Saturday, July 26, 2008

Name, Occupation, Health, Feelings

When I was in high school I came up with four categories that helped me describe myself– Name, Occupation, Health, and Feelings. These categories are typically used to define how well you know someone, or even yourself. I used to give a ranking to each, but later threw it out because some do not deserve a scale from 1 to 10. Given all of the categories, you can use them to try to know yourself a bit better or even try it on someone you know to see how thoroughly you know someone.

With name you are determining what you can identify about someone. Things like "What's your middle name", "Where did you go to school", "Where do you live", etc. This category is very tangible as everything you find you can point to and have some physical proof of. It is what most people think of as one's identity, and it is what people guard against when it comes to identity theft. It is interesting to note that many people tend to think that this is all there is to knowing someone because you are listing all of those interesting facts and figures about that person. This category is vast and never ending so there is no real way of quantifying it into a scale. It is a great way of proving to someone that you know them because you found that little tidbit that they thought you never knew.
Most people, when they hear this category tend to think that it defines what you do for a living. This is far from the truth. What you do for a living can be identified through name (she was a hotel detective). Occupation is the way in which you interact with other people. You know a person through occupation by how you "relate" to them… what kind of personality do they have; how well do they get along with different types of people; what types of communication techniques do they use. Since this category is intangible, there is no way of objectively ranking it.
With health, there are basically two types of health: Mental and Physical. I sometimes can include spiritual as well, but most people tend to group mental and spiritual as one. With Mental Health, you are looking to know how they are dealing with the world around them (are they stressed; are they depressed; are they having a great day, etc.) With Physical Health it is usually things that are tangible in nature (do they have a cold; are they dealing with a prolonged illness, etc.) Many people link the two together, and I agree that sometimes when you are not feeling physically well you tend to show it mentally/spiritually. Also, if you know that someone is ill, you try to cheer them up (Laughter is the best medicine).
Many people confuse this category with mental health. But, the difference is that feelings are fleeting and mental health is more permanent in appearance. Feelings only identify your current state– are you happy; are you overjoyed, etc. This one is very hard to identify because it is internal and extremely intangible. Many times you empathize with someone and can feel what they are feeling and know them that way. This phenomenon ties closely with Spiritual Communication because you are connecting with the other person.

With all of these categories, I am now able to summarize how I know someone at any given moment. I am also able to build a better picture of anyone, including myself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2008 Grill Fest

The Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Men will be sponsoring their third annual Grill Fest this Saturday. All proceeds go towards replacing the old tables at the church which are extremely heavy and difficult to move around. I'm including the information about the event below in case you want to come:

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Noon-3 pm
Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church
4511 N. Hermitage

I look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The three Imp's

Many times for lent people try to give up something. I typically try to take on a challenge instead. One year I came up with one that I called "the three Imp's". At the time I used this to make myself more aware of my actions– but even today I find myself still using it to analyze how I come across to other people.

I do not want to be Impressive
Many times we like to show off to others. Sometimes this is just to get their attention to focus on yourself– other times it is just to make yourself look better than they are. No matter what the reason, being impressive makes you appear either boastful, or insecure.
I do not want to be Imposing
Forcing someone to do something that you want them to do is not very respectful. So often we want to "change" someone– but we need to realize that change comes from within and we cannot change them by imposing your will on them. Being imposing wastes time because you never accomplish what you want– and wastes energy because no matter what you do, you will never succeed.
…but rather be Imparting.
Being able to "share of myself" is important to me. I would like to be able to impart my knowledge and experiences to others. I know and have experienced a lot in life and would like others to know of my insights and observations.

It is difficult to try and concentrate on the final "Imp" and not fall back on the other two. However, once I was aware of them it made it easier to evaluate my actions and know if I was focusing on being Imparting.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Goin' down to Green G

Green G

Last weekend we went on our annual camping trip to O'Connell's Campground out in Amboy Illinois. My wife has been going there for at least 28 years– as I have only been going for the past 12. One would think that getting there should be a "no brainer" by now… but perhaps it is the fact that everything is changing all the time that makes getting there half the fun.

I always say "every trip is an adventure", and this one is no exception. It always seems that someone winds up getting lost when we go out there, and this year it was our turn. Much like the year when Matt missed 88 and wound up on 290 going into downtown, and Tiffany missed 39 and didn't realize that she missed it until nearly in Iowa– we missed 294.

While in the left hand lane on 90 heading for the exit onto 294, we saw the sign for the toll. Of course there was plaza construction going on to add new I-pass lanes to "ease congestion", so everything was unfamiliar to us. Blame it on my being an honest citizen– but I was so focused on getting in the manual lanes to make sure we could pay the toll properly, I proceeded to cross about 4 lanes to get there. I still don't know if the exit was before or after the toll, but we didn't suspect that we missed the exit until we saw Ikea. By the time we finally realized we missed the exit, we had to figure out how to turn around.

Being in the left hand lane to make the 294 exit, we had to ease over to the right. I missed one exit arguing about things and searching desperately for the change purse to pay the exit toll… but we finally exited on Barrington Road and pulled over at the Hilton Garden Inn to get our bearings. We were still hunting for the change purse when we pulled over and thought we had better call… but now we couldn't find the cell phone either. We had to pull out all the bags from the car and empty them to search the car and bags for both the change purse and the cell phone– both of which we knew was in the car when we left.

After finding our misplaced items, we got a call from Matt wondering where we were. We explained our situation, but still needed to verify that we can get back on 90, and if they wanted to still wait for us at the O'hare oasis. They said they didn't mind waiting, so we decided to park over by the gift-shop to ask for directions and take a bathroom break. We wondered why some passers-by were laughing at us until we noticed that two of our bags were still on the roof of the car.

Nobody was available in the gift shop to ask, and it appeared that there wasn't a bathroom in site. Luckily a few people came through what I thought was a back room to the gift shop… so I told Sara that the bathroom was probably through there, and she could go while I waited for the sales person to become available.

Sara came back and looked lost, so I figured I would accompany her and maybe ask someone in the restaurant instead. We went through the door, up a few stairs, and was at the bar for the restaurant. The bartender also appeared busy, so we went to the right, down a few stairs and looked around for a bathroom– nothing. We saw a small door and went through that and looked around and finally saw the bathrooms. "This reminds me of one of those nightmares", Sara told me "where you get further and further away from where you want to go." This seemed even more evident when we tried to leave the parking lot and could not go out the way we got in– but rather had to go to a frontage road and exit that way.

We finally met up with the rest of the caravan at the oasis and grabbed a bite to eat before we all left to head out on 88. We all made it on to 88, but got tied up in more construction which started at the toll and continued through past 30. It must have taken us an hour to go through the toll, which normally would only take about five minutes to go through. There were only three manual lanes, which narrowed down to one after the toll before merging with the automatic lanes.

After the construction it was all smooth sailing the rest of the way. It did rain a bit while we were traveling, but stopped long before we got to the campsite and had to set up our tents. We were originally glad that we left early… at least early as compared to other years. But, after adding up all the delays– with our being lost, as well as the construction on 88– we actually made it to the campsite just after the cutoff for early check in at 4:00. This meant that we did not have to pay the extra fee for checking in early… something we would have had to do if we were not delayed.

So, even though we all seemed to have an adventure getting to our campsite at Green G, the rest of the weekend was picture perfect.

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