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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Category Archives: energy

I’ve thought alot about this post over the past few days. Originally I thought I would write something like this on Valentines… but… the day got carried away with all the events at the Bistro and the RL hugs and kisses of the holiday that I didn’t find my way here until now. I suppose it is cliche anyway and this is more that just a one time holiday feeling.

Who do you hold in your heart? I remember crying and crying one summer after a camp experience that I had dearly loved, 8th grade I think it was, and missing those newfound friends so much my heart ached. My dad held me and told me that even though people leave our lives we never escape the things they put in our hearts. I love my Dad. Is that the right thing to say, or what? So true.

Another time, in college, the boy who had captured my heart for 3 years in big and small ways, ended our romance. It was the most difficult summer I ever spent at home and my last. I hardly ate after that. I just couldn’t. I wanted to just sleep – but I couldn’t. Thank God for summer jobs because it gave me a purpose and a distraction. I had given him everything – every piece of me – and at that young age, I had myself romantically believing that giving those pieces of yourself meant forever. Again, I remember my dad saying something about how things happen for a reason. God has other plans. My broken heart felt like it would never mend.

Another I held closely in my heart was a good friend. He and I were almost inseparable in college – both away from home for the first time. He expected me to jump ship after that heartache and fall into his arms. I just couldn’t do it. I broke his heart in the process. I lost one of my closest friends, and my partner in crime for late night silliness that only college can bring.

There was a string of unattainable challenges. Those seemed to remedy my heart ache and yet cause more on some level. The cute boy who rode mountain bikes and worked as a ski instructor. The older guy who made me laugh till I would shoot soda out of my nose and humiliate me with loud noises and hilarious comments on the sidewalk outside my college office job. There was the small town, very athletic guy who taught with me as a new teacher but was more in love with an old girlfriend then he ever would be with me. There was the guy who was the basketball coach who loved basketball and his new truck more than settling down.

And then, there was Dave. By the time he had snuck into my life, my heart was full. Not jaded. But definitely wiser. My pollyanna romantic side though longed for fantasy. Long walks after our school day through the forest near where we lived. Beautiful notes sent to me secretly in school as if we were students not the teachers. A few matchmaker team teaching partners who helped spin me into a frenzy and a very special New Year’s Eve trip to Santa Barbara and Disneyland. A wish at the Sleeping Beauty Castle wishing well and here I am still feeling a rush of romantic feelings as I bring it all back in my memory. Those brown eyes I fell in love with over a hamburger one night at a local restaurant after a walk. Still the same eyes. I checked. I looked deeply into them the other night just to make sure 🙂

There are others I have fallen in love with. Each one of my babies. Of course I have to remind myself of that as they turn into mouthy, surly teens. The many friends and colleagues I have known in first and second lives. Think about those you have let into your heart and those you might have shut out… maybe reconsider. Why wouldn’t you want both lives to be as full as possible with all things that are so good and so warming for your soul!

Life is short. I am reminded of that every day. Tell those you love, that you love them. Why hold back? Why save on words? The more you make yourself vulnerable to someone, hopefully, that vulnerability will be reflected and returned ten fold.

And keep those who have touched your heart close and tucked away. Rainy days do happen. After the heartache ends, focus on the warmth that love brought. Then, if fate allows them to wander through your life again, your heart will be that much more open to loving them all over again.

Matters of the heart seem to get so complicated. And yet, they should be so simple. Start by saying yes. Start with 3 simple words. Don’t let the moment slip away.

Laughing Buddha: Even offering three hundred bowls of food three times a day does not match the spiritual merit gained in one moment of love.


Mary Poppins got it right!

Mary Poppins got it right!

I used to joke about work furlough programs. I thought they were something you got in prison -like a work release – when you have been good and they let you out to work or something. OBVIOUSLY I should have consulted a dictionary and really understood it. I have a big fat FURLOUGH staring me in the face. This, not to be confused with a FURBIE, is much uglier and more disturbing.

I am not going to turn this into a grip post. I am RESILIENT after all and the queen of making lemonade out of lemons. So… I am taking my furlough day (aka a day with no pay so that my salary is reduced by my daily pay rate) – the first of 12 I must take between now and early June 2009 – with a spoonful of sugar. I realize I am horribly mixing metaphors but isn’t that how the medicine goes down when you live with Mary Poppins?

The GOOD NEWS? the SILVER LINING? NO ONE immediately will lose their jobs. They are saving some ungodly amount of money across the whole system ($24 million I think) by asking… no wait REQUIRING… everyone to take 10-12-15 furlough days. I fall in the middle so I’m a 12er. I am completely for this if it really helps. I am completely for this if it means NO ONE loses their jobs unnecessarily AFTER June 30. Will that happen? I just can’t muster enough pollyanna in me to believe that is the case. I think this is the first blow with more to come.

So I talked with my bus stop friends this morning. The guys that take their kids to school and wait at the stop. The guys from other types of employment communities who seemed shocked. They figured… oh … a furlough… just take all your days at once and go get another job for the month. Me being the achieve, achieve girl had of course already thought of that. However, a month of does not work because of loss of benefits, etc. Second jobs? Yes, I have thought of that too and applied everywhere and anywhere to teach part time in the evenings (knowing full well it would severely cut into my SL habit). Nothing. No second jobs. Everyone is too busy finding first jobs.

So… skipping along… singing a happy little working tune I go. I tell you. There is no fat lady singing here. It ain’t over. Dave and I are working with some very cool friends, who are equally strategic, and we are going to launch a LLC. If we can’t find extra work, we’ll make our own. I’m SO EXCITED about it. Its all about getting the right people on the bus and getting headed up the mountain in time to reap all the benefits that come at the top – at the Tipping Point. WE are going to be on that bus. No short bus this time. Lemon from lemonade. Sugar with our medicine.

Cheers to restrictions from looking at work emails. Cheers to new beginnings and all things that are born from tough times. RESILIENT baby!

I’ve been thinking a lot as I drive this week. Newsflash? Maybe! Heehee… After having 2 1/2 weeks off from the commute, I was out of practice having time to myself. The music on my stereo seemed to be turned a little louder and I think I enjoyed the phone conversations a little more with my parents as I commuted without anyone saying “Mommy he is picking on me” while on the phone.

My good friend and colleague made certain to get me out the door each night this week by 5 pm and and even helped plan lunches with me so we could eat at the office and save money. We traded off bringing leftovers and frozen dinner goodies from home. It was nice. It was honestly less rush then the usual figure out where to go.

We had a few minor mishaps – a lunch left on the backseat of my car by a little one needing to be dropped off at school, a refusal to wear a heavy coat on a cold morning, and the ever popular “she was throwing water on him and he kicked her so I punched him” drama after school. But ultimately, all in all, wow… the first week of the new year in high gear and I’m sitting at my desk in one piece. Not bad, really.

Our oldest came home with a report card that said he made the Honor Roll. Our oldest, our son with a learning disability and ADHD, came home with an HONOR ROLL REPORT CARD! I am so proud if I had money I would rent a skywriter for him. Growing 3 inches plus and gaining 18 pounds plus in 6 months time AND pulling off Honor Roll grades… is there ANYTHING NOT POSSIBLE?

Our next oldest had an experience this week with a career day simulation called J-Biz… based on the old Junior Achievement model. He had a stunning role as a television newscaster and LOVED IT! He refused to practice in front of any of us – but he pulled his performance off with flying colors. Need I remind you this is the son with extreme anxiousness? Just thinking about it makes me want to kiss his sweet face and hug him tightly.

Our youngest two? Yes… they deserve a paragraph each as they are their own people. Sweet baby girl came home with an “I can read book” this week – you know, the kind with the cat in the hat on it – and wanted to read it with me. She also took the time to explain to me which direction East, West, North and South was from our kitchen at a random moment in passing. Sometimes I just look at her in wonderment as I wonder what is turning in those little wheels in her mind. Great things I know 🙂

Finally, my sweet Simon. This is the boy who loses his glasses almost 3 or more times a week but is bound and determined to wear them. The boy who screams out real fear if his older brothers spook him in a quiet house. But, ultimately, at the end of the day, this is the little boy that is not happier anywhere else than in your arms snuggled up tight. He puts the top of his head up to your face waiting for a kiss in his hair. He has found his passion in the last few weeks to be buried in a giant box of Lego pieces. His imagination makes spaceships and racecars. He is often asked to be quieter in his stirring of pieces in the big plastic bin as he searches for just the right component for his project. I’d like to think that is a sign of greater things to come as well.

We are all so blessed. No matter what small stresses pepper the landscape… no matter what giant storms or strong winds threaten us…. things will be ok. By Friday of the full week after time off it is hard to put on the work clothes and the poker face and get it all out the door to do it again one last day… but we all did. Its great to be on a team that can pull it off… even when tired and ready for the end… ready for covers over our heads and a few more hours of sleep and a little more time to savor coffee… We’re in the final few minutes of the quarter… thanks guys for making it a good week.

See… I told you 2009 was going to be good!

So… here… in the recesses of my email… I found this little gem I had to share with all of you today. If it isn’t positive, then I don’t know what is 🙂 Hopefully it will help you all see that eventually I do dig myself out of my dark place and the trampolene and encouragement from everyone was really really appreciated.

See what you think:

Speaker and author, Jim Cathcart, says that to be at your best, find your zone of optimum velocity by observing the pace and intensity at which you perform best. This is the zone at which you are most creative, unstressed, happy and productive.

Above the zone: First you experience stress and frustration, then anxiety, and finally burnout. At this level you are overwhelming yourself with too much to accomplish at one time. Lighten up a bit to get back on track.

In the zone: You are at your best. Not stressed, going with the flow of work naturally, productive and self-assured, challenged but not overwhelmed, motivated and able to roll with problems.

Below the zone:
First you experience boredom, then apathy, and finally depression. You feel useless and artificial; self-esteem suffers. Bite off more and take on a greater challenge to get back on track.

For me the key to managing my energy is exercise. It almost sounds too simple to be important, however, without exercise my energy levels and my attitude “take a hit.”

Lastly, protecting and replenishing your emotional energy is critical for every leader. Mira Kirshenbaum, in her book The Emotional Energy Factor, offers a refreshing, down-to-earth approach:

“First, you plug the leaks: learn to recognize what drains your energy – life situations, toxic people, or habits such as worry, indecision or guilt. Second, you identify what fills your tank – pleasure, prayer, anticipation, or fun – and give yourself more.”

~ Mac Anderson, Manage Your Energy

And if you have time… enjoy this little clip he offers on the Simple Truths website… (click here… it is worth the time!)