Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Big Bubbas

I found my way to my seat, and looked around hopefully to see how full the plane was getting. Sometimes, this flight has some empty seats, and I am hoping one of them is next to me so I can sleep, get to Kuwait a little refreshed.

Two seats up, two very large men are looking at one another in dismay. I can hardly keep from laughing out loud – these are big, beefy American contractors, look like boys from the mid-West, one in farmer-like denim coveralls, both with big bottoms, big bellies, and huge big beefy shoulders. These kinds of guys spill way over the armrests, if you know what I mean.

“This isn’t gonna work,” says one to the other. They look around. One spots me, and says “Once the flight takes off, I’ll find a place to sit with a little more room.”

Ya’ll think I am really nice, but not so nice when it comes to having my territory invaded. I fluffed myself out to try to look bigger, and I scowled a very very UNFRIENDLY scowl. I would not want to sit next to someone who looked mean and unsociable like me!

Fortunately there was a lot of room on the flight, and the bubbas found places where they could be comfortable. I had an extra seat next to me, too, and got the sleep I needed. I no longer needed to scowl.

I still get a big grin though, thinking of the look on their faces when they thought of trying to fit those two great big bulky bodies into the already skimpy spaces allotted for two people.

December 27, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Travel, Women's Issues | 8 Comments

But / And

Several years ago I was working for a charismatic leader. He was amazing, he built something out of nothing, and changed countless lives. I felt very privileged to be a part of his team.

I managed a particular program for him, and I raised money for college scholarships so that poor kids, who were smart but had very small chance of going on to university without outside help, would have the promise of a full-tuition paid scholarship if they kept their grades up, stayed drug free, attended cultural events for which we provided free tickets, donated by our very generous sponsors (museums! baseball games! fishing trips! opera! symphony! our sponsors were SO generous!)

From this leader I learned many things, and one sticks with me in my daily life – using “and” instead of “but.”

Here is what he explained to me – when you reply with “but”, you are negating what the previous speaker – or even you, yourself – said. When you use “and” instead of “but”, you open up the possibility of two different things co-existing.

I challenge you to try it.

It will change your life.

Eliminate “but” from your vocabulary. Replace it with “and.” It opens an amazing new world.

Here is an example:

“She wants to go to the mall, but I want to go to the movies.” (Implies that these things are mutually exclusive)
“She wants to go to the mall, and I want to go to the movies.” (Implies we can do both!)

“And” gives room for negotiation, for finding a bigger frame that includes all the wants and needs, with a little co-operation.

I challenge YOU to give it a try. Give it a try for just one day – see how it works. Come back here and tell us how it worked for you.

December 27, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Community, Family Issues, Language, Living Conditions, Relationships, Spiritual, Words | 9 Comments

End of Year Musings

Hello, friends, I am back. We had the most amazing and wonderful adventure, and we are refreshed and happy to be back sleeping in our own bed again.

So of course, one of the first things I do when I get back is go through all my e-mail and then take a quick look at the blog. Even in my absence, the stats stayed high – until Christmas Day, when they dropped to about half. . . and there they stay. (Big grin) If this hadn’t happened last year, too, I would be shocked, but remember last year when I published all those great Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes? Those are what has pumped up the statistics. Most days in November and December, the Christmas Punch – Rum, and Rumless and the Christmas Divinity Candy have pumped those stats up above the thousand visitors / day mark several times.

Last year, it took me until September to match my December statistics. I wonder if I will ever match this December’s?

Like many bloggers, I write this blog for the sheer joy of writing. I don’t want to be a person who watches my stats, and at the same time, it interests me what interests YOU, the reader. What interests me also is that many times the most visited entries keep getting visits months later, even over a year later, and from time to time these earlier entries get a comment. I have seen the same thing on Jewaira’s blog, and although we are very different bloggers, she is still my primary blog-role-model. She is a blogger who, through sheer imagination and good writing has kept a loyal and enthusiastic readership. . . I want to be Jewaira when I grow up, bloggily speaking.

Don’t we all do a little personal inventory as the old year ends and the new year is about to begin? I’m not big on resolutions, but I am big on behavioral changes, and this week is a good week to muse, to ruminate, to think about what I want the future year to look like.

Is there some area YOU would like to explore in the new year? Some aspect of your character you would like to develop? Some talent you would like to give an opportunity to grow?

December 27, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Communication, Community, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Random Musings, Relationships | 16 Comments