Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Grandpa

Homework for 'Blue Heaven,' with Lisa Conlin.

My grandpa was a big, burly kind of guy. I picture him best with his scratchy red and black flannel hat, the kind of hat that looks best when riding a tractor. He had rough, work-worn hands that scared me a little when I was really small. I was just not used to seeing and feeling the kind of hands that took charge of the tough kind of labor he accomplished each day.

As I grew, I not only got used to those rough hands, but I grew to love them. He had a special chair in the living room that was just for him. But that certainly didn't mean he was the only one who got to sit in it. In fact, I suspect that he sat in it after a days work just so I could hop up and sit with him. When I was sad or frustrated about something, he'd always say 'Why, I'm sorry, Erinn.' I would always tell him, 'Grandpa, it's not your fault,' because it wasn't. It never was. He'd always come back with a big grin full of love and a response of 'Well, I'm still sorry.'

It always made me smile because I knew he really meant it, and he had a way of telling me so with a smile on his face. I can still hear him say it, and it still makes me feel better. Especially if I picture him in his flannel hat.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Over-committed, but not Un-inspired . . .

Here I am sitting on my make-shift porch, having a flash-back to another point in my life. At this point it my life, I was also planning to apply to school, I was learning a new situation, and surrounded by new people. Hmm. It was also right around this time of year. It blows my mind that the time I am referring to was truly three full years ago. I can look back into it like it was yesterday. The same weather, the same kind of feelings . . .

Then here is something to ponder; the role of flux. I have been spending a lot of work and thought time, in the last couple of years, pondering how to keep my life from fluxing so much, thinking that ‘stability is best.’ Yes, this idea about stability might be true. An amount of predictable-ness I am sure provides for even footing and ability to look beyond. That calls into question what is meant by ‘predictable-ness.’ I could present a new word here, and likely just reach the playing-ground that I need to determine the meaning for that word too.

What I think it comes down to is the fact that different concepts play well for different people. Doing the ‘StrengthsFinder’ for work really helped me clue in on the fact that all too many people, including myself, tend to focus on our weaknesses instead of strengths. In my case, in relation to stability, this often men that I have been giving myself shit for not being able to find one full-time job that I want to be in. I think I need to stop giving myself shit and embrace the fact that I thrive when put into many situations in a given time period. I LIKE to work a lot of places, and can organize the ability to do that. That said, I also always need to be cognizant of when I may be pushing that ability too far. On the opposite side, people who use their strengths best when focusing in on just one thing likely need to watch themselves to be sure that they are not stagnating in the face of having no new influences in their lives.

It seems that this process of embracing self is going to be happening for quite some time. In fact, harking back to my story about the co-op lady; it probably never will happen, and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of it. It seems that this will be a life-long process. If you pay any attention to the things you like about others (and you probably should J), you will likely spend your whole life warding off the tendency to try and figure out how to be more like them. It’s certainly a great idea to try and emulate within yourself the things you like about others, it just seems really crucial you are in fact trying to emulate rather than be.

Here is a personal example; I find a lot of strength in always looking forward and planning toward the future. It keeps me, and often the people around me, motivated and excited for the next step. I can capitalize on this strength when put in brainstorming and creative direction roles, which is something I am trying to do more of. I can supplement this strength by asking myself to more often enjoy what is happening to me in the moment. Like right now, there is a small, breeze, the gental hum of a plane overhead, the wiz of an air-conditioning unit, chirping, and a nice grass smell. Noticing all this together is almost overwhelming me, both with the use of so many senses at once, as well as the thought that this kind of observation is available to me at any time, in any place.

So, over-committed but not un-inspired. Seems to be the way that I like my life. Chill with it.