Feb 25, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 8

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. 

Take Advantage of Work Travel
I was invited to speak at a Health IT conference in Orlando this week and was lucky to have my mom come up and stay in the not-so-resort-y resort for a couple of nights. I was busy during the days, but she was patient and we had a fun time together in the evenings. I love when we are able to spend time together. 

When You Take the Wrong Bus, Try to Enjoy the Ride
This conference was enormous and included 18 different hotel shuttle busses at the end of the day, but I didn't respect this fact and just saw a shuttle and hopped on it without researching that I was supposed to get on a specific route. I ended up pretty far from my hotel but met a few new people along and way and got to see Hard Rock Hotel. I have really benefited from reaching a place where I don't stress out about things I can't control anymore and I can deal with this sort of mishap with minimal stress and maximum laughs. 

When forming queues, humans naturally curl. 
Only at Disney would I learn this lesson, but maybe it'll come in handy one day. If given infinite space, people lining up always create curls in their lines - they do not just make one long straight line. Surely that's good to know... 

Reuniting Feels So Good
I HATE leaving my dog at the kennel when I have a trip, but picking her up is so fantastic. She hides in my legs and usually won't move her own legs and has to be dragged to the back. I know she is fine while she's there, and seeing her wagging body (she does not limit wagging to her tail) when I pick her up is just an awesome end to any trip. 

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 7
Part 6
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

Feb 10, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 6

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. 

Prioritize experiences over desk work
In college I would tell people my motto is "Always Take the Action" meaning I wanted to say yes when people invited me to participate in something to expose myself to as much as possible. As I've gotten older, it's easier to think about how much traffic there will be, how badly the dog will need to go out, etc, but it's worth it to take the action. 

Supporting Friends Feels Great
I went to a book launch for my friend Beth this week. It feels awesome to cheer on the success of friends. 

Planting Seeds is Satisfying
I started tomato, okra, and pepper seeds indoors this week. I love this ritual every year. Both the actual act and the metaphor of preparing for something. I am lucky in that I truly enjoy the weeding and watering and caretaking of my vegetable garden. The end result of veggies on my table is just a bonus. 

Ask Your Customer To Tell You What They Want/Need
I'm always surprised by how different customer needs can be from one another. I'm learning to cast a wide net of listening and then synthesizing the similarities and segmenting the differences for optimal designing. 


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

Feb 6, 2017

Enjoyments

Links that bring me joy. 

Ten Meter Tower. Would you jump?

Unique German Words. Germans are very good at naming universal feelings.

We Want a Copyright Office that Serves the Public. Simple sentence, hard to achieve.

Peaceful Cuisine's cooking channel is soothing.

Feb 3, 2017

Community Involvement Part 3

I've been thinking a bunch about what the average person can do to participate in creating a more perfect community. In my Daily Questions, I ask myself a yes/no question about whether I contributed to my community, but it occurs to me that more information about what I count as a yes might be helpful to inform myself and others about ways we all might contribute more easily.  I have a pretty low bar on a daily basis, but am optimistic that over time these micro actions make a difference. 

Emailed Ward 4 Legislative Director with specific questions to help educate myself on DC's legislative process (1/27/17)

Joined ACLU (1/29/17)

Joined Define American (1/29/17)

Raised my hand to be activated as an organizer if there is an anti-LGBT Executive Order (1/30/17)

Signed petition to modernize Coolidge High School in my neighborhood (1/31/17)

Completed training for Atlas Corps Selection Board (2/3/17)


Previous Community Involvement posts
Part 1
Part 2






Lessons Learned Part 5

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 Say No
It is the hardest lesson to learn. I am finding in 2017 that having clear personal and professional goals helps a lot in deciding how to prioritize my time and my work. Several people have suggested I read a book called Designing Your Life, and I'm looking forward to doing just that, but in the meantime I am happy to have pretty clear priorities for now.

Remember Your Strengths
Even in a super uncertain work environment where you don't have much expertise in the subject matter, remember to lean on what you do well and bring it as value to the group.

Humor and Fun Go a Long Way
I had the privilege of hearing Madeleine Albright speak at a DC event this week. She is so funny and clearly enjoys having fun. She is accomplished and impressive and clear-eyed about foreign policy. She told wonderful stories of serious moments relating to other heads of state, and fun personal moments when they were done with business for the day. It reminds me to look for the opportunities to laugh and have fun, and know that being silly and funny and enjoying life isn't mutually exclusive from tough, serious thoughts and work.

Always Be Learning
I spent some significant after-work time practicing my coding skills. I'm building a website and struggling so hard. It's a fun stretch for my brain and I'm reminded of something Madeleine Albright said during her talk this week, paraphrased as, "My father characterized me as a girl who is discouraged by first difficulties. I decide not to be in my adult life."

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1