Group Efforts

We are all on a team of some sort. It doesn’t have to be a sports team, but it could be. If you have a spouse, significant other, and/or children, you have a family team. Your goals are both personal and team oriented. Not all individuals in families are team players. Once children grow up and leave the nest, they form new teams. And so it’s gone for eons of time.

In life, we have to work with many types of people who differ from ourselves. After a career of living in cubicle world, you develop a heightened awareness of people and, well, our oddities. We all have them. Little habits that eventually can drive us crazy. You know it’s true. In fact, even in families, we may have trouble coping with our annoying habits. Some are nail biters, foot tappers, finger drum soloists, lip lickers, or just have their phone volume up to max every time the view a YouTube video, which is super annoying!

I’ve been away from cubicle world for a number of years, so I don’t know what the cell phone protocol is in the workplace now. Whatever it is, I hope people are aware of the fact a great deal of stress is involved in being residents of cubicle world. Some teams I was on were full of weird chaps. Yes, they were. Many programmers/analysts in the 90s were sci-fi lovers. At that time in my life, life was strange enough, I was going to school and raising my kids. We’d have some interesting discussions. It was before politically correct changed the landscape of the workplace. Many of the men I worked with were polite, respected women, and were great guys. Some weren’t. Since I was raised with brothers, I ignored anything inappropriate.

Where I disliked conversations was when higher management said and acted inappropirately and bragged about it. Crossed boundaries. I didn’t have the guts to report it, or tell him to quit. I should have. If I were in that situation today, I would. At that time, I needed my job and benefits. I thought I’d be fired if I spoke up.

Where I support victims of harassment and worse, I abhor when false accusations are made – against men or against women. It’s not right. On either side of the fence. With the progress made in recognizing and protecting gay people from harassment, I’ve thought at times of the anti-gay sentiment I worked in. In the early 90s, I did confront a guy who was such a chauvinist and homophobic by telling him I had a gay son, and I did not appreciate his comments. He had some quirks, combined with a hot temper. He controlled his wife (you hear everyone’s phone calls in cubicle world), and referred to her as “the wife.” I got tired of hearing it. I asked him what her name was. He told me. I told him his the wife reference was insulting to her. Like she was a possession. He said she is. End of conversation.

Didn’t stay in that guy’s cubicle long. I transferred to a different team. Thank goodness. A boss referred to me as “the WOMAN.” I let that slide because he was an exec, laughing it off, but I knew that meant I was not a team member who had any input. I was grateful to go on disability after my 1995 brush with paralysis. The Babe and I married in 1998 and I had such chronic back pain I had to quit work. It was for the best. With the unrelenting pain, there was no way I could go back to being on call for a team, and still expect to make it to work the next day. My life has been full ever since.

I’ve been a part of many a team since then; volunteering, at Church, Stephen Ministries, and VFW groups. I like belonging, and I’ll no longer be part of any group who lack integrity, value, honesty, and cohesiveness. Life, at this point, is too short to not be a part of something good that is larger than oneself. The Facebook Groups I’m part of are all about creativity; Quilting, Crocheting, Writing, Painting, and my favorite is I Create Daily. I don’t stick around groups that have conflict, arguing, or nastiness. No games. No stress.

I’ll be happy to see those FB posts again, and catch up with all the creatives who are “friends” of mine. I’ll feel part of a team again. I’ll be a gear in the group that helps keep it spinning, not derails it’s fuction. Tomorrow, my new BFF from Apple and I will be on the phone straightening out the Apple ID debachle. I’ve missed my phone. I’ll probably over do it on days, but I hope to keep my momentum going towards my kidlit book, my novel, and my other creative endeavors.

You may want to check what groups you’re part of. Find new ones if you need to. If some members of the group say things you disagree with, learn to ignore. If you get more bad than good from a group, leave. Start your own. Just be courteous, kind, and ignore the troublemakers. Try it. On to new adventures, new teams, new groups. Surround yourself with like minded creatives. It makes all the difference in the world. Your work and creations will thrive in the right environment. Think about it. And I’ll see you tomorrow! Take care out there.

Wednesday; A Sense of Purpose

Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives to achieve our sense of purpose, we need to be on board with the process. We need to do the work we need to accomplish before embarking on the journey to find our purpose. Whatever we need to change before we can achieve, we need to be consistent. Here or there effort will not move you forward.

Whether we need to come to terms with an addiction (shopping, drinking, drugs); and all that goes with it (crushing debt, loss of job, loss of family, loss of health, loss of spirituality); or overcome procrastination and all it feeds (low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, increased fear of failure); we need to remain focused on our goals and be consistent with our activity.

I’ve done some reading on so-called “Writer’s Block” and find some folks don’t believe in it for a minute; they simply call it procrastination due to fear of failure. That may be. There are always words to write. Whether they fit into your novel is for you to decide. When I feel a strong call to abandon what I’m working on currently and move to another project, I usually follow the call. I believe it is an inspiration to add depth and meaning to another project. Time will come when I’m called back to the original project, and the extensive work of the novel will begin again. Sometimes you have to let creativity call the shots.

The pictures above resulted from a Pexels search for “dedication.” Anything we commit to takes dedication. Dedication to purpose and expected result. Some things, granted, are more fun than others to be dedicated to. I believe it takes about three weeks to form a new habit, a new mindset towards whatever we want to change. After those first twenty-one days, we get bored, want to have fun instead. We figure we’ve proven we can give up that unpleasant habit. We figure we can Netflix binge all day and still achieve our goal. “Give ourselves a break,” the little voice tells us. “We deserve it.”

It’s a slippery slope, my friend. If we don’t keep performing those necessary tasks, we’ll lose the battle. The battle to finish the novel, swim well, write new songs for an album, work out for good health, enjoy the benefits of another way to eat, kick the addiction, and be in recovery from alcoholism. It begins and ends with how much commitment we can consistently have towards our achievement. Sure, you deserve a break, but consider them carefully, or you may find yourself back at Day ZERO, not Day Twenty-One.

And when we slip or falter, we need to be kind to ourselves. We all falter. Don’t beat yourself up. Your friends are your support. They may be new writer friends, gym friends, writing coaches, a FB Group, your meeting friends, your sponsor, people you can confess your failures to without being judged. They have been there. They have gotten back on track. You can too. You have to. For yourself.

Where are you going to be today in your quest for personal growth and change? Today, I’m going to work on placing words from my kids’ book onto the pages for Cartney to illustrate. The more detail that is put in the drawings, the fewer words we’ll need. I am so excited to see this happen! We are nearing the goal more every day.

Clutter busting is always on the list, so some of that, too. It never hurts. And if your surroundings are tidier, your mind is more focused. Always keep a daily goal. And since it’s Wednesday, later today is Hamburger Night at the VFW Post 2503. It is always a nice outing. Having a meal with friends is a pleasant break in routine, and we enjoy it a lot. Feeling that it’s easier to dig back in Thursday and work. We have a wedding Saturday and a benefit concert on Sunday. The weekend will be outstanding!

Stay the course. Be Kind to yourself. Get back up if you backslide. You’re still on track. You will get there if you are consistent! Thanks for reading, we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Forward is the only way to go from here wherever you are. Let’s travel together.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Tuesday Musings

Busy day today already! We have a few hours before Gavin needs to be picked up, so we’ll scurry around doing stuff in the house to accomplish something. I’m wanting to get to writing, blog first, and then go on with my book.

An online creative group I belong to is I Create Daily. It caught my eye about a year and a half ago, when I hadn’t even blogged yet, but was researching how to get started writing. Some of the best advice I found was, “Just write.” LeAura Alderson knows her stuff. I’ve joined in on her challenges for writing and art, and am following now for inspiration. She definitely incorporates life challenges within the confines of her coaching us to keep moving. We will, and she encourages us to take care of ourselves as we continue on our creative and caregiving journey’s. Here is today’s post, from the Facebook page. I’m referring to the segment about Hepaestus, the Greek God of Creativity.

I relate very strongly with Hepaestus. I’m disabled with chronic pain, yet I am not broken. I can still contribute. We all can, regardless of our infirmity, still create beauty for others and ourselves to enjoy. So can they. Hepaestus was injured by his own family; sometimes that happens to us humans, too. Perhaps the family knew what they were doing, I would hope not. I just don’t think I dislike anyone enough to wish them harm. Perhaps they knew no better. Once they know what they’re doing, it becomes intentional, and I don’t want to go there.

He rules over the forge, creating both beautiful jewelry and powerful weapons. We can direct our creativity one of two ways; for beauty and protection or for dazzling and destruction. It’s up to us how we use our talents and abilities. Sometimes, it’s necessary to do one or the other, depending on your situation in life. And where you want to go. Pick a good path. Mom, when referring to computer hackers or criminals in general, says, “If they’d use their intelligence for good, think how much better the world would be.” Yes, Mother.

I want my writing to bring happiness and encouragement to people; to little kids (when I write my children’s books), to families (when I write my book about losing Grandpa), and to anyone else who chances to read them. I’m aiming for many published works and musings. It’s great to have the encouragement of the book coach. Speaking of encouragement, I have a writer friend, Gabbie Weick, who just released this children’s book, “Corgis In the Wild.” It’s available now on Amazon. Gabbie did a great job! Help a girl out and order one now for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. They’ll have fun reading it with you. It is possible to order through Gabbie, the cost is $13, and she can autograph it if you like. I’ll be ordering mine today, later.

I think Gavin and I may do some creating this afternoon. I viewed the first Mixed Media Class I signed up for, to create a cute little picture for the laundry room. Come to think of it, I may tack some twine on the walls in there and make it look like a clothesline. And hang the pictures on the line. Pictures later, but don’t hold your breath! I’m a little slow with things.

What I need to do for writing? I need to start with ideas for my Chapter Two. I have some, it’s fleshing them out that is the challenge. I’m looking forward to Thursday morning and talking with Sam, my book coach again. Baby steps, but I’m learning so much along the way. I am so glad I hired her. Check out her website. She may be able to help you, too.

Off to make a list of things to accomplish this afternoon. #1 will be Taco Tuesday Lunch. The Babe is starving, he says. Have a beautiful day. Be Kind. Thanks for reading. Check out Gabbies book and Sam’s services. Good stuff. See you tomorrow!

Courageous. Word of the Day

Thoughtful Thursday

Hi, friends. We had a wonderful time last night with our friends at the VFW. I even won a couple of steaks. Today,the Babe had a doppler on his left carotid artery which had the endarterectomy last year. It’s still 100% clear, and his right one is still less than 50% blocked. All systems GO until next year! Thank God for the UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, where our doc referred him.

To tell you the truth, I’m not up to par today. Monday I did a lot of walking and scouring the grocery store for Mom. It kicked up some pain again. This time, it’s rib pain, from my scoliosis. It takes a bit for it to calm down, and I’m not there yet. Lots of heating pad time, along with the usual meds. Ugh! I just hope the pups are good girls for me. The Babe has a VFW Post meeting tonight, so hoping they are good.

Look what I received today from Amazon!

My friend, Shannon Schofield’s first book. I’m so excited for her!

Shannon worked tirelessly last summer and fall on her book. She worked on it during a challenge from our I Create Daily group. I am honored to call her a friend, and so proud of her for achieving this. It gives me hope, and makes me think I can do this, too. I’m eager to begin reading her story. This book is available on Amazon, paperback or Kindle. Buy it and read along with me!

The next week will be pretty busy, the Babe and I both have appointments, and so does Mom. I seriously need to get rid of this rib pain before Monday when we both need to hit the ground running. And Sunday is Parents Show for Addison’s Competition Dance. It will be a wait, she is in eight dances this year, I believe. She has developed her skills very well and we’re both looking forward to watching her again this year.

We went to a place to eat lunch we’ve been to before. I’ve learned to not order any potatoes except fries, because unless they fry it in grease, their potatoes are not hot. Temperature is key for baked and mashed potatoes. Last week, I had to send them back to be nuked. I hate to do that, but sometimes you have to. If butter won’t melt, the potatoes are not hot enough. Not even warm enough. Please get it right. Your patrons appreciate it.

The responses were overwhelming for the Poppy Quilt. I’ll get started within the next week on that. It will be a fun fill-in project. It’s my art besides writing for now. I’m so glad to have more interests and hobbies than time. I think it ensures I’ll always be busy and productive if I keep chipping away at the projects. It’ll be a creative and good life. Any time wasted is a commodity you cannot recover. Ever. I don’t like that as an option. I love to look at progress as I create things. I also love to enjoy the finished product, whatever it may be. I feel blessed to be able to create things, it is a stress reducer, time filler, and learning opportunity.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it very much. Please return tomorrow, I’ll be here then. It’ll be great to have you back again.

Love this saying.

SunSum: Sunday Summary

If you want to grow, you need to find these people; and learn with them, and from them (Kathy Raabe)

In my online creativity group @ICreateDaily, LeAura Alderson coined this word today, a day when we summarize our week and report stuff. Stuff meaning either successes or learning points, good things or surprises, and shared information or personal lessons. The whole gist of it is review what you used this week to promote your creativity and do more of it. If you are still not hitting it right, let’s try something different to see if it directs you to your right path. And she does this day after day for a group of us. It’s so cool. I found the group about a year and some months ago. I like it. Lots of creatives making suggestions, promoting each other, and sharing positive things about art, writing, painting, and even bee keeping. Yes, we are learning about bee keeping, too. If you’d like to join, go to FB and look for I Create Daily, and the 30 Day Art Challenge. You’ll get there.

I am well aware they discourage us to use our blogs a” Dear Diary,” but this is funny. A couple weeks ago, the Babe and I went to buy groceries at that large discount store that is everywhere. Yes, WalMart. As we were leaving, he walked towards something that was laying in the driving lane of an aisle. It was a package of Good Value Chocolate Chip Cookies to bake!

“Not run over yet or anything! The seal was still intact!” He was excited. I scoffed at him. Yes, I scoffed. I had a bazillion reasons they should go in the trash bin nearby, but still, they found their way into our refrigerator at Raabe Ranch. I smiled every time I saw them. Just thought I’d see how long it would take him to ask about them.

Today was the day, boys and girls! He asked how to turn on our new gas oven. I showed him. He usually acts helpless like that so I’ll do things for him. Haha, not this time. So bake them, he did. They are dark and crispy. Overdone. But he gets Kudos for trying. And on a day I need to work on my writing, he can watch football with the dogs and have his own snacks.

Now, a poll, if you please. How many of you would have picked the package up, taken it home and baked cookies? How many would have left the package in the parking lot? I’m really curious. Leave a comment and tell me your reaction. I’ll let you all know tomorrow if we have parking lot shoppers here or not. p.s. I did eat one cookie. They’re too crispy for me, so I won’t eat any more.

We are not leaving the house today. It is way too cold and icy in Gretna, Nebraska, to be doing things outside of the comfort of your own home. Stay warm, stay inside, stoke the fire, and Go Kansas City Chiefs! I hope the kid leads them to victory.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate your time. I will be here again tomorrow, and I hope you will be, too. You need to see how many others would:

Picked up the package of cookies?

or

Left it in the parking lot? Comment below, thank you.

Photo by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels