I’ve felt very busy lately. Busier than normal even. It seems I’m only able to focus on the present and not able to consider the larger picture and what comes next. I love this reminder to make time for the important, even if it doesn’t seem there is time.
I’m making a list of what’s important and am going to focus on making those a priority. I’m guessing that time won’t feel like being busy.
What’s important to you?
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Two weeks ago, I was deeply immersed in the wonder of TEDMED. The 2013 conference was hosted at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and proved to be the perfect setting for a conference built around innovation, design, art and science. The theme for this year’s TEDMED was Unexpected Connections.
Using this theme, I shared a five minute review of my three and half days at TEDMED with the attendees of TEDxFortWayne on April 27, 2013. When Craig asked me to share briefly, I wasn’t sure how to express what it meant to have this ‘bucket list’ opportunity and how I gained even more than I imagined. It was difficult to capture the experience and not just the education in such a brief time, but if you’re interested in a visual recap of the experience, my slides follow below.
Over the next few weeks, TEDMED will be releasing the videos of the talks that occurred on the Opera House stage. A few I recommend watching include:
- “What Happens when Patients Become Leaders on the Health Team?” by America Bracho, Director of Latino Health Access [WATCH]
- “How Does an Illness Become an Identity?” by Andrew Solomon, winner of the National Book Award [WATCH]
- “What does a $100 million Pubic Health Data Revolution Look Like?” by Christopher J.L. Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation [WATCH]
- “If Truth is Beauty, Can Art Be Science?” by David Odde & Black Label Movement [WATCH]
- “What Happens When Each Patient Becomes Their Own “Universe” of Unique Medical Data” by Deborah Estrin, Co-founder of Open mHealth [WATCH]
- “How Did Volunteers Save More than 40,000 Lives in 3 minutes (each) Last Year?” by Eli Beer, Founder and President of United Hatzalah [WATCH]
- “What if We Treated Violence Like a Contagious Disease?” by Gary Slutkin, Founder and Executive Director of Cure Violence [WATCH]
- “How Can Design Principles Lead to More Discovery and Better Treatment?” by John Maeda, President of RISD [WATCH]
- “What Happens When Death is What’s For Dinner?” by Michael Hebb, Food Provocateur and Founder of One Pot [WATCH]
- “This City is Going on a Diet” by Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma [WATCH]
- “Is the “Obesity Crisis” Just a Disguise for a Deeper Problem?” by Dr. Peter Attia, Founder and President of Nutrition Science Initiative [WATCH]
- “When is a Wheelchair an Ultra-Light Submarine?” by Sue Austin, artist [WATCH]
- “What is the Sound of E. Pluribus Unum?” by Professors of the Washington Conservatory [WATCH]
Were you at TEDMED? Which talks are you recommending to others? If you weren’t, do any of the above peak your interest?
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We’ve all heard of Random Acts of Kindness, but I think it’s worth another look for the holiday. Maybe you’ve just finished 30 days of thankfulness and you’re wondering what to do with the momentum you feel. Why not set a goal of doing Random Acts of Christmas? While you’re busy buying gifts for special people in your life, it is also a great time to think of others and how a little random kindness might benefit their day. I’m so excited to do this through December!
Here are a few (under $5!!!) ideas:
- Common Courtesy – Often times, we’re rushed when we great someone with the common, “Hi! How are you?” Instead of walking through that statement, often missing the response, why not stop and pause to look the person in the eye and genuinely ask how they are doing. Be present to hear their response and be willing to continue the conversation. This might seem too simple and like it wouldn’t qualify, but when you think about the impact – huge. And, it’s free. No barrier to give this one a try.
- Use What You’ve Been Given – In the November Birchbox, they included packaging that encourages you to gift to others. Maybe you received the same Birchbox or maybe it’s an email encouraging you to participate in a sending an encouraging message to others. Whatever it is, if the world is encouraging you to share, take the advice! I can’t wait to put a little treat in this purple box and give it to someone who will hopefully re-purpose the box and do the same.
- Social Media Shout-out – If you have a Facebook account, you’ve
likelyhopefully experienced the steady stream of birthday wishes. Admit it, it feels good to see 100 or more people wishing you well. But who needs to wait for a birthday?! Why not pick someone special and encourage fellow friends and followers to let them know you appreciate them, find them humorous, or can’t wait to get to know them better.
- You’ve Got Mail – In today’s world of technology, time and attention can mean so much more. Sending a simple, handwritten card to a friend on a random day letting them know why they’re special in your life can mean a great deal. I personally know how much more I appreciate a piece of mail rather than an email. It only takes five minutes in your day and the cost of postage to fill someone’s day with appreciation. (See my friend Wendy’s post on this very topic for more inspiration.)
- Dollar Deals – Have you ever cruised the dollar (plus) aisle at Target and bought one of the random items you found? How great to turn that random grab into a random gift. I grabbed a couple of these notebooks on a recent Target run and can’t wait to share them with a few people.
- Share a Starbucks – Having been the giver and receiver of a free Starbucks, I love how this can be the unexpected and needed gift in the day! You might decide it is easiest do this on a pay day or maybe you notice the hurried mom behind you who could use a pick-me-up in her day. Regardless of why or who, it’s as simple as telling the barista you’re going to pay for the car behind you in the drive-through. Considering the average price of an order at Starbucks, you’re likely only out an extra $5 or less. What’s great is when you bless the person behind you and they are blessed further by continuing the generosity by paying for the person behind them and on and on. So simple, yet so easy to create many smiles.
This list isn’t extensive, but I don’t want to reveal all the ideas since I’m thinking about making a few of them more secret-Santa-style with specific gifts for individuals. 🙂
Is this a holiday tradition for you? Considering making it one? I’d love to know if you have given or received random acts of kindness!
UPDATE: The terrific folks behind Impact 52 are challenging you to #25DaysGiving! I noticed a few of these examples are also things they suggest. Join them!!!
We have a beginning reader in our house. We also have behavior struggles with the same child. We’ve tried rewards, punishment and everything in between yet nothing we’ve been doing seems to even make a difference. As a parent, you don’t want to see your child struggle and it’s hard not to feel like you’re failing when there seems to be no improvement. After discussion and prayer, we realized we needed to let go and let God. We clearly didn’t have the answers so we thought it would be good to teach her from the Bible, the source of our focus on others and so much more.
I am so glad to have found this Bible! It’s absolutely perfect for our situation. It’s written from scripture but in sentence structure and with words that she is able to understand – and even read! Each chapter is 3-4 pages and includes a few key words. We use these as sight words and when we reach them in the reading, she’s able to read along. We started with the first chapter and I’ve been pleased to see the sight words carry over and build from chapter to chapter.
At the end of every chapter there are a few questions for your child to answer. They’re very appropriate for children 4-7 years of age. There are some easy questions about the chapter and then questions that encourage self-reflection. The final part is tangible examples about how to apply what they’ve learned from the lesson.
It’s been great to incorporate this into our evening routine. We’ve been reading for a week and I cannot begin to explain how much better behavior has been. And when it hasn’t been, we’re able to talk about it in a new way that she appreciates. I’m thankful to see her reading skills increase while her heart and understanding of God’s love grows as well.
I am thankful for a warm belly and the company of family tonight. My grandma (called Tutu) has been preparing a meal for our entire family once a week for the past month. The day of the week varies just as everyone’s availability. But every week, some of us will gather, gab and go. It’s not a full evening but it’s enough. We walk out caught up and feeling blessed.
I’m thankful for you, Tutu, and that your house has always been a place I call home. Mwah!
I’m thankful to live in a community where people with ideas can have them heard, gather together, and inspired change.
Kudos to everyone who pulled us together today for the #MyCitySummit!
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Many people choose to create a habit of thankfulness for the month of November. I think it’s an excellent idea. What better way is there to train your mind to look for the bright side of things.
In an effort to join the celebration of good, I will be posting daily through Thanksgiving with an “attitude of gratitude.” I’d love if you join me! Simply leave a comment to your own post. Thankfulness is the right kind of contagious!
- I am grateful to have a job.
- I am grateful to work for an amazing employer. An employer who leads our community in providing jobs.
- I am grateful to have my personal passions align with the mission and vision of the organization I work for. An alignment that is rewarded and encouraged.
Thank you, Parkview, for being not just a place that provides excellent healthcare to my family and I but also inspires us daily!
I’m a big fan of Gini Dietrich and her blog Spin Sucks. I’ve also noticed a lot of other people I’m a fan of, are fans of Gini’s too. There was recently a guest post by Julia Wall-Clarke that I found eye-opening.
It might sound simple – media operations – but what does that career entail really? I certainly didn’t have the full perspective. In a time full of LinkedIn endorsements for skills, do you really know what skills people have to offer? Are you developing the skills you want to use in the long run? I encourage you to learn more about this specific career from someone who clearly does it well. I’m already looking forward to Part 2!
This article from Springwise on an urban farm and market reminds me of the urban garden I saw in Chicago’s O’Hare airport in September. It caught my attention as I was walking between concourses. As I stopped to snap this photo, I wondered the following:
- Who owns the garden? As in who committed financial resources to place the structure and seeds.
- Who receives the garden harvest? Are fellow travelers allowed to enjoy?
- Is this a one-off or part of a comprehensive urban garden plan?
As I write this post, I don’t know the answers to the above questions. Regardless of the answers, I appreciate that it made me pause and consider the opportunity for urban gardens in my hometown airport and other locations that would cause people to pause and ponder to the potential.
UPDATE: This post by northwest Ohio writer and gardener answers questions 1 and 3. I love that she had the same experience I did walking through the airport and that she did the extra research!