Monthly Archives: April 2014

Change: Affinity vs. Ability

Life is so much nicer all around when we like what is happening; what we are doing, where we are living and so on.  Sometimes we forget that there is a difference between liking, affinity, and skill at a task, or ability.  We all have skills that we could use to our advantage but often don’t because we just don’t have the affinity.


I’ve met plenty of people who, without saying it straight up, think that they will know they are on the right track because everything will snap into place – life will be easier and smoother if they are in the right place.  If things are difficult, it must be the wrong direction or place or whatever.  How many times have you been in a discussion with someone who shuts you down on a topic with something like, ‘oh, I’m not any good at (fill in the blank)’?


The world is ever changing.  (public domain image)

The world is ever changing. (public domain image)

Math doesn’t have any sort of magic for me like words do, I just don’t have much of an affinity.  But I have come to understand the importance of having a math competency – in financial dealings at the very least.  I will never gravitate to math, but I can be proud that I can master the more important math concepts and make use of them in my life.  And I have discovered that there are fascinating parts of math – statistics and economics do stir my curiosity.


We don’t get to arrange all of the pieces of our lives so that we can focus only on those things that we like.  (We’re lucky to arrange most of them, the big ones hopefully.)  And it isn’t always clear to see when you are on the right track, because that track might be just as bumpy and difficult as the wrong one.


Writing is a skill that makes plenty of people grimace, I both understand and feel consternated about this fact.  But like math for me, it is an ability that can be developed to serve your overall purpose.  You can like what a competency in a certain skill brings you without having an affinity for the concepts of the skill.


© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved


What’s for Dinner?

Thoughts on dinner have been trending in my mind.  My son, now the primary cook in our house due to his culinary interests, has been involved in other things these past few days meaning that I am coming home after work and fending for myself.  At Toastmasters earlier this week the Table Topics were all about tables and invariably dinner was part of it too.  And I have been remembering my changing role in dinner activities over my lifetime to date.


The 50’s cliché was the male breadwinner coming home to sit down to the family dinner cooked from scratch by his lovely wife all dressed up including pearls.  I’ve experienced some of this ideal in different ways and can see benefit.  When I was growing up mom and dad both put high importance on having a family evening meal.  Mom did the stay-at-home thing which included dinner from scratch for most of my childhood.  She didn’t have much interest in cooking per se, but she did have enough interest in healthy eating.  Her forte was conversation, the exchange of ideas once we were all at the table.  Even once she was working and going to school, we managed to keep the family meal going.


One of my son's most recent creations.

One of my son’s most recent creations.

I became a stay-at-home mom cooking the dinners from scratch, ready when my husband came home and before we had to head back out to whatever event or practice my boys had going.  I had a greater interest in cooking than my mom had shown, along with an equal interest in the exchange of ideas while we ate.  Feeding our minds and bodies, as well as feeding the family bond.


Even after becoming a single mom working a full time job, I felt it was highly important to keep up the tradition of a sit-down, scratch-cooked dinner.  The actual cooking part wasn’t so important, but the shared experience and time together was something that I could give my boys.


And now I would be hard pressed to find the energy and mental capacity to whip up a dinner every night.  I am happy to leave this task to my son who is caught up in the magic of creating maximum flavor experiences with food.  When he isn’t otherwise occupied at dinner time.


Being a ‘foodie’ is trending now along with an interest in fresh, sustainable ingredients.  The shared familial experience, the flow of talk and ideas doesn’t seem to have the same esteem though.  Dinner might just be another meal that we squeeze into our day, perhaps not one that even two people in a family have at the same time.


How do you feed your mind, body and the family bond these days?


© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved


Sometimes a computer just gets balky and glitchy and needs a do-over – hitting restart can shake whatever temporary demon is creating difficulty out of the programming.  Well, a day or a meeting or your brain can be glitchy too – you know what I’m talking about.


Glitch (


  1. a defect or malfunction in a machine or plan.

2. Computers. any error, malfunction, or problem. Compare bug1 ( def 5 ) .

  1. a brief or sudden interruption or surge in voltage in an electriccircuit.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause a glitch in: an accident that glitched our plans.


I like what has to say about the word origin:


1962, Amer.Eng., possibly from Yiddish glitsh “a slip,” from glitshn “to slip,” from Ger. glitschen, and

related gleiten “to glide.” Perhaps directly from Ger.; it began as technical jargon in the argot of electronic hardware engineers, popularized and given a broader meaning by U.S. space program.


Glitch sounds like what it is – something that tripped up what was supposed to happen.


If a computer can purge a glitch by restarting (sometimes several times), how do we humans get a do-over when we have glitchy moments?  Ah, not so simple.

photo credit: Wikipedia

photo credit: Wikipedia


A big game, a player gets the ball and becomes confused and heads the wrong way – a glitch for sure – he or she can’t take it back.  Teammates, the coach and fans are furious.  A very public oops moment.  The player can only go forward and learn to take the ribbing every time that moment comes up again.


Computers don’t have to worry about the embarrassment factor.  If the computer that holds your most important presentation decides not to get going just when your presentation is due to start the computer won’t feel stupid or inadequate.


Humor helps in these moments, for humans not computers.  (Though I hear that Siri has a sense of humor.)  Shared laughter can get us past the glitch, ease any tension.  Sometimes it’s the closest thing we have to a restart.


Here’s hoping for a glitch free day.  Human and machine.


© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

The Sarcastic Muse

Writing. Information. Inspiration. Sarcasm guaranteed.

Stefanie O'Connell

Just another site

Retirement - Only the Beginning

Retirement Planning Beyond Financial

Voices In His Head

Recognized as Blog Of The Year! (unfortunately, it was given the year 1910, the start of the Great Depression)

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

BAReed Writing, Business Writing

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

Dancing Beastie

Seasonal living in a Scottish castle

The Middlest Sister

There are 5 sisters. She's the middlest.

American Oz

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

Blog to Work

Blogging your way to a job.


frightfully wondrous things happen here.

Simplifying Business Chaos

Always The Write Time Blog


Art of Non-Conformity

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

The Creative Penn

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

Gifts Of The Journey

The Fearless Pursuit Of A Life Worth Living


Through The Glass Darkly

an interconnected life...

Discovering the threads that connect us, one story at a time.

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares news about TED Talks and TED Conferences.


A great site

Second Star to the Right

and straight on 'til morning


Success is meant to be shared


Living cheaply and richly on an acre in Puna, Hawaii

J T Weaver

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. — Dylan.

Gen Y Girl

Twentysomething. Annoyed with corporate BS. Obsessed with Gen Y. Not bratty. Just opinionated.

Jenna Dee with a following wind


iPhone vs Camera

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience