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!
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.
A trip out to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND brought me to the lands of buffalo and prairie dogs as well as incredible landscapes, sometimes being able to see miles away in every direction.
What do I, as an organizer, take out of this? Well.....again....my mind wanders....First off I'm fascinated by prairie dogs - how they communicate, what they do underground, heck, what motivates them to come above ground....Thanks to Nat Geo I now know many of the answers.
What I really want to draw attention to here are not those amazing prairie dogs, but the connection I found between the mounds of buffalo poop and the cactus that would pop up here and there in the mounds. For every "fertilization" there can be a positive response. Life is kind of like that. Get pooped on? Make something good come of it. Learn a lesson (the hard way sometimes), or find a new direction that you might not have taken prior to the experience. Kind of a "life gives you lemons make lemonade" thing. You can do it!!!
Oh, and in case you're wondering why I don't have a picture of said cactus blooming out of said pile of poop - I was heavily warned by my fellow travelers that I best not get out of the car in an environment of loose buffalo!! Evidently they aren't as passive as they appear. Instead I took this picture on a hike far from any buffalo. Still, it shows evidence of a beautiful bloom in what appears to be a barren environment.
Relationships struggle, sometimes dissolve, employees and co-workers have issues, sports teams struggle to work together, coaches quit, friends get sick, the washing machine breaks - you know that moment when you just want to shut down and not be an adult? Yeah, I thought so - me, too!
I'm a fixer. When a challenge presents itself my first instinct is to fix it. As I've gotten older (and hopefully wiser) I've come to realize that some issues can't be fixed - at least by me. The best thing I can do is just listen and be there. That comes with a personal price - sometimes there is so much listening going on that I feel like I'm suffering from Drama Trauma! That's my sign that the mental clutter is too much and it's time to check out! Here are my top 3 ways to take care of me so I can be there for others:
1. Literally "check out" from electronics for at least an hour - no phone, computer, tablet - nothing that dings, whistles, vibrates, or otherwise indicates that there is possibly a need that needs fixing!
2. Practice some self care - a good cup of coffee, a pedicure, a massage (now that's a LOVELY indulgence) - we are SO worth it!
3. Listen....to myself! What is my mind and body telling me? I write it down, get it out of my head, and then try to take action to meet my own needs.
Do you suffer from Drama Trauma? Please feel free to comment - I'd love to hear what you do to combat it - and maybe we can support and learn from each other!
Collector. Gatherer. Shopper. Acquisitionist.
All adjectives that can describe those of us with hobbies that require "supplies" - woodworking, crafting, scrapbooking, sewing, beading, painting, etc. But here are some questions to ask yourself.
Surprise - it doesn't! It is the actual DOING of the projects - using the supplies we've collected to create and express our individuality that makes us artists, scrapbookers, quilters...(insert your favorite hobby here...)!
Is collecting supplies fun, inspiring, and social? Heck yes! We wouldn't do it if it wasn't! That being said, I see lots of situations where we're so over that stage and don't really see ourselves actually doing the projects. Then what? Time to Move On (read more here).
Still passionate about the hobby? Try focusing on the actual doing and watch your creativity bloom. If you don't get the joy out of the doing as you used to (or that all the advertising promised you that you would), remember it is OK to move on to bigger and better doings.
TedX Fargo promised to change my life....the speakers delivered throughout the day with inspiring thoughts, provoking questions, and most importantly, by showing that working outside the box can indeed provide a solution. It can also FAIL, and failure was a common theme. Failure is not a bad thing - think Thomas Edison and the light bulb, Milton Hershey and the Hershey Bar, and more recently, James Dyson, who "failed" 5217 times before coming up with the correct prototype for his now famous Dyson Vacuum.
I disagree with the common saying, "failure is not an option". Failure is ALWAYS a real, and sometimes scary option! But what if we approached it from a different perspective, looking upon failure as a narrowing of the learning curve that points us, albeit eventually, towards the working solution?
Yes, that's it. Failure is not negative. Failure is simply ruling out what doesn't work so we can re-focus on what does!
As a gentleman in an entrepreneur group I recently attended said, "there will always be naysayers around you. When you are wrong, or fail, they'll be right up there saying I told you so. When you are right, or succeed, they are no where to be found."
What about you? What would you do if you accepted that failure wasn't negative, but an ingredient for success?
Do you have an inner squirrel?
Time Magazine ran a fabulous article on March 23, 2015 in their Society/Home section on Americans, clutter, storage, and our obsessive acquisition (ok, those are my words, not Time's) of stuff.
"There are many economic and cultural factors that lead us to buy, but there are fundamental evolutionary drivers for why we acquire but then can't let it go. Call it our Inner Squirrel."
In other words, we have a need for self-preservation, and part of satisfying that need is acquisition of resources. Our challenge, however, is that the amount of resources easily accessible to us has increased over the decades. That promotes this dangerous mindset:
If having one is good, having 6 must be better.
But is it? No, and alternately, Yes! Sometimes multiples are good - if they are being used. There are things that we are fortunate to have in quantities - and they make our lives easier and more efficient. I know a woman who loves crock-pots. She adores them. She has them in every size and style - sometimes two or three of each. But this isn't her clutter. She also loves to entertain family at her cabin for long weekends - and her closet full of crock-pots lets her feed the hungry masses easily for every meal of the day - while still enjoying time with family.
There is a flip side, though, to the having. Sometimes we just have too much of a good thing.
Squirrels save nuts and seeds to sustain them physically thru long winters when food is scarce. Can they find all their hide-aways during the winter or are some left untouched? That's a piece of science I don't know the answer to, but I do know I've seen a lot of squirrels searching frantically (haven't we all been there, too?). I do know, however, that humans save things for emotional reasons that have nothing to do with our survival, and that many, many times our hideaways are forgotten!
So ask yourself one final question with our poll - and let's see if we're all a little nutty for too much stuff!
Ahh yes, the leaves are gently wafting down as seasons change from balmy summer days to crisp autumn ones.
Ever consider how one leaf on the ground is joined by another and another; pretty soon there goes a full weekend spent raking? I didn't think so. Paper piles tend to happen the same way. We set one down "just for now", then add the mail for a couple days and some school papers.....voila! A pile of paper clutter (a/k/a delayed decisions).
My neighbor uses her leaf blower (particularly enjoyable at 7 a.m. on Sunday mornings) to get the leaves off her driveway before they even hit the pavement. Unfortunately that technique won't work for papers - they require a bit more finesse. But not a lot more effort. The key is to deal with each of them while they are in our hand. If the action required takes less than 2 minutes - DO IT NOW instead of delaying and creating a pile. If it will take 5-10 minutes create a folder or *gasp* a pile (yes, I said pile) that you will return to, and then schedule a time into your calendar to deal with them.
What's your biggest paper challenge? Comment below and we'll solve them together!
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who