Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mirror, mirror on the wall.....I don't like clowns.

I have one of those mirrors you set on your make-up table to assist when you get ready to put on your proper "face" for the day.  My sister gave it to me as a gift one Christmas after I commented on how much I liked this amenity provided by the many hotels I found myself staying in.  The mirror comes complete with lights and settings which allows the user the choice of many opportunities to showcase their best features.   One side has a mirror for the "normal glance" and if you flip the mirror over, your face is shown out of focus for just a minute, until you realize it is still you, magnified in all your glory. 


holier than thou
Have you ever looked in the mirror when you are wearing an optional "face"?  This is one not included in your basic mirror but ones we are all familiar with, having worn them and seen them often on others.  I am talking about the ever popular faces of "holier than thou" , "you are so irritating", "is it over yet", and "I am not paying attention anymore". I can't even capture my favorite (and often seen done by me in real life - the "rolling eyes" YOU ARE AN IDIOT face)

Not paying attention
Life has been full of so many challenges (opportunities) that my mirror with its four settings (evening, day, home and office) did not fully equip me for all those times.  Nor is there a dial large enough to handle all the "faces" we must wear.  And we are only talking about the dial for the planned "faces" we wear.  Where is the dial for the emergencies we are called to deal with?  When the mirror flips and we are forced to rely on sheer memory of who we are and what we are supposed to look like? 



Many mornings I have sat in front of that mirror and reflected upon the "face" I was going to be putting on for the world I would be "facing" .  Do any of us really know what are family, friends, co-workers are "facing" behind the mask they share with the world?  We all prepare our "face" (with or without make-up) and bravely make our way every day.   

But at least we are recognizable.   With our fragile looks and fake smiles.  Those clowns....they hide behind all that grease, colorful make-up and painted on smiles..  And they try to win you over with balloon animals and red noses.  We don't even know who they are.  They pull coins out of their ears and chased me....er...will chase you when you start running.  I am no Bozo when it comes to clowns....it's every man for himself.

Me in the "off" position
Until next time,

Check your rear view mirror.....
for clowns!    
All my best,

Kari


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Truth may fear no questions...but honestly how do you get there?

And yes, there was a play on words intended in my opening.  Ever since I heard the statement " The truth fears no questions" I have been thinking about it (okay, not every waking second - but off and on....and that is the TRUTH).  I guess the statement could be true but the only way to get to the truth is by relying on the honesty of people.  So, let's talk this through.

If you have three people witness a car accident, each one will see something different and report it as the truth.  Every single story may be different and if you don't talk to all three people you will only get a portion of the truth.  Now I guess we are talking about the WHOLE TRUTH as differentiated by just THE TRUTH.  This is also a common phenomena in the workplace or even in family drama.  If an investigation is going on, people are encouraged to just tell THE TRUTH. Unfortunately, the investigator may only focus on seeking the answers they want.  Now we know why.  The WHOLE TRUTH might do a disservice to THE TRUTH needed to settle their case.  And are we really talking about THE TRUTH or perspective at this point?  Forgive me for muddying the waters.   Let's look at a visual example:

 If asked to take an oath in court, you would say that the picture to the left was a piece of pie, correct?  And that is what the court is interested in; the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.  The trouble with that is, your truth can't be the whole truth if the right questions aren't asked, or allowed.  Right now, all you know is - that is a piece of pie.  You don't know if it is the WHOLE PIE, but it is the WHOLE PIE as far as you are concerned.  Are you following me?  So if the questions stop here and a decision is made on the WHOLE PIE, what is wrong with this picture? (I OBJECT!)
 

So let's say we have the WHOLE PIE (aka TRUTH) but before we take this truth forward, we decide it's not necessary for everyone to know the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.  This is when it is time for plea bargaining, expunging from a record, perhaps being erased away by a hefty fine or simply never being brought to the light of day because of a phone call made, protection from the right people, who you are, etc. etc. This will depend on circumstances (legal, business world, even family drama).


 Now the TRUTH (whatever kind it is) can be bent, twisted, reshaped, or made into a new truth and has become as pliable as silly putty.  Heck, it is kind of silly we are so caught up in the TRUTH at all since we are so willing to serve it up as whatever is most pleasing to our particular audience.

No wonder the TRUTH fears no questions,  It is more likely that questions should fear the TRUTH.

Truth is, now that we've talked through it, I feel hungry.  I'm not going to think of this anymore.

Until next time,

All my best,

Kari


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dreams...where unfinished business is handled

I remember my dreams almost every night.  When I ask other people about their dreams, I get mixed reviews.  Some say they never dream, some dream vividly and others are six of one, half dozen of the other.  Where do you fall?  My dreams tend to tie back to my reality somehow.  Kind of like the best lies....those are the ones that always have a bit of truth to them.

I have had a dream with a common theme lately.  I have now been away from the workforce for two months.  Since I left my long term career rather suddenly, I recently began having consistent dreams which involved me trying to tie up the loose ends I must feel I didn't finish in real life.  Being a Type A personality with just enough of an OCD problem to acknowledge the issue but avoid medication, this does not surprise me.  (Some who know me might also toss in control issues).   The dreams started out with me showing up at the job, (various locations) even though I didn't actually work there anymore and actually sneaking in....all this to accomplish an assignment or talk to someone I thought might need some help.  I am smiling as I type this because in the dream while I wasn't scaling walls or picking locks to get back "inside", there was some stealth to my approach. (I like that about the dream).  At first when people saw me, they would whisper to each other and I would overhear "she's not supposed to be here", yet - no one would stop me.  I have never been a threat. 

The dreams always leave me thoughtful and soon evolved to people actually helping me come in, approaching me with questions and letting me help them finish projects that needed closing.  There was no expectation of pay or acknowledgement that I was even there but soon a space to work was available and I was called to meetings when needed.  It was a "truce" if you will.  An unspoken agreement from top to bottom that acknowledged a need for closure on both sides.

The most recent dream was me actually cleaning out a few cabinets and leaving things in an orderly fashion.  I took a few calls and felt good about how things looked as I left.  Perhaps the dreams are finished now.

It's interesting - the business of dreams.  Sometimes they can be quite bizarre, soothing, bring back a memory or two, terrifying, or they can be a work in progress - but I still think...like the best lies...there is always a little truth to them.

Yesterday I heard an interesting statement.  "Truth fears no questions."

I will ponder that now.

Until next time,

All my best -
Kari



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Getting things done with a sense of urgency.......needs cooperation

Okay.  So I mentioned I would be teaching Madi how to drive.  No problem here.  I have been an instructor of student drivers many times over in my life (five to be exact) and in my past experience, you get a learner's permit; hit the road a few times (perhaps a poor choice of words); master the obvious and off you go to obtain your very own driver's license at 16.  NOT SO ANY MORE.

Welcome to February, 2013 when this odyssey began.  First, you must apply to become a parent instructor and once approved you choose from a plethora of classes available to you on-line that you may then buy to finally impart this wisdom to your child.  That's fine.  I am still thinking it is more cost-effective and informational than sending Madi to some weekend driving school and spend $800 plus where she may or may not pay attention (I know her attention span and focus).  I get my permission from the Great State of Texas DMV, spend my $120 and quickly download the training materials to work with Madi. 

What we have here is six hours of required on-line instruction (parent MUST instruct) prior to even setting foot in the DMV to get the learner's permit.  Madi had been chomping at the bit to get started so right away we logged our first hour of instruction, duly recorded late February.  Apparently it wasn't as exciting as she had envisioned because our 2nd hour was not recorded until July. (see reference to attention span and focus above)   Keep in mind she turned 16 on July 1st which was her original target date for her provisional license.  After discussion, the collective "we" decided that if "we" got busy, January 1st (or 16.5 years) was now considered an acceptable goal.

Happy New Year!  Time for 2014 resolutions to be discussed.  Now with grave concern on her face, Madi shares with me she has friends YOUNGER than she, that will have their license before she has hers.  I can't help but notice there appears to be some accusation in her expression as I am inwardly reflecting on the many weekends she turned down my lessons for better offers.  Nevertheless, always the diplomat, I suggest that if "we" get busy now, there is no reason "we" can't finish the six hours (only four more to go) and perhaps get that provisional license by 17.

Fast forward to January 16th.  What a day.  We are now at the DMV (thanks to my strict scheduling and forced adherence to same schedule).  At this time I will note this is our second visit.  First visit on January 11th was a failure to launch due to my lack of meeting residency requirements by two months.  I was instructed to provide driving records from my previous state of residency.  Of course when I pointed out I had been approved to teach the class to Madi and shouldn't this have been noted a year ago, I was met with blank stares and repeated instructions.  But I digress....

Giddy with excitement, we are met by a disgruntled looking woman right out of the gate - and we are her first customer of the day.  Madi is the model of southern manners and out of respect for the uniform (okay, name tag and fear of failure) I fall right in line.  Customer service and/or friendliness not required nor encouraged.  I felt that if we could have had protective glass and a phone on either side the atmosphere would have been more conducive.   Following the warm welcome, when she took Madi's picture, she told her specifically not to smile, to push her hair behind her face and when she saw me fixing her with a hard look (Yes, I watch Law & Order) she said, a bit awkwardly, this is for facial recognition.  At that time I was thinking, should she turn for a side shot now because only in a line up would this type of photo be necessary.

Needless to say, her picture looks like a mug shot but she passed the test and she now has a learner's permit.  By July 1st we need to accomplish 32 hours of instructional driving accompanied by I don't know how many hours of on-line lessons that go hand-in-hand with the fun stuff.  Today is February 5th.  Guess how many hours we have done so far?  That's right.......

Plenty of time!

Until next time,

Kari

Sticks and Stones

Who remembers chanting these words (or a variation thereof) when called a name?   "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can ...