So…as you can see, this post is reaching the blogosphere a day late and dollar short as they say. This week has been the craziest I’ve had in a long time. I have literally responded and reacted to the 15 minute notices on my phone in order to know where I need to be and when. No clue what day it was or what any type of big picture activities were. It was so bad, I actually had someone schedule a 15 minute meeting with me…I can honestly say I’ve never had that happen before. What can you actually accomplish in 15 min?
A good friend of mine asked at one point during the week, I’m not sure when as I lost complete track of the days, how she could “live in the present” when her mind kept dwelling in the past. I couldn’t respond by text, too much to say on that one, so I quickly picked up the phone and we attempted to figure some of it out…not sure we did a good job. The point here though is how critical it is to learn to live in the present, but how that present is informed and structured by the future plans and more importantly our past. For all of my Type A buddies out there I realize this is like nails on a chalkboard because we eat, sleep, and breathe our plans. I am not going to say that we should cease planning, but what I am appealing for here is a concerted effort to be in the moment. I realize I’m going a little zen on everyone, but in light of what the state of South Carolina is facing in terms of severe budget cuts and program realignments it is critical to keep your wits about you in the moment. This is just as important for each of us individually as well.
I propose here that it is our history, our past experiences, our memories of how things worked and didn’t that actually inform our present. To respond to my friend I say we can’t ignore our past, I ask the same of those of you in the policy arena. We can’t ignore the structures that have existed in this state for literally hundreds of years, but we can take that structure and allow it to inform our here and now and…to go a step further, we must know where we want to go if we are ever going to get there. How we choose to do this differs based on our personality types, I can venture to say that I may never be a fly by the seat of my pants type girl completely, but there can absolutely be pockets of my life, and yours as well, where a little spontaneity serves me well. Case in point, I’ve added an 8 week old English lab to my family this week…let me tell you about how plans go out a window…try chasing a puppy for a couple of days!
To sum up the week, the thoughts on the budget situation, and life in general, I quote a new friend… try and find ways to “react and respond” a bit more and be a little less planned and structured today! It might serve you well…and if you’ve learned from your past as we all should, then your reactions and responses really can work to create a better future!
This post is finding itself onto the web late today and is going to serve as tomorrow’s as well. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but this week is literally trying to eat me alive. If I survive it will be that which does not kill me makes me stronger. This all being said, now to the business at hand, so the state of SC’s legislators, specifically the budget oversight committee is tasked with very serious conversations about the state’s budget to be voted on within the next couple of weeks. This is a budget that will drive the services for the next year, literally housing, feeding, and supporting the citizens of the state among many other things. So my direction today for all of our collective thoughts is how are you being seen today? A good friend of mine said this to me, consider looking at your life through someone else’s eyes today. I’m not sure what your regular path has for you each day, but I can guarantee if you live and work you encounter people all day.
Consider yourself from someone else’s perspective today. Be it a client if you are a service provider, a staff person if you are a manager, or a board member if you are an executive director. This little tip can be useful in all sorts of situations, both professional and personal. Specifically, I speak to my legislative readers out there, consider for a moment how the person who cleans your office sees you. The next step then is to consider how this change in perspective can inform your decision making today. It may not make a difference how someone else sees you, you may not change a single decision, or it may change everything. If I considered the pressure that a legislator has in a state with little to no resource base facing a mandate for budget cuts, how would she/he see me? I’m currently a carefree graduate student in some people’s eyes, while in others I run a successful evaluation business, and yet in still others I’m a single mom. I see myself so vastly differently, and not at all positively. I am slowly realizing how truly limiting that is. How then does another person’s perspective of you alter your decision making processes? Should it? Once you attempt to see yourself from someone else’s perspective you’ve immediately opened up your own box so to speak, you’ve allowed someone in. For those of you out there who are my Type A compatriots, allowing someone in is tantamount to setting off a personal grenade…are you brave enough?
Look at yourself through someone else’s eyes today.