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Showing posts from March, 2018

Forgiveness Better Than Permission

I was thinking about an experience I had a few years ago when I was a lead on a billing team.  Management and leadership in that group were dismal at best and often absent, so the team often felt like they lacked support and direction.

When I took the role, all I had was a logical mind.  I didn't have the technical skill to use the system yet or understand the processes.  My first day as the lead over one particular team I spent most of the day trying not to get repeatedly locked out of the billing system.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew if I sat around waiting for guidance or permission I'd wait forever.

I am a fairly intuitive person.  I can see what needs to be done and in what priority.  Through some frustrating self-training, I quickly mastered the system and started combing through tens of thousands of lines of data, identifying the problems and slowly, finding solutions.

I made a lot of positive changes when I was on that team.  The month-end numbers we had …

Respecting Privacy

There is an episode of Frasier where he has to go inside Daphne's room to fetch something that belongs to him.  She is not home and he enters her room and idle curiosity overtakes him.  He retrieves his book but is soon looking at all her knick-knacks, reading the labels on her prescriptions and so on.  She walks in and catches him, and after a series of events, twice where he ends up repeating this same disgraceful act, she threatens to quit and move out.  Frasier ends up buying her a car to demonstrate his remorse.

Going through other people's things is shameful.  Especially when multiple adults are living in the same home together.  If you live with another adult and feel the need to snoop through their belongings, no doubt as what you see as a well-intentioned concern for them, then you have trust issues that go far beyond anything that can be resolved by snooping.  Whether you find something or nothing, the cancerous distrust that exists will remain.

My sister and her hus…

Frasier

I write about Frasier a lot.  In fact, I talk about it a lot in general conversation.  Very recently, I quoted Martin saying, "I thought this was America.  Oh wait, it is!"  Frasier has a line for every situation, and I don't hesitate to use them generously. 

But I rarely write about Frasier in terms of what the show is actually about, despite its brilliant writing.  It is often just something I allude to as I think of a real-life story that parallels a scene.  Few television shows can match the writing of Frasier.  From Frasier and Niles' pompous diatribes to Daphne's homespun wisdom and Martin's ornery responses, everything is authentic.

The numerous themes woven throughout Frasier make each episode a delight in and of themselves but ties the larger story together as characters change and grow as people, as situations mature, and problems become resolved.  Some of the more prominent themes include Frasier's search for lasting love, Niles' relationsh…

Happy Birthday to My Best Friend

This weekend my best friend, JB, will celebrate her 35th birthday.  I honestly didn't intend to write about it or about her, but I just heard a song that made me think about her and I felt inspired.

I have known her for over half of my life.  I met her about five months before I met my husband, her in October of eleventh grade and him in March of eleventh grade.  Eleventh grade was one of the worst years of my life (only slightly less bad than the tenth).  I'd switched schools, I was overwhelmed and struggling with physics and chemistry classes, I'd lost a few good friends, and I was just not a happy girl.  Meeting the two of them that year was the only silver lining, but what a jackpot!

I remember the exact moment I met JB.  I remember her long, dark hair and her red lipstick and her black leather jacket.  I liked her immediately, but we didn't become good friends right away.  It took a few months of riding the bus together and walking to school before we truly began …

Neighbors Coming Together

My mom recently shared something with me that goes a long way to restoring my faith in humanity AND in the principles of free market economics!

My mom has recently moved and is a part of the private social media experience called NextDoor, which allows people to connect privately about things going on in their neighborhood.  People discuss safety issues, make requests for babysitters, offer or ask for help, and so on.  It is a great way for people feel connected to their neighbors.

Well, recently a young teenager reached out on this particular group in my mom's neighborhood, asking for babysitting or lawn care jobs, any jobs to make a little money because his mom was in need.  He went on to give a brief description of their backstory, which involved domestic abuse and financial strain, and his mom was in need of money in order to secure their home for them and keep her ex-husband away.

Not long after the initial post was made, the neighbors began offering help.  A GoFundMe was sta…

Loving People as They Are

Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies.  I have it downloaded onto both of my Kindles, just in case I need it.  I watch it fairly regularly because no matter what my mood, it makes me happy.

I recently got into a couple of conversations about the character of Forrest Gump, which is something I actually ponder on a lot.  My husband says no one thinks about him as much as I do!  But I think the great thing about Forrest Gump, the overreaching theme that I see in it, is that Forrest loves people as they are.

Forrest loved Jenny from the start.  He rewarded her innocent kindness with a lifetime of unconditional love.  Through the years, she demonstrated over and over that she wasn't "good enough" for him but he loved her anyway.  His love for her had nothing to do with anything she had to do for him, or earning it, or being good enough.  His love for her was his commitment to love her, even when she wasn't exactly worthy.  When all of his letters to Jenny were returne…

Immigration Milestones

Later this month, my family will celebrate the 16 year anniversary since we moved to the United States.  I was almost 19 years old when we came here, and in the years since we have encountered quite a few challenges associated with immigration.  However, I wouldn't change a thing.

Most Americans don't really understand the immigration process.  As I have gone through the different phases of being a visa holder, a green card holder and now as I go through the process to become a citizen, people are always surprised.  They ask, "Aren't you a citizen just by having married one?"  Nope.  It merely opened a door to me to pay a lot of money and fill out a lot of paperwork!

This year will mark the 10 year anniversary of being awarded my green card, or to put it more correctly, my permanent resident card.  This is the proof that I am allowed to work freely in this country, though it does not afford me the right to vote.  In order to obtain this little card, I had to go t…

Moneyball

So, my husband has lately accused me of behaving like a "crotchety old man" and that I have become disdainful of things before I understand them.  I am going to chalk this up to my level of mental fatigue lately as I round that homeward stretch for school.  I am sick of everything and I am getting grouchy!

I wrote recently that my husband has been getting his fill of baseball movies as we come upon the beginning of baseball season.  As a result, I have watched a lot of movies with him.  His love language is quality time, and so I like to spend time with him enjoying his interests to demonstrate my love.  As a result, I sometimes find myself growing as a result, learning to enjoy things I never would have expected, albeit sometimes rather grudgingly (I hate it when he knows me better than I know myself!).

Moneyball is old news to most everyone else, it came out in 2011.  I have never actually looked closely at the cover of the book or movie, so I didn't realize this was a…

Eighteen Years

Eighteen years ago this week, I sat down at a computer in my hometown, I was just sixteen years old at the time, and composed an email to someone I had never met but that my sister had found online and said, “he is perfect for you.”  I didn’t really know what to say; I was caught somewhere between being myself and wanting to actually be likable!
Of course, I didn’t know then when I wrote that email that the young man on the receiving end would someday be my husband.  This was back in 2000, when meeting people online was still a bit creepy and unusual, and being a high school student far away, I had no expectations.  I just thought it would be cool to have a friend in America, someone I could write to, be friends with, etc.
I feel like Forrest Gump at the beginning of the movie when he says he can’t remember being born or going on his first outdoor picnic, but he can remember the moment he heard the most beautiful voice in the world.  I have forgotten many important things, but I can …

Day Zero Project - One Year In

Today officially marks the one year anniversary since I began my Day Zero Project list entitled "101 Things to do in 1001 Days."  In fact, my list has 110 items on it, as I suddenly had an epiphany as I completed it.

I look back on the year and realize not only the number of things I have done, but the great diversity of things, the interesting new things, and quality of my time spent!

Below is a list of the things I have now checked off as complete.  46 items!  That means I am almost 42% done my list, and only 36% done the time length.

·Learn 50 new things by clicking random articles button on Wikipedia ·Take a painting class ·Pay off debt ·Increase 401K contribution ·Get a new job ·Cancel cable ·Cancel Shakeology for more affordable alternative ·Read historical novel with MA ·Send at least 10 surprise packages to friends “just because” ·Donate blood ·Walk a full marathon (26.2 miles) ·Do the 23andMe kit ·Run a full mile ·Complete 500-mile challenge in 2017 ·Finish a half marathon in unde…

Draft Day

My husband loves baseball. It's a huge passion for him. We have a room in our house dedicated to sports and much of it is baseball related (he calls it a unisex cave because he likes me to participate!). 
In the lead up to opening day, my husband binge watches baseball movies to get himself all psyched up. In the past few days I've watched many Kevin Costner movies and I feel like I've grown fond of him.  I suspect he is a man who loves baseball as much as my husband does.
I'm not a baseball fan, but I love football and I love the life lessons that are learned on sports teams. One of my favorite TV series is Friday Night Lights with Kyle Chandler.  In that series, you see Chandler as coach Taylor help young men overcome challenges and build their character. In the same way, these baseball movies depict people overcoming odds, making tough decisions, and working as a team to achieve their dreams. I can get down with that.
I'm a competitive person and I've alwa…

Learning German

Over the past month, I have committed to a daily practice of studying to learn a new language.  I chose German because of my German background, including a great grandmother who spoke mostly German.  I love working on my genealogy and finding original documents and I would be thrilled if I could actually read them.
My sister took several years of German in high school and has therefore been able to help me, and reassure me that as difficult as this is, German is a logical language that will begin to make sense over time.  Given how irrational English language rules are, I try to convince myself that if I can understand English, I can learn another language, too.
I have been using an app to help me learn, which I will rate and review in time if after a few months I become a bit more fluent in German.  I love that it notifies me that it is time to practice, and since I am very OCD about maintaining a streak, I love that it counts how many days in a row I have completed my lesson without…