Becoming…a grandparent

I still remember that day…the day that I became a grandparent!

Prior to that magical day, I lived vicariously through my friend’s six grandchildren; I witnessed her joy in just “being” a grandmother.

Watching your child become a parent is an incredible experience. Yes, becoming a grandparent is worth waiting for. It is not a job description, but a state of being. Your age, regardless of the age at which you become a grandparent, is an asset. You don’t need to conform to the stereotypes in books created for kids; you just need to be yourself.

I never had a relationship with my own grandparents; they always seemed “old” and they had so many grandchildren that I could not keep count. That is what happens when you start out with 10 or 6 children of your own, like they did.  My husband speaks lovingly of the relationship that he had with his own grandparents. He went to their home for lunch each day (open lunch at school has its advantages); he knew that they loved him and that he could do no wrong (in their eyes and hearts).

There is wonder in watching your child become a parent, knowing that you own children are capable, confident, and caring; they will learn from their mistakes, just like you did, and their kids will flourish, shine, and be loved.

In the interim, keep the feedback positive, experience their joy, and celebrate their successes.

I still recall the day that I became a grandmother, and my first grandchild knows that he is the one who gave me that special title.  Happy Birthday, Alex.

 

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Negotiating for Balance

Tired – overworked – emotionally and physically drained?  Are your aging parents challenged, or is your young child ill?  Is your partner out of work, or overworked? If any of these scenarios describe you, you may be in need of balance. If you know your skills, abilities, and performance record are strong and valued, you have a solid footing for negotiating flexible work arrangements.

What is negotiation? Practically, it’s making the other person an offer or proposal that he or she may find more attractive than the next best alternative. Some consider negotiation to be the art of making deals. It is certainly that, but it also involves educating the other party about merits of your offer or proposal or talents, skills, and actual and potential contributions. Negotiation is a key component of creating workplace balance and thus avoiding burnout. To negotiate successfully, you must do some advance planning. The process is simple, but each step is critical to the outcome.

  1. Be prepared. Follow the tips and understand the rationale; know what you want and understand what the other party wants.
  2. Open with your case; this demonstrates confidence. Then, listen actively.
  3. Support your case with facts.
  4. Explore areas of agreement and disagreement, and seek understanding and possibilities.
  5. Indicate your readiness to work together.
  6. Know your options.
  7. Advance to closure by confirming the details.
  8. Make it happen!
Tip Rationale
Know what you are willing to accept and be honest about your requirements You will be empowered in support of your interests.

Your listener will recognize your confidence level.

Do not disclose what you are willing to accept in terms of salary or conditions.  Have a deal-breaker in mind, i.e., lack of flexibility in hours. This will compromise your negotiating power.
Determine what the other party is willing to accept. It is better to know the alternatives up-front than to second-guess.
Be an active listener, like a student. Assume there are things about the situation that you don’t understand.

Let the other party know that you have heard and understood what has been said.

 

Are you ready…to live and work stress-free?

Enjoy this podcast on living and working stress-free as a nursing professional.

We’re back with another episode of the Mastering Nursing Podcast! This episode, we’re covering an incredibly important topic for nurses… work-life balance. Our guest helping Nurse Keith explore this important topic is Sharon Weinstein, President/Founder of SharonMWeinstein and Chief Executive Officer of SMWGroup.

Sharon educates and trains in high-stress industries like healthcare, hospitality, and human capital. She learned so much from her experience working 100 hours a week, in three countries per week… finally realizing that she needed to “get a life.” Sharon is also the author of the award-winning B is for Balance… so needless to say when it comes to this topic, she’s a true expert.

What You’ll Discover in This Episode:
  • How to live your most satisfying, balanced, and courageous life and career.
  • Why balance is so important to health and happiness.
  • That being well hydrated and rested will actually increase your ability to work at your highest level and be more effective in the world, not to mention healthier.
  • That the 21st-century workplace is complicated, and self-care is crucial for personal wellness and professional survival.
  • The concept of nursing serial entrepreneurship.
  • How to make your nursing world your bigger world.
  • Plus more!

https://nursingdegreedatabase.com/podcast/weinstein-02/

Baby, it’s cold outside!

I worked in the former Soviet Union for over 15 years and spent many a Russian Winter in Siberia, Kazakhstan, Murmansk (north of the Arctic Circle), Armenia, and more. I also hosted scores of native Russians here in the United States during Chicago’s very cold winters. Once during an ice storm to Niagara Falls, it was too cold for any of us to get out of the van.

With an apartment in Moscow, I had to deal with windows that were not insulated (I think that they intentionally had open areas between what should have been weather-strip and the frame).  I once spent 2 weeks in Armenia during a winter storm when there was no heat, no hot water, and I slept fully clothed (including boots, scarf, gloves and coat). The snow came into the window (it did not close) as fast as it was coming down. The bedroom was an alcove within a central room; there was no door- just a curtain, and I felt the cold.

My hints for dealing with cold weather, which to me translates to single digits, is as follows:

  • Wear layers, including silk long-johns that insulate the entire body; yes, wear layers indoors as well as outside
  • Use glove warmers when possible (yes, they do work)
  • Consider a dual foot warmer that works like a heating pad, warming those tootsies before you have to get into bed with cold feet
  • Travel with a water boiling device that you place into a glass of water to create tea/coffee/hot chocolate
  • Pour yourself a glass or mug of hot water and wrap your hands around the cup to enhance warmth
  • Remember that heat loss through the scalp can be intense; keep your head covered with more than earmuffs; use a warm hat
  • Snuggle up; transfer of body heat is a great way to share the warmth and enhance the relationship
  • Keep a blanket in your car, along with an ice scraper, bag of sand or salt, mini shovel (from a toy store)
  • Keep your windshield wiper raised during a storm
  • Keep your gas tank filled; do not risk having to locate a gas station, and/or pump gas in extreme weather
  • If you attend sporting events in the cold, like I once did during a Bears’ playoff, make frequent visits to the restroom to warm your hands on the radiator.

Yes, you can survive and thrive during frigid weather – if you are prepared.

 

Define-Decide-Do

Welcome to 2018!  What will be different this year? What will make you successful, and what have you failed to do in past years that led you to now?

A New Year is a time for reflection and a chance to DEFINE-DECIDE-DO!

  • Define who and what are important in your life!
  • Decide to live accordingly!
  • Do what is needed to create a better you, including: deep breathe, meditate, reframe events that cause stress, eliminate energy robbers, establish clear boundaries, sleep, smile, and laugh a little.

Welcome to 2018!  You have a unique opportunity to make it different from last year; you just need to Define-Decide-Do. Are you ready to start?

Take time for YOU this holiday season

You work long hours; perhaps you work multiple jobs. Perhaps you do it because you need the money to survive, to thrive, and to create happy holiday celebrations and memories for your family.

But, think about it!  You are only as good as you are to yourself. Take time this holiday season, and if possible, throughout the year, to be good to yourself. Sleep a little longer, hydrate (with water) a little more, play with your kids (outdoors instead of connected to WiFi), make healthier food choices, go to the gym.

Whatever you do, make it about you, and the quality time you will spend, the benefits that you will reap, and how this holiday season will outshine others. How will that make you feel?

Back on campus, and back to stress!

So you’ve arrived on campus to begin or continue your undergraduate studies! Perhaps you are a returning graduate student focused on completing your education and moving on with life! There is so much to do, and no time in which to get it done. The first few days can be hectic until you are settled into a routine. And, then what?   Suddenly what appeared to be an easy transition has become a life challenge, and you wonder how you will ever manage the process and get through each day you’re your mind intact.

Sound familiar? That is because college can be a challenging and stressful time for students, both grad and undergrad, and learning how to adapt while creating work/life balance is critical to one’s success and survival. And, it does not stop with work/life; what about academics and social activities? What about sports, family, and more?

I’ve heard students say that college life is like a tightrope; there are so many entities tugging at you for time and attention, and you may be overwhelmed. You have your academic workload, your growing social circle and all their activities, your friends and family back home, career and/or grad school decisions to make, your physical fitness to attain or maintain, work hours, and your spiritual well-being to nurture. Add roommate problems and boyfriend/girlfriend relationship issues, and now you know why you are over your head with concern.

How can you cope? Use these 5 simple tips for finding life balance in college, and begin to deal with the distractions that you would otherwise face:

  • Have realistic goals
  • Develop good study habits
  • Manage your time wisely
  • Try healthy eating
  • Exercise and learn when to say no, and when to let go!

Back on campus and back to stress…make an effort to remain stress-free and on-track this semester!