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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Category Archives: perspective

but look what I found! How can you possibly go wrong on a location named “Happy Mood!”

Skybox Garden All to Myself

Skybox Garde

It feels good to have made it to late night SL again… I’m ready to see what other hidden gems are found in those other 85,000 other sims.

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I woke up this morning with a Beatles song in my head… the lyrics repeating themselves over and over “Nothing’s gonna change my world… Nothing’s gonna change my world.” and I thought to myself… WAIT! That isn’t the right mantra to have in my head – no matter what world I’m living in.

So I hopped in the shower… still having that Beatles tape loop in my head (which btw, I love the Beatles so don’t get me wrong) and an old camp song from middle school came into my head. Montlure Camp 🙂

Chorus: You and I can climb every mountain, Cross every stream and drink from every fountain, In His name, In His name, In His name…
Verse 1: Truth is gone, the world proclaims, No foundation now remains, Yesterday cannot return, Tomorrow won’t be the same, but…
(chorus)
Verse 2: Men hide their deeds from human eyes, Their hope in self alone, Man’s power fails, the light grows dim, Blind lead blind, I hear their wail, but…
Chorus: You and I can climb every mountain, Cross every stream and drink from every fountain, In His name, In His name, In His name…

And… all of a sudden I started to feel really energized. Yes… I was in the shower. I sound incredible when I belt it out in the shower 🙂 heehee Beyonce has nuthin’ on me in that shower when I’m singing… let me tell you. And… I started thinking about the words. With an idea in your head of facing mountains and knowing you can climb them anything is possible… even 60+ page grants needing to be written in a matter of a few days… even silly drama that people I know seem to be praying on stirring more of… blah blah blah… forget it CLIMB THAT MOUNTAIN .

Then, I went on to give my youngest, Simon, his breathing treatment for his asthma as I continued to get ready for work. And I was reminded of another favorite song of mine. I fell in love with it during those same camp years and it has carried me through some very dark and stressful times. This is the one I sang softly as I rubbed Simon’s head and gave him his treatment. This is the one I’ll carry in my heart today. When chaos and darkness prevails, it is most definitely time to return to center. I added new quotes to my sidebar today. I’m excited that it is May 14 and there are incredible possibilities, including mountains ahead of me. And… I’m ready to climb ’em or move ’em.

Happy Thursday in whatever world you are in 🙂

All I Ever Have To Be
Written by Gary Chapman, Sung by Amy Grant
When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head,
And the thoughtful words
of health and hope
Have all been nicely said.
But I’m still hurting,
Wondering if I’ll ever be
The one I think I am.
I think I am.
Then you gently re-remind me
That you’ve made me from the first,
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst.
And I realize the good in me,
Is only there because of who you are.
Who you are…
And all I ever have to be
Is what you’ve made me.
Any more or less would be a step
Out of your plan.
As you daily recreate me,
Help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do
What I can find.
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be
Is what you’ve made me.

If you wonder about something… it is always best to assume yes. most often your gut feeling was correct. SL is all about finding role models you admire. It is most definitely junior high revisited and when you take the time to examine why… it is because where else in life do you make and keep lists of people you like and people you don’t? I heard a guy on the radio the other day talk about social networking – and he too felt like it was junior highish – because putting yourself out there – faults and bumps and all – is all that. Ironically – some of us insist on going back for a second helping… aka experiencing Second Life.

I suppose the key to navigating our way through it all is to figure out how to best handle it. We don’t have zits and parents on our case any more. We have plenty of other things I’m sure – but in most situations, our brains are now fully developed and capable of self-actualization. So… where does one look for best next steps?

    Psychology Today?

• Learn to be brave. If you feel that you are easily intimidated into backing down, write down your feelings and give your writing to the other person.

• Don’t make blaming statements. Conflict resolution begins with the understanding that truth is relative. So much depends on one’s perspective, and none of us has a lock on the whole picture of anything. Nevertheless, most people start with exactly the most destructive question: Who is right and who is wrong. Two people spend time trying to convince the other of the rightness of his or her own position. But in fact, most disagreements are based on interpretations that come directly from private experiences in life, not some verifiable Truth. The single best way to resolve conflict is to listen to the other party. Most people just want to be heard; it is a basic form of validation. And often the solution suggests itself from what is spoken.

• Allow your partner to express his or her grievances. This is a good thing, because otherwise these feelings build walls between people.

• Take responsibility for your part in creating problems. Ask yourself: How did my actions and the things I’ve said or failed to say helped to create this situation or crisis?

• It’s the final step that people most commonly fall short on—accepting responsibility for making things better. “You need to seek out what will make the situation better in the future so this situation doesn’t arise again,” observes Raphael. “Further, you need to tell the other person, ‘this is what I need from you now to make things better.’ You need to take responsibility for what will fix it now. Is it merely listening? Is it an apology? Most people miss this piece.”

    Consider an authentic middle school approach 🙂


John The Kid Who Gets Everyday Pleasantries Wrong Kid!

John The Kid Who Gets Everyday Pleasantries Wrong Kid!

    And then… there is WILLA’s Way!

Hooo! Ask yourself… what would Willa do? And most likely it involves firearms and a whole lotta fun! Go Willa go!

Sometimes fire can be cleansing?

Sometimes fire can be cleansing?

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 had an interesting conversation with someone on Friday about the point of Second Life. He is an educator who works with technology – and very much into cutting edge things. He had all sorts of great information about something called SLoodle which I need to Google. It combines a course management open source software called Moodle with the Second Life interface.

I have worked for the past five or more years with Moodle and educators. It has wonderful potential for bringing communities of educators together in a one dimensional way, synchronous or asynchronous – discussion boards, chats, shared websites, etc. But the idea of integrating it with Second Life and making it a three dimensional learning experience is really intriguing to me.

So I went on to discuss this idea with him further and he began to share, unsolicited really, his thoughts about Second Life. I listened attentively while he described someone he knew who taught scripting in SL and had helped students create whales and other things. He laughed and said frankly he didn’t see the point. He was a gamer. He loved games like War and Conflict but SL? Really… why bother. All he could see was that it was all about sex.

Another colleague of mine was listening in as attentively as I. He knows I enjoy SL but didn’t give me away. We would smile at each other from time to time throughout the monologue. He was worried I was offended. I have much thicker skin than that. I laughed after the War and Conflict SLooder left. I appreciated his perspectives and loved the SLoodle tip. But, I will not believe as he does that SL exists only for sex. In fact, I made that comment to my colleague who endured the conversation with me. I said.. you know… how does he KNOW about all that SEX STUFF in SL? LOL! Really…

What is it about those crazed sex maniacs that always gives them the edge in new technology? They were the first to over-inhabit the World Wide Web. I remember in the early 90’s wanting to use the Internet in my teaching and being cautioned that all that was out there was sex. So here we are now in the 21st Century… in virtual 3D worlds… and who was there first? Those darned crazed sex maniacs! LOL

I think you will find what you are looking for on the web and in Second Life. If you go looking for a good time that involves several X’s, then you will find it. If you go looking for exploration and amazing sites, then you will find that too – ancient Greece ruins, New York City slums, beautiful beaches. If you go looking for friends, you will find that too, without even trying. And, I’m not just talking about the friends who want to have sex with you. (joke there). I have made friends from all over the world. I have met people I probably never would in RL. I enjoy them. I don’t try to have sex with them. Sure we have wardrobe malfunctions from time to time and show off our beautiful breasts inadvertently… but frankly with the scooped necks these days – I see a lot of breasts that I can’t ever figure out if women meant for them to be seen or not.

So… SL isn’t for everyone. I know that. If you prefer to shoot em up and blow em up and call it a day, then by all means. Just make sure you leave room for the rest of us who enjoy a little shopping, a little conversation, and some great sights without being clothed head to toe in combat gear.

Happy Sunday! Cheers to some R & R in whatever form you’d like it in. Hoo!

I woke up this morning knowing I had to blog about this. The title for the post was clear in my mind and although the words weren’t as clear, the feelings and phrases had obviously rolled around in my head most of the night.

Most people have been touched by cancer in some way. Either by having it themselves, or helping a family member or friend fight their way through the disease. Far too many never win their fight. Far too many are left to slowly spend their last days in extreme pain, withering away, while their family and friends can only comfort and love the soul as they transition from this world on to the next. It is a situation where everyone involved feels helpless and must come to terms with the great sadness that comes from not being able to effectively find a solution to the problem. I have lost women who were very important to me – my grandmother and also a work colleague – to ovarian cancer. They were courageous every step of the way. But in the end, the cancer won.

I have also been blessed to know cancer survivors. My husband and my mom. Both in the last year have faced this monster eyeball to eyeball. Fortunately, my husband’s was quickly dealt with – skin cancer – and basal cells can be seen as predictable and removable all in one fell sweep. My mom was faced with colon cancer. She is one of the healthiest women I know – exercises daily, eats all the right things, and has done so for years. She faced breast cancer a few years ago and was able to fight it with out surgery as early detection allowed for alternative successful treatments. But… this colon cancer… it was a three headed scary monster of a thing. It required surgery. It required lots of prayer. It required all of us around her to have more faith than we ever thought we would need. It required us to expect supernatural things be possible. Her worst fear was that she would have to undergo chemo. As a nurse for over 20 years, she knew how chemo – as effective as it can be – slowly destroys the rest of your body along with the cancer. We were so blessed she had a very skilled surgeon who captured all the cancer and was able to reconnect her bowel to return her to “normal” when all the healing was done.

All the healing… an interesting concept. You see… surviving cancer… I think you never really heal. Not every part of you. There is always a part way back in the recesses of your mind that remembers and haunts you. It requires you to be extra vigilant in what you eat, how you exercise, and how often you see your doctor. As a survivor, you can never go back to the innocent mindset you had before. Knowledge is power of course. But with knowledge also brings responsibility. It becomes something you must never truly pack away or forget about because you might need to be ready for battle again if the cancer reoccurs.

Someone recently referred to removing friends or frienemies from their SL list feeling as freeing as successful cancer surgery. At the time, those words rang very hollow over and over in my mind. It wasn’t until this morning when I woke up, that I knew how I had to address them and why. No matter how much pain we may be in from friendships and love lost, there is no comparison to surviving or battling cancer. To say so insults all the millions who deal with cancer every day.

Life is all about perspective – both RL and SL. Surviving cancer and losing loved ones to cancer and remembering and honoring them reminds me of that perspective. I am so proud of those who have fought the battle courageously – even if they lost. It is the ultimate test of the human spirit – for themselves as well as their family and friends. Thankfully, SL doesn’t ever expose us to carcinogens that cause our avitars to have cancer. Perspective… it is all about perspective.

So is the number 13 lucky or unlucky? Is the glass half full or half empty? It all depends on the angle from which you view the number or the glass. Most would say we are negative beings by nature as we grow older. It is easier to expect something bad. It takes considerably more energy to envision something positive. Brain research tells us it takes at least 10 to 15 positive statements to overshadow 1 negative statement. So… with all this being said… I can see why we think 13 is unlucky.

Bigd and I just recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Lucky or unlucky? I say lucky. No marriage is perfect and every marriage is different. Marriage takes a lot of twists and turns you are never warned about in the “Happily Ever Afters” you read about as a little girl. It also isn’t the 50-50 even split you think it should be when you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone. Sometimes it is 60-40 or 75-25 or even 90-10. It is a give and take. It is a really loud yelling match with no agreement and a quiet never ending snuggle under the covers. It is celebrations and sadness. It is family, teamwork, silliness, laughter, compromise, and bottom line-end of the day – committment to make things work. Long Haul. It is lucky – but it is much much more than lucky.

When I taught writing, I used to have my students draw roadmaps of their lives. I told them to be creative in the shape, the twists, turns, and other features they would include on their roadmaps. As I thought of what this post would become over and over in my head last night, I thought I would share some of the markers on our “Lucky 13 Roadmap.” Kinda personal – sure. Universally human – undoubtedly yes!

By Year 5 in our marriage, Bigd and I had 2 beautiful baby boys, owned our first home, completed 2 Masters’ degrees, and survived 3 part-time jobs in order to make ends meet in addition to our teaching careers. By Year 7, Bigd and I had endured a miscarriage and a major career change. By Year 9, twins – a beautiful baby boy and girl – had entered our lives, major career change had led to promotion, more part-time jobs had been endured and a move was in the works. After the twins arrived, life went into permanent fast-forward. A major move, teaching job changes, and a kick-ass daily commute were new notches on our marriage. Year 12 a silly thing called SL came along. It offered a whole new host of things to explore, experience and think about. Celebrating “Lucky 13” has brought amazing new challenges for Bigd and I to face – together – as a team. I am confident we can do it. I am committed to our team and every member on it. I remind myself it is all about the perspective.

My glass is half full – approaching full every day. 13 will be lucky. I can’t picture it any other way!