Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Party time!

Well, not really. The boss is out of the office until next Tuesday - so most people would think 'party time' - but for me, it's another busy work day. I have twenty binders to put together for a meeting that isn't scheduled until the 30th, but I plan to work from home until 11AM on Thursday and then I will be on "vacation" until Monday. My boss's son is getting married this weekend and we are going to it. The rehearsal is Thursday at 5PM so we need to be there. I told my boss they can't start without me..... either day! Yeah, I get to officiate the wedding. I told her that I feel I'm her personal minister. I did her oldest son's wedding about 7-8 years ago. I did her daughter's wedding last March. And now I have her youngest son's wedding this week. Not everyone has this honor for officiating all three weddings in one family. I will miss my boss being here at work, but I have a lot to get done before I'm off - and I need her office to spread out the binders in - it's a win-win.

This morning the article I typed out for the report groups I send to was really interesting. In retrospect I know that I have done it, and I'm sure you have too. It's about listening. Yeah, of course you have listened, right?

But how many times are we listening, but only for the break to grab a breath so that we can input our own thoughts? See how different that is? We can be told something really good - and really very interesting - and our minds pick up one word and we "patiently" wait while the other person gets it 'out' and then we add our comment. And in the process we may have missed some vital information, some good stuff, just because we are in a hurry to talk.

I see it happen all the time in meetings. The manager I have mentioned frequently that drives me crazy because she doesn't know how to be a manager - does it all the time. She will talk OVER the person talking - and she keeps going on and on and on.... I'm not the only one who notices it, but I sure wish someone would pull her aside and tell her to stop it!

Edgar Watson Howe once joked, “No man would listen to you talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next.” When Lyndon B. Johnson was a junior senator from Texas, he kept a sign on his office wall that read, “You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when you’re doin’ all the talkin’.”

Listening shows respect. Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.” Whenever you don’t pay attention to what others have to say, you send them the message that you don’t value them. But when you listen to others, you communicate that you respect them. Even more, you show them that you care. German-born philosopher-theologian Paul Tillich commented, “The first duty of love is to listen.”

A mistake that people often make in communicating is trying very hard to impress the other person. They try to make themselves appear smart, witty, or entertaining. But if you want to relate well to others, you have to be willing to focus on what they have to offer. Be impressed and interested, not impressive and interesting. Poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson acknowledged, “Every man I meet is in some way my superior, and I can learn of him.” Remember that and listen, and the lines of communication will really open up.

Hmmmm.... are you listening?

Have a great Tuesday!

Blessings!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Feeling Melancholy....

It's been one of those days. My middle child has been on my mind and in my prayers today-that he has to say 'so long' to another dear friend of his. Death is never enjoyable, and although I don't think I ever met this friend, my son has spoken of him frequently. I know that this was a good man, and he was a good friend to my son. My heart aches for my son. No parent likes their children to be hurt, but we can't always protect them. This is one of those times. It's life. I believe in the Lion King they called it the 'Circle of Life'.

It still hurts.

I guess I knew the end was near - even without knowing it. I was awake most of the night before, with the friend constantly on my mind, and I was constantly praying for him, actually praying for a miraculous healing. God could have done it, but chose not to. It was between 2AM and 4AM that I began to doze off and on - and finally falling asleep. It seems when I have someone on my mind, and there are serious things going on, I end up not sleeping a lot. Once they are gone, or turn for the better, I seem to be able to fall asleep.

I remember when my mother died. I was on the airplane heading back to Indiana. Although I don't remember the time right now, I remember a 'check' in my spirit and I glanced at my watch to note the time. Sure enough, it was about that time she passed away. Other times I've discovered that if I burst into tears for a very small or unrelated reason, something is about to happen.

Is God alerting me that something is going to happen? I don't know. When He brings someone's name to mind, I know I am to pray for them - even when I don't know how to pray or what to pray. I need to be more bold in doing what I'm led to say and do.

One friend I knew had been crippled for awhile. One day I took his hand and the thought came to me to tell him to 'In the Name of Jesus, stand up and walk~!' and I actually hesitated and started to say it, but not wanting to 'assume' anything and wasn't sure if it was just my heart-cry or God telling me to say it. I mean, I've heard God speak to me before. I KNOW His voice.

But, it was a thought, and I don't know if I was just wanting to wish it so. But I remained silent. And prayed as I left, that if I should have said it, for God to tell me to go back - but He didn't. I wish now I had said it and made a fool of myself. But what if. What if it had made a difference. I regret that I didn't do what the thought said for me to do. If nothing happened, I only looked like a fool. If God was behind it...anything could have happened.

Sometimes we want friends - and family - to all be well and healthy. To be alive. But sometimes, we just have to 'let go'. Not because we know best, but because God does. Going quickly they are removed from their pain. God knew exactly how long my son's friend would live. He knew it before He created him. All this was in His plan for this friend. There was nothing anyone could have done. The friend lived, and died. Just like we all will.

These times always remind me of the 'dash' in our years. What are we doing with that dash. I am sure I have written it out before - and I will have to look for it - but perhaps it is time to write it again.

This friend of my sons had many friends and was well loved. It sounds to me like he lived his dash well. His friends and family will grieve and mourn, but it is their loss of one they loved. The friend has no more cares, no more sorrow, no more pain. He is where he chose to be at the end of his life. I wish I had been able to see him and ask if he knew Jesus. I had even prayed for that opportunity. It would have been awesome to know for sure where he was going. But I didn't know him, and I wasn't asked. I can only hope he thought about it, and made that decision before the end.

Hope you have a good evening. Don't forget to tell those you love how much you care for them. It may be your last opportunity.

Blessings!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Looking ahead to tomorrow....

What's on tap for tomorrow? Nothing that I know of offhand - but it is a day off work.

We had so much food yesterday at our Boss's Day breakfast and then we had a catered lunch for our medical case management team meeting. I was so sick of food last night I wanted nothing for breakfast. Hubby fixed us salad and green tea. I was barely able to get it down. I was exhausted from all the walking around to get things set up and taken down - I walked nearly 15,000 steps yesterday. Looks good on our challenge here at work. I'm supposed to get 8,000 steps a day for two weeks, then it jumps to 9,000 a day for two weeks, then 10,000 steps a day for two weeks - then the contest is over. I know I've gotten extra steps in here and there this week and it is catching up to me. I need to keep the pace, though, I need to lose this weight!

Not doing too well in this weight loss challenge. I mean, weight wise, not bad - I've lost 5 pounds in 5 weigh-ins - not good, but not bad, still a loss. But they are basing it on body fat percentages and if I lose weight, my body fat goes up. If I gain weight, my body fat goes down. Not just for me - but it seems for the others as well. One guy here has lost 10 pounds and he is still at the same body fat he was. I told him that I am looking at it as if I lose weight, I am still a winner. Would really like to win the contest but am going to have to really apply myself to exercise to do so.

Eating yesterday was not good. Home made cinnamon rolls. A couple egg casserole dishes. Sausage gravy and biscuits. Ham. Fruit roll-ups homemade. and so much more. I didn't eat everything, but I did probably eat more than I should have. Need to recooperate today.

Traffic was horrible this morning - my exit was closed off and traffic was backed up quite a ways - so I jumped off and took side streets to work. It only took me about 20 minutes longer and I mark that up to having to sit in traffic for awhile before I could get off.

And I need to get busy - have a meeting at 10AM and I haven't started putting the packets together yet. Maybe this weekend things will calm down.

Have a great day.

Blessings!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What to write, what to write...

I actually started writing something yesterday, but since I didn't get it completed, left it in draft form. Yeah, it's still there, and maybe some day I will go back to it. Just don't have time to process what I was wanting to say nor the thoughts to write.

So here I am again this morning, with only about 13 minutes left before needing to start on my daily work. Yesterday wasn't bad at all - no meetings, and was able to get a lot done, and in a calm, slow, way. Today, I still have no meetings, but I have 3 within the next two days plus a breakfast for Boss's day (10/16) that I'm coordinating. My meeting tomorrow is at 7AM so I know I won't be adding anything tomorrow. Today will be spent mainly getting things copied and ready for that meeting. At least I get breakfast. Always a good thing.

The breakfast is on Thusrday morning, then we have a nice lunch meeting - which are always good. That food is coming from Paradise Bakery - sandwiches and salads. Yum. I love the Fiji Apple salad at Paradise Bakery. Friday I have another meeting but, although important, I don't have as much to prepare for it, but I do need to work on the agenda for today. Yeah, can you believe it, I get to create and prepare the agendas and packets for these meetings. I do that, then give to whomever is doing the meeting and see if it covers everything they want to talk about. They may - or may not - revise it. And we go from there.

Next week is a very empty week as far as work. No meetings at all. Thursday morning I will be working from home as I am taking PTO Thursday afternoon and Friday. My boss's son is getting married Friday - and we will be going to the wedding. We'll be heading down Thursday afternoon - going to the rehearsal then the wedding is Friday evening. It will be a nice getaway. Being with my boss and her family is always fun. Pizza at her house after the rehearsal - yum. My boss is on PTO Tuesday - Friday next week so it's going to be a very quiet week.

Today is a grandson's birthday. I asked my son last night if they were going to be home tonight and he said yes, so I'm thinking I may drive up and wish him happy birthday. Since this family has usually lived so far away we haven't celebrated many birthdays with any of them. Now that they are a bit closer, and hubby is busy tonight with his men's group, thought I might drive over for a piece of cake. Beats having to sit out in my room... of course I don't really mind that either. I get to watch a movie or read - or whatever I want!

Actually I probably won't be gone long for I need to get back home and on the treadmill. In another challenge in which I am to walk 7,000 steps a day - I've done more than that since we started, and the last two days have been able to get in over 10,000 steps a day. Today may be a little tougher, but will at least get 7000 in.

Sounds like most everyone is here around me today (except for my boss, she's at a conference this morning) so need to get off here and get some things done. Hope that you have a good day - enjoy the cooler weather.

Blessings!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thinking in the past..... but living in the today....

This date always brings back memories of 28 years ago. I wrote a story about it a few years back to share at a walk I was participating in. There was a man who was to speak after me, and he chose not to. This story struck his heart and he couldn't talk. I tear up most times when I read it - just remembering the pain and sorrow, the lives that were changed by this tragedy. I asked HR yesterday if I could share what I call 'Buddy's story' - and sent it to her. As expected, she didn't respond. I'll go see her this morning and ask again. Everyone needs this reminder. Including you......

Buddy's Story..... October 10, 1986
I wrote this brief true story a few years ago when I participated in a smoke alarm walk. Today is the 28th anniversary of Amy Renee, Kara Jean, and Irvin Hankins III (aka Little Buddy) death due to an apartment fire.

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October 10, 1986. It started out as a typical work day here in Phoenix, and also in Indianapolis, Indiana, where my siblings and parents lived. It was all but a typical day as a short time after I arrived at work I received a telephone call from Indiana.

My youngest brother, Buddy, had gotten up early and left his wife and three young children in bed to go to work. Within minutes after he left, a wire in an extension cord shorted out and a fire started in the apartment. The apartment, being old and framed in wood, didn’t take long for smoke, fire, and heat to spread throughout the small rooms and awaken Lori, his wife. She was able to feel the walls to get to the door of the bedroom, but could not find the children – Amy, age 4, Kara, age 3, and Little Buddy, age 1. Lori stumbled out of the apartment, hands and face burned, screaming for help to save the children, but to no avail. The heat was so intense and the building so engulfed in flames, even the fire department could not reach them. Amy and Kara were last seen standing next to the upper window and their bodies were found next to it. Little Buddy was found in his bed. All three died of smoke inhalation and burns.

There was no smoke alarm in that building. There were four apartments and not a one had a smoke alarm. Had there been one, it could have made all the difference. Our family has never been the same since that date. Please do not let tragedy such as this change your family, when you could prevent it.


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I hope this reminder of how precious life is will cause you to check out the smoke alarm in your home or apartment. It can make the difference between life and death. Don't put it off.

Buddy never got over losing his three children. He divorced. Many years later he was seen in a Hardees restaurant and had the three little photos he always carried in his wallet of the children laid out on the table. And he was sobbing over his loss. I truly believe he died of a broken heart. Nothing he did could replace losing his three little ones.

If you have a smoke alarm at home – check the battery on it every month to ensure it is working. If it is old, replace it. Just because you have a smoke alarm in the house, doesn't mean it is operational. Push the button, replace the battery, make sure it is active. If you don’t have one, get one. The lives you save may be your very own children.

Blessings!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A New Challenge!

Healthy Pathways, which is our 'health program' here at work has started a new challenge today. I'm excited about it. I like to be pushed in areas that I choose to be. I don't want to be TOLD I have to do something, but if I CHOOSE to do it - well, there is a big difference! Starting today our challenge is called "Healthy Pathways Race the States challenge". The challenge is from today, October 8 through November 18. It is a 'steps' challenge, meaning, walking. We "depart" today from Bedford, NH and on October 14th we are to have walked enough steps to arrive at Waltham, MA. They have averaged it out to 49,000 steps a week.

Now I usually get around 6,000 - 8,000 a day, depending on what I do. If I get on my treadmill, I can get 11,000+. I think I am going to have to do the treadmill to make sure I get my steps in, for there are some days I don't get 6,000 - days when I'm really lazy and just sit all day. Or if I'm at work, am at my desk all day. That part is out of my control, but to make up for it, I will need to use the treadmill - which I need to do anyway.

So for 49,000 steps a week that equals 7,000 steps a day. For some people that isn't a problem at all - just at work they walk over 10,000. But for me, having a desk job, it is harder to reach that number on a daily basis. But I have decided to accept this challenge - for one thing, it is good for me. For another, it's fun, and I'm only answerable to myself. If I make it - great. If not - I still have succeeded cause I have made myself walk a bit more.

What is the prize? Well, it all comes under getting healthy - and walking more - but the company puts these challenges out so that we can earn points to get a lower insurance rate. If one is healthy, they don't use the medical benefits as much, so their rate gets lowered. Win-win. I have already reached goal for 2015 and earned my $250 benefit deduction, but I still like to do the challenges. I'm pumped - at least for now. I can check every day and see how far I've gotten. I'm not sure if the program will show daily how far we got (state-wise), but at least I will know by October 14th (or before) I should be in Waltham, MA.

All this is about getting healthy - physically. We also need to be healthy - spiritually.

Think about that - are you getting healthy physically - and spiritually? If not - why not? Surely you can do one or the other - or both!

Life is too short to spend your later years of life struggling to breathe, or to walk, because you haven't taken care of yourself. Life is way too short to not live with knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Where are you in your life?

Blessings!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

FINALLY! They FINALLY said it!

I think I have shared that I joined a weight loss challenge recently. It hasn't gone too well thus far. It's based on body fat reduction - not weight loss. And it's really weird. I lose a couple pounds and the body fat has gone up. I gain a pound and it drops. Really weird. Anyway, every week we get on the scale, they record our weight, then they ask our height, and our age, and we hold this gauge in our hands until a figure pops up - which supposedly has measured our body fat.

I've gone both ways - up and down - on both the scale and the body fat measurement thingy. THIS week, I gained 1.4 pounds, and lost .9 in body fat. BUT, what I'm wanting to share is that they FINALLY said it!

When they asked my age, and I gave it, both turned to look at me. They do this every week, but have never said anything. FINALLY, this week, both of them say, "I have to stop and look at you every time you give your age for I can not believe it is correct. We think you are in your early 50's! (and I'm 65!!) YES!! YES!! YES!!

See, it doesn't take much to make someone feel good. Guys - be sure and tell your wife how young they look. Gals - be sure and tell your hubby how young they look. It will make their day! Guaranteed!! Of course you MUST tell the truth!

My boss is in St. Louis until Thursday and I still have plenty to keep me busy. At least I'm not having to rush to meetings - and the one biggie I had on Friday, I just got a call from the Director and she wants to move it to the following week - which is ok with me. In fact, she asked me to change a couple meetings. Need to do that first thing this morning.

And it's about time to get busy and I need to run down the hall to see one of the managers about changing the meeting date. She was to be at this meeting on Friday - but she asked off - and it's her department (hello?). I need to make sure she will be back the following week so that I can move it.

Make someone's day today - give them a compliment - and mean it!

Blessings!