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Devotion

The definition of devotion ~ love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.

I’ll start with love.  I have been fortunate in this life to have experienced an abundance of it.  Some did not end well, but it was love.  Some did not last forever, but it was love.  Some left behind better memories than others, but it was love.  I will start with the blessing of unconditional love.  My first.My mother.   She loved me dearly and completely throughout her life.   Emmy and JammieThat gift helped form my psyche and my soul and although I lost her while we were each far, far too young, I know her unconditional love was one of my life’s greatest blessings.  Occasions I was far too young to remember, immortalized in old pictures, remind me of the feelings I have to this day whenever I think of Emmy.  Safe.  Loved.Christmas Eve

Many people know that a person’s character and personality is largely established by the time they are very young. The traits that will define that individual throughout his or her life can be clearly identified when he or she is as little as 7 years old. In a new investigation, scientists show that, by the time they start going to school, children already exhibit the personality traits that will remain with them throughout their lives. This was clearly established in a new paper, written by experts at the University of California in Riverside (UCR), LiveScience reports.

“We remain recognizably the same person. This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it does follow us wherever we go across time and contexts,” says UCR PhD candidate Christopher Nave, who was also the author of the new investigation. The scientist used information on about 2,400 ethnically diverse schoolchildren, which he collected from the conclusions of a study conducted in the 1960. Full details of the work will be published in an upcoming issue of the esteemed medical journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

All the children in the old study were in grades 1 through 6, the expert says. The UCR research group looked at personality ratings that teachers had given to 144 of the test subjects. Now, 40 years after the original study, these individuals were tracked down and then interviewed. The experts looked for modifications in four major personality traits, and namely verbal fluency, adaptability to new situations, self-humbling behavior, and impulsiveness.

The researchers learned that children who had proven to be talkative from an early age were very likely to become highly intelligent individuals later on in life. They were capable of speaking fluently, and exhibited a tendency to try and control situations. Conversely, first graders who scored lower in verbal fluency while in school tended to seek more advice from others, and general trigger awkward interpersonal situations.

“Life events still influence our behaviors, yet we must acknowledge the power of personality in understanding future behavior as well.” Additional studies should “help us understand how personality is related to behavior as well as examine the extent to which we may be able to change our personality,” the team leader concludes.

I found this information fascinating, as in my case being “talkative” also lead to being “class clown,” as a defensive mechanism to thwart social awkwardness in junior high school.   But I also consider my sense of humor one of my best qualities.   Exhibiting a tendency to try and control situations?  Guilty as charged.Image

Highly intelligent?   My romantic proclivities might make that generalized assessment questionable.

Let’s just say I didn’t marry for the right reasons, did marry for the wrong reasons and had one heart-breaking draw.  In my forties I believed being single was my lot in life and was more than content with it.  I’d also gone into therapy and let’s just say I am living proof that mental health, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, can be purchased.  Just as my heart caught up with my mind with the realization that being alone and lonely really were two very different things fate stepped in.I accepted a job at a radio station in Los Angeles ~ KEARTH 101. KEARTH I’d been offered the job three times and turned it down.  As is often true, timing was truly everything.  Jay was aware of me before I became aware of him.  Not necessarily for the best of reasons as it seemed I bore a startling first glance resemblance to an ex-wife.  As he told me later, “her looks were not the problem,” but it added to a strange several first encounters between us.   We began to run into one another in the halls ~ literally.  I’d turn a corner and there he was.  We had a curious conversation about reading spiritual books in a jaccuzzi and began a pithy e-mail exchange.   Imagine his surprise when I told him my ex-husband had been one of the Four Preps?  Imagine my surprise when he produced a picture that bookended him and said ex-husband. husbands  We met for lunch and he said “what are you looking for?”  Given my past predilection for older men, I replied, “I’d like to date someone who was in my same decade.”  He smiled and said “you are now,” as we walked up to our cars parked next to one another on the crowded Beverly Hills street.   It was just that simple.  We waited almost a year to marry ~ I was convinced something this easy couldn’t possibly last.  We were amazingly compatible and had happy, good times together.   As I used to say, worst job ever but I got a great husband out of it.   Then there was that fork that happens to each and every one of us on the road of life when the good times take a detour.  Within six months cancer and a lost job came into our picture and although there were tears and sadness, there was also love.  Through the tough times a good relationship became a marriage forged in steel.   The good times returned, as did the hurdles, but what remains constant is the fact that I once again received unconditional love.  And was able to give it in return.J&J Sirmione

I guess it’s true that those early lessons remain imprinted on the soul, just waiting to be called upon during our lifetime.Favorite

This morning, a ten year old rescue golden retriever sits on my foot as I dry my hair because the “booms” at Camp Pendleton scare him.  I put down the hair dryer, pat his head and assure him all will be well.Riley & meOur Harley

Because the best unconditional love goes both ways.

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Millennial Management

millennials-360Here are some broad descriptions about the generation known as Millennials: They’re narcissistic. They’re lazy. They’re coddled. They’re even a bit delusional.  They’re known as the “Me Me Me Generation.”

These are not just unfounded negative stereotypes about 80 million Americans born roughly between 1980 and 2000. They’re backed up by a decade of sociological research. The National Institutes of Health found that for people in their 20s, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is three times as high than the generation that’s 65 or older. In 1992, 80 percent of people under 23 wanted to one day have a job with greater responsibility; ten years later, 60 percent did. Millennials received so many participation trophies growing up that 40 percent of them think they should be promoted every two years – regardless of performance. They’re so hopeful about the future you might think they hadn’t heard of something called the Great Recession.

But that’s merely one way of looking at the largest and most important generation since the Baby Boomers. In a recent Time Magazinem Joel Stein — who has a few Millennial traits himself — examined the overwhelming negative data about Millennials and argues that rather than being inherently self-centered or overconfident, Millennials are just adapting quickly to a world undergoing rapid technological change. They’re optimistic, they’re confident and they’re pragmatic at a time when it can be difficult just to get by. Those aren’t bad qualities to have, even if it means they spend too much time on their phones.

I do not mean to malign an entire generation as I haven’t had extensive experience with Millennials.  I’m sure many do not fit the negative portions of the stereotype.  Yet I also never believed getting a trophy just for showing up would produce a generation of leaders, but rather those who believed they should lead just because they showed up.   So, imagine my surprise when I inadvertently found myself at the mercy of a Millennial Manager.

It seemed like a great part time position ~ I applied on a whim and breezed through two interviews.  While no specifics were discussed I assumed ~ accckkk what’s that they say about  ass-uming ~ more would be revealed.  I was “conditionally” offered the position.   By another millennial almost-manager.  The background check was next.  Admittedly, one of the most complicated things about me are the many names I have used throughout the years.  Legally acquired, I might add, but they do require a few lines.  Once cleared of any past criminal actions I got my schedule.

Suffice it to say it was not as part time for the first two weeks as advertised but I was assured that was the “training.”  The spa was lovely.park-hyatt-aviara-resort

Quiet, zen-like, water features, soft music, lovely amenities.  I loved watching people come in stressed and leave as blissful marshmallows.  spa

The MM was leaving for her much needed four days off so I didn’t see much of her during my first week on the job.  There were a few red flags from my two co-workers about how hard they had been working and how much they both needed time off, too.  In fact, one was headed to San Francisco the next weekend and hoped I wouldn’t mind opening by myself.  Opening by myself?  Am I not the part time person here?  I definitely needed to have a conversation with the MM upon her return.

I had two days off.  On Day Two the MM returned to the Spa, rested and relaxed from her “much too short” mini vacay and called me.  I was taking my daily walk, breathing those negative ions.MLK Monday   How did I think my training was going?  I told her I thought fine but I did have some questions about my regular schedule.

“Regular schedule?” she responded “you have no regular schedule.  Other than working both weekend days.”

“Excuse me,” I replied.  “That’s not anything we ever discussed.”

“Well, you said you were flexible,” she shot back in more than a slightly miffed tone.

Let’s just say the conversation went downhill from there.

My next conversation was with Human Resources.  I have a feeling this Millennial Manager will be attending “Important Interview Components 101” training.

No hard feelings. Got some great samples.

Suffice it to say, I no longer work at the Spa.Happy Mime