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Posts Tagged With: learning

Really living this Thanksgiving

It’s the night before Thanksgiving … and all through the House, Not a spatula was stirring …

WHAT?

  • NO taking the day before off work to clean, cook, prep and repeat?
  • NO fridge stuffed with Cheese Balls, Salads, Cheesecake and Pie?
  • NO 10,000+ steps inside the house?
  • NO setting the alarm to shove the bird, ham and other delights into the oven?

2017 Thanksgiving eve’s Fridge – Cherry cheesecake, Mom’s Pineapple carrot salad, homemade cheese balls and more. an Emjayandthem(C) photo

Nope.  Nada. None.

Today I went to the office, had time to stop for a coffee (gasp!) and worked a “normal” day.

  • No cutting out early to set tables, stock up on booze, clean the garage,  wash crystal or defrost something.
  • Nope. Nada. None.

Why?

Oldest boy and his beautiful bride bought their first home earlier this year and, while walking through their gorgeous open concept kitchen/living room, I may have happily proclaimed, “WOW this is gonna be great for the Holidays!”

There might have been a skip in my step, not sure.

See, I’ve loved cooking and entertaining and fussing and decorating and providing for everyone all these years (32+ but who’s counting?) but do you know what I love even more?

  • That my big strapping handsome son loves it, too.
    • And so does his wife!
  • I love that he has some semblance of understanding what’s he’s in for and that they want to host Thanksgiving this year.
    • As the chief cook, cleaner and bottle washer, I couldn’t be PROUDER!
      • And neither could these two, although they’d never believe it was a MAN was stepping in to cook!

Grandma and Mom in the kitchen together; and Emjayandthem (C) photo

BREAKING NEWS:  Are you sitting down?

This is the first family Holiday I haven’t hosted, cooked, cleaned for or done.

For at least 35 years.

Thirty. Five. Years.

Flash forward to tonight:

  • Hubbs and I are to bring a couple of side dishes, show up, mingle and BE GUESTS!
    • We may have done the dance of joy more than once tonight (he in his fuzzy pants and me in mine, prepping my 2 side dishes {done and in the fridge already!})
      • Her parents, Grandparents and brother are coming, too.
      • So is youngest boy and his fiance.
    • Their dog will be in the mix, too, and he and I are likely to be shooed out of the kitchen.
      • Can’t wait.

 

  • Hubbs and I toyed with the idea of (not really) being BAD guests, you know the ones .. they don’t bring what they said they would OR they show up late OR they bring other guests you don’t know OR all of the above!
    • But we won’t do that.
      • But we laughed hard at the thought of it.

 

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” ~ Gail Sheehy

 

Your turn:

  • What traditions have you changed up lately?
  • What would you like to change-up?
    • Happy Thanksgiving!

 

P.S.

  • Made Hubbs some fudge just because.
    • He very nicely offered that “some” could go with us tomorrow ~

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Random Five Friday – Facts

Random Five Friday is here again, even though I’ve only been back in town 2 days. Feels weird that it’s Friday but hey ~ I’ll take it.

Here we go!

1.  Attended a departmental conference with colleagues in Denver earlier this week. Unlike past meetings, where various experts and executives spoke at us for two days, this one was extremely interactive.  All of us completed the MBTI assessment ahead of time and we had one full day of breakouts to learn about each indicator before getting our results.   Now, I’ve taken this before, in fact it was this assessment, taken in a three-day conference, that prompted our move to Michigan.  Read more at When you know for sure.   Re the training, there were some who embraced it, some who quietly tolerated it, some who pooh-poohed it and others who rolled with it.  I’ll let you guess which one I was :).

2.  Landing in Denver and stepping outside was like walking into a furnace. Hot, billowing dry air and all-encompassing.  No humidity. None.   I felt my eyes crinkle to raisins and slugged down more water than ever.  My normally hair-that-shall-not-be-tamed decided to lie down in protest.   Weird.

3. I’ve mentioned before that our company is going through a lot of organizational and structural changes.   Tuesday night, I found myself in a deep conversation with a colleague, someone I don’t know well and rarely see, but someone I’ve long admired for his gentle dignity and the steady way he conducts himself.  We started chatting about the changes and something led me to ask about his situation, suspecting he’s not likely to have a job in a year. Shyly he told me a bit about other ventures he’s involved in and, as I listened, I watched as his face lit up. The more he talked about having more time with his wife and children, the more animated he became. I felt a nudge to tell him our story, about taking this same class so many years ago and how that exercise created a foundational shift change for us.   As I talked about our course correction, and being led by faith, I felt myself growing more animated, too.  We were soon called to dinner but not before he said, “You don’t know how much I needed to hear what you had to say, thank you.”

4. Re the personality types, my results were not a surprise to me:  ISTJ.  Here’s the description:

Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Highly capable and decides logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

I'm Joe Friday!  Google.images.com

I’m Joe Friday! Google.images.com

I did have several “aha’s” however – I understand now why my trip “home” was so exhausting. I’m a “situational extrovert” – I can chat it up with family or be on “stage” at a meeting, etc. but I cannot do so without a price. There are a lot of extroverts in my family and, after being with them a week, I lost my voice. Makes me understand why I crave my quiet Sundays at home. Ding! Ding! Ding!

The other important takeaway was the opportunity to understand the other types on my team and across our department.  There emerged some clear leaders and big-picture thinkers, the “do-ers” and the diplomats and so on.  The most profound affirmation was learning that the person I report to is my polar opposite: it’s no wonder we struggle communicating.  I come at a task with facts, strategy, and a plan; I crave order, quiet and structure. He shows up late, with no idea what’s coming at us or what’s needed to get it done, bucks the plan, laughs at to-do lists and thinks out-loud in a steady stream of consciousness.   Please pray for me.

5.  It’s good to be home where it’s 74F and 9,000% humidity.  Say what you want about higher temps, it feels hotter here!

And with that, I give you this door sign. Funny stuff.

funny stuff.  Google.images.com

funny stuff. Google.images.com

Do you know your MBTI type? Does it ring true for you?  Happy Friday, peeps!

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Useful Information, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Just row

You may not know this about me but I get bored easily.

I love to learn new things but I also am just as likely to toss them aside once I know what I’m doing.

Organize a special event?  Done!

Staff a corporate project? I’m your girl!

So, as much as I appreciate my routine and the balance it brings to my life, I admit to feeling bored lately.  At work.  Not because my job’s boring, because it’s not, but because I get in, I get it done and then what?  I don’t know how to coast.  So, as a result,  I’m always taking on more.  However, I’ve learned the flip side to that:  sometimes what you get isn’t what you want but it could be just what you need.

So, a day and a half ago, I was informed of a meeting that another planned to attend. A meeting on a project that impacts me and one I should have been told about before now.  And now, in the 11th hour, they can’t go and I must.   And, to top it off, the meeting is to discuss a subject I rarely deal with.

I said “yes,” I can make it. “Yes,” I can do it.  I can stand up in front of a room full of strangers and present our views. I can schmooze with the best of them. I can find my way and I can drive to a town I’ve never been. I can get it done.

So, I pushed away the angst that their last-minute-ness had brought and spend the day getting acquainted with the task now in my lap.  I called on a colleague; I did some online sleuthing. I looked at maps and stats and loaded up my brain up with anecdotes.

I did my homework.

It was 4-H that taught me, "Learn to do by doing." google.images.ca

And today, when I find myself in front of various groups discussing policy and objectives, I’ll be ready to go. I think.

And if not, I’ll row.

* * *

If there is no wind, row.
– Latin Proverb

Categories: Confidence at any age, Faith, Growth, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 28 Comments

The Lesson in the Lesson

Yesterday, I took a class.

I took a class with a room full a strangers; a hearty mix of eager souls excited to learn more about methods of communicating.  I did that, but, in a sidebar conversation, I ended up learning about alternative ways of healing.

I’ve been aware of words like “chakras” and “energy points” but also had always maintained a rather dismissive and cautious view of it. In my mind’s eye, I thought I knew what I needed to know. I thought I knew but I didn’t.

I didn’t really understand that there are points in our bodies that correspond to our sense of another; points that talk to us when we sense negativity or … our own fear.  I’ve written about experiencing just that last summer.

I didn’t know there are parts of the body that will shut down when a situation finds us unable to speak the truth

I didn’t know but I know now.  And I know just enough to know I want to know more.

I love learning new things! (googleimages.ca)

* * *

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning.

You have to love.

You have to feel.

It is the reason you are here on earth.

You are here to risk your heart.

You are here to be swallowed up.

And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Ever had a “lesson in the lesson?”

Categories: Growth, Life Lessons, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

On Passion

Uh huh huh .. a lifelong Elvis fan, yes I have found my inner Elvis!

Passion is defined as having a “powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate” about a given topic.  We all know someone who’s passionate about their sports team, fitness, travel or even gardening.  Most I know care deeply for loved ones, homes and pets.

If asked, I’d have to say the following:

I’m passionate about my marriage.  We are surrounded by couples in distress, and that has made me even more attentive to our union.  But here’s the thing .. hubbs and I are not all that similar. We have different interests but similar philosophies.  One of the reasons we enjoy time together is because we  give each other the space to pursue what we love and then make it a priority to come back together again.  He loves to compete and is an avid sports fan. I’ve never seen anyone happier than him as he’s readying for a golf date on a Saturday morning. But .. he’s happiest when he returns, having competed and laughed with friends, excelling at a sport he loves, and all with my blessing.  When he’s away, I do what brings me joy … read, write and play with music and technology.  We don’t need to be alike or together all the time to be compatible. And when we are, we’re interested and interesting to each another.  And the best part?  After 19 years, that spark is still there.

I’m passionate about being a good example to my boys.  I let them see me work hard, laugh loud, get frustrated, mess up and keep on going.  They know  that, generally, I’m pretty easy going; they also know that if they cross the line they’ll hear about it.  I love that they know me, respect me, and most of all, value me.

I’m passionate about how I dole out my time and to whom.  I think of our grand kids, for example, and how much fun it is to answer questions and just play with them, marveling in all that they do.  I relish slow walks with the elderly dog and power walks for myself.  I’m passionate about sharing homemade salsa and the conversations it sparks with neighbors … about helping when I can, and chats with friends and family and strangers in the coffee shop.

I’m passionate about a meal lovingly prepared and liberally shared. As someone who loves to cook, there’s no better person to cook for than someone who loves to eat. Recently, we had friends in for an impromptu meal… nothing fancy, just hearty Midwestern food: roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn on the cob, salad and dinner rolls.  These friends often go out to eat so when they (shyly) accepted our invitation, they stepped into boisterous conversations peppered with requests to pass the butter.  To my delight, they relished every morsel. Our youngest and I shared a smile when our guest looked up, his buttered face accompanying his wide smile.   Moments like that reinforce that, while I enjoy cooking,  what I really enjoy most is sharing the meal with others I care for.

I’m passionate about the “little” things in life that make it delightful: the heady smell of lilacs in Spring, the sweet sounds of northern songbirds at daybreak, roadside fruit stands, the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and Michigan summer nights that require a “hoodie.”  I’m passionate about writing my blog, chatting up vendors at the farmers market, and days without schedules.  I’m passionate about “big” things, too: exercising my right to vote (I’m a new citizen), being on time, leading by example and doing the right thing.

I’m passionate about learning. Learning from others, learning from my mistakes, learning what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. I’m passionate about trusting my instincts, that it’s OK to be wrong but more important to be accountable.  And learning that, at 48, I am still capable of learning and growing, changing and evolving. And learning that life is still so exciting that I don’t want to miss … a thing.

What I’m passionate about comes down to this: it’s what’s not negotiable. It’s what I could never, ever leave behind.  It’s how I behave and who I am whether anyone is around to know. I know, and that’s enough. It’s honing the traits and values that I’ve carried with me from middle school to middle age.  It’s all of that and what’s yet to come.

What inspires passion in you?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Adventures in American History

Gen. Washington crosses the Delaware River .. with a stowaway (our youngest son); an emjayandhthem photo

Take 1 history-loving high school student.

Add a semester in Photoshop.

Result?

Time Travel.

*For the story depicted in this this iconic painting, click here.

Has technology made history more vibrant for you .. or your kids?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Men, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Random, Share, Technology, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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A view in pictures, from me to you

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Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

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EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

peace full home®—intentional living

making your home, your life and your world a place you love

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with people in my path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...