Down to the Wire

Only in Texas in December has it been so dry we still have leaves on the trees. But they finally changed colors in preparation for a good windstorm to blow them away. Minus the tornado/severe storm watch mid-month. Someone else said hang on to your stockings.

In related news, or maybe not, we didn’t have internet for about 24 hrs so my paper writing was a little delayed. The final one of the semester. Good thing I took off a half day just to write. And attend school Christmas parties. And attend Christmas dance performances. Then…Rest. Yeah right. I chugged some coffee and went back to work – figuratively.

The training bases within the Air Force practice (celebrate?) a time of year titled Exodus. As a Biblical term, it means exactly what it sounds like…the great Exodus of many technical training students during the holidays. Widely celebrated by most activities on base, Exodus is a time of liberal leave and a general relaxation as there are not as many people to serve. Lucky for my crew it means a prolonged period of clean up and clean out! In fact, while our activity is shut due to low volume, I’m ramping up the schedule and completing all types of staff training there’s never enough time for. It’s gonna be fun! By the time everyone returns, the staff will be happy to be back to regular work.

My hope is to have a post-Christmas and pre-New Year celebration with the staff. Hence, all the food!

Truffle Time!

2022 is down to the wire. For many, it’s probably cause for celebration. Not sure exactly how I feel about it yet but time doesn’t standstill for me. Back to the drawing board.

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I ask you –

Has your weather been average or just plain wild?

Do you experience a lull in business or work during the holidays?

Tell me something you have going on in the lead up to 2023! Reading books!

(The post Down to the Wire first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Sans Photos

While I’m still cleaning out and proverbially unpacking 2022 in hopes of doing better, being better, in 2023, because there’s still a few days of the year – there’s still much to be done.

For example –

I thought once I submitted my final paper of the class, I was done. I was wrong. Now I’m disputing a grade because the rubric wasn’t completed. There’s a blank where a grade should be. A large portion of the grade! I understand mistakes happen but it seems to be one thing after another with this class. Can I just be done with it already? Not until that grade is fixed!

Working on ramping up staffing in the workplace. So many promises have been made – I’m determining what is feasible and what is not. Some things have been easy fixes. In fact, so easy I can’t understand why they weren’t done before. Nonetheless, others are very impactful and it’s tough having those conversations. Regaining trust among people who don’t know me or what I stand for is a huge task. It’s more than telling a group of people who rely on you that you’re honest, trustworthy, and have integrity; you must show them you are who you say you are. While facing your own frustrations. I find it even more difficult when I know previous leadership were doing the best they could. Balance will always elude me.

Recently I attended an “all call” for those who hold the title of Master Resiliency Trainer. Only 5 showed. Weird. My point here is deciding how to implement a regular resilience practice into the facilities and the squadron itself. Ideally, I’d like to have monthly training, but beyond the squadron it’s almost impossible. Quarterly would be good though. Lessons on mindfulness and gratefulness are trainer’s typical go-to’s, but the hard lessons are so valuable. I’ll find a way.

If you made it to the very end of this post, thank you! Thank you for reading, for commenting, for joining me these past years. I’m truly thankful for each one of my readers!

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I ask you –

Do you recap the previous year?

What is my chance of getting that grade changed? It best be 100!

Tell me what you have going on this week!

(The post Sans Photos first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

I Have No Catchy Title

Thankfully, I don’t do a lot of driving anymore but occasionally I see funny things when I’m out and about. Like a car with the license plate MY TOY. It was a Hyundai. To each his own.

My sister is my nail girl.

Costco is selling caskets now. For the low low price of about $700, you can purchase your very own bulk-discounted sleeping vessel. Why not. P.S. I tried to use a stock photo of a casket as my post image but there was nothing funny about any of them so I decided against it lest my loyal followers think something terrible happened to me.

For the church Christmas skit, my sister and I were recorded for our parts. Riot. We had too much fun laughing. However, we each got it on the first try! I know, it’s hard to imagine.

One run last week. That’s all I had (made) time for. Truth be told, I was super sore after it, too. Which reminds me to input a training plan for the next 4 weeks until class starts again. But I did do some form of intentional exercise each day – yoga, pilates, taking a walk…something was done!

Finally hit week 8 of the course from hell, aka Advanced Finance and Budgeting. This class was rough. But you don’t want to hear anymore complaining, I’m sure. Just wait. I’m taking two 8-week courses simultaneously in the Spring. Not sure what I was thinking. Sorry in advance.

As usual, thank you for coming to my ramblings. I’ll be back next week with more of the same.

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I ask you –

Do you own anything you consider your “toy”?

Would you purchase a Costco casket? Yes. A bargain is a bargain!

On a scale of 1 to send help, how are your holidays going so far?

(The post I Have No Catchy Title first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Running and How I Haven’t Been, a short story

6 weeks after I paused my half marathon training plan, I realized it’s probably time just to cancel it. Whoopsies. Seeing as how I haven’t run one day since the pause – again, whoops. School is kicking my arse. Correction: this one particular class is the problem. You can bet the end of course survey is going to be as long as some of these papers. From unclear instructions to lack of response to everything in between, I’m so done.

As usual, I digress. My sister and I have a plan to work out together once she officially starts her job at marketing…next week. Perhaps we can motivate each other to get our lives together. Unlikely but we’ll try! She says no running. Maybe I can convince her though.

Going Away Parties

Above is just a few of my incredible new coworkers who are re-motivating me to get back to what I love. Working in a gym really leaves no room for excuses not to use the facility. Hopefully by the time you’re reading this, I will have worked out twice this week. Even put my bag in my car so I’ll have clothes. Really it’s just making time for what I love to do instead of stressing a schedule and the to-do list that grows while I sleep. Somehow it always does that.

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I ask you –

Have you been keeping up with your fitness or exercise goals?

Does your to-do list grow while you’re sleeping, too?

Any advice?

(The post Running and How I Haven’t Been, a short story first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

I’m Moving!

Buildings. I’m moving buildings. But I have a great reason!

I guess the powers that be in a lovely organization with the ability to make or break one’s career opportunities finally came around to my brand of willpower. More drama. In other words, I got the job.

Donuts and fitness. You know the joke .

I’m leaving the command team to go supervise a gym. Again. Sure, this gym is a federal entity but beyond not having to sell memberships it really is the same as other gyms I’ve managed… if you count hundreds of uniform-clad people parading in and out on their quest to become powerlifters. I swear it’s not a prison. Nonetheless, this process to further my career and pay grade has taken over 2 1/2 years, but I’m thankful someone took a chance on me in the beginning. Fully realizing my leadership style is not for everyone, I do want to see our fitness centers succeed and grow. There will be growing pains. There will be some frustrations. But I’m nothing if not up for a challenge.

By the time I move positions, I should have just returned from my out of state trip which is still useful in my new position because resiliency is necessary everywhere. And I sincerely want to teach these concepts to my employees. Hopefully there will be some fitness expo trips in the near future to enhance my understanding.

Sure, there’s a lot on my plate right now but this has been a long time coming. Here we go again!

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I ask you –

Do you want to take a donut tour in New Orleans with me?

What are my chances of being back in the gym and finding my running motivation again?

Tell me how full your plate is. Let me commiserate with you!

(The post I’m Moving! first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

My Face When…

this is my face when…

When you’ve been writing for 4 hours and only have 2 pages. I need 6 pgs minimum.

When a doctoral candidate writes (paraphrased) “people who are emotionally weaker have a tendency to be depressed”. Wow. This statement is fantastically false and hurtful. Idiot.

When one of the assigned readings is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (not really, one of the authors is named Hyde so that’s what I call this book) and it mentions the U.S.S.R. – which I should be careful in even typing because we know how that turned out for me last time. It struck me as weird because it’s a very outdated title. Turns out it was written in 1959. Now it all makes sense.

When I drop off mini at school and can’t find my ID to access work. My sweet coworker (Ms. P, remember) happily informs me it’s at my computer. At work. Which I can’t get to without said ID. In nearly 10 years, I have never left my ID in any place other than intended. Thankfully I had other methods to get to work. But still. Now I have to start over on my record.

When mini wants to discuss the merits and nuances of “running sticks”. Tampons. That’s what we’re talking about here. She’s 6 so I give her an age appropriate explanation. Just as I thought we were done – aka I had sufficiently navigated these uncharted waters – she asks…so where do they go? My answer: inside your body. As a look of horror and disgust cross her little face, she loudly says “YOU EAT THEM?!” And this is where I said we’re going to be late for school, let’s go.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be over questioning every life choice ever made and frantically searching for that damn parenting manual. Again. As I always do.

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I ask you –

Do you have a winning streak on never forgetting your ID or some other form of work access card, etc?

What conversation was the hardest with your child(ren)?

Send help. I don’t know what I’m doing over here.

(The post My Face When… first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 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

Always with the Random Stuff

I was researching the hours away one morning when my mini decided to join me to “write her blog” as she put it. No idea where she got that.

As her little fingers diligently found home row keys with her warm skin pressed against mine, I marveled. She typed away while we talked about the things she’d been learning in computer class. At least they still learn proper typing techniques.

This same day my research consisted of a case study on Amelia Earhart. I brainstormed ways to bridge statesmanship with her love of flying. Really, I wanted to publish an author’s note about how I was going to tie these two seemingly wildly different concepts together but decided against it when I couldn’t come up with any phrase other than “let me land this plane”. My professor probably wouldn’t see the humor in such wording. Or maybe he would. Best err on the side of caution.

Squirrels: overgrown, bushy-tailed rodents. The one in this photo above buried his nuts in all the pots. You’re not a teenager, stop laughing. So he goes around uprooting everything searching for his lost nuts. Still laughing, aren’t you? If I owned a slingshot, he wouldn’t look there for his nuts. Cracked myself up. Get it, get it.

poor, dry fingernails

As most people do, I wear many hats in the office. Recently I was a baby lizard wrangler. My incredible co-worker, Ms. P., doesn’t like me to dispose of any living creature we find. Even the crickets but I do it anyway. However, I make exceptions for lizards. I relocated him outdoors. Funny how I got her a flyswatter and she’ll use that thing on anything. Hmmmmm.

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I ask you –

Do your children copy what you do?

Are you an animal saver?

From 1 to my-humor-is-wildy-inappropriate, where do you fit in?! I’m a 10!

(The post Always with the Random Stuff 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

Slow Down, Butterfly

Photo by Mathias Reding on Pexels.com

Within the past few weeks, there has been a ton of movement in my area of the governmental workplace. Not only have many chosen to retire, but there is now an ability to ramp up hiring. Truly I’m thankful my leadership understands my desire to lead and further my career goals. But I remember a time where I was hesitant to share what my actual goals were lest I seem unappreciative of the opportunity I had initially been given or it taken as a slight against their leadership. Crazy, right? Yet how often do we as employees think that way? Too many I suspect.

Sometimes I think the glass ceiling is real; other time it feels like a construct, an excuse why we don’t make changes. Hey, that’s the world we live in: every new phenomenon has a catchy name created by some whackadoo computer warrior wearing socks and sandals. No offense. As I’m always on the lookout for originality, I feel frustrated. What’s more frustrating is I totally forgot where I was going with this thought. Glass ceiling. Right. Poof. The moment has passed.

Anyway…as there’s never a right time to change jobs I hope the next few months prove fruitful for me. More responsibility, more opportunity, more people! For someone as introverted as myself, I sure do gravitate towards positions where the masses congregate. Back to my boss – he keeps me grounded (as best he can). Surely I am not the only social butterfly he’s ever lead; often he restrains me from becoming completely burnt out on how many activities I take on. It’s a full time job just dealing with me. Bless his heart.

I’ve realized there’s no true theme to this post. Typically I’m able to tie all my thoughts together at the end. Not this time. So I’ll close it with this truth – you never what someone else is going through. Be kind yet bold; be firm yet flexible; be what you are called to be. And we are all called to make a difference.

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I ask you –

What are your thoughts on the glass ceiling?

Do you usually have a post theme?

Share your favorite saying!

(The post Slow Down, Butterfly first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes