Lean In, Lean Out or Lie Down

My husband and I returned from a trip to San Diego Monday evening to find a large package beside our front door. It was from a friend who visited us recently and said the setting at our “family compound” required a hammock.  As we talked about the hammock, I envisioned hours spent under the shade of an enormous oak tree with beverage in one hand and frivolous novel in the other enjoying the warm Florida breezes.

The setting is Sarasota, Florida. My husband, son, his wife, her parents and two young grandchildren moved from three houses in the area into our two-acre compound last fall. We have enjoyed time around our new fire pit, afternoons on our dock, impromptu dinners, a Christmas Eve remote boat parade and all the other times in between. I consider myself one of the luckiest people alive.

At the same time, however, my husband and I are fully renovating the house we chose to inhabit. That includes hiring workers to rip out kitchen walls, flooring and cabinets, re-roof, create a new entrance and remodel two bathrooms. In addition, I am starting our new business venture with friends Doris and Lisa. I am sharing childcare and transportation responsibilities with the other grandmother, and I am checking on my mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, in an assisted living facility on the other side of our pond. Read more

My Learning Dashboard: A Plan and New Habits Needed

I am a serendipitous learner, one who often rejects questions at the start of events that ask me to identify my learning goals. I prefer the Open Space Law of Two Feet to open myself to possibilities.  I like being surprised by what I learn and when I learn and with whom.  This outlook has led to magical interactions and new knowledge for me.  On the other hand, following any current of curiosity could mean no self-accountability.  I could miss deeper learning because I waited too long to commit to a learning focus.  All of the above has happened to me.

A learning event is one thing to negotiate without a personal plan but learning online is 20 times more demanding and slippery.  My aerie-faerie-reverie approach to learning became counter-productive and even destructive online.  Why?  Because there was always something new to distract me, I could seldom finish anything. Read more