Apr 14, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 14

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

It's OK to Take a Break
I took a couple of weeks off of lifelogging my lessons to just pay attention to my young foster son (fs2). It was a wonderful time of being in the moment and focusing on building a happy little life with him and making sure he's as safe and well as possible. I'm sure I learned more life lessons during these few weeks than all my other weeks combined, but I didn't write them down and that's ok. They're in my heart. 


Previous Lessons Learned
Part 10
Part 9
Part 8
Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Apr 7, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 13

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

You Can Do This
There is a 2 year old in my care. He came into my house, cried a little, and immediately called me mommy. Here we go! I will spend this whole week getting to know him, and learning the many things I'm sure he has to teach me. 



Previous Lessons Learned
Part 9
Part 8
Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Mar 24, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 12

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

The Childcare Crunch is Real
I found out this week I will become a foster parent to a 2 year old boy! First big hurdle before he arrived was to find suitable daycare. I called over 30 daycares in my area and most all of them laughed me off the phone because they have a 1.5 year waiting list and only enroll in September. Luckily I did find him a spot, but I understand this gap is a serious problem for parents. 

Read the Instruction Manual
I can't stand doing this, but this week I've had to figure out how to install a carseat, assemble a diaper genie, and open a ton of plastic containers full of todder gear. I basically have to meditate and endure the process of doing these things, and I know it's always better to follow the instructions than to just wing it and have to do everything multiple times. 

Accept the Love and Support You're Offered
Wow. I have a much stronger and more devoted network of support to become a foster parent than I thought. I've been completely overwhelmed with notes and kindnesses, and support, and toys and clothes, and supplies in anticipation of the little one. Having never been married or had a baby before, it's brand new to have such a fuss. It's a little uncomfortable, even, but also immeasurably reassuring to know that I have a safety net to help me through this foray into foster parenting. 

Embrace the Good Kind of Fear
I didn't sleep much this week. Many months of moving towards the moment of becoming a foster parent culminated in a crazy amount of adrenaline, excitement, and fear. It feels like jumping off a cliff to become an instant parent. I think in a good way. 

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 8
Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Mar 17, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 11

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

It's Great to Visit My Comfort Zone
I had the opportunity to serve on a 2 day AAAS panel with fellow community engagement in disasters nerds and it was a much-needed boost to feel so comfortable with the material and confident that I had something to offer. I love being out on a limb learning so many new things everyday as a PIF, but it's also reaffirming and fabulous to go "home" 

Find Time to Laugh With Old Friends
I had dinner with my Kalorama housemates from the early oughts this week. It's really hard for us to schedule these dinners so they only happen 2-3 times per year, but it's worth it. The way we know each other and can pick up and make one another laugh is some of the best comfort around in these uncertain times. 

Stay Flexible and Open to Serendipity
Coming home from a networking HH my sweet neighbor asked if I wanted to get dinner from the amazing taqueria on our street. I was tired from a busy social schedule, had several Craigslist buyers on their way to take some of my furniture, etc, but I did it anyway and I loved getting to chat with my friend. 

Maybe You Can Do It
I flirt with the idea of freelancing once I'm done with the PIF program. I would love the flexibility, the opportunity to continually work on untangling new knots, and the hustle of building something. My main fear is being successful at business development since I don't have a ton of experience closing deals. I met with a friend who has launched her own consulting firm in the last year and she made me believe (maybe temporarily) that I can totally do it. 

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 7

Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Mar 10, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 10

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

Read the freaking details
It's tax time and I had a potential penalty for paying too much into my Roth IRA (a good problem to have, I suppose). It took all of my willpower and concentration to read the fine print about how to handle the excess contribution, but I did it, checked my work with a family friend, and ta da. 

Don't Let Setbacks Stop You Completely
My work project took a pretty major blow this week, so I let myself feel upset about it for a couple of hours and then started asking around and brainstorming what we could do to keep it alive in a different form. I was greeted warmly by many stakeholders who all want to see the project succeed and thrive. 

Always Be Learning
My wonderful colleagues generously taught me more about how to conduct a growth mindset workshop and other exercises in preparation for our big Nonprofit Technology Conference Design Thinking session. I love learning from them. 

Relationships Take Work
I have been much more proactive so far this year in connecting with friends in person. This week I had an event every single night with different groups of friends, which can really wear out an introvert like me, but when I look back they were all full of wonderfully fulfilling conversations and laughs and I'm so glad I made the effort. 

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Mar 4, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 9

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

Don't Be Scared of Big Words
I spend my days at the National Cancer Institute but don't have a science or biology background. The words and acronyms are enough to make any newbie slink into her chair. Whenever I ask for clarification, I find the definitions are simple concepts hiding behind complex words. For example, I was in a meeting where there was heated discussion about how to annotate the Karnofsky scale, which is a scale of how a patient feels that can be measured in %s from 0-100 or by its sister scale the eCOG, which is a measure of 0-5. 

There's Never Just One Way to See Things
At NCI every new group I talk with has a clear view of how they want to find clinical trials. It is invariably the opposite of the way the group before them wanted it. I see this as a metaphor for all of life and politics. 

You Can Both Acknowledge Your Privilege and Take Care of Yourself
I think. I haven't figured out how yet. 

Checks and Balances are the Best
Before this administration I didn't have the respect for them that they deserved. 








Previous Lessons Learned
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Feb 17, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 7

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 


Sharing a Sense of Humor is Wonderful
My lifelogging partner Carrie and I both chose as our "funny thing of the day" an excerpt of the NY TImes story describing one of the new breeds in the Westminster Dog Show as a "warm piece of bologna." I just love that we both thought that was funny enough to lifelog it and I got extra laughs from the fact that we both did it. 

Just Put It Out There
I frequently let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but am learning to socialize ideas I have before thinking them into the ground and have been pleasantly surprised by the input and complementary ideas that come from sharing initial thoughts. This week I came up with an idea to create an incubator/maker space in my Ward of DC to help connect students with seed funding to teach them how to launch startups and run small companies. I asked several friends for input and an now connected with several groups also looking to do this. 

Master New Recipes
One of my goals for the year is to host a dinner party at least 1x/month and as part of this I've tried to get creative about new recipes to master and rely upon for pleasing a crowd. This week I had a Friday night dinner party and learned to make delicious meatballs from scratch. 

Try Not to Overthink Your Screw Ups
Because I operate essentially as a consultant right now, I am in the new position of managing 4 different calendars for work. I haven't figured out a foolproof way to do this and this week I messed up and missed a meeting because I didn't look at all the calendars. I am still searching for the right solution to this issue, but in the meantime I need to learn to forgive myself for honest mistakes. 


Previous Lessons Learned
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1