Monday, January 30, 2017

Community is necessary

Is my glass half empty or half full? I am a half full kind of person though some days I am not sure of what it is half full....

In the midst of all the current social, political and economic questions (to name but a few categories), it would seem we all might need to step up our game and add our voices.  I am working through what that means to me personally; I welcome your insights on what you have chosen as responses for yourself.

This is why community matters - our personal, professional and neighbourhood communities. Communities do not have to be in agreement on the tactics, just united in a vision for change. We build our communities through networking...creating friendships, alliances, new ideas and skills, reaching new audiences, opening stronger dialogue, and promising to support each other in times of crisis despite differences.

A glass alone cannot be enough. We require community to act as the pitcher from which we all can share.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mental health - bring it out of the darkness

December 2014, I wrote about depression. Not easy to write, maybe not easy to read. It's not that I want to talk about my inner life with this blog; I truly believe that in order for there to be conversations about mental illness someone has to start one and then keep feeding it. It's like violence against women - saving one day a year to speak out is as important as using all possible seconds to speed the echos and new voices onward.

January 25 is the day we're supposed to hold a conversation on mental illness. I bet that, for many folks, participating in one would be okay but starting one is what holds us back. Yet the research all shows that talking about things helps erase stigmas and produces new ideas.

My personal story aside, here's what I believe everyone can do this Wednesday.

  • Call a friend and say "I just wanted to remind you that I support you and accept you"
  • Hug someone and say "Sharing germs to keep immunity from happiness from spreading"
  • Send a meal to someone who has been valiantly keeping their head about water
  • Let someone cry without trying to fix it or shame them for showing emotion
  • Admit you don't know what to do or say if someone you care for is having difficulties - then ask them if any of the above would help

Part of the issue is in our genes, part in our environment, part in our choices. All the solutions are are possible if we respect and support each other as a community.

Image result for mental illness stigma

Monday, January 16, 2017

Often sites and associations (like LinkedIn) see folks asking to be part of our networks with nothing more than a note ("Hi, I'd like to be part of your network") and no basis for the association. I won't connect my LI network to anyone I have not personally met or with whom I have not corresponded. I send a short reply to requests and, 9 times /10, I don't get an answer.

Hi XXX, Please excuse me; I meet over 100+ new folks a month and sometimes I have trouble remembering folks. Have we met? I was flattered to be invited to your network; I make sure I know every individual personally with whom I connect. If we haven't met "officially", then perhaps we can find time to have a chat/email or two first and figure out how we might connect beyond an LI list? with respect dennie

I'm not sure this is the only way to respond; I'm wondering if anyone has an even better approach? 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Any resolutions?

It’s the new year and I’m trying to make a resolution around change. Do you have any recommendations as to how I could better myself?


Dear Naked,
You’re already perfect, Naked; it’s the world that’s rough around the edges. Here’s my resolutions for 2017; I hope they help!

1 – Be kind to those who still believe change is the exception and that one day everything will revert to “normal”.

2 – In the ongoing saga of work/life integration, I will simply remind people there are no silver bullets, only choices, and cheer everyone up by singing something from “Annie”.

3 – When the glass looks half empty, I will pour what we have into a smaller glass. 

4 – I will not give into the urge to panic that my career should be at "x" point already.

5 – I will cut my food into smaller pieces and chew more slowly. This can also be called "chunking projects".

6 – I will strive for genius as per the words of  Churchill "True genius resides in the capacity for the evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information."

Happy New Year!