Leader or Follower?

When I was in 1st Grade the principle called me into her office. She said that I wasn’t in trouble. She just wanted to discuss something with me. I remember she talked to me about my friends and how my friends treated each other on the playground. She talked to me, and finally asked me, “Are you a leader or a follower”? Pause the story.

I am 31 years old. This happened when I was 6 years old. I do not know why but lately I have thought about that meeting with her so many years ago. So today, rather than letting it bother me, I called my Mom to ask her what she remembered. What she told me was not at all how my memory had framed the scene.

I remembered the principle’s conversation with me to be along the lines of ‘don’t let your friends be bossy to you’ or something like that. I thought she was giving me a pep talk to tell me its okay to be myself. I felt that she was trying to encourage me. Overall, I had
processed the message of the conversation to mean that ‘you are a follower, stop that, be a leader.’

My Mom clarified that the principle witnessed me sticking up for some kids that were being taunted by the group. They were younger and different than me and my friends. I knew that it was not kind to tease and I told my friends so. Upon seeing this, the principle called my Mom to ask if she could talk to me about it. My Mom agreed and that’s how the chat happened.

It turns out that the principle was trying to encourage me. She did tell me its okay to be myself. I just got the wrong overall message. The principle was not calling me a follower, she was calling me a leader. She saw that I had a natural ability to see right from wrong and do something to affect change in my peers. My Mom said that the principle complemented me on my self-esteem and how I did not blindly follow the group.

As a child I had an over-arching sense of feeling, “I am different,” ”
less than,” and “not good enough.” This was not a message sent from my family or friends or anyone who cared about me. That message was sent by other kids’ parents and kids in my class. In my private school in HB and even at church, as a little girl, I was acutely aware of socioeconomic status and where my family (and therefore I) ranked. I know now that in my mind I linked the conversation with the principle to that financial thing. Nope, wrong.

All these years later, I realize that I let an old memory follow me and hurt me and I had it wrong.

I am a leader.
I can be proud of who I am.
I am different, and that is good.
I am good enough.
I am blessed, to be a blessing.

There are lessons to be learned from this:

First, if you are carrying something around in your head….call it out. Talk about it. Think about it. Depending on your what your thing is, maybe you need to talk to your mom/dad, spouse, friend, or professional therapist about it. But do it.
Because you are in charge of your thoughts and you shape your own perspective.

Second, if you are a person who makes others feel “less than” or “not good enough” please stop that. Look into yourself to see where that is coming from and fix that. If you don’t lift people up, don’t bother to talk. It’s a really good idea to remember the Golden Rule.

Third:
You are a leader.
You can be proud of who you are.
You are different, and that is good.
You are good enough.
You are blessed, to be a blessing.

Tiger’s Speech

Since Thanksgiving’s incident Tiger was silent. He was privately seeking help and therapy. Him and his family were working on things.
That is great. He messed up, he knows it. Everyone knows it. Why try to dig into or discuss it further? Until today. He addressed it head-on with his apology speech.

Say what you will about the speech…whether you think it was sincere, insincere, over-rehearsed or natural… It was a great speech.

Now, the Communications side of me wishes I were in school so I could do a rhetorical analysis of the speech itself. It’s verbal and non-verbal messages (for example: the hugs before walking out, the setup of the room, the closeness of the audience, the audience make-up of friends/family/sponsors/PGA people/celebrities) were spectacular. That was one that will be famous forever.

Sidenote: Part of his speech reminded me of Absolutely Fabulous, when Eddie says to Saffy,
“I’m Buddhist darling…I chanted for all these lovely things.”

This Week in Oneliners.

Monday
We had a lovely outing with Grammie Sharon on Monday down on 2nd Street.

Tuesday
Overslept and missed MOPS.

Wednesday
I went to work again. It was great to be back.

Thursday
Pretty much a normal day at home. Then late afternoon, I got a migraine. It went away after dinner. Whew.

Friday
So far…so good. Early rise mornings=long naps. Our excitement for weekend is increasing by the minute.

Canadians.

There are so many Canadians to love. Often times, Americans take these Canadian treasures for granted thinking that they are American but they aren’t. For example: Jim Carrey, or Phil Hartman.

My favorite Canadian is of course Michael Bublé.
Je préfère la canadienne-française Céline Dion.

What Canadian person do you like?

Percentages.

The following is an actual conversation and then a mental stream of consciousness I had today.

I looked at Peter who was sitting up (all on his own)  and he was looking at me. He smiled big when I looked at him. I said, “If you could have a million percent, that is how much I love you. But percent can only be to  100. I just love you soooo much.”

Hmm. So many people say they will “give 110%”. Or at least that they are encouraged to give 110%. They talk about 110% like it is a possibility.  It isn’t. In French, “cent” means hundred. Probably goes back to Latin really. Don’t people know that? Why do they even say it? Maybe because they are just trying to show they will try. Try to accomplish the impossible. Or just that they’ll try hard. Well okay.

Later on, I asked Kurt if I was mathematically sound. We had a long conversation about it
all. We went back and forth with hypothetical scenarios and ideas. That’s how we have fun sometimes. So, it is mathematically accurate because numbers are infinite, and so forth…  However, to explain human effort and maximums percentages over one-hundred does not always make sense.

That led to Kurt and I making some jokes….

~That’s my 2% of a dollar.

~A 1% of a dollar for your thoughts?

Ten ON Tuesday!

1. Aren’t cinnamon rolls a great way to start a weekend day?

(Note: picture was taken prior to sugary glaze application)

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2. I love coffee.

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3. Here is us at UCLA last Tuesday. Well, not us, just the patient. The patient demonstrated good patience.

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4. Sometimes he gets warm whilst drinking his bottle. his leads
to sweaty head. This night, we (poorly) documented what sweaty hair can look like. Isn’t it cute how he is focused on his hand and a tad cross-eyed?

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5. We witnessed the closure of the great PCH (southbound) in HB by Cal Trans. It was closed due to the “Surf City Marathon (Half and 5k).” The next morning, the rain subsided and the race was in full effect. We walked down and did the spectator thing. It was awe inspiring for me, to be sure. I hope that someday I can  be a participant. If my plans work out, perchance I will be next year. I saw several people I know running (or walking). It was cool to see so many people with the same goal… to finish! (I know that many of them have sub-goals of finishing within a certain time frame too.)

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6. The rain produced this rainbow. It was glorious.

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7. My Mom is the kind of Grandma that every kid should have.

Parents and Grandparents are supposed to introduce kids to the world. The whole world, not just a tiny corner. While there is NO nutritional value in these they are cheery and they make life silly and unusual.

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8. Here is Peter eating a tiny slice of tomato. Kurt is holding him and wearing his “lime in the coconut” shirt. (Hindsight proved that we
should not have given him the tomato that or the 1st veggie puff wheel that night at dinner or the slight sun exposure which led to his porcelain skin getting a little red. He was a tad barfy from it all.)

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9. I am an emotional eater. We have been on an emotional roller coaster for one year now in regard to Peter’s health. I shan’t take you down the path of the ups and downs in detail. Suffice to say a lack of saying no (and stress, job transition, the holidays) to food and specifically desserts is what “done me in” in the parlance of Eliza Doolittle. I have a top secret operation I have enacted which will hopefully do the trick. I will not falter.

Here is Peter, my small companion, going on a long walk with me today.

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10. Here is Peter with his friend. We call him Bathduck or Ducky. Peter loves him.

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5 Truths and A Lie

Please choose which one is NOT true:

-I tasted the formula and it is gross. I tasted the vegetables and they are all good.

-One day I accidentally put vanilla coffee creamer into my grape nuts. Just a tablespoon maybe? Anyway, I  stopped filled the rest up with milk and ate it. It was okay. I wouldn’t do it again and I don’t recommend it.

-I cut a snip of his hair off to know it has already happened so there isn’t anything holding back for his first real hair cut.

-I left the house dressed in a shirt with a huge green stain on it. I just briefly tried to clean it off and I put on a little cardigan over it and left. It may have been barf (or even poop?). All I know is that I didn’t want to be late.

-We let him sleep in our bed every single night.

-I love that his eyes are blue. But at first I was sad that they aren’t hazel like Kurt’s and mine.

10 Things on… Wednesday (doesn’t have the same ring to it)

In an attempt to keep my thoughts organized and fairly concise I followed the “10 on Tuesday” entry modeled after two of my favorite bloggers of all time Christie & Susie (Holla!).

Christie and Susie

1. Sometimes I look back on my university/college classes and I am sad for people who didn’t go to university. Granted, my experience was not a typical one; but it was mine and I embrace the memories. It took me about 8 years all told and 3 schools. I took about 120+ units that were totally unnecessary for graduation. That is excessive considering many people who sprint through college (read: graduate in 4 years) have a few extra units (like less than 20 maybe).  These excess units were largely in part due
to transferring schools and even more due to changing my major well past my junior year. I took classes like jewelry making, modern dance, interior design and tons of French classes (that sadly went to waste meaning not toward a degree).  I even took a few classes with Kurt! I took a class next door to Kurt, too. I also took funky classes that I actually hated and quit right off the bat: puppetry (day 1 and I was over that), history of African Americans, loads of math classes, and few others. Some classes I tried really hard an other I skated through. Once, I took a class that made my high school MUN look like the actual UN and therefore, I went to that class approximately 5 times in the semester and got a B (not too shabby). Anyway, I landed in Communication Studies and I adored it. I loved being a student. I would love to be a student again (I will).

RBF graduation

2. Last night a cold caller from my Alma mater called and tried to wring money out of me for the school. They call regularly. Kurt got his call on Monday night. The random kid who calls always does small talk first then goes in for the real reason why they call us – the donation. Well, last night, I chatted with the guy for real. I asked him questions about his classes and assignments in those classes. He told me about his English teacher who let them read graphic novels for a paper. He told me about his theater class, which he said they, “acted like kids, playing games all day.” Yes, that does sound like actors, ha. I gave him tips about what classes to take and we talked about professors. Then when it was time, he asked me for the money. I told him maybe next time. It was a funny 26 minute phone call. Kurt and I had a laugh afterward because I made a single-serving phone pal. GO BEACH!

3. Cable TV is going away effective Thursday of this week. This will change how we watch tv. When Kurt and I were first married, we didn’t have cable tv for the first year and a half… we didn’t miss it (much) then. We have Kurt’s high tech solutions and we won’t miss out on the good stuff. I mean I am not going Amish over here. Please. Really?

4. During the writing of this blog post, I had to enter the “HTML” mode TWICE to clear out a weird formatting  issue and to fix a picture. Kurt will be so proud. (I have learned SO much from that magnificent man.)

5. The issue of going back to work for my former employer arose. They called me and asked me to come back. Seeing as I have several restrictions (like not being able to work in the day, needing to be flexible with when etc) and they are more than flexible and accommodating to all of them. So, given Peter’s sitch, we gotta pray about that one a little more.

6. If your body is in good health
meaning your organs work, you can move yourself around, and you have breath….. Please, do not take this for granted. If you haven’t seen a doctor in years, go see one. Not to look for something bad but just to have a trained professional agree that you are in good health. Once you are cleared by the doctor, get out and take advantage of your healthy body. Three 10 minute walks a day add up. That is a trip downstairs or a further away parking spot or a walk around the block. Sometimes I think I can’t exercise unless I get my shoes and sportsbra on. Fact: that is incorrect.

7. If you have stress…eliminate it. This is a super neat article about eliminating stress. Life does not just happen to you. Life is shaped by your attitude, perspective, and priorities. You are free to change those anytime you want.

9. I made the difficult decision to change my life in order to refocus my priorities. I
have slowed down. I quit my job to care for Peter and I am so happy I did. At first, I thought it was it was like, well, you just exchange one stress factor for another; meaning stress of commute, stress at job and so on versus the stress of one income, stress of caring 24/7 for a baby,the stress of ‘what do I do now?’ Now, I realize that the money of the job is nice but in the grand scheme of things, I am beyond happy, actually the word thrilled might describe it…that I can be with my little boy. I know technically right now, he won’t remember it. But I sure remember it…and I cherish it and I look forward to caring for him in new different ways everyday. And yeah, we do  not have tons of extra money but we have what we need. We are learning lessons all the time about contentedness and we are continually blessed.

10. Tuesday 2 Feb 2010’s Blessings List: Kurt’s job, Kurt’s PTO, Peter’s right kidney (no need for surgery right now), Peter’s Doctor, the lab tech, the
X-ray techs, the CT techs, the RN’s who helped us so kindly, the Doctor’s assistant who stayed late, iphones for texting updates to family, the 405 for not being too trafficky, the Pei Wei for making awesome take away food, Bill Murray for Groundhog’s Day to make us laugh after a long day, a surgeon and hospital who can provide Peter with great care for his upcoming surgery, a sweet little baby boy who will not remember any of this stuff and gets poked one minute and is laughing the next. The prayers of our parents, our siblings, extended family, friends and people we don’t even know. And finally, God for being good, all the time.

Uh Oh, this guy is ready to swim!

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