Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fitting the Mold

I recently saw this employment ad on my LinkedIn page and it hit me hard.

fit the mold

I don’t want to “fit the mold.” I might want to meet those qualifications, but my gut reaction when I read that was that I don’t want to be anywhere near a mold. I want to break out of the mold and be amazing, so I would never apply to a company that has a mold to fit into. It sounds like you will be in a cubicle where few people know your name and your job and skills are fairly robotic. That doesn’t sound like somewhere I want to spend any part of my career. Or maybe it was just the recruiter’s way of trying to phrase things differently. Language is all about the words you use and the way you use them.

Perhaps it’s just me, but anywhere I work, I want to be anywhere but in the “mold.” I want to be the one standing out, going above and beyond, learning, growing, and getting better every. single. day.

If you are in charge of advertisements like the one above, keep your language in mind when wording your request. And if you’re looking for a job and see something like this ad, keep that language in mind and at least ask about it when you respond. I would much rather work at a place where the ad said something like “If you have the amazing skills we’re looking for below” or “If you are a stand out looking for an exciting career and have the skills we’ve looking for below.” Unless, of course, they are looking for a robotic, unthinking, cubicle worker. Then this ad is perfect!

Break-out-of-the-mold

To Retire Or Not To Retire, That Is The Question.

RetirementWhy do I feel guilty that I am not planning to retire? It seems like everyone looks forward to the day when they can retire from their long careers and stay home and die. I love my job (most days), feel like I’m making a contribution, love making my brain work, and enjoy interacting with really intelligent people. What do I hate? I hate sitting on the porch watching the sun beat down. I hate thinking about all the projects that a retired person would get done that are still sitting and waiting for me. I really hate the thought of just waiting to die.

While there is no way to tell whether I might have to retire because of illness or something beyond my control, what I will probably do when I’m closer to a decent retirement age (like 70) is reduce my work schedule so I can take more long weekends to visit my grandbabies, so I can actually finish some of the projects that need to be done (all my old photographs are not going to scan themselves!), and so I can relax for a minute.

The issue I’m having right now is that my husband is talking about retirement, and he’s talking about it like I’m going to retire even though I’ve told him many times I have no plans to retire. Unlike me, he LOVES sitting on the porch doing nothing, he actually gets projects done and would love more time to do that, and I think he’s just tired of working.

I have too many things I want to do that a Social Security income–even enhanced with my retirement plans–won’t cover in addition to a house payment, car insurance, medical insurance, etc. I want to continue to travel. I want to be able to attend events like concerts and plays. I want to keep my housecleaning service at least part time because I really don’t like scrubbing baseboards and toilets.

One thing that keeps me excited about all of this is my circle of friends. They are 10-20 years younger than me. Other than the extended time it takes me to get out of a sitting position, I keep up pretty well. And that forces me to keep up. I can’t imagine my life without them. I would be old. My hair would probably be gray, my nails wouldn’t sparkle, my clothes wouldn’t be stylish (at least to me), and I wouldn’t have been so many places across the country and around the world.

My husband is a homebody–I am not. During our 42 years of marriage, we have traveled some to family events, but he’s not a fan. I love it. So I’m very lucky that he’s willing to stay home and take care of our animals while I’m jetting off to Europe, or to a conference, or for a girls’ weekend. Really lucky. I realize that and am very grateful that we met 45 years ago and have had such an amazing life (so far). It wasn’t always rainbows and unicorns, but with perseverance, hard work, and lots of patience, it has turned out to be pretty amazing.

If someone else has plans to retire, more power to you. I really don’t envy you because I’m happier being busy. Which is why every person should do what they want to do. Do you want to retire when you’re 62 1/2 or 65? Go for it! Do the things you want to do when you have the time to do them. I’m trying to do the best of those things now–taking grandchildren to Disneyland, traveling to Europe, walking in a Disney 5K with friends, attending conferences to increase my knowledge and make new friends, and getting involved in outside sales opportunities and blogging. While I should have started some of these things many years ago, there’s no time like the present!

Quit Quitting

DONT QUITI’m totally stealing this topic from a good friend’s recent blog post. I’m stealing it because her post made me think about my life and all the times things got hard or boring and I quit.

Most of my quitting has to do with weight loss. I’ve been very successful–and quit. I’ve been not so successful–and quit. I know all the right things to do and all the right things to eat because I’ve done it all–and then quit.

I’ve quit creative projects because I ran out time, patience, and desire. What do the half finished projects do for me? They make me feel guilty and like a quitter. I even have a baby blanket that I was cross stitching for a good friend who was pregnant–OVER 20 YEARS AGO! I should bring that out, finish it, and give it to her for her grandchildren. It has obviously been weighing on my mind for over 20 years. Time to quit quitting!

I’ve also quit a bunch of things before I could even get started. I have lots of ideas in my head for social media things to do for my other blog (proofthatblog.com) and my DS side businesses, but I quit before I even do them. Why? Because I’m scared. I’m scared of not being good enough, of looking dumb, of coming off like I don’t know a damn thing. Does it really truly matter what other people think? I like to think it doesn’t, but deep, deep down, I always think it does. So I quit. I’m getting better (and braver) day by day, but I can’t guarantee I will be comfortable doing new things with social media, but I would like to think I won’t quit.

Think about the times you quit. Was it because you were afraid? Or bored? Or “been there, done that”? It’s time to quit quitting. It’s time to actually do something productive. Life is far too short to waste time on something not worth your time and to keep quitting things that were (at least at some point) important to you. Make them important again and quit quitting.

 

February Fool’s Day

FEBRUARYI swear yesterday was February Fool’s Day! My day started when my car started making some weird noises (yes, that’s a technical term) as I backed out of the driveway. I drove around a big block while I tried to call my husband’s cell phone–twice. He had left not long before me, so shouldn’t be too far away, BUT, he hates his flip phone (seriously!), so he rarely answers it. I thought that perhaps when he heard it ring a couple of times in a row, he would think it was me and something was important and he would answer it. But no such luck. So I pulled back into the garage, popped the trunk, and moved a box that had some stuff rolling around in it, thinking that’s what was making the noise. I closed the trunk, got back in, and backed out of the driveway . . . to the weird noise. I drove around the big block again, trying the hubs’ cell phone another couple of times with no luck, and came back home. I popped the trunk again and took everything out of the box and put it in a bag to contain it so things weren’t rolling around. It would be quiet for sure this time! Get back in the car and back out of the driveway . . . to the weird noise . . . again. I drove around the block–just to be sure–and came back home. I tried calling again. I actually contemplated driving to the dealership since it wasn’t far away, but decided to wait for a return call. He finally called me back and said he would turn around and come home. Luckily, it was Corvette day, so he didn’t mind driving an extra 20 miles.

While I was waiting for him to come home, I figured I was in the perfect mood to contact my new insurance company. Our medical coverage changed on January 1 and we still don’t have ID cards, which means I don’t have coverage for my medications. I know I could buy them and get reimbursed, but when your insurance company takes so long to process new business, my hope for getting reimbursed quickly was not good. They told me that they had just received our firm’s application on the 29th. “Of December?” I said. “No, January.” I knew that couldn’t be correct because we had SOME information–just not enough to help me. They would’t give me much information because I wasn’t HR or our broker–but they couldn’t give me any information to give to my pharmacy to fill my prescriptions. While I was not happy (and not my usual kind to others self), there wasn’t anything I could do so I said goodbye, hung up, and sent a rather “terse” email to our HR people about the issue. Our Administrator forwarded my email to our broker and I got an email right back that they would make sure something happened in the next day or two.

So now I was in a super great mood (insert sarcasm here)! Hubby dearest came home and got on the ground to look under the car (after questioning me about where the sound came from–and expecting an answer like I would actually know). The next question was “did you drive over anything weird lately?” Well, probably, but it was probably dark, I was probably tired, it didn’t kill me, so I ignored it. So I said maybe, but I didn’t remember (a perk of being 60!). He found some clippers and proceeded to clip the branches from a palo verde tree branch that had wedged itself under my car. Thank goodness I didn’t just go to the dealer!

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And that was all before 9:15! So now I was late to work, but I pulled out of the driveway and started down the road and NO SOUND! It was magic!

The rest of the day was pretty normal until I was driving home late. I pulled up to my street mailbox to get the mail, opened the door, pulled my mail out, and drove up to the driveway when I heard a sound on the side of my car . . . which would be the mailbox door I forgot to put back up (it only bent a little bit!). I knew it was time to get out of the car, go into the house, and go directly to bed. I didn’t get to do that, but when I got up and went to work today, I saw that my odometer had turned over to 100,000 miles last night. My poor car was exhausted and I was pushing all of its buttons yesterday (and all of mine!). All in all, we both made it through February Fool’s Day in one piece (and I think only one of us was the Fool). The palo verde tree branch (and my ego) wasn’t quite so lucky!

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Clean Is . . .Worth Paying For

For the first time in my adult life,Clean Is As (1) I have a professional cleaning service coming to clean my house. So what have I been doing for the last week? Come on . . . you know . . . I’ve been cleaning my fricking house! Why is it that we’re so worried about this? I know there will be plenty for them to do because I just got the top, but didn’t get down on these bad knees to scrub baseboards with these bad carpal tunnel arms. This is their job. Obviously they like to do it more than I do.
Now my husband is (I’m pretty sure) telling all his buddies that I have been stressed out cleaning my house . . . for the cleaning lady.

And then, why did I wait so long? I don’t enjoy housekeeping, I’m a busy person, and I’m usually running around doing things all weekend instead of cleaning my house. The joy of paying someone to do what I so intensely dislike and the joy of coming home to a clean house and keeping it presentable is certainly worth it to me. So why have I waited? I’m pretty certain it is because I don’t want anyone on this earth to think I’m a horrible housekeeper. In fact, I can hear in my head right now all the things they are saying about my housekeeping skills. On the other hand, no one who has been to my house has died of some strange disease and I have not been on an episode of Hoarders (which I watch just to make sure I’m not there yet)!

I’m hoping this is a corner for me. Do you want to come over? Call to make sure I’m home, but then drop by! Previously, you had to make an appointment so I could spend several days getting things to look less disastrous. Can I focus on things I need to because this weight is lifted from my shoulders? I hope so. Can I keep things tidier between visits so I don’t get overwhelmed again? I am pretty sure I can. Upkeep is way easier than maintenance in my book.

So are you judging me because I’m not an immaculate housekeeper? Shame on you. My family is healthy, happy, and busy. Life trudges on and immaculate housekeeping is not in my skill set . . . although many other important things are. Things like loving on my grandbabies, mentoring people in my profession, spending time with people who lift me up, proofreading like it’s my jam, working long hours on intense work, driving two hours a day back and forth to that job I love. Well maybe that’s not really a skill set . . . I guarantee you that my husband will say it is DEFINITELY not a skill set . . . but it is another task I must perform to do the other things I want to do. Hey . . . maybe I need to hire a driver! That goes on my “when I win the lottery” list. For now, I’ll be satisfied with really clean bathrooms, mopped floors, and the fresh scent of Lysol!

Beautiful

img_1477I love this t-shirt I recently picked up at Torrid with a Marilyn Monroe quote. I never considered myself beautiful. I have acne scars, stretch marks, eye bags, floppy skin, and some (actually a lot of) extra weight, in addition to scars from falling off bunk beds, falling off bikes, wrecking a motorcycle, getting my gall bladder taken out, and basically living life. One of the greatest things about getting older is that first, I don’t care so much about that stuff, and second, I know that I have earned every bit of it.

Just because I don’t look like the women in magazines and on TV doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful. I’m beautiful in my way. My husband thinks I’m beautiful, my children think I’m beautiful (I think they do anyway), and my grandchildren think I’m beautiful. I know that because they have all told me so. And still, when I look in the mirror the first thing I see are the scars and imperfections.

In high school, I had terrible acne. When I was 30, I finally used prescription medication to get a handle on the acne and have since not had so much of a problem. Now, however, I have the scars to prove that I didn’t die from acne, my boyfriend (now husband) loved me even though I had acne, and I was still able to make friends and be in the top 10% of my graduating class–even with acne.

I have stretch marks both from having my two children and from gaining and losing (and gaining and losing and gaining and losing and . . .) weight for the last 40 years. The having children part was worth those stretch marks and remind me that I carried them both for nine months and loved them from the minute I knew they were there.

The eye bags are hereditary, so when I see them, I see my mom. I also see that I don’t sleep as much as I should and that I get too involved in too many things. I also know that my involvement will never change–it is an important part of who I am. Sleep, on the other hand, could change, but my daily choices so far keep me kind of sleep deprived. I know that is something I need to work on and make better choices.

So I’m not perfect. Some days I’m not even presentable. But I know that I’m beautiful in my own way and any imperfections I have are earned and are really only imperfections to others. My goal is not to be perfect but to be me–scars and all.

Glitter

glitterAnyone who knows me knows that one of my vices is anything sparkly–on my nails, in jewelry, on clothing–hell, I would wear a tiara all day every day if I could get away with it. Glitter makes me happy. It looks different in different light and changes as you twist and turn whatever is sparkling (and yes, I do do that with my nails in the sunlight sometimes!).

The thing about real glitter is that you never get rid of it. I’m sure my nail tech finds glitter in her car, in her purse, in her hair, in every inch of her clothing. While I’m sure it could be annoying, I can only imagine my joy at finding random sparkles where you don’t expect them.

I can only hope to be like glitter–sparkly on the outside and a bit annoying, but creating unexpected happiness, on the inside. I love doing things for people that they appreciate but don’t expect. It doesn’t take a lot of money to do that–pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks line (or if you go as much as I do, use your points to pay for the person behind you); if you find (or own) something you know (or have heard) that someone needs or would love, give it to them; if you see something that reminds you of someone–an article, something on the internet, a quote on a wall that you see–take a picture, cut it out, somehow capture it and send it to them. Let people know you think of them at random moments. Even a text or email (or a call) telling someone you thought of them can make a huge difference. It’s like the difference between artwork or clothing that is plain and the same artwork or clothing that sparkles. It is a simple concept that makes a big difference.

Be happy, be mighty, be tenacious, be sparkly–be glitter.

Perfectionism

-They stopped saving the day all the time and empowered other people to also be the hero.-I have heard it said that people who procrastinate are perfectionists at heart. If they can’t do it perfectly right now, they will put it off until they have the time to do it perfectly. I consider myself the Queen of Procrastination and if  you had told me I was a perfectionist, I would have (and probably have) laughed in your face. At least until I really started thinking about it. I have lots of “projects” that I don’t ever start because I don’t have the time to do it “right.” So, I guess that theory is correct.

So how do we stop being perfectionists? How do we stop thinking we’re the only one who can do it right, the only one who knows how to do it, the only one who can do it perfectly?

In Rory Vaden’s book Procrastinate on Purpose, he talks about five permissions you need to give yourself in order to multiply your time. There were several (probably 5 if I’m perfectly honest) that spoke to me. But the one that hit me in the gut was when he talked about giving yourself the permission of Imperfect. Say what? And ruin my reputation? But here’s his point. If you don’t give yourself permission to be imperfect, you will have a “bunch of perfect useless stuff in your life but you are going to be burned out.” Hmmmm. Go on. He says “you’ll be the go-to guy at the office . . . but you’ll hate your job. You’ll throw the absolute best parties . . . but you’ll resent all your friends. Your underwear drawer will be folded neatly . . . but you’re going to be exhausted. All your work will be perfect . . . and you will be miserable!

OK. I’m listening. The key to this is to train others to do what you do and then . . . LET THEM DO IT! When people do this successfully, Mr. Vaden says “They stopped carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders and they invited some teammates to come with them along the way. They stopped saving the day all the time and empowered other people to also be the hero. They stopped trying to do it all themselves and instead they created other leaders.”

This, of course, didn’t happen overnight. And it didn’t happen “perfectly.” Mistakes were made along the way by those delegated to, but they learned and they fixed it. Then the next time, they did better.

The line that struck me was “They stopped saving the day all the time and empowered other people to also be the hero.” My favorite part of my job is saving the day. But by doing that I’m cheating other people out of their own job satisfaction. The feeling of a job well done, of saving the day for someone, of accomplishment, of being a hero. And that’s just not fair.

I still suck at delegating, but I’m working on it. I doubt I will ever get it “perfect,” but I will try to step back and let others step up into a more empowered role. We both deserve that!

Facing Adversity

How do you react when facing adversity? Does it feel like it never stops? That it’s just one horrible thing after another? Watch this great video and perhaps the next time you face a problem, you will decide that your reaction is entirely up to you–it isn’t anyone’s fault and no one else has control over how you show up and how you react. IT IS ALL YOU! So are  you potatoes, eggs, or coffee beans?

 

Well I Made It!

60 Is The New . . . AMAZING!So I survived the Centennial Celebration (and turning 60!). What an absolutely amazing celebration. I told my friends it was the best birthday since I was able to get my ears pierced when I turned 16.

I was afraid that I had built the possibilities of the celebration up so much in my mind that I would be disappointed by the time it actually happened. Instead, it exceeded everything I had dreamed would happen. It. Was. Amazing.

My life motto is “Live Your Dash” (see http://60isthenew60blog.com/2016/08/20/the-big-day/ for an explanation of the motto) and I spent time doing just that.

The celebration started with a quick trip to Vegas for the Barbra Streisand concert. My husband let me take his brand new Corvette! I’ve seen Barbra once before, but have loved her since I was a teenager and she is always on my bucket list. This time, she started by singing “The Way We Were.” She was about, oh, five notes in when my eyes just started leaking. I didn’t mean to cry, I didn’t realize I was crying, it was just running down the side of my face. Her voice touched my heart!

Then it was back to reality for a about a week and a half (which I spent most of fighting a cold) and then I got to see Adele (the Phoenix concert she did before she got sick and cancelled the second one). She is now on my list of people to see every time she comes. She is a truly amazing talent.

Then it was off to the JW Marriott at Desert Ridge for an entire day–REALLY the entire day–in the lazy river. We enjoyed a couple of their drinks while floating around just relaxing while getting ready for our Centennial Celebration.

Our two out of town guests made it and then we were off. A quick stop at Rock Springs for lunch and pie (because you can’t go there and not have some of their famous pie!) and then a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona to get our hearts in the right place and on to our Airbnb cabin in Sedona. It was beautiful and had a deck the entire length of the house. The birthday girls snagged the master bedroom (and apparently the most comfortable bed) but everyone had a place to sleep.

We shopped, we ate, we talked, we drank wine, we played games, and we laughed — a lot! THEN we went on the Pink Jeep Tour. As an Arizona native, this was something I had never done, even though they’ve been doing it almost as long as I’ve been alive. It was beautiful views, a fun driver, and a roller coaster ride in a jeep. There is nothing like the Sedona red rocks.

Then one of my friends entertained us with a wine tasting and Italian homemade dinner which was very informative and super delicious and then we ended with a rousing game of Yardzee (a yard version of Yahtzee).

It was then time to leave even though I didn’t want to. I didn’t want this celebration that we had been working on for months to be over. THIS was the perfect celebration. THIS was worth turning 60. THIS was unbelievable friendship in action. I am truly and honestly blessed. I have health, I have a job that I love, I have family I love with all my heart, I have things I never expected to have, and I’m lucky enough to have been blessed through this long life with amazing friends.

I have warned my friends that the 65 celebration just might be driving across the Western US visiting all the places where I can get a free senior meal! I figure by then I might be ready to admit how old I am to get the discount. But maybe not. We’ll just have to see.