Saturday, November 8, 2008

Zoom in... Zoom out...

So much of conflict seems to result from a lack of perspective taking. Often we’re so in love with our own vantage point, that we can’t see things from someone else’s point of view. Often we lose sight of the fact that most things in life are not competitive, but complementary.

Maybe Republicans and Democrats have some good ideas!

Maybe proponents of abortion and opponents of abortion have some merit to their arguments.

Maybe science and religion aren’t mutually exclusive.

Maybe the world is not as split into two camps as we might like to pretend.

I like to practice perspective taking with my camera. I like to zoom in… and zoom out. And when I do, I get a fuller view of things. I see a richer view. I see multiple perspectives that are complementary not conflicting.

What’s the "best" science? Sub-particle physics, chemistry, biology, neurology, medicine, psychology, sociology, anthropology, astronomy, cosmology? Maybe they all contribute their perspective of truth? (And then the humanities might have more to add!)

Zoom in… Zoom out!

Try it out. Get good at it. Different filters, different magnifications, different subject matters yielding a richer view of the Universe. It’s enlightening!

Favorite sayings... Don't major...

in the minors.

I like to get things done. I like to get the right things done. I like to get the right things done without burning myself out.

I'm generally successful because I’ve learned not to major in the minors.

Many things in life don’t matter. Many difficulties, digs, and dramas simply need to be overlooked: they’re minor. They don’t deserve to be the focus of my time, attention, and emotions. If I let life’s minor irritations become my focus, then I won’t achieve what matters: the majors.

Life is short. Time and energy are limited. If I let the tyranny of the urgent rule my life, then I’ll never get the important things done.

I don’t always succeed in this effort, but I periodically check to make sure I haven’t been sidetracked into wasting my limited resources on things that don’t matter. I’ve learned to prioritize based on my core values. I've learned to move forward towards my goals at a sustainable pace.

I still do many mundane things. I re-create and have fun. “All work in no play makes Jack a dull boy” is still true. I find enjoyment in the midst of life, but I also get a lot done. How?

I major in the majors, not the minors. And when I get off-track, I recalibrate. I adjust. Again.

Friday, November 7, 2008

If it wasn't for the last minute...

half of what I do wouldn't get done.

I'm almost done with a big project. It was sort of due last week, but really needs to be done by Monday. Deadlines: gotta love 'em!

(These are October pictures of a local ball field and some Eucalyptus trees. Fall in the OC.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Favorite sayings... Wherever you go...

there you are!

Some people find drama wherever they go. Hmmm...
Some people find laughter wherever they go. Hmmm...
Some people find love wherever they go. Hmmm...

What do you find?

I asked a student once, "Do you find that people are usually annoyed wherever you go?"

He said, "Yeah. I sure do."

"Have you ever thought that maybe they're annoyed because you're annoying?"

"Well, it could be..."

* * * * *

What follows me around? Wherever I go I usually find beauty, amusement, even delight, but maybe that's just me. Because wherever I go... there I am.

Wherever you go... there you are. For better or worse.

Make it better!

Favorite sayings... Just try to be...

pleasant and hard working.

That will take you far in the world. Good help is hard to find. Bosses (and co-workers) are looking for those who can walk away from drama and just "Get 'er done." I try to strike a balance between seriousness and good humor on the job. I aim to be productive, but have fun doing it.

Think about who you like to work with and work for. Visualize yourself being productive and happy on the job, and you'll have a picture of a valued co-worker.

Be the change!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Payback: “Just wait until you’re a parent…”

What goes around comes around.

I gave my own parents a fair amount of grief, often on purpose, and often for fun. I remember once asking my father, “Hey Dad, can I have a sip of your bear?” He was reading the paper after a hard day’s work, and he didn’t reply. He just looked at me suspiciously.

I proceeded to pick up his 12-ounce can of Golden Grain and proceeded to drain the 8 or 10 ounces that were left in it.

He turned and said, “Hmmm. Something tells me that’s not the first beer you’ve ever had.”

I just smiled.

That was probably 35 years or so ago, but I think my own daughter returned the favor for my dad on Halloween night.

Danielle called me on her cell around 7 PM as she was driving with a friend towards Sacramento. I had last heard from her a week before when her cell phone had gone dead as she was taking the train north toward Grass Valley, California. Her phone died mid-call, and I hoped over the next few days that she hadn’t.

I guessed and hoped that she’d lost her phone or charger as I tried unsuccessfully over the next few days to casually check on her status: dead or alive? She’s been away at college for several years, so I’m used to not obsessing over these gaps of contact, but I was still concerned. This behavior, I’m sure, is part of the parental payback I deserved, but she wasn’t done yet.

When she called, I was at first glad she was alive. (She had misplaced her charger.) I was glad to help her pass the time driving. She and a friend were heading back towards Santa Cruz, but had plans to party with friends in Sacramento. We talked for 5 or 10 minutes before she wrapped up the conversation with more parental payback. “Well Dad, it was good talkin’ to you. I just wanted to call to say, ‘Hi,’ and to let you know I’m planning on drinking too much and making some bad decisions tonight. Gotta run! Bye!” And the phone went dead.

Karma’s a bitch. Ain’t it? (I don’t know where she gets this twisted sense of humor: must be from her mother.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Palms in So Cal

Fall foliage doesn't include pictures of palms: they're "evergreen." So I perused my photo collection and pulled up a few for your delight. Despite all the palms on TV, we have lots and lots of other trees. The mild year round temps make it easy. (The sun is rising about 6:30 and setting about 6:15ish, even in November.)

Fall in So Cal - - A different kind of beauty

I live in Orange County, the OC, and it's November. That's when we wear shorts and sweatshirts because it's starting to get "cold." We haven't started using the house heaters yet, but maybe an electric blanket set to one or two. It's rained twice. Trees that turn colors are just starting to show a change. Other trees think it's some kind of spring. I'll let a few pictures tell the rest of the story. (A lot of the "richness" of the OC is the pleasant weather that makes us "spoiled.")We may not have an abundance of Fall foliage, but we get by. ;-)