What is Respect?

Good Morning! Here’s my Monday Morning Blog!

I’ll say, living in Minnesota made last week interesting. I live with my family in a suburb south of Minneapolis, where the arrest and subsequent death of George Floyd happened a week ago today. In my opinion, to say our country is hurting is putting it mildly. The perceptions we have of other people and their life journeys are tainted by our own life experiences. If we are not opening ourselves up to listen to and learn about other people, we can get stuck in misconception. I think this misconception has created the loss of respect for others.

So how we try to find it? Let’s start with what is respect?

When I Googled respect definition, I found two different definitions of respect

-A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements
-Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.

The first definition goes to the question of who do you admire? I’ve read a couple of memoirs lately which are written by women who I admire. I just recently finished Untamed by Glennon Doyle. She talks about struggling with her beliefs while being married to her husband and then coming out in her relationship with Abby Wambach. In her story, she gives readers things to think about in becoming who we truly are by listening to our own inner voice.

I’m currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. She is a strong woman who didn’t want to lose herself in the roles she played in her life. She had many roles before becoming the First Lady of the United States. Going to the White House was adding a role with many expectations. Now add on that she was the first black woman in this role, and the added pressure to lay out a certain perception made her have to adapt. I’m currently two-thirds of the way through the book, but from what I can see already, Becoming, is a very appropriate title for her book.

Both women have put themselves out there and taken hits from others who haven’t taken the time to get to know them and understand their path. I admire the struggles that they each overcame to become the people they are today. From reading their stories I also respect who they are because of it.

The second definition of respect goes to how we view other people. Before the internet, your trusted source of information was probably your family, local news stations and the newspaper. And those sources were limited by where they learned or accessed their information. Some of us are basing our beliefs about others on what we read online, which can be a slippery slope. There are so many things you have to understand to determine whether the information you are reading on line is accurate. You have to look at the source of the information and what date it was posted. A lot of the media jumps to be the first one to get news out on the web, in a lot of cases, the information they present is incomplete and maybe even completely wrong. This is the source of a lot of the information that teens and young adults are pulling from with the use of their smart phones and online gaming.

What would be a better way to mold your perceptions of other people? Talk to them. Get to know them and what challenges they faced or are currently facing in their life journey. If you can’t talk to them face to face, then read their stories and follow them on their personal social media sites.

Be open to listening and learning. There are many role models out there that have stories to tell. Both Glennon Doyle and Michelle Obama talk about that in their memoirs. Their stories become relatable to us as fellow human beings and ultimately can help us steer the course on our own life path and understand them as people.

Then respect others for who they are, regardless of what they look like, act like, or even believe. We have all either been the new kid at school or have seen her. Reach out to them and get to know their story. Take time to listen and learn from others who are different from you. Don’t be afraid to do it and don’t be afraid to share if you are asked.

The Golden Rule. My parents would remind me of this when I was growing up. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

We are all in this together. It is our society to mold into the way we want it to be. Don’t let haters and people who don’t respect others drive what our society turns into.

Have a good week!

Teacher Appreciation Week 2020

Good Morning! Here’s my Monday Morning blog!

How are you doing with the whole Coronavirus thing? It is too big to not be affecting most everybody in some way or another. We couldn’t have imagined all the changes that have happened since the virus was deemed a pandemic in the United States almost two months ago. Being told you would have to stay home to curb the spread of the virus, learn and communicate via the computer or a six-foot distance, or to have to wear masks when you go out in public.

Did you know that this week, May 4th-8th, is Teacher Appreciation Week? Since 1984, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has designated one week in May to honor men and women who lend their passion and skills to teach our children. Teacher Appreciation Day is tomorrow, May 5th. Before, parents would have been out shopping for that special teacher’s gift to present in peron, now it will turn into showing that appreciation virtually or by special delivery.

I have been wondering about kids and teens are really doing at this time. How are they feeling about missing out on going to school and seeing their friends? Yes, we have Zoom for teachers to bring their classes together, but learning from a computer at your dining room table isn’t the same as being at school with your friends. Even though some kids and teens have always said they don’t want to go to school, I don’t think this complete change was what they were imagining. Or, the reality of having their parents trying to teach them the ins and outs of algebra or that new math after breakfast was what they had in mind.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a very special seventh grader in my life. She’s a smart kid and loves school but, misses her teachers and fellow students. She finds it hard to get into remote learning because of how it was just thrown together and doesn’t feel very structured. It isn’t anyone’s fault that it happened this way, since we didn’t plan for the effects of the Coronavirus. She also feels that her grades may be suffering because she isn’t thriving as well in this less structured learning environment. Sure, it is one of the casualities of the situation we must adapt to, but it winds up being a negative impact on someone who is trying to do everything right.

The other ones who are on my mind lately are high school and college seniors who were due to graduate this spring. Just a couple of months ago, they were rolling into their spring quarter or semester on what they thought was the downhill slide into graduation. Then it all came to an abrupt halt. No prom, spring sports, or graduation ceremony. Those school events are what has given some of us adults the fond memories we hold in our hearts about that time in our lives. Things change, so maybe our “normal” will not be the “new” normal going forward.

Congratulations to all 2020 Graduates!!!

We are all trying to make the best of the current situation for those seniors and give them something similar to what they were expecting for their end of school activities and graduation.

-Many high schools around me made up signs for those seniors to put in their lawn to show us who they are. They are also having car parades drive by their homes to honor them.

-A friend of mine has a senior in her household. She had her daughter and her prom date still get dressed up, they got a dinner to go from the Olive Garden, took some pictures in the park, and did a bonfire at their house with the prom couple to make a memory for them. I have seen other seniors pose for pictures in what they would have worn to prom and post them on Facebook.

-There will be a graduation ceremonies, probably virtual, coming in the near future, but not the same as going to your high school football field or college auditorium to walk across a stage to receive your diploma (or the fancy document holder).

Have you seen people struggling with change through this pandemic? I have seen and personally struggled with things through all of this,

-Seeing friends and family struggling with things they were looking forward to doing being cancelled.

-The struggle from some teens to do school remotely when their heart is at school with their teachers and friends.

-College students being sent home to do school remotely, instead of being able to enjoy the college experience away from home.

-Me and many others who are now in the process of looking for new jobs due to no fault of their own.

-Me and many others, not being able to see their loved ones, who are in assisted living facilities which are currently on lock down from having visitors.

The best advice I have seen is to be gentle with yourself right now. Let yourself feel sad if you are sad or mad if you are mad. But, let yourself do what needs to be done to keep yourself moving forward with your goals and dreams accepting what the new normal may bring. It is ok if it feels a little bit weird, because it will. Be ready, life as we knew it pre-Coronavirus will probably be changed forever too.

If you are struggling, please reach out and ask for help. We are all in this together.

Have a great week!

What can I do to improve myself during this trying time?

Good Morning! Here is My Monday Morning Blog!

Things have been a little crazy in the world lately, huh? Lots of people either being laid off or losing their jobs, teaching their kids at home, and trying to figure out how to cook (since going out to eat isn’t an option at this point). It hits me every time I go to the grocery store to see those empty shelves. I know some people hoarding certain items, but some of it is due to people picking up that one extra, so they can shelter in place a day or two longer before having to come back for something else.

Some news from my personal front, I was furloughed from my “day job” last Friday. So, I’m entering a new place for me to be. Filing for unemployment, figuring out what our family budget is going to look like in hopefully the short term, and deciding whether my dreams for my own company will have to go on hold, again, due to a possible financial strain. I’ve been doing a lot of journaling about my goals and dreams; looking for some definite direction.

Faith things will get better is a hard thing to hold onto sometimes. I will say, I’ve gotten better at it over the years, mainly through experience showing itself and accepting the idea things always work themselves out. Maybe not the way we want them to; sometimes worse than we expect, but sometimes better.

When working in aircraft scheduling, sometimes you have mechanicals, sometimes it’s weather, and sometimes it’s an unexpected air traffic control hold. We don’t have any control over any of these events, but are forced to work through all possible solutions to accommodate our client’s travel plans. In these stressful situations, I’ve learned, it’s about providing options to choose from and not saying there is nothing we can do. Again, sometimes these options are worse than what they want, but sometimes better. But in the end, they are options and when presented the client gets to choose what is best for them.

Thinking about making things better for me, I scrolled through my Facebook feed, which I’m sure many of you are doing right now, and found a free online course I thought would help me get my business and book selling back on my main drive. I’m currently working through the Limitless Entrepreneur – The Digital Retreat.

Melyssa Griffin is a great presenter and motivator who I enjoyed working with throughout this course. The content is helping me get excited about selling my books and creating new ideas for my own business. One of the first things she talks about is a Scarcity versus an Abundance mindset. Scarcity mindset says there is never enough. You must hold onto what you have otherwise you are going to lose it. In an Abundance mindset there will always be more. I’ll get more than I bargained for and seeing a more positive outcome. I see the scarcity mindset as a realistic mindset (basing the belief on what is happening in the here and now and scared of what may happen in the future). Where the abundance mindset is more faith driven, believing that things will get better in the future.

When I look at my things will work out theory I talked about above, it works well with the abundance mindset. But I seem to have myself tangled up in more of a scarcity mindset, especially now with my furlough. But as I work to recognize my scarcity mindset fears, my view of the abundance mindset options is helping me see the ideas I am generating for my business are good ideas. I may be able to act on some of them now and others may be implemented into my current business plan so I am ready when things get better. By having more faith in myself and life will help me to take some risks with my ideas, and have faith that things will work out in the end. Be sure to stay tuned in to see what could happen.

What I ask you to do is take a good look at your Facebook feed or email and see if there’s a course that could help improve your mindset right now. Maybe it is learning how to knit, or organize things in your house, or printing pages to color. These activities will not only distract you from what seems to be going wrong right now, it may also help you make some forward progress on projects which have been just sitting stale on your plate. I’ll be excited to hear about what you decided to do. Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week!

Write the Story Prompt from Writers Unite!

Good Morning and Happy New Year! Sorry I’ve been away for so long, many big life events took place last year which really consumed my time and energy and altered my life journey. But I’m making my way back.

Edits are moving ahead for Shawn’s Way. Looking at publishing early this summer. I’m in the process of revamping the website. I made contact with someone in my neighborhood who is going to help me with it. Look for updates and announcements coming soon.

One of my life events last year was helping my dad through his dementia journey. He’s living in an assisted living/memory care facility. The challenge I encountered is the amount of time and energy it takes to help our aging parents through their lives when and illness stops them from leading lives on their own. I friend of mine wrote a story about her journey. It is a writing prompt from the Facebook writing group called Writers Unite! Reading her story has made me think about what affects dementia has had on my own life journey.

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This week from the Writing House

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

I took a couple of days off from work to take a breath last week. Not only did I publish my first book this year, but it has been a very stressful year of transitions for me. Since the beginning of the year, my day job had a full revamp of people and procedures. And, just recently, my home life has a job change for Jim. It is a good thing, but it has changed our family schedule and added another car to our household. I know I am not the only one who has gone through changes, I think it is just starting to catch up with me.

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