Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It’s Been Nearly A Year

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve blogged here. My projects with the unemployed have taken a great deal of time. No complaints. If my math is correct, I’ve been able to help 27 people get back to work. It’s an awesome feeling. Some had been out of work for nearly 2 years. There are so many talented people out there ready to work. Thank goodness things seem to be loosening a bit.

I do miss blogging here. So many possible subjects these days. I think I’m going to have to fire things up here again just to stay sane. Writing is how I process things. Having that outlet gives me a way to purge and move forward.

If anyone is in the mood to do some reading again, I’m grateful. I may have to shut off commenting options for a bit. We’ll see. The spammers have loaded me to the gills with junk.

Why Lisa, Where Have You Been?

Monday, July 13th, 2009

I’ve been blogging away on issues relevant to job seekers. Professionally, I am a former headhunter with over a decade of experience in the recruiting and staffing industry. Since many people are struggling to find work in the present economy, I decided to start doing my part to help people navigate their job search more efficiently and effectively. I’ve been blogging away at www.RecruiterUncensored.com. I’m not giving up this blog, so please don’t give up on me. I’ve just been busy with writing, conducting presentations and doing some one on one coaching to job seekers. My heart and mind are satisfied with the effort so far. It’s great to have an outlet in my life again that connects me to the outside world!

Well Now That’s Different

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I’m looking forward to the day when people can set aside their political differences and start acting mature again. The Conservatives are a buzz over Wanda Sykes joking at the White House Correspondents Dinner about how Rush Limbaugh was likely the 20th terrorist on 9/11 and he missed his plane because he was strung out on Oxycontin. I agree it was tacky. It isn’t something I found humor in, nor would I have gone there. That said, I find it odd those who have been calling Obama “Osama” and posting pictures of him in a turban find Sykes’ remarks inappropriate. I mean, comparing our President to the mastermind of 9/11 seems more extreme to me than painting Limbaugh as one of the hijackers. Just saying.

Swiper the Fox

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

My kids are ‘Dora the Explorer’ fans. Though she annoys me at times, I do appreciate how much they learn from her. My daughter frequently laces her conversation with Spanish and she’s using it correctly. I find that amazingly cool.

In any event, there is a character on the show who I worry about. It’s Swiper the Fox. Swiper is constantly stealing things and celebrating how Dora will never find what he’s taken. Of course, she always does. His efforts are never successful. He keeps doing it though. He was born to steal, it appears. Or was he?

Because Dora is always able to undo his damage, I think it’s reasonable to assume Swiper means no real harm. It’s more of a game to him than anything else. In a way, he is baiting Dora to play with him. As smart as Dora is and with all of the problems she is capable of solving she hasn’t bothered to dissect why Swiper behaves the way he does. She makes no effort to put an end to the problem long term. Her best plan is to tell him not to steal. “Swiper no Swiping!” That’s all well and good, but what if she took the time to give Swiper attention aside from when she is trying to keep something from him? Maybe she could invite him on one of her adventures and show him some positive attention? It’s not uncommon for people to act out in a negative way in an effort to be noticed.

I know it would break from the format of having the show be so repetitive parents want to bang their heads against the table, but maybe Swiper could eventually be reformed and kids could learn from Dora how to process the behavior of others and figure out ways to change it versus simply enduring.

Because I Don’t Wanna

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

“Because I don’t wanna” is my daughter’s favorite response when I ask her why she hasn’t done something. As much as it makes me want to throttle her three year old self at times, I can’t help but appreciate her blunt honesty. So often that is the reason most people don’t do things. They simply don’t feel like it. The motivation or desire isn’t there. Admitting that doesn’t exactly paint a person in a positive light so adults have learned through the course of time to blame one’s inaction on other people or on circumstances/obstacles in one’s environment. The effort to mask the truth is so successful at times, people actually end up believing the excuses they’ve come up with and completely lose sight of the role not wanting to do things may be playing in their lives.

I put a great deal of value in being honest to the people around me. That said, I still find myself on the excuse train from time to time when I know full well I am the one to blame. Though bending the truth may have spared my ego, it certainly didn’t do me any favors in the long run. We’ve all been taught honesty is the best policy. It is indeed important to be honest with others. More so, it is important to be honest with ourselves.

Still Processing

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

My mind is spinning this week about religion. Can you tell? The more I allow myself to think, the more questions I have about why God is allowing organized religion to fail society in so many ways. I should clarify that I mean all organized religion. I’m not speaking exclusively of any particular faith.

To me, there are common themes in most forms of religion we could all cling to and benefit from. Indoctrinating all humans to be kind to others, appreciative of what they have, unselfish and prepared to hold those who harm others accountable is all good in my book. I give it the big thumbs up. If that’s all we had to subscribe to in our lives to honor our God, we’d be doing well.

Where I really struggle is with the earthly judging. Most religions have taken on the position they are the only true religion. They are the only way to a desirable afterlife. Some religions are gracious enough to allow you to sign up for their team and others suggest if you weren’t born one of them your soul is out of luck. No matter, the overall message is similar. If you do as the religion says you will have a great eternity. If not, well….

That said, all of the back and forth over whose afterlife is going to be the pits doesn’t bother me. My own gut tells me if there is an afterlife, the choices I’ve made, the regret I’ve felt for mistakes and the way I’ve treated others in my life gives me a pretty good chance of qualifying. What bothers me is how often religions are used to start wars against one another in the name of God. It could be a physical war with weapons or it could be a social war with words and laws. Humans can’t seem to avoid the temptation to use God as an excuse to destroy or deny. They are God’s soldiers, after all. Maybe that’s what makes wars of all types inevitable. Soldiers can be great at keeping the peace, but they are also trained to fight. I imagine the choice to be a peacekeeper or a fighter depends on the mindset of the soldier in situations like this.

I’m not sure what the answers are to peace and harmony. I do think if there were a clear way to know the indisputable truth about God and his expectations the world would be a better place. As with any parenting, children need a clear, consistent message that is delivered regularly. Our ultimate Father has come up short in that department. I imagine some of my friends are reading this and praying for my blasphemous self. Pray away. God gave me a logical and reasoning mind. My opinion on this shouldn’t surprise Him. Seriously though, the last time God supposedly communicated directly with His children was centuries upon centuries ago. Surely he can see the likelihood of having his original message lost over the course of time. I understand sitting back and letting your kids learn right and wrong through experiencing life, but when you see them off course to the point where others are being harmed, even killed, with the belief it is what you want from them, stepping in seems necessary. I mean really stepping in and making yourself heard and understood. It’s all well and good for those who believe God is speaking through weather, disease and earthquakes, but I’d prefer a less ambiguity. Pop out of the clouds with a deep baritone voice and tell your kids to knock it off or they are destined for the naughty spot.

I do believe all people come from the same maker and all have value in the physical world and in eternity. I also believe no one was created with the intention they would simply be a disposable pawn so God’s followers could destroy them to prove allegiance. Deeply religious people, right or wrong, have their heart into something the believe to be true and are doing their best to honor their faith. Not just because their mind tells them it’s true, but because their family line has been told and passed on for generations it was true. Few devout people are willing to say you’re right, what I’ve been taught to believe all of my life is wrong. Why? Because when we are being honest with ourselves we can admit there is just as good a chance of them being right as any other religious person. Since there is no way to really know you either go all in with your chips and hope for the best or you stay more on the periphery, like me, and hope living your life in a good way still qualifies you for a good eternity, if there is one, even though you may not have committed enough to the actual religion that turned out to be right. For me, I’d like to think the right answer is Christianity. It would be ideal since that is the faith I am most aligned with. It’s the faith that gives me the most comfort and the one that has played the largest role in my life. That said, I do recognize there isn’t enough tangible proof for me to know without a doubt Christianity will send me to the winner’s circle in eternity.

The Thing About Extremists

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

There’s a lot of hullabaloo right now over the whole “right-winged extremist” thing. Conservatives are taking exception to the Department of Homeland Security dubbing right-winged extremists as the most dangerous domestic threat. Because being political seems to be more important these days that being logical, the Department’s position is being used as evidence that Conservatives who disagree with Obama’s policies are putting themselves at risk to be viewed as a threat to our country. On top of that, there is genuine anger over the Department’s audacity to classify right-winged extremists as more dangerous than Islamic terrorists.

This is what it comes down to for me. First, there is a distinct difference between what the government means by a right-winged extremist and the staunch Conservative who passionately disagrees with Obama’s policies. Making the case the administration sees them as one in the same is one heck of a stretch. Some Conservatives fired up by all this are suggesting those who dare to voice an unfavorable opinion of the President are somehow in danger of becoming a target of the government. It’s beyond asinine. If that were the case surely Rush Limbaugh would be in Guantanamo by now. I hate the bailouts and I know for a fact typing that here isn’t going to land me on a terrorist watch list. Some attempting to give this concern legs know better. They’ve been able to express their views in an acidic way with no fear of consequence. One acquaintance of mine all churned up over this issue is the type to call Obama Osama and loves to paint our president as a Hitler reincarnate. In his mind, and I use the word mind loosely, he is now some sort of rebel writer who is putting himself at risk with every word against the President he dares to type. Oh, where would our country be without the raw courage of men like him to fearlessly be dolts in front of the rest of us?

The second point to consider in all of this is we are talking about a DOMESTIC threat. That means ‘within our borders.’ Anyone following the news of late has seen ample reports of violence against our citizens and law enforcement agencies as a result of paranoia or anger over the current economic situation and policy initiatives. Just a few days ago three officers were shot and killed in Pennsylvania by a man upset over Obama’s supposed plans to limit his access to guns in the future. Acts of violence carried out by a cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs citizen against others is much more common in our country than events connected to any sort of Jihad. We have plenty of mall, school and workplace shootings to back that up. Of course, right-winged extremists aren’t to blame for all of the above, but they have had their share of headline making events and we’d be pretty thick not to realize the current climate is ripe for inspiring the Timothy McVeigh’s of this world to act in some way.

I wish Homeland Security had left ‘right-winged’ out of the mix and simply focused on extremists in general. Anyone willing to commit violence for their cause is in the same class of naughty to me. I can see the need to be specific, but it would have made it easier for our drama loving media and citizens to focus on the real concern. And the real concern to me is that our citizens are growing targets of violence by fellow countrymen with an ax to grind. Until Americans are brought back to reality and accept that their lives and the lives of their family members are statistically more likely to be taken by a fellow citizen who is off balance than a soldier of Jihad, we are vulnerable. Dare I dream for a time when we can be realistic about true threats without it turning into some political soap opera?

Perfect 10

Monday, April 6th, 2009

My daughter loves her swimsuit. The electric blue fabric is decorated with a giant green palm tree and bright red and yellow flowers that scream “look at me!” Putting her swimsuit on is a weekly ritual regardless if swimming is on the agenda or not. Why wait for water? In her mind, something that great needs to be worn as often as possible. I’m more than happy to put it on her. Seeing her lily white arms and legs in all of their pudgy toddler glory stops my heart. Even with a fanny swollen from a bulky swimmie diaper, she is a ‘Bo Derek move over’ perfect 10 to my eyes. As she prances around, her face reveals the uninhibited delight of a girl enjoying a moment without the baggage of insecurities. There’s no question in her mind she is anything less than fabulous. How I wish I could keep it that way.

My daughter’s love of swimwear does not come from me. Even touching my suit stirs feelings of distress and inadequacy. The times I have mine on in front of others my mind is unable to focus on the joy of the water and time with family and friends. It is lost in a sea of self-loathing. Avoiding occasions to wear my suit altogether worked for me in the past. Now that I have kids it is impossible to do that without robbing them of experiences all kids should have.

I’m not the only woman in my family who hates swimsuits. My twin sister feels the same way. This common thread has less to do with us being twins and more to do with the environment we grew up in. It’s not that anyone said anything damaging to our self-esteem. More so, it was our observing the constant rituals the women in our lives went through to transform them from their God given self to something worthy of public display. I have clear memories of my mother and grandmothers ducking from a camera because they were “hideous” at that moment or didn’t “have their face on.” It sent a message more powerful than any words. A woman without cover or accessories is not attractive. The real human body, without decoration, is ugly. Considering there is no way to hide your physical reality in a swimsuit, it is a logical enemy to anyone struggling with maintaining a positive self-image. There is only so much draping possible. The suit itself is damning enough. Never mind actually getting wet in the bloody thing and no longer being able to hide behind makeup and perfectly quaffed hair as the unmerciful, drenched fabric clings to every bump and ripple in the most unappealing way possible. As far as unfortunate situations go, that is pretty high on the list for me.

When I’m being logical, I know I wasn’t born hating myself in swimsuits. There had to of been a time when I didn’t give my body and how others might view it any concern. Messages around me and in my life likely changed that. My daughter’s nearly 3 year old self isn’t registering my need to cover. She’s not hearing my groans over her squeals of delight. That won’t be true forever. It is likely she has already subconsciously stored images and words that, though they mean nothing to her now, will make sense down the road and affect her own view of her body. If my lily white legs are an embarrassment, if my jiggles, curves and bumps are best kept under a towel or over-sized shirt, shouldn’t the same be true for her? She is my daughter. She will inevitably see some of me in her. By allowing her to see I don’t like me, I am giving her reason to eventually not like her. It crushes me to imagine her ever doubting her beauty or considering hiding the light that is her from the rest of the world in shame or embarrassment. It just can’t be. Period.

Knowingly contributing to my daughter’s future feelings of inadequacy is not an option. As uncomfortable as I am at times in my own skin, it is essential to set that aside and make some positive changes in my life. What better motivator than preserving my daughter’s “I am fabulous as I am” smile? The next time my daughter asks to play in her swimsuit, I’m going to put mine on too. We’ll dance hula together in front of the mirrors in her playroom. I’ve had the same “don’t look at me” black swimsuit for nearly a decade. Perhaps it is time for my own electric blue eye catcher? When we go to the pool, I’m going to force myself to rip the t-shirt and shorts that cover my suit off with the same enthusiasm she possesses. I’m going to make a genuine effort not to care what might be too white or purple. If all four of my buns are hanging out, so be it. My body is my body. When my rational mind takes a look around, I know I’m no mutant. I’m just a woman. My body may not sell magazines, but my goal has never involved being a cover girl. My ultimate goal is to be a good mom and give my daughter all the tools in life that will help her grow into a confident woman who is happy with all of the amazing things that make her, HER. If she misses out on one experience that could have brought her joy as a result of a poor self-image it will have been one too many.

Who knows. Maybe after a time of demonstrating a positive self-image for her, I’ll actually learn how to have one for real versus faking it for her good. My brain is capable of reprogramming, right? Kind of makes me wonder who the teacher really is here, her or me?

For God Being All Knowing

Monday, March 9th, 2009

For God being all knowing, I’m amazed he didn’t make men’s feet smaller than women’s. Seriously, he had to know the hazards they’d create by leaving their boats-for-shoes all over the house for anyone and everyone to trip over. Give those who are more likely to pick up after themselves the big feet!

Touche’

Monday, March 9th, 2009

My daughter will be 3 in a few weeks. She’s transforming into a girl. The baby/toddler stage is definitely history. If there is ever any doubt that I’ve shaped her to this point, I need only stop, look and listen for a bit.

A few nights ago I was cooking dinner while Olivia wiped down the refrigerator with a sponge. She likes to do various house chores as a form of play. I appreciate her interest and look forward to the day when her play cleaning actually results in me having less work to do. It seems I am always cleaning and recleaning. The never ending cycle frustrates me greatly, a point Olivia apparently has not missed.

So I’m cooking and she’s wiping and we are quite the team in the kitchen. All was well until I had the nerve to open the refrigerator for butter, touching her freshly wiped handle. “Moooooooooom!” she announces with her hand on her hip and her sponge pointed at my nose, “I just finished cleaning that!”

Oh, Livie, my dear. Boy do I ever know how you feel. My apologies, Sugar Lump. In the future I’ll do better so you haven’t labored in vain.