Jun 4, 2015

I haven’t written in forever!

I haven’t written in forever!

Some updates:

1. I started following this cool blog, “The Art of Doing Stuff”. It’s awesome. I love DIY sites, but I hate when things are done the “wrong” way. You know when you see a cute woodworking project on Pinterest and then you realize it’s held together with hot glue and paper clips? I want my homemade projects to last. Plus, I love author Karen’s sense of humor. “Everyone else who celebrates it as a reason to eat ham can suck it. Ham is gross.”

2. We’re having a big environmental health and safety (EHS) push at work, and one upshot was that we had to submit at least two comments on how to improve lab safety by the end of the day or you would lose two out of ten points on your safety practices score. “Are we in middle school?!” I protested (in my head, of course). I really, REALLY wanted to rebel against the policy, but I do value lab safety, so I forced myself to submit comments. "There’s no sense in cutting off my nose to spite my face," I reasoned. After I submitted the safety comments, I didn’t expect a response, but it turns out that my company did a really thorough job of checking out everyone’s concerns. Each of my questions was evaluated and copied to a punch sheet, and almost all of my concerns have already been addressed, in only one week. I don’t think I would’ve submitted any concerns if it hadn’t been mandatory, so none of these safety issues would’ve been corrected.

3. I went to a professional development training yesterday (this one), and the speaker asked everyone what they did yesterday at work, and the day before, and last week, but no one could remember! (That’s not true – I could remember the main projects I finished, and the two Baltimore Corps members at my table remembered.)
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” –Abraham Lincoln
I don’t think the point of life is to remember every detail, but if you do more things you’re excited about, you’ll remember more of the details.

I have a tendency to overextend myself with social engagements. I feel guilty when I want to take a day off to veg at home when I “should” be out meeting people, but part of doing more things you’re excited about is being able to say “no” to social invitations you aren’t excited about, too.

I also tend to get into long conversations with strangers I don’t want to speak with, even though sometimes it’s best to disengage. (I think I’ve got Hebrews 13:2 -- “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” -- burned permanently into my DNA.) (And sometimes strangers have really fascinating life stories.) Recognizing when to disengage is a key point in “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker (which is one of comedian Amy Poehler's favorite books according to her memoir, "Yes, Please"). If you feel uncomfortable, no one is telling you you have to stay. Just get out of the situation!

And, finally, my mom and I discussed this quote from the website “The Art of Manliness” in relation to our family history of depression:
"Contrary to the popular association of depression with laziness, it can actually arise from trying to do too much. Both of my bouts of depression were precipitated by a period of grinding work and an overly packed schedule. 
"As we’ve been discussing, activity itself is not the problem, and is in fact a central part of the solution. But there’s a difference between taking care of necessary maintenance tasks, and being overwhelmed by plain old 'busy work' — responsibilities that have nothing to do with what’s important in your life, cry out with a false sense of urgency, and make you sick rather than well."
So, between Abraham Lincoln, “The Gift of Fear”, and “The Art of Manliness”, we can conclude that the secret to the good life is to do more stuff that fulfills you and less stuff that drains you.

*The more you know!*