Tuesday, February 21, 2017

World of Writer Mom's List of Ten

Ten simple things that bring me joy. 
(because right now I'm freakin' tired and need the reminder)

  1. Hugs from my children.  They are getting older and the cuddle time is becoming shorter, so I enjoy the moments we have.
  2. A glass of iced cold sweet tea.  I'm trying to eliminate sugar from my meals, so the rare moment of enjoying this lovely beverage is treasured.  
  3. Writing.  I love to write and find it cathartic.  Without this outlet, I become cranky and unpleasant.  
  4. Quiet moments when I can hear myself think, pray for patience, and create plans for how to get things accomplished.  (My brain does not organize very well when on sensory overload.)
  5. Thursday nights.  (Thank you Shonda Rhimes)  My guilty pleasure of watching 3 television shows back to back is like an infusion of missing electrolytes. Without this I begin to feel dehydrated and weak from lack of imagination.  I love the writing for these shows.
  6.  Organizing my paperwork.  Seems so simple, yet is incredibly satisfying when I can purge, file, and clean up my desk area.  My brain desperately needs these activities.
  7.  Cleaning house. This has to have a plan of attack.  I have done pretty well at delegating some tasks to the children, now that they are older and can handle more responsibilities.  Bringing the groceries in from the car is a big one.  They can also clean their own rooms, bathrooms, and load dishes into the dishwasher.  Here's the rub:  It's not going to be the exact way I would accomplish the tasks.  There is a huge learning curve, especially with how the dishwasher needs to be loaded.  A child's idea of "complete" is not going to mirror an adult's. So at some point an adult level run through of the house will be necessary.  On the days when I have accomplished this, I am happy.  Following such an effort, a nap will be necessary.  This will bring me much needed joy and peace.
  8.  Those moments when all three children have been tucked into bed and are all asleep at the same time...this is ultimate gift to a tired mom.  I can read a book and actually feel like I understand it with each page turning moment.
  9. I love it when each child wakes up on time, gets ready for school, and we are out the door without any arguments, drama, or incidents.
  10. Finishing a blog post.  This makes me incredibly happy.  It feels good to complete a project, share the results, and receive insights from other writers.  It's a joy to feel like somewhere, somehow, you might be making a difference to someone else who is experiencing a rough day.  

Thanks to all of you who took a few minutes to read this.  Know that you are appreciated!  Wishing all of you a wonderful week! 

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Art of Advocacy ~ ABC's

noun ad·vo·ca·cy \ˈad-və-kə-sē\

Popularity: Top 20% of words
 Definition of advocacy
the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal :  the act or process of advocating something
 Legal Definition of advocacy

1 :  the profession or work of an advocate

2 :  the action of advocating, pleading for, or supporting a cause or proposal 

The Art of Advocacy ABC's ³
Part I (A to L)


                     Anticipate the pros/cons of each side
                    Answer questions using facts plus anecdotal refs.
                    Alleviate fears, concerns, and provide alternatives


                   Benefits of recommended program listed in detail
                   Bring your best attitude to the negotiations
                   Believe in the message and purpose of your topic


                   Collaborate with other resources and supports
                   Collect information, signatures, and/or research
                   Create an environment where voices are heard


                  Develop a system to organize/manage information
                  Dialogue with an established project team
                  Delegate responsibilities according to skills/talents


                Encourage individuals to record their thoughts/actions
                Embrace diversity, cultural awareness, and gender 
                Educate within your community & beyond if needed


                Foster a peaceful, respectful, and communicative team
                Forgive past differences or transgressions;go forward   
                Figure out what the team/individuals expect

              Goals need to be written along with strategies
              Grants can be researched and written where applicable
              Guidance from others who have experience is advised


              Help from supporters can come in many forms
              Highlight successes and incremental progress
              Honor your commitments

               Inspire change through actions as well as words
               Improve methods of communication when questioned
               Insights from a variety of sources can enhance project


                Journal the process in some format (day planner,etc...)
                Join other groups with similar motivations/interests
                Jump start each meeting with an upbeat update


                Keep things balanced to avoid tangents and fatigue
                Know when to push and when to hold back a little
                Key factors need to be highlighted and represented

                Listen to both opponents and supporters
                Lambasting those who do not share same beliefs 
                   is  counterproductive.  Avoid this tactic.  
                Lead from a place of calm, level-headed thinking



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Mary Varville-Rodriguez, BSW, Child Development/Early Intervention Specialist/Advocate (15+ years), Prior experiences: AFAA Certified (Frankfurt, Germany) & Global Wellness Certified (Augsburg, Germany) for Personal Trainer/Aerobics Instructor/Exercise Prescription, UTMB at Galveston Dept. of Pediatrics - Project LAUNCH - Community Outreach/Referral Development/EIS-C, Current: World of Writer Mom.org Writer/Publisher/Marketing Affiliate/Advocate