November 23, 2009
At what point is stuff on the net (public domain) none of our business? When should we avert our eyes and not read a little more? What is the threshold from curious to stalking?
Recently, I met an interesting fellow at an alumni-networking event. After an engaging conversation of shared interests, we exchanged email addresses. Later, I wanted to suggest an appropriate meeting place but could not recall where he had said that he lived, so I turned to the Internet to do a quick address search.
Intrigued by my new friend’s wife’s blog, I read on. It turns out, the stories (blog posts) were every bit as interesting and engaging as his conversation had been. However, immediately following this confirmation, I felt unsettled. Just how would I let on what I knew and how I knew it? Had I usurped his privilege of introducing me to his wife’s blog? Had I devalued the connection by barging in myself? Is this part and parcel of 21st century networking that I am not yet used to?
My experience was confirmed in Wired Magazine’s headline article this month, Vanish: “…ordinary people – really can gather an incredible dossier of facts about you.” It is because of the combination of powerful search engines and extensive amounts of publicly available information. It behooves us be aware of what information is defining us and to be thoughtful about what is defining others.
In old cultures where privacy was hard to come by, people learned to avert their eyes to allow for privacy and were admonished to mind their own business. In addition, we were encouraged to live an honorable life because of public scrutiny. Those old (long view) rules are evolving to deal with the connectivity and information richness of our lives today, yet still apply:
- Live your life impeccably. Doing so, will mean never having to be ashamed, embarrassed, or held accountable for wrongdoing.
- Out of respect and kindness, engage the positive and disregard the negative.
Embracing the new:
- Take what you learn on the Internet with a grain of salt.
- Be judicious in how you apply Internet “knowledge.”
- Follow your instincts, yet pay attention to the evolution – norms are changing.
Bloggers expect that others will be informed, transformed, and educated through connection to our blogs. Participating constructively is welcome and my new friend was fine with it. 🙂
Are you living life impeccably and engaging the positive?
November 10, 2009
It has been a long, hard road, but my best friend, Gayle, last week exceeded one of her lifetime goals! One year post-bariatric surgery, she weighs 146 lbs. having shed more weight than one Linda, exceeding her goal weight of 150 lbs! She is no longer a superb athlete trapped in an obese person’s body, just a superb athlete. 🙂
We have been friends for eons (before kids), having met and nurtured our friendship at our mutual workplace. I was the new kid on the block and she was a veteran that took me under her wing, teaching me the ropes and providing me professional opportunity. As time passed, we continued to work side-by-side professionally and to share the joy and heartache of raising babies/kids/teens, the love of needlework, and a commitment to athletics non-professionally. Although our fitness levels differed, she was my usual lunchtime buddy to hit the pool, spin class, or step aerobics. There were so many things that we could do together that the fitness difference simply did not matter. Apparently we were similar enough (hair color, shoe size, demeanor, …), many of the regulars thought we were sisters!
In 1996, eight weeks after her “big” birthday and six weeks after the birth of my youngest child, we accomplished her first sprint triathlon. It was a challenge for both of us since I was only cleared for the water (post-partum) on the day of the race, but I kept telling her that neither of us could be last, because Sally Edwards, the sweep athlete, always finishes last. We raced together in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000.
We both departed our mutual workplace (Ray…) just prior to 2000 to new respective workplaces (…Logic), becoming the X-RayLogic Girls. Although apart professionally and retired from triathlons, we were still committed to workout whenever we could get together. We sweated together in the gym and pool, caught-up, and got a small snack as often as our schedules would allow.
As time passed, it was clear that the mainstream strategies of diet and exercise just did not allow Gayle to move the needle against obesity. When her knees became too painful for her to continue to play her beloved softball, she decided it was time to try something radical – bariatric surgery.
Her long view advice: If something truly matters and mainstream strategies fail, try something radical!
A year ago, I was there with balloons and flowers at her bedside following her surgery, holding her gown closed as she did laps in the hospital hallway. Today I taught her the ropes as she made her first rock climb in her new body (conquering her fear of heights). With this latest success, we are now more and more alike. Our hair color is still the same even though it is different than before. I think she needs is a skort…
If Gayle can stare down obesity and then conquer her fear of heights, what can we do if we shift to a radical strategy for something important?!
November 1, 2009
To celebrate my blogging success thus far (today’s post is my 50th), I am creating a tribute to the long view advice “if you like something and it works for you, stick with it.”
There are many things that fall into the works-for-me category: my husband, my friends, this blog, yet I choose to celebrate this milestone with a post about my long-term love affair with my Terry Bicycle Pro Racer Skorts.
I bought my first Terry skort about ten years ago. I loved the fact that I could act pretty unladylike yet still look ladylike! I have been collecting them ever since at a rate of about one per year. At this point, I have a terrific collection of brightly colored prints that are fun, uplifting, and playful. To date, I have eleven skorts (including a plain black one, not shown in the photo whirl). I share this whimsy, not because I need to have them validated by others, but rather it just happens to be a great example of something that works so well for me that I am planning to continue.
Skorts are versatile. They provide more coverage than just shorts, a zest of femininity, have great flexibility during spring/summer/fall, and they wash and wear like iron (my oldest one still looks great!). I wear them to work at my computer, ride my bike, rock climb, weight lift, run errands, and/or blog. I do avoid them for professional venues (except themed events such as a beach party). At the high end, I even wear the black one with a nice sweater, bling and heels – violà – dinner wear! 😉
The combined knowledge that I receive many compliments and that my teenage daughter tells me regularly that skorts are ugly and horribly out-of-style, ever encourages me to carry on with my non- mainstream skorts. Could it be any other way?! Although, I’m the only one at my rock climbing gym to wear skorts, everyone can readily identify me from the others: I am “Skort Linda.” Have you seen me?
After I purchased my first few (those early years), the fact that I did not really need any more (they last forever!) caused me to decide to wait for the post-season sale to purchase. I abandoned that strategy the year that Terry ran out of my size in the color I wanted most. Although I purchased the next size up that year, I don’t wear it because it is too big. Thus, I now buy immediately (at full price) when Terry Bicycles releases their new spring colors. Afterall, I have a collection and I can always work in a new color. 🙂
While I await the 2010 collection of Pro Racer Skorts…Are you keeping what works for you?