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My Fabulous Rainbow Puppy

It is not merely a cliche’ that one must look for the rainbow after a rainstorm.

Once upon a time, a perfect little smooth fox terrier puppy was born in California. Her spectacular face was half-black and half-white; even one eye had black eye lashes and the other had white ones. She was  lucky puppy who got  to fly first-class to her new digs in Minnesota (a family friend brought her home with him after a business trip).  “What a gorgeous, perfect puppy”, everyone on the plane remarked.

Piccadilly was a smart, spunky, and agile dog. She quickly learned tricks such as jumping through a hoop, playing dead, and rolling over. She could leap from chair to chair as easily as a squirrel jumps from tree branch to tree branch.  Her family said, “She is so smart, clever and athletic that we should make her a circus puppy. Maybe she could perform at half-time at an NBA basketball game someday!” Her family had seen other dogs perform at half-time at the Target Center so they had big plans to take her to agility school so she could learn all of those nifty maneuvers.

Then one day, something terrible happened to this perfect fox terrier. It started out as pain in her right paw. Within 12 hours, it had progressed into full paralysis on the right side of her body. Piccadilly was suffering from a spinal cord stroke (an FCE, to be exact). This once nearly perfect show quality dog laid on her side, panting and unable to get up.  Her doctors said she would probably never be the same and they warned that her course of rehabilitation would be extensive. Was she worth keeping or was it best to just let her go?

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Procrastination: What Exactly IS It?

Today I was procrastinating, mainly on the computer, but I also discovered other ways to waste time as well.   It was just one of those days. My day was spent in a state of meta-awareness that I was not accomplishing anything (I brought up the pre-lit Christmas tree from the basement so it appeared to others that I had done some holiday decorating!).  I was mildly frustrated but also fascinated by it.  Before long, I was on the internet reading about procrastination.

Procrastination: : to put off intentionally and habitually.  According to a 2003 issue of Psychology Today, there are 3 types of procrasinators:

  • arousal types, or thrill-seekers, who wait to the last minute for the euphoric rush.
  • avoiders, who may be avoiding fear of failure or even fear of success, but in either case are very concerned with what others think of them; they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability.
  • decisional procrastinators, who cannot make a decision. Not making a decision absolves procrastinators of responsibility for the outcome of events.

Only three types of procrastinators, eh?  Three types of foot-dragging, time wasting, dilly-dallying slackers? With all due deference to Psychology Today,  I came up with 3 more types of procrastinators:

  • The Lightening Bolt Procrastinator, who requires a jolt of energy or inspiration but who isn”t necessarily seeking the “wait for the last second thrills.” Maybe this type of procrastinator is like a weak car battery that  needs a jump start from time to time.  Perhaps this is a  cousin to the “Arousal Procrastinator.”
  • The Experimental Procrastinator, who is intrigued by a concept and has to test it out further right now. today I wondered if lying on my right or left side would yield different types of thinking or perspectives on a problem (right brain versus left brain thinking styles.)   I had to try it out and I think it does make a difference, by the way.
  • The Investigational Procrastinator, who curiosity is piqued by a topic and who needs to learn about it right away.  The internet is a particular temptation to the Investigating Procrastinator.
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Why You Must Work Hard in High School by Andy Czajka

I had a life coach once upon a time. He was my coach long before life coaching became an actual profession.  He wrote me a life-changing letter that I have kept in a fireproof safe for over 30 years.  I want to share it with you now:

March 16, 1977

Dear Ann,

Why should a father want his daughter to get the best grades she is capapble of achieving?  I suppose that some fathers want their daughters to perform well in school so they can say to people they know…”Isn’t my daughter something special? She’s pretty; she’s popular and she’s very bright! Look how well she’ doing in school!”

But fathers who push their daughters to perform well in school simply to brag to their friends are, themselves, not very bright! Afterall, it’s really just an act of God if a daughter happens to be pretty or popular or athletic or bright. Why should a father take credit for that? And, in a broader sense, wouldn’t a father be a rather shallow person if he had to live his life through the accomplishments of his children?

But my reason for wanting you to do as well in school as you can is totally different. I want you to learn all you can and get good grades because, by doing so, you will improve the quality of your life. In other words, I want you to work hard for your benefit, not for mine.

You know, when girls reach their teens, many of them begin to feel their fathers are rather dumb. Fathers and sometimes mothers, are often looked at as being old-fashioned, not very smart, and certainly not in tune with what’s going on. Afterall, fathers are pretty old guys whose own teen-age experiences happened a long, long time ago. And since fathers were never girls, they certainly cannot be expected to know what is really important to a young lady today. Perhaps you feel that way too—it’s only human nature that you do. Let me tell you that as you look backwards ten years from now, you will have an entirely different perspective.

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Organizing For Your Brain Type and The Family Reunion

The book Organizing For Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone is one of the most useful books I have ever purchased. No doubt I will write about it more than once simply because there is so much to learn that condensing it into one blog post would not do it justice. In this particular installment, I will give a brief description about what the book is about then describe how we used it in an unconventional way at our family reunion.

This is a book about organization. What makes it unique within the “declutter, feng-shui, get organized” genre though is that it recognizes that there is more than one way to skin a cat and it is based on brain types.  The book opens with a survey of 50 multiple-choice questions that delineate your brain type: Maintaining, Harmonizing, Innovating, or  Prioritizing.  The author draws on the work of Dr. Arlene Taylor, a brain functioning specialist, to define the four types.  For instance, the Maintaining type is a traditional organizer, one who is habitual, accurate,  punctual but perhaps a little rigid.  The Harmonizing type is holistic, and nurturing but maybe too sentimental to throw anything away.  The Innovating type, who is usually known as “the type who can’t get organized”, is creative, adventurous, but also easily sidetracked.  The last type is Prioritizing  which is a logical problem solver but a little on the judgemental side.

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