WHIPLASH – TEACHING OR ABUSE?

I saw this movie with a friend of mine today. I had initially told him that I probably couldn’t stomach it because it seemed like the kid was being abused. He encouraged me to go and I finally relented.

On the way out of the movie we both reflected on what we got from the movie. He said that the conductor, Fletcher, reminded him of a coach he had from elementary school football. He said that coach took all of the fun out of football.

I told him about a boss I had who had been hard on me lately. She said in one conversation that she knew she had been riding me hard but she thought I was just “that frickin’ good.” She was in no way like Fletcher. She didn’t cut me down or attack me verbally, she just wanted me to be the best. I came out of the situation a better nurse and she came out with me respecting her more than I had previously which was pretty high to begin with.

I thought back to one of the professors I had in college. Her name was Dr Ruth Sims. She taught me microbiology and biochemistry and she knew her stuff. She also knew how to teach. That genius forged a hunger in me for scientific discovery that has still not been quenched. Without that professor I wouldn’t have made it to nursing school and now I teach my patients every day in my job.

When I first started this blog I had quite a few people who wanted me to help them with their blogs. The two that asked were missionaries. I declined to help them because I didn’t launch my own blog, I had a friend launch it for me and I just wrote. Neither one of these people offered to pay me for my time either.

They wondered how I got the traffic I got. I couldn’t tell you how I did that. All I did was write because something told me I could do that. I think it was God who put my blog out there because I don’t even think I am Google ranked, nor do I care.

I could see that if I offered to help these missionaries I would be going down a very rocky path. These people would sap my strength and my time to teach them how to write like I do and I am not someone who can teach that, I just do it.

I didn’t like Fletcher at all but I could see myself acting like him if I ever tried to teach someone how to write. It is always good in any arena to realize your limitations because if you don’t, you may turn out to be a cruel beast like Fletcher was.

My take away from the movie is that it was not the kid that didn’t know how to play the drums right. It was the teacher, or conductor, who should have stuck to performing because he didn’t know the first thing about teaching.

It is one thing to be an expert in your field, it is a far greater feat to be able to teach someone else how to be an expert.


CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS?

Living with a grown adult child in your house can be a lesson in how to be considerate of others. I have learned many things about how to make the living arrangements more suitable for my daughter.

When I first went back to work this summer I was so excited about working again I slammed every door in the house including my car door, before I backed out of the garage. My poor daughter said it shook her room. It had become a habit so I had to put little sticky signs up around my house reminding me to “close doors gently.” I soon had that “closing doors gently thing” as my new habit.

My daughter buys her own groceries and fixes her own food. At first since I was working out of my home, she thought I was volunteering to be her maid. Not so much! I had to tell her several times that the stove was not to be left in a mess and her dirty dishes were to go in the dishwasher, not in the sink.

Today she apologized for leaving the kitchen in a mess before she left for work. I told her I didn’t have time to clean it up either but couldn’t resist checking out the mess. She had left two storage containers on the counter which took me 5 seconds to put in the dishwasher. I got the giggles because that wasn’t even in the category of what I considered a mess.

I don’t invade her privacy. Her room and bathroom is where she lives and studies. If she wants it to be a wreck that is her business not mine. I am not going to nag her about that. It is only the common areas which I demand we both respect and try to keep clean.

She is learning to be more considerate also. Last night she called me on the way to the gym. She said my mailbox was open. I told her she could close it. She said she had already driven past it.

I got the giggles and went out to close it because at 22 years old I probably would have just snickered and driven on if my parents had done something like that. Being considerate of others is a life long process but it can be a fun one if you consider people more important than things.

LEADER

I have written recently a lot about my job. I think I learn something new every day and it is not always about nursing. Many times it is about how to treat people and how to be a leader in a company.

I had a couple of weeks off lately because of a situation that was unforeseen. When I got back I was horrified to find that most of my patients had not returned on my schedule. In fact I only had one patient and that would have netted me about $35.00 for the week. Not exactly enough to pay for groceries.

I soon got that straightened out and my branch manager asked me to let her know which patients I wanted back. I wanted all of them back, I needed all of them back but I didn’t ask for all of them back because more than that, I wanted to be fair.

The LVN that I work with covered my back while I was off. She has covered my back more than once and to get all of my patients back would have screwed her over. So I stopped and thought about it for awhile and then I called her. “Which patients did you want to see?” I asked and we went through the list and I let her call the shots on every one of them except one which I told her I was pulling rank on and keeping.

I still had a full schedule today but I also slept soundly last night. I learned one of the best lessons about leadership through this experience. When someone has covered your back it is not wise to stab them in their back the first chance you get if you want to be a leader.

Being a leader is seldom about being the first in line but more about making sure that those behind you are safe and keeping up with what they want to accomplish in life. Many times if you lead in this way you not only become successful in your career but also gain a new friend.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

I think the most important part of being a success in business can be summed up in two words. Those two words are effective communication.

Every company has problems, mostly because of the people that are working for the company. It is how you work through these difficulties which leads to success or failure in a company.

Recently I had an issue with my company and I thought about preparing my resume’ to see what else was available. I realized though, that the issue was not my companies’ responsibility. The issue had originated with me. So leaving the company would not eliminate the issue because I still had to put up with me. lol

I thought about how I had handled similar situations in the past and I have not had a stellar record of conflict resolution in my professional life. So I realized I needed to change something about me and how I handled issues in my career.

This morning I discussed the issue I had with a contact I have in the corporate office. This lady has always been a compassionate leader and is smarter than a whip so I respect her. We talked about my situation and she said she would take it up the ladder and it got resolved quickly.

I could have handled it differently and I did consider a different route. Last night when I was on my walk I thought about firing off a scathing email to one of the ladies in the branch office and putting her in her place.

What would that have accomplished? Me looking like a fool. I am so glad I did not handle it that way. It would have seeded enmity in that relationship and I had no right to attack anyone in the company, much less her.

I thought about how I have handled things in the past when I held on to them too long and I exploded with anger because I did not address the issue when it first appeared.

I realized that I have several things which I need to work on in the area of effective communication and I hope you don’t mind but I am going to list them for you, in case you need help as much as I do.

1. Tackle a problem when it is molehill because when it is a mountain it takes explosive effort to tear it apart. In other words head conflict off at the pass.

2. If you are blessed to have a corporation that has an accomplished and effective communicator target them to learn from them how to handle difficult situations. I have learned so many things from my corporate contact.

3.If you have a hard time getting in touch with someone via one method of conversation try another. For instance my branch manager has a difficult time returning my phone calls. The sweet lady is always swamped with work so every time I leave her a voice mail message I should also follow up with an email so she has two pathways to communicate back to me.

4. Always try to retain respect for the other person which means communicate before you get to the point of anger. When I am angry I seldom retain respect for the person I am angry at. This may be why the counsel of the Bible says for us not to go to sleep when we are angry.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions. I am always open to other’s opinions and commentary on my ramblings. 🙂

THE HAND OF GOD

It was in July of 2013 that the accident happened. It was a silly accident. I had bought shoes which were too big for me and they had soles that were like glue on cement. I tripped over the edge of a side walk and with each step that I took to try to regain my balance I gained momentum until I hit the sidewalk using my right arm to break the fall.

I am not obese and I do not normally break bones so when I called my son to come help me I told him, “I had fallen and I couldn’t move my right arm.” A broken bone was not even a thought in my mind.

As we drove home to get my insurance card we were discussing just where I should go to have my shoulder looked at. I thought I had merely dislocated the shoulder until I pulled down the mirror in my car. I saw a jagged edge of a bone about to bust through my fragile skin.

“I think we should go to the ER.” I said.

We chose Baylor Grapevine Hospital and entered the ER. They got me in pretty quick and were amazed at how calm I was. I told them “I think the hand of God is on my shoulder because I know this should hurt but I don’t feel a thing.”

They replied that grown men had come in with fractures like mine and they were wailing and crying. I didn’t see the need to cry if it didn’t hurt. I am not a drama queen.

Pretty soon I was set up with an orthopedic surgeon and I knew he was good. I just got a sense about him and immediately trusted him. When he said I could not move my right arm for six weeks post op I cringed. Summertime is when I swim laps almost every evening in the neighborhood pool and I knew that was off limits. I also knew that whatever he said was exactly what I was going to do. He did say I could do one thing and that was that “I could type on my keyboard.”

I had taken a break from my novel but I knew if all I could do was type on my keyboard I would have to write. That is when I decided to start this blog.

Although the initial attempt for this blog was to attack the family court system within a couple of weeks it became less about me and so much more about God. Believe me, writing about God is tons more fun than writing about family court insanity.

My shoulder healed up wonderfully and God even put a lovely lady in my pathway who introduced me to a facial cream called Nerium which eliminated the scar completely.

The whole experience at Baylor Grapevine Hospital was such a positive experience and I had such a good surgeon that the only negative was the bill. I didn’t have insurance, so the bill totaled over $20,000. I had struggled to pay off the anesthetist, the surgeon and also the ER doctors last year and I knew I still had a balance with the hospital. So today when I had some free time I bit the bullet and called the hospital to get a balance on the bill.

They said I had a $0 balance, that it had been paid off by their charity fund. I was so relieved but more than that I was thankful to God for when His hand is on someone’s shoulder He has got everything covered. What a blessing it was. I want to thank Baylor Grapevine Hospital for not only a 5 star stay but also the generosity they bestowed upon me and my children in forgiving the portion of the bill which they forgave. God is good and sometimes He can work through good people. I am the grateful recipient of both.


FORGIVENESS

As a little girl I realized that it made no difference if I cried or not. No one cared so I became determined not to cry in front of my family or anyone else for that matter.

My mother did many things well but she was not a kind person when it came to her words. So I would listen to her mean words and then put them away in my mind to rehash when I went to bed. Under the cover of darkness the tears would pour out.

I discovered a diary that I had written in 5th grade and it broke my heart when I read it. The first paragraph said,”This is the first time in a long time that I have not cried myself to sleep. Mom was actually nice today.”

I became an expert at bitterness, for when you hide painful insults and verbal abuse in your heart, forgiveness is impossible.

In the past I would do this with a former boyfriend. Sometimes memories still come back from that relationship. These memories are of times when I thought he had been too controlling or had disrespected me. These memories fed my bitterness and anger. In all truth it fed my hate.

Lately I have noticed that allowing these bad memories to surface causes me pain but does not affect the person who caused the pain. Feeding my bitterness is a lot of work, remembering all of the bad things done or said to me, can clutter my brain.

So I am trying to reprogram my thought process. I am trying to forget insults and verbal abuse. I am forgiving people and forgetting what they have done to try and destroy me.

My ex-husband said once that he had forgiven me for the hurt I had caused him in our marriage but he would never forget it. I dare say sir if you can not forget it then you have not made the first step towards forgiveness. It takes both. I should know because I am trying to forget all of the times when you hurt and mistreated me.

In doing so I am finally loving the little girl who cried herself to sleep so many nights. Forgiveness of others is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. It kind of makes sense that our loving heavenly Father has given this gift so freely through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. Doesn’t it?

A BENEFIT TO HAVING ADHD

I have ADHD and I have had it probably all my life but during the time that I grew up my parents didn’t have any idea why I never put things away, or why I sometimes (Most times) didn’t listen to them.

I still did good in school but as I have grown older the ADHD has caused quite a few problems. I have learned to accept it and embrace it because I have realized that it is not all bad.

Recently I was home visiting my parents and I was noticing changes in their memory and comprehension. I sat and watched the movie Mr. Deeds with my mother and had to keep explaining the plot to her. Mr. Deeds is an Adam Sandler movie and is not exactly a mind bender. There are some movies that I can not follow but this one was a piece of cake.

We had a family meeting at an office and only after we got out of the office did my sister notice that Dad did not have his keys. The reason why he did not have his keys was because they were in the ignition and the car had been running the whole time we were in the meeting.

Neither of these events would be something that would be beyond my ADHD mind to do but for my parents they are a stark contrast to the parents I had as a child. They never missed a beat on anything.

Then I got to thinking. You know when I get to thinking the outcome is always unique. I thought “Hey, I lose my keys and cell phone weekly.” My kids know this and most of my friends do. I frequently forget Dr’s appointments and other appointments. That is just the way my life flows and for some reason people are always kind to me even though I act like a blondie. (That is just one of the reasons why I color my hair)

The funny thing I thought about when I saw my parents goof up is that I am goofing up all the time anyhow so my kids will never suspect I have Alzheimer’s because I misplace stuff all of the time. If I play this act right I may be able to live independently for the rest of my life, whether I can remember to take the keys out of my ignition or not.

FAMILY

Once again I met with my family of origin. Once again I felt as if I wasn’t really a part of my family. I felt invisible. It is very painful to be a part of a family when you feel this way. To be honest with you, I am so glad I don’t live close to any of the members of my family.

I have my life in Texas which is a wonderful life filled with an awesome career, friends and a lovely daughter which I get to see most days. My sons are keeping in touch better than ever and my house is in good order.

If anyone would ask my family where I worked, they probably couldn’t tell you. Nor could they tell you how many friends I have. I don’t offer information if it is not asked for and they never ask.

Being invisible is good in some ways though. My sister insulted me at a family dinner and because I was invisible to my family nobody noticed the tears running down my cheeks.

So this morning I was praying about this situation and reflecting on how to handle the feelings of rejection. I opened up the Bible to Psalms 45:10-11, “Listen to me, O royal daughter, take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your family far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty, honor him, for he is your Lord.”

This verse was most likely written by King Solomon for his bride but symbolically it represents the love that Christ has for the church.

After I read this I called my company and arranged to go back to work tomorrow and also received a call from a cherished friend. I realized that although I don’t feel like I am loved by my family I feel like I am loved by so many other people and the greatest of these is my Savior, Jesus Christ. Who needs a love from a family when you got that? lol
I

I AM NOT BRAGGING

but since the inception of this blog I have achieved over 2 million hits. I also have 8,780 subscribers.

I hope that I have made you laugh, cry and empathize but mostly I hope I have made you think.

You are all quite silent as readers but that is okay I have a few of you who comment occasionally and I love each one of you whether you comment or not.

If I were to brag, I would be bragging on the fact that America is second on my list of countries where my blog is read. It seems those Aussies like me quite fine. Cheers for Australia!I hope I continue to have an international flare because I think love and understanding should be the first thing to cross borders.

I want to thank each one of you for taking time to subscribe and/or read my posts. Every time I think I have no business writing a novel I think of you and realize that writing may just be my thing after all.

Thanks so much for reading spotublog.com. You are the best!

Hugs! Gracie Lynne


A plane trip

I just got back from a short trip up to Nebraska. My parents were sweet enough to fly me up there and back home to Texas.

For the first time ever I was in the TSA precheck line. That was kind of nice. In that line you don’t have to strip your shoes off nor do you get patted down. I have got patted down before and I always considered that hilarious because I feel guilty when I swat a fly. To be a terrorist is totally not even in my realm.

I was kind of puffed up and thinking I was something important until it came to boarding the plane. Then I realized that I was last in line. I had not chosen my seat and I always end up last in line.

Or was I last in line? Yes, I was in the last group boarding the plane but I wondered about those people who boarded before me. While they were sitting all cramped up in a plane, I was stretching my legs out in the airport. It’s not like the plane could leave without me. Plus I got to check out all of the passengers as I was walking down the aisle. (Not much to check out when you are flying to Nebraska)

But then something else happened. They said they had overbooked and asked me if I would be willing to have my carry on suitcase put in the cargo area? I had never done that before so I asked them how I would get it back. They said they would bring it up to me when we landed so that I could take it on my connecting flight which I would catch in Chicago. I had a two hour lay over in the windy city so I said “Sure, go ahead.”

As I was sitting in the plane on the way to Chicago I realized something. Putting my carry on bag in the cargo area of the plane prevented me from having to lift it. I am having a flare up of arthritis in my right hand and I am not sure I could have even lifted the bag, gads, it may have fallen on someone’s head. (Not the best way to make a new friend)

Plus those people who checked their baggage in actually had to pay for their bags to go into the cargo area and mine went pro bono. I was liking this being “last on the plane” gig more and more.

I had my bag put in the cargo area on the way back to Dallas too. I had a much shorter lay over and I cut it a little close waiting for my bag but I still got on the connecting flight.

I am not always the most patient person so being last in line is not my usual choice but after this experience I may rethink that option. It is amazing at how a change in perspective can make being “last” seem like a good thing.