Top 5 Lightning Component Framework Tips

This is a list similar to the one I did for Visualforce, which has been one of the most popular posts on this blog. So, I thought since I just published a course about Lightning development, I shou…

Source: Top 5 Lightning Component Framework Tips

What an Awesome Life and Legacy – Nelson Mandela

nelson-mandela-5-435Last night at dinner I brought up the topic of Nelson Mandela’s passing to my three white children. All three of them were very familiar with who he was and what he accomplished in his life, but I do not think they understood how important his life and legacy was.

I tried my best to explain to them that what made him so important was not that he was President of South Africa or that he survived such injustice, but that he was always consistent. He was consistent in his honor and integrity. He was consistent in his unshakeable belief that all people should be treated fairly and with respect. He was and will always be an icon for Peace and Justice. He represents the best in all of us and we should all strive to emulate some of what he taught. I know that I will and I hope that my children will too.

When “Leaning Out” May Be the Better Option

While CEO pundits such as Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo continue to promote the idea that work is really ALL that matters, there are still plenty of us out there that know what our real jobs are. For me, a software developer, author and mother of three amazing children, it really is ALL about my three amazing children.

Fortunately for my children, I realized early on in their lives that I had only one chance at really getting this parenting thing right. I also realized that their lives and most importantly, the quality of those lives depended on this realization. Because of this, I have continued to pursue my professional career as a software developer and author, but I do so in a way that does not compromise on my ability to be a “present” parent.

So what is a “present” parent?

Quite simply, it is one that is present – both physically and mentally. For me, that means being there most days when they come home from school so I can sign papers and talk to them about their day. It definitely means I am home every night to make them dinner and then sit at the dinner table and eat it with them. It also means that even when I am working from home, I am able to break away from my work and tend to their needs when that need arises. And it most certainly means that I do not spend every day and night so lost in my thoughts about work and all the things I need to accomplish, that I fail to recognize the needs of the child standing right in front of me.

It means that I choose to work from home, even though this means that I make substantially less money. It means that I still do a good job, even though I work from home. I just make sure that I set everyone’s expectations and only accept jobs in which I know I can succeed in without compromising my parental duties.

worklifebalanceIt means that I am ALWAYS looking for the right work/life balance and that I do NOT “lean in”. I guess you could say that I am really leaning out, but for a VERY good reason (actually, three very good reasons).

Now, before you go assuming that I am trying to imply that Mrs. Sandberg and Mrs. Mayer are bad parents for advocating work, think again. Because, I am not. I do not know either of those women and have no idea whether they are good or bad parents.

I only know that we are all limited by the same 24 hours in each day and that there is only so much you can do (no matter how good of a multi-tasker you are). I also know that the best people to raise children are their parents (and not a series of nannies, daycare’s, schools, video games, whatever). So in the end something has to give. Someone else can be the CEO of the next great tech company. Perhaps it will be one of my children 🙂

The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage

delimma“The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage” – This was the title of an Al-Anon book that I received on my first visit to the group – around 14 years ago. At the time, I had no idea how big of a dilemma it actually was. I also did not realize that once alcoholism enters your life, it is almost impossible to get out completely.

You see, we all keep repeating the behavioral patterns that we learn as children. Some of these patterns are good, but some of them are very, very bad. It is not until we really see the patterns that we have any hope of breaking them. And even when we do see them, it is easier said then done.

When I first went to Al-Anon, I was married to my first husband – an alcoholic. He was not the first alcoholic in my life. No, that distinction belongs to my father. My mother was the co-dependent and I unknowingly followed dutifully in her footsteps.

Bad Marriage # 1

My first marriage lasted the longest – 12 years. In that time, I grew up quite a bit. Unfortunately, as it is with so many alcoholics, he never aged a bit. Emotionally, that is. Physically, he aged at a much faster pace than I did and even though we are about the same age, today he looks at least 10 years older than me. But emotionally, he remained at the same maturity level he was when I met him at the tender age of seventeen.

By the time our third child was born, I was tired of having four children – my husband being the fourth. After MANY unsuccessful attempts to get him sober (yeah, like I actually had any chance of doing that), I resolved to give up on him and move on. brokenmarriage

Great! The problem was that even though I thought I was so strong for having finally left him, I was actually the weakest and most vulnerable I had ever been. I was in no way ready for another relationship, and yet, I began an online romance with a man from England almost immediately.

Bad Marriage # 2

I decided that I wanted a partner who was the complete opposite of my first husband. For the most part, I got that. The man from England moved to the United States and we soon married. He was certainly different from my husband and was NOT an alcoholic, but he was far from good for me. He turned out to be a sober version of my father. He was wicked smart and highly manipulative and he had no problem being a total control freak.

As the strong independent woman I thought I was, I had a problem with all this dominant control. A part of me wanted it, because it was typical of the relationship that had evolved between my parents. But there was this other part of me that had grown up watching Oprah and realizing that there was something dreadfully wrong with this picture.

I soon began arguing back with my second husband and before we even celebrated the first year of marriage, he was gone (never to be heard from again – luckily for me).

There I was. Broken. I had tried to free myself from one type of abuse and ended up getting caught up in another kind. But, I was determined not to let this ruin anything. I decided to reinvent myself and turn myself into a self-published author of motivational books. I figured that even though I had not had a huge amount of success as a published technical author, there was no reason I could not be successful writing another kind of book. A book that I was certainly more passionate about. That book, which I wrote and published in less than 5 months was titled, “No Limits: How I escaped the clutchNoLimitsCoveres of Corporate America to live the self-employed life of my dreams”.

Life of my dreams? But was it really?

In many ways, it was and still is. Looking back, I can see that I have made astounding progress in terms of my emotional maturity. I truly have come a long way from where I was in my early twenties.

But tragically, my tryst with alcohol was far from over. For all the progress I had made, my struggle was actually just beginning.

About a year after my second husband left, a new man emerged. New and Old. He was someone from my past. Someone I had dated just briefly as a young and impressionable teenager.

At first it was hard to believe that “the cutest boy I had ever met”, was desperately trying to locate me and even harder to believe that as a man in his forties, he was still single and had no children. How perfect, right?

No, not perfect. You see the old adage, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”, is ABSOLUTELY TRUE!!!

Bad Marriage # 3

The man that would eventually become my third husband turned out to be a bigger alcoholic than my first. Worse than that, I myself had begun to develop a drinking problem (which I now see is a late-stage symptom of my co-dependency).

patternbreakerWithin a year of our marriage (about 9 months ago), I had enough. I could not live with the hypocrisy any more and I ceremoniously threw him out (you can read all about that pre-Christmas day in this post).

Of course, being the seriously inflicted co-dependent (with a drinking problem) that I am, my resolve was short-lived. My new husband is an expert manipulator (probably one of the best) and he has studied me thoroughly. He knows just what buttons to push to get a certain response. In short, “he plays me like a fiddle”.

Living with my failed ability to rehabilitate him (notice how it is somehow my failure and not his?) was really starting to wear on me and by June of this year, I finally cracked. I went out one Sunday evening for a jog/pity party in the woods. Great! The only problem was that I brought 3 24-ounce beers with me. I did not want to go home drunk (the kids definitely did not deserve that and as bad as my problems got, I never drank around them). So, I stayed in the woods, but then, it got really, really dark, really, really quick and I was stuck. Screwed really. lostinwoods

Self-preservation kicked in and I found a tree that had fallen over a creek and crawled up into it for safety. I figured I could stay there until I sobered up and then I would crawl my way out. Good idea, except for the fact that I had left a note telling my kids I went to the sports park to go jogging. When I did not return at dark, my 16 year old son wisely called the police, who immediately dispatched a search unit.

It did not take the search party long to find me (hiding in the tree as they called it). By the time they found me, I was pissed, embarrassed, humiliated, exhausted, everything. They, of course, thought I was crazy and so this resulted in me having to spend slightly less than 72 hours in a mandatory lockup at a behavioral unit.

Having been at one of these institutions and seen the kind of people that are there, I can safely say that I AM NOT CRAZY. I am stressed out, over manipulated and stuck in yet another bad alcoholic marriage, but I am not crazy. At least not in the way the people I saw locked up were.

Upon coming home, I knew I was in a bad place, but I was not going to go down without a big fight. I resolved to stop all of my own drinking (even the occasional weekend drinking I was doing at that time) and work hard to put things back together.

Unfortunately, my raging alcoholic husband was just getting started. In the past 3 months while my drinking has stopped, his drinking has steadily progressed and become highly secretive. He has become an expert at hiding his consumption and also at controlling me.

His favorite tactic was to remind me on each of his binges that I was the crazy one who got locked up. Yeah, he loved to throw that in my face at precisely the exact moment when he knew it would be the most effective. If that failed to elicit the intended response, he would shoot out a quick threat about taking away all the cars that we had to finance in his name (because my credit sank when the Englishman left me). And when that did not work, he would start to threaten my children.

ENOUGH!! THIS INSANITY CANNOT CONTINUE!!!!!

I have told my husband to leave and that we must separate for a period of no less than 6 months. A period for him to either a.) prove he can stay sober or b.) prove he cannot stay sober and I progress to the next step – divorce.

So, where do I go from here? Back to Al-Anon I suppose. I did try the local group I have in my area, but they are very small and filled with older couples trying to manage their drug addicted adult children (not people I would relate to much).

I will look into other resources and of course any suggestions are welcome.

The only thing I know for sure is, I CAN AND WILL BE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Silent Racism That Is Hurting Us All

Even though I was raised in the deep south, I never knew the kind of overt, name calling racism of my previous generation. My white, liberal parents were very different and they raised me to form my own opinion on just about everything. So, it was not until after high school that I came face to face with the “Silent Racism” that I think is so pervasive in this country.

I was 17 and had just started working at the front desk for a local motel. The motel was desperately looking for another desk clerk and one day a young black girl came in to fill out an application. After she filled out the application, I excitedly took the application to my white assistant manager. I thought she would be pleased and would call the girl right away, but instead she looked at the name on the application and asked me, “Was she black?”. I said “Yes”, without understanding why I was asked. I was floored when the assistant manager immediately put the application straight into the trash can. Instead of saying a thing, I just turned around and went back to work.

To this day, I NEVER told anyone about that moment. At the time, I was young and had no voice. I would like to think that if the same thing happened today (27 years later), that I would have acted differently and I would have reported the manager. But, honestly I am not so sure. And THAT is the real problem that is hurting ALL of US!!!!

It is the silent compliance that is creating an unjust world. I like to think that I am not racist because I have never used a racist word or judged someone based on their race. But, I have allowed others to do so in my presence and for that I am just as WRONG!!!

I was so proud of Mr. Obama for the words he spoke the other day about Racism in this country and his suggestion that we all need to start a conversation about race. I think there are many injustices in our society that are hurting us all. They limit our potential as a country and I for one am sick of it. racism

On this day I commit myself to no longer be silent when it comes to race. If I observe a racial injustice, I will stand up against it. I want to see a better world, for my children, for myself, and for us all.

Working on My Terms and Loving It!

At the beginning of this year, I made the decision to leave a stable and good paying job because I had a major problem with the way the owner was running the company. Even as I wrote that post, I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant about whether I had made the right decision.

I ended up staying with the company a couple of months past the time I had originally given. I did this because it took them a while to find a suitable replacement and we needed time to transition my duties. Even though I was leaving the company, I have a rule of never leaving on bad terms. I wanted to make sure they were in a good position to continue in my absence.

In the weeks leading up to my departure, I was sure I was doing the right thing, but still worried about finding a job that would meet all my needs. Despite my concerns, I kept a positive attitude and trusted that the1099 right thing would come along.

The day after I ended my employment, I sent an email to a former client who had kept in touch with me over the years. We agreed to meet and even though he initially wanted someone to work as a full-time employee on-site, he was willing to consider a different arrangement.

I live in a small rural community about an hour drive from a large city where my last job and this job were located. I really hated the daily commute and the fact that I was so far away if one of the kids got sick at school. I decided that I was going to stand my ground and insist that I work from home primarily. I also wanted to set up an arrangement that allowed me to work part-time. Even though it would mean less money, I knew it would allow me time to pursue other interests and thereby make me a happier, more productive worker.

While at first reluctant, my new client agreed to try the arrangement and see how it worked out. His primary concern was that not enough progress would be made. But, he was very eager to work with me again and he knew that I had always produced good results in the past.

It has been three months since we setup that arrangement, and I am happy to say that both myself and my client are very happy with the results. In fact, I met with him this week for a recap and he showed me a list of items that he had marked “Things to do someday”. He realized that of the five things on that list, we had already knocked off two of the things and we were working on a third. I asked him if he was pleased and I did not even need to hear his “very much so” answer. The big smile on his face was all I needed to see.

I too am very happy with the new arrangement. It has allowed me to be with my kids during the summer months and also to renew my commitment to running. For now, I am spending the extra time focusing on my kids, my marriage and myself. I am hoping to return more to writing when school resumes next month.

So, for anyone that thinks they are stuck in a job that they dislike, I say, stay positive and don’t limit yourself to job listings. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and push for a job that you know will make you happy.

Terror Requires Fear to Survive

Just like oxygen feeds the human body, fear feeds terror and it can only survive if the fear remains.

Without the fear, a terrorist attack, such as the horrible one that occurred at the Boston Marathon yesterday are just awful events. The fear that naturally results and unfortunately is encouraged by main stream media is the only thing that keeps the terror of that attack alive.

I do not mean to minimize any of the suffering that has occurred to those immediately affected, but for most of us, the ones that were no where near Boston, the suffering we feel is only self-induced. For the majority of Americans, our suffering comes from the fear that we feel.

Please do not let the terrorists win and cause any more suffering than is necessary. Do not let them steal our freedom or our love of life.

If you run races, do not stop. Also, do yourself a favor and restrict the amount of time you spend watching or reading media reports about the event. Although there have been some reports that have focused on the heroism and other positive outcomes, most reports instill a great sense of fear in anyone watching. Once you know the facts, watching continuous coverage can only heighten your natural sense of fear.

Take care and be sure to tell someone you love today how much they mean to you.

Peace, Sara

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