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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Category Archives: Pollyanna

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!


One thing I will never understand is why people would look to something good, look to something that is successful, and instead of trying to facilitate further success by collaboration, insist on destroying the good and success. Ego is a really horrible thing. Ego that is centered on a bloated sense of self-importance can’t be an element that encourages long term success. I suppose it is a piggyback on my thoughts yesterday from the “I” in the word TEAM. People like this may see themselves as team players – they might even refer to themselves as such – when really they are power hungry ogres.

I sat in today for my boss on a conference call with some of these people. I am reminded of the work pain and agony we went through a year ago – and have been working through ever since. It was a good experience for me in that it allowed me to see our business practices through her eyes. I have been frustrated many times by her instant rage and for once, today, saw how challenging it has been for her, as our leader, to deal with those power hungry ogres outside our organzation. I have been allowed the luxury to move forward – focus on new challenges, and immerse myself in the culture that is the larger organization I am so excited to be a part of.

The people on this call today are people I used to deal with some weeks on a daily basis. I saw them previously as allies in my work with educators and technology. Granted, the lense that I view them with has been colored, fogged, even cracked, because they chose to remove us from the team and do it without us. I suppose it is indictative of education – you always feel as an educator you can build a bigger, better wheel from the ground up. And, coming now from a non-profit business world I realize there is much we can learn from those who came before us – and those working on the wheel as we speak – WHY build it all from scratch.

Some people seem to see power and title and self-importance as the ultimate means to an end. Those people are so deluded. The real way to bring about change and make a difference in the world around us is to build up others around you, foster the seeds of good ideas, recognize the value that was there before you, and collaborate to make things even better. The days of the Roman and British empires conquering the world are antiquated. 21st century thoughts and skills require us to collaborate, acknowledge differences, and build on the power of the collective. Why is it that these people, these so-called leaders don’t see that value in the latter?

Its hard to be a Pollyanna when you are reconfronted with the arrogance of those in leadership roles. It is infuriating. It is difficult to decide whether to contribute and try to bring about change – even if small – amongst people who decided you were of no value – or to simply move on.

Still looking for that “I” in TEAM. Maybe it is something related to the terms in cyberspace – like iTeam 😉 OR maybe it still had no place and as a Pollyanna it is time to move on… and spread those cheerful good ideas and work-your-fingers-to-the bone-for-a-good-cause kinda effort on to places that value it.

My thoughts and prayers go out this morning to the families coping with loss – from the tornadoes, from the flooding. My window to that part of the country is through the eyes of the media. But, I was born and spent part of my childhood in Ames, Iowa so I am familiar with tornado warnings and watches. So, I know what it is like when the air gets extremely still and quiet and the sky is pitch black in the middle of the day. But flooding is not something I know that well. I know of flash floods and walls of water that rush through in moments and then are gone. Those are from my time in the Southwest.

My heart goes out to the <a href=”; target=”
new”>young men who courageously rescued their fellow scouts while waiting for emergency personnel to work their way through the storm damaged roads to rescue. Watching young men talk calmly of the disaster they experienced is almost unfathomable.

Many lives will never be the same.

It is human nature to want to know how to help. I emailed a colleague of mine this morning first thing who has family in Cedar Rapids to see how we could help. The media here is saying to just donate to Red Cross. It is important to remember that is something we should do ALL the time. Even when you hardly have 2 pennies to rub together because they are going into your gas tank or to cover rising daily expenses, it is SO important to remember to give. Just give what you can a few dollars here or there and most importantly – prayers and hope.

My sweet Rachel this morning watched some of the Today show with me. She snuggled up beside me and we watched an interview of a mother and her 9 children (holy cow) that had just been evacuated last night – and only given time to get 5 laundry baskets full of clothes and all her children to safety. They had to leave behind 2 dogs and 3 cats. Matt Lauer shared that he knew someone had illegally re-entered the flooded area with a boat to rescue 2 of their dogs and 1 cat. The woman expressed gratitude for that. As Dave and I were discussing the horror and hell that woman was in, Rachel chimed in. In a very confident voice she said with big eyes, “At least their 2 dogs and 1 cat were safe Mom.”

My sweet Rachel. At that moment I knew she has most definitely been blessed with the Pollyanna gene. She has her mamma’s “always look on the bright side” kind of perspective that will carry her far in life. No matter what life throws at her, I know she will be able to handle it. Some things are just hard wired from the beginning and I am so blessed to know my little girl has that in her.

Small detail in my personal life – our air conditioner is on the fritz. It is supposed to be the hottest weekend of the year so far for us here in AZ. 109 or hotter in our part of the Valley. We have someone coming to tell us what is wrong with it between 3 and 5 pm today. As you know with repairs, that is no guarantee of a fix in the first service call. Anyway, I have to share that I continue to believe that as long as we have water to drink, and can run through the sprinklers or hop in the pool, we will be fine. We still have our home. We still have our health and each other. We have minor problems compared with those in my prayers today.

Please be kind and gentle with those around you. Things are so hard on so many levels these days… financially, emotionally, and now physically for many many in the United States, and around the world. People who were never facing hardship are now facing indescribable circumstances. Be thankful for the blessings in your life… no matter how big or small. And most importantly, think of how you can give to help make things better. Even if that Pollyanna gene wasn’t hard wired into you, see if you can tap into just a little of it to send good things, good thoughts, and a little help to others who really need it today.