Friday, December 21, 2007

Does this describe me?

Almost 6 years later, I completed StrengthsQuest again. It's an online 'test' which highlights your top strengths out of 34 areas.

It's interesting to see how my strengths have shifted since I was a freshman in college. I'm still a "feeler" and much more of a "thinker." I live more in the gray area than I do in the black and white. My experiences back up what I believe and I've figured out more of who I am instead of who I want to be.
  • Adaptability
    • Prefers to "go with the flow."
    • They tend to be "now" people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
    • Flexible, can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.
    • Don't resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours.
    • The genius of adaptability talents lie in the way you respond to chaos. (haha!)
  • Empathy
    • Senses the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others' lives or others' situations.
    • Doesn't condone anyone's choices, but does understands why they made them.
    • Hears the unvoiced questions.
    • Anticipates need.
    • Other people feel heard by you and experience your compassion
  • Includer:
    • Accepting of others.
    • Shows awareness of those who feel left out, and makes an effort to include them.
    • No one should be ignored.
    • Notices people who might feel like outsiders or who feel unappreciated.
  • Input:
    • A craving to know more.
    • Likes to collect and archive all kinds of information.
    • Inquisitive/ active curiosity.
  • Strategic:
    • Creates alternative ways to proceed.
    • Faced with any given scenario, you can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
    • Thinks through every possible "what if?" (aka: over-analyzing!)
  • Relator:
    • Enjoys close relationships with others.
    • Finds deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
    • Derives a great deal of pleasure and strength by being around close friends.
    • Wants to understand their friends' feelings, fears, dreams, goals
    • Vulnerable
During my staff retreat, I was asked to describe a time when I was at my "best" - exercising my strengths at work:
I was the HAC On-Site Director at Tilikum. I created the middle school curriculum for the week, strategically designed the schedule, and incorporated creative input from my amazing staff. I got to be empathetic with the campers who were afraid of heights, relate with my staff who became family, try to include the left-out camper, and adapt to the weekly chaos of camp!

I remember feeling refreshed, energetic, creative, peaceful, and FULL.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Party Planning

I've come to the revelation that I can't do things the 'normal' way. I have this insane notion that it must be creative; it must be better; it must be different.

I like to call myself a recovering perfectionist. Emphasis on recovering.

We had our RA Christmas Party this evening.
It would have been just fine to order a pizza and watch a movie.

Instead, I busted my bootie all day long to finish tonight's party preparations. I found out each RA's favorite Christmas song and burned them a cd. I wrote on each cd. I decorated the CD cover and typed out each track. I handmade Christmas cards with individual messages, taped it to the cd, and tied ribbon around each one.

I adopted a family from the Salvation Army so our staff could sponsor them. I made preparations for gift purchases and deliveries.

And I made dinner: white-bean-chicken-chili... from scratch. And now I have dishpan hands from hand-washing a mountain of dishes, and my fingers still smell like garlic.
And I coordinated a white elephant gift exchange.
And I reserved the school van so we could buy gifts for our adopted family as part of our party.

Our party started at 6:30 and I was ready to call the whole thing off at 5pm. The planning was fine, but I didn't want to go through with it because I was already so exhausted.

I finally kicked my feet up at 10:30pm. My living room is clean, the dishes are drying, the garbage is out, and my apartment smells like chili.

It was fun and I'm glad it's over.

Pizza and a movie would have been fun, too. :)

Monday, December 3, 2007


A couple weeks ago, I had my best staff meeting ever. I'm shifting the focus of our meetings to include more time for team building and bonding.
Step one: change staff meeting time from 6:30am to 9pm.
Step two: change staff meeting location from stark, cold, white room with plastic chairs to my living room with couches, Christmas lights, colors, and carpet... cozy.
Step three: implement agendas, games and initiatives, devotion, prayer time, chill time, being still time.

The fill-in-the-blank activity:
Each person had 15 minutes to respond to a list of various words and phrases. They could only write as much as much as would fit on the dotted line next to the word. (Some got creative and turned the paper upside down to write on both sides of the line or abbreviated several words.)

  • Everyone has..................................................
                  • an iPod/cell phone
                  • a heart/soul/feelings
                  • something great about them
                  • the potential to be someone great - they just don't know it
                  • hands
                  • eyes
  • Love letter....................................................
                  • I often write them to myself, then send them off and pretend to get exc.
                  • (s) to Jesus make me happy
                  • the Bible
                  • someone should write me one please
                  • are really fun to receive, fun to write, and embarrassing to deliver
                  • (s) are something I have a hard time writing
                  • from KC Gilliland, football player, SO high school
  • I'm annoyed by.............................................
                  • people who don't get it.
                  • people who judge me.
                  • mean people
                  • loud noises that wake me in the a.m.
                  • disrespectful actions towards others
                  • people who refuse to flush cuz I hate finding surprises when I lift the seat.
                  • cigarette smoke. I'd rather smell cow manure.
  • Why can't we................................................
                  • speak Spanish?
                  • be friends, why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends - the guy I had a crush on sang this to me in 7th grade and I felt a connection.
                  • love each other unconditionally and more than ourselves?
                  • just find a truck full of $ to pay for school?
                  • just live at NCC and not go to school?
                  • take care of each other?
                  • all dance naked in the quad around a huge bonfire?
  • Secrets.........................................................
                  • are for people who have something to hide
                  • count people's freckles & look in their eyes
                  • ah, good? bad? Both. Depends.
                  • don't make friends, but they keep them.
                  • I'm not good at keeping them - don't trust me.
                  • are funny cuz some things are really dumb to keep secret. Others are legitimate.
                  • special.
  • The Tooth Fairy.........................................
                  • is a lie.
                  • didn't have much money.
                  • should leave more money. Really, only 25 cents?
                  • should scare more kids than she does. Think about it.
                  • was not very, very good to me.
                  • isn't real but I thought I saw her once and made up an elaborate story that I told my mom the next morning.
                  • was cool when i was a child. Quarters in the cup.
                  • left me silver dollars under my pillow. Daaaad.
  • I've never......................................................
                  • done anything.
                  • been in love.
                  • been on a missions trip out of the U.S.
                  • touched a cow.
                  • been to Africa.
                  • been 21, but when I have I'm going gambling.
                  • jumped out of a plane.
                  • owned a cat, been fishing, or been snowboarding.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Just elfing around

I laughed out loud when Chrislyn shared this link with me, featuring my brother, sister, dog, and I.

I still think she's the funny one in the family... Parker, too. :)