Thursday, July 5, 2012

Efficient vs. Expedient

In this corner, wearing the blue trunks, we have Efficient.
  • performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry; competent; capable

In the opposite corner, wearing the lovely pink paisley trunks, we have Expedient.
  • fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances
Efficient is of course the desired method for doing anything.  Efficient organizers and tidy upperers would gather all like items together before putting them away.  Efficiency experts desire a world where no action is wasted. 

  • Hypothetically your desk is piled with stuff from all over the house.  You have dishes, a couple of magazines, a pair of socks (?) a dog training collar, TV remote, and AA battery.  The rest of your office (I mean "Studio") has books, kitchen towels, a pair of gloves, a pair of slacks, and copious toys brought in by a seven year old. 

  • Say hypothetically "I " were the "you" described above.  If I were efficient, I would gather and group together all the kitchen items, all the bedroom items, all the toys, and the rest of the miscellany.  I would then make one trip around the house, returning these things to their proper place as I go.  Maybe even humming a little tune..."la la la, look at me, calmly putting things away as if I have nothing else to do today la la la."
If we could return to reality for a moment, and leave June Cleaver out of this post.  (I do have pearls, but I don't wear them unless my handsome husband is taking me out somewhere "pearl worthy.")

Expedient is the method I generally employ.  Expedient gets it done...eventually.  Let's go back to the studio. 
  • first I say to myself..."how on earth did this room become such a trash heap?"  Then I start in one corner of the room.  Low hanging fruit first.  Garbage goes into the (wait for it) garbage can.  I gather up all the dishes, take them to the kitchen, and put them in the dishwasher.  (rule #1.  Don't make a mess somewhere else)  "Oh look, there's my calendar.  Why, that belongs in the studio...."
  • I put the calendar away, then grab some more low hanging fruit.  The socks and the slacks.  I take those upstairs.  "oh look, there's the receipts David emptied from his pockets. Why those belong in the office...(I mean "Studio")" 
  • I see the seven year old on the way back downstairs.  I tell her she needs to pick up her toys in my "studio."  "The what?" she replies.  I clarify, "My office."  "All of the toys?!," she asks.  "Only the ones you want to keep." I tell her. 
By following this method, when I inevitably have to abandon ship to
  1. Fix dinner
  2. Go to physical therapy for my arthritic neck
  3. put out any number of fires
I haven't made a bigger mess, which who knows when I'll be able to get back to and will be tripping over in the meantime.  Which is what used to happen, because for years I was convinced that Efficient was the only way to go. 

 And the winner, by TKO, is Expedient !!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bustin' Loose

I have a dog.  A little dog.  I know, you already know this.  My dog loves people.  LOVES people.  And running.  And running to the bus stop in the morning. 

Yesterday, she got out.  Now we're still working on basic commands like "come."  She's pretty good at "come"...if she knows you have a treat.  But unfortunately, "come" is not powerful enough to overcome the siren song of the bus stop. 

Like I said, she got out into the front yard.  Which she does on occasion.  Usually she just hangs out nearby.  But schools been out for a week.  She hasn't seen her bus stop entourage.  She's apparently going through bus stop withdrawal.   

Which explains why she headed straight down that way.  I got her to stop, but hadn't yet convinced her to "come" when all heck broke loose.  She spotted some of the boys from the bus stop walking to the park.  They were a full block away.  And away she went.  Charging past me, barrelling out across the street - without looking...I might add.  Straight towards the boys, who by this time had gone around the corner and out of my sight. 

I gave chase.  Remember though, it's summertime, and I wasn't wearing my running flip flops.  Nope, I was wearing my cutie wedge flip flops.  And a skirt.  Picture if you will...little dog running down the street, ears flying back.  Middle aged mom (me) running after said dog at top "mom" speed in a skirt and flip flops. 

Next up, comes teen aged boy (Brian), who was barefoot, following suit, and overtaking mom in flip flops.  The dog, by this point, had come to rest at the feet of a group of boys, tail wagging.  "Hi, hi, hi, whatcha doin?"  "whatcha doin?"  "wanna play, huh, wanna play, hi hi hi."

Brian reaches her, and scoops her up.  I catch up to them.  "hi, hi, hi, did you see me? did you see me? I ran real fast...real fast.  Hi, hi, hi!"  "you ran good too, mom!!"  "can we do it again?"  "can we, can we?"

She is soooo grounded. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

La Multi Ani

Yesterday was my birthday.  My 47th birthday to be precise.  And in exactly four weeks, I'm going to be getting on an airplane and travelling to Romania.  Hence the post title, which is how Romanians wish you "Happy Birthday."    It's one of the few phrases in Romanian I know.  The other one is "Ham and Cheese."  (sunca si cascaval)

I'm going to Romania on a short term mission trip.  To be more precise, I'm leading a short term mission trip to Romania.  The team and I will be there for 8 days.  We're holding a women's retreat the first four days, then travelling to another city and presenting a Reader's Digest Condensed version of the retreat at a women's conference there. Finally, we'll be hanging out with Romanian women in their homes and learning about their lives. 

And for all you would be robbers and thieves...the rest of the family is staying don't be thinking my house will be empty and easy pickins.

Now if you had told me 5 years ago that I would be leading a mission trip, I'd have thought you nuts.  Let's see...five years ago, I had a teenager, a tween, and a toddler too at home.  A toddler who refused to nap.  Oh, and I had a cat who peed on the walls.  Honestly, my "five year plan" consisted of
  1.  not changing any more diapers. 
  2.  going to the grocery store in the middle of the day all by myself
  3.  having intelligent conversations with other adults on a regular basis. 

Nope, I'm gonna say going on an overseas speaking trip, much less leading an overseas speaking trip was not anywhere on the radar screen.  Not even a tiny blip. 

Five years ago, I'd have peed on the walls myself, before I'd have gotten up in front of a bunch of people and spoken.  Or at least have spoken for any duration.  I think five years ago, I had begun to speak in front of the church - giving financial updates as the Church Financial Officer.  You know, two minutes tops, spewing out numbers.

And I was planning to upload a picture of my first trip to Romania in 2008 here. A picture of me standing up in front of a crowd of people with a microphone in my hand.  The picture clearly shows enjoyment and enthusiasm on my face.  That picture documents the start of my love of public speaking. you may recall, my computer crashed a few weeks ago.  The pictures are nowhere to be found on my hard drive.  They are on the backup my husband makes on the home network, but...I have no idea how to access anything on the network.

I hope my husband never dies...cause I will never be able to sort through his technology.  And all will be lost.

Now the whole point of this post, as originally intended was to talk about how the "five year plan" can be a good thing, but we can't cling too tightly to the plan, cause "stuff" happens.  And often times, that "stuff" can lead to a better "five year plan." if we let it.  And, as if to prove my point, "stuff" happened in the midst of my plan for this post. 

Time will yet tell, if this was a better way to convey my message.  Which of course, is usually how those things work...the frustration of "here and now" blocks our view of "the big picture" until much later.