Life’s LIMFACs

LIMFAC = limiting factors. So many acronyms.

Blooms in January

For the longest, and still today, I’m guilty of limiting myself via negative self talk. I think I thought it was humbling, but now I’m not sure. Saying things like “that’s not me” when exploring the possibility of doing something crazy or very self-serving. Not selfish, there’s a difference. For example, going back to school. Or, stating my name in a professional capacity.

Backstory. Recently I attended an awards ceremony where one of the nominees was introduced as Dr. (insert his name). I know him personally and credit him with encouraging me to get my doctorate. He’s always available for questions; in fact, when I asked him how crazy it was to take 2 courses simultaneously, he stated – paraphrasing – I didn’t do that but it can be done and you can do it, here’s how …

The empowerment and advice he provided was invaluable. So why don’t we empower ourselves in the same manner?

Back to the awards ceremony. I thought if that was my name up there, it would probably be read with my personal title, i.e., Ms. (insert my name). My thought was this: “The addition of Dr. My Name is just not me.”

WHAT? WHY NOT? Because that is me! Well, it will be. I earned every letter of that title and I should be proud of it. Humility or not be damned. The sacrifice, the tears, the brain power and dedication it takes to write until my eyes bleed – those things don’t just count for something, they count for ME! They are ME! How dare I limit myself by saying what is and isn’t me. I was created to do good things. I am empowered to do big things. I am and the highest I AM says so.

So when you think you’re humbling yourself by not speaking up for yourself or taking credit where credit is due, just remember the only LIMFACs are the ones you place on yourself. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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I ask you –

Do you succumb to negative self talk?

What do you think isn’t you?

Forewarning: this will probably become a series as I have many LIMFACs to further discuss.

(The post Life’s LIMFACs first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Deja Vu

It hasn’t happened yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time. I’ll probably be investigated again for my search history related to writing all these papers. Apparently information systems research is a hot topic. Haha who knew? As I plug in key words, even in well known journal publications, the message regarding tracking appears instantly. And these are university sources!

Snow #1

I keep writing all the words my manic brain throws at me and it seems to be working. As I approach week 3 of 8, occasionally I feel like I’ve got the hang of time management but then a potential snow day turns into a bust and I scramble for more hours in the day. Work is jam packed so there is absolutely no way I can even brainstorm words to lengthen the page count. Any takers? At first, I took great offense to the B I received on my initial assignment. Overachiever. I spent some time trying to prove the professor wrong, that his feedback was not correct. Spoiler: I made some mistakes. So a perspective shift was in order – I came to the grand conclusion he was right and just trying to make me a better writer. As he’s the program director, perhaps it’s a valuable lesson. Better to learn it now than later. Perspective. It’s everything.

Aside from that hellish course about advanced budgeting, this school stuff isn’t too difficult. Really, it just requires a nervous breakdown or ten, an insane drive to accomplish things, and where was I going with this? Oh right. Other ridiculous traits that indicate a real whackadoo. Me. I’m the whackadoo.

Did I mention I’m doomed to be investigated? Seriously. It’s coming. I was exploring nefarious terms for where the internet can take you and it hit me like a ton of subpoenas. All I could think was … If I end up on the cannot fly list, then this better get me another A!

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I ask you –

Have you searched anything suspicious lately?

How often do you try to prove someone else wrong? Be honest!

On a scale of 1 to Biden’s desk, how likely am I to survive this program unscathed? I realize how political I could take this, but it wasn’t my intention.

(The post Deja Vu first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

What’s Another Word for Concepts?

My readers have probably discovered by now I get a lot of writing material from listening to the radio. Radio is for the morning; earbuds (just music) is for running. Bobby Bones and his crew were speaking to a guest about her psychic abilities and what that meant for Bobby. I don’t entirely know his buy-in, but it was fun to listen to. So this prompted my own questions:

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

Psychic vs. Self Fulfilling Prophecy – As I’ve never been to a psychic or had any type of reading done, I don’t know the ins and outs of this process. However, suffice to say, a stranger with ability to see/hear/forecast your future tells you in the most generalized way possible what might happen. In my opinion, this is much like allowing a horoscope to dictate your entire day. Do you. My question is how many people create a self fulfilling prophecy by leaning on every word of a psychic? In case you’re unfamiliar, self fulfilling prophecy is when one expects something to happen and then inadvertently engineers it to happen (that’s the minimalist version, look it up yourself for the entirety). It’s actually really interesting to me because there is a psychological phenomenon property to it. Have you ever heard of women who “believe themselves pregnant”? It’s true. Our bodies and minds can do miraculous things. Anyway, I propose there must exist a connection between psychic conclusions and self fulfilling prophecy in the way we are told something could/should/might happen then it comes true because we made it come true. You can have your hypothesis and I’ll have mine.

Stability Before Resiliency – during our recent CSAF visit, Gen Brown visited with the Chaplains. One mentioned something to the effect of “we must focus on stability before resiliency”. Granted, I realize resiliency has become another buzzword for the military and probably for the public sector, as well; however, it is something I’m passionate about. As a Resiliency Trainer – and this time next month I’ll be traveling to receive certification as a Master Resiliency Trainer (fancy, right?) – I believe in muscle memory, most notably within the confines of psychological behavior. Though I’m sure we each have ideas on how soft the military is or how it “wasn’t like this when we were in”…nonetheless, times have changed and we must change with them. Teaching resiliency or at least bringing it up serves a higher purpose than a check mark on a to-do list. Off my tangent now. My belief is the Chaplain was referring to ensuring stability within an Airman’s life before incorporating resiliency. I don’t think he meant catering to what one wants to hear but focusing on their mental and occupational stability prior to expecting them to understand how to self-regulate and prioritize resiliency. I intend to study and use this idea during next month’s training as the possibilities and outcomes of such is notable.

I also need to stop writing like I get a grade for how many big yet theoretical words I use. Tomorrow. I’ll start tomorrow.

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I ask you –

Have you ever been to a psychic? What was the outcome?

Do you agree with stability before resiliency?

Somehow October is flying by. Tell me something awesome you have going on!

(The post What’s Another Word for Concepts? first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Call Sign STUMPER

Allow me to share a story – it’s a long one. Have a seat.

In my (military, civilian, non-profit, etc) career(s), I haven’t had an opportunity to speak with anyone at the federal, national, even state level, to my knowledge. So when presented with such opportunity, I nicely jumped all over it. Some parts of this event were volun-told, but others were sheer chance alone. During a recent visit from the United States Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen CQ Brown, Jr., as hundreds of people crowded into an auditorium, I took my place about 5 rows from the front. Again, when would a visit from this official ever happen again? We were presented typical pre-speech information: don’t take selfies, turn your phone off, and (my favorite) here’s how to ask a question at the end. My friends and I made small talk, ahem, jokes. I regaled them with the story about the time I sang in front of the installation commander. Them: You can sing?! Me: Hahahaha no. On time as always the General arrived. He is a wonderful speaker, a seemingly humble individual, and a strong leader. His slides were short and his humor spot on. In many ways, he reminded me of my current squadron commander. I truly hope one day he, too, will grace stages with an entourage of security detail and big picture awareness. Approximately 30 mins later, the big QA session began. My hand went up before the words were out of the moderator’s mouth. I stood, politely introduced myself, and asked the following question: “Sir, as you have a high impact, high visibility position, what perception do you think we, as civilians and Airmen, get wrong about what you do?” Silence. Deafening silence. Suddenly I became the recipient of wild looks and laughter. The General began to pace the stage in silence. Finally, he answered. His answer was a well-rounded approach to being a father, husband, and son. He struggles with the same things we do. He worries about his children, now adults themselves. He sits around at night and can’t believe he gets to do what he does. I thanked him for his time so others could ask their questions. Fast forward to my office later – a conversation ensued between the Senior Leader and my supervisor. Cue the laughing. Unbeknownst to me, jokes of stumping the General were made on the surrey as he departed. I can only imagine my commander’s face. Kel, you need to stop speaking.

And that’s how I became known as STUMPER.

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I ask you –

Thoughts on the call sign?

Have you ever been laughed at?

Share your wild stories!

(The post Call Sign STUMPER first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Still Writing and Reading

I totally thought by spending so much time writing case studies and research papers I would not have it in me to write blog posts. Wrong! Herein lies the random things my brain circles around –

I wonder who watched an egg fall out of a chicken’s behind and thought we should try to cook it?! By the way, if you haven’t read the book Gladys The Magic Chicken then you are missing out! Fairly certain no one thought it was nearly as funny as I did. Even mini wasn’t laughing like me. Sometimes people miss the mark on humor. But not me!

I wonder how many people picked berries and fruits in long forgotten lands, then ate them and died? Oh dang it, John; guess we can’t use that one.

My very own claim to fame: that one time I helped a virtual stranger get accepted into his master’s program. To this day, I am still soooo proud of this!

The first time I ate Five Guys. As my very best friend, Sam, is also in the throes of her own doctoral program, she’s been in my mind lately. Also because when I need help she’s my first call. If you recall, Sam and I met in boot camp, then went to training school together, then went to Norfolk together, as well. We basically lived together for almost 3 years. Anyway, now we’re commiserating papers together. Huge digression here. Five guys. Our classmates in Pensacola kept talking about this hamburger place. Eventually one night we succumbed to pressure to try it. Spoiler: I’m not a hamburger fan, neither is Sam so we enjoyed the fries most of all. And then we never returned. Anticlimactic.

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I ask you –

What random things do you think about?

Have you ever eaten at Five Guys?

Name your favorite place to eat! Home!

(The post Still Writing and Reading first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

From Issues to Tissues

Anybody else having issues scheduling posts on Word Press? It’s not really the scheduling that has become an issue – it’s Word Press not posting them at the scheduled time, specifically when I schedule them using the app on my phone. When I use my laptop, no issues. Phone = issues. It forces me to stop my day, manually publish the post, then return to business. No time for that. I pay for this platform so I expect it to work properly. Christina, I know you know how to fix this. Help me!

Finally – football is back! Accidentally skipped over preseason. Peacock is my friend. That funny little bird streaming service has everything I need. Random note: mini calls it a pea-hock. No se. If you’re looking for me the reminder of the season, I’ll be keeping my couch company and demanding popcorn. Just kidding. That’s my mini. I’ll be demanding silence, hiding in the bedroom whilst working on bibliographies and papers. Send headphones. I have a grand total of 2 weekends to watch football. Silence!

It’s still hot outside, but I’ve been making it out there to run. The 7am-ish hour is simply the best. There is the slight undertone of fall peaking around the bend… patience is not my friend. If only we could get some rain. Sigh. Mini has been pestering me about riding her bike “a long way”. We did complete two long rides though!

Speaking of long rides, I was fortunate to witness a piece of the World Trade Center arrive on Shepard AFB to be displayed at a later date. Firefighters and other emergency personnel from NYFD transported it. I was in awe. It was strange to think how many of the Airmen dutifully saluting while the truck and its precious cargo passed by were not even born when 9/11 took place. Seems unreal it’s been 21 years. May we never forget.

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I ask you –

What is your favorite part of WordPress?

What NFL team are you cheering for?

Tell me a time you witnessed an event honoring something historical.

(The post From Issues to Tissues first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Double Trouble

For being a smart person, I really am quite dumb sometimes. Well, not like a dumdum. It just takes me longer than the average smart person to really come to grips with things. For example…

stock photo via photo library

An email arrived with the sentence “Thank you for your persistence.” which probably meant please stop bothering me. A co-worker told someone else in front of me: (paraphrased only mildly) “We love Kelly. She has a way of being mean but she does it with a smile and it makes it ok.” I’m not sure it was a compliment but it is true.

M’s – money, marriages, and messes. The radio show advised these are three things we should stay out of, as in other people’s. This radio show predominantly deals with other people’s messes so pot…kettle.

Not every email requires a reply. As I’m almost constantly (now) dealing with people from all walks of life, there are many different approaches: kind, understanding, firm, rude, hateful, dismissive, etc. You get the idea. This week I’m neck deep in an inspection that hasn’t happened since 2019. Read: before me. Somehow I tend to find myself in positions where once I’ve got my bearings, there’s a huge inspection or program audit and here I am with my hands in the air and a huge shrug. I shall prevail! Occasionally I have too much to do to reply. Other times it is best I don’t because angry Kel can only be quiet for so long. And I’m being pushed to the brink.

My sister accepted a job on the same installation where I’m employed. In fact, we’re in the same squadron. I should feel bad the base is now saturated with two people like us, but this could be fun. Someone asked if she is as wonderful as I am; her reply was “I’m better!” She’s got jokes.

Now we’re off to find the boss and explain in no uncertain terms why the grass is brown. Hello. Drought. Texas. Seriously?

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I ask you –

Thoughts on the three M’s? Do you agree?

Have you been inspected or audited at work lately?

On a scale of 1 to You’re Fired, how much trouble will my twin and I get into? 5. We have humor going for us.

Civilian Mentoring Connection

Picture this: a room full of people and you’re waiting on your name to be called to find out who your mentor will be. Spoiler: I was chosen last. But sometimes they save the best for last because I was paired with an incredible woman we’ll call Big Booty Judy (BBJ). Don’t laugh yet. I had spoken to her via phone many times previously and liked her. Turns out she chose me. The rest is history.

Civilian Mentoring Connection (CMC 101) was something I volunteered for knowing it did have a substantial time commitment. Myself and approximately 10 other people would be meeting twice a week for several months, including meeting with our mentor as often as possible outside of these formal gatherings. Luckily, BBJ understands my job and what I do so we had a mutual agreement to get things on the calendar as soon as possible.

…and then we blew stuff up! Small exaggeration. They did visit EOD which I heard was a lot of fun. It’s been rescheduled a few times since so I’m just waiting my turn for the next time. We’ve also discussed workplace communication, email etiquette, TSP (thrift savings plan), and other things I probably slept through. Kidding! I love this stuff.

Big Booty Judy – is actually the nickname for my mentor’s black Corvette. At our first informal get together, she shared her naming convention with me. Somehow I knew then we were meant to be. She has given me much insight into the world of civil service and helped me navigate some tricky setbacks. If you ever have an opportunity for a mentor – get one! Promise. 14 weeks later, my mentor, Stacey, is still one of the best parts of CMC.

The tenants of civilian mentoring connection are Connect, Grow, & Inspire. Indeed it impacted me in each way. Connect – as I’m inherently a people person anyway, connecting with others is kind of my thing. I love being able to connect with people I work with so this opened up many doors. Grow – I learned more about what other squadrons, groups, and work centers do (and how it accomplishes the overall mission). Growth is multifaceted. Inspire – after two personnel spoke on their journey to complete their doctorate programs, it re-solidified my desire to go back to school. As I’ve already shared many times before. It reminded me of my dream and the different avenues to achieve it.

As our graduation day ended and I reconvened with my partner in crime, Heidi, she asked if I intended to complete CMC 102. Then she gave me a knowing smile and stated “I thought you had school! I thought we were taking a break!”, followed by her words “I’ll do it if you are!”

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I ask you –

Does your workplace offer any mentoring opportunities?

Have you ever participated in a program like CMC?

Share with me a recent graduation accomplishment!

Someone Else’s Lens

(The photos below were taken by my friend, Dan, on his recent visit to New York. Photo credit is all his.)

There’s something about traveling that makes my soul happy. New places we visit are seen from a different perspective than those who call it home. When was the last time you walked around your city and saw it with unfamiliar eyes? Try it. I’ve only seen NYC on a large scale via my window when I drove past. The sheer amount of people doesn’t interest me, but maybe to see it at 3am when fewer people are out and the buildings are lit up – that sounds nice.

The view south down 7th Ave from 51st Street.

Considered a total loss after a fire in June, the Spirit of Norfolk was a Norfolk attraction. I kept up with the story of its demise because a) I remembered seeing it when I lived in that area and b) I thought for sure they would extinguish the fire much sooner. Certainly there are some very worried people now because the ship was used for weddings and other large events. Bet they’re not pleased.

Spirit of Norfolk

Lately the only traveling I’m embarking on is from the car to whatever air-conditioned location I must be at. The average daily temperature is 108° with a heat index of 112°. I fully expect roads to start behaving like mini volcanoes. It’s a thing.

Fall can’t come soon enough. Farewell mosquitoes! Time to find some antihistamine.

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I ask you –

Do you love traveling?

Weather check in – what is yours?

Name your favorite place to visit.

Pirouettes and Parking

Dentist appointment last week went well! Post-meal flossing albeit a dedicated task is worth it. As I’ve never had a cavity or filling, the nice dental hygienist told me I was 1 in 10,000. Nice as it sounds, I doubt I’m 1 in anything because…really.

I’ve been rewatching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was several years back when I started the show – I had no idea there are now 7 seasons. Clearly I don’t watch much television.

Not sure if I should put this on my blog, but I’m doing it anyway. Some weird things are happening at a neighbor’s house. Not the naked neighbor’s home. Cars without license plates, other random vehicles early in the mornings. This also happens to be the house I always find spare change near. One week I collected 31 cents. What a bargain for me!

task 1 is complete

Mini’s dance performance debut is at the end of the week which means…she’ll be home for a few days!!!!! I’m so excited to see her and hug her and kiss her and call her George – I mean mine. Jokes. We just have to make it through rehearsal, nail polish, lip gloss, hair buns, and other diva-ish things I know little about. I need coffee just contemplating it. Unfortunately, her dad’s family is unable to come like originally planned but thanks to technological advances I feel confident she can wow them with her abilities.

Public service announcement: it costs nothing to be a decent human. All that’s required is don’t be an asshole. Believe it or not, there was a car parked to the truck’s right prior to this photo. If it had been my car, a photo might have not been my first choice. Decent humans can suffer from distress.

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I ask you –

What shows are you currently watching or rewatching?

Is the weirdness at that house illicit substance related or am I being paranoid?

Tell me your kindest words for people who park like I’ve shown!