About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not-Doodling Life

(Doodling 9s is the assignment for this week's Fun Monday. However, I decided to take a little liberty with our host Tracey's directions over at Nine Acres and share an example of my use of a related technique, mindmapping.)

Recently I've been into that very satisfying fall task of clearing out files and de-cluttering. In the process, I found this mindmap which must have been done back in 2005, based on the topics I'm exploring. According to Tracey's definition, a doodle is a "sketch or unfocused drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied." A mindmap is quite the opposite. It is a focused, but free-flowing, method for organizing information or ideas on paper. Before retiring, I used mindmaps all the time in my work as a leadership trainer and planner. I'd do mindmaps for a workshop presentation, speech, conference program, or organizational planning. Whenever I found myself running away from a dreaded task, just settling down with a flipchart--usually--sized piece of paper and a handful of colored markers would be all that I needed to get the project on paper and jumpstarted.

I also use mindmaps in my personal life to bring order to a sometimes untidy and disheartened mind and spirit. "Things Undone" is an excellent example of a time when drawing a mindmap has helped me sort out and re-focus. This particular drawing was not dated, but when I re-read it, I knew it must have been in 2005. At that time I was trying to make major decisions about retiring and, in the process, was looking at many aspects of my life: How satisfied was I currently with my work situation? Was I taking care of my health? Was I making an effort to be a good friend and co-worker? Was I following through with my need for creativity and life long learning? Were my finances in order so I could retire comfortably? Was my home a source of pleasure and retreat? As you can see, this mindmap helped me identify what I needed to do before deciding that now was the time to retire. It probably helped me get to sleep as well , because I often would get out of bed and start drawing when I was too troubled or unhappy to sleep!

By the way, I checked out Tracey's doodle analysis which she's added to her Fun Monday post and am currently trying to get over phrases like "fragmented personality", "need for comfort", "need to be center of attention", and, of course, "obsessive" which could be used to analyze my drawing! The only thing that keeps me from going under is that on October 12, 2008, I can honestly mark a lot of these "things undone" off the list. . .that's progress.

Now head over to Tracey's webpage to connect with other Fun Monday participants and try to analyze their Doodling 9s--or just marvel at their artistry.

(And, in keeping with my identified "need to be center of attention"(insert sheepish grin. . .) scroll down to the previous post, if you have a minute, and check out the second installment in my European travelogue, "Around London". Thanks!)


{i}Post said...

Love the idea of a mind map. i used them all the time when teaching. So useful to de-clutter the mind, organize thoughts and get a plan of action going! Thanks for participating!

Sayre said...

I should try doing a mind map!!! It would probably help me organize my thoughts, which seem to go every which way these days (except at work, where I have to be very focused - so I know I can do it).

Swampwitch said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I did MindMaps a long, long time ago and had totally forgotten about them. In fact, I have an entire file that my 8th graders did one year...must go find them. So much fun doing them.
Have a great week. Here's my 'real' address as I have to use my GlobberGoober account to sign in.

Vic-vic said...

As a long-time mind mapper myself, I'd like your thoughts. I posted recently (here: http://www.mind-mapping.org/blog/2008/10/win-a-free-copy-of-imindmap-and-help-spread-mind-mapping/ ) asking for ideas on how to achieve exponential growth in the numbers of people doing mind mapping.

Mind mapping is so useful in so many ways, but still has a long way to go to gain main stream acceptance.

If you can come up with any ideas, do please post a comment.


Gattina said...

OMG ! what a doodle list ! When I doodle I don't think, I listen because I am always on the phone, lol !

Melli said...

OY! Mind maps SCARE me! I think I do better with a simple ven diagram! LOL! (maybe cuz I'm simple minded?)

I only blog about my MIL in the context of either humorous things she does ... or in blogging about our outings and such. There is a wOnderful book for Alzheimer's family members called The 36 Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace ... I highly recommend it!

Rayne said...

Compared to your doodle, mine is so frivolous. Yours is all business like and functional.

Hootin' Anni said...

This looks so detailed and complicated. So to save you a trip to the psychiatric office today, I'd put my wager on that your life is complicated, very detailed in your work...yet colorful and fun!!

Very interesting...mindmaps.

Happy Monday

bettygram said...

I have never done mind maps but I think this is what I need to help in the sleep problem.

Tiggerlane said...

Mind-mapping - what a neat concept! I need one, to declutter my mind...mine is all about lists and lists...which tend to frustrate me. I never get everything on them accomplished.

Great idea!

lisaschaos said...

Mindmaps, I have tried that before but it's been ages. Glad you refreshed my memory on it. :) Great idea!

Big Momma said...

I am a big fan of mind maps. I learned about them several years ago in a "Getting Things Done" training. They are very helpful!

Karmyn R said...

What a cool idea - similar to some brainstorming I used to do, but looks a little more organized.

Dreaming What Ifs...

Askew To You said...

A mind map? Cool!

I use a similar sort of process when writing sometimes. I write a word, draw a bubble around it, then these lines outward, bubbles of new ideas from there.......etc. It works great when brainstorming.

I left you a reply over on my site about the music. You can find my playlist at the bottom right of my page. There's a link there that you can follow to build a playlist of your own. It's easy and fun. :D

Do you do Ruby Tuesday?

Living on the Spit said...

Thanks for stopping by my doodle post! I love it when I have new visitor's!!! The numbers are all special to me and I doodle them quite often. I use mind maps as well in my daily journaling. They are very helpful. I love to sew and do hand work and was probably dreaming of being at home and quilting, but was stuck at work and writing. I am a technical writer with a creative mind so my brain argues a lot with itself. LOL

You have a great blog...I will definitely be back to visit!!!


NariceatL4 said...

Wow! That was super! Your post was very thoughtful and uplifting; inspiring.

The Terra Cotta Warriors are at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana--but the last day is this Thursday!

NariceatL4 said...

PS--We have the same blog layout :) (but you write soooo much better than I! Super narratives!)

The Church Lady said...

Hmmm... that is very intersting. I have never seen a mind map before. I guess by the time you are done writing one up, your mind should be ready for bed! Neat concept!