Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mid-day Strong Life thoughts

Let's start out with a great big PTL (Praise the Lord) for nap time.  I love this sweet boy and I equally love the few hours of peace and quiet I get every afternoon.  Sometimes I run errands, sometimes I clean, sometimes I nap myself, sometimes I do relaxing things like blogging, and I usually do a combo of those things.  And please know my husband works from home.  I'm not putting Dekker down and running to Target while he's alone in his crib.  I promise.

Well I am nearly obsessed with living my strongest life.  Aannndd apparently I'm not alone.  There is an entire culture out there of people doing the same thing and I know this because they featured this blog!!  How cool is that!?!  I'm trying to act like I've been there before, but I just can't shake my giddiness.  

Anyway, in his book Marcus encourages us to "sweat the small stuff" as we search for "strong moments".  It's only by "catching and cradling" our strong moments, and looking into the details of them, that we can better identify them, learn about ourselves from them, and consider how that impacts our success-- in my case finding a job or rearranging my job so that it is more fulfilling and less draining.

Please note that the definition of a strong moment (and/or life) is this: Not what you do, but how you feel.  And you are searching for moments that help you feel effective and capable, hopeful, excited, joyful (a genuine "looking forward to tomorrow"), a sense of growth and focus ("time just flew by"), and knowing that your needs are being fulfilled.  Well, that's kinda several chapters into two small paragraphs but seriously, just by the book by Marcus Buckingham.

ANYWAY... I've been trying to think of strong moments in my life.  I took the Strong Life Test and my results came back as a "Weaver" and a "Teacher."  What are your results?  (Seriously, go take the test and post your results-- I'm super curious.)  Taking the test did help me narrow my thoughts and frankly, I think the test was spot on even though it very much surprised me.  The weaver is someone who likes to connect people and loves a web of relationships.  Well, this has me thinking.  I do love to connect people.  Like-- oh, you're traveling to Tampa where my cousin lives-- here, let me suggest a friend on facebook.  Or-- I know someone you should go on a date with.  (I seriously have long considered my gift of matchmaking a spiritual gift.)  So this fits me.  And it is part of what I love about counseling (I think... ...).

But as I have "sweated the small stuff" and tried to really think about things that I love doing, things that don't feel like work, things that energize me, I am certain that it is in the weaver-like things in me.  My sister-in-law Becky once told me I was a great "researcher."  She said to me, "I knew you were the right person to ask."  She was looking for something for her daughter, Ryleigh, who was in Kindergarten and is also diabetic.  I found an adorable little watch with a vibrating function which would remind her to tell her teacher she needed her blood tested.  Because the school nurse had 150 students to look after, you know.  (Don't even get me started!)  I looked and looked for that little watch.  It didn't feel like work, and I didn't mind the time I put into doing it.  I love this stuff!  That's a strong moment, right?  That's weaver-ish, right? PTL.  I need a beer.

Dear Marcus,
Are you reading this blog???  Can I be a weaver and connect people to people, but also to information, products, books, etc.  Can I make a living doing that?  Where??  Anyone?  Anyone?
Thanks, Stef

My secondary function was a teacher.  And, again, I know that is part of what drew me into the world of counseling and also why I loved the one credit I taught at Grace University this fall.  I intend to apply for some adjunct positions.  Teaching was a good fit for public speaking, another gift I love and feel energized doing.  Another love?  Writing.  Did you know my first declared major at UNL was Journalism?  I was on staff with the Daily Nebraskan for about a month and even had a few stories published.  But I hated the "beat."  I wanted to do feature stories.  Overwhelmed, I quit.  Those people slept under their desks.  Weird.

I am so overwhelmed by living my strongest life.  I'd like to say "forget IT!" and throw in the towel but that would be hurting only myself.  Like I said above, if even a few adjustments to my current job would help-- what's to lose? Maybe I do need to consider a new job, too.

In other news, the electrical inspector just came by and presto-- Dave passed!  So thrilled for him.  Another inspection for framing tomorrow and he might get to start insulation and drywall on the new office in the basement.  Soon he'll be able to work without wearing his winter coat... like he may or may not be doing today. :)

On the (strong) journey,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Random Ramblings

I have been away from this blog for so long now that I don't know how to get back.  It's like when you haven't talked to a good friend for awhile and resist calling her because you don't have four days to catch up.  But then my cousin Tisha sent me a sweet text asking about the ol blog, and my friend Kara offered a comment asking about it tonight, and my friend who answered the phone at NCC today mentioned it, and my friend Sara loves reading this and is literally waiting day-by-day for her baby boy to arrive.  Sara, if I can help the wait in any way, I will!  So to you four and the other three who read this, here is a little update. 

I have high-hopes for some regular posting here soon-- maybe even a little look back over some events the last several months.

For now we'll go with my fav style, the very complicated "bullet" look:

* I am having a crisis of career.  I work Tues/Thurs at a private counseling office as an independent contractor.  I don't talk about work on this blog hardly ever, and that is a conscious and ethical decision on my part.  But for the record let me say that I do love my job, but the hours are getting really hard.  I work with a lot of kids and families (which I love, love, love), which means a lot of after school and evening appointments.  Most days when I drop Dekker off at daycare at 9:30AM my parting words are "see you tomorrow, honey." That's because Dave picks him up from daycare in the evening and he is in bed when I get home at 8PM or later.  During the day I do see clients here and there and I try to stay very current on my paperwork.  Sometimes I have a little extra time and I take Dekker in late after we play for awhile.  Anyway, it's hard.  I once heard someone say that a person spends their 20's searching out what they want to do and enjoys their 30's doing it.  Well crap, I just turned 29 and it's not looking so hot folks.  Then again, 30 is the new 20.  So maybe in my 40's I'll have this figured out.

* My crisis of career can largely be blamed on this years Women of Faith conference and Marcus Buckingham's book "Find your strongest life."  I highly recommend you read this book.  It is totally worth the $12.  But don't read it late into the night.  Or you might-- just might-- stay up all night worrying about not finding your strongest life and stifling back tears.  Trust me, it's a long and lonely night. 

* I have a few fun Saturday nights planned.  This Saturday night my bestie Beth and I are going to Nebraska Christian College's Colors of Christmas program.  Should be fun.  The following Saturday I am going to "Roommate Reunion" with Beth, Kara and Natalie.  These are the girls I lived in "Big Blue" with in Lincoln-- truly the "glory days" of college.  Can't wait to get together with them.  How God arranged our schedules so that Kara from Utica, Natalie from Holdrege, Beth from Omaha who manages retail (and it's the holiday season!!) and myself could all be available and in Lincoln together is beyond me but amazing.  I think God knows what he's doing and I need this.  Thanks, Dave, for parenting alone two Saturday nights in a row.  I am so blessed by you.

* I had more bloodwork done before Thanksgiving.  Turns out mono takes awhile to get over :)  I knew this, but didn't fully understand what it means in the real life.  I feel much better, but my immune system is shot so I constantly feel like I have a cold and feel run down, tired, etc.  And I am battling pink eye round 412 as I type.   This does not help the career crisis mentioned above.  Actually, I think the career crisis might be part to blame for a low grade depression, feeling worn out and frazzled, etc which can lead to medical issues such as mono.   Or at least Marcus thinks so.

* I finished up an incredible Bible study a few Sunday's ago.  We tackled the sin of an undisciplined thought life and examined how our self talk can have lasting impact. 

* I am in bootcamp round 2 and fully intend to do round 3.  I feel great and love the resistance training emphasis.  The mornings are getting easier and I am almost to the place where I don't mind getting up.  I also am encouraged by a running book and am considering a half-marathon late spring. Though I feel stronger, my clothes fit well, but the scale ain't budging.  I need a little self discipline in what goes in my mouth.  Super hard this time of the year so I better start running!

* Finally, though I haven't written on this blog lately, I think about it often.  Like in a "when I feel well enough to be caught up but to not nap during nap time and maybe if I ever get caught up at work and write a blog post I will write about that" way.  So the other day the fb status of several friends without children caught my attention.  I had my "glasses" on where one only sees what they want to see.  You know them-- you have a pair too.  Anyway, people were writing about the lovely, relaxing day they were having watching TV, movies, putting up Christmas decorations, baking, shopping... what-have-you.  I had a twinge of jealousy as I literally chased Dekker around and tried to keep him out of everything non-stop.  I try not to be bitter, but its hard sometimes.  Just as this blog post was forming in my mind... we went to Lincoln and watched the nieces and nephews in their fantastic Christmas production.  It's a full scale 90 minute dramatic musical.  Awesome.  We took Dekker and he sat on our laps.  Risky.  But can I just say that he is the CUTEST kid.  Oh my goodness my heart overflows.  He broke out in enthusiastic clapping and cheering at the end of EVERY song.  He also cheered and clapped during dramatic pauses in the speaking, which wasn't as cute to everyone else but made my heart sing.  When the huge tractor came in at the end of the production, I didn't see a thing because I couldn't take my eyes off Dekker and the little "o" his mouth was making.   For me and my life right now, this was a reminder of God's goodness as if He was saying, "Enjoy this season of life."  Not that I wouldn't enjoy a season of  my DVR, but you know.  Mercy.

I have at least 30 minutes to find my strongest life here before I try and wind down for the night. 

Good to be back.
On the journey,