Hard, Fun and Beautiful – Backyard Sledding Edition

(Can’t see the video? Then try watching it at Work Happy Now – Hard, Fun and Beautiful – Backyard Sledding Edition)

Where we are free to talk about the hard, the fun, and the beautiful of our work week.

If life was just about dealing with our own pain, then life wouldn’t really be that hard. When we open up to other people’s pain then it can get tricky.

A good manager is able to open up to his/her staff’s problems because they affect work. By listening and empathizing, a manager can make better judgments. A manager might want to encourage an employee to go home and be with his/her family during tough times.

Which brings me to my situation…


My son has been dealing with a runny nose, bronchitis, and an ear infection.

It’s hard to see him suffer. I want to rush him to the emergency room and demand all the doctor’s fix him.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t work like that. I’ll be sitting in the waiting room for two hours before I see anyone. Even then they probably couldn’t do anything. The illness will have to ride out its course.

I just want him to be happy. When I really break his situation down…he is dealing with his own work happiness. He is trying to figure out how to get all his motor skills down. That’s hard work. Then throw in a cold and it sets him back.

My friend Tess likes to remind me to just be with the pain. That’s all I can do.


Visiting family and friends.

I’ve been doing too much celebrating. I won’t say that very often, but it’s true. I’m trying to see and be with everyone and it’s a ton of fun, but my body needs a rest.

The best part of hanging out with my wonderful friends is the laughter. We just joke, jolly and eat into the night.

It feels so good to be loved by people unconditionally. I made some pretty lousy jokes and everyone still laughed.


Playing in the snow. Visiting my family in Pennsylvania was some much needed interjection. I get a little too used to my routines.

Since I haven’t seen snow in so long, it made me feel like a kid again. I even took my 5 month old son sledding. I was transported back to my childhood. (FYI – we took my son sledding before he developed a bad cough.)

My son didn’t really know what was going on, but he smiled and laughed through it all.

What about you?

What has been hard, fun and beautiful in your life? I’ll see you in the comment section.

* Need a boost to your work happiness? Then check out the Happy at Work Project and start one yourself.

* Steve wrote a post about the importance of using the right words when interacting with others. It’s called Influence: Use Words That Connect. Check it out and remember to use words that stimulate action instead of encouraging people to tune out.

Enjoy this post then you will probably enjoy this one too:

8 thoughts on “Hard, Fun and Beautiful – Backyard Sledding Edition”

  1. Karl,
    Sledding is a ton of fun! I’ve been out a couple of times this year, and it has been great!

    Hard: A misunderstanding at home. (although all is good and right again now)

    Fun: Last weekend when we got away and went to a waterpark/hotel. Snowy and cold outside, and we were having a blast on the water slides!

    Beautiful: A wonderful note from a friend, unexpected and deeply touching.

    Happy New Year Karl!!!!

  2. Like Lance, we just got back from a water park/resort hotel, in Tucson. It was freezing, but we had a blast!

    Hard: Watching our youngest son deal with a head injury he suffered on December 16. It breaks my heart that this happened to him and flag football is starting without him! I was encouraged by your post, I have been just being with his pain, it’s all I can do.

    It’s been a great Christmas, God has been so good to us.

  3. Hi Karl,

    You’ve made a very astute observation about the qualities that make good managers and supervisors–compassion, empathy, and the recognition that sometimes the trials and tribulations, not to mention the occasional conflicts and disagreements that might pop up between colleagues, play a significant role in how employees are doing and how these events impact on effectiveness. Yet, most managers don’t get rewarded or praised for showing humanity–they seem to get rewarded on the basis of driving their employees to “tough it out”, put personal issues aside at work and just be productive. The other part of the equation is that unless individuals are compassionate with themselves and in touch with their own humanity and humaneness, they’re not likely to draw on those reserves and apply them to the people they “manage” (or as the case may be “mismanage”).

    Sorry to hear your son is having a rough time at the moment. Ear infections are not a lot of fun at any age, but from what I understand, they can be excruciatingly painful for babies. I’m sending good wishes for a quick recovery for your little one. On the upside, I’m glad you and your son enjoyed playing in the snow.

    Here’s my hard, fun and beautiful update:

    Hard: Some frustrations with delays in responses to getting some information that I need, as well as feeling that every job I have written after in the last couple of weeks seems to have fallen in to a black hole. Maybe it’s time to tweak the resume again… Also hard (sad) was hearing that a cute (but apparently quite sick) little stray kitty that had “adopted” my sweetie at the beginning of the week did not make it through whatever had made her sick. I’m glad the kitten had the good sense to choose someone who is a real softie and did his best to take care of her in a country where veterinary services–even in animal shelters– are not well developed and commercially prepared pet food is not available. It was sad on a larger scale because it was also a stark reminder of how fragile life can be for vulnerable beings (human and animal) when the resources and the caring isn’t really there to support a good chance of thriving in life.

    Fun: I went to my yoga/spiritual teacher’s place last night for the last class of the year and we did a ceremony to let go of anything we did not want to carry forth into 2010 as well as any animosities we were holding onto. The letting go part of the ceremony was followed up with eating a small amount of very sweet food while meditating on the sweetness in life. I must confess to having a somewhat whimsical and irreverent thought pass through my head in the form of that well known song from Mary Poppins about a spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down.

    Beautiful: Meditating on the power and beauty of symbols and ceremonies in our lives to support us in bringing forth our dreams.

    Bright blessings to everyone for a very happy new year and year filled with joy, compassion, prosperity and much more peace in the world.

  4. Hi Karl,

    I live in the Philadelphia area so I know what you mean about the snow. It is fun to be able to go in the snow and play.

    As for my fun, hard, and beautiful….this week they all merged into one. It was a week full of realizations about the road ahead. It was all awesome.

    And since today is the last day of 2009, may you have a wonderful New Year! May 2010 be filled with lots of love, fun, great health, success in the ways that matter and much more blessings!

  5. Empathy is a key piece of emotional intelligence.

    Some people are good at sympathy, but not as good at empathy. It’s one thing to know somebody’s pain, it’s another to *feel* it.

  6. We just listen to you, and we miss you even more…HAPPY NEW YEAR…You are doing great job your site….L. M.

  7. Hi Karl. I stumbled across this blog today and it looks great. Sorry to hear your son and how he’s feeling. I hope he feels better. It’s cool that you have fun with your friends. I understand that feeling to be with them after some time. I’ve been in Taiwan for a year and coming back to see my friends and sharing laughs is a such a great feeling. I don’t see snow often as I live in southern California, but the Christmas lights around my neighborhood are pretty beautiful! Thanks for writing this and I hope 2010 brings you guys much joy and happiness. 🙂

  8. Hi Lance, misunderstandings at home are so tough. If both sides would take their ego out of it then their wouldn’t be a problem. I love surprise notes/emails from friends. Always makes my day.

    Hi Audra, Head injuries are always scary. I hope he is feeling better.

    Hi Sue, As always love your Hard, Fun and Beautiful response. It’s a tough market out there. Just keep plugging and someone will find your talents a must have. Meditating on the power of symbols and ceremonies is a great idea. That would be a great work happiness tip.

    Hi Nadia, The road ahead brings so much wonder and anticipation. I wish you a wonderful 2010 as well.

    Hi J.D., Good point. Without empathy all we have is one big fat ego that keeps needing to be fed. 🙂

    Hi Elsa, Love you too mom.

    Hi Hulbert, My son is doing much better. Thank you. Sounds like you are on a great adventure. I’m curious to what the working conditions are like where you are. Do you enjoy working in Taiwan?

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