August 6, 2010

Dance now idea led to moody musings

I'm struggling with a proposed class on social media that might be offered in March. It's frustrating to try to predict what web site, tool, or technique will be hot in seven months.

It's equally frustrating because I don't know how I'll be today much less seven months from now.

In fact, I'm frustrated that I'm not keeping promises that I've made to myself or to others. Even knowing that there is no way that I would know what multiple sclerosis would deliver, I'm still frustrated.

I want to walk easily. I want to talk easily. Oh what the heck, I want to write and I know that is never something done easily.

I know the randomness of multiple sclerosis with its symptoms that come and go makes planning or promising useless. It seems there are more bad days then good ones, more times of the year when I know the best I'm going to do is make it to the recliner.

Precious tears

Plus, I know I'm frustrating my family and friends who want to help. I'm not surprised that as I'm writing I hear Rob Thomas explain the story behind Her Diamonds on the Rachel Ray show. (video below) The song is about a couple dealing with the effects of  an autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis.- His wife has another autoimmune disease. From Thomas' online bio:
"Her Diamonds” was written “about a couple dealing with that on a day-to-day basis. There’s an incredible amount of sadness that comes with something like that."
There's incredible frustration too. The song  Her Diamonds starts with a woman laying back down in frustration with a familiar line of "I just can't win for losing." Then:
And I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
But if she feels bad then I do too so I let her be
And she says ooh I can't take no more
Her tears like diamonds on the floor
And her diamonds bring me down
Cause I can't help her now
Yet, there's the reminder that we all face hard times. From that bio:
"There are moments where I think I flirted with a thinner personal line than I’ve ever done before, but, really, I’m writing a song about how people deal with hard times, and that hard time is universal, that hard time can be anything.”

In fact, what I thought I was writing about today was something inspirational for a friend facing hard times. That started with a video of disco-dancing cows (below)because how can you not smile when watching that.

Just dance

I wanted to credit the oft-quoted phrase of dance like nobody is watching. Perhaps I should credit William Watson Purkey, who closed speeches with:
"You've gotta' dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth”

But I liked how Crystal Boyd's  inspiring piece, which uses the phrase as a title, writes of the importance of not waiting until the kids are older, the mortgage paid, the time is just right)

Then Rob Thomas popped up on the TV screen and I realized the hard times are here as well as there. I'd like to make it easier for all, but I don't know what I need much less what I want that is possible.

For now, I'll go tackle the improbable task of predicting what I'll teach about social media in seven months. You watch the videos, OK?

August 1, 2010

Daughter's challenge inspires crew

Losing a bet led to this
Yep, that is my daughter licking a dumpster, a most unusual stunt for a germ-fearing kid.

She challenged her crew to make it a 4k day to see her lick the outside of the collector of trash. Had they sold 5k worth of pizza, bread sticks and drinks she would have licked the inside. Fortunately, they were $50 short of that last goal.

I'm still not sure who came up with the payoff. But even with less then two months at her new store, I am sure the crew knows how important cleanliness is to her. I'm sure they have scrubbed every surface, noticed the newly painted ceiling and learned the health department standards are minimum suggestions.

This is the daughter who sends unsused silverware that sat on the table during a meal to the dishwasher. This is the daughter who always checks the best used date on every box and bottle before consuming. This is the daughter who carries antibacterial cleansers everywhere and says "Purell is my friend."

Perhaps she's always had that cleanliness streak but I did not notice it until she came back home to successfully fight breast cancer. All of us stepped up the cleanliness madness, wiping surfaces constantly, degerming everything she touched and using hand sanitizer as if it were a lotion guaranteed to give us smooth skin.

That cleanliness obsession makes this motivating action even more surprising. Still she gave her word, never expecting the crew would make it the store's best day of the year.

Not surprising she did clean the spot first.
"lol I did it but I still scrubbed like crazy! Still gross lol. But the loophole was the purell they never said I couldn't lmao!"
 A friend online labeled that action "deception by omission." Her response:
"lol hey they never said I couldn't! It was still disgusting :)"
Even as I cringe, I'm proud of my daughter finding creative, non-monetary ways to motivate people working with and for her.

Even as I beg her to look for a safer payoff next time, I celebrate this one step that shows cancer is loosening its grip on her life.

Even as I worry about my mistakes as a parent, I recognize the successes illustrated in this stunt - the importance of promises, the benefits of working together, and the neccessity of being prepared.

Today I understand even better that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

I've written about my daughter's cancer crusade, including the challenge of hair, chemo and TV shows that make me cry.