New blood

If only every organization could bring in a new member every few weeks.

The energy and enthusiasm brought by a new hire, early in his or her career, who’s just happy to be there and excited to contribute, could power a small city.  “Eat this brick,” you could say, and the new hire would go NOM NOM NOM and wipe off the brick crumbs and say, “What else you got?” Those people are ready to take on the world and prove themselves.

Better yet, it gives a boost to the rest of the organization.  It reminds everyone why they’re there in the first place.  “Right! If I’m doing it right, this is supposed to be fun — or at least, fulfilling.” As all of us slowly get lost in the mundane, in the ever-growing task list, in the race to the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the quarter… we don’t always remember to poke our heads up and say, why are we here?  Seeing someone define that during that first day, that first week, that first month, serves to help all of us renew our purpose as well.

Father, Human

The Day Back

At some point on vacation, it can hit you.  No matter how much fun you’re having.  No matter how relaxed you are.  No matter how far the rest of the world has melted away.

At some point you’re ready to go back.

You want to sleep in your own bed.  To have your shower, your covers, your pillow, your kitchen, your routine, your diversions, your comfort food, your familiar everything.

It’s the corollary to “how can I miss you if you don’t go away” — how can you vacation without a baseline every day that you’re leaving behind?

Embrace the return.  Celebrate the ordinary.  Be glad for normalcy.  Before you left, it was the rut.  After you return, it’s the comfortable routine.



Out of his comfort zone

It’s rewarding to see your child’s mind expand when exposing them to new cultural experiences.

We had just finished a first half day in Quebec City. You get everything, as my older son said: mountains, water, castles and walls, history, cannons, street performers, ice cream… So we asked our younger son as we tucked him in that night, whaddya think?

Being the one often unimpressed by change and most likely to want to go home on any vacation, his response was gratifying: his eyes lit up, he wore a confused half-smile, and he said, “It’s so… weird! I feel like such a stranger!”

Throughout the day we saw him interacting with other kids while watching street performers or climbing on monuments. Kids who sometimes didn’t speak English. We saw him marvel at things being done differently, from what comes on a burger, to colored money that you can see through, to the geography of the multi level city, to streets and toilets and customs and faces….

You could just see that his brain had exploded … or at least expanded. He wasn’t sure whether he liked it or not, as it was out of his comfort zone.

Another word for “slightly out of your comfort zone” is “learning.”