Fifty Fifty Me: The Shadow Wife

So I missed a week of 50/50 me. Reading The Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada by Vic Murray and Effectively Managing Human Services Organizations by Ralph Brody apparently don’t count. I don’t find it dry reading, I quite enjoy it and find it enlightening. However, it doesn’t fit the criteria for the challenge. First of all, you need to read it cover to cover – who does that with text books? Secondly, these aren’t the books I read for fun. They are work. Fun is different. Although making the effort to expand my genre exploration hasn’t always been fun. Science Fiction isn’t very fun for me, nor is fantasy. I need to put effort into it so I am able to follow the story line. My preference is the ability to be LOST in a book. When I say LOST, I mean the story sweeps me away and I can’t wait to spend time with the characters. I do not mean LOST as in “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?”Hello Lord of the Rings…

The book I read this week brought me back to my favorite genre. I love family relationship stories. I love a strong female lead. I love reading about places with such detail that I figure I could go there on vacation and find my way around.

I watched 6 movies over the past 2 weeks… I know 6!!! When I was suppose to be sleeping or writing papers. I no longer watch TV, I just don’t have the attention span for interest right now. But a movie? Now that is something I like to get lost in. But enough with the musings… let’s get on with it shall we?

The Book

The Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain was gobbled up by me in a couple of days. I read it over lunch at work and every spare moment at home. I was reading reviews on Goodreads by my friends and discovered this author through them. They love her…I can see why. This book was about two main characters intertwined through separate stories. They meet and their story connects. I became very involved in one story, then it stopped and started with the second character’s story. It would frustrate me because I never wanted to end and pick up the next story line. This is common for the books I prefer to read. Maeve Binchy is a master at it character development. I devour strong character building.

This story began with The lead’s parents in a commune in Big Sur. It reminded at first of a Barbara Delinsky novel called the Coast Road (also a good read). I like the whole hippy concept except the filth part, and the camping life part, and the lack of wealth part…okay in THEORY I like hippies, but I like to read about them and have coffee with them and learn about their life. I do not wish to be a hippy. Been there, done that to the best of my ability. I can peel logs, can food, grow food, identify edible plants in the wild, fish, and build a fire without the use of paper or fire starter. Trust me, I’d rather read about these adventures the relive them myself.

As this baby of the hippies grew up, her life changed into what I can identify with professionally. There was a twist at the end that blew my head off. The entire time I was reading this book I was thinking I like this book a lot, not sure I love it. By the end, with me not seeing the twist coming, I LOVED this book! I knew this writer always places twists into her books but there was no hint of it in this. I loved that – and now have ruined it for everyone because I am awesome like that.

When I read the twist, I was at work in the lunch room and yelled out “NO WAY!” That to me is the sign of a fun read. What more can you ask for? Surprise, independent strong females, family legacy, and beautiful scenery? Great summertime read!

This week  am tackling Oprah’s new book club – that’s right people she is back with an on-line book club! Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This book is uncomfortable for me at times. It is very relevant to me, but I am enjoying it immensely! I will let you know how it goes. This book places me halfway to the challenge of 50 books in a year. YAY! I have loved this challenge! It has brough me out of my comfort zone and into books I love. I never would have read Stephen King, The Room, or a multitude of other genres and storylines that have scared me in the past.

The Movie

I watched these movies over the past two weeks :

  1. Avengers
  2. Factory Girl
  3. Being Elmo
  4. Every Little Step
  5. Schindler’s List
  6. If Lucy Fell

Factory Girl was about Andy Warhol’s iconic Factory girl and the person she was in real life. All this movie did for me was make me see what a wingnut Warhol was and wondered how he paid for things. I love his art, but wow…

If Lucy Fell was an old school Sarah Jessica Parker movie – Boring….

Every little Step was a documentary of  the Chorus Line revival. I loved this. Pain, rejection, excitement all rolled into one. I have always fantasized about being on Broadway but I don’t have the strength it takes (nor the talent) to face rejection on a daily basis. Wow these people are amazing!

Being Elmo… Behind the scenes of being a Muppeteer? Are you freaking kidding me??? THIS WAS AMAZING and I cried. I loved seeing the Jim Henson Empire. I will watch this documentary over and over.

Schindler’s list. I was the only person left in the world who hadn’t seen this. It is now part of the Grade 12 curriculum in Alberta’s High Schools. Wow what a powerful movie. I found it interesting how he made enough money to save these people and then just before the war ended, so did the money. Divine intervention obviously played a hand.  4000 Jews live in Poland now, but 4 generations of Schindler’s Jews make up over 6500. Doing the right thing is never easy, but so important. If you haven’t watched this – you must. AND I can cross it off my 100 AFI list!

Then my favorite movie of the year. It is no surprise people. you all know how much I love superheroes and fancy myself as one. The Avengers was FREAKING AWESOME! Is it out on Blu-ray yet? I want it for Christmas Santa!! Please do yourself a favor, watch all the other movies first. This will help with the maximized enjoyment of the Avenger movie. Stan Lee I heart you.

This week movies? I have no idea. I have watched 42 on the year. I am in the mood for Brave but that isn’t until the 22. I want to see something that will make me laugh. Life has been hard this week, so laughter is in order!


Emotionally Intelligent?

It finally happened! My brain was challenged to the point that I stopped and thought about what I was reading. Love that feeling!

My new University Class starts tomorrow, but I have been prepping for upcoming assignments and getting a jump-start on the reading. The class itself has to do with effective communication as a leader. Going through the chapter, it was easy to to label leaders I knew, this person was that style, this person tends to lead this way, etc. What struck me was the section on Self-awareness. There was a paragraph that screamed at me,

Emotionally intelligent people are keenly aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and desires.  Those with a strong self-awareness are able to be honest with both themselves and others. They are aware of how their feelings affect them, other people, and their job performance. Self-aware people know when to ask for help, are willing to admit their mistakes, and at the same time are confident about what they can do. By sharing their imperfections, they underscore their authenticity.

Emotionally intelligent people. Wow! I always looked at people like that and thought they had it all going on, very mature, know what they want, and most importantly, I want to be like that. I think I have almost reached that pinnacle. I am keenly aware of my weaknesses. It isn’t kryptonite, but it is a powerful as kryptonite! I have a strong need to fix everything. Be the savior, the  hero, the one who kisses it better. Letting other people succeed and fail without my intervention is incredibly hard for me. Having offspring has made it easier. It is important for me to raise children who have a strong sense of self. I know you learn more from failures than successes. By standing back and watching them figure it out on their own is easier for me then watching colleagues do it. Why is that? Why am I willing to let my own children suffer, fail, try again and succeed? I love sharing in their success! At work, I just rather do it myself. That leads to a heap of other trouble for myself. I am making huge progress in that area, but I still have a huge way to go. Learning to say NO is part of that. Learning the balance between sharing my knowledge and telling someone what to do is part of the process. So yes, I do know my weakness.

My strengths. This is harder. What I think to be my strength is not something others would recognize in me. I had a job reference once and she said I was practical. To me that was a HUGE compliment. It is an important skill to possess! Knowing the difference between possible, plausible, probable and impossible can mean everything in the workplace. Secretly I want my offspring to know that everything is possible. Time has taught me this has limitations as a mantra. I do believe in putting my dreams, beliefs and wishes out to the universe. Speaking aloud what I want, desire and need is important. It goes a long way to making the impossible attainable. But is that a strength? As I become more knowledgeable and experienced( older and wiser?) I find I am less tolerant of young University Students with no life experience telling me what I need. Yes this has to do with an incident I experienced this week. I verbally put her in her place by explaining to her the entire situation and letting her know that when she witnesses a snapshot in my week, she cannot possibly have enough information to solve my problem. Books teach many things. I have huge respect for people who are able to learn AND apply the knowledge they learn from books. However, life experience is just as huge. When I have a question about my studies, I don’t always turn to the people in my life who have a degree. Often, who are we kidding, I have more respect for practical management experience then I do for those who have “book learnin'”. So I look back at my incident with her and think about how I could have handled that situation if I was her supervisor. It likely wouldn’t have occurred, however, what could I have done differently?

As I think about it, I guess my strengths are : Practical, respectful, I want to say flexible but I am not as flexible as I use to be, experience has taught me plenty. I have an ability to think on my feet. I feel my creative juices slipping away for practical things. I think I am okay with that. I can be creative in other aspects of my life. A big strength for me is new, and still in the practice stage. I take a deep breath and compose my thoughts before I engage in a life altering situation. I need to practice this when I have been attacked, but I am getting there.

Emotionally Intelligent. My new goal on my Tourist List.


Quote taken from:Brody, Ralph 2005 Effectively Managing Human Service Organizations 3rd ed. Sage       Publications