Monday, July 18, 2011

Inheriting Insanity From Your Kids - Good Stuff

This past weekend I read "Good Stuff" by Jennifer Grant, where she shares with the world her memories of her father, film star Cary Grant.  He used the term "Good Stuff" when things made him happy.

Ms. Grant leaves the reader with an impression of a father who enjoyed the simple things.  Had a silly sense of humor.  Used silence to communicate his displeasure.  Was neither too miserly nor too lavish with his fortune.  Was generous with 'I love you's.'

Tonight I went to dinner with my husband and my children.  I'd like to report that it was a wonderful family dinner where we shared the highs and lows of our day over good food.  Alas, we rarely manage to accomplish such a meal.  Instead, the dinner was a curious hodgepodge of conversation where my husband and I attempted to share the events of our day around interruptions from the children; admonishments that one stop pouring water on her napkin with the spoon; to chew with their mouths shut; to not throw parsley across the table; and then we capped off the dinner with an argument about brushing teeth.

As we left the restaurant, I remembered a quote by Erma Bombeck:  "Insanity is hereditary.  You can catch it from your kids."

When my children look back one day and remember me, I want them to remember my love.  Having inherited insanity from them, I'm not sure I want them remembering the drool...

Now that we're home from the restaurant, my daughter is playing songs on the iPhone (in my ear) and my son is putting together legos on the floor by the bed, kicking the cord to my computer so that the screen brightens and darkens with the movement.  We have a four bedroom, three living area home, and they insist on being in the same room I'm in, even after all my insane ramblings about proper behavior at dinner.

Good stuff.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Overcoming Fear

I like to think I don't let fear rule my life. 

I used to be deathly afraid of speaking in public.  Now I might get a few nerves before speaking in front of a group, but I find I actually enjoy it. 

I challenged my fear of rejection and failure by pitching my manuscript to agents and editors.  While I did receive some rejections, I now have a published book. 

I've made decisions in my career that challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone.  Sometimes the outcome was what I wanted.  Sometimes not.  Always I learned something and grew as a person.

So do I let fear rule my life?  Prior to last weekend, I would have confidently said no.  And I'd be eating humble pie today as I changed my answer to yes.

My husband held up a figurative mirror in front of me and made me realize there was indeed a part of my life where I am letting fear rule me.  And it is making me miserable.  In this scenario, it is my health that we were discussing. 

So how does one overcome fear?

  1. Understand what fear is.  FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real.  I used to teach a Coaching class for a company I worked for.  One of the principles taught was:  Change the perception, Change the direction.  Follow the feeling, and there you will often find the real issue upsetting someone. 
  2. After identifying the real issue, then separate feelings from thoughts and keep an objective, open mind.  Visualize the outcome you want and take actions that will get you closer to your desired outcome.  Do not let fear rule your actions.
  3. Surrender the outcome.  Trust in God or the Universe or yourself, whatever you believe in.  Nothing is guaranteed.  Believe that whatever happens, you will be okay and you will land on your feet.  Life has an interesting way of working itself out.
Back to my health issue.  My husband and I were discussing possible remedies, including surgery.  I told him that 45% of people that tried a certain surgical remedy experienced recurring symptoms within one year.

He immediately pointed out to me that 100% of people that don't try the remedy are 100% certain of having recurring symptoms within one year.

I hate it when he's right :)