Archive for September, 2008


finding other things to do than goal setting

The very first word that I remember reading was “FREE.”  I flipped out and made sure that my mother knew that I was reading it.  Over and over.

It was on the back of  Rice Krispies box.  It was advertizing a free toy that you could have if you mailed in proofs-of-purchase to their corporate office. 

The only toy that I ever sent for off a cereal box was a Tony the Tiger baseball from Frosted Flakes.  I saved up a few proofs-of-purchase, which I found out meant cutting out the barcode off the box.  With my mothers’ help, I mailed them away.  The ball came three months later.  I had forgotten that I sent for it, and I was bowled over when a little cardboard box came one day, addressed to ME.  ME?!  I took it to a secret place in the house and opened it with twinkling eyes.

The truly amazing part of this little story is that my parents allowed me to have enough Frosted Flakes to get the ball in the first place.  We were a Cheerios and Rice Krispies family…no fun cereals, at least as far as 5 year old Kari was concerned.  My favorite was Fruity Pebbles and a generous guess is that my mother would cave and buy them once a year for me.

It’s possible that my parents let me have enough Frosted Flakes to get the ball because they were excited that I had a goal.  I can imagine their conversation:

Mom:  But I thought we weren’t buying the girls sugar cereals?

Dad:  If Kari has a goal, we need to encourage that.  She never has goals.

Mom:  Well…that’s true…

And it was very true — that baseball is the first thing that I ever remember working towards.  On the other hand, what kind of goal takes three months to come in the mail?  If I had known that getting the baseball was a “goal,” I probably would’ve found something different to do.

Goal setting books = Kari repellant

Goal setting books = Kari repellant

One of the dimmest moments of my professional life of the last six years had to do with my lack of goal setting.  It was at my very first annual review.  When my manager asked me what goals I would like to set for myself, my response went something like this:

“I don’t like goals.”

I had lame reasons for not wanting to set goals.  She sat across the table from me with squinted eyes.  How do you manage someone who refuses to set goals for anything?  At the time, I had NO idea that I was being difficult.  I thought I was being smart! 

I’m sure she could’ve had a great conversation with my parents after that review.  Maybe if she dangled a Tony the Tiger baseball in front of me, THEN I would’ve worked harder?

Although I’m older, goal setting and I have yet to click.  It’s like flossing.  I understand that it’s important to floss, so I floss every night.  But as I’m pulling that thin string out of it’s white box, I’m annoyed and literally forcing myself to care for myself

Flossing gives the name Flossi a bad rap

Flossing gives the name Flossi a bad rap

I may never enjoy setting goals, but I do enjoy the satisfaction of an easy dental check up, and I did enjoy getting that baseball in the mail.  I’ll take little goal setting steps.

My goal tonight is to eat a bowl of Fruity Pebbles!  See, it’s not always so painful…


this is your chance to run an intervention

A girl really only needs one guitar.

                 It’s all she can play at once. 

The only time having more than one guitar has come in handy was when I’ve attempted to recruit friends to play along with me.  So far that’s been a miserable failure, mostly because their nails are too long and will not be sacrificed for my impromptu session.

Over the last 12 years I’ve owned six different guitars.  I worked a block away from a guitar store for five years. 

Saratoga Guitar

Saratoga Guitar

I found that if I went into the store, an instrument would catch my eye and then my imagination.  I would leave the store, but return a few days later.  At home, I would make room for it.  The next trip to the store was with a hot fist of money. 

Every once in a while an idea embeds itself in my mind and won’t go away until I either 1.) fulfill the calling or 2.) conclude it wouldn’t be financially responsible to fulfill the calling.  The guitars are a prime example.  Over the past year, it’s been getting a tattoo. 

If you read the ‘author’ section of my blog, you’ll see that I would get a tattoo if I didn’t have any hangups.  By that I mean if I were the only person on Earth and there were no one to judge me, no one to say that tattoos are for “tough” people, no one to say that they’re ugly, I would get one.  In all fairness, if I were the only person on Earth, my tattoo would look bad crazy because I would have to do it myself!   But hey, there wouldn’t be anyone around to make me insecure about it, so my imperfect tattoo and imperfect self would wander the wilderness in sincere security that we’re OK with each other. 

It’s simple: I believe that tattoos can be beautiful. 

What complicates the issue for me is that not everyone else thinks so, including most of the people who are closest to me.  As a human resources professional, it would be untraditional for me to conduct an interview with a tattoo showing, even a tiny bit.  (I know that I could get one in a place that can be totally covered up, but what’s the point?)  Because I do not live in a Kari-vacuum, (most of the time), I will not ignore the social implications of tattooing. 

I’m in the “leave the store, then return a few days later” stage.  To run an intervention, give me a reason not to fulfill the calling by leaving a comment to this post!

I leave you now with some of the worst tattoos that I found online