Tuesday, January 8, 2013

vw conversations

so- whenever someone gets into my car for the first time, the following conversation, word-for-word, inevitably takes place:

them: "it smells like crayons in here."
me: "I know."
them: "do you have crayons in here?"
me: "no."
them: "its not a bad smell- its kind of nostalgic. I like the smell."
me: "oh- good."
them: "do you think there are some crayons stuck between the seats?"
me: "no."

every time.
never fails.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

quiet::runner, part 1

when I run at the gym, I run at a pretty good pace, but not super-fast; like 8 miles an hour. I try to run for a whole hour. there are always guys who step onto the treadmills next to me and set their treadmills for 10, 11, sometimes 12 miles an hour. they sprint on those treadmills, for a few seconds, maybe a minute, and then they give up. I keep waiting for one of them to fall off. they go fast, but in the end, I think I get the better workout.

I have been thinking about running, and introversion, and I have this analogy- introverts are like a long distance runner. they go slow, for long periods of time, and they are comfortable with that. it feels natural to them. as a long distance runner (I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, because I know that there are people out there who put in WAY more miles and time than me), I COULD run a fast sprint, and I could probably sprint fairly well, but I wouldn’t last that long. not only that, it wouldn’t be very comfortable, and I would probably have to really train for a long time to be effective.

when I was in high school, there were guys on my track team who were natural sprinters. they almost never trained, and they were always lightning fast- but not me.

as an introvert, there are things that I can do that I’m comfortable with. they come naturally for me. almost like being a distance runner. some people think of distance running and it makes them ill. and some people think of introvert activities like reading, or studying or solitude and that don’t understand how we do it.

and as an introvert, there are things that I’m not so good at- almost like sprinting. I CAN do them, I just can’t do them for very long periods of time. and when I do, it takes lots of practice. when it comes to working with large groups, I can do it, just not for long periods of time- and it doesn’t always feel natural, and it takes lots of practice, but if I work on it, I can be effective in short bursts- like a sprint.

some extroverts remind me of those sprinters I knew in high school. things like working in front of a crowd comes so naturally for them and they don’t have to work as hard at it as I do.

if you’re an introvert like me, you may think that there are some things that you could just never do, but that’s not true. you can speak in front of groups and be the center of attention for short periods of time. not only that, you can be very effective at it if you take the time to practice ahead of time, and give yourself some quiet recovery afterward. if you’re an introvert, you’re like a long distance runner. you have rare skills that not many people have. you may be called on to act extroverted from time to time, and you can do it, it may not feel natural, and it will take some hard work, but you can. and the advantages that you have as an introvert will give your work a quality that will set you apart. so don’t be afraid of opportunities to be in front of groups- just understand yourself with your unique set of advantages and disadvantages. maximize those advantages, and compensate for the things that don’t come naturally. and don’t let your discomfort steal an opportunity from you.

God is love.


which winnie the pooh character am I?

Jane has been watching a lot of winnie the pooh lately- which makes me delighted, because I have always loved those stories and characters (this blog is named after pooh's thoughtful spot). I've written a few blogs about pooh here.

as I have been watching the mvies with her and as I see the characters come on screen, I keep thinking to myself, "oh that's me." so which pooh-bear character am I?

christopher robin?
I have always thought of myself as a Christopher Robin- like this happy introvert who is content to be alone in the hundred acre wood with his thoughts and his toys- christopher robin also enjoys being outside on the trails of the hundred acre wood; he is friendly and helpful to his friends. but who I want to be, and who I actually am most like may be off a bit- christopher robin loves an adventure, and me, not so much.

pooh is also a happy introvert who enjoys making up games, and songs and also prefers the company of one other friend, like christopher robin or piglet. pooh is an optimist who always sees the bright side of things; and pooh loves to help someone or to cheer them up. pooh tends to be kind of a glutton when he's around honey- maybe I'm like pooh! I can get a little crazy for sweets, and I do enjoy helping, encouraging, and time spent alone or with one friend-

tigger is definitely silly. and he likes to pick on people a bit- especially with his bounces. my family might describe me as tigger- because I do like to be silly around them. some of my student and staff friends might describe me as a tigger too- since I've been known to do a little picking on them. tigger and I also don't like heights or honey. he and I are also under the impression that we are experts at everything. but tigger is definitely an extrovert, has endlesss energy, and can't stand it when he is alone or not the center of attention, so probably not-

owl has quite a bit to say about just about everything. owl is under the impression that he is brilliant, and that his fun-facts about everything are all fascinating. he often doesn't realize that his many, many words are boring his listeners. I would guess that some of my student-friends might accuse me of being kind of an owl sometimes! I am often guilty of using too many words and am often under the impression that I'm a fascinating genius.

kanga is a mom and is very protective of her son roo. she tends to worry about him. she also tends to mother the other characters in the hundred acre wood by giving them advice, help, or encouragement. sometimes her son feels a little smothered by her; and I'm sure that my little-roo has felt the same way about me! as a parent, I can definitely follow a little too closely and worry a bit too much. and I'm often guilty of worrying about the safety and security of my student friends; and of giving them advice that they didn't ask for- maybe I'm a kanga!

now we're getting close. eeyore is gloomy. he kind of mumbles when he talks. he tends to be cynical, and often misplaces his tail. he has kind of low energy. he assumes that no one is interested in him, and can be very pessimistic. and it seems like a lof of his friends work really hard at cherring him up. sadly, there are days when this describes me perfectly. I don't lose my tail, but my keys are another story. I spend a lot of energy fighting off my eeyore tendencies.

we're getting warmer. piglet is also an introvert, and he really struggles with anxiety. he's constanly worrying and looking to pooh for reassurance. piglet is also generous and at one point gives away his beloved house to owl. piglet doesn't like rain, wind, or dark forests. me neither. when I see piglet come on the screen and hear his self-doubt, his fear of the unknown and hear the tremble in his voice, I think to myself, "sheesh- he sounds a lot like me sometimes!"

rabbit is also an introvert. he loves working quietly and having everything in order. he gets frustrated when his routine gets messed up. he likes being in charge of things, and is kind of a control freak. he doesn't care much for tigger, because he is loud and messy. he hides when pooh comes over- and doesn't want to share his honey with him! when pooh messes up his routine by getting stuck in his door, rabbit can't wait just to clean up and have everything back to normal. there is a scene where rabbit tries to cure tigger of his bouncing by getting hime lost in the forest, and just ends up getting lost himself- the sounds of the forest end up freaking him out. rabbit does have a softer side and is often glad to help a friend in need. rabbit does have patience, and he tries to make the most of a frustrating situation.

there is a lot of me that's like pooh, kanga, eeyore, piglet, Christopher Robin and owl, but when it comes down to it, I'm a lot like rabbit. I like working by myself. I like routines, I like things organized, and I like it when everything is at peace. I like to be in charge of things, (but hopefully I'm not a control-freak!) and I am guilty of pretending I'm not there when the phone or the door bell rings. sometimes the sound of the forest freaks me out; and I tend to get a little turned around and lost when I'm travelling.

I love these stories and characters- and I'm so glad that my little girl enjoys them too!
being a dad is fun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

a belated year end blog

2012 was great. great year with the family, and a great year at work.
I made several new year's resolutions, and I did pretty well on them! I said that I wanted to maintain my weight and pants-size- and I made some good progress on that! I even dropped to lower weights and pants sizes! I wanted to upgrade my house, and I'm sure I did- all of the projects seem to kind of blend together in my memory-
speaking of memory- I had a goal to memorize galatians, philippians and colossians, and all of those verses are now swirling around in my brain.
and I had no fries, no regular soda, and no candy until christmas.

I also accomplished a few things that weren't on my list! I became a runner! last year I put in 1100 miles on the treadmill! I got runner shoes and clothes and all kinds of other accessories. I really love it!

so this year my goals include-
running 1500 miles, memorizing 12 more chapters of the bible, no fries, no soda, and no candy until christmas. I also want either me or deanna to read a chapter of the bible with jane each night.

we just got her a real bible, and we've been reading it before bed each night. this is something that I have been wanting to do for awhile, but wasn't really sure how to get started. this year at christmas, she read part of the christmas story at her grandparents' and she enjoyed it a lot- so did I! so the next day we got a real teenager-purple bible for girls. she has been reading the psalms before bedtime and she really gets into it. a few nights ago we were reading psalm 3 and she was reading in a loud, booming voice:

one more resolution: I plan to get ordained! that means I'll really be REV-ROB. this is something I have been curious about for a long time, but now I feel like its time. it sounds like it won't be as hard as I thought it would be. can you believe it? I'll be a reverend! sheesh.

thanks for reading and for following me on twitter @realrobwalter
happy new year!

God is love.