Thursday, January 30, 2014

Words, are they ever too many?

Words, are they ever too many?

Sometimes I feel that by adding words to an already overwritten world, I am feeding the confusion. Over the Internet words multiply, repeat themselves into the infinite, change configurations and get reworded endlessly. Information becomes frustration, as one try to navigate a planet that is drowning in sentences.

Anyone with a mind can transform plain white into characters. The tweeting that once sounded like a bird now resembles a never ending ringing clock, adding unnecessary noise to golden silence. How will my kids access an entire world and still be able to listen to their own hearts pounding?

"Take everything away, but the Internet", future generations will chorus. Maybe we all got hooked to a fast stream of stories. All civilizations treasured stories, told over firelights before sleep, rocked to the sound of moving chairs. Until suddenly we have access to all the stories of an entire world. Hard to fit into a lifetime, let alone before bedtime.

Words tell stories, confirm that the world is not a stagnant ball, but a dynamic knot of happenings, alive. The sound of life is always attracting, enticing. But what if excessive life starts to kill your own? What if the knot of outside happenings stops your own story on its tracks?

Words, are they ever too many?

Monday, January 27, 2014

True Love Lyrics

I dedicate this song to my boys, that their lives may be filled with true love.

True Love Lyrics

Everywhere people are looking for love, love
Love to fill the emptiness that never fulfills
Different kind of love may do it
But it is never enough
Because true love comes from above

Everywhere people are looking for love, love
Keep your eyes low and love will trick you
Into believing love is a trill, a buzz
Something you can buy with your money, your looks
But it is never going to be enough

It is in the movie screen, in the musical scheme,
The lights, the glitter, the virtual theme
Keep your eyes low and busy
Don't give a second thought to reality
Because love is all we need, right?

Open your eyes wide, look up
Because love cannot be found on the ground
Mixed up with lies and darkness
True love is the size of God
The size of open arms giving up breath
True love is given with blood, with death

Everywhere people are looking for love in the wrong places
Can you believe true love is all about grace?
About ending the endless cycle of approval seeking?
And accepting the gift of forgiveness God is giving?

For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

True love from God is all we need, have you found it?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to do laundry with business efficiency

Let's face it, laundry is an endless job that knocks uninvited at the door every week, and cannot be ignored for too long. The piles have magical power of growth, unaware of the existence of a force called gravity, that seems to have no influence in pulling the clothes down, to at least make the hamper look less crowed than it actually is. 

I decided to win the fight against my pile, even if only in my imagination. How could I do laundry in a efficient and effective way? First, do we really need all that weight of laundry detergent being carried into the cart, out of the cart, into the car, out of the car, into the house, upstairs, downstairs, strengthening muscles in weird directions and sometimes pulling tendons out of their locks?

To my surprise I found that there is an all natural, all light, all simple alternative, that cleans my clothes, does not leave nasty chemicals behind and keeps the environment the way it found it! It is called soap nuts. It is a nature given solution to laundry. If you got the time, you can buy the nuts, soak them in warm water and then use and reuse 5 of them for a few times. Or you can buy the liquid soap made from the nuts and with one pump get a load done. And here is the deal, if you order online on Amazon you can get 96 loads for $19. Just for comparison, on Amazon you will get 64 Tide loads for $15. The container is so small it could fit my jacket pocket. Less packaging, less hassle and the clothes smell clean, nothing else!

What about dryer sheets? Do I really need them? I found out that actually I don't. All I need are three wool dryer balls to fluff the clothes. Buy it once, and never spend another penny again. Efficiency and effectiveness!

What else could I improve? Hampers. I downsized the number of hampers to one set. Everybody can move their feet and bring their clothes to the main hampers, no need for me to walk around the house collecting dirty clothes from many hampers. Job outsourced!

The dryer is beeping, time to collect and fold the mountain sized pile. Baskets can come handy when emptying the machine, but they also function as temporary/permanent homes for clothes that don't belong inside baskets. So I decided to trick myself by eliminating the baskets. I just pull a group of clothes out of the dryer, fold them and place in different piles, depending which room they go, then another group and so on. There is no resting place for the clothes, they need to get folded right away and piled. 

Next step: putting the clothes away. Here the job could be outsourced as well, but in my case with small children I decided to change a few things. All the pants and all the tops are spread on the bed, as I match them in pairs, remembering last week's combinations that will also be next week's combinations! Then the outfits are placed on shelves, so my kids can get to choose their own outfits every morning but they will still always match!

What about you, do you have any secrets to share?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New year resolution: Making time for the things that really matter

 When the new year dawns its enthusiasm upon me, the excitement is contagious but sometimes dangerously short lived. Goals still ring true by the beginning of February except the fuel starts to run low and if not cultivated, the future starts to look a lot like the past, a sequence of fire extinguishing moments that seems to never step back.

A common stress factor that keeps me running around in circles are the many activities grouped inside the term "Household Chores". From the moment the alarm clock rings, or in my case, my boys surround my restful habitat for the night, one after the other the chores line up, or worst pile up, overflowing the next awake hours!

I keep wondering... what if any Fortune 500 company started running its business like my household, how many hours, or minutes, would it take to break? Because the sad reality is that most households have not advanced in efficiency and effectiveness as most of the corporate world has. 

A common thinking thread related to corporate management has to do with the question: "How can I work with efficiency (doing things well with the least amount of waste, expense and unnecessary effort) and effectiveness (producing the desired result)? 

Problem: It is 4:30 PM and I have no idea what to feed my family for dinner. 
Result: Pizza is ordered or chicken nuggets are defrosted or the drive through comes in handy again.

Now imagine if a hospital kitchen was run like that. Or a restaurant. Or a supermarket. Or a school cafeteria. Or anything out there!

So why the disparity? Why do some successful people in the corporate world apply all their management skills at work but as soon they cross the door to their living rooms, the survival mode kicks in? No planning, no efficiency and no effectiveness! How odd is that?

And I keep wondering... How can I produce the desired result with the least amount of waste, expense or unnecessary effort? ... so that I have time and energy for the things that really matter or that I want to pursue?  

During these next days, I would love to suggest, as you go through your activities at home, stop at every single action and think... Is there a better way to produce the desired results with the least amount of your energy, time and money?

I look forward to sharing with you during my next posts the small changes I have learned to implement management skills at home. What about you, any tips to share?

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