The Sometimes Unspoken…..

Words of another single full time working, student & parent

Posts Tagged ‘postaweek2011

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

Enter Empowered!

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Sometimes we just loose our way.  We are busy chasing the dream or running from the dream chasing us ~ no matter which it is, we still found ourselves somehow off course.  My mind thinks, “I could have sworn I was on a road.  What is with all these trees?”

After having quite a bit of time away, to myself and mostly offline, I realized I was sitting in the middle of the forest frolicking with the forest creatures, enjoying my time and loosing track of my priorities.  I can’t say that I was ever totally lost.  Just a little misplaced from time to time.  Nevertheless it was still in the midst of a forest and I was an adult form of Alice in Wonderland.  Still am, actually.

I have to say that life has been giving me a pounding for a good solid four to five months so far.  Someone sped life up and I was on overload.  Too much information to absorb and too many things, people and tasks to pay attention to.  To be honest, I was feeling a bit trampled.

I think sometimes it is necessary for each of us to do the unthinkable and stray from the status quo of the day.  I have friends in various groups: my Christian friends, my Goth friends, my Second Life buddies, my virtual world hopping crowd, my internet pals and so much more.  Each group is a bond to people through an interest, a lifestyle choice or something in common.  After a while, it just seems to be too much too fast.

I have always been afraid of just shutting down, yet I am no stranger to running away if I have to.  I am really good at running away and hiding when the need happens to appear.  I suppose talking to my friends would be the societal choice.  In some cases, maybe so.  But I have learned that at the end of the day, one has to contemplate over life and determine what is true and what is not.  We need to measure things by whatever standard we have chosen and see where we are sitting to figure out what to do and where to go next.

I am visual.  I have been ignoring that aspect of myself for quite some time.  I am also physical.  I can learn things rapidly because of these two things.  I think in pictures and my body memorizes movement incredibly well, even at this mid age.  We had an awesome sermon given at our church this past Sunday.  It was simple, but yet, it was empowering.

There are days where we go back to the basics, other days we wipe the slate off and start clean, but this was different and exciting.  It was not about either, but both were a part of the resolution.  Rather it is where is your center.  What is your life based upon?  What principles or precepts do you engage or practice?  What obstacles are in the way?  Most importantly, what relationships are in the way.

It was foundational – reminding me of the book on boundaries.  I have to pull that out so I can properly reference it.  Another to do a bit later.  I am writing off the cuff while waiting for class to start.

We have measures of time, pressures of space and stress in our lives.  Yet most are self created.  We choose our relationships, what we will spend our time doing and how we will accomplish things, or not.  What we choose not to do is just as important as what we choose to do.  Thus, where we center our lives has a dramatic impact on our everyday.

Enter empowered!  Just these little tidbits of knowledge empower us to create, to change and to address issues in our lives.  God centered, me centered or money centered……choices.  What are the consequences and what is it that I truly desire?  When riches fail and money no longer fulfills, what next?

God gave us the choice of where we place our hearts, what we do with our time and how we do things.  The only catch is that one has to bare the consequences of ones choices.  A hard life can be where we started, but it does not have to be where we end.  Living proof.

Have to run….will write more soon!

Written by neomav

October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Beyond the Blindside

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My last post was made a few moments before I went into one of my classes.  I talked about how I was feeling blindsided and then I had an epiphany, leaving everyone hanging.

Before I continue I want to examine what exactly being blindsided means.  One of the definitions is to be attacked from an unexpected position.  Another is to be caught unprepared.  While I chose the word blindside, I did not realize how true of a statement it was until a bit later.

I have been both unprepared and attacked from unexpected positions.  It has been unrelenting and continuous.  The more it happened the harder it was for me to recover in time for the next round. It was like I could not breath, catch a breath or prepare.  I felt like I was going to be dead meat.

Obstacles cropped up everywhere.  Obstacles appeared in front of everything and even behind me.  I was surrounded.  My mind was at a point that was somewhere between desperation, despair and hope.  Such an odd combination, but I know for a fact that my God isn’t going to let me simply die out, unless I myself choose to do so.  I can have hope, even when I do not know the solution.

I have always worked in positions where I could accumulate a heavy workflow by taking on more and more responsibilities.  I enjoy the pressure for some reason.  I truly think, aside from the fact that I love to learn, that this same thing is why I love college so much.

Yet more things are thrown at me that I did not expect to have to take on, or had not been prepared to deal with due to a lack of knowledge.  New experiences on top of the things going on.  I have struggled, pushed, crawled, cried, engaged in temper tantrums, fits and moments of peace.  I kept going with the idea that somehow I have to manage to do it all.

But I realized the last time that I wrote that I was ignoring something.  I have God.  He has wisdom and He has promised that wisdom to me.  It is accessible, but I have to ask for it.  I do not have to walk alone.  He is with me and He has provided me with many people in my family, at work, in church, online in various places and through out the world to walk with me.  Yet, I had been hiding in my safe place, trying to go it alone and stressing out because suddenly that safe place was under attack.  It was no longer safe.

Needless to say, I tend to stay to myself and come out here and there to chat, talk and communicate.  Then I go back into hiding.  God is not asking me to delegate my job or my school work or my parenting.  In fact, the overwhelming part has been that nothing can truly be delegated.  Even if someone is watching my children, I am ultimately responsible.  No one can do my homework or learning for me.  It isn’t about delegating, its about being supported.

Delegation is when you pass off something to someone else to do. For instance, I delegate the responsibilities of cleaning the cat litter, cleaning the dogs crate, feeding the animals and washing the dishes to my children.  They do it.  I just check to be sure it has been done.

Support is when you complete your tasks, but those around you hold you up, they cheer you on.  They are cheering you on when you start to slow down and feel like you can’t go on.  They are holding you up when you feel like you can no longer stand.  When you reach a point that you feel you can not go on, your support system is there (0r should be) to keep you going.  God is central to that support system.  While it is nice to say that one can support themselves, and at times it may be necessary to exert such determination, it is truly a blessing to be able to rely on others and not have to walk alone.  Its no longer I did it by myself, but I did it by the grace and power of God, by His hand in my life and with the help of those He placed there to keep me going.

It is exciting and scary at the same time.  It is a “Wow” moment for me.  It also requires that I make a true attempt at socializing more versus hiding more.  I was overwhelmed so I hid from every social network, from all those around me and have been flying by the seat of my pants.  Guess what?  It does not work!!  People have to be there.  It is necessary for me to encourage, to fill up, to invest in and to desire friendships with others.  It is important that I have those friendships.  Its not just about them supporting me, but it works the other way around as well.  I need to be there for them too.

Now this is truly uncharted territory for me.  I am not really sure how one does that.  So we are onto the exploration of what does it mean to support a person.  How does one give support and how does one receive support?  Does it enhance the relationships and what are its pitfalls to look out for?  These are questions that I need to answer.

I am standing beyond the blindside right now and looking at it from an outside perspective.  Strange, out here it doesn’t seem all that complicated.  Yet within it, it feels insurmountable.  The truth it, its not difficult to overcome.

Life has become a quick series of new chapters.  Very short ones, but intense.  They are filled with lessons I could not have imagined and situations that need to be addressed.  Beyond the blindside, I can see and I understand that there are somethings things that a person can not walk through alone.

Written by neomav

September 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Render Me Useless

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Sometimes I have these days or moments where I feel like I am just useless.  I wonder what I am doing and why I am doing it.  It is like choosing to fight a war that you know the odds are simply against you.  No one is betting you will win.  The underdog stance.

I do this when I feel very tired, burnt out or stressed about things.  I know it sounds depressing, but I truly do not view it that way.  It is an awesome way my body has for communicating to me that things are not in order.  Something is out of place.  It goes straight to my personal self esteem and attacks it.

See, I understand that I am not useless.  I also know that it is okay to feel that way at times.  It has a meaning.  It is not okay if this is the feeling one walks around with all day for days on end.  Moments of lacking confidence are important to us and necessary.  Not that I am defending, but just that I realize if I do not have moments like this, it is easy to loose touch with life.  Being overly confident is not exactly the best thing for us either.  Many think so, but I disagree.  The middle road is best.  We need moments that cause us to question ourselves and make us ask why something is the way it is.  They are growing times, if we let them to be.

So the big question is why this feeling?  It is simple really.  I am doing things that are way out of my comfort zone.

The social media game I love to play is intense and filled with people that do it as a profession.  They are great at it.  Its filled with people that have lots of time for online activities and thus they are rewarded for it.  Most of them are professionals in one way or another.  There are a few people like myself that are the odd balls out.  I refuse to quit though.  Even when it gets difficult.  The reality is, it is good for me.  The people I have meet and connected with have a different mindset than many of those normally around me.  My interests and hobbies are their professions.  They cheer me on even when my goals are not the same.  Compared to them, I am very socially inept.  My biggest lesson is how inconsistent I can be.

School is constantly pushing me to do that much more than I thought I could do.  It is expanding my mind, changing the way I think and the way I view things.  When the light is revealed even the details are suddenly exposed.  I have one year under my belt and it is still a huge challenge.  It is far more than study habits and good grades.  Again, I am out of my comfort zone.

At work I am constantly involved with things that I feel are outside of my skill range.  I am stretched, busy and sometimes lost.  I go back and forth feeling great and wondering if today is the day I get the notice.  I am not doing a bad job at all, but much of what I think actually ties into what I expect me to be able to do.  I have a little bit of a perfectionist tendency.

At home I sometimes want to just quit and say I can’t do this.  Life can be relentless, never giving a moment to just chill out.  I am out of my elements here as well as I continue to do work  on the house, learn new things (mostly the hard way) and face the challenges that life brings to us.

On all fronts I seem to be facing challenges and things that force me to stretch more, learn more and do more.  I am way outside of my comfort zone.  No complaints here, just an observation.  I am actually excited to see what is in store for us.  I know there are huge blessings rushing at me, surrounding me and covering me.  The adventures continue and I am thrilled!

Written by neomav

August 18, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Enter the Decompression

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School has been out a few weeks now for me.  I am inundated at work with some fairly large and time intensive projects, which has seemingly taken up a good portion of that time.  Yet, work is very different than school in its requirements in learning or assimilating new information.

With my classes, there was a large amount of information being fed into my head for me to fully understand and learn.  I understand the main differences between the UCC and Common Law, where the conflicts exist and why something many think is simple, is actually a situation that can become troublesome a few years down the road, if one is not forward thinking.

Now there is a small amount of new knowledge coming in, but quite a bit of application with the knowledge base I just learned.  I feel like I just became addicted to learning or to school and the pressures of it.  A deadline at work has stress, but the standard is different and more then likely will not prevent me from making it to law school unless I seriously messed up.  School on the other hand – the grades are a security blanket that you keep tucked under your arm until after you take the LSAT.  The LSAT is seemingly the most important acceptance factor into law school, followed by a review of your ethical behavior trends and then grades.  You do awesome on the LSAT, the grades have very little meaning.  You do average on the LSAT, the grades have meaning.  You do poorly on the LSAT and its time to figure out a new plan.  No pressure here.  O.o  At any rate, its that pressure that I am not feeling right now and it scares me in a way.  Maybe I need to consider a summer class?!?

Orrr, maybe I am decompressing and need to give it a little bit more time, focus on the things I have before me, finish getting caught up on the laundry list of to do’s, to dah’s and promises that I am half way through.  I do not do well with this phase at all.  I wonder how next month will be when the girls are with their father and my oldest goes back to her home.  O.o  I think I will just start picking up the books for school for next semester and get started on reading.  I know the jump will help and maybe that is actually the happy compromise in this situation.  It is not like I lack for busy.  I have plenty of busy and do not really need an additional to do.  I just need knowledge input.

Written by neomav

June 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Opening Pandora’s Box

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The last final exam is tomorrow night and it is all I can to keep focused on studying for the final exam.  I like accounting when I am in the mood for it.  Let’s hope I am in the mood for it tomorrow night and that I do well.

My mind is distracted and focusing on several things that are coming over the break between semesters.  Some of it is exciting, some of it I dread.  I am about to open Pandora’s Box.  Usually, I take my experiences and toss them in this box, locked away and kept secretly hidden.

This isn’t truly a Pandora’s Box.  All of the world’s evils do not exist inside it, rather the evidence of the world’s evils and the resulting grace that has protected me from becoming what I would consider a monster.  We as humans are so fragile, yet we are made with a capability to persevere through some incredibly traumatic events.

As the school season winds down for me, I am preparing to begin a few projects that inter-relate with one another.  They have been in the works for over three years now.  I could have started these projects back then and honestly I had planned, but I was fearful of what other people would think of me or how their perceptions of me might change.

I know that sounds silly.  Especially coming from someone that tends to disregard what other people think in regards to the choices I have made in life and the choices I make at any given time.  However, this is different.  It should not be, but it is.

You see, I tend to avoid conversations or items that are very controversial.  I do not like confrontation.   So I just would go merrily on my way doing my own thing, watching what my friends were doing and letting them do their own thing.  When anyone would confront me about what I was doing, I would immediately run or turn the question back on them.  In fact, in most cases, you would be lucky to know if I had plans to do anything at all.  Instead, I would talk dreams, because everyone likes to buy into a dream.  Dreaming and idea generation is easy for me.  I am a Dreamer.

However, it is time that I pick swords and merge them together.  They were made to be used together.  One sword is truth and the other is compassion.  They are just as much for protection as they are for fighting the way through to the place I have to go.  I know, it all sounds hyper-spiritual.   I promise by the end of the summer, you will think I have either lost my mind or found it.

Three years ago I was not surrounded by the same people.  Some of the same people are around me still.  There are new people around, that are actually not new.  Facebook was wonderful at allowing me to be able to connect with family and old high school friends that I had lost touch with.  Many of them are unaware of the history I have lived, even though they were right there.

In a way, the project I am about to embark on will shock some people because it will reveal aspects of what was really going on in my life.  I would avoid sharing it, but these things are part of the story or the testimony of events that bring us where we are today.  They set the stage for some crazy decision making and thought processes.  Thankfully, I do not have to deal with those same issues today.

Aspects of this project will melt the heart of Mom’s, upset some of the kids and send a few people babbling into the virtualosphere.  My concern is that I do not want to loose any friends over this, but yet, it something that I feel compelled to do.

Most of my life I closed me off from the world.  I kept bits and pieces exposed when necessary, but mostly I had those around me believing the buffet table was all there was and that there was no other rooms or buildings around in the space known as me.  This protected me from having to experience pain repeatedly or from becoming invested in someone that would use my weaknesses against me.  Yet, the aspect that I chose to share was this crazy over compassionate side that would cause me to champion for those around me.  It mattered not if they were stronger or weaker than I was.  What mattered was someone was judging them without the consideration of the entire experience.  That I could not stand.

Today, I live pained.  Nope, not the elbow or the paralyzed hand.  Those typically do not hurt me unless overused or the weather gets a bit crazy.  I am talking about internally pained.  Some from past experiences, some from watching people go through life and some just from the events going on in the world.  There is a growing negativity and anger that disturbs me.  It is reflected all over and it is now integrated into how many of our children respond to the world around them.  I see a lot of dependency and a general lack of acknowledgement for hope.  And that is why I call this Opening Pandora’s Box.  Hope was the last item left in it.  When Pandora shut the box after all the evils escaped, she trapped Hope inside.  It is one thing when a person can state they have no hope in something.  It is a very different thing when hope does not even enter their mind.  They don’t hope, they won’t say they don’t hope.  They simply do not acknowledge the existence of hope.  It pains me.

Hope and Faith are tied together in many ways.  You will have much trouble having faith in anything without some hope.  Hope drives us, it pleases us, it gives a forward expectation with a smile on our faces.  It is exciting and memorable. It is encouraging.

And that is where I am going with this.  The projects I am working on all have something to do with the Once Darkness that everyone has seen me carry through my email address for well over seven years.  It is encouragement, it is hope, it is facing darkness and exposing it to light to see what is hidden.  It is addressing those hidden things, becoming transparent and enjoying each moment of the adventure.

And so, today I started opening Pandora’s Box.  The hosting for the website is secured.  The web page is being put together in five and ten minute increments here and there.  By this weekend, the website should be live and a new set of blogs associated with it as well all geared towards encouraging, to overcoming those obstacles and understanding the excitement of life, even in its darkest hours.

Thanks for listening (err – reading) my babble.  Until next time…..

Written by neomav

May 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm

EPIC FAIL ~ Detox & Other Bits

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I left with me working on week one – Detox.  That was an epic fail on my part.  I avoided the water after the third day, did not walk and pretty much did not follow through on anything.  I did get a great plant out of the deal!  LOL!

This past week was month end/year end at work.  I was still doing the get caught up jiggle.  School is over the hump and we are closing in on finalizing the semester.  The last exams before the final exams are sprinkled through out the next two weeks.

The family has chaos reigning in it with a teen that can’t be inspired when things get difficult and a pre teen that has no motivation to do anything other then watch television.

I also still have things to take care of, like paying bills, finishing the taxes and working in the house.

I think all of them combined sometimes has this affect on me that just pushes me to do a weird self punishment thing.  Doing good things for me seemingly is not warranted, if I can’t have everything else in my life at optimum.   I am not sure if that is a remnant from my father’s high pressure method of expectations or just me or both.

My dad was very charismatic and well loved by many people.  His word was golden to them and they presumed all he said was true and accurate.  At home, it was a different story.  Life was not exactly what people looking in from the outside thought it was.  Achievement was a requirement for me.  It was also my rebellion.  I learned successfully how to underachieve while meeting that base line set for me.

I think, I am tired of that base line.  I always feel as if I am on the cusp of something fabulous and great.  There is a discovery at the other side of that cusp, that has incredible things within it.  I just have to get there.  But the other side is always outside of my reach.

I wonder what will happen if I stop chasing that other side and just start living.  Not that I am not living now, but meaning, trusting in God that He will take care of me.  I have not achieved anything spectacular that my dad would take amazing pride in.  I have had lots of experiences.  I was a soldier in the US Army, a model once upon a time, a stripper in night clubs, a bookkeeper, a secretary, a store manager and a business owner.  Experience is something I can claim.  Actual achievements in anything, not so much.

So what is it that causes people like myself with potential to choose not to utilize it or to just skate by simply because they can?  How is this changed?  What makes the motivation and keep it lasting?  Where does commitment come into play here and how does ones loyalties affect it?

I am seeking these answers.

In the meantime, we are going to redo the failed week 1 and attempt to make it a reasonable success.  Why, because I am stubborn that way!  And it an attempt to get me to exercise I have signed myself up at Curves around the corner from me.  It is not the place I would pick to go to, but it is what we have around here, it is nearby and it most importantly has people there that will push me to do what I have to do for me.

Written by neomav

April 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

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