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about Goals and Objectives

In the meeting invitation for my first Performance Review at IndianaTech it said *be prepared to talk about goals and objectives*.

 That was one of those occasions where I notice, that English still isn't my native language. Look up *goal* and *objective* in an English/German dictionary - and you'll find them both translated to the same identical word: *Ziel*.

So, where's the difference? How can I be prepared to talk about something, that I don't really know what it is? Good thing my friend Google knows it all.

Goals are broad, visionary, nebulous, can't be verified, open to speculation and modification - they are like the hidden treasure, that you're dreaming to find some day. If somebody asks you, if you've reached your goals, you might not know the answer. 

Objectives are the measurable steps, hopefully on the way towards your goals, that you take every day. They need a quantity, a set time, an exact price - verifiable details - attached to them. And when the set time comes, you can find out whether you've reached your objectives, or not.

In Germany I learned, that you need precise, measurable details - or your Ziel is not valid. The German language doesn't support the idea of goals, only objectives are valid. In my opinion, that explains a lot of the fundamental differences between Germans and Americans.


08:20 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (2)


what's the use of having a blog?

Now that my blog is almost a year old, I think it's time to look at some of the feedbacks I received. There's no doubt about the fact, that writing an online diary puts you in an exposed position - which will bring forth all the good and the bad out there.

Very few of the comments I received were so full of negativity, that I felt the need to delete them. Most of my readers - an average of 5 people daily - enjoy silently. The few who take the time to post a comment write something nice with a positive attitude.

So, why should I stop doing it, according to some people?

  • nobody is interested in my life or my opinion anyways
  • my views are way too happy and positive, I should post more about the *true* disaster, which my life actually is
  • since I am a *typical* German, I shouldn't write in English
  • my blog is full of lies and boring junk, it just sux

Of course I'll go on writing because...

  • some readers told me, they really enjoyed reading my blog
  • always looking on the bright side of life has been scientifically proven to be good for you
  • writing in English broadens my potential audience to almost world-wide
  • people who don't like reading my blog can easily find something else to do

07:00 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (2)


About Alejandra wanting to go back to Germany

Now, most parents want to hang on to their kids as long as possible. Especially mothers, since we feel like children are actually just another part of our body, now matter how old they are.

But most parents also know that they will have to let their children go, sooner or later. We try our best to educate them, make them strong and able to take care of themselves. And then, when they feel strong enough, and able to take care of themselves, we start wishing they would be a little weaker for a little longer.

My daughter didn't want to move to the USA. And she still doesn't want to be here. She has her mind set on moving back to Germany, Munich, Neuperlach - as soon as school's out. I wish she would at least finish highschool here, then maybe go to college in Germany, but she doesn't want to do that.

Why would my daughter want to go back to Germany?

  • public transportation takes her anywhere
  • she may drink a beer or two in a bar
  • with parents' consent, she can legally live on her own
  • all her friends are there
  • her dad lives there
  • university is (almost) free

Why do I think she should stay in the USA for at least one more year?

  • she would be done with highschool two years earlier
  • she could get a driver's license right now
  • school is a lot easier here, her grades are way better
  • moneywise she'd be better off staying with me
  • she can't get into bars before she is 21
  • building a future is easier in the USA than in Germany

Since I have always been a strong supporter of letting everybody live their own life (and make their own mistakes), I now have to face the consequences and let my daughter go thru with her plans. So, after long talks about the pros and cons, I decided to let her go (still hoping she'll change her mind).


08:20 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (2)


About us moving to America

Whenever you do something really big, you will find out about your friends and family members. You will see their *real* inside. That alone might make it worth your while. People, who are older than you, might tell you you're not as smart and experienced as they are - so you can't make the right decisions. People, who are younger than you, might tell you you're not physically and mentally as strong as they are anymore - so you will be unable to follow thru with your plans.

Some might envy you, for your courage to do something that they would have wanted to do, and didn't dare to. Some might think about all the problems you helped them solve, and now you won't be available for them. Very few people will truely care enough to worry about your future, wether you will be able to live your dreams and better your life, and that of your children.

Whatever anybody says or does, listen and watch with your heart wide open - and don't let them steal your dreams. You and your spouse and your children are all the people, whom you are responsible for. Nobody else. When somebody doesn't help you reach your goals, ignore them. When talking to somebody makes you feel warm inside, and strong and positive, spend more time with them.

Here's some of the negative opinions we had to deal with:

  • you are too old to move to a different continent, you won't be able to adapt
  • neither of you has a secure job there (yet), you won't survive
  • in Germany at least one of you had a job, you should not give that up
  • you should wait for your daughter to finish school in Germany, let Tom go to the USA alone
  • college is very expensive in America, you won't be able to pay for your children's education
  • the USA has a higher crime rate than Germany
  • health care and social security are better in Germany
  • there is virtually no public transportation in the USA
  • the climate is more moderate in Germany
  • Americans don't like Germans
  • your marriage won't last, and then you'll be on your own in a foreign country

The good thing is, we also got a lot of positive opinions:

  • it's better to do something, than just sit there and complain about your financial problems
  • you are healthy, smart and very flexible - you'll find a job which is fun and well paid
  • real estate is so much cheaper in Indiana, you'll be able to buy a nice family home
  • Tom will not miss all of his daughter's childhood, six years is too much already
  • Alejandra will have the oportunity to go to highschool, finish after 12 years (instead of 13) and pick the best of two worlds for her own future
  • to pay for a decent living for your family will not be a permanent fight against the economic situation in Germany
  • you get a real chance to build your very own business, on Tom's computer skills and Karin's organisation and people skills
  • with less everyday worries to handle, you'll be better, happier parents for your children

07:35 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (4)


About us getting married in Las Vegas

OK, I agree, we've been married before - and failed.  I am Tom's third wife, he is my second husband. But just because you ended up getting a divorce before, that doesn't mean something's wrong with marriage in general, or that you are unable to commit to it.

It just means you had a chance to learn and grow - and next time you'll be a better husband or wife. Maybe people are stuck in an unhappy marriage themselves, which might lead them to believe that nobody can be happily married, or nobody should even try.

We received advice unasked for:

  • remember what happened in your previous marriage, you don't want that again
  • you should be old enough to know, marriage doesn't work
  • you don't need to sign a paper, just to be able to live together
  • be careful, don't get married without a marriage contract
  • you have children already, wait until they grow up

It's good to know though, that there are others like us, those who still believe in marriage:

  • if you really want to commit to mutual support, sign that paper
  • some things are easier, if you're legally married to each other
  • your children will see how a loving couple treats each other, instead of watching their parents fight
  • you will be better parents when you are happy
  • with the experience of previous marriages, you will do it right this time
  • Las Vegas is such a fun place to get married, I wish I could have done it there too

06:55 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (0)