WHY are Mondays so hard?

Do you suffer from the Monday Blahs? I do, and a lot of my co-workers as well. It’s a cultural phenomenon.

You can tell it’s a Monday because everyone has this perpetual frown, it’s quieter. Good for me perhaps because of the nature of my position but Mondays seem to be hard on everyone.

I guess it all depends if you really do love your job or not.

Personally, I love working at the National Archives.  I enjoy the challenges I face (though there are times I even question myself to this errr…logic). But all in all am content.  For myself, it’s a privileged to be able to immerse myself in an environment which caters to veterans and the general public.  So much history in this place!

I am most grateful that 1.) I am employed 2.) that it’s stable work 3.) my position is in a field I actually enjoy.

I already realize that Mondays are the hardest day of the week to get through. Sundays you’re already thinking:  “GOD, I have to get up early to go to work yet again.” Feel almost like a rat in a cage spinning on a wheel getting no where fast.

With that being said, if you detest something that much it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and your Mondays well, will end up sucking as much as you dread not looking forward to it.

Change the attitude = changes the perception of that day.

Let go of all those negative emotions. Your current emotional state will have a significant effect impact on your quality of work and your productivity. Instead of always finding fault of that day, (or for that matter–anything in general) twist it around and list the positive qualities regarding the issue at hand.

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A change in pace….

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”
Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

 

Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it.

-Henry B. Eyring

 

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.”
T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with “The Divine Presence”

Maintaining a positive attitude equals success

 “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”

― Jack Canfield

 

For the love of a dog

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Don’t know what it is with this canine but he’s slipped himself quite ceremoniously into my heart.

He’s going through a little bit of a medical issue at the moment and am keeping an ever-watchful eye.

Only 6 months old, we still have much to experience and journey together.

 

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)
poet Rudyard Kipling

The Power Of The Dog – Poem by Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But…you’ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long–
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

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“Cafe con leche”

This is a common saying in Puerto Rico. Maybe Cuba too since both cultures are quite similar.

This little phrase basically points out that people of that culture are of mixed race.  Puerto Ricans are a mixture of Spanish (from Spain), Tahino (Native American people who first populated the island), and African (from during the slave trade).

A colorful and quite beautiful racial melody.

Of course this mixture can bring up positive and negative attention.  I’ve received both.  Not being “white enough” while growing up. And not being Boricua enough for my island relatives. It’s like we are stuck in limbo. It’s like our appearance becomes our destiny.

Some individuals can tell I am mixed with something…usually I get Greek or Italian.  But not Latina. So what is my racial identity? When you are bi-racial or multi-racial it can be difficult to pinpoint where to mark your census box. Because I identify more with my mother and because I am half Puerto Rican I always check Hispanic. Then a part of me feels guilty for my father is of Irish descent. So what to do…what to do?

My daughter, on the other hand, is “tri-racial” because her biological father is African American. Then she has my Caucasian and Latin heritage.  I also had her DNA analyzed and I can see my genetic make up in her. (Totally awesome).

It is what it is.  If you saw the varying shades of my relatives, some are “whiter” than I am…and a few at the other end of the spectrum because of the African heritage we all carry. (And when I had my DNA analyzed it contains African and Native American).

We are all lovely shades of the human rainbow.

Embrace your uniqueness and simply respect others for who they are.

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A Spiritual Disconnection

“Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the law. Each forgets self and lives for others.

But where there is selfishness it mars joy. One selfish soul will destroy the sweetness of life in any home. It is like an ugly bush in the midst of a garden of flowers. It was selfishness that destroyed the first home and blighted all the loveliness of Paradise; and it has been blighting lovely things in earth’s home ever since. We need to guard against this spirit.”
James Russell Miller

 

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
Oscar Wilde

 

“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”
Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

 

“Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. ”
Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare

 

“Betrayal is an ironic thing. He or she betrays you then you betray yourself. You think you’re showing strength with your anger, but in reality you’re showing how much you still care.”
Shannon L. Alder

 

 

Love what I do

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Work can sometimes be overwhelming. So much to do. My position means wearing many hats. I chose it because it’s challenging and I love helping others. Though at times this place can become stressful, I honestly do love what I do. I am still tied to the military through these historical records. How many people can say they honestly love their job? Being a veteran myself, reading about the heroic feats of many many American soldiers leaves me in awe each and every time. Doesn’t matter if it was my 1st record or my 100th or more…..it is an honor to serve my fellow countrymen and women.

The simplest way a legal next of kin or veteran can obtain records is on line website

Or filling out an Standard Form 180 (can access here)

WHEN THE DAYS BLUR TOGETHER

Not sure if it’s an age thing but lately it seems like my days are blurring together.  Maybe it’s a 40-something kind of bug…..Perhaps part of it is the volunteer overtime I’ve been completing or feeling a bit under the weather….but one day is merging into the next and either it’s workplace fatigue or in need of an extended vacation.

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Fatigue doesn’t usually come out of no-where. Lifestyle habits and underlying health issues usually are the culprit:

  • Medical causes – Can be an undiagnosed illness such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, going through “the change”
  • Lifestyle- – Sleep deprivation, long work hours, partying too hard (as if!!!)
  • Emotional concerns and stress – Depression and grief are usually the culprit.  A stressful home life, family worries….

The solutions are simple (if you are willing to embrace change)

Eating a balanced diet, addressing any issues or concerns you have at work or at home is usually a good place to start.  Control your workload (if able)

It all begins with the first step ( sometimes the most challenging) and before you know it you’ll find yourself with more energy to enjoy the things you used to be able to do. Just remember to take time out for yourself. I should also practice what I preach.  Perhaps a nice vacation in the tropics, cool breezes, sandy beaches, and a glass of rum is the sure thing to turn my frown upside down.    😉

Things to do in St. Louis (and surrounding area)

Wherever you happen to plant your heart there’s always something fun or interesting to do.  If you find yourself bored….check the Internet or pick up the paper and see what are the new happenings around the area.

I love historic St. Charles and found the following event (not in the historic area but still nice place to visit) which luckily is going on today:

2015 Food Truck Events with Live music

Food Trucks Image April 21 2015

Mark your calendars for our popular Food Truck events! Enjoy live entertainment as you indulge in a variety of delicious food options that will be available by several different food truck vendors. Bring your family and friends out for a relaxing evening in the park!

(source)

 

There’s a little bit of something for everyone. Not much for crowds, but with all the overtime I’ve been doing lately it’s nice to have an “all Americana” outlet such as this to choose from and relax.

 

What it’s like being a federal employee

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A federal employee is an individual employed by the U.S. federal government. Employees receive positions and promotions based on “grades” that are obtained through work history, employment duration and other factors. Federal employees have the benefits of transferring to other federal positions when openings are available. (source)

Ever since I can remember I wanted to serve my country and I did both within the military and in the public sector.  Being the nerd that I sometimes can be….I knew the path I’d take would be a difficult one.  I had no connections, grew up in an obscure Mid-America little town, and came from a comfortable middle class life.

What made me succeed was perseverance and having a positive attitude, an inner fire that was also a fighter to go after the things I felt were important to me.  The military provided me a structured path, the discipline and fortitude to reach my goals.

College first then full-time employment.

It took a little while to get to where I am today, and I still see myself climbing the ladder of success one challenging rung at a time.

Naysayers think federal employees are lazy, not worth the pay all of us, including me, we dole out through taxes.

Trust me when I say the National Archives of Saint Louis is one agency where all employees, in some fashion or another, earn their pay.

Unless you are management, meetings are few and far between (excluding weekly team and core meetings)

  • Yes, things seem to run at a slower pace working for “The Man” perhaps it’s because we have to ensure all regulations and compliance are met.
  • It is like a private sector job, however unlike our counterpart, getting rid of a federal employee can be a monumental task (unless it be a moral transgression)
  • There are still high-schoolish cliquish behaviors. If you work for the feds (and even if you don’t) rise above that nonsense because gossip is childish and there’s simply no place for it within a professional work environment.
  • Despite some challenges, like in any workforce, the benefits are great and worth holding on to.

Anything and everything is possible as long as you believe it to be

I think there’s no higher calling in terms of a career than public service, which is a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and improve the world.

Jack Lew