Working man blues or not?

On Christmas Eve I treated myself to getting my nails done. I have been working hard lately, and taking on extra shifts. The ER can be stressful, but it’s what I choose to do for work. So until Colorado and Paris, only one day off at a time.

I asked the ladies in the nail shop out of curiosity how much time they get per week. She smiled, and replied with one day off per week. She looked tired, but her reality she seemed to be okay with. She was still smiling, and joking around at times! On Christmas Day, I asked the man from Yemen who owned the corner store (where I was buying wine from) how many days he gets off per week. He replied with none. No days off. One year on, one year off… sometimes. He went on to explain how Yemen is at war now. There are no hospitals, and no schools. This makes it so he cannot go home. It’s too dangerous. So for now, he works everyday.

If you are wondering how my Christmas was I will tell you. I will tell you that I was reminded that most of us in America have things very well. Most of us get two or more days off per week. We have schools. We have hospitals. Yes, our current president is an awful man… but he cannot he in office forever. Working hard to reach your goals pays off. Sometimes it is hard, but just remember that there is always someone who has things worse off than you… and sometimes that person is still smiling.

Happy holidays!

-K.K. Powell

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Don’t be a rattlesnake, be a bear. 

If you happen to live in the northern hemisphere then you are likely starting to notice the seasons. The days are getting shorter, and Samhain has come and gone. It reminds us all of what we have achieved this year, or did not for one reason or another. It reminds us of what we need to shed in order to let new things grow so we can move on. If you just look up you can see it all around you. The leaves change color, and fall to the ground. The weather turns cool, and the hours of light dwindle away.

Sometime it is easy to get down on your self when you need more rest, and you are not as active as you have been. In America we are so used to the idea of “time is money”, and we must be always doing something, or going somewhere. We get so worried about how people see us, and how we must portray ourselves. We push, push, and push until we turn into rattlesnakes striking the minute we are poked. 


So here is my message to you-

Now is the time to just be. Get comfortable in silence, and spending time with the self alone. If it is uncomfortable, try it out for small amounts at a time, and slowly increase the time. Bears hibernate for a reason in a certain season! So as the days get shorter, allow yourself to rest. Allow yourself to go within. Take time to figure out new goals now, and let go of the shit you do not need. If you do not take away those old leaves it’s going to be a whole lot harder for those flowers to emerge come Spring. Don’t wait for January 1st. Right now is actually the perfect time. 

-K.K. Powell

Teaching and Vulnerability

When a man/woman/girl/boy out there wants to learn something new, they are in turn making themselves vulnerable. They are trusting the teacher to give them accurate feedback/accurate information and reinforcement of the subject. If the teacher cuts them down during this period of vulnerability, by scolding them for information which is still unknown…how exactly is the student supposed to learn? More importantly, how is the student supposed to learn with confidence?  Will the student learn the lesson, or give up due to the constant negative reinforcement?

From life experience and observance, I have seen the way negative reinforcement versus positive reinforcement can help and/or hinder the lesson which is attempting to be mastered. While I was traveling in my travel trailer, I stopped in Sedona, Arizona. I met a man named Brian.  Brian was a brilliant musician, and was very kind with a warm smile and a heart of gold. When I would wake up late in the morning, I could hear him playing his guitar down by the creek while he sat surrounded by yellow columbines. One day we were at the table between our travel trailers talking about music. He sat next to me, and told me some things I didn’t know about my banjo. Then Brian went on to tell me about a challenging session with the student…who just couldn’t get it right. I asked if he told him that he was doing things wrong. Brian exclaimed, “Oh no! You must never tell a man or woman they are doing things wrong! This is just his way of learning. You just offer different ways of learning in this scenario.” I learned a lot from Brian that day.

If you cut someone down, then how exactly are they supposed to grow, and learn the subject at hand with confidence? Do not ask the student questions which you know they will unable to answer correctly, and then scold them for them for doing so. It’s cruel and unusual punishment, and of what would be commonly known as bullying behavior. Also a big error is to scold the student for asking questions, or to judge the student to reminding them of a part of the lesson. Practice makes perfect. My point is to be kind while teaching others a new skill. They are putting themselves out there in a vulnerable state, and trusting you to do what is right.

Don’t be a dick.