Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Feeling A Bit Introspective...

This week at work I have been assigned some additional training.  At first I was almost excited - learning something new!  Something to do!  Yay!  And then I got the coursework.  OY.

My company has been involved with a training system for a couple of years that has courses broken down & labeled like karate belts.  Apparently I finished the white belt training a long time ago (it obviously had a huge impact on my work).  Recently my boss was told that at least two people at every location are required to have the yellow belt training.  He had already completed it so I was his choice for #2.  Lucky me.

The course is pages & pages of strange terms & formulas & graphs.  The DMAIC cycle, Six Sigma, Fishbone Diagrams, Kaizen Events, Scatter Plots, the 5 Whys...I could go on & on.  This stuff is very foreign to me.  Much of it was developed by Toyota so I have let my brother (an engineer for Toyota) know that I am not impressed by their ideas at.all.  Hmph.  He laughed at me because he totally thinks like this.  This kind of thinking is not at all my normal thought process.  I'm far more ADHD & my thoughts flit like butterflies.  I'm not ashamed.

But one concept did intrigue me & I even felt kind of compelled to try it.  It's called the Fishbone Diagram.  Basically (& believe me, I'll be basic - I don't want to bore you!), what the fishbone does is help identify all of the possible root causes of a specific problem.  Sounds effective, doesn't it?
For instance, say my problem is that I am freezing cold.  Possible causes of this problem include:
I work with all men who are totally unreasonable about thermostat settings
I am outside in Alaska during a blizzard
I am eating ice cream while sitting in a walk in cooler
I am suffering some sort of health problem that causes me to feel cold under normal conditions
I am weird

Then you take this helpful information & put it on a little graph thing that looks kind of like a fish's spine.  Then you have a visual to help you analyze the cause & effect relationships.  If I was super computer cool I could create one for you to see, but I'm not so I won't.

Anyway, that for instance was a little ridiculous, but hopefully you kind of understand how this thing works.  The problem is, I'm too mentally lazy or unmotivated or too stunted or whatever to do that mental work.  I honestly couldn't care less about applying these tools to my workplace (frankly, no one ever would listen to me if I did try).  But I was thinking as I read this lesson that there are many areas of my personal life where this kind of introspection could probably be very helpful.  I have a lot of problems lately; I'll admit it.  I have issues with myself, issues with God, issues in relationships...you name it.  Truthfully, I'm fairly certain all of this was there before Mom died but it was just squelched down out of sight.  Now I'm just not capable of the squelching & I'm feeling a bit more real about my struggles.  I've acknowledged them (I'm actually thinking of making a list; it's a bit more my style than the fishbone, truthfully).  I know this life is a struggle & I just can't give up.  I really don't know what giving up might look like so maybe I've already done it?!  I hope not; I don't like feeling like a failure as a Christian, as a wife, as a daughter, as a friend...I know that Proverbs says that a righteous man will fall seven times but he gets back up again.  So I'm trying to get back up - AGAIN.

Some of my goals that I've been trying to keep in the forefront of my thinking include these very basic things:
*Read my Bible.  Ready for an ugly confession?  I haven't opened my Bible of my own volition to sit down & read it since my Mom died.  I'm ashamed of that but I haven't made it over this hurdle yet.  That's why the texted verses & flip charts & emails have been such a blessing to me.  When I've been too stubborn or whatever to seek His promises, He has brought them to me.  So I've got to start reading my Bible!
*Eat breakfast at home.  I have been so bad about making myself get up in the morning that it has become routine for me to scarf down a cup of cereal on the way to work.  It's messy, it's hurried, & it's not the kind of breakfast I even want to eat.  Since I got my hair cut it's helped some (major time saver!!) but I'm still scarfing granola out of a cup & praying I don't spill.
*Stop wallowing in the bad feelings.  They will come & they will have to go.  Somehow (probably through the accomplishment of the first goal) I have to let the Lord give me my joy back.  The bad feelings just lead to bad actions like skipping runs, eating junk, complaining, spending, & who knows what all else.
*Get our house back in order.  Right now it's a disaster.  It's always been a challenge: we have a small house filled with a lot of stuff, I tend to dramatize the situation & label it an abomination & give up when things aren't truly that bad (& when I give up then they get real bad), Mike is very easy going about tidiness & dust so there's no pressure from him to step it up, & so on.  But the truth is that I don't feel comfortable in our own home right now & I need to do some work to change that & stop feeling all upset & angst-y about it.  Stop feeling & start doing.  Maybe that should be my new mantra?

I really do have some happy things to write about...they'll be here soon.  Until then, this is where I'm at; thanks for hanging with me & my Fishbone Diagram.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Mary Ann, I'm with you. I don't think that way either! I have to make myself think that deeply.

Even when you are sharing your heart and being real about your struggles, you are very much an encouragement to me. It shows me that I am not the only one with real struggles, and it allows me and others to pray for you more diligently. Sometimes we pray for someone for a while, and then we think "they're doing fine", when they may not be, and we stop lifting up that person to the Lord. Thanks for the reminder to pray.

You are on the right track. You have identified the problems, and you know what you need to do. Philippians 2:13 says "for it is GOD who works in you both to will and to do for HIS good pleasure." God will continue to give you the desire to change and then the power to do it. You are NOT alone!

You said that you need to ask God to give you back your joy. When I read that it seemed like you thought that God took your joy and now you want Him to give it back. I'm sure that's not how you meant it. God doesn't take away our joy, we let it go. We start to focus on all of the hardships and disappointments rather than focusing on the One who is joy, peace, etc. I love Psalm 126:3. It says, " The Lord has done great things for us, and we are GLAD." Along with getting back into the Bible, start a list of all of the great things that God has done as recorded in the Bible as well as for you personally. You will begin to see a change.

God loves you, Mary Ann, and so do I!