Saturday, September 24, 2016

Affect-Effect - Accept-Expect

A student asked me if I would explain the difference between Affect and Effect. Affect is the verb; effect is the noun. And I gave him this sentence: 

"I was affected by the effects of the tornado." And then there was a tornado in northern Utah, and I figured I'd better change the sample sentence. 

"I have been affected by the effects of cancer treatments." 
"I have been affected by the effects of divorce." 
"I have been affected by the effects of renting our room through AirBnB." 


And then he asked me to explain the difference between Accept and Expect, and I had to think. Accept is the verb; expect is likewise a verb. 

I have certain expectations of myself and of others. Once a self-appointed friend told me I had too high of expectations. And I innocently thought that was odd - I mean, if I do my best, shouldn't others be expected to do the same? And if my expectations are out of reach for others, then do I need to accept less, because I expect less? Can I accept less of myself if I lower my expectations for myself? 

Does acceptance have anything to do with lowering expectations? Is it necessary to take a step down on the expectation ladder just to be able to be more accepting of whatever comes my/your way? 

When you learn to accept rather than expect, what are the affects, and for how long are you effected? I'm not sure this is "right." What if I accept more and expect more - isn't that the law of abundance? Or is that the law of disappointment? 

Aaah goodness, food for thought. Damn students who make me think! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Entitlement - "You're not the boss of me" -

I have zero tolerance for folks who feel entitled. I also have no tolerance for folks who tell others how to do their job, particularly when they feel entitled to "advise" you.

I've been having a conflict at work - not my colleagues, but one a few separations away, who has been trying to tell me how to do my job, even though his experience, and his education, and his job, are very different from mine.

His entitlement comes from having a bigger title than mine, working for a more prominent hospital than mine, and having a few more years of chaplaining experience. And he thinks it is his role to teach me how to do my role.

Now, I would never, in a million years, even consider telling him how to do his job. Never! I'll take care of my own messes before jumping into someone else's, which makes it difficult for me to see why having my "buy-in" on his way of doing things, is so important.

In fact, he basically incited an email riot, getting more and more detailed, and then getting very very personal, sending the email to lower, middle, and upper management, stating my full name and my wrong-doings (saying 'no' to his way). I responded to the first two emails, while the riot was still a conversation, and then I stopped, sending only two more messages to my boss and my colleagues, not the entire freakin' group, apologizing for being the reason for the mud-slinging.

And come to find out, he said, "the cart came before the horses," but he was a little too quick with the "send" button, although he didn't claim any wrong-doing or over-reacting, or calling anyone names. In the meantime upper-management feels it is necessary to have him in on the decision-making process of my job, which isn't his job, and of which he has no experience! What?

Yet he's my colleague, and we'll have to interact, and how do I walk tall, look him in the eyes, and stand my ground (I've compromised so much I'm nearly ashamed of myself)? And this is eating me up, because see - I did no wrong, and I'm more than open to conversation and compromise, and yet there is no safe ground for which to do this.

Cover up? Pretend nothing happened? Surrender to win? And when can I get back to doing my job, which I'm damn good at, rather than sit in on another planning meeting, because what was, is not what is, because someone tampered with my educated and experienced and trained and backed-up program?

Where is my advocate, my champion, my voice? And do I care? God grant me the serenity -

Monday, September 19, 2016

Education - Listening and Learning -

I was at a Palliative Care conference all last week - long 10 hour days listening, learning, and remembering. I love the classroom - I love being a student as well as a teacher. There's just something about learning, with others, that invigorates me. And even though I am still exhausted, I am alive with fresh knowledge, Monday energy, confidence from practicum, and the excitement of getting back into the hospital and implementing all that I learned - formally and informally. 

Happy Monday - go forth! 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Empathy - Sympathy

I'm reminded today, during a conversation on Empathy and Sympathy, of these two videos. We don't have to fix everyone's problems, nor do we have to compare our "owies" with someone else's or share our story. Typically when someone is in physical or emotional pain, all they want, or need, is a listening ear and a soft space.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We Must Remember This - As Time Goes By -

Four years ago -  and these anniversaries are still bittersweet - but getting so much more palpable. Louis Armstrong, sang "We Must Remember This, As Time Goes By," for the movie "Casablanca." Although it is a romantic "no matter what the future brings" song, we all will always have memories, and this remains true for me, today.

These memories take many forms, and yet I believe my "fight for love and glory, a case for do or die," has molded this me - and today, just barely today, I'm ok with this.

A sigh is just a sigh -

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Anxiety -

Confession - I don't like going to church. Never have, probably never will. I go for the sacred, not the secular. My life does not revolve around my religious community. 

And today is no different. Adding to today's anxiety was the talk given by a young man (early 20s) beginning with a summary of The Alliance, reportedly a book he listened to while driving to California. Purportedly a book about the apocalypse, as it takes place in Star Valley, Wyoming. 

I walked out. Many of my bad nights are filled with dreams regarding concrete, long-bed trucks, and marauders - raping, pillaging, burning, and kidnapping. Have you ever read Cormac McCarthy's The Road?

So I came home, I'll read, bake, cook, try to figure my angst out, and then move on - dreading, already, next week's worship service. 

HOWEVER - one of my sweetest memories revolves around similar anxiety - I was 17 years old, living in Idaho with my grandparents, finishing up high school. My Sabbath day sucked, for some reason (probably similar to today's), and I came home from Sunday School sad. My grandfather suggested we take a drive, so Grandpa, Grandma, and I filled their Oldsmobile, and drove to Idaho Falls. Although my grandparents were strict Sabbath Day protocol upholders, my grandfather pulled the car into Taco Time, on the Idaho Falls highway, and we had dinner. 

I will never forget this tiny tender show of love, understanding, and that sometimes keeping the Sabbath Day holy involves caring for others in the way they need to be cared for. 

Today I was reminded of their generosity, which took so many forms, and I was reminded that even when I think I am alone, I am not. 

Now back to that Diet Pepsi and book. Peace be with you this day - 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mt. Timpanogos and Her Relatives -

I love mountains, and even though I lived in the potato-lands of Southeastern Idaho, I considered the Menan Buttes, the rolling farmland, and the view of the Idaho-side of the Tetons my mountains. And of course, 45 minutes up the road was the Lodgepole pine'd Island Park, a few miles more and we were either in Grand Targhee, West Yellowstone, or beautiful Swan Valley.

I was at home in the mountains of Northern Utah - particularly the gorgeous drive through Sardine Canyon into Logan. Later, the kudzu-covered, blossom-abundant, hills of Northwestern Alabama brought me more comfort than I had ever expected.

And of course, the past twenty-odd years I have found peace and beauty in Provo Canyon, the Nebo Range, the Wasatch Mountains, the Alpine Loop, and Scott's beloved Zion.

Yet it's Mount Timpanogos that wakes with me in the morning and nods to sleep with me in the evenings. She is always constant in structure and ever-changing in attire. She is beautiful wearing snow, green grass, and the golds and bronzes of the aspen and autumnal grasses. She is my reminder that God is good, that Utah Valley is home, and that there is beauty in being strong and solid and sensual.

I am lucky - and blessed.