Sunday, January 17, 2021

Start Small

Ooof, 2021 sure hasn't delivered on its newness, has it? I mean, it's supposed to be the new year, as in better, or at the least different from its predecessor.  It's a lot to take in when you might already be beyond overwhelmed. Even fun seems hard these days.

The new year is often a time to reflect and figure out how to do things better - time management and goal setting articles abound.  There has to be some way to tame the chaos, right? But I have to agree with this article that makes this helpful point:

The more time your productivity system takes to manage, the less productive it makes you.

Right now what's working for me is the one-post-it method. When you settle down to start your day (post-coffee for sure), write down the close in fires, the things that must get done today, the small bites, on a post-it-note. Only on the front of the post-it-note, you over achievers. Finishing the day with the post-it-note complete is a SATISFYING VICTORY. Also, the benefit of the post-it-note is that it can easily travel with you - as you move between laptops and in and out of the car, into a pocket or wallet, or wherever your unstructured WFH life takes you.

(Note: my post-it-note for this day included tasks for church, Scouts, a leadership symposium, household clutter and an actual paid work task :-) I gave up long ago keeping things compartmentalized)

Friday, January 1, 2021

Keep It Reasonable in 2021


Ha! So what really is reasonable anymore in this weirdo world, ammiright? Resist the urge to spend these first few days on 2021 writing a long list of how you plan to change your life in the next year. 

Statistically all New Years resolutions are tossed before you even get through January, so why not cut about 90% of them now? As Jon Acuff says, "If a new goal makes you feel ashamed of your old life, it's a bad goal." Amen.

My goals for 2021: create more, and end the year stronger. 

There is plenty of inspiration out there beside my blathering, here are some favorites from across the itnerwebs.  (Highly recommend following Nadia Bolz-Weber, Josh Perry and Mel Robbins for year-round inspiration)

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Lazy Research Drives Me Crazy!


(photo: credit)

I have a love-hate relationship with the Washington Post. On the one hand, I like reading a hard copy paper, especially about new movies, books, restaurants, and interesting things to do that I might not know about living in the 'burbs. What I am hating more and more is that in the last 4 years it is impossible to read anything in the Washington Post (even a super hero movie review) without turning it into another think piece on how awful our executive branch of government it. Got it. 100% believe it's awful. Can we move on to the culture I am craving to enjoy? It just seems lazy. Everything is bad in 2020 so let's just say that over and over and over again.

On Wednesday, the National Museum of the United States Army opened. It's actually pretty close to where I live, and I have some friends that work there. I am so excited for them that after years of hard work, this jewel of history is opening. Friday, a review was on the front page of the Washington Post style section. Yay! I thought, maybe my friends will get a mention.

No joy. The "Critic's Notebook" article I thought would be about the museum, but really was a framework for the journalist's opinions. By the forth paragraph, the critic said this: "Now, as top Republicans cast doubt on the integrity of the nation's electoral system and President Trump digs in with conspiracy theories and false claims about voter fraud, the American people need to understand the Newburgh story, it's larger ramifications and how the successful suppression of the rebellion continues to influence our country's military."

What? I am a 24-year veteran of the military - never heard of Newburgh. Apparently it was a dispute by The Continental Army in 1783 over back pay and pensions.

The final paragraph says, "During this extended period of uncertainty, when reasonable people are warning of a potential coup d’etat by a defeated presidential candidate, we can't be sure what the Army will do." This is when I angrily read this aloud to my husband and stomped around the house. Who are these reasonable people? Let me see if I can boil this down to some cogent thoughts.

A: All officers take an oath of office to the Constitution, not to a leader: "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same." (source)

B: There is such a thing as an unlawful order. "...the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 90 states that military personnel need to obey the lawful orders of his/her superior. The duty and obligation to obey lawful orders creates no grey area for discussion. But does the military member have a duty to DISOBEY “unlawful orders” including orders of senior officers, Secretary of Defense and even the President of the United States? The UCMJ actually protects the soldier in this situation as he/she has a moral and legal obligation to the Constitution and not to obey unlawful orders and the people who issue them." (source

C: Clearly this journalist has not supervised a large group of airmen that you have required to show up before their shift starts to clean up around your facility. Or hasn't tried to figure out how to least upset your unit when you are changing the shift schedule, or moving in to 12-hour shift/24-hour ops for an exercise or contingency. The young airmen I worked with have opinions. And speak up. And this is a very good thing. I can't imagine a scenario where the US Military could collectively order and then expect our troops to blindly follow something as outlandish as a coup d’etat.

While the critic was at the museum, did he even talk to anyone there in uniform? LAZY.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


Can you relate? I sure can! This quote is from my daily reading on the Noom app. I wish I would say that I have dropped tons of pounds on the program, but that's not the fault of the program. I just have a looser definition of food tracking :-) It has definitely helped focus on nutrition (add lots of veggies!) and mindfulness (are you really hungry? Or just stressed?) and is full of #psychtricks that are helpful.

While we're at it, here are two #psychtricks of my own:

1. Listen to The Chicks, especially their new album, but any playlist will do.  I had forgotten how awesome their music is, especially turned up LOUD when you need to Get. It. Done.

2. Check out this Instagram account.  Never not makes me happy.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Work It!


Great quote isn't it? It's from an article in the Wall Street Journal on Wendy York, a former Silicon Valley exec that is now the Dean of the Clemson Business School

In 2008 she had been downsized and was at a career crossroads. Volunteering with her children's schools pointed her towards a move into the non-profit sector, but with school age children earning money was still essential. She took a job at Stanford in executive education at a significant pay cut. It ended up being a good move as she is now the first female Dean of the Clemson Business School. 

So many times, so many, many times, especially in the Air Force, I've ended up in a job or a situation or with a task (I was an "additional duty" magnet) that was either not a good fit or decidedly un-fun. But when the boss gives you the assignment you have to "put your pride in your purse and get to work." Eventually, maybe not directly but rather karmically, it paid off.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

I Love This Man (and You Will Too)

Have you seen Ted Lasso on Apple+? GO SEE IT NOW! You do not need to follow the Premier League or soccer or even like sports at all. It's a lovely, funny, addictive show, and I am sad that the first season is over and I have to wait for the next season. I was going to include Ted Lasso in one of my periodic "fun things" blogs, but today I happened to pull up the Unlocking Us with Brene Brown podcast and saw her guests this week were Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt from Ted Lasso.


Now you know you will have to go watch it. I promise when you get to the part in the first episode when the new team owner fires the coach you will get as hooked as I am. Enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Never Assume


I saw this...some and it instantly reminded me of my dad. We were having a talk on the eve of my departure for the Air Fore. I confessed I was worried that I was too quiet, that by not being a yeller  and screamer I would be somehow less. In his own typically quiet way he told me not to worry, that being the quietest one in the room wasn't a bad thing. "That way when you do yell, they know they should pay attention." 
He was a very wise man.

If you are looking for a great conversation about the value of being your authentic self, check out this weeks Armchair Expert podcast with Keith Urban. Really awesome!