T.A.L.

Ok, so I don’t blog much, and I also stay so busy that I don’t get super passionate about things that I have no control over. But this week…….. Whew! I expect to lose at least a couple of my “followers” over this one, but I don’t really care.

This week, I was listening to a fantastic podcast, and was really enjoying the content. Ms. Nikole Hannah-Jones (@nhannajones) works for the New York Times, and is doing amazing work on calling attention to the education system in our country. Hearing her insights in the beginning of the podcast struck a chord within me that just kept resonating as she was talking – I was fired up and already trying to figure out what I could do to help make a difference.

You see, what Ms. Hannah-Jones has a passion for, is the desegregation of our schools to help improve every aspect of education. That’s right, here we are, more than 60 years later, and still facing an issue that truly should not be an issue anymore. Her statistics and insights make nothing but good sense, and it all made me wonder what I can do to help.

My thoughts were all over the place, but with so much excitement: “Such simple changes can affect the lives of countless children?” “Why are we not already doing this simple thing?” “How can I, “just a mom”, help with this initiative?”

Then, all of a sudden, the entire tone changed. The podcast then went to a town hall in the middle of a place where this was about to happen, where things were about to change for the better – and my heart ended up in my throat. The racist bigotry that began pouring through my speakers as I listened to what people were saying in this town hall…….made me so sad for who we are as a society right now. That any human would say the things that these people were saying about another human being – just absolutely baffles my mind. How in the world are we still able to look at another race or creed and see ANYTHING other than another human being? With the same needs and wants, and every right to be considered equal – as a HUMAN? And to say these horrible things with a number of those children they were talking about sitting IN THE SAME PLACE, tied a knot in my stomach. How is it, in this day and age (the town hall was from 2013), is this still SUCH a rampant issue? I am disheartened, but still want to figure out how to help move this important issue forward in our society.

Podcast

ProPublica Spread

Ms. Hannah-Jones’ article in the NY Times

Namaste.
hc
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life.”
~Plato

Almost a year.

Its been almost a year since my last post. A busy year. A crazy year. But a year that found me wanting to blog – just unwilling to take the time. The job is always busy for different reasons, I have gone back to school to work on my Masters degree, Abi is preparing for High School (how did THAT happen?!) and Chris is expanding his creativity with fun projects. We are about a year out from learning whether we will stay here in DC or head back to NH, and I try not to stress about that too much – the pros outweigh the cons with every outcome, so it is easy to take comfort in the fact that, either way, we will be together and make the best of it!

I have found in that year that straying too far from my centering practices – exercise, yoga, meditation, etc – has almost immediate consequences, and I have to focus to ensure I don’t stray too far too often. So I take this moment to remind you……..it doesn’t matter what your religion is, what your passion is, but you have to find it and let it be your driving force to be the best you each and every day.

Namaste.
hc

“There are techniques of Buddhism, such as meditation, that anyone can adopt.”
~Dalai Lama

Bosses

I have had two REALLY GREAT bosses so far in my career. Don’t get me wrong – I have had a LOT more than 2 (if you know anything about the military construct, you know that we can go through bosses like I go through candy corn in October), but of those many bosses, I have had two who were just outstanding and who I consider to be mentors. One is the super funny boss who originally hired me into my last job (with reluctance because of my youth at the time that he constantly told me he was glad I proved him wrong) in NH. The other was my last boss in NH who is oft disliked for his “overly strict” adherence to the rules. Why are they so great? In a career that has been wrought with sexual bias (even 15 years into this, there are still far more men than women in this job), intimidation and often a complete lack of faith from superiors, these two have qualities that just go above and beyond.

Boss 1 – I mentioned he’s funny, and that is an understatement. He has a great sense of humor teamed with an ability to utilize his humor to defuse tense situations – which is SO important in this high paced world. But he has so many other qualities that just make him stand out from the “boss crowd”. He is a great writer – one of those people who you regret seeing move so far up in the ranks, only because you want him to review everything you write, since he can take any nonsense you put together and shine it up in a way that makes you wish you had that natural talent. He is a dedicated family man – even though it often means hours of work once the kids are in bed, he is there for every game, play or concert (as long as he is in town), and better still – ensures that his subordinates do the same. Thank you PS for bringing me to NH and having enough faith in me to let me spread my wings – it was an amazing set of opportunities!

Boss 2 – While also funny, and well able to take a joke, this one has a quality that I simply cannot put in to words. He knows every rule of the job inside out and backwards, and while that occasionally worked against me, it is far more impressive to have someone that dedicated and willing to put themselves on the line for you because they can prove they are right. He has since also been promoted and is working in a great job at a higher level – but I am thankful to have worked with him while we had the opportunity. Thank you GW for teaching me that knowing the rules and enforcing them universally may not always be popular, but is always the higher road.

This all comes just hours short of my one year anniversary of moving to my new job, as I think of them often, and truly appreciate all that I learned from them. I am also, a bit surprisingly at this anniversary, thankful for the numerous “less than awesome” bosses that I have had. Without many of the lessons learned from those difficult bosses, I would have struggled even more than I did this year. It has been a long year, with stresses I never could have envisioned, but I wouldn’t change it. Being a part of something bigger than myself has been rewarding, and fortunately, the family is not entirely miserable either. :)

Namaste,
hc

~”People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” Theodore Roosevelt

Welcome Home!

I just wanted to share the big Miller news…… We have a new family member – the sweetest and most playful rescue any small family could hope for! Hope that all is well with our family and friends!

Namaste.
~hc

“Dogs are a link to our paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”
~Milan Kundera

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Humanity

So, I love this story that is making its way around on social media sites. In trying to find a link to the original story however, I find that it is “unsubstantiated” by several rumor squashing websites. But honestly, who cares? Real or fake, there is an idea inside this story that should be fostered as a society and taught to our children in hopes of a better tomorrow.

The gist of the story is that a pastor decided to pretend he was homeless before being introduced to his new congregation – and the reactions before and after the revelation of his true identity. At the heart of it – is this a story about religion? No. Is it a story about the homeless? No. What I see this story being about is something that we seem to have lost sight of………HUMANITY. At some point, long before our generation and maybe even back to the beginning of man-kind, people stopped looking at other people as HUMAN. There are numerous examples of this throughout our history, but today, with more people on this planet than the poor globe knows how to support, you see it every day and everywhere. It is heart wrenching to see it as globally as religions forgetting that they were founded upon Peace and to also see it as commonly as within your own cubicle row at the office.

We are all human. We all have struggles. Far too many people believe their universe is and should be the center for everyone else’s universe, and have no concept of empathy for what the person next to them may be going through. From the recent widow struggling to find their new identity at an age far too young for many to comprehend, to the parents who just discovered that their blissfully happy family is being tested by a terrifying disease in their only young child – the people around you deserve to be thought of as human and we
ALL deserve one another’s empathy and understanding. Next time you think you are having such an amazingly bad day because an accident on the highway kept you from getting to the grocery store before soccer practice, just take a moment to think that that accident you passed by may have just altered several lives in ways you hope never to comprehend.

Thanks for reading, and be kind to those around you simply because you can.

~hc

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

14 Amazing Years!

Not a day goes by that I don’t look around my life and my home and think “How did I get so lucky?”. Platy and I have been through SO much together, and yet find ourselves just as blissfully happy as we were in that “newlywed” stage that everyone swears will go away. 14 amazing years, and still, not a single business trip do I think “Finally a chance to get away”, and not one instance of “Well, I’m gonna work late to avoid going home”.

Thank you, my love, for our wonderful life, our amazing daughter, and the most
incredible 14 years – with the hope of many many more to come!

~hc

“Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day.” ~Gene Perret

Getting there…..

We have most of our boxes unpacked (and two cars in the garage after our highly productive day yesterday!), Abi is loving her new school and room (complete with her own bathroom!), and Chris is driving and gaining more movement in his hand by the day. I had a bit of trouble adjusting to work (it’s never easy to start over!), but have found too many reasons to be thankful for where I am in life to continue worrying about the inconveniences of “not liking” the new job! A wonderful family, a great location with a very nice house, and a lovely area with endless adventures for the mind, body and palette! Thank you universe for bringing us to where we are, and allowing us to grow together as a family through times that could’ve been destructive, but fortunately served only to make us stronger! :)

~hc

“I am thankful for every moment.” -Al Green

Whew

We have had some seriously crazy times in the past month! A new job with a big move should have been enough, but the universe tossed us a couple of extra bumps to test our resolve. From the historical blizzard that suddenly decided to hit on the day we were supposed to head out, to my complete inability to work at work, it has been tons of fun! I won’t even go in to our biggest hurdle though, as Platy did a lovely job of going over that on his site.

But, here we are. Platy is on the mend, though often frustrated by the limitations imposed by having one usable arm/hand during our unpacking and settling in phase; I am still unable to fully work at work because I am locked out of the network, but I had a glimpse for a short while and am making due; and Abi is loving her new school. I can’t tell you what a relief that last piece is – she has been my main concern this entire time, and from the first day, she has been thrilled with her new school – thank goodness!!

We miss our friends, we miss living on the river and our fireplace, but I think we are going to be all-right. :)

~hc

-”The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.” ~Author Unknown

-”If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.” ~Robert Fulghum

It’s on now….

We are now living in a hotel awaiting the next step in our adventure. Crazy how fast time has gone since we got the main detail finalized – “when do I start?”. Honestly, once we had that answer, it was like the blink of an eye and here we are. Our stuff is on its way, and we will soon follow – wow. :)
It hits us all in different ways at different times, and this past week it has hit me a lot in concern for the little one. I know deep down that we will all be ok, but the little realizations – no more hugs from our good friends, a whole new start for each of us, and on and on……have been a bit overwhelming this week. I am thankful we have had such a wonderful time here, and look forward to our new adventure.
Side note – just found out last night too that after 8 years of living over an hour from the nearest zoo – we will live near one that we can go to for free all the time……how exciting is THAT?!

~hc

Life Lessons

I could go on and on this time. We are all starting to freak out in our own ways about the impending move, and are lucky enough to have one another to share these fears with and help each other be better prepared. So I could go on and on about us and our “lately”, but I found something better to ramble about today. Lucky you. :)
Every so often, one of my friends will remind me in one way or another (facebook, email, etc) about Regina Brett and her ingenious list of Life Lessons that she originally printed in her column back in May 2006. Every time I see the list, a different lesson sticks with me at that moment. Today it was lesson #40 – “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” Such a valuable lesson, and so very true to the way things truly are in our world. I use this same type of mantra whenever I am having a tough time with anything – 90% of the time or more, remembering that you have it better than a ridiculous amount of people globally, is enough to kick you in the behind and help you reset your attitude, and we should all take that time to reflect when we are feeling down and out.
As I wrote this however, I would be remiss if I didn’t take it that small step further. As I said – reflection on your life and the realization that your problems are generally much smaller than many of those around you works MOST of the time. There will be times where that doesn’t work though, and those tend to be the times that you need some help. Whether a night with a good friend to talk things over, or even seeking help from a stranger through counseling – sometimes you need that extra bit of assistance to help you through, and you should never be ashamed to do so.
In my opinion, most of the time, reflection on how wonderful your life really is will help you refocus your energy and find your happiness. If it isn’t doing so though, don’t allow your guilt over it not working hold you back from getting help when you need it.

~hc