Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: Trailing Spouse Syndrome

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Recently, a good friend of mine forwarded me an article about something called “Trailing Spouse Syndrome.” Upon reading the article, I googled it and was surprised at the amount of articles and blog essays on this phenomenon. I’ve been following my husband around for the last 9 years (both in the USA and the UK), and I can honestly say I’ve seen this, even though, at the time, I didn’t know it had a name or was a syndrome!

Indeed, most of us have moved to support our grads in school; and a lot of time that has most definitely raised issues on identity, marriage, relationships, dreams etc. for those of us in the supporting role. As interesting as it is, I have to say I really dislike the term ‘trailing spouse’. Most of the articles I’ve read are a bit negative, so when I stumbled across this article, I loved the author’s concept of using the time to sort of reinvent yourself, whether you move because of your husband’s job or place in school; or if you move to different state or country!

What do you think? Would you consider yourself a trailing spouse? Do you like or dislike that term? How do you deal with it?

Happy Monday,

~Mandy

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Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: Refreshing our language?

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I came across this article in the Harvard Business Review a few weeks ago and was really struck by it’s simple and profound message.

“The words and images we use to describe things affect our thinking.

What if the words we use are limiting the solutions we can create?”

“Many of our words are archaic, not just “TV show.”  How many of us still say, “Will you tape that show for me?” when no tape is involved.  We talk about albums, records, and filming.  We “dial” and “hang up” the phone…You click a magnifying glass to search. (Perhaps Sherlock Holmes, somewhere, approves.) You click a floppy disc to save. (Do your kids even know what that is?)…What if instead of being asked to create a “TV show”, we were asked to create a story using video?  Would it open our mind to more options than broadcast or cable TV? A YouTube channel? Vine or Instagram videos? Something entirely different? What if, when you need a package for your new product, instead of thinking of a package as a separate container to be discarded, it was part of the product itself in some way? Would it still be a package? Would it still need to be thrown out?”

Give it a read and I highly encourage you to take the challenge presented at the end of the article.  I wonder just how much the changing of a few words could open our horizons?

-M.C.

 

Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: Higher education – Right or privilege?

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Is education a right or a privilege?

Or better yet, is higher education a right or a privilege?

With education costs soaring, and fewer jobs available for those wishing to pursue work in the academy, it’s a good question to ask. I ran across this article awhile back, and it took me back to the first discussions my husband and I had about going to grad school. We didn’t know if the cost was worth it, if we wanted to carry debt, or if he would end up with the job he wanted at the end of it. But, we decided to take the plunge and do it.

I wonder sometimes, as I’ve watched friends struggle with balancing growing families (and budgets!) and their school debt, if it really is worth it. I know it’s an incredibly personal choice to pursue a higher degree, but often finding a way to make it work, even after landing that dream job, can be difficult.

Great excerpt from the article:

The cost is making people wonder whether college is worth it. In the survey of the general public, a majority of respondents said they don’t believe the higher-education system is providing students with good value for the money.

Among all survey respondents who took out college loans and are no longer in school, about half said that paying back the loan has made it harder to make ends meet, 25 percent said it has made it difficult to buy a home, 24 percent said it has had an impact on the kind of career they are pursuing, and 7 percent said they have delayed getting married or starting a family.

Even a majority of college presidents said most people cannot afford a college education today.

What do you think? Do you think it’s been worth it?

~Mandy

Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: Shrinking Women

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A video of Lily Myers “Shrinking Women” from the 2013 College National Poetry Slam has been circulating amongst my friends the past few days. While this particular poem deals with gender stereotypes, food relationships, and a host of other issues, the one thought I keep coming back to over and over and over is, “What am I teaching my child?”

Do my actions say something all together different than what comes out of my mouth? Will my son learn more from what I do, instead of what I say?

As Lily states about her own mother, “I never meant to replicate her, but spend enough time sitting across from someone, you’ll start to pick up their habits.”

What do you think?

Happy Monday,

~Mandy

Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: Can You Read People’s Emotions?

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Can you read people’s emotions?

The NY Times recently released this little quiz regarding reading people’s emotions, which I found to be quite fascinating. Based on an assessment tool developed by University of Cambridge professor Simon Baron-Cohen, it measures how sensitive you are to other people’s emotions.

Do you think this is a good measure of how well you can read someone’s emotions?

Happy Monday!

~Mandy

 

Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: Free Light

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Alfredo Moser is famous, but you would never know it.

The Brazilian mechanic devised a method to give his home electricity during the day – using plastic bottles filled with water and bleach. Over the last two years, the method has taken off in over 15 different countries, where electricity is expensive, especially so for those below the poverty line. As Moser’s Lamps continue to provide free light to an estimated one million homes next year, allowing them to light their homes to work, and in some cases, grow food, he has expected nothing in return. Instead, he has given the world a gift.

Mr. Moser states in the article (which also contains an amazing video of how the lamps work):“It’s a divine light. God gave the sun to everyone, and light is for everyone. Whoever wants it saves money. You can’t get an electric shock from it, and it doesn’t cost a penny.”

A wonderfully positive story to kick off your Monday!

-Mandy

Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy

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This funny little article I came across on FB recently has really given me some food for thought.  It’s an interesting look at our generation (Gen Y) and why many people our age seem unhappy and unfulfilled.

I liked this bit of life advice at the end:

3) Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.”

Take a read.  What do you think about his points?
-M.C.