jenk: Faye (jen43)
The average middle class person alive today has more goodies than the kings and queens of times past. In fact, even during this time of economic retrenchment, most of us have a higher standard of living than 99 percent of all the humans who've ever walked the planet. In pointing this out, I don't mean to discount the suffering of those who've lost their jobs and homes. But I think it's helpful to keep our collective deprivations in perspective. Similarly, I like to remember that no matter how much our personal trials may test us, they are more bearable than, say, the tribulations of the generation that lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Keep this in mind, Sagittarius. As you wander in the limbo between the end of one chapter of your life story and the beginning of the next chapter, it'll really help to stay conscious of how blessed you are. Halloween costume suggestion: a saint tending to the needs of the dispossessed and underprivileged.

Free Will Astrology
jenk: Faye (DariaPensive)
Whenever I conduct workshops with any group, I ask people how free they feel and to rate themselves on a scale of 0 to 100. The responses are usually about the same whether I am talking to people in a correctional facility or at a workplace. I have learned firsthand that some people feel free while behind bars (and use their time in a positive way), yet others feel “locked up” while living in society.
[...]
[W]ouldn’t it be great if we didn’t define ourselves by our work? It should be just as valid to define ourselves by our leisure.
- Alison Link, quoted in The New York Times
I thought those were worth thinking about.
jenk: Faye (read)
From a review of Seducing the Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics From a Woman at the Top by Nina DiSesa:
To my mind, the most illuminating comments in [the] book come from James Patterson, a former advertising mogul who now writes best-selling mystery fiction. Ms. DiSesa reports that Mr. Patterson urged her to think of life as a game in which we juggle five balls labeled Work, Family, Health, Friends and Integrity.

“One day you understand Work is a rubber ball. You drop it and it bounces back,” Mr. Patterson is quoted as saying. “The other four balls are made of glass. Drop one of those, and it will be irrevocably marked, scuffed, nicked and maybe even shattered.”
- from The New York Times
Also in the Business section is an article on employee clubs that highlights Boeing's wine & beer making club. :)
jenk: Faye (working)
Suggestions on starting the new year with less stress. Surprised that "start the year with a 3-day work week" didn't make the list.
jenk: Faye (working)
A few articles from Psychology Today

When Persona Aces Person
How much of yourself is appropriate for your office?

Managing the Self
Self-control can be tiring.

The Poker Face
"The successful candidate will mask his true feelings, negative and positive, in the name of professionalism."

And from the Wall Street Journal: "OMG &mdash My Boss Wants to 'Friend' Me On My Online Profile"
jenk: Faye (knowing)
[After 9/11], a lot of people spoke of waking up to the fact that life offers no guarantees, and they vowed not to continue taking their lives and loved ones for granted. But why were they asleep in the first place? People die suddenly every day; why did it take planes flying into buildings to realize that the spouse they fought with this morning might not come home tonight?

- from Following Francis: The Franciscan Way for Everyone by Susan Pitchford
This is one of the reasons I'm reluctant to work late every night or weekends. Work is important, but so is the rest of my life - and it may not wait.
jenk: Faye (read)
I am, really. Just posting a couple quick things from the paper I read during lunch ;)

First, Robert (aka The Very Rev. Robert V. Taylor, the dean of Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral) has a piece in the Seattle Times about the Episcopal Presiding Bishop-Elect.

And b, this article on how sleep is the new sex. "Men think about it every seven seconds or so. Women romanticize it. Teenagers yearn for the weekends, when they might get a little of it." I liked the reminder to wind down before bed - you can't just "screech to a halt and enter REM on demand". Of course, this puts things pretty starkly: "The sleep experts say relax, drink less coffee and booze, eat better, rest more. The drug companies say take a pill."
jenk: Faye (read)
This week's Economist article on work-life balance notes that "Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia recently told employees to leave if they were not prepared to work weekends and long evenings over the coming months for no extra reward." Guess MSLO employees get enough fun crafty homemaking at work, they don't need time for anything else. ;)

I did find this observation interesting:
Europeans suggest that the reason why so many work-life initiatives come first from America is that American firms have more scope for improvement. Paid holidays there, for instance, are considerably shorter than in Europe. Flexible working and the occasional sabbatical may be the local alternative to Europe's longer annual leave, a one-off levelling of the non-pay elements of remuneration in the face of international competition.
Meanwhile in a different section of the E was an interesting fact: the American suicide rate has decreased 15% since Prozac was introduced in 1988.
jenk: Faye (read)
This article talks about the affects of work stress, but I would think it also would apply to stress in general. The note on "chronic environmental noise" being associated with higher risk of heart attack, for example, is another form of stress.

On a similar note, AlterNet has some nifty resolutions for a sane workplace, including:
This year, make a point of not supporting workaholic martyrs ("I worked all night! I came in on the weekend!" "Really? How lame.") who don't drive productivity but stress everyone around them.
More info on how work and stress can make you sick is here.
jenk: Faye (knowing)
Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs.

[One way to foster resilience ] is to maintain independence. Survivors draw boundaries between themselves and troubled parents; they keep their emotional distance while satisfying the demands of conscience. Resilient children often hang out with families of untroubled peers. As adults, the resilient children of alcoholics marry into stable, loving families with whom they spend a great deal of time.

Survivors cultivate insight, the mental habit of asking themselves penetrating questions and giving honest answers. They also take the initiative. They take charge of problems, stretching and testing themselves. ... )

Reframing is at the heart of resilience. It is a way of shifting focus from the cup half empty to the cup half full.

- From Psychology Today

Many are learning the art of stepping outside the past to create a better present. May we be able to give helpful nudges as appropriate...
jenk: Faye (eyes)
This made me think a bit. When I'm working 10-12 hours a day, I get into my work while I'm doing it...and resent that it takes away time from the rest of my life. When I'm working 8 hours a day, I get into my work while I'm doing it...and resent that it takes away time from the rest of my life. Hrm.

I'm mainly posting this for the suggestions for getting off "automatic" and enjoying life, so I'm leaving those uncut. The rest is available if you want more context.
------------
If you're in your 40s, you are probably pulling down a bigger paycheck than ever before, and your portfolio has never been fatter. And yet, if research by economists and psychologists is any guide, you have never been more miserable. What's going on here -- and what can you do about it? Here are some lessons from the burgeoning field of 'happiness research.' )What can you do about all this, particularly if you are in your 40s and feeling glum? Consider three strategies.

First, research suggests you can boost happiness by "counting your blessings." Sure, this sounds hokey. But according to experts, pausing occasionally to appreciate what you have may counteract the tendency to take improvements in your life for granted.

Second, think carefully about how you spend your spare time. The temptation is to opt for stuff that seems fun or easy, especially if you are getting run ragged at the office.

But studies indicate you will likely be happier if you make a point of trying activities that are enriching or challenging, such as volunteering or taking up a new exercise program, Prof. Schkade says. Be sure to mix it up a little, so these activities remain stimulating and you don't fall victim to hedonic adaptation.

Third, cultivate friendships. Research indicates that friends are one of the biggest contributors to happiness. Want proof? Check out the list in the accompanying [sidebar]. Among the most enjoyed activities, socializing with friends ranks second only to sex. ... )
-----------
The sidebar (inside the cut) was originally a graphic. I transcribed the text.

whew

Aug. 14th, 2005 11:11 pm
jenk: Faye (wedding)
Long weekend. Ok, I did go to work Friday, but still...long.

Concert. Certain amount of runaround (we were in special will call), lots of stairs, amazing music. I expected to have a good view of the stage; we were in the 8th row. I did not expect to hear Living Proof, much less to hear it played on a pump organ. Frankie & Be True were great; Reason to Believe was good for me, but I understand why Jesse couldn't pick out the words (he sang that one with a scratch mike). Highway 29, Devils & Dust, Long Time Coming, & Jesus Was An Only Son blossomed live. And Bruce sang a version of Promised Land that made me want to curl up and howl. Eep.

Friday. Rain perfumed the air Friday morning. Unfortunately Work was stressful. Getting out of work at a reasonable time, dinner at Coho with [livejournal.com profile] dianthus, and playing Sims 2 was nice.

Saturday we slept in, lazed around, visited a nearby spa for massages & other yummies, had dinner at the same place where we had our first date. Did a certain amount of taking stock - it's been 5 years now ;)

Sunday I got up a bit earlier. Played sims a bit more & hung out with friends for a few hours. Ended up thinking about how to truly put my work *down* and let it go when I leave the office. Also did laundry, rearranged some furniture to make the upstairs work/project room more useful, and ... oh yeah ... did our 2004 taxes.

Now I'm winding down & getting ready to head to bed...*yawn*.
jenk: Faye (read)
Reading an article on "The busiest employees are not always the best". Quote:
"We think of productivity as the ability to do more with less, and that's really a short-term solution to being productive," said Rachna Jain, a licensed psychologist and job coach based in Bethesda, Md. "To be productive, you need adequate reserves and adequate resources to get your job done."
I think this one of the biggest differences between college and work. In college, you have a set span of time for the quarter. Some classes can be completed in 2 or 4 weeks. You can manage a heavier workload for a short amount of time. You also know you'll have some time between quarters to recoup - and you can schedule moving, weddings, and so on in between. Your working life, however, lasts for years. That's a lot longer of a journey with much less time off.
Organization of time, emotions and duties is critical for a productive life, experts say. When people can't balance their personal and professional lives, one side can suffer, whether it's neglecting family or friends, or letting personal problems affect work performance.
This one ruffles my "I am more than my work" feathers. But if I am more than my work, then I need to live in such a way that I am accomplishing what I want in each part of my life.
jenk: Faye (eyes)
Our lives have far more meaning than merely what we do for a living, and we can develop other ways of maintaining our sense of self-worth and optimism. ) Generally I've found that the better I am at my work and the more absorbing - and enjoyable - the work is, the harder it is to keep it in perspective. To realize that work is just a part of my life, and it's not my only source of worth. But, "Perspective: Use it or lose it." (It's from Illusions.) Sooner or later you *will* need it.

Of course, my particular bugaboo is seeing my work as my worth. Others may derive their worth from kids, parents, partners, possessions....
jenk: Faye (Default)
This is a title of an article on the New York Times site that caught my eye. Saving it here so I can read it at my leisure....
Read more... )Not that nothing is to be gained from reading, as I did, a pile of contradictory self-help literature. The exercise can lead to all sorts of conclusions about how to live and perhaps even New Year's resolutions. Here are a few I came up with. Following Mr. Tracy's advice, I am writing them down, to imprint them on my subconcious mind.

1. I will not tell people I have all the answers. It's annoying, and people don't believe you anyway.

2. I will try neither to slow down time nor speed it up. For me in 2005 one second will equal one second.

3. If people tell me to "Do it now" in 2005, I will try my best to resist the urge to throttle them. (This resolution will be rescinded if they also command me to "watch the clouds float by.")

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