Why is the word compromise a dirty 4 letter word?

“Marriage is about compromise; it’s about doing something for the other person, even when you don’t want to.”

― Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding

 

One of the greatest fears a lot of us have is losing control over our lives, our feelings. We’re afraid that if we give in even one inch to someone else they’ll greedily devour a mile. Perhaps that’s why a lot of us Americans are so apprehensive about getting married. We are individualists with our own set of dreams, goals…

The way I was raised though had a lot to do on how I view marriage. I did see “some” compromise with my parents growing up in a traditional household. The roles were “set” as one might typically think of an old-school marriage. Mom was a stay at home wife, dad worked 12 sometimes 16 hour days. He had the garage and yard while mom had the house. Though mom would help dad outside weather permitting….

The military taught me, quite well, I might add, on the art of compromise. Working within a team environment with various personalities you quickly learn the group dynamics.  You’re tested on a multitude of levels…on areas you didn’t even know could be tested.

And marriage, well marriage is a team effort. And you bring into this union all of your angst, your strengths, those hopes and dreams. You pray that your spouse will share along with your ventures, becoming in essence, a true partner.

However, sometimes that’s not always the case. An individual may have a stronger personality than the other and try to either force or somehow coerce you into their way of thinking even if you don’t necessarily agree with it. That’s when compromise becomes a 4 letter word. It’s not really a meeting of like minds.

If you feel you’re not being heard, that your own personal goals are being swept to the side have a talk. Resolve it, the longer you wait more resentment will build.

Marriage is a partnership for a reason. It’s not necessarily the union of two liked minds because we are all individuals. It’s learning to respectfully coexist within a meaningful relationship which should last a lifetime.

A collective effort

I’ve worked within a team environment pretty much my entire life. Whether it was in the military or in my current position, I have “learned” to play well with others.

Found this site (taken directly from the horse’s….I mean Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) mouth:

 

Building a Collaborative Team Environment

Teams are expected to produce results, but performance is hindered when team members do not work well together. A collaborative team environment is essential for the team’s success. To create a collaborative environment, team members must practice the following:

Have a Common Purpose and Goal

A team is defined as a group of people working together toward a common goal. Without a goal, there is no team. Ideas for creating a common goal include:

  • Create and/or review the team’s charter.
  • Discuss why the team exists.
  • Allow each team member to express commitment.
  • Create mottoes, symbols, awards, or posters that portray the team as one unit.
  • Use the common purpose to prioritize team actions.

Trust Each Other

Team members must trust each other if they are to work together successfully. Ideas for creating trust among team members include:

  • Be honest.
  • Work to eliminate conflicts of interests.
  • Avoid talking behind each other’s back.
  • Trust teammates (you must trust them before they will trust you).
  • Give team members the benefit of the doubt.

Clarify Roles

Knowing everyone’s role and being familiar with the responsibility of those roles create efficiency and flexibility. Ideas for clarifying roles on the team include:

  • Review team members’ roles frequently.

  • Relate team member expectations to the team’s overall purpose.

  • Clarify responsibilities when action planning.

  • Learn what others do on the team.

  • Figure out ways to help each other.


You can visit OPM for additional information and to read the rest of this website.

The above outlined behaviors and responsibilities seems easy right? Not always. When you throw in different cultural, socio-economic, and work-ethic backgrounds into the mix you can come out with a totally different beast.

One thing I decided to do this year is to get my team more actively involved in our agency’s annual holiday party. Each year various teams put together wonderful gift baskets which are then doled out to the a lucky ticket holder.  I decided I wanted to tempt karma and see what the fates may bring.  What I have found out, besides putting together one very awesome basket, (pictures to come forth later) is that various members of my team (who usually do not interact with one another) are, for the most part….coming together.  THAT is the outcome I was striving for.  Not only are we combining our creativity with the kind of basket we are creating, but to establish a cohesive team during the holiday season which I pray extends itself past the New Year. ;)

 

Gift baskets from previous years (yes…as I said…they are awesome!)

 

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The eyes have it….

They are windows to the soul….

Matthew 6:22

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!…

 

 

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Dealing with racism in the Midwest

I live pretty close to Ground Zero.  Meaning, I am about a hop, skip, and a jump away from Ferguson, MO.

Since the shooting on August 9, 2014 the local news media outlets have been inundated with protesting, violence, and political backlash.  To say this area has been chaotic is putting it mildly.

“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”
― Kofi Annan

The facts of the shooting are hotly disputed and will unfortunately be contended for some period of time.

This incident has created even deeper racial divides.

When the National Guard was called out this last time (after the verdict was released) my heart went out to my fellow soldiers.  I knew they’d face an unknown factor.  Some were deployed and probably thought they’d never have to deal with something like this tinderbox of emotions and political agendas.

 

I am not going to delve into who I think was in the right or wrong.  I will simply say the whole situation is despairingly heartbreaking.

I come from a police family and when people generalize and criticize an entire group of hard working individuals I have to step in.

I also have a daughter who is half black, and cousins on the island who are of African descent. And when this segment of the population is generalized….I have to step in.

I remember my mother telling me when she was growing up in Puerto Rico skin color was not an issue like it is here on the mainland.

Puerto Ricans come in all flavors.

Americans do too.

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
― Muhammad Ali

Ideally I wish everyone could lay their prejudices aside, work together to make this country a better place.

“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
― Fred Hampton

Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon either.

“Achievement has no color”
― Abraham Lincoln

 

Organizing your marriage

“Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.

“Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other.

“Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion for the other.

“Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.

“Go now to your dwelling place to begin the days of your life together.

“May your days together be good and long upon the earth.”

— Apache Blessing

 

Sounds tedious (may even create resistance,) but having some semblance of order is necessary for a fruitful, happy marriage.

Marriage means compromise.  Period.  If an individual finds this action  too difficult then it’s best to remain single.

Am not saying that we have to give up everything we stand for, or even our interests. It’s knowing when to “pick and chose our battles.”

Before getting married, it’s prudent to remember that we need to work on common goals, this goes hand in hand of having common interests, values (you get the picture.)  Working together as a team is great, wonderful! But this can also lead to unintended processes as to who is keeping score.

When partners have common goals, they also share in the work it takes to see things through. By  working together as a team, each can be a greater part of marriage; but, this can bring up questions of fairness—who is doing more or….less?

If we’re caught up in the minor details (such as household chores, finances, children, in-laws) we may be tempted to line out who is carrying the “heavier” burden. Creating a list or score to try and “even things out.”

For someone like myself, I know I have a variety of weak areas (cooking, home improvement) but I try. And that’s the key….show interest. I also have strengths which I implement, if not on a daily basis, it’s running in the background.

We as individuals are dynamic-ever changing.  So should be our marriage.  We need to regularly examine ourselves to see if we are giving the marriage, our partner, the best of ourselves.  Communication, talking openly and working at whatever obstacles you or both of you may face, is essential in organizing your marriage.  Again, having shared goals is crucial for a successful and happy union.  Remember, we always want what’s best for our partner.

We can come into a marriage from different backgrounds, cultures, religions and even education.  We may not have the same voice when it comes to tolerance and being sensitive to our partner’s preferences.  With that being said, we have to understand, no one is perfect.

Marriage is fluid.  If we become “stuck in our ways” to the detriment of our spouse then the dynamics of the marriage can crumble.  Marriage is about complimenting the other, being sensitive to the “daily relationship” established when the two of you decided to join together.

 

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Destiny

We feel, we hear, we touch. We cry, we scream, we laugh…the utter essence of humanity, which claims us all, resides within every person. Our hearts beat as one, the human race…the greatest joy is not in material wealth, but in realizing how rich we truly are in our sameness, in the commonality of the human race, in our ability to recognize compassion within one another…to change this world and make it a better place for future generations.  The ultimate destiny for mankind.

NOT a big fan of change…

Perhaps it’s life experiences, or simply, it’s imbedded into who and what I am. I look back to my childhood, early adult years and can safely say yes…..I tend to be quite the habitual person.

Now when it comes to my looks, I can see I’ve “evolved”. Being mousy is simply not who I am, nor am I a diva. I am well…just me and right now just me likes straight hair:

 

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A work in progress

I’ve noticed that women my age don’t look like (or act) like those of my mother’s generation. Unfortunately I’ve seen far too much frumpiness for her era.  And though yes, when we reach middle-age we should carry that “I could care less attitude” about what others think about our sense of style and dress…I truly feel you don’t have to look the part (gray hair and dowdy clothes) just because you are gaining more wisdom and wrinkles than smart compliments and cattle call whistles. Just be sensible and not “cartoonish.”

I dress to impress me. To look good for me.

Case in point. My agency contains a high percentage of women and btw…am married. So there is no real need to try and “catch” a man.

 

The following article, Fashion Wardrobe ‘rules’ as you age, by TU Magazines,  contains some common sense advice and tips on what to wear as we women “gracefully” grow older:

Age-Appropriate from Head to Toe

Our experts gave us some general guidelines on age-appropriate do’s and don’ts for wardrobe items that get trickier with age.

T-Shirts
Snug ones are still fine “at the gym” to allow for ease of movement, says Steinborn. Otherwise, limit them as a layering piece only. “I love them under blazers, with some chains for a sophisticated look,” says Evoke Style’s Dollard.

Upgrade your materials. “As you age, the cut and fit of a T-shirt becomes so important, I would invest in them the same way you might a good pair of jeans or boots. We wear T-shirts so much, don’t scrimp on them,” says Fetman.

Plunging Necklines
Consider Your Chest and Neck. “If you have a lot of sun damage, it’s probably better to opt for a [less-revealing] neckline,” Steinborn says. Fetman adds lower necklines can also be aging on a mature woman if she is very thin. “The bones of the chest can be distracting and the skin can really sag.”

Sleeveless Anything
As you approach your 50s, really begin to think twice. “The elephant in the room here is that your underarms can droop just like your boobs,” says Steinborn. So, if that’s happened to you, opt out of sleeveless apparel or limit it to a layering piece.

(read rest of article here)

 

 

When I dress up, when I look nice…I notice my morale, my self-confidence also rises.  I made the conscientious choice a few months ago to bag the jeans and t-shirts as my daily work attire and decided to incorporate a fun sense of style (yet professional)….because I wanted to be noticed in a positive way….and yes, my work habits, and actions speak for themselves.

We women of our 40’s and beyond can be stylish, can be fun and albeit daring if we so wish.  I guess it depends on what your sense of style is and the appropriateness of dress.

Now it get rid of those stubborn pounds!

 

Me at 46

Me at 46

 

Bad choices

We all make them. It’s human to err.

However, when your bad choices spill over into your golden years whose responsible for the fallout? Your kids? Your spouse or significant other?

Why should I pick up the pieces of someone else’s life who’s habitually made the wrong decisions. After the first mistake then it no longer is one. Constant bad decisions means either 1.) You simply have no clue on how to “run” your life or 2.) You don’t give a damn…both of which means you expect someone else to pick up the tab.

THAT irritates the shit out of me.

I come from the school of thought where you take care of yourself, your needs, your wants, your desires, your finances etc.

Why should the kids pay for bad mistakes? Or that of one’s significant other????

Don’t get me wrong…I will help another person out when it’s needed but when that trouble has a long history of financial negligence???????

??????????????????????????

Yes, we all hear the stories of those who lost their 401k due to stock market falls or you had an emergency and had to dip into your savings. Ok, I get that…but what if you never had a savings to begin with? Money was never set aside for that predictable rainy day?

Am I suppose to then drop my life to take care of yours? After you’ve lived your extravagant lifestyle, or poured money into a black hole of a business–no conscious choice made to boost retirement savings.

And with the lagging economy, pricey goods and services, (which surely will not get better,) would someone like myself even have the money to retire at a decent age?

Or, will I end up with the masses of sheep still having to work because my retirement pension and social security (if it’s still even there) will be unable to sustain my lifestyle or my health.

What are we as Americans going to do with this crisis because, I truly feel, it is.

The baby boomer generation are retiring soon, if they haven’t already) and they will be drawing and quite a few, relying on social security to make ends meet.

What are we to do?