Skip to content

Perspective on Life Is Hard

April 8, 2015

Sometimes in the flurry of newsletters and informational email that tends to get mass deleted set aside for reading later, one popped at me.  From one of the quote mails I get, came this little gem:

 “When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?'”

― Sydney J. Harris

Compared to what? That is a butt kicker right there. I am guilty of saying that very phrase, “Life Is Hard”. If that little saying doesn’t snap you into some clarity, you need more than a perspective change. Life is life, so let us lead it the best way we know how, and that is how we (the individual) want to lead it.  Make your own path, and follow it! All emotions will come our way, it is all in how we learn from and then utilize them that makes our path.

So how does this change or pertain to my perspective? It reminds me that each day is new, and I can start fresh on making my life mine.  Being happy with me, as I am and as I want to be. Does that make life easy? Not really, but if you have the love in yourself of yourself then confidence in dealing with all the roadblocks, self-created and created by others, becomes easier. Believe in yourself, and you probably will not think life is too hard.

Want my other musings on Fatherhood and life?  Listen to The Beer Dads Podcast on The Less Desirables Network!

What’s your style?

March 29, 2015
by Paul Jones

Walton QuoteIn the continuing search for my next professional career opportunity, I participated this week in an engaging chat with a potential employer. Through the normal course of conversation and questions, I was asked the question of “What is your management style?”. This is not by any stretch an unusual question, (I was asked one time, “How many quarters would it take to make a stack as tall as the Empire State Building? My answer was, ‘Are they stacked flat or on edge?'” I didn’t get the job.)

This has led me to think over the past couple days a little deeper than I could during a phone screen. What is MY style? It has evolved over the years, as experience, mistakes, successes, and a little training here and there all have taken root. I was in the early days a “my way or the highway” type, with my hair on fire all the time. Not good for physical or mental health. Nowadays, I feel more collaborative. People are hired to do a job, give them the tools they need to succeed. Listen to your people. Guide them, not by force, but by what motivates them. Give praise in public, constructive criticism in private. Nothing new and earth shattering. Give respect. It is pretty simple when you think about it, as your staff are humans, just like you.

So time gets away,

March 9, 2015

and I just can’t find the words to write.  What do I do?  Join a podcast, where I can blather on without regard for what my words look like on someone’s screen.

The Beer Dads has given me a chance to think more about what is truly important, fatherhood.  Sitting with Tim, Jon, and our occasional guest each week brings ideas to the forefront.  I consciously pay more attention to some little details here and there that might be fodder for a show, or need further exploration here.  Thank you for sticking with my absences.  I hope to get back to writing regularly!

 

Ok, we are back

August 20, 2014
tags:
by Paul Jones

So I am going to give this thing a whirl again.  Cannot believe I fell off for 2 years.

 

Oh well, here goes nothing!

 

PJ

Saying goodbye to a furry friend.

February 29, 2012
by Paul Jones

Sam the Pointer

This is Sam the Pointer.  We rescued him in the fall of 2003, from a group of people that found 22 shorthair pointers in deplorable conditions.  Sam was about a year old, and was bottle fed for 3 days to see if he would make it.  He weighed in at a paltry 27 pounds.  (he is 60 in this photo)

Sam hung in there, and was nursed to healthy enough state to be adopted, and he won us the minute we met him.  Something about that all black head.

Today, Wednesday February 29, 2012, Sam left us.  He just could not fight the tumor on his heart, and we had to let him go.  We shed a lot of tears, and he is already missed, the other two dogs know, but I think they understand too.  Sam was the perfect example of why rescues make the most awesome pets, and he gave us eight great years.  We will miss you.

 

 

Wordless Wednesday

December 7, 2011

The house this year, with the lighted balls in trees

Judging a Lego League Robotics competition, and what I learned.

November 21, 2011

What a Saturday.  I caught wind of the NC FIRST Lego League through a series of Tweets, and found out the Regional competition was happening on November 19th, and needed volunteers.  I ended up being a judge, and had a ball.  39 teams of 9-14 year old kids, from around the area of Winston-Salem and Greensboro were competing for a chance at 12 slots into the state competition in January.  Each team competes in three areas, Core Values, Project, and Robotics.  I was a judge in the Core Values, and what an experience.  The three Core Values of FLL are Inspiration, Teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism ™.

To observe the three Core Values, each team had to perform a task in front of the judges (we were divided into pairs, and there were 4 sets of judges for CV.) .  That task was to build a model tower or house out of newspaper, tape, staples, and 2 ballpoint pens.  In 3 minutes.  As a team.  The kids did not know what the task was until they walked in the room, and we told them the task, then pressed go on the stopwatch.  What a gas to watch them perform.  On average, these kids had been together as a team since beginning of school year, yet some teams have had only 4 weeks to be together.  This is pretty high stress on this bunch.  I was blown away by how well most of the teams did, and several were able to complete the task and have a standing tower or house model.

Next up was a Q&A session that allowed us to see how the team acted with each other in a somewhat rapid fire session of questions and answers, to see if everyone helped participate or if one kid answered for the group.  Was great study in the group dynamic.  After the Q&A they had to move on to the next judging station, which was either the Project or the Robotics side of the judging competition.

Projects were done as a team, and the best way to describe it is a Science Fair type project.  All teams in the state compete with the same Question (this year’s dealt with food safety) and once again, each member had to contribute and know the subject matter.  Third judging area was the technical parts of the robotics, and if they knew how to program, construct, and problem solve the Lego Mindstorm NXT robots.

After the morning judging sessions, it was on to the competitions.  Prior to the competitions, we judges scored the top 16 teams in our three areas, and then set out to observe the teams in action.  The competition is the thing these kids work so hard for.  Each team’s robot has 2 and a half minutes to complete a series of tasks.  (Competition tasks were given in advance)  I learned its harder than you think to make a program work the way you want it to!  There were 3 rounds of competition with the highest score counting.

I learned so much about these kids.  They show a genuine interest in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and as an engineering type, that makes me happy.  The enthusiasm for the projects, the teamwork shown by these kids could be an example for us as adults to remember.  One other thing I was struck by was how supportive of teammates these kids were.  They were genuinely caring and there for each other.  Yes, there were some teams that had built the camaraderie better than the others, including 1 team that had been together for just a week, but there was a sense of belonging together and true friendships being made.  This is why programs like NC FIRST LL are desperately needed in our society.

I will be back again to help out, any way I can.


											

Wordless Wednesday

October 19, 2011

Charleston SC clouds, taken Oct 8, 2011

Forgive me for being an ass, but…

October 17, 2011

Has someone ever told you that?  Or said it in various forms with dick replacing ass or some other derogatory self descriptor that usually a person is called when they say something critical.

Personally the best response came from a friend who was told that very thing, and the response was, well if you were not one, you would not have to apologize for it.  I think it has boiled down to our inability as humans to really deliver constructive criticism or other negative conversation.  Do we think it deflects any bad feelings?  Does saying that absolve the person of any guilt or repercussions for the words that follow that statement and the daggers they can become?  I do not think so.

Those words are not a shield.  What does work, however, is thinking about what you are wanting to say long before you utter that statement.  If you are in a conversation that is becoming contentious, and you have to sling something hurtful, wouldn’t it be better to temper that thought, and really see if it is worth saying?  I doubt very seriously the person on the receiving end of that phrase will think any higher of you for apologizing in advance for what you are going to say.  Seems to me you should not say it!

 

One. A musing on lyrics.

October 12, 2011
by Paul Jones

The song One by Creed popped up on my random playlist today, and it’s rather pointed message got me thinking. Unity and being one population of humanity. We have splintered ourselves in the name of striving for betterment of ourselves, and look where we are. I am interested in what you all think. Can we go back to working for the good of the whole, or the sum of all of the parts, so that those parts can all be better?

Copyright Creed  

“One”

Affirmative may be justified
Take from one give to another
The goal is to be unified
Take my hand be my brother
The payment silenced the masses
Sanctified by oppression
Unity took a backseat
Sliding further into regression

One, oh one,
The only way is one

One, oh one,
The only way is one
I feel angry I feel helpless
Want to change the world
I feel violent I feel alone
Don’t try and change my mind

Society blind by color
Why hold down one to raise another
Discrimination now on both sides
Seeds of hate blossom further
The world is heading for mutiny
When all we want is unity
We may rise and fall, but in the end
We meet our fate together

One, oh one,
The only way is one
One, oh one,
The only way is one
I feel angry I feel helpless
Want to change the world
I feel violent I feel alone
Don’t try and change my mind

[x3]
I feel angry I feel helpless
Want to change the world yeah
I feel violent I feel alone
Don’t try and change my mind

I feel angry I feel helpless
Want to change the world yeah
I feel violent I feel alone
Don’t try and change my mind