Parents We Are A Work In Progress!

Each day, each year, and each kid is different! Each is filled with unique, exhilarating moments, as well as overwhelming challenges for us mere mortals. We humans, know we’re not perfect. And since parents are humans too, no matter what those kids say, we’re obviously not perfect either. However, the beautiful things about being human and being a human parent is that we don’t have to be perfect because we’re still a work in progress. We still have hope. We still have to ability to offer others hope too. And that’s perfect enough in my book. Hopefully, it is in yours also.

I still remember the first time I heard that phrase ‘a work in progress.’ Many years ago, an older set of parents sat at my kitchen table, trying to show my wife and me, who were new parents at the time, how to do something. They bungled the demonstration like crazy. And when it finally became a bit too awkward, and even kind of painful, the older father looked up at us and said, “Hey, what can I say? I’m still a work in progress. I give others hope. If I can do this parenting thing, so can you.”

Five children and many years later, I can still vividly remember that lesson at my kitchen table. And you know what? He was right. My wife and I have bungled a few things along the way. No! Make that many things. Yup. We have blown many things along the path of parenting. But guess what? We’re still doing that parenting thing. We’re still getting it done. And we’re somehow making this parenting thing work. And if we can do it, so can you. I guess we, too are now hope givers for the next generation.

Now, as my Granddaddy always said, “Go learn, lead and lay the way to a better world for all of us.” Remember, parents, we’re still a work in progress. And that’s a really good thing. And once again, parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…



Source by Daniel Blanchard

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Navigating Through the Fantasy Football Playoffs

1. Continue to Play the Waiver Wire

Unlike the regular season, the action of the waiver wire in fantasy does not stop after Week 13. You need to keep plugging away during the playoffs to give your team the best possible chance of winning the upcoming match-up. While most of the time the stars off of waivers are long gone due to their emergence earlier in the season, there are still some difference makers that are sitting on the wire that have a good chance to break out given the opportunity share. Look for players that are filling in for injured stars such as back up running backs or hot shot rookies that have been for some reason been eased along as the season has gone on but the coaches are ready to take the training wheels off as the NFL regular season is reaching its climax. Never rest because it could cost you a victory in the fantasy football playoffs and it is win or go home. In 2015, my friend picked up David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals the Wednesday before Week 15 in the season. For most leagues including ours, this week is the semifinals to decide who gets to play in the fantasy league championship. Only 4 teams remain at this point so every mistake or success is magnified. Going back to Johnson, the Arizona running back ended up scoring well over 40 points to give my friend victory from the jaws of defeat as he was projected to lose by more than 30 before David Johnson’s game. It is a reminder that the waiver wire always continues long after the regular season concludes.

2. Look at the Match-ups

Setting lineups is usually a seamless activity, but it can be head scratching a couple of weeks and that includes weeks in the fantasy football playoffs. Sometimes, you might have two players that are neck in neck between each other in skill. That is when you have to do a little research like for a project in business. The research in this case is to look at the opponents that those players are facing for the week. The fantasy site has rankings for how those opponents have fared against those players’ positions such as running backs and wide receivers. After determining the match-up to see if it is a strong, middling, or weak opponent, you can then make an educated guess to see which one you are starting over the other. Usually, the right move pans out but sometimes it does not go your way and you could have a situation where benching the wrong player could cost you a victory like in my case when I was playing for the fantasy championship in 2016. That leads me into my final key topic of how to navigate through these playoffs.

3. Luck

At the end of the day, sometimes (in fact all of the time) you need good luck to go your way to win a fantasy championship. The old adage “it is better to be lucky than good” really applies to a win or go home situation like the playoffs. Your team could be strong for the whole season, making all of the right moves but then a bad week happens and suddenly your dream team is eliminated. That’s the cold truth about fantasy football. Sometimes, you just need some luck to break your way so that you can win that elusive title. The underlying point of this final key aspect is to just have fun, you cannot control how well your team performs on a given Sunday. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but be prepared for either scenario so that you can maximize your experience of playing in the playoffs.

The playoffs are a fun and exciting time to be in. Sometimes, playing in the playoffs is like navigating through a storm that is hard to come out of. Hopefully these tips will give you a better shot at winning a fantasy title as that is what we are all seeking for when playing fantasy football.



Source by Jonathan Holmquist

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If I Separate From My Husband Will It Scare Him Into Changing?

I often hear from wives who are desperate for their husbands to change. Many of these wives do not believe that they will be able to maintain the marriage unless some serious changes and improvements are in the very near future. But unfortunately, many of those same wives have heard endless promises for change that have never come to fruition. Often, these promises are made by husbands who, at the time, seem very sincere and convincing, which makes the let down all that more heartbreaking.

I heard from a wife who said: “for the past five years or so, I have been very direct in telling my husband that if he doesn’t change, our marriage just isn’t going to make it. He is lazy, selfish, and cold. He doesn’t invest any time or effort in our marriage. But he invests all sorts of time in his own hobbies and his own friends. It’s as if myself and my kids don’t matter nearly as much as his own needs. He doesn’t ever notice if something is bothering me or if there are issues in my life, but he expects me to coddle him. I’m really sick of it. The other day, I told my husband for probably the millionth time that he had better change or else. And then when I heard my own voice, I realized that I sounded like I was only making empty threats. My mom says that I should move out or separate from him in order to scare him into changing. Will this work? Is it a good idea? If I thought he would change, I would do it in a second. But if he won’t, then what is the point of disrupting my children’s lives if I’m only going to get more of the same?”

Not knowing the husband, it’s very difficult for me to answer these questions with complete certainty. However, often trying to force a person to change under duress is usually only a temporary solution. It may work for a little while, but over time people fall back into their old patterns and habits and then the result is resentment and anger, which only makes a bad situation worse. I firmly believe that people can and do change. I have experienced this in my own life and in my own marriage. But, lasting change will often come when the person in question truly wants to change and is motivated by something within themselves.

Sometimes, something will shake the person up and inspire them to change. Other times, they just realize that it is time for them to take the initiative. However it happens, I find that almost universally, the person who changes because they want to is happier and more resolute about the change than the person who feels as if they were “made to” change or forced to do so.

So where does that leave you when it’s so frustrating to know that he has to want to change on his own when you don’t know how much longer you can wait for him to finally evolve? Well, in my opinion and experience, you can often nudge him along using positive reinforcement without making him feel manipulated or forced into doing something that he never thought was necessary in the first place.

Encouraging Your Husband To Feel Empathy And To Want To Please You Will Often Inspire Change: Please don’t take this the wrong way, but many husbands admit that when their wife is trying to pressure or threaten them into change, they mostly see her as a nag or as a point of stress that they want to escape. I am not telling you this to make you feel badly. I just want to be honest so that you can see the best way to approach this situation which will in turn give you the best chance of getting what you want.

The way around this is to make him feel accommodating rather than pressured. If you can make him feel genuine affection and empathy for you, then he will actually want to please you and he will be more inspired to change because he wants to continue to make you happy. I know that this might sound somewhat backward. But I promise you that I find it so much more effective in almost every instance. If you give your husband positive feedback, he will feel better about himself, your marriage, and what you are asking of him.

I know that praising him is not what you had in mind. And I’m not suggesting that you praise him for behavior that you don’t want. But, it’s usually possible to catch him doing something right or to be in a situation where laughter and teasing would help more than criticism. Once he sees that you aren’t going to constantly focus on the negative, he will likely feel a good bit more loving and empathetic toward you and he will want to make some changes in order to make you happy.

So, Should You Push For A Separation In Order To Get Your Husband To Change?: That’s really a decision that you alone must make. My answer would be that if there were other valid reasons for the separation, then look at those reasons in order to make your decision. But separating for the sole reason of forcing your husband to change probably isn’t the best idea, at least in my experience and opinion. Admittedly, sometimes a separation does bring out the best in people because suddenly, they miss one another and don’t take each other for granted anymore. As a result, they can be on their best behavior in order to inspire a reconciliation. This might include changing some of their behaviors.

But this can also have the opposite result. Sometimes, separations bring out the worst in people because they are reacting out of fear and uncertainty. It truly can be a risk that you must consider very carefully, taking into account the state of your marriage, both of your personalities, and your tolerance level right now. Sometimes, it is better to try positive reinforcement first and to use a more drastic tactic (like a separation) as a last resort.



Source by Leslie Cane

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Communication – Do You Know the Difference Between Observations and Assessments? It’s Simple

I am not writing this article to put forth the concept that I am some expert in communications in relationships…heaven knows, that can be a challenge for all of us from time to time. My intention is to share this information because I learned it from one of my mentors years ago and it has helped me in my communications in all kinds of relationships, personal and professional. In our own way, we are all experts in communication, at least in the way that we learned it. The issue can be, that most of us learned it differently, from different parents, and from different cultures…when we confuse observations with assessments, that can be a set-up for problems. It can be simple to correct, once we are aware of when we are doing it.

First, what is an observation? As simple as this sounds, it is nothing more that what we can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. It involves our senses. We can see someones body language and facial expressions; we can hear someone speak or make a noise; we can taste a glass of wine. What happens many times is that we humans will then associate some meaning to that observation. This is normal and we will do this unconsciously. Some people call this, “making stuff up.”

Second, what is an assessment? When we make that link in our minds of putting a meaning onto our observations, we have just made an assessment, or formed an opinion about our observations. Here are some examples…when I observe another person smiling, I can make an assessment that they are happy. When I observe a person crying, I can make an assessment that they are sad or hurt. When I observe a person with a blank face, I can make an assessment that they don’t care what I have to say.

Isn’t is possible that my assessments are incorrect? Is it possible for a person to be angry and still smile? Can a person be crying and be very happy? Can a person have a blank face and still be considering very deeply what I am saying? Of course they can…

Here is what I was taught, and I offer it as a communication tool. When I observe something; let’s say that a person that I am speaking with has a blank stare on their face, I would say something like this, “My observation is that you have a blank stare on your face, my assessment of that is that you have no interest or do not understand what I am saying…is that a true assessment on my part?” Then listen to what they have to say.

This simple tool can open the door to a deeper level of communication and understanding between people and it can help us to stop “making stuff up” in our relationships.



Source by James Oates

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Naming Your Podcast

One of the first things a new, prospective listener will see about your podcast is the name. Because this is really the “first touch” someone will have with your podcast (even before they hear your voice), the name becomes very important.

Naming your podcast is probably 75% of the battle in launching your podcast. You can learn how to do the things required to plan, record, edit and publish your episodes. But if you get the name wrong, you will not attract any listeners! If you take your time and choose a great name, you will draw listeners in and grow your podcast a lot faster than you can without a great name.

To start, do not get in a rush! Take a week or so to write down any and every possible name you can think of. Brainstorm by writing 10-15 titles around the subject of your podcast on a daily basis. Create short, three or four word descriptive phrases that describe your podcast or what the content and subject matter will be about.

Once you have 50-75 candidates for the name of your new podcast, take a couple days off and then come back to your list fresh.

Now, you move to elimination mode! As you scan your list, cross off names that just do not “sing” to your spirit. These names may have sounded great three or four days ago, but not so much now. If you have 75 possible names, you should be able to cut your list to say the top 20 that stand out for you.

Take another couple of days off before you come back to your list.

Now you will rank the twenty on your list in order of “likeability.” This means the names you like the best, put at the top. In addition, as you go down this list, cut out any name that just does not appeal to you at all. If done properly, you should have your list cut down to 12-15 possible names at this stage.

You can then take this list and share it with 5-7 trusted advisors and family members. Ask them to rank your possible podcast name, choosing the top 5 off of the list and ask them to write a comment as to “why” they like each name.

Once you receive your results from each of the people you shared the list with, compile the results. Rank your top five.

Now, it is time to check on possible domain availability on the top two or three. This is where you need to take your time and get the process right.

You should choose a podcast name / URL that allows you to have the dot COM extension. If you find the dot COM is unavailable, that means someone else is using that name.

Beware! Most domain hosting platforms will offer you several alternative extension since you cannot have the dot COM. Do not go down that route unless it is part of the branding for your company, group, etc.

Lack of a dot COM extension means somebody, somewhere, is already using that name. If your podcast really starts to get a lot of traction, you may find yourself receiving a “Cease and Desist Order” because of Trade Mark or Copy Right violations involving the other company who owns the dot COM extension.

Imagine working two, three or four years and suddenly your podcast is one of the most popular in your niche. You then receive a “Cease and Desist Order” or, worse yet, are facing a legal challenge where you are facing millions of dollars in fines and legal fees!

Re-branding your podcast once you become popular is very hard to do! Even if you agree to change your name and your brand in exchange for the legal challenge to go away, you are still facing huge costs in the re-branding process.

In addition, you will be losing huge amounts of your listeners in the process. Many people will not try to find your new name. You truly will be “starting over” with your new podcast. All of the work and expenses you will have spent were wasted.

But it all can be avoided if you will take the time at this stage and make sure you are able to purchase the dot COM domain extension. Even then, that is not a 100% guarantee your podcast name is not being used by another company, person or even another podcast somewhere with a different extension. But the odds are greatly in favor if you have a dot COM extension.

To avoid those kinds of headaches, start your podcast with a name that allows you to own the dot COM extension yourself. Do Google searches and just check to see if there is a company out there somewhere that is already using your desired name.

If the first one is not available, go to the next on the list. You may have to go through the entire process two or three times before you finally arrive at a suitable name that meets all of the criteria you have established. Once you find one that does – go for it!

Then you can start your podcast knowing that the name is unique only to you.



Source by Robert Thibodeau

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