Parenting can be a real challenge sometimes! Many of us have steered the course well and felt accomplished as our kids grow and move thru elementary school, only to have middle/high school hit and everything kind of go haywire (ummm…hello…might be talking about me here).
This blog post by Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D is full of information, and does an excellent job talking about adolescent and early adulthood disorganization, and how parents can best support their kids thru it. Please feel free to post if anything resonates with you – I know it spoke to me!
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Where does the time go? It is already August, kids are prepping for fall sports, and parents are scrambling to have a few last adventures in summer and still get the family ready for school. Get the school year off to a smooth and smart start - and keep it that way - with a few tips and tricks from my article over at Smead Organomics. And while you are there, check out all the other cool organizing stuff they have - it's a great resource!
Guest Post by Suzie Kolber
Appropriate Ways to Offer Condolences in the Workplace
You only know Jane to talk to her in the hall between your offices. You may send her an email occasionally about a job-related question or say “hello” in a company-wide meeting once a month. Just last week you heard her father died and you’re scheduled to have a meeting with her in a few days. You’re already feeling uncomfortable because you’re not sure what to say or how to act with someone who just suffered a loss.
Should you bring up the subject at all? Should you offer condolences? Should you get a card or buy flowers? Dealing with such a serious subject with a co-worker can be complicated.
Consider Your Relationship
If you only see Jane in passing and never have one-on-one conversations with her, it’s perfectly acceptable to not make mention of the situation at all. In fact, it may make her feel just as awkward as you. She doesn’t know you well and may not feel comfortable discussing such a personal subject.
On the other hand, if the co-worker is someone you know well and eat lunch with or have regular meetings, you should broach the subject at an appropriate time. Avoiding it will be all too obvious, and it may make it awkward for both of you to talk to each other.
Consider the Situation
If you won’t see the person other than passing in the hall for a few weeks, it may be fine not to bring up the topic. However, if you are scheduled to have a meeting with them a week after the funeral, you may want to offer quick condolences. It could be a simple “How are you doing?” which the person will understand the underlying meaning.
If you arrive at the meeting early, you could say something short and sincere like “I heard about your dad, and I just want to say I’m sorry.” That’s it. No need to say more, but Jane will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Consider the Method of Offering Condolences
You probably don’t want to talk about the person’s loss in a group situation. If you never talk to the person alone, it’s probably best not to bring up the loved one’s death. On the other hand, you will want to say something if you see them in an individual situation.
One of the best ways to offer condolences in a work environment is to send an email. You don’t have to make a big deal about it, but offer a few words to show your support and to let them know you are aware of their situation. Keep it short and to the point. You may say something like the following:
Suzie Kolber is a writer at obituaries.org, a complete guide for someone seeking help for writing words of condolences, sympathy messages, condolence letters and funeral planning resources.
Why do I love TED talks? Let me count the ways - there are a few!
I'd like to share some of my favorite talks with you - which is why I'm now sharing "TED Talk Tuesdays", where I'll be posting on Facebook and Twitter a talk that has moved me in some way. I'd love to hear your favorites as well, and share them with the world!
Ever noticed how valuable time is? Yours, mine, and everyone else's? I thought so!
The other day I had an appointment to sign some papers. It should've been a 15 minute thing, maybe 30 minutes at the most. Instead I was there for over an hour, on a Saturday morning.....because he was talking....about himself. I left there feeling frustrated, and honestly, a little angry. I had to percolate those feelings a bit to get to the root of why I had these feelings.
The reality is that the time in that office belonged to both of us. We are required to share time - even if we do not share the same goals with that time. Every conversation, every interaction, every event where there is more than one person is a practice in time-sharing.
Looking back I see that maybe this person was lonely. Or maybe he was bored. Or maybe he didn't respect me and my time as a client. I'll probably never know, but it helped prepare me for the next time I'm time-sharing, but not necessarily goal-sharing.
Those of you who know me know I'm a "get the job done", no nonsense kinda gal. We all have things to do, places to go, and people with whom we want to spend our time. I also believe strongly in building relationships, and acknowledge that it's a two way street - the middle of your sentence can't be cut off by the beginning of mine!!!
My point you may ask? On a personal level I want the people in my life to know how important they are to me, and truly being present in their presence (kinda catchy, eh?) is one way to demonstrate it. I also know that on a We Love Messes level, it's important that each and every one of you knows how important you are - I'm honored that you've chosen me for your decluttering journey, and respect both your time and resources. And if you need a little help with time management - I can be your co-pilot to get you headed in the right direction!
It probably doesn't come as any surprise that physical "stuff" is not the only clutter in our lives. There is mental clutter, time clutter, too-many-commitments clutter, OMG-WHY-did-I-Say-YES-to-this clutter...you get the picture.
What's a person to do? There are so many requests, ahem I mean *opportunities*, for us to say Yes. A shocking revelation? It's OK to just...say...NO!
Not an abrupt "absolutely not, I can't believe you're even asking me that" NO. Perhaps a kinder, gentler, "I'm honored to be considered but that doesn't fit into my calendar right now".
A very wise person told me when I was struggling with a way out of a commitment that wasn't ringing true to me, that a lengthy explanation of WHY it wasn't working for me was not necessary. This wise person told me to simply, "tell him, as nicely as you please, that it's not working out. If he asks any questions, just keep repeating it".
Guess what? IT WORKED, and has been a game-changer for me! Have I mentioned how wise this person is? The point in a nutshell here? It's OK to say NO - in fact, it's probably healthy to practice saying NO! And we don't have to offer justification for everything. We can't be everything to everybody, or we are nothing to ourselves.
How will you practice (because it does take practice) saying no to today?
Sometimes one foot is all you can lift. Toward what? Doesn't matter. The motion itself is the answer. It may be the only answer you have for all those big horrible questions.
Probably, yes, to all. But stasis . . . stasis is the wrong answer.
Keep reading more from Cinderella, Dressed in Yella, and her response to my blog post last week where I talked about the NWA approach - No Wrong Answer. She's right. If our answer is Zero. Nada. Zip. Zlich. Then we aren't really answering at all. And we can do better than nothing.
No - NWA is not Northwest Airlines, but No Wrong Answer - a brilliant acronym for the choices we have in life! I had a recent Facebook conversation with a friend who pointed out she was living life with an "NWA" approach. Admittedly I was clueless and had to ask for clarification.
When she explained the NWA approach it was like *palm slap forehead* duh! Exactly what we talk about in organizing sessions - I ask a million questions, and don't really expect an answer to all of them - it's more about getting the thought process started. Clarifying that there are NWAs is helpful - we need to stop judging ourselves by what we should/should not have/want/keep; rather we need to be in tune to what our possessions are doing to our thought processes!
So, folks, what are your thoughts on the NWA approach? Is it better to have any answer than struggle to come up with the "right" answer? Curious.....
You wake up one morning, look around, and ask yourself, "HOW did I get here?" OR something happens that spins your world on a different axis and you don't know how to react, what to say, what's "normal", what's not.
In the organizing world we call them "life transitions" (birth, deaths, marriage, divorce, job changes, etc. are the big ones) that can throw us into a quandary. Think about it like a book - the characters come and go within the chapters, and we often can't predict these changes. What happens when one chapter closes and the next one opens? It can put us in a funk, it can break open our soul and let the true "us" shine. It can hurt, it can elate, it can stop us in our tracks.
Changes like these can have far-reaching effects. They can throw all our organizing systems off kilter - all those systems that might otherwise keep us churning along on a daily basis. The key is to remember that those systems are there, and we can reclaim them when we get our footing again
The spotlights on you today, folks - how do YOU get your sea legs when you're in uncharted territory? What you share *might* be a lifeline for someone else who is struggling!
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who