When Life Gives You Lemons, Make This…

It was February, 2012.  My boss had been laid off a few months earlier, and we had a new manager.  He decided to make sweeping changes to the organization.  The effect on me and my team was this:  my team was split up between two of my peers, and I was given a newly-created role – Strategic Planning and Process Design.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

It sounded like a job title they give someone who they don’t know what to do with and are trying to find a way to get them to leave.

How Do You Capture An Emotion?

The other day I went walking in Gay City State Park, not too far from where I live.  I took a trail that I have often walked.  It starts at a pond, and then cuts into the woods and crosses several streams.  One in particular has a wooden bridge across it, complete with a railing so you don’t fall in.

(c) Kathleen Thompson

(c) Kathleen Thompson

I stepped to the middle of the bridge and stopped. 

What Bread Do You Want to Be?

When I was a kid, we used to buy pre-made bread dough.  It came in a tube that you popped open by hitting the edge on the counter (at least that’s how we did it).  Then you twisted it to open all the way, pulled the dough out, and baked.  Only a few minutes later you had crescent rolls, biscuits, or cinnamon buns.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

Were they the best ever?  No.  Were they easy?  Yes.  And tons of people bought them.

On the Same Side of the Desk

When we encounter a problem, it’s easy to see people with a different opinion as the opposition.  We even use words like “across the aisle” or “sitting across the desk”, as if that space is a wide gulf that can’t be breached.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

We end up talking over the problem and at each other.  It can quickly turn antagonistic.

I Wish I Could Do That!

Is there something you always wished you could do?  When I was kid, I wanted to fly.  Not an airplane.  Actually fly.  Like Mary Poppins or Superman.  I tried taking my umbrella outside in the wind and leaping off the neighbor’s embankment.  I even convinced some other kids to try it with me.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

But no matter how windy it was, and no matter how hard we tried, we were never able to fly.

Drawing Stick Figures: A Study in Perspective

Did you ever see those ads for learning how to draw? They show an exquisite and detailed drawing of a woman, and say you can learn to draw like that. The drawing captures not only the woman’s beauty, but also her personality. Her style. Her essence.

(c) Thinkstock and Dollar Photo

(c) Thinkstock and Dollar Photo

Meanwhile, your drawings look like stick figures.

A New Way to Give Thanks

This week in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. The purity and simplicity of this holiday is quite profound – set aside time to give thanks for all we have.

(c) Dollar Photo Club

(c) Dollar Photo Club

Yet in the midst of meal preparations, football and parades, the simplicity of Thanksgiving is often lost. Not only that, but the very act of giving thanks can sometimes feel trite, or rote.