Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Experiment in Being Nice

My dear royal subjects:

So I have started my own experiment.  I have started trying very hard to be nice to others.  Now you all may say that for the most part you think that I am already nice to others.  Well, that is true, sort of.  You see, just like some of you I often pretend that I am being nice while internally I am either jealous of that person and the success or the positive things they have in their life OR I am just plain thinking of what I want to say next.  Now do you think that I am always nice?  The other thing that I found I do is that I am nice to those that I am immediately interacting with, but I do not do enough random acts of kindness (RAC).  So me and my RAC (lol) are going on the road! 

My experiment is really about me!  Isn't it always?  I am going to find a way each and every day for the next week to be kind to someone or some unknown someone that I normally would not interact with at all.  The experiment part, I have a hypothesis: I will not be able to help being in a good mood if I contribute to the good mood of someone else.  So, yesterday when my family and I went on a walk around our neighborhood I picked up a few garbage items so that I could toss them away when I returned home.  It made me feel good.  Now I can not say whether it made anyone else feel good or have a better day, but it sure did make me feel good.  Also, my dear children saw me doing this and asked about it.  I hope that they will now do random acts of good things too. 

Today, I sent a oovoo message to everyone on my contact list with what I think is great about them.  I admit in the end I got so much more back than I offered, and several said that I made their day!  I am in a fantastic mood of course, and I would say day 1 is proving that my hypothesis is true. 

So, what will it mean if the entire week is a success and I prove the hypothesis true?  Well, that is easy.  it means that if ever I am not in a good mood, all I should have to do is something nice for someone else that needs it and I should be able to get out of my funk.  Also, it means that I am in control of how I feel and how I react to a situtation.  Let the games begin!

Queen Jackie

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Afghan and the Rosary

Greetings my Dear Royal Subjects!

Today is yet another wonderful day in the kingdom!  I finally finished the afghan that I was working on for my dear husband.  I actually used it last night when I was forced by the roaring of the dragon ( husband's snoring) to sleep in the guest room (on the couch) in order to have a decent nights sleep.  However, it did give me yet another thought on this idea of connectedness.

As I was looking at each stitch in the afghan it made me think of a rosary.  My dear mother gave me a rosary that belonged to her grandmother when I was a child.  It is a wooden rosary that looks as if it might have had every bead hand carved.  Just the memory of my mother doing something so nice and selfless was a positive connection for me, but it also made me think about god and how I am connected or not connected to him.  You see, like many others I allow my "perfectionism" to get the best of me.  I was never "taught" how to use a rosary.  I think I get the concept from watching TV and I do recall a brief discussion about it in my CCD classes as a child, but I missed many of those classes.  Then as an adult I missed many of my confirmation classes.  Hum, seems I have made a habit of missing things; things that I did not think were important then, but now they seem like lost opportunities to connect at a deeper level.

Well, back to my "perfectionism"!  I have never, ever used the rosary.  I have several actually, the one I got for my communion and one for my confirmation and a few others as well.  I kept them to give to my dear children some day, but until now I probably would not have done that either.  Why you might ask?  Well, this is easy.  I was never taught how to "do it right".  How silly some might think that statement is, especially coming from me.  But, since I don't know how to do it right and I am embarrassed that I don't know how to do it right I will not be asking anyone how to do it.  Since I don't know how to do it, how then can I pass this item on to my dear children if I cannot tell them how to do it right?  Guess what dear ones!  There is no right way to pray to god.  There is no right way to use or not use a rosary.  There is no right or wrong relationship with god. 

So, it is here that I rekindle a relationship with the creator, my mother, and my children.  I will ask my husband, my mother-in-law or the Internet how to use the rosary.  I will use it - at least once - and then I will know how to teach a least one way to my children on how to do it.  Things are so much simpler when we give ourselves permission to not be perfect and when, as a dear friend of mine Melissa Lasko says, we are not so hard on ourselves. 

Hum?  What else will I take a chance on by letting go of my desire to do it all perfect?  I guess we will find this out together as I move through my journey.

Love Your Dear Queen,
Ms. Jackie

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Social Governor - Dance All The Way to Work

My Dear Royal Subjects -

What a wonderful day it is today!  The sun is shining, my heart is glad, and I am ready to embrace yet another day in my journey through life.  This new journey that I have been on, to find the connections and to make the connections, has been so enlightening.  I have been observing more and watching my children and trying to understand why they are doing what they are doing.  So, last night my dear daughter was being so dramatic.  She was showing her Daddy how she could do a 'trick' and was telling him how she was going to be every single job in the circus.  She was climbing on him like he was a jungle gym and smiling and singing and laughing.  My dear husband, although patient and tolerant, was getting his hair pulled out and getting kicked well you know.  Yet, he was still in a decent mood and was most definitely enjoying his daughters dramatic flare.

Well, eventually she dances off to her coloring table and started singing some song that she made up and was coloring as if getting it done was the most important task she had ever taken on in her life.  It was cute, to say the least.  Then I told my dear husband, "I wonder who she gets that from?  That dramatic flare."  He laughed and said, "well she certainly did not get it from me.  Of course it was from you."  Then we got into a discussion about it.  I said I was not exactly dancing my way to work.  Then I think he hit the nail on the head.  He said I wasn't dancing to work or singing all the time because I was "conditioned" not to by the "social governance" society put on me over time.  I didn't want to think that was true.  I said that I am not an actor or a writer or someone with dramatic flare, after all, I am in software development - not exactly the Mecca of creativity.  He laughed and said if there was no "social governor" that I would still be just like our dear daughter.  Then I said I wished I could just dance my way to work everyday.  He laughed, reminded me I work at home, and said why don't you - you would only have to dance across the hall. 

All in all it was a lovely evening.  No TV.  Just me, my children, and my dear husband enjoying a conversation about how we think we became who we are and what things made us that way.  You see, we are all connected ... my children have some genetic predisposition to be similar to me and my husband.  But, society has a role in raising them too.  They will have their own social governors and they will have different ways that they interact with the outside world.  My only hope out of all of this is that I take the time to dance to my desk once in awhile, wear a red hat with a purple outfit before I am an old lady and just don't care anymore, and that my daughter doesn't change quite as much as it seems I have due to outside influences.

Love Your Queen of Connect,
Ms. Jackie
P.S.  Just in case you are wondering, I did go to the meeting yesterday.  I am glad I did.  I was really able to connect with others in my field. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time as Money - How Do You Spend It?

Good day Royal Subjects!

If you take a moment to think, as I discussed before, about our life as a journey and our destination as death ... then we begin to think more about what the value is of the time that we have left in our journey.  I have decided to quantify the cost of my time to begin to see how much time currency I am wasting.  So, at 33 years old I am going to say my time costs $1 a minute.  (I am valuable after all!)  So my day is worth $1,440!  (I told you I was royalty!)

If my day is worth $1,440 and I spent 15 minutes complaining about it to someone then I have just wasted $15 and 15 minutes of the time I have left in my journey towards death.  So, I think that I will be more careful with my currency from now on.  This little game I am playing with myself does indeed link to my purpose of life, to be an ambassador of healthy connectedness.  How you might ask?

Well, I had to make a choice today on whether or not I wanted to attend this meeting that I have committed to attending.  I committed to attending this meeting nearly two months ago.  It was so important for me to attend this meeting that I even rescheduled a doctor's appointment for my dear son and moved several things around on my calender, including coming back from out of town early to attend the meeting.  Then I woke up this morning feeling tired and lethargic and just plain, well grumpy.  I immediately had in my head that I did not want to fight downtown traffic to try to get to this meeting because I hate driving downtown and I don't want to and I don't have to and whine whine whine.  You know what I mean, we have all had this discussion in our heads about something.

Well, this meeting is with MATC to help them define the curriculum for the Health IT grant that they obtained.  It is a big deal in my field and to my colleges and to my friends.  It is also a chance to really ensure that we connect with the HIT workers of the future and ensure that they are trained well and on the right things.  So the cost of this meeting in time to me is about $120 or 2 hours.  I am positive that the benefit to the local community, the chance to connect with my coworkers, friends, and colleges as well as the benefits that the final product will have for the students is well worth $120.  You know what, I spent 3 hours or $180 trying to convince myself that I didn't have to go.  WHAT!  Yes, my friends until I tied this little meeting back to my purpose in life (an ambassador of healthy connectedness) I was going to probably spend that $120 worth of time that I would have been at the meeting also convincing myself that I didn't need to go.  Overall, I would have wasted $300 of time complaining and the end result would not have been healthy, it would not have connected anyone, and it would have kept me in the funk that I found myself in when I got up this morning.

So, the lesson learned here?  Look at what you are spending you time on.  Make your time really be a dollar amount as it somehow has more weight then vs when it is just time.  Look at the decision you are trying to make in terms of the money it will cost in time and in how that decision does or does not link to your purpose in life.  You might find that making decisions (the right decisions) is a little easier!

Love Your Queen of Connect,
Ms. Jackie

The Afghan - Connections in Odd Places

Of all the places to begin thinking again about how all things are connected, I started thinking about it when I was crocheting an afghan.  This afghan has been in the process of being created for years now.  However, as with most projects of a creative nature that I start it was not until I was able to assign an owner to the end product that I really began to make some serious progress.  The interesting thing about crocheting of course is that it takes a long time and it gives your mind time to wonder ... I mean focus.  As the afghan's new owner was revealed to me, my dear husband, it also made me think of why it was important to me to finish this project and it also made me think about the eventual owner of the afghan.
Every single stitch that you make with the yarn connects the next stitch together.  It isn't until all the yarn is connected that you have a finished product.  I thought that perhaps I saw a link in this thought to a comment my dear husband made as I was being philosophical the other day while crocheting, "Life is like a journey, and the destination is death."  Wow, that seemed so fatalistic for such a positive man.  But, alas it was not.  You see my dear husband, the King of Awesome, is not a fatalist but a realist.  So I began to dissect what this meant when said by a realist or literalistic instead of a fatalist.  The fact is, he is right.  Life is not like all the little craft projects and jobs and other things that we do that need to have a beginning, middle, and end.  Life is so much more.  It is this journey that you go on that you do not want to finish first or finish fastest or even give away to someone else.  Hum?
So, it seems that with life too I have to finally claim an owner of mine just like I revealed the owner of the afghan.  You see, until I find a owner for something it seems that I am not able to find the value in it.  You all think this is silly don't you?  Of course you own your own life.  Well, I say nah.  You all do not, as I did not, feel you own or have control over your own life.  If you do not have a purpose for a thing then you do not claim ownership of that thing.  If you do not claim ownership of that thing, then you let is sit, or you forget about it, or you do not value it as you might other things that have owners.  What do you think?

Queen of Connect

Duplicate from to allow all blog posts to be in one place.

Introduction to the Queen -

Where did the idea for the Queen of Connect come from? It came from the Goddess Jacqueline Gates. Check her out if you have interest at Jacqueline challenges us to give ourselves a title and to define for ourselves a purpose in life. Jacqueline's purpose in life is to leave it a better place. Of course, it would have been really easy to just steal her purpose. It is an admirable purpose. However, I figured that I should really think about it for a minute and see if I could find what my purpose is in life.

Now for those of you that know me, you all now that I am a wife, mother, and I have a job. Of course part of my purpose is to be a good wife, a good mother, and do a good job for my employer. However, there was more behind Jacqueline's question. She was asking about our personal overriding purpose. the purpose that drives us to be good mothers, good wives, and good workers. That question was much bigger, but also much simpler. So, I decided to put some real thought to the whole idea and see if I could really put some words around what I thought my purpose in life is.

That is when the idea of being an "Ambassador of Healthy Connectedness" came to mind. It seems so simple at first glance, but really it was so deep and so complex. As a mother, my job is to help my dear children connect to me, their siblings, and the rest of society in a healthy and safe way. As a wife, my job is to connect with my dear husband and to make our home healthy and feel like home. As a worker, my job is to literally connect different parts of the system and different people together to develop an interconnected product. Of course these are all high level summary descriptions, but there was also the connection to the earth, the connection to god, the connection to family and friends, and the connection to the universe that came to mind.

Once the purpose in my life was really revealed to me, it became simple to give myself a title, and a little fun too! I was not a Goddess, as Ms. Jacqueline describes herself. I was however a Queen. Then if I was a Queen, my dear daughter was a Princess and my son was a Prince and my husband is the King. My four year old daughter really loved being a Princess and yes, I must say that I really don't mind being a Queen either. So, this blog might be all about my new journey into understanding who I am as the Queen. This blog might also fall by the wayside as many of my other ideas have gone by the wayside. However, at the end of the night today I feel good because I announced my royal status to the world and I intend to continue to be queen.

Love Your Queen of Connect,
Ms. Jackie