Monthly Archives: April 2012

prepare to BUILD EMOTIONAL SUPPLY

It is truly amazing that some days I feel like I get nothing done and I am most exhausted at the end of the day.  I took 2 small naps today and all I got done was run for a few groceries and took Mary to an appointment.  But what was different today was an emotional exhaustion accumulation – the demand of my emotional support was more than the emotional supply I had available.  It didn’t happen overnight – probably slowly over a few weeks and then in the last 5 days the drain open and my supply went down it…

Thursday, I took Mary to the cemetery to my mother’s grave for the first time.  She has wanted to go for a long while and I finally just decided to take her – partly because I thought it was fitting as the next day would have been her birthday.  Unlike my family and my in-laws I dread the cemetery.  To them it is a sign of respect and to me it reminds me of her death and not her life.  Everyday I live happy memories of my mom and that is how I prefer to remember her.  Next to my mother is my great-nephew Caleb who died of SIDS and again it reminds me of death and not of his beautiful smiling face.  But, it was important to Mary and I needed to honor that need.

Friday would have been mom’s birthday so I spent even more time than usual thinking of her. I had a very crazy day at work and was running late.  Jim thankfully was home early and was able to get the kids, BUT Samuel does not do well with this change and I was STRESSED and emotionally exhausted thinking about it, but there was just no way I could physically get there in time.  Then words I have heard lately haunted me about my priorities and the guilty feelings overcame me.  All that emotional work-up led to A LOT of prayer and they were answered as Samuel did well the first time ever with his dad picking him up.   By then my adrenaline had peaked and then you crash emotionally even though the outcome was okay. 

Then on Saturday, Mary was in the Talent-O-Rama and that too was draining.  Mary really doesn’t like Talent Shows but she loves to sing and therefore does them (although every year we debate about will she or won’t she – lol).  That evening after sitting through the events, I came home and Jim said something to me that just struck a nerve so I did some major moving around of some things because I was a little ticked. 

Sunday, Mary had a friend here and Jim needed the yard cleaned up to mow.  I knew Mary’s reply and some days (most days)  as a mom, I find it easier just to do it myself!  So, I cleaned up the yard and then did the hour plus of push mowing because again, what person would want to mow when their friend was over to visit.  He then went on a fire call and he came home with dirt on his face and I said something just to let him know and he made a remark and again a little tick was sent off in my head.   Then Samuel was VERY upset that he couldn’t go home with Mary’s friend and mom – BIG MELTDOWN and explaining to him at times is difficult.  I later find the note that I placed on FaceBook today that he wrote and laid outside his door “GOAWAYANDLEAVEMEALONE!”  (note – Samuel doesn’t put spaces between letters but it was very clear the message and I have learned to read with the spaces being automatically placed by my brain. ) Mary and I decided he should make some of those signs for us.    After all of that, I still had to work night-shift and everyone got to go to bed.  Ending the day making me feel a little tense and angry and hurt – which led to a sleepless few hours with a tensed up back. 

Today, Mary comes home after being stabbed in the back by various “friends” and it another BIG MELTDOWN.  Nothing I could say or do could make the situation better.  Nothing worse than the sting of betrayal by people you love (I can’t even imagine the sting Christ felt with Judas’ betrayal three times and He even knew it would happen).  I can honestly say I cannot wait till school is done and we can separate the drama from our lives.  In the summer, she will hang out with REAL friends and family activities.

Today was definitely a cumulative effect not necessarily on sleep deprivation but emotional deprivation.  As a mom, I would prefer to take on the pains, disappointments, and betrayals of my children.  It would be easier than not being able to do anything for them except talk and let them learn from them.  But as a mom and a wife, I think my emotional supply had been already depleted!  I also have been missing communication with some friends because life gets crazy busy sometimes.   But not having that release valve of talking to someone who can give you advice or just be there to let you vent, causes the emotions to go down the drain even faster, depleting even faster.   So my emotional supply down the drain plus the weight of my children’s emotional needs on the depleted supply = exhaustion.  I told Mary I would love to make Samuel’s sign into an iron-on and put it on a t-shirt.

So after two naps, some heart felt communications, hugs, prayers, and talk of thinking of future solutions, my depleted system feels a little more built up.  Writing helps to get it all out and build the supply.  Tomorrow morning is a new day – a new month – going to start out with a fresh start.  God promises new mercies everyday and instead of trying to build up my own supply – I am definitely going to focus on His promises of new mercies and to carry my burdens.   I am going to enjoy some tea out of my favorite mug and PREPARE to build my emotional supply – so when the next demand happens (it always will) – I will be ready. 

 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19 –NIV)

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prepare for TRIPPED BREAKERS

The other night I was fixing dinner in my normal state of chaos – sink full of dishes, plugged in the vegetable steamer, turned on the water pot that was plugged in, 3 burners on the stove going with pots, oven on with roast in it… and then I went to plug in the deep fryer (the one appliance almost used everyday for Samuel’s French Fries – the one small appliance I have driven to the store the day my last one broke to replace – please note that I don’t want any sermons about feeding our son French fries everyday and how I should convince him to eat them bake, and if you feel another option is available, what time would you like for me to bring him to your house to try “your plan”.  Sorry, I digress…) Anyway, the French fryer started but then shut off.  I couldn’t figure what was going on. I didn’t feel like going to town for a new one.  So, I thought maybe it was the outlet because the steamer worked and the water pot worked. When I went to move around the appliances, it dawned on me, the breaker had tripped.  So, I went to the breaker panel and sure enough, one lonely breaker was tripped from the kitchen.  All the other appliances had done their job so after I switched back on the breaker and returned to the kitchen, the deep fryer worked!!!

But that seems like to be a more frequent occurrence in my daily life – I juggle multiple jobs outside the home while the kids are in school or in the evening, in addition to being a mom, homework, meals to make, lunches to pack, a wife, etc…  It just takes one more thing being plugged into my life that trips my breaker.  Sometimes it is something BIG, but most often it is the little things. Running late in the morning – breaker trips… people complaining – breaker trips… disrespectful words – breaker trips…. being ignored or dismissed – breaker trips….  Unfortunately, I feel like the breaker is tripped more often in life – part is probably age, tiredness, hormones, etc… but part of it is because I plug into much into my life.  Thinking back on the evening of the breaker being tripped, did I really think that one person could handle all those things at one time without something happening?  By the way, besides the breaker tripping – Samuel had decided to poke a few of my rolls that were rising and Jim had the epiphany as they went in the oven that we should go vote then – so the rolls were also a big failure (thank goodness I usually have some Pillsbury Biscuits in the fridge). 

But I really should prepare for to prevent the breaker from being tripped. 

  • If I am feeling overwhelmed, I need to unplug a few things and take less on.  I need to keep what is important for the family to thrive and function, but eliminate what I can. 
  • If all the things need to be plugged in maybe I need to space them out and not have them all plugged in at the same time – plan a little wiser. 
  • If they can’t be spaced out, include delegation into the picture and let another friend or family member pick up a task or two (i.e let Jim help with homework or Mary read Sam his library books, etc…)
  • If I can feel off balance – warn those that I love that one more thing will “be the death of me”.  Most things can wait until I can catch my balance.

When all else feels and the breaker trips (as it always does), I have to check the breaker panel and see

  • Where it tripped – that night it was the kitchen – but in life did the breaker trip in my family life, my work life, my social life, my spiritual life, etc…  Sometimes it is not as obvious as the one flipped switch.  Just like the kitchen, it wasn’t just one appliance that did it, but the accumulative effect of all of them at once.
  •  Then I have to decide if I want to even reset the breaker – maybe I need it shut off for awhile.  Maybe I just need a break from that area.  Maybe I need to re-charge me before I turn it back on.  I need to evaluate what it was from and how to prevent it.   
  • And definitely, I need evaluate my spiritual life as I find when I take my eyes off THE ONE who can/will carry my burdens all the breakers get tripped. 

 Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)   28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out?  Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

prepare to be the SCARECROW

So, today I slept in – really slept in – woke up at 8:25 and we really should be leaving in about 10 minutes for school.  Of course, the great procrastinator had not packed lunches, done homework with Sam, prepared book bags, or laid out my clothes.  Of course, when we rush things get missed (i.e left the homework we had done on the kitchen table) and tempers get flaring (like I am the only one with an alarm clock in my room).  But you know…  I am the mom… therefore, responsible. 

Mary got to school on time – we are good under pressure (=  Sam was about 3 minutes late, but of course, the rushing meant no TV time, no play time, and only grabbing a quick snack for breakfast, which of course he was wearing all over his face )=   I always have wet-ones in the car so a quick wipe and we are done – right??? Nope, I rubbed “too hard”, rushed “too fast”, and lead to crying (note, both of us – Sam as he was in the car and me as I got back in the car).  I knew he would be okay, but it doesn’t make it easy.

The dog would not come in the house when we left so had to return home after dropping off the kids to get her to come in.  Plus, needed to stick closer to home for a few extra minutes just in case the school called because Sam was still upset…. No phone calls, dog came in, time for me to get to work.  Of note, the one good thing was my check engine light went OFF (it has been on for a few days because my gas cap had issue – which my wonderful husband picked up this week).

I also had offered to work while the kids were in school… well, I didn’t get my cup of tea in my favorite mug “Live Today with Passion” and of all days, I could have probably used that message most.   I walked in and I am pretty sure I most resembled the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz — if I only had a brain (I am pretty sure I left it on the kitchen table with Samuel’s math homework…  I am thankful for amazing co-workers who were there to pick me up in my moments of “blankness”.   Made it through the day… back home to get Sam (Jim picked up Mary and though I would love to have him get Samuel – that just leads to one big melt down when it is Jim picking him up).

After a day like that, it feels great to get home… take off your shoes and relax.. but of course, there was more running to do, supper to make, dishes to do, etc… – thankfully none of those required much thought (because I didn’t find my brain when I came home – the dog probably ate it off the table – LOL).  When I ran Mary to the Basketball game at school, I thought I would take a magazine to read; however, I had no ability to even focus on reading.  In hindsight, I am not even sure what I thought about… I did get to listen to Samuel’s laughter and lines from movies, him playing Angry Birds and destroying those pigs, and shared some Pink Round Lozenger candy I found in my magazine bag with a tiny bag of chocolate.

 A few other random things happened, but they too, thankfully were “no-brainers”. I could chalk up today/tonight as a very chaotic non-productive day… However, I think I need to prepare to be the SCARECROW a little more often.  Not so much in the sense of sleeping in, but in not over thinking / over analyzing.  The day just rolled along despite my ability to focus or concentrate.  Because I couldn’t find my brain to focus on

  • work as much as usual – I allowed people to help me (not a position I like to be in). 
  • what to cook for supper – my family actually had to give me feedback.
  • important things – I offered to take Mary to game at school and she got to enjoy time with friends outside of class time.
  • reading (even brainless magazines) – I got to enjoy the humor of Samuel and his great memory (wonder if I could borrow his brain tomorrow – lol)
  • my to do list – I get to procrastinate legitimately till tomorrow of things that would have been on the list (=
  • attitudes – I didn’t dwell on people’s negative comments because that would require focusing and interpreting.

 Definitely, need to prepare to be the SCARECROW a little more often and not take life so seriously… 

 Wizard of Oz:  “Why, anybody can have a brain. That’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma.”

prepare my MESSAGES

I really dislike checking messages on my answering machine.  That sounds very silly to many, but I think it is for a variety of reasons.  Generally it is because it is complete strangers (even worse a computer voice / recorded message) wanting me to do something (vote), buy something, renew something, etc… Sometimes it is family and friends but generally the message is “I will try your cell phone”.  Sometimes it is reminders of doctor’s appointments, but I rarely check them prior to the appointment because I have it in my calendar.

Then there is my email “in box”, my “sent box”, my “junk box”.  The sad thing is between my personal email, I have three work email addresses.  My personal email has many subscriptions to automatic delivery from favorite blogs that I intend to read.  I am always hesitant to delete from my “boxes” because I may need them someday.  I won’t even say how many unread messages I have, nor how far back the messages date to.  I even have emails archived on a back up hard drive.  Yes, I have issues and I resolve I want to go one day to a place with WIFI and clean them out.  I just can’t bear to part with some because they may be something I really want to read. But think about it, if I haven’t read an email in over 1 month, 2 months, some 6 months, I hope it wasn’t important and probably won’t instantly change my life. (=

I also was one who was a person who vowed I never wanted to be able to “text”.  I just needed a phone to make a call.  Well, that trend ended quickly and I use text more than the phone.  However, when I don’t get a text I get a little disappointed.  For example, Mary has been at her aunt/uncles since Friday and some mornings I would get a text and others I didn’t – I missed the mornings I didn’t… not that she wasn’t okay but just to hear from her… but I always got my good-night one (=  !!! I also get a little frustrated when my text is sent to someone and they don’t answer right away – although I am finding I am getting guilty of that.  Most often I don’t respond because my phone is on vibrate and I don’t hear it.  Sometimes it is because I am work, but then I try to do a quick text saying “at work, TTYL”.  The problem with text for me, it is one more thing that I am awful at clearing out.  I might need those messages… and some from people I have protected because it just may be something I like to read when I need a lift (like some of Mary’s Good-night texts when she is away or I am at work).

The other issue with messages and the new phones that continually deliver is that lives are constantly getting messages.  I think it has taken away our focus. It is rare to not see an employee with their personal phone next to them.  Checking messages between customers, waiting for elevators, walking down the street, etc… As a result, it takes away the focus from the task / the customer.  One of the things Jim and I have worked on is during dinner / family time it is a phone free zone.  The most important people are around the table.  If there is a firecall, Jim’s scanner will go off.  But by constantly checking email, facebook, texts – I don’t focus on what I need to.  I am guilty too… if I have a spare moment waiting for an elevator, I am checking some kind of message.   Hearing stories of wrecks/deaths as a result of texting stupid messages should be the wake up call, but it’s not.  I do love Facebook to keep up with people, love emails when they are personal, etc… but that is not generally what takes up the time – it is the “junk” messages.

Other than sheer volume, there is really nothing with the messages I receive on a daily (often hourly basis).  However, one element it has removed and I miss is the personal conversation.  Hearing the excitement, the sadness, the loneliness, the happiness, etc.. in the voice.  I feel like now we only squeeze in a moment for a text and don’t get the whole picture of what is going on in our family / our friends lives.  And, not only do we squeeze in the moment, it is an abbreviated moment and don’t have the time to type the message out (i.e. ttyl – talk to you later, LOL – laugh out loud, etc..).   Sometimes I get a message via text or email and I take the tone or the message the wrong way – then you are left wondering and/or hurt.  I am a talker… I miss conversations… I miss knowing the story behind the message/text… I hate always getting an abbreviated version of a story (not in just getting a small text about a big event, but also the text is full of abbreviations… Everyone’s lives are so busy cramming so much into every moment that I think I am loosing out by squeezing a message instead of a conversation.  I know teens are missing out on writing correctly, talking to people, etc… but every generation is at risk.  I see older generations texting or on their phones everywhere too. 

I think I have to do something in my own life about the messages coming in and going out.  A few thoughts  

  • Remember that what I am working on or working with is more important than the “message” and if a message is important the phone will ring
  • Clean out my email and unsubscribe to things that waste valuable time that I could be using for things that do
  • Messages going out from me should be uplifting to the person receiving them and should not leave open questions on my tone / my meaning.
  • Appreciate the message because the person thought of me – but don’t expect them and get disappointed – appreciate them “squeezing” me into their busy life!
  • Answer promptly whenever possible and leave every message with a positive and “no reply necessary”.  Avoid stupid messages that waste the recipients’ time.  
  • Text “can you talk” a little more frequently instead of a stream of texts
  • Honor no texting in the car – including the “speak to text” app because it still takes off my focus off of driving and if family /friends in the car the conversation should be what is important.  Plus if I am not talking to family / friends – my commute time is great for my talking to God time.

Ok… so I just signed up for a new text messaging as a result of this blog and searching on google for a good quote  – LOL – https://www.lookup2him.com/default.aspx (it delivers a scripture every hour to my text — now that is the kind of message I need to be receiving!!!)

 Love this if God text the 10 Commandments:  http://churchm.ag/if-god-text-messaged-the-10-commandments/

 P.s. I should have counted how many times my phone sounded with either a text, a facebook alert, an email alert while typing this….

 

prepare to CHANGE

Last Sunday at church, our Pastor asked how many people like change and I believe Jim and I were two of the few who raised our hands.  The funny thing is, I would never have thought that of Jim and we have been married almost 20 years.. at least he doesn’t believe in changing wives (LOL).  But…we always sleep on the same side of the bed (even when we go on vacation), I generally cook the same things day after day for meals, very few pieces of furniture has been moved in our home, he has been with the same employer for going on 20 years, I have a total of almost 15 out of 20 years at WVUH, he still has/wears sweatshirts that my mom purchased for Christmas gifts before we were even married, etc…   Even further back, I live in the same town that I grew up in – moved from my parent’s home to the home I am in now.

We are always wiling to try out new places to go.. but our hearts always return to the same hotel atVirginia Beachfor the summer – we eat at the same restaurants (now that we have narrowed out all the ones we didn’t love or didn’t want to drive to), have the same routine there.  One year we went to Myrtle and hated it and came home early, but friends of ours go there every year.   But, we did venture to Sea World inFloridathis year and the kids talk about it almost every week.  I think the reason we go to the same spot inVirginia Beachis so we don’t have to “think” about vacation. 

There have been things changed in his life – he became a firefighter, an EMT, then a paramedic, and then a state fire instructor, then HazMat training in various things (such as swift water rescue), and a few new ones on a horizon.  His job has variety with different computer issues, building projects, etc…  So everyday is a little change.  But I think he loves changes in regards to challenges – always willing to try a new adventure, new trail to explore, etc..

I have changed things in my life with the types of nursing I have done – every job I have taken I have said “well, I haven’t done that before, why not try”.  In Care Management, I don’t have patient contact so much, but get to fight at the insurance end for them, and EVERYDAY is a new adventure with the patient’s admitted.  I LOVE my jobs!!! I also love to try change in how we do things and how I do things to see if I can improve on my productivity (“work smarter”).  I must admit, most changes I love, but there is always an exception.  I love a challenge, but not as adventurous as Jim

But for two people who love change you would think we would pack up and move place to place.  Our children go to the same schools I attended as a child, but man have they changed!  The names are the same – AJ has the same building but Marclay has a new building.  I am currently exploring some change in their education because when once a school may have met everyone’s need, I am learning that not every child learns within the same walls and so I believe CHANGE will be inevitable in the coming year.

I think of one of the biggest area of change for me has been friendships.  We have friendships that have endured over the years, while others have moved on over the years.  Often, circumstances make our friendships change.  I have very dear friends from Mary’s dance days and we sat and shared many a night and experience together.  But as the girls went their separate ways so did the friendships.  I could sit down with any of them this day and catch up and Facebook has also helped, but still our relationship changed from a routine basis to an occasional basis.  I have another dear friend who has gone through a divorce and is in the dating lane.  Our friendship has changed because her life priorities are different than mine and I can’t always relate.  Could I sit down and pick up where we left off – yes — but it is still changed and not as consistent.  But it is okay to change friendships because we are human and time and situations change us to be different people.

Change is inevitable.  I can choose to go with a change or buck the system.  In my opinion, the energy to buck the system could be applied to the change that just may make things better.  Although our new documentation system from last year at work would not be on my list of improvements – LOL – but it is part of my job.  Do I have a choice – yes change or leave!  Nothing drives me more crazy then people who constantly complain about changes – LEAVE, but I guarantee change will happen where ever you go.

Considering that Jim and I are both up for change – maybe I need to implement a little more in our lives.  Simple things – try new recipes, move around the furniture, paint the walls different colors (instead of the plain white), new vacation spots, and new family adventures.   I never really thought about it – I do love change but love to be comfortable so not sure ready to switch sides of the bed (=   But, what stops me from other changes I would like to make – financial reasons, fear of unknown, lack of confidence that I can do it, not sure where to start, and doubt the energy to see it through.

It is easy for me when they say things will change at work because it is required and the decision is made for me and I am not totally responsible for any downfall.  I think of some people who have had to go through changes – divorce, death of spouse, loss of job, health issues – those changes I am not a fan of.  But, I now realize I do enjoy change but is much easier to do when someone else implements/requires it.  I love Pintrest, unfortunately not much time to spend on it, but it is like a big notebook of all the things I would like to add, try, and change in my life.  I think it’s time for me prepare to CHANGE, and be the one who starts the change in my life and my family life.  Now, where/when do I want to begin?

“20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

 

prepare for PERFORMANCE REVIEWS

So, I had one of my performance reviews this week by a boss who I have only known about six months.  Let’s just say, we did NOT start off on a good step.  I think she was threatened by me, and I don’t like to be “corrected” in front of other people – especially when I am NOT wrong.    The thing I hate about performance reviews overall is that on one sheet of paper they try to summarize one year’s worth of work.  Sort of like the stupid state assessment tests for kids in school – one test means more than a year of work — but don’t even get me started on that (LOL)!

I have been at an employer that waited for the annual review to tell you what you did wrong in the year.  I am definitely the personality that wants to be told I messed up when it happened so I can correct my errors.  This particular employer said that others stated I was not meeting deadlines.  Please note, I have NEVER missed a deadline.  I may submit it the day it was due, but never missed one!  I operate on last minute pressure (although trying to change that – except with taxes that I sent at 1045pm on 4/17 because I owed money and the IRS was not going to get it any earlier than I had too – LOL!).   Anyway, instead of telling me the secretary wanted it a few days earlier when it happened – the problem existed for a year.   Performance issues at work or in life should be addressed when they happen, so they can be resolved and prevented in the future!!

On my performance reviews now, I generally have to rate my own performance and then submit it to my director and they chose their ratings of me.  I always mark myself as average because I generally see working above and beyond as what should be done.  But, when my director rates my performance, I secretly love to see “excel”, “above average”, etc.    It does my heart (and pride) good.  Secretly I probably compare myself to others and think if “THEY got average (and I now how hard they DON’T work) then I should get more”.  Keep in mind that this week’s performance review does have a salary incentive, but my other one does not.  For me, I would love to see all jobs raises based on performance.  I get frustrated knowing I work so hard and others who just enough to get by gets the same raise.   Anyway, that is probably a whole different issue….

My performance review – by the person I have known for 6 months and probably only really talked to twice – once to totally disagree with her opinion! So, she gave me all “met expectations” and no “exceeded expectations”.  I have to then sit back and consider the source because on the same review last year by a different boss I got “exceeds”   Anyway, I also know that others got “met expectations” that I can’t believe did, and that means she considered my work no higher than the others – UGH!!!.  But realize that is how everyday life is.

  • Everyday, people judge the “performance” of my life.  They examine, approve, and criticize  my life choices.  But at the end of the day, I have to judge my life and say I met my expectations or exceeded (or worse not met).
  • Routinely, I need to examine my life and not wait for a “yearly” review.  For instance, New Year’s Resolutions are a once a year evaluation that generally are kept for a few weeks or months.   Taxes are another “yearly” review for me because I realize yearly how disorganized I am when it comes to them but grateful they are only due yearly (=    I need to perform mini-daily, weekly, monthly reviews of my life.  Holding on to issues and not solving them quickly just makes bigger problems.
  • My performance should never be compared or based on the performance of another person’s performance.  I am responsible for me and my choices.  Does it make either of us wrong? – Absolutely not!  But it reminds me of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where at the wedding reception the father of bride (who is very Greek) states the bride and grooms last names are greek meaning – Apples andOranges.  They set aside their difference, appreciated the differences, and had a beautiful marriage.  Much like life – Jim and I have differences, friends and I have differences — but in the end we have beautiful relationships because we don’t compare our performances. 

The reward of the performance review is great if it’s financial (=  But, there is so much more:

  • Knowing that I did my best and am recognized – it is builds self-esteem.  But, much sweeter to be recognized by the ones you love than work any day!
  • Helping to refocus on areas that can use improvement.  When I get my work evaluation, I generally ask “what can I do better”?  It is definitely more important in my personal life to ask this question ‘ “What can I do better” – family time, personal time, etc…
  • Recognizing that when others judge your “performance” it is just one person’s opinion!  My boss didn’t really like/dislike me so thankful she said “I met” but would be much more disappointed if my boss of > 6 years would say the same about me.  In personal life, when people judge my “performance” I have to think * does their opinion matter? * is it because they are comparing my life to theirs and our values may differ?  What I should be concerned about is when Christ, my husband, and my children do not like my performance!  Also, am I happy or what do I need to fix.

I always have to be prepared for PERFORMANCE REVIEWS.  Everyday, people look at my life and judge it.  But, at the end of the day, how do those that most matter judge it – does Christ say “well done my good and faithful servant”, does my husband say “you are a great wife and mother”, does my children say “I felt loved and honored by you today Mom”!  IF any of those areas are NOT MET – ask for forgiveness and move on because tomorrow is a NEW day!!  That is the PERFORMANCE REVIEW that matters!!!!

 “Being relaxed, at peace with yourself, confident, emotionally neutral, loose, and free-floating – these are the keys to successful performance in almost everything.”Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

prepare to be TOUCHED

So, I have started 4 different blog entries now… but keep thinking of this especially after my last blog about Open Wounds (and healing).  I need to prepare to be TOUCHED (and express that need).  TOUCH can be a physical touch to a person or physical action (to touch someone’s heart / emotions / feelings).  For instance when we tell people to “keep in touch” (meaning via email, facebook, phone call).  Or the commercial, reach out and touch someone (meaning take a moment and call someone).  As a nurse, I believe that patients I cared for TOUCHED my life forever and would hope I TOUCHED their lives beyond the care I provided.  But the ultimate TOUCH is the intentional brush of the hand, the holding of hands, a sincere hug, the arm around your waist, etc. from someone you love.

However, when my heart is hardened or I have an open wound of hurt, I learned that I build a wall.  This is truly pretty new to me because I generally let things roll off my back.   The other interesting thing is that even though I am a great talker (a genetic gift from my mom and grandma), I am not always a great communicator.  It is times like this I wish I was more like Sam – if you say to Sam “what is wrong”, you get an honest answer.  He may not provide many details but it is the honest answer.  For a few weeks, Jim could tall something was “brewing” and would say “What’s wrong” and I would reply, “nothing” (maybe I should call this prepare to be honest).   I went through the motions of life – I got the kids to school, basic chores done, made it to work, church, etc…  

The longer the hurt went the bigger the wall, the thicker the wall, I lined it with barbed wire and then added electric to the fence, and built a moat filled with man eating alligators… I think many others have been there – hurt by someone you love.  The wall was initially there to keep out one person, but soon kept out everyone.   The wall separated me from what I needed most – TOUCH (physical and emotional).  Yes I still got the hugs from the kids, the kiss on the cheek from Jim, but all the while I didn’t feel the touch. 

The interesting thing in hindsight is that I wanted people to TOUCH ME but I was NOT willing to reach out to touch them.  Isn’t that human nature, we want everyone to reach out to touch us, but we don’t want to reach out to them.   So, this week I finally let the door of my wall cracked and I reached out over lunch – finally a moment alone.  I spilled my guts of what was going on and how I felt… I got the “deer in the headlight” look.  He had NO idea and definitely did not view the situation the way I had.  He did not intentionally mean to hurt me.  People who LOVE YOU do not intentionally mean to hurt you.  I was also responsible – I didn’t reach out and TOUCH HIM sooner.   It all could have been solved with me doing the reaching out first – by answering honestly to “What is wrong”.

That happens in everyday life — people get hurt because they are waiting for someone to reach out to them. 

* I think a friend should reach out to be in TOUCH with me, when in fact they are waiting for me to TOUCH them – maybe through a text, a call, a card, etc..  I just need to make the first touch.

* The private messages in facebook I love – they TOUCH me to think someone is thinking of me personally and took the moment to let me know.  (A card in the mail is like Christmas because it is even a bigger effort).  I have a friend whose fiancé writes to his elderly mother EVERY MORNING and sends a small postcard or card EVERY DAY.  He wants her to know he is thinking of her and he wants her to get mail everyday (she is in another state in a personal care home).  That is TOUCHING to her and the

* How many times could a disagreement with someone been solved so much sooner if I tear down the wall (or at least open the door a crack to let them come in) so they can TOUCH me or I can reach out to touch them.   If a wall is built they can’t penetrate it! 

* Acknowledge the little touches – the friendly cashier… reach out and touch someone else – let a person out in front of you, hold the door, offer to help a person in a wheelchair or an elderly person who can’t reach the top shelf at the grocery store…

* I think of the hair dresser who cut Sam’s hair.  I sent a thank you note to her and her employer because she TOUCHED us and I wanted her to know and I wanted her acknowledged by her boss.  How many times do I not acknowledge the importance of those who TOUCH my life?  TOO MANY!!!

 Touch isn’t always a physical action – it can be an emotional action – it is the reaching out to make a difference.  I have to prepare to be touched and prepare to touch others. 

 I think of powerful songs from my Christian Upbringing – He Touched Me by the Gaithers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1g9tH2osQQ) still gives me goosebumps.

Powerful Bible Stories of the Woman who just wanted to TOUCH the hem of Jesus garment as she knew the power of the touch     – She had heard of Jesus and when she saw He was near she joined in the throng of people following Him as He made His way to Jarius’ house. She said within herself,“ If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” ( Matt. 9: 21)