Cameron Von St. James has his own experience with cancer, from the caregiver perspective. I am not sure that we always recognize the contributions and impact cancer has on everyone, not just the patient.
I hope you read his story and appreciate it as much as I did. Anissa
How I Learned to Be a Caregiver After My Wife’s Diagnosis
On November 21, 2005, my wife, Heather, was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, and I had to learn to be her caregiver. My prior experience did not prepare me to care for her, and I was overwhelmed with her diagnosis and caring for our new daughter Lily, who was born just three months prior. Instead of the joyful first holidays we planned with Lily, we spent this time discussing my wife’s diagnosis, preparing for treatment, and learning how to manage the chaos.
As a caregiver, I first learned about the Heather’s diagnosis and condition. The doctor informed us of our treatment options, which included a local university hospital, a regional hospital and specialist, Dr. David Sugarbaker, in Boston. My wife was silent and in shock, she couldn’t make the decision, and her eyes pleaded for help. Without missing a beat, I looked at the doctor and said, “Get us to Boston!”
Our lives were in utter chaos, and daily routines were interrupted. My wife could not work, and I was only working part-time. My daily life consisted of working, taking my wife to the doctor, making travel arrangements and taking care of my daughter, our house, our pets – the list went on and on. I was overwhelmed as the task list grew longer. I couldn’t help but imagine a scenario where I lost Heather and ended up a broke, homeless widower raising a daughter who would never really know her mother. These thoughts killed me, and on some bad days I sobbed uncontrollably, but I tried to remain strong for her and never let her see me in these weak moments.
We felt blessed to have help from friends, family, and even complete strangers. These people offered us comfort and even financial support, which we desperately needed. We urge people to accept any help they are offered because it is the only way to make it through. I learned the hard way that there is no room for pride when a loved one’s life is on the line.
Being a caregiver is not easy, and it is a job you cannot quit. It is important not to become overwhelmed with anger or grief. Accept the bad days as they come, but never give up hope and learn from every experience. Many days, I longed for normalcy to return. Heather endured intense mesothelioma surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation before there was light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, seven years later, Heather is cancer-free and healthy as ever.
Through this ordeal, I learned to balance stress and time commitments, and two years after Heather’s diagnosis, I returned to school to earn my degree. I graduated with high honors. I gave the graduation speech, but I never imagined I would be at that point given everything that we had been through. I learned to never give up and to always believe in myself. We can accomplish so much when we believe. Heather and Lily cheered me on from the audience, and that was the greatest reward of all.
As a cancer patient and survivor, to hear the incredible story of Heather and Cameron is one of hope. Thank you for sharing your family with us Cameron!
I just really enjoyed this. Enjoy, from an introvert 🙂
Click on the link and relish in who you naturally are …TED
Mistakes Introverts Make … Anissa note: sure wish I knew this earlier in life!! Better late than never!!
By: Sophia Dembling
Isolating: Sure, some people need more social interaction than others, but we all need some. Too much isolation is not healthy. I know it’s time to leave the house when I start feeling gloomy in my solitude, or like I’m getting weird. Weird is subjective, but when going to the supermarket feels like a major excursion, when I start worrying that I may have lost the ability to converse, when I get furious at near-strangers in my online social networks, I know it’s time to for face time. I call a friend, do lunch, attend a party…anything to get my social gears cranking again. It needn’t be anything deep and meaningful. Just a little something to reconnect me.
Not returning phone calls: Yes, we hate the phone, and it’s OK to ask that people respect and honor this. But that doesn’t give us carte blanche to ignore phone calls. When someone you care about calls–even if you let it go to voicemail to deal with later–you really should respond at some point. If necessary, drop an e-mail and schedule the call. Otherwise, pick up the phone and dial. You can do it.
OK, if someone obstinately refuses any other form of communication and insists on frequent time-sucking phone calls, then you get some leeway to make your point. Otherwise, be nice. (I learned this lesson after hurting the feelings of a very dear friend.)
Plunging into the deep end: As much as we prefer deep conversation, plunging straight into your worldview over the onion dip at a party can be off-putting to others. Start shallow and ease into the deep if the conversation continues. If you’re looking for friends, remember that insta-friendships are rare, and rushing the conversation isn’t a shortcut. Friendships build incrementally, and they start with small talk.
Letting your mouth run away with you: Ah, the dreaded babble. It happens. Lots of us chatter when we’re nervous. Shy introverts might be prone to this. It’s like running down a hill; once you get started, it’s hard to slow down. But it also might happen when the subject is something you are particularly passionate about. Either you get caught up in your own enthusiasm, or you burrow deep into your own knowledge and forget to check audience reaction.
If you suddenly realize you’ve careened into a long monologue, take a breath and look around. Do people appear rapt? Then continue. Do they look slightly pained? My favorite line at that point is, “But don’t get me started….” Cue laughter, everything’s fine.
Confusing introversion and fear: We all must do things we don’t like. That’s life. But if you find that you can’t bring yourself to do certain things-return a phone call, attend a gathering, join a conversation-then what you’re feeling may be fear, not introversion. Fear is a useful emotion, of course, with deep evolutionary roots. But if it interferes with your life and you find yourself regretting things not done, maybe it’s time to rummage around in your psyche (one of our favorite activities!) to figure out what you’re scared of and how to change that.
Judging: Some introverts insist that parties are pointless, chit-chat is a waste of time, and extroverts are shallow. I neither share nor endorse those opinions. Parties can be joyous, and community ritual has been important throughout history. Chit-chat connects us and greases the gears of society. And while I’m sure some extroverts are shallow, as I’m sure some introverts are (thinking deeply about yourself only does not make you a deep person), a blanket dismissal of extroverts is bigoted and, well, shallow.
Taken from: http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts by Carl King.
This really helped me a lot .. Hi, my name is Anissa and I’m an introvert.
So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience):
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
“You cannot escape us, and to change us would lead to your demise.” <– I made that up. I’m a screenwriter.
It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become “normal.” Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.
Let me know your thoughts.
my dad shared this with me. Enjoy!
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.
He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.
Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! . She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?”
You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”
He said … “Then I thank you from my heart.”
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.
Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.
Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.
He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won.
Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words …
“Paid in full with one glass of milk” (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.
Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands.”
There’s a saying which goes something like this:
Bread cast on the water comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time. If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place – And, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?
The below was posted by Addicting Info and his a direct reproduction of their information listed here. None of the below was written by nor compiled by me. I found this link through a Google+ discussion and wanted to share.
1.) “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
~John F. Kennedy
2.) “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” ~Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
3.) “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
~John F. Kennedy
4.) “The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
5.) “I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.”
6.) “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
7.) “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
8.) “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
9.) “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
10.) “Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.”
11.) “It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
~Hubert H. Humphrey
12.) “I believe that there should be a very much heavier progressive tax on very large incomes, a tax which should increase in a very marked fashion for the gigantic incomes.”
13.) “To impose taxes when the public exigencies require them is an obligation of the most sacred character, especially with a free people.”
14.) “The supreme duty of the Nation is the conservation of human resources through an enlightened measure of social and industrial justice. We pledge ourselves to work unceasingly in State and Nation for … the protection of home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular employment and old age through the adoption of a system of social insurance adapted to American use.”
15.) “The laboring classes constitute the main part of our population. They should be protected in their efforts peaceably to assert their rights when endangered by aggregated capital, and all statutes on this subject should recognize the care of the State for honest toil, and be framed with a view of improving the condition of the workingman.”
16.) “It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”
17.) “Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”
18.) “The tax which will be paid for the purpose of education is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.”
19.) “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
20.) “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
~John F. Kennedy
21.) “America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men.”
22.) “If capitalism is fair then unionism must be. If men have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men to capitalize their labor.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
23.) “I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.”
24.) “While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.”
25.) “Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.”
26.) “In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
27.) “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”
28.) “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
29.) “Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”
30.) “Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
31.) “We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate.”
32.) “Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
33.) “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
34.) “The Social Security Act offers to all our citizens a workable and working method of meeting urgent present needs and of forestalling future need. It utilizes the familiar machinery of our Federal-State government to promote the common welfare and the economic stability of the Nation.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
35.) “Few nations do more than the United States to assist their least fortunate citizens–to make certain that no child, no elderly or handicapped citizen, no family in any circumstances in any State, is left without the essential needs for a decent and healthy existence. In too few nations, I might add, are the people aware of the progressive strides this country has taken in demonstrating the humanitarian side of freedom. Our record is a proud one–and it sharply refutes those who accuse us of thinking only in the materialistic terms of cash registers and calculating machines.”
~John F. Kennedy
36.) “But let us begin. Now the trumpet summons us again – not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need – not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”- a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.”
~John F. Kennedy
37.) “We all agree that neither the Government nor political parties ought to interfere with religious sects. It is equally true that religious sects ought not to interfere with the Government or with political parties. We believe that the cause of good government and the cause of religion suffer by all such interference.”
~Rutherford B. Hayes
38.) “The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community.”
~James A. Garfield
39.) “You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break.”
~Harry S. Truman
40.) “I think that being liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, noncomitted to a cause but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen.”
41.) “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level – I mean the wages of decent living.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
42.) “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
~John F. Kennedy
43.) “For all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make.”
44.) “We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
45.) “Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
46.) “The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.”
47.) “The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands – the ownership and control of their livelihoods – are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
48.) “I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
49.) “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
50.) “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Received an email from both my mom and dad on this .. must mean I should share!
In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring our own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But he was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that clerk was right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But he’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments. No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’
‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’
If you’re ‘too busy’ to take those few minutes right now to forward this message on, would this be the VERY first time you didn’t do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?
A share from my mom that I like enough to share …
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school.
He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
Rule 1 : Life is not fair – get used to it!
Rule 2 : The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem.
The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school.
You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.
Rule 6 : If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them!!!!!
Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.They got that way from paying your bills,
cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. *This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters.
You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. *Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life.
In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds.
Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium.
With their rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.
Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.
This class would NOT pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.
The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.
The speeches were nice, but they were routine until the final speech received a standing ovation.
A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.
All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED !!!!
The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said,
‘GOD BLESS YOU’
And he walked off the stage…
The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their future with or without the court’s approval.
This is a true story; it happened at the University of Maryland.
This is a direct reprint from the site, Omaha.com. I was very happy and proud to have lent my head to this event!!
Published Friday July 8, 2011
Going bald for a cause
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Click here to view a video of the event. It’s only about 90 seconds long. If you go about 50 seconds in, you will see the girl, Morgan, they discuss below. AWESOME!!
* * * * *
Jenise Bryan was cutting someone else’s hair when she decided to let someone else shave hers.
Two weeks later, she and 13 others were bald as cue balls.
“Why not?” she said. “It’s just hair. It grows back.”
Those haircuts in 2010 benefited the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a worldwide, volunteer-driven charity dedicated to pediatric cancer research.
This year, eight-year-old Morgan Bryan sat in a raised chair beside her mom at the Nebraska Medical Center as two hair dressers clicked on their razors. Bryan went first. See, it’s easy, she told Morgan. Seconds later, Morgan’s golden locks fell to the ground, too.
Like mother, like daughter.
A crowd of more than 50 cheered as the duo stood, now bald and beaming.
The haircut showed off Morgan’s yellow peace-sign earrings, a fitting compliment to her bright smile. Her mom’s new do revealed a purple cancer ribbon, tattooed behind her ear and usually hidden beneath a layer of hair.
Bryan’s aunt died of cancer when she was a child, and her mom, diagnosed in December, beat breast cancer just two months ago.
“If we can help get it stopped when they’re young, maybe we don’t have to lose people,” she said. “Even when they get older.”
Dr. Bruce Gordon, a pediatric oncologist at the hospital, kicked off the event as the fund-raiser’s first “shavee.”
“There’s not a lot of hair to lose,” he laughed.
A patient towing an IV pole buzzed part of Gordon’s head. Then a younger boy, bald himself and sporting a Spongebob hat, took his turn. They let Gordon keep his beard.
One after another, 21 more volunteers took the stage. On went the smock, off went the hair.
This year’s fund-raiser was the fifth of its kind held at the Nebraska Medical Center. Friday’s event raised more than $5,000 by the time the first razor shuddered to life. Organizer Mandy Arens expects the final tally to reach $10,000. The money will go to Saint Baldrick’s Foundation. The foundation funds more pediatric cancer research grants than any organization except the government.
The shaving, a show of solidarity, supplements the donations, Arens said.
“It’s such a powerful statement,” she said.
So powerful, 10 more people joined the 12 who pre-registered.
Morgan, one of five kids to participate, inspired Jami Prouty of Crescent, Iowa to volunteer, too.
“If she can do it, there’s no reason I can’t do it,” she said.
Prouty, out of nerves, asked Morgan to hold her hand. But when she sat down, Morgan didn’t hold her hand. She shaved Prouty’s head.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1071; email@example.com
Yes, that will be me come July 8th. As you many of you know, I had my own significant battle last year with Lymphoma. Although nothing like it was then, I am still fighting. I long to hear those words “in remission” and I want to hear them said confidently by my oncologist.
So while that rages on, I want to support others as I was supported. I am choosing to be a shavee at the St. Baldrick’s event on July 8th at 1pm at University of Nebraska’s Medical Center in the Durham Outpatient Center Atrium in Omaha, NE.
Why? Because I wish cancer did not have to be a reality for kids. I wish it wasn’t a reality at all! I remember spending summers riding my bike, swimming, playing softball, and just goofing about. But if you are a kid who is getting chemo, you have a hard time doing any of that due to chemo treatments and the side effects, doctor’s appointments, and/or radiation.
I was never bothered by losing my hair. I found it fascinating to see how it fell out (and yes, it does come out in clumps) and how much hair I really had after it clogged the drain on a daily basis. But what did bother me was the stares. For the first month or so, the stares were hard for me to manage. I dreaded being out and remember going to get groceries at really odd times to avoid large crowds. The first few times I had to go to large meetings at work were bothersome. But as time passes, you forget that you ever had hair, or what you looked like “before”, and I would even forget to put on my hat when I would leave my house to go somewhere. There were many moments of “oh crap, I forgot my hat” and would have to run back to get it. Although I had learned to ignore the stares, I still didn’t welcome them. What I noticed most of all was that kids get the most stares. I wonder if it because we all find it impossible that anyone that young should have to confront such serious things. Or maybe that is just me. I think kids should know of playing, biking, swimming, movies, the ice cream truck, camping outside, and a 1000 other fun things that have nothing at all to do with a doctor or a doctor’s office.
Because I believe this so strongly, I am going to shave my head in support of all the kids who are in their own cancer fight and raise money for cancer research in kids. If you would like to come see on July 8th, I would love it! Or if you prefer to put a bounty on my head and donate, you can give directly online at http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/anissagoyalstein or by phone (888-899-BALD).
You can count on this donation being used responsibly. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. In 2010 alone, they gave over $14 million – that’s more in grants for childhood cancer research than any other organization except theU.S.government. And all because nearly 38,000 people shaved their heads!
On behalf of some really awesome kids, thank you for your support! Anissa
A share from a friend of mine that had me laughing. Enjoy!!
1. Put 400 bricks in a closed room.
2. Put your new employees in the room and close the door.
3. Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours.
4. Then analyze the situation:
a. If they are counting the bricks, put them in the Accounting Department.
b. If they are recounting them, put them in Auditing.
c. If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks, put then in Engineering.
d. If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in Planning.
e. If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in Operations.
f. If they are sleeping, put them in Security.
g. If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in Information Technology.
h. If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.
i. If they say they have tried different combinations, they are looking for more, yet not a brick has been moved, put them in Sales.
j. If they have already left for the day, put them in Marketing.
k. If they are staring out of the window, put them in Strategic Planning.
l. If they are talking to each other, and not a single brick has been moved, congratulate them and put them in Top Management …
Finally, if they have surrounded themselves with bricks in such a way that they can neither be seen nor heard from, put them in Government.
I heard of Bugles Across America on ABCWorldNews yesterday and was incredibly touched by this group. It bothered me that the option given to many veterans was a recording of taps and not live. Tom Day also found this appalling and is trying to address the need. And doing a great job of it!
Please consider volunteering, requesting a bugler, or even donating via their site.
Bugles Across America, NFP was founded in 2000 by Tom Day, when Congress passed legislation stating Veterans had a right to at least 2 uniformed military people to fold the flag and play taps on a CD player. Bugles Across America was begun to take this a step further, and in recognition of the service these Veterans provided their country, we felt that every Veteran deserved a live rendition of taps played by a live Bugler. To this end, we are actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.
Bugles Across America now has over 7500 bugler volunteers located in all 50 states and growing number overseas. Since the Department of Veterans Affairs is expecting more than 1/2 million veterans to pass every year for the next 7 years, Bugles Across America is ALWAYS recruiting new volunteers.
Bugler Volunteers can be male or female. They can play a traditional bugle with no valves, or they can perform the ceremony on a Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, or a 1, 2 or 3 valved bugle. The bugler can be of any age as long as they can play the 24 notes of Taps with an ease and style that will do honor to both the Veterans, their families, and the burial detail performing the service.
Memorial Day is about honoring those who have fallen while defending our country. The holiday’s origins date back to May 5th 1868:
On May 5, 1868, Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed the holiday, and on May 30 of that year, flowers were first placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
As you read this we have soldiers abroad doing what their country has asked of them in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars have been going on for a decade now and while casualties have been kept low compared to other historical conflicts, it is important to remember that not all of our troops will be coming home.
In the Afghanistan War we have lost 1594 American soldiers since 2001. Last year was the deadliest year of the Afghan War for US troops since it began, we lost 499 men and women in 2010.
The Iraq War, which began in 2003, has cost us a total of 4454 lives thus far and countless injuries. Thankfully, the amount of US troop casualties in Iraq peaked in 2007 and has declined each year since.
If you want to read blogs more specific to the military, I suggest Milblogging. Amazing!
This was in an email I received from RJ and I had to share!
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’
‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’
‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?’
‘Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’
‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’
‘No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’
‘Would you like to take some home?’ Asked Mr. Miller.
‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.’
‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’
‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’
‘Is that right? Let me see it’ said Miller.
‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’
‘I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked.
‘Not zackley but almost.’
‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’. Mr. Miller told the boy.
‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.
When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts… All very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket.
Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.
They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size… They came to pay their debt.’
‘We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,’ she confided, ‘but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.’
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn’t make yourself… An unexpected phone call from an old friend… Green stoplights on your way to work… The fastest line at the grocery store…. A good sing-along song on the radio… Your keys found right where you left them.
IT’S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!
To my mom and all my mom friends out there!
This article is from SPN and had to share. Too cool not to. What an inspiration!
Back in February, we shared the story of Nathan Hidajat, who decided before he turned 8 that he wanted to give up his birthday for charity: water after watching the video of Scott Harrison on stage at Big Omaha 2010. Nathan met his original goal — raising $1,000 — in a mere seven days. Not content to stop there, he’s raised and met new goals several times since.
Charity: water campaigns typically last for 90 days, and Nathan’s will reach that in about three days. As of his last update on Tuesday, he had raised more than $3,000 from 86 donors. I conducted an email interview with Nathan, who (with the help of his father, Robert) looked back over his charity: water experience so far and discussed fund-raising goals for the future.
Silicon Prairie News: How do you feel about reaching your goal of raising $3,000 for charity: water?
Nathan Hidajat: I feel great! I am happy and thankful for everybody who helped me reach my goal. Most importantly, I am excited that the money raised will help more than 150 people get clean water.
SPN: Do you have another goal for the last few days of your campaign?
Hidajat: My next goal is either $4,000 or 100 donors.
SPN: What have you learned from this whole experience?
Hidajat: I [learned] that:
- Even someone as small as me can help people and make a difference in the world.
- Helping people is fun!
- People are very nice and want to help.
- At first I was scared and nervous to play piano for Grandmas and Grandpas at the retirement homes [as a thank you to the donors], but it’s actually very fun! I really like to see them happy and sing along when I play for them.
- People like my drawings [also a donor thank you] and feel that I appreciate their help and donation.
Additionally, the Lincoln Way chapter of the American Red Cross recognized Nathan as one of several “Young Heroes of the Heartland” in an event on Tuesday night in Ames. According to the organization’s website, this award is used “to recognize and pay tribute to young people, under 21, who have demonstrated local acts of heroism.”
This Earth Day, we’re all about water.
Some people in developing countries spend 3 hours each day
walking for water. Take 3 minutes to learn why.
I am a big fan of Dr. Biswas-Diener so when I received this email, thought it would be nice to share.
Curiosity & Courage
For those of you interested in exclusive content please accept this gift from us. Follow the link below to listen to a one hour lecture (with on-screen powerpoint) by Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener on the exciting topics of curiosity and courage. No registration is necessary and the content is free of charge. Enjoy!
My mom shared this with my dad, sister and I. See how you do!
There are only nine questions.
This is a quiz for people who know everything! These are not trick questions.
1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.
2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?
3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All othervegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?
4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn’t been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?
6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ‘ dw’ and they are all common words. Name two of them.
7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?
8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.
9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter ‘S.’
Do you want to know the answers??
- Niagara Falls . The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.
- Asparagus and rhubarb.
- It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.
- Dwarf, dwell and dwindle…
- Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.
- Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.
Cat House on the Kings is California’s largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. Lynea Lattanzio founded the sanctuary 19 years ago. Since then, Cat House on the Kings has saved over 18,000 cats and 5,000 dogs. Other than a “forebber hoam,” I can’t think of a better place for a kitteh to be!
Thanks to Lolcats for sharing this!
I used to sing this song all the time when I was a kid.
Well, it goes without saying that I am an animal lover. I am a big believer in sharing your wealth with charities and the 3 that get a lot of my money are Search Dog Foundation, Humane Society and ASPCA.
Here is a story that I saw on the news and yes, I completely lost it. I have cried a lot when seeing some of the images of the Japanese and all that they are enduring. I am encouraged by their spirit, their hardiness, their love, their compassion, and their faith. But to see this, well, it seemed so human. As I type this, I am starting to cry. The translation toward the middle to the end of the story is amazing. And yes, I was happy to read the update sentence.
I hope you will take 20 seconds to read this. But I understand if you don’t.
I saw this and well, see for yourself.
For kitty parents out there, that is a kitty meow none of us wants to hear. It says I am scared. I missed you. Love me. Where were you. I’m happy you are back. Love me.
I don’t know about you, but can completely relate to this! Thanks Lolcats 🙂
I didn’t make it to this year’s AMC Best Picture showcase so I haven’t seen all of the best picture nominees. But I saw many.
Here are my pics for the major categories:
Best Picture – King’s Speech
Best Director – David Fincher
Best Actor – Colin Firth (I think he should have won last year)
Best Actress – Annette Bening (I know, everyone is picking Natalie Portman)
Actress in a Supporting Role – Helena Bonham Carter (though will most likely go to Melissa Leo)
Actor in a Supporting Role – Christian Bale
Writing, Adapted – for 127 Hours (will probably go to Social Network though)
Writing, Original – for Inception (since the director was not nominated)
What are your picks?
If you are a Big Bang Theory fan like me, then check this out at LOLcats!
I loved this picture from the Omaha, Nebraska Facebook page.
The below stories were shared with me. Replies from those copied on the email indicated they had experienced very similar if not the same situations. Hmmmm…..
Recently, when I went to McDonald’s I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half dozen nuggets.
‘We don’t have half dozen nuggets,’ said the teenager at the counter.
‘You don’t?’ I replied.
‘We only have six, nine, or twelve,’ was the reply.
‘So I can’t order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?’
So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets
(Unbelievable but sadly true…)
I was checking out at the local Walmart with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those ‘dividers’ that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn’t get mixed. After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the ‘divider’, looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it.
Not finding the bar code, she said to me, ‘Do you know how much this is?’
I said to her ‘I’ve changed my mind; I don’t think I’ll buy that today.’
She said ‘OK,’ and I paid her for the things and left. She had no clue to what had just happened.
A woman at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM ‘thingy.’ (keep shuddering!!)
I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. ‘Do you need some help?’ I asked. She replied, ‘I knew I should have replaced the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can’t get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?’ ‘Hmmm, I don’t know. Do you have an alarm, too?’ I asked. ‘No, just this remote thingy,’ she answered, handing it and the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I replied, ‘Why don’t you drive over there and check about the batteries. It’s a long walk….’
Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, ‘I’m almost out of typing paper. What do I do?’
‘Just use paper from the photocopier’, the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five ‘blank’ copies.
A mother calls 911 very worried asking the dispatcher if she needs to take her kid to the emergency room, the kid had eaten ants. The dispatcher tells her to give the kid some Benadryl and he should be fine, the mother says, ‘I just gave him some ant killer…’ Dispatcher: ‘Rush him in to emergency!’
Linda shared this with me and now I share it with you …
BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for change!
The chicken wanted change!
JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me.
SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because gosh-darn it, he’s a maverick!
GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?
COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.
OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.
JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can’t you people see the plain truth? That’s why they call it the ‘other side.’ Yes, my friends, That chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the Liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like ‘the other side.’ That chicken should not be crossing the road. It’s as plain and as simple as that.
GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish it’s lifelong dream of crossing the road.
ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2011, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2011. This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
This song pierces my heart and Dick, you know why.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
|I accept myself completely.
I accept my strengths and my weaknesses,
my gifts and my shortcomings,
my good points and my faults.
I accept myself completely as a human being.
I accept myself without condition or reservation.
I accept myself completely, and in this acceptance
I accept that within my mind are both fear and love,
I accept the times that I choose fear
I accept mistakes as a part of growth,
I accept that my life is the expression of my thought,
I accept my own life as a blessing and a gift.
So, it my guilty pleasure time of year. Yes, it is awards season. I have always loved movies and so somewhere along the way, I became an annual Oscar’s watcher. However, the awards season has blossomed over the years.
My friend Tabitha and I are making our picks to have some good-natured fun. Hope you will join us!
To be fair, I want to share what I have seen (or haven’t) so you can know where my guesses might have come from.
Seen: The King’s Speech, Black Swan,The Kids are All Right, Red, Easy A, The Town. I will fully admit my bias of the movies in red that I considered amazing, outstanding, excellent. Worthy of every award.
Want to see (and will by the Oscars): 127 Hours, The Social Network, The Fighter, Inception, Blue Valentine, Love and Other Drugs
No desire to see: Burlesque, The Tourist
- Best Movie: The King’s Speech
- Best Actress in a movie: Natalie Portman (but I could see Michelle Williams winning this t00)
- Best Actor in a movie: Colin Firth
- Best Comedy Movie: The Kids are All Right
- Best Actress in comedy: Annette Bening
- Best Actor in a comedy: Johnny Depp (doesn’t matter which movie)
- Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter
- Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush
- Best Animated Film: Despicable Me
- Best Foreign Language Film: Biutiful
- Best Director: David Fincher (or Christopher Nolan)
- Best Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Danny Boyle
- Best Original Score: Danny Elfman
- Best Original Song: one of them from Burlesque
- Best TV Drama: The Good Wife
- Best Actress: Julianna Margulies
- Best Actor: Jon Hamm
- Best TV Comedy: Glee (wish it would be Big Bang Theory though)
- Best Actress comedy: Edie Falco
- Best Actor comedy: Jim Parsons
- Best mini-series: Temple Grandin
- Best Actress mini-series: Claire Danes
- Best Actor mini-series: Ian McShane
- Best Supporting Actress: Jane Lynch
- Best Supporting Actor: Eric Stonestreet
Ok there are my picks. Although I feel like I am a tv-holic at times, I didn’t watch any of the miniseries nominated, I don’t watch Breaking Bad, Mad Men, 30Rock, Glee or Nurse Jackie. I have only my Entertainment Weekly to help shed light on the greatness of these shows and the actors within.
Ahh, the fun of this all for the joy of seeing spontaneous expressions or reactions. Or in the case of Christine Lahti’s win one year, she was in the bathroom at the time they called her name. Makes for great story! My one wish is they would stop the madness of having the one-year pregame show to do the fluff interviews of what everyone’s wearing. Let’s take that one hour and build it back into the show so folks can give a proper thankyou lasting longer than a 30-second commercial. It’s ridiculous. Let the moment shine a bit. It annoys me when the last award of the night is given and the credits are rolling as folks are on the stage. I know, none of us want the Oscars to last an additional hour. Hence, get rid of the ridiculous pre-game/pre-award what are you wearing crap. Let the E! network take care of all that.
It’s been a year since I bought my Kindle. I wondered at first how much I would use it, if all the books I would want would be offered, and if I would end up like a kid, discarding my new toy after a few months. Well, I used it a lot, it seemed that 99% of the books I wanted were available for download, and I never discarded the toy. I love it. I will say, unlike others, that it didn’t stop me from buying traditional paper/hardback books, though this happened less and less as the year went on. And by mid year, the only non-Kindle books I bought were for school. When I am writing papers, I need to be able to flip pages, have many books open at once, etc. and the Kindle isn’t the best tool for me during this process. I did have some design ideas when I first got my Kindle which now seem to be integrated into the new Kindle. Oh well..that happens.
I have 89 books on my Kindle and thought I would share some of what I have read over the past year. I would love to hear your recommendations!
The books I would recommend most from the past year
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – read my book review post here. Or my review from Amazon: I read this book faster than I normally do (and I read fast). This is the most amazing book I have read in a long time. I found it similar in style of the books And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts or A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. This is not a book about cancer (although I have it) but a story to me about love and the medical community. I learned a great deal but thought it was all presented so easily for understanding but also in equality to both the medical community but also to the Lacks family. If it had not been for Entertainment Weekly’s profile, I may not have found this book. It is a must read!
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A biography of cancer .. an amazing book and so much more than just a biography of cancer.
- The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest… loved reading this about various pockets of centenarians and their commonalities
- The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun… Gretchen Rubin’s blog into a book. Incredibly honest look at personal change
- Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School .. I love books like this. Cerebral but interesting.
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose .. from the CEO of Zappos.com Tony Hsieh.
- Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat… pets do more than we know.
Some others ..
- What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures — great Gladwell book. Not been the biggest fan of his other work. I read Outliers this year as well and found it incredibly lacking.
- Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America — usually her work is laden with research and interpreted facts. This book seemed like one big complain fest. It was awful and the lack of research was shocking. If I know studies she is referring to and she is consistently getting the facts wrong, well, I have a big problem with that.
- What’s Next, Gen X?: Keeping Up, Moving Ahead, and Getting the Career You Want – such a waste of time to read. Don’t even bother. A rehash of GenX stereotypes and other nonsense.
- The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know — I am a huge fan of Kouzes and Posner but this book lacked a lot of what made their prior works so brilliant. It was a disappointing read.
- Drive by Daniel Pink — I loved Pink’s A whole new mind. I have read it 3 or 4 times. But Drive, well, it just didn’t captivate me.
- The Book of Awesome — was not awesome at all.
- Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It — usually a Goldsmith fan (loved What got you here won’t get you there) but this book was just, blah. I never got into it.
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?– what an awful Seth Godin book. I know many liked it a lot, but I found it incredibly repetitive, so repetitive that I wondered if I was reading pages and pages over and over again. Sadly, I wasn’t.
- Quirkology by Richard Wiseman — another great book that made you think despite all the research etc. (which I love anyway)
- Switch — by Heath brothers. Another fun read!!
Books from my book club that I joined late in the year
- The Help – loved this book. To find out later it is being made into a movie, well, that is just icing.
- The Glass Castle – disliked this book a lot for so many reasons, I won’t even start.
- Eat, Pray, Love – good book the first time I read it a few years ago. Second time, not as much. Pairing it with the movie, which I thought was awful, even less enjoyable.
Books for escaping .. pure beach reads .. I actually read more of these than I thought I had after I started looking at titles
- Deception: An Alex Delaware Novel – by Jonathan Kellerman. This is my go to guy – my favorite author of all time. He writes about one book a year and I gobble it up as soon as it is published.
- James Patterson – Postcard Killers, Don’t Blink, Cross Fire, Private, Worst Case, 9th Judgment, I, Alex Cross. Second favorite author for a little escapism. It seems like a new book comes out every few months (can’t you tell?)
- The Lost Symbol – read Dan Brown’s latest in one sitting, over the course of a day. Later, I realized how seamless reading on the Kindle really was and knew that I would be in trouble. And 89 books later, books are still one of my biggest material weaknesses.
- The Velveteen Rabbit. It was a free download and a great little book of love.
- This is where I leave you by Tropper. Random download based on a recommendation. Great book – honest, real, and a bit heartbreaking at times
- Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel – I can’t remember much about this book. Sad huh?
- Sh*t My Dad Says – hilarious book! I enjoyed it. The translation to tv? Not as good but a nice success story for the author.
- Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman – I used to read Scottoline for her mysteries, but then they lost their appeal. This book was a fun departure and enjoyed the stories.
- Open – Andre Agassi was definitely Open in his biography and I found it honest and unflinching. The scuff he got for being honest was ridiculous but then again, everyone has an opinion.
- The Scarpetta Factor – I hadn’t read a Cornwell book in at least a decade or so. The series started so amazingly and then, poof, it’s like she was phoning it in and I lost interest. This was a great read for Scarpetta fans but not sure I will pick up another. The magic is gone.
My mom shared this with me and I enjoyed it. Maybe because I did well!
Short Neurological Test
1- Find the C below. Please do not use any cursor help.
2- If you already found the C, now find the 6 below.
9999999999999999999 9999999999999999 999999999999
9999999999999999999 9999999999999999 999999999999
9999999999999999999 9999999999999999 999999999999
6999999999999999999 9999999999999999 999999999999
9999999999999999999 9999999999999999 999999999999
9999999999999999999 9999999999999999 999999999999
3 – Now find the N below. It’s a little more difficult.
This is NOT a joke. If you were able to pass these 3 tests, you can cancel your annual visit to your neurologist. Your brain is great and you’re far from having a close relationship with Alzheimer. Congratulations!
eoenvrye that can raed this rsaie your hnad.
To my ‘selected’ strange-minded friends:
If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends and the person that sent it to you with ‘yes’ in the subject line.
Only great minds can read this
This is weird, but interesting!
If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid too
Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.
That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”
The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote: “Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.”
Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind.
The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
Moral of the Story:
Be thankful for what you have.
Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show Life that you have 1000 reasons to smile.
Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.
Keep the faith and drop the fear.
The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling…
And even more beautiful, is knowing that you are the reason behind it!
A young man named Joe received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.
Every word out of the bird’s’ mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. Joe tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently using only polite words, playing soft music and doing anything else he could think of to ‘clean up’ the bird’s vocabulary.
Finally, Joe was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. Joe shook the parrot and the
parrot got angrier and even more rude. Joe, in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.
Fearing that he’d hurt the parrot, Joe quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto Joe’s outstretched arms and said “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I’m sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior.”
Joe was stunned at the change in the bird’s attitude.
As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly, “May I ask what the turkey did?”
A “paraprosdokian” is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.
a.. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat
you with experience.
b.. I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming
and yelling like the passengers in his car.
c.. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
d.. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright
until you hear them speak.
e.. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
f.. We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
g.. War does not determine who is right — only who is left.
h.. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a
i.. The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
j.. Evening news is where they begin with “Good evening,” and then proceed
to tell you why it isn’t.
k.. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is
l.. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train
stops. My desk is a work station.
m.. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a
whole box to start a campfire?
n.. Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can
train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
o.. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted pay checks.
p.. A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you
don’t need it.
q.. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an
emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR.”
r.. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
s.. Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars,
but check when you say the paint is wet?
t.. Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50
for Miss America?
u.. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a
successful man is usually another woman.
v.. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
w.. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to
x.. The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
y.. Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
z.. A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that
you will look forward to the trip.
aa.. Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you
wish they were.
ab.. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live
ac.. I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by
a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
ad.. Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
ae.. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they
can’t get away.
af.. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
ag.. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department
usually uses water.
ah.. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
ai.. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
aj.. A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as
when you are in it.
ak.. If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people
have more than one child?
al.. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
I don’t know who took this picture. I don’t know where this was taken. All I know is, when my mom sent it to me, I fell in love. This picture embodies all that I love about Halloween. Just amazingly beautiful!
I was watching a livestream yesterday of the The Women’s Conference hosted by Maria Shriver. There were many amazing speakers and it was well worth listening/watching from my office at home. The one time this was true was when Matt Lauer was the moderator between Meg Whitman, Jerry Brown with Arnold also there.
First, I thought that California had their own state mandate that a Governor could only serve two terms for the state in their lifetime. But I guess I was wrong on this since Jerry Brown is running again.
Second, I cannot believe the politicking that occurred at this conference and the absolute degradation that was displayed. Most notably, Matt Lauer asked Whitman and Brown if they would remove all negative advertising from the airwaves within 48 hours. NEITHER would agree. Brown essentially said I will if she does. This was annoying. He must have said it at least 3 times when asked my Lauer. Whitman actually was booed, extensively by the audience, when she would not agree and indicated it was important that information be shared with the voting public.
If a candidate cannot stand on his or her own MERITS as to why that person wants the office, what their intent is for leadership, their vision and their strategy, then they need to STFU. And yes, I really mean that. STFU, get off the stage, and find another career path. Politicians have for, far too long, been promoting their own interests and agendas. Enough is truly enough. We, us are the people who matter. Not you. We elect you to represent us. So represent.
And yes, right now, I am sick to friggin death of politicians. I really am. This display was truly the worst of who we are as a nation. I cannot believe that we can’t stop acting like we are on an elementary school playground. Do they need to be reminded of kindergarten rules —
Play nice with others.
If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick of the election ads on tv, on the radio, in the newspaper. Do these really work? Do voters really vote based on a 30-second commercial? I can’t stand it. All the mud-slinging. All the nastiness. Why is that necessary? Why can’t the women man up and just shut up? I wish they would all just shut up. Talk about yourself and what you stand for. When I hear all this back and forth, my stomach clenches up. My shoulders get hunchy. I wonder if it just me. Does the conflict just annoy me? I can mute the commercials. Go to another radio station. Am I being a good citizen by burying my head in the sand? What if I am not planning on voting – does that make a difference?
How do you manage election time of year?
It’s funny. During your first chemo treatment, they tell you all about losing your hair. Within two weeks, it will be gone. To take control and shave it off yourself. Or whatever it is you want to do to take control since there are so few things that one can do during all of this but go with the flow of the side effects, the doctor appointments, and everything else. After a few weeks, you can almost forget what it was like to have hair. I forgot what I looked like and would look at my driver’s license every now and again. It almost seemed weird to have hair.
But no one ever talks about when your hair starts to grow back. It’s an awkward process. I never wore wigs, only hats. But many tell me wigs help when your hair is growing out so you don’t have to deal with wayward curls, or hair that stands on end. This process sucks! Of course, there comes a time when the wigs don’t help either because your hair has grown too much for that. Oy. I know, what a stupid thing to care about too.
I gotta tell you though, I wish it would just grow out already!
I don’t know how Apple does it. Or more specifically Steve Jobs. I don’t know how he reinvents the market in such unique ways. I don’t know how that company is so innovative and creative. From the commercials, which by the way, they need to make some more of. I love Mac! Shoot, I loved him when he was on the tv show Ed. To the iPad. Sure, everyone made fun of the name but who’s laughing now? There have been how many sold since the launch – 4 million, 5 million? Yeah, that’s a lot and they’ve only been on the market since early April.
I have 2 iPods but other than that, I am not really an Apple girl. However, one step into an Apple store and you want to surrender. You want it ALL. I tried the netbook thing last year with ACER. Nice concept, good design, but still not quite there for me. So then, wala, the iPad. I have played with an iPad twice now in two days. It is too heavy and they need to work on that but it’s better than a netbook in so many ways. But still, not quite there yet for me. No matter. There will be more generations of iPad’s with each one getting more amazing than the next. Until then, I will suffer along with my Toshiba laptop and my Kindle. I love my Kindle and until Apple can rival that in weight, etc. then no can do.
But as I walked around in there, looking for a keyboard, I wanted it all. I have no idea how it happens, but I wanted a laptop. Then a desktop. Then an iPad. Then the iPhone (darn it, move on that will ya Apple. I’m on Verizon, have been for almost a decade and I’m not straying to AT&T). It was very hard to not want it all and I don’t even have a need for any of it. I have no idea how that magic hold comes over a person when they walk in. It’s like a giant playground and you want to take all the toys home with you. I am thankful that I don’t carry a credit card with me or I have no idea what would happen. I got my keyboard and got the heck out. I didn’t play or touch or dawdle. Want, want, want = get out, get out, get out!!
I should clarify that my first experience with a computer was some IBM monstrosity using WordPerfect, DOS, and those iPad sized floppy disks. I hated computers back then. To me, it was just a huge piece of junk that made things harder and more time-consuming. Then off to college I go and most of the offices at IU used the original Macintosh computers. One of my jobs (of the 2 I had during college), I had to go into administrative offices, make sure things were turned off, nothing was unlocked, etc. Sometimes, I would use these computers to write letters (email wasn’t existent quite yet – I know, crazy right?) or do homework. I loved that job. It was then that I loved computers. I loved that Macintosh. I wanted one so bad. Then about a year later, email started on campus and then I really wanted one. So, in some ways, I am an Apple girl.
I think I should stay away from the Apple store for a while. I am feeling twitchy right now. Darn nostalgia.
I believe we all evolve as leaders. Wait, that is not completely true. There are some truly bad leaders out there that remain bad and only get worse. But that is still evolution just not the way I think it should go. Yuppers, lots of Anissa opinion going to be infused in this post so be ready. I have been watching idly by lately and have had enough. Between government, big business (I really wish BP would read the below), and even locally within the state, I am tired of ineffective leaders.
First, I don’t believe leadership is a title. Just because you have one doesn’t mean anything to me unless you believe your title has magic and you use that power to threaten, rule by fear, coerce, or otherwise, put down the rest of us little people you believe us to be. Your leading by your title does not create respect or trust. For those of you who do this, think about that for a second. Does your team respect you? Trust you? Want to make you look good? If you don’t outright say yes immediately and know it to be true, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.
Second, I think we are all leaders. This may be in government, school, work, church, your neighborhood, your high school, your professional organization, etc. At any time, we are all leaders and we are all followers. If you remember this, a leader can be more compassionate instead of power hungry. A leader understands that they do not exist without followers. That a true leader is a servant to others (hence servant leadership). Do those in your department, group or team believe in your vision (if you have one & you have shared it – big assumption on my part) and help you achieve it? If you are leading the charge and there is no one, or few, behind you, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.
Third, leaders know their team. They know each person, what they do, their strengths, their motivations, and where they want to go. As a leader, can you say this? If you can’t, then you better sit down and take the time. And this does not mean once a year during the performance review (which I find ridiculous – these conversations should be ongoing and regularly occurring throughout the year). Leading is about people not tasks, not sitting in committee meetings, not sitting in your own office all day long. As an extension, does your team actively stop by your office/desk to talk to you, not just about work but about random things? If no one, or few, do this, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.
Fourth, leaders don’t play favorites. If you make the effort to only get to know a few really well, only give these people the extra opportunities, only take them to lunch, only take the time to laugh with them and show your human side, you are especially not a leader in my eyes. We might as well be back in high school.
Fifth, leaders talk. I don’t mean communicate, I mean talk. What are your plans for the department, group or team? What are you trying to accomplish now? What is happening in the organization? This should be regularly and consistently shared. We should hear more from you, all the time. Believe me, a chief complaint is that communication sucks in any organization – so what are you waiting for? And if you complain that there is too much water cooler talk, this is YOUR fault. In the face of ambiguity or lack of communication from YOU, there is no information being shared. People will band together, support each other and share the small tidbits they pick up and try to cobble together what is happening. You aren’t a leader in my eyes if you believe that it is your team’s fault for the acting this way. You need to look within.
Sixth, leaders create the climate. If you think the climate in your department, group or team isn’t supportive, is negative, tense, and people are constantly calling sick because of stress, YOU created this and YOU must fix it. A leader knows and if you don’t, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.
Seventh, leaders are reflective learners. Do you take the time to think about who you are as a leader? Where you have been and where you want to go? I am not talking about titles or roles. I am talking about your style. Do you know what it is? Do you know its impact on others? Do you readily know areas you need to enhance or are your blind spots? Do you know the behaviors that grate on others (the do as I say, not as I do variety). Do you take the time to read about other leaders and think about those aspects relative to yourself? Or, do you think yourself impervious, superior, perfect, and in need of no leadership style change in any way? The chief leadership trait that is more important than any other is vulnerability, in my opinion. I look for this in leaders and believe this is THE trait that epitomizes leaders. If you can be vulnerable, admit your mistakes, show that you need the expertise of others, that you don’t know everything, then your courage, your integrity, and your humanity shine through. Are you vulnerable in any way? If you aren’t, then you aren’t a leader in my eyes.
Eight, leaders aren’t paranoid. If you are, then you need to look inside and figure out why. Hire a coach, go to a therapist, seek out a mentor. But the problem is yours, not your department, group or team. And if you believe it is, then you need to get everyone together and LISTEN. Ask the question about how they feel things are going and how you are doing as a leader, and then sit back and listen. The only thing you do is take notes and if you must talk, say thank you for the feedback. Then follow back with everyone on the areas you are going to work on and ask them to be your monitor so they can congratulate you when you make strides (no matter how small). All of this takes vulnerability. Do you have it? If you aren’t willing to do something about your paranoia, then you aren’t a leader in my eyes.
Ninth, leaders know how to have healthy conflict. If you have surrounded yourself by people who kiss your ass & do whatever you want, and are basically mini versions of you, then you aren’t a leader in my eyes. Leaders know that this isn’t leadership at all. This is just hero-worship and those persons kissing your ass hope you will help them with their own careers, giving them extra perks along the way. Bobble-heads do you no good. If everyone has given up and stopped sparring about issues, just letting you make decisions unilaterally, you aren’t a leader, you are a dictator. Healthy conflict is a good thing. You, the team and the organization gain so much more from this. But if you fear conflict, again, you need to look at some of the advice in Eight above.
Tenth, if you have felt that any of this has been written about you dear reader, then you need to look within now at those areas above that pissed you off.. Those are the areas that you know, deep down under all those protective layers, are the real leadership issues that you need to tackle. So go tackle them. And don’t think about this once, today. Think about this often and regularly and start DOING something to change. It is the only true way you can be a leader now and forever.
Angela shared this with me and yes, I got teary-eyed. (I know, when don’t I?)
Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.
I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, “Mommy, I’m over here.”
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, “Hey Buddy, what’s your name?”
“My name is Denny and I’m shopping with my mother,” he responded proudly.
“Wow,” I said, “that’s a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve.”
“Steve, like Stevarino?” he asked. “Yes,” I answered. “How old are you Denny?”
“How old am I now, Mommy?” he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.
“You’re fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by.”
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone’s attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Denny’s mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn’t even look at him, much less talk to him.
I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God’s Garden; however, “Blue Roses” are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn’t stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they’ve missed a blessing from God.
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, “Who are you?”
Without thinking I said, “Oh, I’m probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God’s garden.”
She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, “God bless you!” and then I had tears in my eyes.
From an old dandelion! Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to the powers that be.
“People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel !”