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WHO MOVED MY HOVERCHEESE?

Challenges, any changes, energize me.  Call me Grace (under fire), I’m a sucker for deadlines – they’re part of my creative process. When sudden reorgs at work occur, I hunker down and work through tumultuous times. When baseball adds another 2 teams’ practices in one week, I rolled with it. Strengthsfinder 2.0 says I’m a problem solver – I live for solving the family’s carpool problems.  Nothing throws me, until I’m faced with myself.

When first semester of grad school started I spent my first 48 hours fighting non-stop with technology but triumphantly gained a working knowledge for my class.  I beat technology. When first semester ended, I spent my first 48 hours reading books to escape the textbooks. I beat the class!

But then nothing…  Don’t get me wrong, my break rocked! We enjoyed the first holiday with 3 excited cousins (last year only 2 were old enough to anticipate traditions), cruised the Caribbean, caught some movies… But when given the chance, I didn’t do that “thing I would do even if I didn’t get paid”… I didn’t write. (Thank you if you noticed, I appreciate your support)!

I planned to blog, write a book, poetry – even haiku.

IOHaikU: Here, I brought you a gift!

IOHaikU: Here, I brought you a gift!

When I stepped away from my laptop on the last day of class, I turned my back on it.  I didn’t want to touch it, look at it, nothing!  Knowing this, I bought myself a composition book for writing, but, did nothing. I lost the opportunity.

Believe it or not, 6-7 weeks into the break, I craved returning to the rhythm of the master’s program.  I missed my classmates, the weekly feeling of achievement; I anticipated an easier first 48 hours this time, and relished in the slight confidence of being a return Grad Student! The topics this semester thrilled me as I love the problem solving, creative work, and had some experience with strategic corporate and marketing communications. I looked forward to drawing on personal experience.

But, things changed. The blend of students was new, the rhythm of the class feels like a remix, and even the material seems opposite from my true-life experiences.  This time, I recognize the fight-or-flight reaction and am rolling with it. I’m acclimating to the new semester with excessive amount of calendaring, spreadsheets and post-it notes, as well as commiserating with other students.  It’s a change in perspective to see that change doesn’t thrill me, but it will only bring about positive changes in me.

2-10 change

And now, for today’s show-n-tell, I brought Hovercheese!! Can you please check my homework?!

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THE END IS NEAR, WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST?

There has been a big countdown going on in recent past and it’s finally coming to fruition.  I’m not talking about:

Baby New Year 2013!
Thanks rochelle, just rochelle for the photo!

Nor am I pushing the 12/21/12 end of the Mayan Calendar

Beautiful and mystical Mayan Calendar
Thanks insert screen name here for the photo

I’m realizing just how unprepared I am for a zombie apocalypse and am now slightly concerned about my goal to have a plan for when it occurs.

Hopefully I won’t lose my head and will stay calm!
Thanks Visceral e Insolúvel for the graphic!

The end of my first semester as a graduate student is going to be over in 1 week!

Sound the reveille!

I’m trying to get it all done and wrapped up but at the same time am SUPER excited to have a bit more free time for the time being until next semester!

I already know where my journey will begin…

I’ll be wandering first through District 12!

Help me decide where to wander next!  I have 4 weeks to pack in as much living and relaxing as possible!  WTF? When’s the Finish? Next Tuesday officially, next Thursday after our one dangling live web session.

Reflection of the end
Thanks tind for the photo.

I’ll definitely refer to my 101 in 1001 and Naturally, Kids lists for fun adventures, but tell me what you recommend.  What great thing have you done since September that you just know I ought to try?!

I’ll tell you one thing, I look forward to wandering some with you and catching up a bit!

LIFE LESSON – EMERGENCY ALERT TACTICS

I’m sitting here waiting for input on an assignment and to make sure I am in front of the computer when it arrives. Because it’s after midnight, I am implementing my emergency alert tactics!  Now I’m one of the most caffeinated people I know but even caffeine has its limits when confronted with PMS, Daylight Savings switches, or in this case – allergies.

So what’s a girl to do when she must remain alert (besides the obvious blogging)?

Fold loads of laundry while watching…

Back-to-back Bluth get-togethers!

Bag up all my daughter’s stuffed animals,
you don’t want to know why.
WTF? Where’re the Fuzzies?

Bake banana bread with chocolate chips
Trader Joes – Simple!

What emergency alert tactics do you implement? I could use a few more for tomorrow night because with each passing day, the ones you use lose their power so one must introduce new alert tactics!

 

 

 

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: CALVIN AND HOBBES

OK, who didn’t just love the combined wit, perspective, adventure and love of the most adorable  boy and his ever faithful tiger?  I loved Calvin and Hobbes, my son now loves them, and soon – if I can pry my comic books from his hands – my daughter will love them.

Well in this town, when you have a passion for something, you make a film to pay tribute.  A friend’s husband is directing a film called dear mr. watterson and I can’t wait to see it because of the topic and because of the sentiment behind it.  I tend to prefer movies where I know the “back story.”  For me it makes it a 4-D film experience to know what went in to making it.

Check out their page, learn about the creators of the film!

Thankfully the comic strip has many adoring fans so the film is funded and under way. Heeding Calvin’s words: “As far as I’m concerned, if something is so complicated that you can’t explain it in 10 seconds, then it’s probably not worth knowing anyway;” I’ll simply ask you to wander along with me, check out the film website and eagerly await the film!

In the website’s words:
“This film is not a quest to find Bill Watterson, or to invade his privacy. It is an exploration to discover why his ‘simple’ comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the 80s and 90s, and why it still means so much to us today.”

 

 

 

 

PICK YOUR LEADER

QUESTIONif you could pick any fictional character to be your country’s leader – who would it be and why? (My answer is at the bottom)

Image

Here in the USA, today is voting day. No matter what your opinions are – whether you vote for the strong leader or the lesser of two evils, you must celebrate your right to vote by getting out there and doing it!

Forgot to mail in your absentee ballot? Fill it out and drop it off at a polling location near you! (I mailed mine in so I could blog instead of vote on my lunch hour).

You can’t whine about who the President is for the next 4 years if you don’t get out there and try to be a part in deciding him today. Plus there are so many other significant things on the ballot in your local regions.

My fictional character that I would choose to be president would be James Bond (stretching the rules of what it takes to be US President). I feel that much of the international issues would be resolved, perhaps we’d have some greater leaps with technology and I’d watch every speech because he’s powerful, dreamy and single! [Let your mind wander after your favorite Bond President…]

#Election #Vote #IVoted #President #Candidate #Debates

FCW: TRUST OTHERS, BUT STILL KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN

Fortune cookie wisdom – as usual – comes in a timely manner!  I’ll share what it meant to me, but I’d love to hear how you’d apply this to your life!

How would you apply this to your week?

This cookie wisdom came just as I was gripping the wheel trying to turn this car without brakes known as my Graduate School Masters in Communication Management Program.  I’ve known a few guys in my day who love to drive FAST and they always taught me “Accelerate coming out of the turn!” So I anticipated that when we came off of midterms with new groups that things would only get faster!  Nobody told me that it wouldn’t lose any speed in the turn!!!

So nonetheless, here we are with 2 brand new groups, 2 groups lingering from before, plus a few alliances that I’ll be forever grateful for.  But I was CONFUSED!  So this week’s fortune cookie rests on my list I’d just finished for myself for my 4 different groups: who is in what group, when we’re talking next, what assignment we have this week, and by when!

My wisdom is to trust in the group!  I wasn’t sure coming into this degree program if I’d like working in groups because I’m usually a “if you want it done right, do it yourself” kinda gal.  However, thanks to the wonderful people in my first groups, I’m now fairly laid back and if people want to work a certain way, I’m easygoing! I’ll throw ideas out there but am not offended if people don’t go for them. I speak up when I have contributions or opinions, but again, it’s a group decision as to what we’ll use or not.

Still, keeping my eyes open suggests to me in this context that I’d better still be doing the work on my own accord and staying in touch with things, although we do sometimes have the luxury of splitting up work or reading and such.  Also, to me it implies to be proactive! Lastly it means to make sure that there is still a touch of everyone involved easily recognized in the finished work!

How does “Trust others, but still keep your eyes open” apply to your life this week?

LIFE LESSONS: MATH IS NOT JUST ABOUT NUMBERS

WTF? What’s the Formula?!

Working at a university I pick up tidbits of wisdom here and there.  One day in casual conversation, one professor said to me, “Math is not just about the numbers!”  At the time I just shook my head in agreement and wished him well on his way out the door trying to figure out math without numbers and dizzying formulas.

Suddenly, flash forward to my son’s pre-algebra homework and he, like me, is pretty quick when it comes to math and can figure out answers by looking at the problems.  His teacher sent back the assignment, however, saying that he was marked down for not showing his work. Out of nowhere, my lips were moving and I heard myself say “You have to take the time and effort to write each step.  Math is not just about the numbers!

Now, I’m not trying to imply that life is one big ongoing word problem (Collective groan!).  I’ve realized that math doesn’t just teach us how to figure out the great sale price of those adorable shoes times 5 different colors plus the 8.75% tax in our heads.  It is about the process and the planning, applying formulas and logic, then following the steps in order to find the answer.   It’s about documenting, double-checking and problem solving if it didn’t work out well.  These are skills that will come in handy for all kinds of projects!

Finally, one more mystery of me solved!  The sight of rows of numbers on a page truly makes my brain grow fuzzy, yet somehow, I was always strong with math.  Somehow my problem-solving and planning skills helped me stick out problems through the end.  Math! It’s not just about the numbers!

LIFE LESSON: LIVE DELIBERATELY

This week has had too many reminders that life is short.  These losses also reminded me of the amazing people that I’ve crossed paths with in my life and and am still fortunate enough to be able to wander with a while.

Stop and take it all in from time to time.

I get it, we get in a grind, we get busy, we put on our blinders and power through to do what we have to do.  Obviously those efforts are recognized and appreciated.  But connect with others, not just through facebook, but face-to-face.

What is your most recent favorite moment?
Can’t remember? Go now, make one!

It’s amazing what you’ll learn and what you’ll gain when you share yourself with others.

It’s your life, now get out there and start living it!

Thank you Mari, Elsie and Max for inspiring us!
Thank you Melissa for finding the perfect words.

LIFE LESSON: CARPE DIEM!

Today’s life lesson comes from a friend that I worked with at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  She was an honored patient and fellow campaign manager who’d been through treatment and has been healthy for over a decade since!  Her name came up in conversation today while I was trying to contribute to others’ lives by donating blood. I sat down at the Be the Match table and they of course were eager to get me to sign up.  I told them I was already in the bone marrow registry from my time at LLS.  Turns out the gal I was chatting with also knew Kristine.

We chatted a bit about how Kristine was also one of the great success stories  in that the treatments for her blood cancer have gotten so much milder in comparison to her treatments endured just over a decade ago. She’s proof that, with dedicated individuals, progress can be made!

So from Kristine, I have borrowed this life lesson:  Life is precious. Life is short. Carpe Diem!

No time like the present – Share a hug!
Photo by HarlanH

This also was meaningful today because we lost our sweet neighbor whom we knew as “Grandma Willow.” Plus I was already planning attending a celebration of life on Saturday for someone my son’s age.  So, life is precious. LIfe is short. Life gets busy, but don’t let it get in the way of those that matter so make sure you make the time to sit with people and listen a while.  Carpe Diem! Share a hug!

PRICELESS GEMS

There are so many amazing lessons from this story, I couldn’t help but share it…
(In their honor I’ve created a new Category of stories:  Heroes Among Us)

Kids doing a triathlon

Kids living life to its fullest

Kid having larger challenges than anticipated out on the course…

Marines sweep in and make sure this kid’s dreams come true!

Life’s lessons:

Never underestimate what you can accomplish!

Victory is sweeter when you share it with others!

There’s a reason why Marines look awfully good in their uniforms – it’s because of the size of their heart!

Feel free to add to this list in the comments section…

Check out this story!

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