have some tools in your tool belt that can help walk you through how to handle each situation.

There have been many books read while on this search.  The most recent that I have completed is Getting Things Done by David Allen.  This book was interesting and had many a tip that would make a productivity mongrel drool.  For what I have going on, the starting technique is not realistic.  I just can not take a day or two and go through everything, making piles and lists, calendaring, etc.  If I were an executive, that would be an option.  The reality is, Mr. Allen addresses and consults executives, therefore his approach is geared towards executives.

Yet, there are some cool things in this book.  I will be referring back to it over the next year as I get portions of it in to my habit zone.  Right now, I have grabbed my work email and created two main folders @Action and @WaitingFor.  @Action has sub folders that pertain to my job tasks.  Instead of having to search the hundreds of emails that need to have something done, I can group the tasks that I am working on and do them at the same time.  It has allowed me to get more done faster.  It also allows me to keep emails out of my Inbox, which has always stressed me out.  My old method was to simply let undone emails sit in my inbox and I would file them away as I completed the tasks they requested.  This is fine if you get fifteen or so a day.  I get hundreds a day.

Sometimes it just takes a moment to realize a times savings.  This technique alone has saved me approximately a full hour each day.  I am not searching for things and jumping from very different tasks.  Grouped tasks get done faster because your brain is already processing in that specific mode.  Every time you change the base task, it requires some study and processing time.

I am now currently digging through Boundaries and Brain Rules for additional techniques.  One for better abilities in dealing with others as they drain away time from my work day (known as the “J” time in the Administrative field) and the other for better abilities to learn, assimilate and process information faster.

I have even pulled a nugget from a recent interview.  I was invited to participate in a Doctorate students study for their dissertation regarding Veterans and their transitioning from the military to school.  We were given a web form of some basic questions to answer.  Some of my answers were on the snarky side.  That snarky is why she chose me as one of the veterans to interview.  While doing the interview and chit chatting, she had posed the question “How do you balance work, school and family?”  I had to think about it for a moment and I realized that I didn’t.  My response was, “I don’t balance them.  I do not even try to balance them.  I do not plan them out.  I do notate events and things on my calendar that are important because I have to deal with them in some fashion, but the reality is…..some days there is no way to balance everything.  It is like labor.  At that moment, the baby is coming.  It does not matter what is going on in other segments of life.  The baby is coming and coming now.  You deal with it.  I deal with each thing as it comes because many aspects to work, school and family simply are unplanned, unexpected and quite frankly have very good (or bad) timing.  You just have to take it in the moment and run with it.”

Sometimes it just takes a moment.  In a moment life is changed.  No matter how productive, how many skill sets we have or don’t have, what position we are in or where we are, life happens.  Our brains do not multi task.  It is a proven fact.  This is why talking on the phone while driving does not work well.  Sometimes it takes a moment and our focus is changed and in that we have a dance with productivity.  We have to just go with it.  The best laid plans are disrupted, the calendar changed and we are dealing with the labor of a new baby arriving in the moment.

 

 

Written by neomav

November 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Running in a Closet

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There are days where I feel like I am running in a closet.  A closed in, suffocated, endless run in the darkness.  It is stiff ling and feels like it leads no where.  Actually, it does not lead anywhere at all.  Its a long run in a closet!

This feeling comes when I find myself hiding within.  Rather then share what I am thinking, what the goals I have are or even in some cases who I am, I hide.  I am an expert at this.  I can hide right in front of people and avoid being seen.  Good ole army training!

Seriously, I notice that I am hiding myself and have to at points wonder why.  I know that I hate being criticized tremendously.  It takes a huge toll on me personally.  In fact, I tend to internalize those types of things.  I know that is related to relationships in the past and truly, it is time to let those things go.

I work hard at trying not to take that long run in the closet.  Some days its just harder than others.  It makes me daydream for old friends, that never let me near the closet door.  One such friend had an oxygen addiction.  Anytime we were outside she was the giddiest person I had ever known.  We could make anything pleasurable.  I think the two of us together were just so strong willed and determined that we reinforced the positiveness of life.  Even if we did not want it.

I think back to those experiences and usually it is enough to get me out of the closet.  Yet, lately, I think the closet is not so bad if I just stand.  Boring!  Standing is boring!  I want to move.  I want to run.  I want to do things and to share.

So what to do when you find yourself running in the closet…..?

Simple open the door and head for the light.  Share something quick.  Even a small thing.  Dare to daydream about where you want to be.  It does not have to be realistic, just dream it.

Write it down and look for the points.  Why do I like this?  What is appealing about it?  Hidden within are keys that can gain you momentum outside of the closet.  Now you can have the run of a whole room!  Eventually, you can get outside and run amuck in the world.

The point is, start where you are at.  Start small.  Do not have the great expectations.  In fact, check expectations at the door on your way out.  Go beyond.  One small step at a time.  Rinse, wash and repeat!

Written by neomav

November 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

Sometimes It Is Necessary

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Sometimes it just is necessary.  It just is!

I wake up and realize that I need to make some significant changes in my life.  Actually, it was not all of a sudden.  It has been something I have been mulling over for months now.  It is not that I am dissatisfied.  I have an extremely full life.  I love to stay busy, but sometimes I think that is a problem for me.

Don’t get me wrong.  Busy is good.  However, the question is – busy with what?  Where is my focus and what am I doing?  Life seems all broken and distracted.  Quite a few of the things I really enjoy typically are – well – meh.  I still like them, but they are not quite as enjoyable.

This isn’t about being depressed.  No, that is so not my issue!  This is about being disorganized.  I am not talking about engaging in a social media experts win win scheduling program.   It isn’t about finding the next mega guru on organizing either.  Simply it is that I haven’t been applying the principles that I know work.

In a sense, I have not been myself lately and enough is enough!  I am drawing the line in the sand today and we are going back to the basics.  Sometimes it is necessary to revisit the basics and bring everything back in line with simplicity.  Do what you know needs to be done and let the distractions fade.

Welcome to the start of the power week or month…whatever it turns out to be.  And how lucky for you!  You get to come on this lovely adventure with me! 😀  Yes, it is part of my evil plan.  Mwha hahaha!  You will like it.  I promise!

Written by neomav

August 22, 2011 at 6:42 am

Homestretch

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I have officially entered the homestretch.  I have homework left in one class and the rest its all studying for exams.  Exams start on Tuesday.  Fair warning….I can’t tell you how active I will or will not be.  I tend to be unpredictable at best.  Sometimes I just lock myself away and other times I am too stressed to concentrate and seem like I am all over the place.

At any rate, its the last leg to keep the 4.0 roll, maintain being on the Dean’s list and to apply for the Community College version of the Honor Roll Society.  LOL!  I feel like such a kid.

So off I go to study, to be distracted, to work, to play and just get things done in random sorts of ways.  Wish me luck!  Tell me to study when you see me jumping around.  I need all sorts of reminders.

Written by neomav

May 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Work

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Life As A Stuck Gas Pedal

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Sometimes life goes by so fast, one can barely take a moment to breathe in a breath, let alone blink eyes.  It is like life is stuck on fast forward or someone really heavy is sitting on the gas pedal.  That has gotten me to thinking that maybe we are the gas pedal.

I know this past week, I spent everyday running from one moment to the next.  Time was definitely not on my side and I am thankful to the God I have for giving me the ability to survive it.  O.o  Seriously, there is no way I as a person could have singularly accomplished what was done.

Work was spent in the catch up mode.  I was behind before I had gotten the flu.  Missing two days from work certainly did not help that.  My goal is to be all caught up and off the reactive mode before the end of this month.  That is a birthday present to myself.  The ultimate goal – to reduce stress, become more efficient and effective in what I do.  I may be busy, but I don’t want people to “feel” my busy.

Home is like a hurricane or natural disaster came over for a visit and secluded itself solely to the inside of my house.  This is what happens when single parents get sick and the children take over – bless their hearts.  O.o  I think its natures way of getting a sick parent to recuperate faster.  The demise of the home encourages the single parent to re-establish a semblance of order.  If for nothing else, for the sake of sanity.  Nevertheless, my house needs a good once over once again.  The children did try to take care of me and they did a good job at making sure I had water, tea, chicken soup and snacks.  However, their personal habits are not fully developed and their idea of clean is – well – not mine.  O.O

Taxes still need to be completed.  I have some boxes to organize the large mass of paper from over the years that managed to get tossed about over the past year while I was working on the main areas of the house.  Basically, last year my room became the toss it room and contained the livingroom, kitchen and the girls room as I worked on each space.  That includes every book, paper, office supply, pot, pan, toy, etc.

Now things have slowly made their way to their respective rooms and I am left with a huge disorganized mass that used to be in a very specific order.  Sighz!  At any rate, I have the years all placed in their boxes and am trying to pull out any left over scraps and pieces.  I know I do not have everything because there is quite a bit that I have not uncovered.

The interesting thing in putting this back in order is how quickly I ran through 2002 through 2010.  It was a blink, a moment.  From my move back to this state to live near my parents to today.  That took me through my first house purchase, my third marriage and demise of it, over $30,000 of debt taken care of and the transitional waiting period as I figure out when and how to get through my third divorce.  Eight years and I was amazed to see all the issues and problems resolved.  The huge amount of life that was lived and the experiences both good and bad.  I have been through significant things, to include the deaths of my dear Poppa and my Dad.

Life as a gas pedal.  You are pushed to the floor repeatedly by a seemingly unknown force, until one day, you just stick there.  Stuck.  Refusing to budge.  It gets tiring the slow up and then the speed up and by time you are caught up you are already behind.  Somewhere in the back of the mind is the thought if it is one consistent speed, like a professional runner in for the marathon, things will be stable.  Nice try as something works on you to get you to function properly so you are no longer stuck on go.

My life over the last eight years was like that of a stuck gas pedal.  Life on and in speed.  It makes me laugh as I reflect on someone who prophesied over me and told me that this period of my life is a time of rest.  If this is resting, I do not think I am ready for the other!  I think the prophesy was inaccurate.  I think this was a time of training to guide my strong will into using those powers for good versus other.  Just saying…..what else could it be?

Written by neomav

March 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm

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