silvery strands of thought

Prioritize, Progress,

I have been working on increasing my productivity during the summer, which is my slow time at work. I have been reading blog posts, considering my workflows and organizational systems and how to improve them, tweaking my daily To Do list sheet, and just spending a lot of time thinking about how I attack tasks, what slows me down, and how I can eliminate those barriers.

I got the idea for Paper Clip Tasks (PCTs) from a James Clear blog post. I identify my three most important tasks for the day, and I remove a paper clip from my ToDo list each time I complete one of them. The goal is to remove all three paper clips by the end of the day, and the purpose is to provide a visual reminder of what you should be focusing on and a little reminder of what I have accomplished. I started trying this in mid-June, but by the middle of July,  I was not as pleased with their impact and I decided that I needed a stronger reason to get those three tasks done every day, so I promised myself a reward for hitting a 15-day streak of accomplishing all 3 PCTs. And that has been very motivating. The other day, the process revealed itself, and I had one of those “light from the sky, angels singing” kind of moments.

About a week ago, one of my PCTs was “Sync CSR Dropbox”. When I started that task, I logged on to Dropbox and immediately realized that I did not have the permissions that I need to do the job. Chris is the owner of the folder and had already emailed me that day to tell me he was out of the office, so I knew he couldn’t make the change needed that day.

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Why I Am Voting No on Springfield’s Question 1 on April 7 #SGFvoteNO

My Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” and (paraphrasing here) leave the judgement to God. Discriminating is not love. Prejudice is not love. Bein all judgey-judgey exclusionary is not love.
You want to be Christ-like, you love people. Your vote to allow discrimination because someone, based on the Bible, is sinning by being a homosexual, is not Christ-like. Christ loves every single Springfieldian, straight, gay, transgendered, rich, poor, respectable job, questionable job, no job, homeless, you name it. He loves them. You strive to be like him? You should strive to love and protect them.
I have a problem with the modern church because it espouses separateness, encourages discrimination, preaches to its members to be unlike Christ. There are churches in Springfield preaching from the pulpit to support Question 1. There is no Jesus in the decision to repeal a measure that prevents people from practicing hate.

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My First 3-Day Fast: Day 1

My blog was down for a couple months again, so I posted this on my Tumblr on March 9, 2015. Transferring it here for posterity. :)

I am nearly 24 hours into a 3-day fast. The seed was planted during an episode of House of Cards, where a gay man imprisoned in Russia for speaking about homosexuality mentioned that he had gone on a food strike, but only lasted 6 days before the hunger was too strong, and I wondered, “Could I go 6 days without eating?” I Googled it, and the seed grew into a sprout. There are health benefits to fasting. Being raised a Christian, I am familiar with religious fasting. Even Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” crossed my mind while I was researching fasting.

So I am fasting for 3 reasons: emotional/spiritual, health, and pure curiosity.

I’ve long thought I had a weird relationship with food. Whether because of my habits or some physiological reason, I am ALWAYS hungry. It doesn’t seem to matter if I eat 6 small meals throughout the day, 3 meals, more natural/less processed foods, or all processed foods, I am always thinking about food. I have even tried banishing thirst as a cause by making sure that I am drinking enough water throughout the day—for the month of February, I drank 128 ounces of water almost every single day. No dice; still hungry all the time.

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How to Keep Your Soul Alive

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive. -Robert Louis Stevenson quoted in Simple Abundance, January 28

Don’t Want to Work? 5 Ways to Get Things Done Anyway

I truly love my job, I really do. I love the
people I work with, I love the people I work for, I love that I get to a ton of different tasks every day. Regardless of all of that, some days, I just do not feel like working. But I’m an adult, and adults have to do things they don’t want to some times. Here’s what I do when I don’t want to work to get back in the groove and get things done.

1. Make a List

Don't want to work? Make a list!

Don’t want to work? Make a list!

I love making lists anyway, but sometimes the reasons I don’t want to work is that I am just too overwhelmed with all of the tasks I need to accomplish that day. Making  a list and prioritizing those tasks helps me focus that sense of being overwhelmed.

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I’m Back!

Due to a WordPress plug-in failure, I have been locked out of my blog for a long time, but today, I figured out how to get around it, and I have access again! I can’t promise that I will become a blogging maniac now, but there are things I want to say and words I want to write, and now I have my place to do that again!

I Am Not Afraid of Death [pt. 2]

Last week, I posted about death cafes and how, at 31, I am not afraid of death. I actually wrote that post on March 8, and five days later, one of my high school classmates, along with another Neosho High School graduate, died in a car accident in Indiana.

When I found out, all I could think was “Too young, he was too young to die.”

I will never know how Brad felt about dying, but even though we didn’t stay in close contact after high school, it seemed like he was doing a good job of Living, and he had always been good at pursuing his passions and playing to his strengths, in high school, at the very least.

After the shock wore off that someone I had spent hours making jazz with, someone who had been in most of my classes, someone who had been in my wider circle of friends, had left this earth, I started thinking about his family, and I remembered all that my grandpa, aunts, and uncles had had to take care of when Grandma died. I remember the mundane details that simultaneously didn’t matter one bit in the face of the loss we were all feeling, but yet seemed to matter so much because they would be our last way of showing Grandma we loved her and to honor the amazing, joy-filled life she had lived before Alzheimer’s disease corrupted her sweet, spunky personality. I remember swearing that my loved ones would not have to struggle with those details, and I remember that not long after Grandma passed away, I found Continue reading

Das Leben ist Bunter als ich immer dachte [Wordless Wednesday]

Okay, so this isn’t exactly “wordless,” but it’s beautiful nonetheless. Source: PostSecret and German PostSecret.

Das Leben is bunter als ich immer dachte.

Das Leben is bunter als ich immer dachte.

Translation: Life is more beautiful than I had ever thought.

I Am Not Afraid of Death [pt. 1]

Today, I heard a piece on NPR about death cafes, a place where people can come together to contemplate their mortality. The reporter said, “The fear of death haunts us like nothing else. And it makes sense. All other fears — such as public speaking, centipedes and heights — pale in comparison. So we don’t really talk about it.”

I am not afraid of death.

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Things Aren’t Always #000000 and #FFFFFF :: #nerdalert

Just a little nerdy humor to start your week off with…

Things aren't always #000000 and #ffffff

Things aren’t always #000000 and #ffffff