Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Funny

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On Children

I was on Facebook the other day, and a comment was made regarding Kahlil Gabran's poem On Children. Curious and never having read it before, I googled it.

The poem spoke to me, and not just because my children are at the age where I worry more and more whether or not I've done all I could to prepare them for adulthood. It also spoke to me because I get frustrated with their lack of interest in things I share with them that helped define who I am, who my generation is, or what I experienced growing up. I mean, seriously, how do they not get the awesomeness that was Nirvana or STP???

This poem reminds me to let the frustration and worry go. Their road is not mine to pave. And it's not about me or what I've experienced. 

On Children
by Kahlil Gabran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

It's a lovely poem, and it saddens my heart that they will go where I cannot follow; that I will share less and less of their life experiences as they get older. But dammit, that doesn't mean I can't still try to get them to like a little grunge or classic rock music :)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mean What You Say

Can you spot the weasel words in these sentences?

"I wanted to kind of..."
"Maybe you can think about..."
"We would like it if you could join us for..."
"I am going to share with you..."

In writing, we are taught to eliminate the use of weasel words in sentences. They create ambiguity. Lack direct intention. Compare the sentences above to these:

"I want to..."
"Think about this..."
"Can you join us for..."
"I will share with you..."

I have heard three professional speakers over the last sixty days use weasel words. It was hard to bask in the glow of hearing individuals who are famous for their experience and talent speak while weasel words fell out of their mouths. The majority of us use these words every day without realizing it. Yet unconsciously, listeners pick up on the uncertainty of our words.

Eliminating weasel words isn't just for writers, it is also for speakers, professionals and leaders that want to show more commitment, authority, and decisiveness. To appear confident in yourself and what you know, don't dance around the issue.

Mean what you say.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Funny - My Week

Monday, February 6, 2017

Never Say Never

Last night proved you should never say never. While I was rooting for the other team, I have to hand it to the Patriots for such an impressive comeback.

In business motivational speeches, we are taught that at 211 degrees, water is hot. With one extra degree, it boils. Steam comes from boiling water, and powers trains. What a difference for just one more degree of effort!

How many times have you given up at the 211 degree mark? I ask myself, when have I?

I had a book published in 2012. Since then I've written three more books. I have attempted to publish none. I can go into a million excuses as to why, but the bottom line is I don't know if I want to publish another novel. I write because it is my passion and re-energizes me. It feeds my soul. Publishing is work, and I already have jobs as a wife, mother and HR professional.

HR pays the bills and provides healthcare. Most days I enjoy the work, and I'm good at it. And I only have my kids for a little while longer. I want to be fully present in their lives until they leave the nest, so I don't know if I want another job right now. I have to decide.

So the key question is how bad do you want to fulfill your dream? Be published? Get that big promotion? Win the trophy? It all comes down to how much you want it. And if you want it that bad, never say never. Give it all you've got.

But you've got to decide. The Patriots did.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Storied Wednesdays - BookBub Is Still Evil

On Wednesdays I plan to post about stories - books I'm reading, stories I'm writing, movies I've seen, my favorite television shows... If it's about stories it will be on Wednesdays.

A while back I posted that BookBub was evil, because of the significant expansion of my Kindle reading list. It was 315 then. It is now 595. I can say with certainty that I am now an official Kindle book hoarder!

If you love to read and haven't tried it, please do. The site lets you pick the categories of fiction and non-fiction that you love to read, as well as authors you like. The company will send emails telling you when your favorite authors have new books out. Two of my favorite authors just published new books, and one of them I discovered through BookBub (Toni Anderson).

Her new book, Cold Secrets, is out tomorrow. Toni writes good mystery romances with alpha heroes and equally alpha females. Her stories are fast-paced, and her characters are layered and wonderfully flawed.

One of my other favorite authors, Laura Griffin, has a new book out, as well. If you enjoy a good mystery, intertwined with romance, and some great forensic science details, then you should try her Tracers series.

And back to BookBub... Don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday's Milieu - Arguing over donuts

Image courtesy of Dunkin Donuts
On Monday's this year I plan to post something about the environment (i.e. milieu) we live in today - be it at work, online, or in person. (Milieu can also mean the social setting of a mental patient. Apropos for me, maybe. You decide.)

A new donut shop (not Dunkin Donuts, though we have one of those) opened up near my house that people are going crazy about. Like 110-people-in-line-late-on-a-Friday-night crazy. 

And now my neighbors are attacking each other on Nextdoor over how good those donuts are or aren't. Really people. It's a donut. Would you pick a fight in person with someone over how good a donut tastes?

I am amazed and saddened at the lengths people will go to when they attack others online. I know you've all experienced it lately. Trump. Women's equality. Immigration. You can't escape the divisiveness unless you stay off social media and boycott the news. 

Early in my HR career, I facilitated diversity classes for my employer. In the class, we had a segment where we discussed the lenses through which people see the world, and the filters that make up those lenses. Those filters aren't just about black and white or male and female. The lenses are also about whether or not you grew up in a Republican household, or went through a divorce, maybe lost your job, or what part of the country you hail from. Each experience leaves an impression, coloring your views of the world and your place within it. No two people will ever think exactly alike. So let's all remember to be tolerant of others' views.

Even if you think the donut tastes like cold deep-fried cardboard, and someone else thinks it is sugar-coated doughy heaven.