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Tag: life

If we were having Coffee, I’d tell you…life is on the move.

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Busy ~ Busy ~ Busy

Oh my, I looked at my site the other day and realized that time has passed since my last post. I missed a whole month. I don’t know how that happened. It‘s not that the homework has been super challenging, just lots of reading and thinking. Today was the last day of Third Term.

We got this!

Term 3 courses were Human Relations and Social Psychology. They are more related than one would think. They are both about understanding people and why they do the things they do and how best to relate to others, very interesting stuff. I’m glad I read those last few books on my too read pile. They were very helpful with the Human Relations class.

What books were those?

 

 

 

 

Those five books made it easy for me to breeze through Human Relations. If you haven’t read them, I highly suggest that you check them out.

What is coming up for Term 4?

I am looking at Social Policy and Public Administration for this term. I suspect that both of these classes will be interesting as well.

Graduation Is May 12th!

I will be attending my first graduation since 1983 to receive my Associates of Arts for Business Administration. They even sent me an Honors sash. Woot! I read on the FPU site that I will be getting my honors cords at a ceremony on May 9th.

When I was in High School, I never made honors, so this is a pretty big deal for me. I will attribute all my hard work because of learning about discipline from NaNoWriMo. Studying and keeping up with school work does take a lot of focus and discipline. Procrastination is not a good study habit. I like slow and steady, and then I don’t have to worry about panicking to get the work done on time. Deadlines – learning to meet deadlines on time takes discipline and focus.

What else is happening?

I’m accepted into the MBA program at FPU. I was going to seek my MBA in Human Resources, but the narrow competitive field was brought to my attention so I quickly got in touch with my student advisor and she suggested an additional path of an MBA in Leadership and a Graduate certificate in HR which should prove interesting and do-able.

Last but least…

I am making a transition from the manufacturing floor to administration. Woot! I’m moving up in the world. I have my own desk, a cubicle and a pile of purchase orders to fill and file. I like it even though it is working with numbers. At least I don’t have to do much adding. The software does all the adding for me.

Cat!

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Abby at 9 weeks old.

I almost forgot. We have a new addition to the family. Keelaa’s new best friend, a kitten named, Abby. They are best friends for life until Abby sinks her claws into Keelaa’s behind. Then they go to their separate corners for a couple of hours before doing it all over again.

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Book of the Month for January 2018

I just finished up a book that was bubbling to the top of my to-read pile as the Holidays passed by me at warp speed. The subject of stress does occupy many minds during the winter months and the up and coming income tax season. But as I began reading the following book I found that this book is a welcome read for any time of the year since stress comes in many forms.

Title: The Upside of Stress

By Kelly McGonigal, PhD

File Size: 1321 KB

Print Length: 301 pages

Publisher: Avery (May 5, 2015)

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B00OI5PGWU

ISBN-10: 1101982934

ISBN-13: 978-1101982938

Rating 5/5  

For most of our lives, we have been told that stress is harmful to our health. What if someone were able to prove this to be otherwise? How would you feel if you found that there are more health benefits to stress then health risks? All it takes is a change in your mindset.

Kelly McGonigal argues in her book The Upside of Stress that psychologists have been telling people for years that stress is bad for you but she has discovered through research that this is not indeed the case. With her research, she can prove the benefits of stress can outweigh the harmful effects of stress that revolves around changing the mindset about stress. If one can believe that stress is beneficial than the coping mechanisms associated with stressful events can cause personal growth which will improve the health of that individual.

“Mindsets are beliefs that shape your reality, including objective physical reactions (like the strength of my arm as Crum pushed on it), and even long-term health, happiness, and success. More important, the new field of mindset science shows that a single brief intervention, designed to change how you think about something, can improve your health, happiness, and success, even years into the future.” (McGonigal 2016, 4)

Kelly McGonigal, Phd., is a lecturer and psychologist at Stanford University and an expert on mind-body relationship. She is a senior teacher/consultant at Stanford for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and also teaches for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program. Her work validates the claims of psychological science to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change.

I understand what McGonigal means when she makes the statement, “When you face difficulties head-on, instead of trying to avoid or deny them, you build your resources for dealing with stressful experiences.” (McGonigal 2016, 18) We all face difficulties over the course of our lives. It is not a matter of what those challenges are but how we handle them that matters most in life. If we don’t manage them well, then we tend to repeat those problems until we can overcome them.

This book explains the reasoning behind why McGonigal believes that stress can be healthy for personal growth. Her research she shares verify why the probability this is correct and she describes this well in the book.

I did not find anything in this book that I would disagree with which is why I have rated this book with five stars.

I highly recommend everyone to read this book, and hopefully, it will change your outlook on stress and help you handle those dreadful times with personal growth and resilience.


Note

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It (p. 4). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It (p. 18). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Reference

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery, 2016.

Friday Write on my #PersonalValues

Valued Blog Post of the Week!

I’m giving myself a writing challenge for the next three months. I will pick a personal value as part of a writing exercise as an experiment to see how the topic affects my daily stress level.

All are welcome to join in my weekly writing prompt experiment.

Friday write-in

 

Picking a personal value

 

“Pick one value and write about it for ten minutes. Describe why this value is important to you. Write how you express this value in your everyday life, including what you did today.”[1]

 

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/21318580630
Image courtesy of creative commons license via Flickr.com by Unsplash

 

 

 

 

Acceptance – the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable

Recognition

Approval

Tolerance

Acknowledgment

Belief

Credence

Toleration

Favorable reception

 

We all have specific values that have become a part of our personality over the years. Those values are not something that I have given much thought to until recently. One of my values is acceptance. We all like to feel like we belong or accepted by our community, school, or workplace. If not, then questions begin to surface as to why we continue to engage in that setting. But why would I decide that acceptance is a part of who I am?

I have this habit, and I’m sure it bugs the hell out of my co-workers, where I will greet everyone I see no matter how many times we cross paths during the day. I can see the same person ten times within an hour and feel the compulsion to say hi or hello each time. Like I say, this has become more of a habit than a need and developed after working in the retail setting for over five years. The habit has become part of my nature.

Acceptance does matter in other ways. When I enter a room, it is nice to know that those who are there will acknowledge my presence and not completely ignore the fact that I exist. A simple hi or hello suffices.

But I am not without tolerance. I have a high tolerance level for most people, places, and situations which brings me back to acceptance. Accepting something is admitting the situation, person, or location can’t be changed and is beyond control.

So, if you don’t want to say hi, I can tolerate your choice and will accept that this is who you are and we both don’t have the same values.

Acceptance is more than a personal greeting. It is a belief in one’s self and approval for our actions, building on credence that leads to trusting of the self and others.

 

 


Note

[1] (McGonigal 2016, 72)

 

Reference

 

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery, 2016.

.

 

Ventura Inferno

https://nyti.ms/2kNvTPZ

California winds are at it again only this year, with all that rain they received the vegetation took off resembling the wildfire that is now devouring the state.

Residents are forced to flee a fire that is burning out of control while Firefighters battle the blaze that won’t go out anytime soon. The fire has claimed several racehorses and over 4 thousand acres of land in a short amount of time. People are being told to “get out” leave before the blaze reaches their neighborhood. [1]

That’s a lot of acreage and a lot of displaced people. Where will they find shelter?

https://nyti.ms/2z1xrIs

322 Schools had to cancel classes on Thursday and Friday. The fire continues to spread property loss quickly keeps mounting. Residents need to pack up essential water and food while remembering to take crucial documents. Undocumented and legal immigrants will be hardest hit by this fire since most will not have fire insurance for their homes. Moises Rodriquez is one of those immigrants living in a trailer park that is threatened by the blaze. He fears his home will be gone when he returns.[2]

Because Mr. Rodriquez is an undocumented immigrant, he does not qualify for any federal emergency assistance to rebuild or replace his mobile home even though his four children are American citizens. Even though they are staying at a local shelter, Mr. Rodriquez has returned to work at the Cement factory where he fills sacks with cement.[3]

https://nyti.ms/2kJsvWw

 

Suzanne White, a resident of Ojai, was interviewed, and she said that she has grown used to the constant threat of fire. But this year has been worse than other years, and the winds are making matters worse than usual. Another resident reported that the entire town of 7,500 people slept with one eye open as the fires came closer to the community.[4]

One of the most significant obstacles the firefighters have is the 70 mile-per-hour winds being driven by the Santa Anna winds. The air quality due to the smoke and ash is the biggest threat to the residents. With a scale of 1 to 500 with 100 being poor quality, the air quality in Ventura County has been recorded to be as high as 330.[5]

What I think

Between the abundant rainfall that created all the new vegetation in California and the coming Santa Anna winds that has helped fuel the fire that is kindled by the dried-out growth of the past summer the fire is more devastating than in the past. So far this year, more than a million acres have burned. And someone says there is no such thing as climate change. Maybe they will change their mind when the entire state of California is nothing but ash because the rains will return and bring the mudslides with them since the trees and bushes are gone. It is a cycle that will continue until everyone is forced to move out of the state because it will become too expensive to rebuild.


Notes

[1] (Medina, Jordan and Smith 2017)

[2] (Medina, Jordan and Pérez-Peña 2017)

[3] (Medina, Jordan and Pérez-Peña 2017)

[4]  (Medina, Jordan and Pérez-Peña 2017)

[5]  (Laffin 2017)

 

References

 

Laffin, Ben. “California’s Fires, by the Numbers.” The New York Times. Los Angeles: The New York Times, December 2017.

Medina, Jennifer, Miriam Jordan, and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA. Wildfire Threats in Ventura and San Diego Counties. December 7, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/us/california-fire-ventura-county.html (accessed December 9, 2017).

Medina, Jennifer, Miriam Jordan, and Mitch Smith. Southern California Fires Live Updates: ‘We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet’. December 9, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/us/california-fires-ventura-los-angeles.html (accessed December 9, 2017).

Medina, Jennifer, and Jack Healy. ‘It Burns and It Keeps Burning’: Scenes From Southern California’s Wildfires. December 7, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/us/southern-california-wildfires.html (accessed December 9, 2017).

 

 

Focus is the Key to Time Management

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Image courtesy of Creative Commons liscense provided by Robin Sharma via flicker.com

Time Management

Everyone struggles with finding enough time to do the things that need to be done. I know I have had my share of scraping blocks out of my daily life to work full time, be a full-time student, interact with family members, add quality time for my pup, and find me time.

Time management is all about discipline and setting priorities. Some ask me, how do you do it?

My priorities are set by what is most important for me to do on the list.

  1. Work. I must go to work every day to earn that paycheck so I can afford to eat. This means that I have blocked out a minimum of 9 hours out of each day to accommodate this priority.
  2. School work is the next item. I schedule a minimum of 4 hours a day dedicated to reading assignments and homework. This is where the discipline comes into play. If I slack, the grades may slack.
  3. Family time is spent while having dinner at the dinner table. I try to use this opportunity as a quality time to catch up with my loved ones.
  4. Keelaa demands her time too. She will come in little bursts of tail wagging glee to see me and look for that treat or scratch on the back.
  5. Exercise takes place mostly at work while dashing about to keep the machines running. Calling my work exercise also makes it more enjoyable and productive.
  6. Reading personal choice books are only allotted a short time frame of maybe an hour or two each night.
  7. Free time for writing is next on the priority list. I have accepted that I might not get another book out in the next few years, but there will come that day when school will be done, and writing will reclaim that time slot that is allocated for school work.
  8. Last on the list is free time in general. I could place my video gaming in this slot, or any other of my many hobbies like crocheting or knitting.
  9. I do have a cutoff point where time runs out. When the batteries drain sleep is a must to stay healthy, happy and wise.

 

How do you manage your time?

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