Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Something Philosophical

I have written about this topic before but I still feel like I have not conveyed what I mean, I just want more people to understand, perhaps I have found a better way of explaining it, or have learned more myself.

Rainy days lend an ear for insightful thinking. This morning was short of what I envision a monsoon to be like.
To veer a little off track before diving into the real purpose of this post, I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend, I certainly did. I, of course, took time to thank the handful of veterans I know for their service since growing older and gaining a deeper respect for what military personnel are subjected to. For everyone I did not thank personally, know that I am greatly thankful for your service and those you served with.

As for my weekend, I spent an evening in Green Bay (not for a Packers’ game) meeting many new people. It is crazy the amount of places in Wisconsin I have visited for my first time this year. It just goes to show how much there is to learn, see, and do in this world and how much of it happens even within reasonable driving distance! After exploring Green Bay, I ventured on to Elkhart Lake and spent the remainder of the extended weekend in the old familiar town. Going through high school 15 minutes down the road from this town, I spent my summer after freshman year of college waitressing at a resort on the lake. Being out of college, and having a free weekend, the resort sounded like a great getaway. I expected that more things would have changed, but it was a warm welcome that much had not. Anyways, it was relaxing. I ended the weekend last night going to see the Fast 6. <3>

Work started Tuesday morning as quite a drag taking longer than usual to wake up and snap into critical thinking, problem solving, and saving the world mode.

Now that I am done beating around the bush, the reason I felt the need to blog now is something I was thinking about this morning.

How hypocritical it is to describe oneself as a particular way without evidence of that behavior in every situation. (How does that sound for an insightful comment?) I shall try to explain my meaning. I think it is very hard to describe yourself in general words or say you are always a particular way. If you tell me you are always quiet around new people, I will always treat you as if you are always quiet around new people unless I am familiar enough to make my own deductions about your behavior in certain situations. Since every person thinks differently, it would be difficult for multiple people to agree on a specific behavior but common for multiple people to describe the same actions differently. I think this gets confusing to explain or talk about and therefore it is just ignored by most people.

It is kind of like those personality quizzes. Questions like; “Do you get stressed when you are in big crowds of people?” Well, you can answer however you want to especially depending on how you want the person reading your answers to think you are. So, how is that valid? Or my favorites are the questions that have you answer on a scale from 1-5 on how often you act a certain way. Hold on a second, let me recount every situation that relates and get a percentage for you. HA, no, but I wish you could. I think those questionnaires are really only for your own self-discovery to get you to think how you WANT to be.

I am getting off topic, but I just think it is funny how people choose to describe themselves. I basically take their (their=anyone) word with a grain of salt. For example, someone saying they are active could mean many different things to many different people. To my brother, active is running no less than 50 miles per week. To me, active means going to the gym a couple times a week or being involved in some regular sport. To my mom, active means running to the mailbox or up and down the stairs a couple times. To an elderly person, active means walking to the front door. To a kid, active means 4 hours of recess and sports a day. This is a vague example because it is most likely not misinterpreted, but think of it on a more emotional scale with ideas that are more commonly misunderstood between people.

I think this concept helps explain why certain people are friends or close friends verses acquaintances. Some people do not mind explaining themselves regularly, some people like when others understand concepts the way they do without explanation, or some can adapt to different people and change their vocabulary depending on the crowd. These are all interesting ideas. I enjoy being understood in few words even though I'd say I'm pretty good at using many.

Which are you? Which do you want to be?

I think this also relates closely with first impressions. When I know I am going to meet someone new, I like to have a little background first to understand the person and refine how I will act. This can be both good and bad. How much weight do you want to put on someone’s opinions of another person, whether good or bad? Some information is good, but some information should be deduced on your own. Hence how people can not like someone even having never met them.

Hope this gives some good food for thought.

Until next time folks!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


The best piece of advice I received during my undergrad studies was "don't be afraid to ask for help". I apparently have a problem with that. It is not a new problem since I am reminded regularly by my family that as a child I would often protest, "I can do it myself". I blame my less-than-perfect book smarts partially/mostly on my inability to ask for help.

Somewhere along the line it was engraved in my head that asking for help wasn't great. For me there is a very fine, almost invisible, line between asking for help and cheating. I find defeat in having to ask for help for some reason. As absurd as I know that must sound to you, it's another obstacle I face in life.

My professional career has proved this philosophy somewhat wrong and somewhat right. Let me explain.

I can ask for help on things I know I can't solve reasonably on my own. On the other hand, I'd rather struggle a little to solve something I know I can so that next time I can do it [better] on my own instead of having to ask for help every time.

At work when I am on the production floor, any physical labor I do is stopped by someone asking if I need help. #1 I am greatly appreciative that people are willing to help me. #2 Sometimes I want to do it myself. Of course a 130lb woman is going to have problems moving a 400lb pallet of soft starters around, but I'd still like to try. Of course a tiny high school girl is going to struggle to productively swing a 20lb sledgehammer through a kitchen counter, but it is still a story my family likes to tell, and I am proud.  I guess this is all part of my determination as well, but I just hate being thought of as not capable.

Help is good and the sooner I realize that and use it beneficially, I think the more successful I could be. The dictionary gives many good definitions of help, all positive.

My brother once told me that most people enjoy providing help. Being able to help someone shows their need for you and it is a good feeling being needed.

So, I am determined to ask for help more often when necessary.

"My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


It has confused me my whole life why things are not just easy. How come every day at lunch, the line at Panera is so long that it gets divided at the coffee stand and people do not know whether to cram in the door or barge through everyone to snake the line in front of the coffee? Half the time the line splits into 2 lines and people argue about who is next in line. How come Wal-Mart has 40 some odd registers but inevitably only 5 people working at a time? How come splitting a bill with 10 people is SO hard? And by the way, why can’t I just go on my phone, open to the restaurant I am at and easily pay by bill on my phone in about 10 seconds? Why did I not get a notice that my street parking permit was going to expire before it did and I got a ticket? How come I can’t store my tanning lotion and eye protection at the tanning place instead of it freezing in my car?

I mean seriously, the list is ENDLESS. Well, this is not only my life, it is my job. I am finally starting to understand the world and why things are not always done “easy”.

There always seems to be a tradeoff of doing something easier. Kind of like the concept, “you pay for what you get”.  In my job, I want people to be the happiest doing their job. Taking steps toward happiness most likely means having their specific process/job/task easy to complete. Unfortunately, it is hard for anyone to see the large picture without all the information available. So making one person’s job easier might double or triple the work for someone else unknowingly. I often find myself on a fence with two people pulling me each direction. Either that, or just one person and it is up to me to make decisions to prevent future calamity.

The problem with happiness is that different things make different people happy. Therefore, it is hard to please everyone. Some things are worth fighting for and others are worth compromising.

I still think many things in this world could be done easier, but there is no sense complaining about the things you are not going to make an effort to change. 

So instead of complaining about everything that could be done easier, take a moment to appreciate the things that are already easy.