Lost in the Space of Abnormal – Lay a Course

During the onset of the pandemic stay-at-home mandate, it was imperative for me to be productive around the house. To not wallow in the worldwide unprecedented conditions I decided to do one of the things people rarely or EVER want to do . . . clean out and take inventory of the pantry and household supplies.

Clipboard in hand, the digging into cupboards began. Talk about lonely, boring work.

If only my daughter were still a young girl living at home. We’d have turned this into an adventure. Just like those migraine commercials where playtime becomes magical and the imagination soars.

We would have pretended to be lost in space. Intergalactic travelers stranded on a planet, its air contaminated by noxious gas.

We’d have to take stock. Make an inventory of our supplies. Rationing may be a possibility until necessary repairs to the ship were made and we could make our escape.

Canned foods – check

Baking products – check

Cleaning products – check

Toilet paper – uh oh

Before you could say, “Danger, Will Robinson,” the game ended.

I was transported back to reality. Returned to an unrecognizable earth where the hottest commodity was TP. Yes, I went there. The classic demand “take me to your leader” popped in my head with visions of porcelain thrones.

After that flash of humor, my mind went numb. I could not process the magnitude of the world situation.

Normal had vaporized and collectively we were lost in the space of abnormal.

People aren’t meant to be drifting in space, off course, and lost. So, the internet exploded with tips and suggestions on how to process this new abnormal. I used many of those tips; as well as trusting in and conversing with the CEO of the Universe.

The CEO of the Universe reminded me that I wasn’t lost; I’d forgotten to hope and focus on looking for the good. I had to stop looking back. Hope encourages us to look ahead and lay a course for new destinations. Hope takes action.

Our ancestors were affected by plagues, a 1918 flu pandemic, World War I and II, the Great Depression, and countless other crises. Abnormal has been the human experience from the beginning of recorded history.

What we think is a choice.

Behavior is a choice.

Choice cast us out of the garden and into a flawed world. Despite the flaws, humanity always chose to look ahead. Take inventory. Discover what led us to crisis; what we could learn.

We can choose to focus on action and what we need to do differently. Entrepreneurs will choose to rise from the ashes and begin again. People will become creative and thrive.

Today, information and suggestions are increasingly posted for business owners and executives to take inventory, plan for future crises, identify what needs to be done, and what an emerging “new normal” looks like within a company. The CDC has a “Resuming Business TOOLKIT” available as a starting point.

As an employee who has worked for decades within various types of companies in multiple positions, here’s what I would ask decision makers to consider:

Add Non-Management Employees to the Team
Whether a leader of a small business or large corporation, you’re probably going to establish a team to oversee the planning and creation of a new normal. Non-management employees:

can bring a different perspective to the table;

can be more informed about particular challenges employees face;

have valuable insight as to what does and does not work within positions, and;

because they were part of the conversation, can be your greatest ally and advocate when launching new policies or procedures.

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak, and Educate
If you want to get people on board a new normal, sell the sizzle. This sales technique has been around since the 1920’s. It’s used every day by savvy marketing specialists. Apple, Coca Cola, Pepsi, alcohol and cosmetics companies are masters at selling the benefits, the lifestyle potential, as a result of using their products.

I can only imagine the impact if the aforementioned marketing wizards assisted the CDC and WHO with creating some of their messaging materials.

Use illustrations, graphics, images, and videos that express ideas and clarify the benefits of new policies and procedures. Especially when it comes to health awareness. What do employees gain? People always ask themselves consciously or unconsciously, “What’s in it for me?” Show them. Show them why self care is imperative to the strength of the company and their community.

I want to feel safe in the workplace, as do other employees. Educate us. Explain the why behind new processes and procedures. Information is so fluid right now; make sure you’re sharing and posting current local, state, and federal guidelines. Communicate with us. Give us a voice and a safe place to share our concerns.

Don’t open your company up to a lawsuit. If you don’t have a Human Resource department, hire a reputable HR consultant or firm, like the Human Resource Connection, Ltd., to make sure your new policies and procedures are well documented, equitable, and up-to-date with the ever-changing employment laws.

Inspire When you Hire
The wisest question every one of us can ask ourselves is, “Who do I want to be?” Each of us, employer or employee, are leaders. Our spirit reflects what flows from within us. What we do affects and influences family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and strangers. There’s a reason why the movie It’s a Wonderful Life is still popular after decades. We live with its theme every day.

Inspire people. Promote and show new hires and employees that you and your company’s behavior and culture inspires by:

radiating positivity;

trusting employees;

giving everyone individual attention, praise, and feedback during the entire year; not just during an annual review;

brightening the workplace (and remote worker’s communications) with color or nature murals, superhero images, and inspirational quotes, and;

mirroring Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey.

According to NBC news, for Twitter employees, “who are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”

If employees choose to return to the mother ship, they will be welcomed with open arms.

Let’s stop being lost. Lay a course and, “Engage.”

© 2013 – 2020 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Time Bandits – Who or What is Stealing Your Time?

Time Bandits is a funny, adventure-filled 1981 fantasy film by Terry Gilliam. Dwarves, previously employed by the Supreme Being to repair holes in the spacetime fabric, want to use the spacetime map to steal riches.

The “time bandits” this blog refers to are thieves and pirates of peace, energy, and effectiveness, especially the ones tied to “living the dream.”

Do your time bandits look like mine?

Working Too Much

I am a workaholic. Give me a job and I’ll give you 110%. People who say it isn’t possible to give more than 100% of anything, might not have heard of “extra credit,” consistently sustained benchmarks, or are mathematicians. Some say the only way to give more than 100% is to be on anabolic steroids.

In the hyperbole sense, I function on “super achiever steroids.” Desiring to be THE BEST, I keep going and going and going. Striving to build achievement muscle to accomplish beyond what is required until my brain is fried and I’m dropping in my tracks.

Ignoring a balanced life, valuable energy is stolen on working harder, not smarter because I’m too overwrought to think straight. And when I do work smarter, my flawed thinking says, “Wow! Now I can perform even MORE!”

This behavior begs the question, what’s my motivation? Are attempts to be THE BEST concealing a craving for approval? The fear of disapproval? Feelings of unworthiness?

Relaxing Too Much

Burned out from super achieving on the job or in volunteer efforts, I have a tendency to plant my rear on the couch and R.E.S.T. Reading fiction and non-fiction books (including business success and motivational stories . . . sigh . . . don’t I ever give it a rest?), watching movies, playing video games, and thumbing through food magazines and cookbooks.

Spending quality time on my personal goals and dreams diminishes. Having fun seems like a much better way to spend my ebbing energy. After all, I’ve got to have some energy left to gear up for my job where I need to be THE BEST.

Emotions, Fear & Negativity

These unseen time bandits come in countless forms. I’ve been robbed of peace, energy, and effectiveness by paying attention to gossip, hate, anger, old hurts, revenge, anxiety, depression, and remembering experiences long after they should have been put to rest.

Focusing on my fears, anything negative, competition, and trying to control other people and their issues or behaviors has sucked the life right out of me, leaving me too wounded to move forward.

Here are four codes . . . well; they are more like guidelines that are working for me on how to ward off time bandits and pirates.

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 1 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved  

“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 KJV)

I have tried handling everything on my own and floundered. There was so much I did not “get.” Affirmations would not stick and ah-ha moments were rare.

What was missing?

  • Reconnecting with and really listening to the CEO of the Universe.
  • Letting His gift of the Holy Spirit work on my heart.
  • Being open and receptive to peace, which develops a calm mind and spirit.  (Philippians 4:6, 7 KJV)

BTW: There have been times I was so angry and wanted justice so much that I blocked peace and the Holy Spirit’s power. Letting go isn’t easy. Experience has proven when I stop barricading myself behind the need to be right; I can see and accept the CEO’s direction.

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 2 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

I heard this and ignored it a gazillion times. After reading Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s Your Erroneous Zones, an understanding of how awareness works smacked me up the head. It really is all about me, who I want to be, and my responses to any situation.

Questioning my thinking patterns and beliefs was and is HARD WORK. It’s time well spent and totally worth it.

I try to be conscious at all times of what I am doing and thinking. Focusing on peeling back the layers of old habits one at a time then releasing them to the Divine allows me to make enlightened choices. Instead of energy being stolen, it is my gift or option in how I use it.

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 3 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

What a waste of time! I was never going to get “there.” No one does.

I was so busy trying to be THE BEST that I forgot to focus on making a difference in the world and what value I could bring to the table without killing myself.

Fear of disapproval and approval-seeking results in energy loss and imbalance, especially when worth stems from being or seeking to be THE BEST. This time bandit embezzles energy so severely that over time it empties the self-vault, which can cause serious illness.

It was a difficult lesson (almost costing me my health) that being my best was not about pleasing my family, friends, employer, co-workers or community. Now I work for the CEO of the Universe and life is much more fulfilling. (Colossians 3:23, 24 KJV)

If you think this is a “modern” dis-ease, check out Exodus 18:13-24 – even Moses had to learn this lesson!

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 4 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

Judge not, that ye be not judged. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (Matthew 7:1-5 KJV)

We are all flawed. Sometimes we just “flaw” differently and it has irritated the living heck out of me.

I have been immobilized by people’s behavior. Expected things to go my way, placed blame when it did not and tried to control outcomes. I have judged and labeled people as bad, wrong, mean, critical, etc., instead of seeing their actions as just “existing.” It just is and cannot harm me unless I allow it.

There is only one way I can fight and win with this pirate of peace.

Turn everything over to Divine guidance. I ask if I can change or improve something and if it is any of my business. I pray for my heart to see my imperfection (since in my mind I just know I’m acting sooo much better) and if there is something I can learn, influence or transform.

If not, without the wish for revenge, pain or justice I do my best to leave it alone and sail on.

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved