Who Do You Miss?

Posted by Dianne on Mar 14, 2017 in Appreciation, Blog, Love | Tags:, | No comment

My mom was a very stoic lady and didn’t express any feeling that she thought might make someone else feel bad. When I went away to college (500 miles so I only came home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter) Mom never mentioned that she missed me. I was the only one of four kids to be out of the house at that time. So I guess I assumed that with my dad, three kids, a dog and a full time job, Mom was too busy to miss one kid.

When my first child went off to college, I felt a huge hole where she used to be as a regular presence. I had a husband, two other kids, a dog, two parakeets and a full-time job in my life, but I missed her terribly. That was the first time it dawned on me that my mom might have missed me some thirty years earlier.

“Mom, did you miss me when I was in college?” I asked her one day.

“Of course I did!” she exclaimed. “How could I not?”

“I never knew that. You never said anything.”

“Well, I never wanted to make you feel bad,” she explained.

So now when I don’t see my kids—they’re all grown and happily living their lives in places of their own—I still miss them, and I tell them.

I don’t want to be overly dramatic or anything but it seems to me that missing someone is a lot like loving someone. I think my kids should know I love them, and that I miss them when I haven’t seen them in a while.

Who do you miss? Do they know it?

You Are Good Enough

Posted by Dianne on Mar 14, 2017 in Blog | Tags:, | No comment

“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.”

                                                     ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

 You have all the wisdom, strength and talent you need to be the best possible you. Be very kind to yourself today.

This Says It All

Posted by Dianne on Oct 30, 2014 in Blog | Tags:, , | No comment

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter,
and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things
the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

                                                                                               ~ Khalil Gibran 

Employee Engagement Lesson from a Goat

Posted by Dianne on Apr 26, 2014 in Blog | Tags:, , | No comment

As a senior in college, I landed a part in “Teahouse of the August Moon.” The plot is not important to this story, which is a good thing because I can’t remember it very well. I can’t even remember the name of the character I played. My most vivid memory of that play is my unofficial role as goatherd. Yes, a goat named Len played an important part in Teahouse. My greatest contribution to the success of the performance was to lead Len down the stairs at the front of the stage, down the aisle and out the door—in a blackout.

It worked great in rehearsal—which took place during daylight. The evening of the first performance, the scene ended, the lights went out, I snatched the lope attached to Len’s collar and led him to the edge of the stage. I quickly descended the stairs. Len did not. He stood rooted to the stage. When the blackout was over, the lights came up to find me with my back to the audience, tugging on Len’s rope and quietly trying to persuade him to follow me.

In the light with a clear view of the stairs, the aisle and the door we were to exit, Len mustered all the dignity a goat can and made the graceful exit we had practiced.

Have you ever had to implement a change at work and met with nothing but resistance? Like Len, your team may be paralyzed because the change feels like a leap into the dark. Make sure you are clear on where the next steps lead before you ask anyone to follow you. Then make sure that your team members are just as clear on what those steps mean to their jobs and their future.

Turn all the lights on and reveal what is to come. In the end it will be much easier than tugging, cajoling and begging for cooperation.

Want to Feel Better? 12 Things to Do While You Are Waiting

Posted by Dianne on Apr 9, 2014 in Blog | Tags:, , | No comment

I wrote this a number of years ago during a struggle with anxiety and depression. Occasionally someone asks to see it and reminds me that there may be others going through struggles of their own. Here are 12 things that helped me feel better when I needed it.

1.      It is easier to get out of bed if I have clothes ready to wear. I have a favorite year-round outfit that I try to keep ready to wear at all times.  If I wake up feeling like I don’t want to get out of bed let alone go to work, knowing I have something ready to wear keeps me from pulling the covers over my head.

 2.      Flowers make me feel better. I can sometimes find an African violet for a few dollars or a mixed bouquet for five. Then I’m doubly cheered by the flowers and the bargain! My favorite is the Amaryllis kit available at Christmas time. The dramatic shape and color brightens dreary winter days.

 3.      Writing down my thought calms my racing mind. Sometimes my brain starts ruminating over old worries. Sometimes new fears stir up anxiety. If I pour it all out onto paper, I can relax.  I keep a spiral notebook on my bedside table.  If I wake up anxious, 20 minutes of writing puts me in a much better frame of mind.

 4.      Darn it! Exercise does work! I resisted it for years. But when I finally tried getting at least three aerobic workouts a week, I found that I felt much better, even in the winter. 

 5.      Making something beautiful pays tremendous dividends for me. I don’t make crafts regularly, just when I’m on vacation or I need a lift.  When I make a piece of jewelry or a floral arrangement, I enjoy the process as well as the product. I feel creative and satisfied. And I enjoy those feelings all over again whenever I look at my creation.

 6.      I’ve learned how to find a laugh. Laughs are waiting in the cartoons in New Yorker magazines, and in the Reader’s Digest fillers. I can find them in old movies. A few of my favorites are “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “What’s up, Doc?” and “Breaking Away.” I keep a humorous CD in the car for those times when the news on the radio is just too grim.

7.      Getting a massage is a sure-fire, makes-me-feel-better-every-time plan. Massage is one of those special things that release endorphins, your body’s natural antidepressants. After a massage I feel relaxed, pampered, and rested in mind and body.

 8.      A green spot can beat the blues. There is a great little wooded spot that makes me feel wonderful as soon as I step into it. It feels cool and the sun shines through the leafy canopy.  Sometimes a doe is relaxing there, and we sit quietly enjoying the peace.  When I can’t get there in person, I close my eyes and imagine it. I feel the peace again.

 9.      Phoning a friend can take my mind off myself.  Everyone likes to catch up with a friend now and then.  This especially counteracts the blues that come with feelings of loneliness. 

 10.Prayer can work wonders.  Turning to the Friend who is always there can lighten any burden. Quietly repeating a short prayer helps me to relax. I may not feel an instant answer to my prayers, but eventually comfort comes. 

 Here is one of my favorites:

Teach me to trust in prayer, Oh God, when the pressures of life

seem too great to bear and raise me by thy grace above dark

moods and discouragement. (Rev. Harold Blake Walker)

11.I can take a sick day.  For a long time I felt that I couldn’t call in sick when my depression was acting up.  “I can’t call in and say, ‘I’m feeling overwhelmed with sadness.’” I told a therapist at one visit. “You don’t have to give specific symptoms,” she said.  “You can truthfully say, ‘I’m not feeling well today.’”    

 12. This, too, shall pass. When faced with another bout of major depression, I start worrying. I know I have always weathered these episodes in the past.  I know that eventually the depression goes away and I feel happy again.  But still, I start to think that this time it’s different.  This time the depression will just go on and on. That’s when I have to remind myself that I will get better. Then I go to the top of this list and try any or all of the coping strategies I have learned.

What do you do when you want to feel better?