Monthly Archives: March 2012

To Regret or Not To Regret…..That is the Question-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #28
REGRETS……
I don’t mean like ordering a burger with the works when you were really should have ordered a salad…..We all have those moments…And some of us have more than others
I mean the big stuff…..The sad, gut wrenching, life altering things that we have done, or put ourselves in a position to have done to us…..
I have been thinking a lot about regret lately and I stumbled upon a realization that I think is worth mentioning.
I finally realized that the decisions I regret in my life, are the things I’ve NOT done…..Not the things I HAVE done……Weird hey?
Case Example 1: Getting into a relationship with the first husband….Engaged, pregnant, married and subsequently divorced…..I suppose I could say that I should have never have fallen in love with FH……But when I thought about it, I realized that if not for that relationship, I would not have my five oldest children……Fair enough…. I cannot put that decision in the regret column……
Case Example 2: I should not have spent an entire year and $28k on infertility treatments and IVF……I’ve thought long and hard about regretting that year of ups and downs and depleting the equity on our home. But…. If it weren’t for that year of pain and being financially broken, I would not be blessed with the 6 amazing little people that are in my life now…..And I can’t imagine that ….I cannot put that decision in the regret column…..
Case Example 3: Hmmmm…..How about regretting the decision to leave my management job (When I was the family breadwinner) to work in a completely new industry (for me) as a recruiter with a start up business? Let’s see…..I left my job, took a huge financial risk, shared my energy, my excitement and start up expertise with two female business owners…(Who, by the way I thought were my friends)….After I contributed approximately $350k to their company income in 2 years, they made the executive decision to “let me go”……(For the record, this was one month before Christmas and two days before a hysterectomy and abdominal muscle repair surgery that I needed 6 weeks off of work for)……
Admittedly, this is a hard one to swallow…..But again, when I reassess the decision and ultimately the outcome….If it wasn’t for that experience, I would not have the privilege of owning my business and working at home every day. The decision to terminate our relationship, truly was one of the best things that has ever happened to me (Although I felt pretty shitty at the time)…And after honoring the one year non-compete agreement that I signed (silly integrity driven self) , I opened Aris Partners, ripped up my agreement and began competing in the same specialty market…..
That reminds me, I owe those two women a great big Thank You!!

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch. She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner. She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce. Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.
Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams. She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.
You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

Survivor-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #27

With the One Year Anniversaries over, I breathed a sigh of relief.

For me, it was sort of over now.

I felt liberated almost.  I felt like I had survived a natural disaster of biblical proportions and crawled my way out.

I felt safe, strong, I felt ready to go forward.  I felt more like myself.

I began laughing, thinking good thoughts and looking ahead to the future.  I felt like the fog was clearing.  I felt like I could once again have some control over my life and the events in it.

I could sleep.

Sandra Beck and I were talking recently about life’s unfathomable events and how they  seem to collapse on you out of nowhere without warning….Sandra said that during those times, she felt like a balloon being carried along in the wind…..Tangled in trees, no direction just a chaotic zigzag flight.

I felt similarly, like I was being pulled along in a fast river…. Smashing into rocks and branches…..Being pulled under in the current and fighting to keep my head up enough to get air.

There is no right way to feel.  No right way to mourn.  No right way to bounce.  No right way to survive.

The goal is simply to be. To make it through the best that you can.

To dig deep within your soul and gather your strength. To pull yourself up by your finger tips.

To live to love another day.

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at

daneekiernan@gmail.com

Introverts vs. Extroverts and the Use of Technology by Sandra Beck, Bouncing with Style: Starting over but not from Scratch

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Sandra Beck - Boucing with Style: Starting Over but not from Scratch

Sandra Beck - Boucing with Style: Starting Over but not from Scratch

Introverts vs. Extroverts and the Use of Technology

I am a public extrovert and a personal introvert. Due to the nature of my career, I put on an extrovert personality to host my radio shows, run my company and interact with the public at large. When I am not the public version of me, I relax naturally into the introverted me preferring to read or write quietly, play silently with my dogs, swim laps, and cook fabulous meals with only music playing.  I am extroverted with my close friends and family, but in public as me and not professional me I clam up in a nanosecond.
“We need to hear that catch in the voice, see the way the eyes glitter, and let them see and hear us. If you want to be more effective, stop hiding behind technology. Get out there and see someone. Pick up the phone. Have a real conversation. Stop pretending to take action.” Says Michael Wade in his article about How Introverts Hide behind Technology in US News and Money.
The subtleties of complex human behavior mean we need to understand both sides of the human condition with respect to introversion and extroversion. Wade in his amazingly one-sided view of the world, fails to understand that all introverts are not hiding through the use of technology any more than all extroverts avoiding technology because they can’t sit still and focus long enough to compose an email.  Each one uses technology to their advantage and in accordance with their comfort level.
What I see from the cheap seats is extroverts show up in digital media in the form of videos, webinars, podcasts and technical elements that showcase their physical form of communication.   Introverts show up in forums, chat rooms, email and texts that showcase their internal form of communication.
Extroverts form the success model for much of our society – politicians, celebrities, and noted personalities often convey to the public an extroverted personality when in reality like me in person they are an extrovert. However, what has made many of us truly successful is the ideas behind out work which stem from that introverted side of our personality. Introverted me created the ideas that extroverted me present to the public.  The integration of those two personality type skill sets has made it possible for me to find my own success and glean an understanding of both sides.
Despite Wade’s assertion that we introverts would be more effective if we would just “pick up the phone and have a real conversation and stop pretending to take action”, I challenge him and others to see a different side of the use of technology from an introverted standpoint.
As a card carrying introvert I cringe when the phone rings. Public appearances drain me, as do parties where I don’t know many people and am forced to interact.  Don’t get me wrong, I have many friends, but I need time alone to recharge. In interpersonal communication where my feelings are concerned or things take an emotional or heated turn I completely shut down. I can’t think. I can’t speak. A phone conversation or a face to face conversation would be complete torture and the extrovert who wants to be seen and heard would put me into complete overwhelm. The extrovert would talk and talk and talk and I would force myself to listen but in reality communication at this point has broken down.
I’m not saying the extrovert should whip out a smart phone and start texting the introvert but he or she should be aware that in dealing with an introvert that that person doesn’t process verbally, can’t respond in the manner or time frame the extrovert expects and might benefit from giving the introvert space to respond.
As an introvert I need to mull over the situation.  I need to organize my facts and figures and think about what I think.  I can’t just blurt it out on the phone or in person at the moment it happens. I need time. I also need quiet and space and when extroverts fills that space with words, and gestures and demands communication breaks down.
I have found that the process of writing and email or forming a text enables me to organize my thoughts better and clearly convey to the other party what I am thinking. Do I miss the glitter in someone’s eye or hear the catch in someone’s voice through technology yes.  Do I get to express myself in a way that is reflective of what I am truly thinking and feeling yes. And what does the extrovert want – an immediate answer or an answer truly reflective of what their partner is thinking or feeling.  From the introvert perspective its often both – but that just can’t happen.
Most times in interactions with extroverts we are not given time or the space to react and respond. Just because we don’t “do it on the fly” as most extroverts do, it doesn’t mean we are any less effective, intelligent, successful or emotional. It’s as difficult to get an extrovert to sit and write about their feelings as it is for an introvert to talk about their feelings.
Somewhere in friendships, relationships, marriages and parenting, extroverts and introverts need to work with each other to forms tools and strategies to communicate effectively.  For me the introvert that means picking up the phone and talking about how I feel, and for my extrovert friends that means understand why I communicate something via text or email when I can’t otherwise.
Neither the extrovert or the introvert in my book is a barometer for success or the “right” way to live. Our brain chemistries are different. The blood flow to our brains are different.  Out thought processes are different. So why would we communicate in the same way?
A friend of mine in a leadership position at a national defense contractor has opened my mind to the subtle complexities of human behavior and the beautiful, but equal difference in extroverts and introverts. As someone completely unlicensed in the practice of psychology I am going to challenge the public opinions on the web that criticize the use of technology as a inferior form of communication and welcome you to think of it as a communication aid in certain situations.
Some of us introverts have found a way to put on our extrovert coat when we go out the door. Some of us haven’t.  Some extroverts extol the virtuous life of the outspoken glad hander, and some don’t. As someone who has spent her life surrounded by public extroverts and personal introverts I offer a different perspective on the use of technology and see the value in both.
Contributor: Sandra Beck is the owner of Motherhood Incorporated a virtual technology support company and the host of two popular radio shows Motherhood Talk Radio and Military Mom Talk Radio. She is a graduate of Northwestern University with both her Undergraduate in Journalism and Master’s Degree in Advertising.

And I think to myself…What a wonderful world-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #26

It wasn’t until June 16th (the 1st year anniversary of Mom’s cancer diagnosis) that I realized that the next 7 months would be filled with anniversary dates of what had happened the year before.  I was tired and pretty sure I didn’t want to remember and relive those moments all over again.

As the days went on, I experienced the dreaded 1st year anniversaries.  With all of my strength, I made myself remember our last months, weeks, days, hours and minutes with DJ and my Mom.

I gave myself permission to be sad and despondent.  I leaned on my faith, family and friends for support.  I anguished over what could have been.  I anguished over what should have been.  I wondered if I could have done anything differently that could have altered any of the outcomes.  I berated myself for things I said, didn’t say, did and didn’t do.  I congratulated me for not killing myself.

I felt what I needed to feel.  I immersed myself in my pain and sadness, one more time to honor the experiences.

The last 1st Year Anniversary was January 15th, the anniversary of my Mother’s death.  Many had forgotten or not known.  I had remembered…Quietly and lovingly.

My husband provided much love and support that day.  My daughter checked in and shared memories. My teenage son gave me a hug and asked how I was doing.  It was nice.

I thanked my Mother for her strength, her inspiration and her unconditional love. She made me the person I am. She tirelessly loved and guided her child who now tirelessly loves and guides her children.

My Mom and DJ are gone from this place….. But they will never be gone from my world.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at

daneekiernan@gmail.com

Happy Anniversary?-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #25

This year has been Anniversary Year for us.

The 1st anniversary of a judge deciding that our beloved baby should be raised by an unknown genetic relative instead of us.

The 1st anniversary of DJ being pulled from our arms and sent hundreds of miles away,….While we stood helplessly in the driveway, holding each other and weeping.

The 1st anniversary of Mom’s lung cancer diagnosis.

The 1st anniversary of Mom’s chemo and radiation treatments.

The 1st anniversary of Mom’s move into hospice.

The 1st anniversary of Mom’s last Christmas.

The 1st anniversary of Mom’s death.

It was within seven months that our family experienced these tremendous losses.  We cried, prayed, hugged, talked, screamed, stumbled, fell, mourned and survived.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com