SAP Community Cares

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Discharged from the Trauma Unit and Discharging Some Emotion

Ironically while a rather heated debate rages on our SDN/BPX blogs around the topic of personal contents in the SAP blogsphere I am faced once again with a dilemma of what content is appropriate for which audience. Here in “A time to mourn a time to rejoice”, grannimari, can definitely share and discharge a day’s emotions and convey personal feelings, opinions and observations. Is that offensive in the business context? Where do we draw the line?

Today was pretty dramatic. It started by waking up being alive. Now, I know that is what most of us perceive we do everyday, but considering last evening nearly had me dead, waking up alive was rather an occasion. In fact, I half-jokingly asked my husband last night if I was dreaming I had survived the rather serious car accident that a few hours previously had thrown my vehicle on to its side and forced this grandmother to confront her mortally in a stark way. I sincerely could not fathom that I wasn’t dead.

Thankfully, the car that plowed into mine had passengers who sustained no injuries, but being trapped in an overturned vehicle, with the knowledge that my mortality was as finite and sure as any other disposable resource on this planet was very sobering. Modern technology provided means to alert my family to my predicament and to assure them that although badly shaken and my car totally destroyed, I was alive and well. But during the hours I lay in the trauma unit, being checked from head to toe, and very alone, I kept thinking how helpful it would be if I could reach my blackberry and punch in a few tweets. A kind of self medication and reaffirmation of life was what I imagined that ability to be.

This morning I fulfilled that urge and the responses were heartening. Empathy is a powerful human need. I discovered a number of colleagues and friends and even virtual strangers (twitter followers who I really didn’t know at all) who sent caring words across the twitterverse and shared similar harrowing experiences.

I have no lack of loving people in my immediate periphery. I’m blessed with a remarkable spouse and uniquely sensitive children and very close and good friends of long standing and steadfast support, many of them rallying around me yesterday and today. But how can I describe and celebrate the incredibly healing power of the kind words of virtual strangers?

So I still deliberate over whether such content has any place in a public business environment, namely my SDN/BPX blog arena, while I haven’t the slightest qualms about posting these sentiments to my @marilynpratt twitter account and microblog environment. For whom do I post these? Actually, mostly for my business associates, who, if truth be told, are transformed in an instant to more familiar acquaintances in the context of these sharings. Today I was really grateful for that as well.

Thanks for all your good wishes. They are very therapeutic.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Reason to Rejoice - Wedding, Sustainable Style

When my oldest daughter wed in a civil ceremony on the lawn of our municipal building a few years back, with the trees for her canopy and only her loving sibs and parents as witnesses, it seemed a really fitting choice for a young woman who seriously cares for the environment and celebrates simplicity, nature and modesty.
We couldn't have been more pleased with her choice (in spouse or location) and we secretly wished that other such joyous events could transpire with such a minimum of stress, pomp and waste.
Imagine our surprise yesterday when child 2 announced that he would be combining a visit to us with a similar request to wed; same location, same minimalist style.
Now, it is not that I condemn rituals or decry formal celebrations or imagine that the rest of the brood will follow suit in this exact manner, but there is something so eminently pure about the choices of these two siblings that I need to stop and acknowledge their courage in daring to be different and dispense with extravegance.
In these turbulent times of reckoning with the finite nature of the stuff of our planet, it is very refreshing to see young people choosing a method of commitment that doesn't entail inordinate amounts of waste. They have taught me to reexamine what tradition has schooled us to expect and instead of paroxysms of frenzied planning details, just delight in their assertion that such events needn't be extravagant to be meaningful.

They arrive the fourth of July and with them a declaration of independence from the dependence on wedding stuff. The fireworks are virtual.