Monthly Archives: March 2014

The 7 10 Split

The pins are as far apart as they can be and still be on the same lane.  It is still your turn, and mathematically speaking you can pick up this spare.  But it takes skill, calm and a confluence of several factors.  Bowling as life lesson, not just beer swilling league fun.

 

public domain clip art

public domain clip art

I bet if you start to think about it, you will remember one and then another and another instance when you had two elements that were supposed to be working together or part of a larger whole in some way that were far apart and working independently to inhibit the larger goal.  (Passively, as in the case with the pins, or less so.)  There are ways to get these elements back into the larger plan, but it could take cunning – at the very least it will take time and effort on your part to figure out a solution and implement it.

 

I bowled on leagues on and off for years and I’ve been involved in volunteer groups, training sessions and plenty of office situations and only just this morning had the realization that there are parallels in these set ups.  From a higher level strategic point of view, there are similarities in the solutions.  I, or you, have to figure out the trajectory that will bring the elements together and keep the game going.  Now in life we probably don’t want to violently knock one element into or against the other – particularly since quite often these elements will be people.  Co-workers, vendors, colleagues, partners.

 

Sometimes the straightforward, ‘hey where are you at with your part of this project’, approach works like a charm.  Sometimes a bit of cajoling and sometimes it is a grueling game of inching the parties closer together.  It can be an endurance test for us, a question of keeping up our energy and resolve – keeping our eyes on the intended end.  Mentally testing out different solutions for alignment and success.

 

Then stepping up to the lane, ball in hand, squaring our shoulders, positioning our feet, eyes set on the pins at the other end.  Stride up, swing the ball and let it go.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Determined, Stubborn, Obstinate

I’ve been called all of these things.  I think sometimes it was meant to be unflattering at best.  I remember one conversation when I was told that I am rigid and I said if the word disciplined were inserted instead, I would accept the charge.  The accusation was wielded by someone who had a more unstructured method of approaching life than I.

 

Determined I accept and include in my own self-definition.  It is a trait that I am proud to claim, one that I cultivate on more hesitant days, in uncertain moments.  Figuring out how to call it up in moments of need is almost like discovering a super power.  I picture determination like a muscle – we must all have it – but as we who are over a certain age have found, muscles must be regularly activated or they go soft.  (But there are always exercises to revive them.)

 

Stubborn can come in handy and I have been known to warn a potential adversary that I practice stubborn quite well.  I have to really believe in the cause and you had better have a really compelling argument for your position.  Compromise is an acceptable end.  But then again, I might just be reformulating my points that I conceded for now for another run later.  I do understand that stubborn should be applied in small doses, or it can turn into this next word.

 

photo credit: Wikipedia

photo credit: Wikipedia

Obstinate, hmm.  This one has been leveled mostly by people whose most compelling argument is ‘because’.  Obstinate means “characterized by inflexible persistence or an unyielding attitude” (per http://dictionary.reference.com/).  I don’t see any point in obstinacy, unless a person has no interest in learning new things.  Of course, I mentioned above that stubborn can become intractable and turn into obstinacy – no for the sake of no.  If I know that I am right then I imagine that can appear obstinate to my opposite.

 

Being determined is a good thing when tempered with an openness to new information.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Weekend Hours

Why, oh why do the hours of our weekends seem to dissolve so quickly into the past, depositing us once again on the cusp of Monday with so little to show for the weekend just ending?  There are the regular tasks – provisioning the household takes constant effort it seems – and the periodic tasks with a bit of time allowed for leisure of some sort.

 

If I were to list all of the things that I have done over the two days I probably would be pleased, I had productive time; why do I feel like it just wasn’t enough?  I have the constant nagging feeling that I am not making the best use of my weekend hours.  Do you?  Have that feeling, or are you better than I at making the best use of these two days?

Public clocks to keep us on track.  (photo credit: Big Ben from Wikimedia Commons)

Public clocks to keep us on track. (photo credit: Big Ben from Wikimedia Commons)

 

It wasn’t that long ago that the work week norm was considered to be 6 days with one day set aside for rest.  How did they get to everything?  How did they ever get the mental down time to recharge?  And these days there are plenty of people who juggle 2 or more part time jobs to make ends meet – I imagine their time off is measured in hours and not days.  With sleep claiming a good chunk.

 

Childhood weekends were filled with large boring chunks of time when the default activity became TV, with only a handful of channels to choose from to find something of interest.  (If you weren’t one for sports, it was slim pickings.)  I lived in suburbia which meant if I hadn’t planned my reading properly, I couldn’t get myself to the library for a refill on new books.  Chores were handed out and easily completed unless we balked for some childish reason or another.  A trip to the store with mom could be an interesting diversion or torture.  One store had baskets set up in a way that one of us could ride underneath and the world became curious from that perspective – but it wasn’t always my turn to ride.

 

Now weekends seem to often be an endless round of moving undone to-do items from an old scribbled on list to a fresh list, with the hope that the item won’t have to be moved onto future lists too.  Sometimes, but not often enough, I am good at planning in a little fun experience or two.  This puts a squeeze on my necessary tasks, but is usually worth it from a mental energy perspective.

 

Well, it’s Monday again with one weekend behind and another looming in the near distance.  Time to think work week thoughts.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

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