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48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 5 Questions

Chapter 5: Am I an Eagle or an Owl?

1. In what kind of settings are you most comfortable? I prefer talking to children to talking with adults. I like reading aloud, and then the age of the audience doesn't matter. I'm comfortable selling my bottle cap creations at church craft bazaars and indie radio station fundraisers. I'm comfortable at the library, at the movie theater, on a hike, on my bike, at the Yoga studio.

2. How do you respond to management? I respond to management as authority. Because I'm a people pleaser (self-diagnosed with "caretaker personality disorder") I crave approval from others. This is rooted in my inability to gain enough of my dad's approval/acceptance as a child. In the past I've worked hard to gain the approval of my boss. When my boss was a 60 year old man that worked out pretty well in my scheme of things, because he liked that I worked so hard for him and rewarded me accordingly. The friction with my current boss forces me into perceived role conflict: she's my boss, therefore an authority. I work hard to gain her approval. She does not approve of my hard work. I do not respect her. Not because I can't gain her approval, but because of her past actions. So what do I do? In the past few weeks I've skulked around like an outcast pack member, tail between my legs, tongue lolling, goofy toothy smile as I work ever harder to gain her approval. I can't reconcile my roles as educator, managed employee, team member. My solution is to leave the situation.

3. How would you manage people? Past experiences have revealed me to be a poor manager. Because I'm a people pleaser, I want everyone to be happy and I want everyone to like me. Those desires make me a bad manager. I can't say how I'd currently manage people. I'm too deep into my own self-discovery to think about it.

4. Are you better working with people, things, or ideas? I am better at working with people and things. Ideas are too abstract, too intangible for me to peg down. I'm usually tolerant of other people's ideas. That tolerance paired with my desire to gain approval equals Easily Swayed Becky. My own ideas suffer. When working with ideas I'm best working alone.

5. Are you more analytical, detailed, and logical, or are you one to see the big picture and respond with emotion and enthusiasm? I can't respond definitively. I see the trees AND the forest. I prefer to concentrate on the trees. As for emotion and enthusiasm? I like to think I have those too. (I realize I'm sabotaging the process here by refusing to be specific.)

6. Are you steady and predictable, or do you seek variety and new challenges?Steady and predictable. Fearful of risk.

7. Are you verbal and persuasive, or are you the caring, empathetic listener?Caring, empathetic listener. Not at all persuasive. Uncomfortable being verbal.

8. What strengths have others noticed in you? Currently I think most people notice only my weaknesses. My friend Nikki did write recently "Enjoy finding you again, including your least-favorite parts of you. You are far more strong in your vulnerability than you may know." I'm gonna go with that.

9. What are 5 words or phrases that describe you? Nikki's words for me were "accepting, supportive, humane, forgiving, hilarious, brilliant, and creative." My words for myself are integrity, questing, curious, honest, and reluctant.

10. In writing your epitaph, what would you want people to remember about you? I did this in the Write Your Life workshop I attended a month ago.
Becky never felt like she gave enough, though she gave of herself readily. She never felt she was good enough, but she was perfect in each moment. She made mistakes but she owned them. She was sometimes reluctant, reticent, recalcitrant. But she was usually grateful. Each prayer she uttered or thought began as a prayer of thanksgiving, not of supplication. She was thankful for her health, her earthly body (though she often felt it didn't measure up, she's learning to accept that it does), her relationships. She undervalued herself. While she was here she was afraid to own her valuable place in the world. If she doesn't actually die in the blue mini van crash with the pie truck on Catalina Highway, I hope she learns to trust her place, her every perfection, even her flaws as perfect in the fabric of her being."

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