Who Am I? The Big Question.

One of the three big questions in life, who am I, why am I here, where am I going? I started with who am I?

I frequently ponder what it means to be human. What makes me me verses what makes you you.

I often find my ol’ noggin gets itself stuck in a loop like a poorly constructed VLookup #N/A. (Jeepers, those annoy the sausage’s out of me).

I think I have the answer boiled down to 1 million factors.

One of those factors has had the most lasting impact on my wellbeing.

In times of happiness or times of trial, I have to be able to answer at a moments notice, the question “Who am I?”

The Landmark Forum started me on this particular path, they run classes in most major cities in Europe and North America.  What I liked about their approach is that no two people came away from the class with the same answer.

“The Forum” was the start, but that was a long time ago, probably 17 years or so.

The question evolved in my little ol’ noggin over the years and the only answers that would satisfy me were based around attributes and values, rather than who I was to someone else or what I did for my job, or where I go on holiday, or how many grandchildren I had or wanted to have.

The “who I am to other people, what do I have, what do I do?” answers were transient, prone to be taken away – particularly in the case of unemployment or relationship changes, house moves, new friendships and so forth.  I need the answer to the question “if you were not here, who would I still be?”

17 years ago, my answer to the question was “Passion, Inspiration, Empowerment, Commitment”.

To this day, that answer covers most questions and how I choose to respond.  Other attributes have joined the list.

My answer covers my attempts at raising a Daughter, my Employment, Life in General, and Relationships. I am committed to the idea of there being a relationship out there which is healthy and happy and beneficial to all parties involved.

To me, humanity is born of our physiology, our advanced brains, our dexterity, our teamwork, the development of language and communication, our inventive nature, our problem solving skills, our moral code and conduct of acceptable behaviour, our instincts embedded for thousands of generations.

My humanity is enriched by my core values and attributes.

When times get dark, as they frequently do, I am blessed to not get lost for very long.

Sometimes remembering that I stand for Commitment helps me stay the course.

Sometimes remembering that I stand for Empowerment helps me in meetings where I need to negotiate a way to meet the needs of the person I am representing.

If I am lucky, I get 70+ years on this planet.

That’s 70 free goes around the Sun.

They’re going to have to take me from this life kicking and screaming because I love it so much.

They’re going to have to distract me with something shiny so I quieten down for a minute.

Even the crummy days are worth it.

If someone were to ask you what you stand for, and you were not allowed to answer in anything that is corruptible (buildings, organisations, relationships and such) who might you be?

Routine: Friend or Foe for Autistic people and Neurotypicals?

I don’t have autism but perhaps my daughter, who does, is not that different from me. I start to look at routine.

Routine.

Known expectations.

Drudgery.

Boredom.

Freedom.

Liberty.

Framework.

A starting point.

When everything goes to heck in a hand basket there are a few options open to us.

We can run around like headless chickens, panicking, knowing not what to do.

Or we can dig in, find ourselves, who we are, what we stand for, and do the next right thing on the list.

This is not limited to the Autism community, of which I am an honorary associated member thanks to family relationships with Awesome people.

It is a choice we make in a moment of extreme experience.

But to make the choice, we first have to have a plan and if possible, some Allies.

Allies are like non-violent gang members, they’ve got your back, they remind you who you are until you recognise the person they’re describing again, just the very idea that they are there holds you together.

The choices we make, when we are lost in a sea of bleughhhh, could be founded on “what worked before” as an experimental starting point.  Being locked in to responding as you always have is not healthy.  It is stifling.

Using past success as a potential starting block opens the way for moments of absolute genius and clarity.

Routine bores me to heck and is a comfort blanket at the same time.

If I know what is expected of me as a baseline, I am then free to be open to flashes of inspiration, to enrich the experience beyond expectation, to dig deeper on the tricky days, but by golly the idea of routine just makes my eyes droop.

It leads on to the preparatory question… who am I?

We’ll talk about that another day.

10 minutes in.

An introduction to the word of Mrs Pollyanna.

It’s been 10 minutes since my last post…. Hi, My name is Pollyanna and I am a share-aholic.

Today is not a Tidal Wave day (all overwhelming and teeth gritty), it is pretty blinking awesome and not at all smothery.

You will notice as we get to know each other that I make up words, some find it amusing or endearing, others just shake their head and move on.

Yesterday my boss, in the half yearly appraisal, told me I was awesome and doing a bang up job, therefore it must be true.

I went in to the meeting, held in a board room with a big wood table and refreshments served and everything, with a swan like façade of grace but a jelly on the inside and he started the meeting with that little nugget.

Would it be a more productive world if we knew what people thought of us, if we knew that they were delighted today, that they’re no longer angry, that they’re excited about the collaboration y’all have in store?

There’d be some down sides to that too, knowing that someone was cheesed at you, not being able to pretend that’s not happening, having to own your relationships with people fully.

Imagine the possibilities, the saved emotional energy of not having to second guess.

Imagine how creative and rewarding knowing and responding accordingly could become.

My daughter jokingly berates me for making friends too easily.  What she is actually seeing is my way of bumping along nicely with the other 7 billion roomies in my life.  She jokes that I made friends with an American family in a long queue for the loo at a McDonald’s in London.  It was a funny and friendly encounter, I know that the family came from California, that they were over with their grown children and a couple of grandkids, that they were enjoying most of London and yet were still confused by queuing.  We’re not on each others Christmas card list, we’re not going to ring each other to find out what the scores on the rugby were, but it was a nice encounter.

I guess having served a mission in The Greece Athens Mission, perhaps being a mum to a pretty stonkingly wonderful and challenging kiddo, and perhaps living up to one’s heritage just brings out the “hey, how you doing?” in me.

So, how you doing?

Inaugural Missives

The beginning, my blog, where it all started.

There is a lot of pressure around an inaugural posting but never one to shirk from a self-imposed challenge, let me introduce myself.

I am a woman in her 40’s, Mormon somewhat, love the sciences, English and Mathematics, I work Full Time and have been in the workplace since the age of 12 where I lied about my age to get a bar job. I grew up in poverty,my goal upon leaving school was to Continue reading “Inaugural Missives”