Monthly Archives: June 2014

Let’s Have An Adult Conversation

Making facesA few weeks ago I read an article by Ruth Graham entitled, Against YA.  The subtitle states, “Read what you want.  But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.”

 

YA stands for Young Adult.  So the whole point of the article was that any adult that reads books like Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Divergent etc., should be embarrassed.  I happen to have read all of those books.  I love YA books.  I find them a fun, easy read and usually the stories are pretty good.  Sometimes a little predictable, but after working all day and running another business, I appreciate a non-heady read.  This article bugged me and I found myself thinking about it for days.  I didn’t care that Ms. Graham was judging what I was reading.  Something else was bothering me and I wasn’t sure what.  When that happens, I know it is time for a little research.  A Soul Survey if you will.

 

After spending a little quite time thinking about the article, I realized it was the application of the word adult in the article that was bothering me.  Am I not an adult because I like to read YA?  What exactly makes someone an adult I wondered?  So as I usually do I decided I should look it up.  According to The American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of adult is “one that is fully grown or mature.”  After reading that, I decided I should break down the definition into its two parts and see how it applied to me.

 

So I first examined the notion of being mature.  I can be mature, but I prefer to have fun.  I do know how to behave in a socially acceptable manner.  For example, I know how to behave at a funeral and a business meal, which at times are surprisingly similar affairs. I like to sing in grocery store when 70s and 80s tunes are playing (thank you Kings in Whitehouse).  My favorite place is Walt Disney World and whenever possible I like to wear t-shirts.  I don’t think any of those things equal mature.

 

I know for sure that I am not fully grown.  I never want to be.  I want to be in a state of constant wonder and learning until the day I die.  As I go to bed each night, I want to reflect on the new things I learned that day.  As I write this, I just learned from watching World Cup Soccer that the Ivory Coast is a country ( I’ve never been very good at geography).

 

So, based on my Soul Survey, I learned that I do not consider myself an adult.  That is a label that others might want to hang on me due to my age or the fact that I know what fork to use in a fancy restaurant, but I guess the books I read will give me away to society.  Oh well.  I got it!  Put me in the same category as the books I like to read.  Label me a young adult.  I like that.

Going Back to Kindergarten

Stop Lokk Listen - Seab Sims

It’s the time of year here where kids are finishing up their last few days of school for the year.  Graduations are being held.  Final exams are done.  So I decided it was the perfect time for me to revisit kindergarten, in the form of Robert Fulghum’s book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

 

For those of you not familiar with this book, in the late 80’s Robert Fulghum published a wildly popular book of essays under the above-mentioned title.  The first essay of the book was the author’s reflection on how some of the most important lessons we learn in life we learn in kindergarten.  Here’s a sampling of his list:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Flush.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

 

The last one got me thinking about a valuable life lesson I embraced as a kid.  Stop, look, and listen.  These words make up the basic instructions on how to cross a street.  I was on the Safety Patrol at school, so I took these words to heart.  But, there was definitely a time in my life where busyness prevailed and I forgot the important lesson of stop, look and listen.  And I’m not just talking just about jaywalking people; I’m talking about applying this life lesson whenever you find yourself at a crossroads.

 

When you find yourself having to make a decision, take a moment and stop, look and listen.  Even when your boss says to you “I need an answer now,” don’t feel like you need to react.  Those words are movie speak.  Maybe once in my 20-plus years of working with corporations have I experienced something be that mission-critical that a decision could not wait.  Learn to pause before making a big decision.  Practice stop, look and listen.

 

Stop, look and listen is really all about the practice of mindfulness.

STOP-Be present

LOOK-Be aware

LISTEN-Tune in the wisdom of your SOUL.

 

Note:  Post graphic found on Sean Sims Blog:  http://seansimsillustration.blogspot.com/2010/04/stop-look-listen.html

An Open Letter to the Pretty Blonde Typing At the Spa

Woodstock InnTo the pretty blonde who was typing frantically on her laptop on Sunday, June 8, 2014, at The Spa at the Woodstock Inn and Resort, Woodstock, VT this blog post is for you.

After having enjoyed three plus hours of me time at this beautiful spa, I ventured over to my locker and there you were typing on your computer. I immediately became very worried for you. I felt so sad for you. I listened as you frantically typed on your laptop. As I looked over at you, I saw not a hint of spa bliss in your eyes. I wanted to talk to you, but you looked like someone who didn’t want her personal space invaded.

So as I blow-dried my hair I started to send you well wishes. I imagined that you were writer who treated herself to a day at the spa after spending the winter months cooped up in a one-room cabin in the Vermont Mountains. After your relaxing facial, mani and pedi, you had a eureka moment. That plot twist that was eluding you was now crystal clear and you needed to get the idea down ASAP.

I turned off the hair dryer and heard you sigh. It was a sigh I know way to well. It was just like the sigh I produced in Disney World when I was answering emails as my family rode Space Mountain. It especially sounded like the sigh I did in Utah when instead of going to dinner with my friends and husband, I stayed back at our cabin to finish up a report that my boss had originally said could wait till I got back from vacation. I hoped I interpreted that sigh wrong. I hoped the sigh was good stress.

Yes, sometimes stress is good. I thought about the times when I was totally in the groove on a project and just didn’t want to stop, but then I realized I can stop and do stop. I’m not sure if you can or do.

If you are working that hard for a salary that affords you a day at the spa, let me tell you what I know. No job is worth the sacrifice of yourself. I know from experience. I had to make some adjustments to my career so I could enjoy a day at the spa.  I learned that I can put myself first. You can make time to feed your soul and still make a great living. I mean look at me, I was hanging in the same spa as you.

I left hoping that whatever you were doing, it was feeding your soul. I hoped that the rest of your day was filled with joy. I hoped that you were the writer.