Roadwork Ahead!

This morning, Siri was navigating me to my morning meeting. As I proceeded to the highway, her chipper British accent (my preferred setting) alerted me to the road ahead.

“There is roadwork ahead, but it is still the fastest route.”

I know Siri didn’t intend to be profound, but she struck me that way. When obstacles are in our way, our tendency is often to go a different route, to turn around, to go the long way or find a short-cut. We don’t want to slow down and go through the obstacles.

Yet, it is still the fastest route? Perhaps it is because it is not always the destination, but the journey we are on that is important. If we skip an obstacle, we may skip an important moment that is a key point in our life.

Thanks, Siri for the morning thoughts!

Currently Reading

Hey everyone! I wanted to share what I am currently reading. I read several books at once, because they serve different purposes.  I also read pretty quickly and enjoy reading. I am not reading from each book every day!

Often times I will have friends ask what I am reading, so here is what is currently on my bookshelf (except for my fiction book which is on Kindle as I found a great deal).

Fiction:

Outlander
Outlander

 

Non-Fiction
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (Updated and Expanded)

 

Classics

Don Quixote (Signet Classics)

 

Poetry

Eugene Field’s Poems Of Childhood

 

Work

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Your Leadership Edge

 

Mantrums: The Sequel

I saw yet another mantrum this week! I was getting a few things from the grocery store and was in the express checkout lane. There was a man ahead of me in line, that while getting a free candy bar with the purchase of something particular he had, went on a rant to the cashier about food stamps and said something about himself being white (I couldn’t hear that part).

When it was my turn to check out, I asked the cashier how her day was going, she apologized for the gentleman that was on a rant. I said that I was fine, but asked if she was okay after dealing with that.

She told me that she has two special needs children and she is on food stamps herself, so while she was offended by what she was saying, she kept working to do her job.  I expressed that not everyone feels the way that man does, and thanked her for her good work at the store.

She was a kind woman, and did not deserve to be treated like that. She was simply doing her job.

Mantrum

I was getting my oil changed the other day, and was enjoying reading a book while I waited.

There was a man who was having some custom work done on his car, who was not happy about it and proceeded to throw a ‘mantrum.’ This is basically when a grown man throws a toddler tantrum.  He was yelling and cursing. The staff was calm and accommodating, without stooping to his level.

Throwing mantrums (or womentrums–which doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it), really takes away from the focus on the issue at hand. Instead, it can become more about someone’s emotions, and can be counterproductive to what is really going on.

My approach for dealing with customer service issues related to bills or other things, is when I call, I am very polite, inquire how they are doing and explain my issue, while noting that i know it is not their personal fault. I keep my tone light, while still getting my concern across.  Typically, issues get resolved pleasently and quickly.  We both walk away feeling good about ourselves.
With mantrums, no one wins, everyone feels miserable. With our world today, we need more kindness and consideration. When you are talking to someone else, remember they are a person, who has emotions. Belittling someone is never appropriate, even when you are upset.

 

Be the bigger person!

Commonplace

A commonplace book is something that you can enter in information you have heard or read. Generally it is something that someone else has said, so it is different than a journal of your own thoughts, feelings and opinions. I did some looking online and apparently in the 17th century, it was even taught to college students at Oxford.  Some notable people that kept commonplace books are:  Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, Virginia Woolf and even the fictional character Sherlock Holmes.

I have been wanting to start a commonplace for awhile now, and after listening to a webinar on how to do so, I was eager to get started. I recently had surgery, so I wanted to do this on a budget. I am happy to say I didn’t have to spend a dime.

Below is my commonplace book and materials.

commonplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a 3 subject Vera Bradley notebook I already had on hand.  I have tabbed the subjects: Classics, Spiritual and Spoken (i.e. podcasts, sermons, conversations).  I made the tabs using divider sticky notes I had purchased the other month. I also am using sticky tabs to mark where I am in each section.  Besides writing in pen, I also already have erasable colored pencils that someone had given to me on hand.

A file a day….

…keeps my insanity away!

One of my favorite organizational methods I have used over the past few years while at work, is a file folder for each day of the week.

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Yes they look a little worn, but that is because I use them every single day! At the end of one work day, I put things that are priority for the next day into that file folder.  I also do that at the end of each week, and decide the priority for each task.

Also, if there are tasks from that day I have not completed, I can re-prioritize them and put them in another day’s folder. Also, if something comes up, it is also easy to shift things around.

For tasks that don’t have an actual piece of paper, I keep a to do list inside each folder with written tasks I need to complete. For high priority tasks I may also put them on my Outlook calendar, so I get reminders that pop up at me.

 

This has worked very well for me over the past few years.  Does anyone have any tips they would like to share about keeping their day to day at work organized?

Morning Basket

I love the calm, quiet of the mornings. No one is calling, texting or needing anything from me. I am an ambivert (both extroverted and introverted), so my introverted side craves this quiet time.  I find that setting aside this time really sets a positive tone for my day.

I like to keep all of my supplies in one place, to make my morning less stressful. I have purchased a tote that I keep in my entry-way closet, as that is right by the table I sit at in the mornings.

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The first item, is a non-fiction book that I read a chapter or two of in the mornings. These book selections are usually related to organization, self-improvement, time management or may be spiritually-based. 

Next, I have my gratitude journal. I write three things each morning that I am grateful for in my life. Typically, I do this in a notebook, but I had received a free gratitude journal that lasts over a 90 day span.

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I am currently reading through the Bible chronologically. I started on January 1st, 2015 and will finish on December 31st, 2015. I find this version helpful, as you can do a daily reading in about 10-15 minutes a day. The notebook is my journal, in which I write observations from my reading each day.

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So that is my morning basket!  Do you have something similar you do in the mornings or are there specific things that you enjoy doing to set your day on the right tone?