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Business

I had a really interesting conversation the other day regarding shopping local. For obvious reasons, I have always been a huge fan of supporting our community, friends, neighbors, and businesses. This person, therefore this conversation, took my belief’s into a new perspective. Yes, I know the stats, like for every $100 spent locally, $68 goes straight back into our local economy and so on but it has been my experience once you start quoting this kind of tidbit information peoples eyes gloss over and they hear blah, blah, blah. I understand price and I understand budgets. I also understand buying power of large companies. On the flip side of the coin, I also understand quality, trust, service, and loyalty. The reality of some people’s mindset is bottom line price. It just is, no way around it, you can talk to somebody until you’re blue in the face and explaining warranties, quality, and personal service and it’s the bottom line price that they see. Period.

The question posed to me was, “What if every single person had to reapply for their job every six months or even every year.” I, at first thought the question was a little out of left field. As I am wrapping my head around the question, this person continued. “No, seriously, what if that was standard practice?”  The condensed point that was being made was this is how small businesses operate. Every single customer, every single day with every single interaction is determining whether or not that business is still in business tomorrow. So, I’m thinking, of course, it is, everybody knows that. Apparently, that would be a no, not everyone knows that or lives that reality. Let’s talk about people who have a regular check deposited into their account every month just like clockwork. Whether they do a good job or a mediocre job, they are receiving this deposit. What if this person had to reapply for their job each year and one day their employer says, sorry, I have somebody who is prepared to work for a buck less so that’s the way we’re going. It can happen, but what an injustice. (Giggles) Can’t you just hear said employee? “But I have gone above and beyond doing the best job I can and competitively priced.”  The answer, “Sorry, I’ve got a person coming in who’s willing to work for a buck less, so see ya.” Those of us in the private sector, get this and live it day in and day out. When I shop I always take a look at the bigger picture. Is it available here? I don’t know about you but I’m always treated very well when I stop into a place in town because they actually care if I come back. I feel good when I do business with my community, my friend, my neighbor and yes, people I love because I feel like I am contributing to their success and therefore their ability to stay afloat. That buck I might save, not talking gas money, is returned to me in a healthy community with vibrant people. It’s returned to me tenfold when people, I do business with, ring my doorbell and pour themselves a coffee because we are assisting each other in building our dreams. It’s important to me that they feel supported. What is continued friendship, appreciation, and a growing town economy worth to you? Apparently, for some, the deal breaker is a couple of bucks.

 

 

 

 

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Marry That Guy

Over the years more than a few people have asked me how I met my husband. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of connection between his world and my world and there, sure enough, wasn’t. So this is what happened.

My roommates and I were invited to a party with some friends that we went to College with. A bunch of guys, who had been at a horse sale, showed up and one of these guys, a rather tall fella, was the cousin of the gal hosting the party. Said fellow kept watching me, every time I turned around he was looking at me and sure enough here he comes from across the room and conversation ensued. Seems innocent enough, right? My roommates and I went home and life was going to go on.  Well, people, not even just a little bit. When I closed my eyes that night I had no way of knowing that I had just met the guy that was about to show me the meaning of persistence.  I was about to be shown the definition of being adored.

The second question often asked is why the short courtship? If I could go back and talk to my 19-year-old self, I would say…..

When you meet a guy that phones you up and asks you out for a date and says straight up, “You can say no, but I’ll just call you back tomorrow.” When you meet a guy that tells you that you are pretty and is interested in every word you say. When you meet a guy that will stand in a phone booth freezing his butt off just to talk to you and doesn’t consider a 2-hour drive to take you to a movie as odd. When you meet a guy who can’t stop holding your hand, tells you he adores you, tells you that he loves you, tells you that you are a priority, tells you that he wants to build a life with you and he couldn’t care less who hears him say it. When you watch said guy get all gushy when there is a baby in the room and he automatically picks up the baby ever so gently and kisses the baby on the check and you note he reacts the same way with puppies. When you meet a guy who is protective and openly more concerned about your happiness than anything else…….well, you might want to Marry That Guy!

 

Hobbies.

 

 

A hobby. Everybody should have one or two. I went for years thinking I didn’t have a hobby until I heard a thing on TV that stated all you have to do is look at something you enjoy doing in your quiet time and it brings you joy. I always looked at a hobby as something you either did with others or took classes for or seriously I don’t know what I thought. I just never for one-second thought I had a hobby. Turns out, I was wrong.

Apparently, I have been actively doing my hobby for years and I thought I was just spending time doing something that interested me. Long before computer access, I was doing this. I love to decorate, design and plan. As it turns out I love to tour and dissect show homes and figure out a way I can recreate the same “look” for less. Recreate the same effect for less money in less space. I did this with our current home and all the homes that came before. I now look on the computer and google the basic ideas of what I envision in my head. Then I take that and draw the house according to the dimensions I have to work with. This makes me give a little giggle as I’m envisioning a dear friend of mine ask me how in the hell I got from the picture to the current design, as she could not see the leap. The house plan was massive but all I wanted was a segment of it and voila! The rest is easy, fit in the concept and roll with it. Of course, my husband hates me, but he gets over it. Having the computer now makes this so easy as the access to ideas is limitless. A 400 square foot ensuite but I have to make the same look fit into 60 square feet. Something’s gotta go and some things have to change but by damn it’s gonna work. Kitchen’s get tricky because cupboards are expensive……..but so many funky ways to solve that little problem. Some people think that they can save money by doing their own painting or whatever. Those people would be wrong. There are certain things you spend money on and there are certain things you just need to get creative with. My husband has told people for years, “Go to your job and earn your money and let the professionals do their job.” What he is really telling them is that they are too busy tripping over the dollars to pick up the dimes.

It took me a lot of years and some raised eyebrows with many a tradesman and designers to convince them I wasn’t crazy. I remember one particular fellow my husband had to phone himself and say, “Just do what she asks and I’ll take responsibility.” Hahahaha, another designer who was with me the whole way until I told her the final step. She looked at me like I had two heads or was off my medication and said, “Oh, no we won’t do that.” She did it and I loved it and that particular project went into her personal portfolio.

I have a vision for our next house that is going to use all refurbished cabinetry and it’s going to require a shit load of elbow grease but when it’s done I’m going to be one happy gal. Kitchen, salvaged for next to nothing, happy wife, priceless. (Don’t tell Laurie, he doesn’t know yet).

God Bless Nancy

God Bless Nancy! Sometimes we all need a little wake-up call. A gentle reminder of how life works. Some insight into ourselves and how and why we are going wrong. These last few days I have had mine. I needed it, I have embraced it and I am moving forward with a new sense of pull your head out of your ass perspective.

It was one of those feet up, sitting at the table, refreshment in hand kinda conversations talking about our lives and thoughts about the coming year. Innocent enough. So I said, “It’s going to be a stressful and busy year blah, blah, blah.”  Nancy said, “So, you’ve already made up your mind that it’s going to be stressful and….” I said, “No that’s not what I meant, I meant blah, blah, blah.” Nancy said, “No, you clearly said…..” I sat there for a minute and then said, “Yes, that’s exactly what I said.”

Here’s the takeaway. She, as always, is completely right. Some of us do this all the time. Particularly when we are comfortable with the person we are talking to. We say what we mean. Exactly and precisely what we are paving the road to be. We say what we have already made up in our minds is going to happen. We will now create our world to fall into this scenario. No, not on purpose, but by hell, it will, because we’ve made up our minds.

Here’s the lesson. Words are powerful. Our inner dialogue is powerful. So stop it, change it, clean up your life. You do not necessarily have to filter what you say, in fact, say whatever it is that you need to say, just pay attention or have a dear friend pay attention. I personally have a new plan. I am going to start writing down keywords as I am mulling over stuff. I’m going to do this because I have a habit of saying stupid things. “I’m so busy.” No, I’m not, I have a life. Everbody has a lot going on, so what? It’s a life. The alternative isn’t great. Stuff to do, places to go, work, commitments, who doesn’t? Life is busy, plenty to juggle, so what? Be happy you can. I heard a rumor that death is less busy. Let that sink in. No stress when you’re dead. Let that also sink in. I hate……..well, change it or move past it. If only…………well, work towards it, or eliminate from your vocabulary because it’s starting to sound a lot like whining. Life is an adventure, each and every day. A lot of stuff happens, each and every day. When it stops happening, well, now you’ve got a real problem. God Bless you, Nancy!

Happiness

Happiness. That elusive state of being that we are all looking for. I believe that life is not as complicated as we make it. It is not as complicated as we perceive it. We search for happiness high and low, wide and far. We see it in others and try to chase the same path. We buy books, read articles, seek out mediums and talk to professionals, all in the quest to find our thing. That one thing that will instantly put a smile on our face with a spring in our step and fix everything.

I pose a question. What if it’s just not that complicated? Not that far away? Not that big of a deal? What if all the stuff that surrounds us and consumes us is just fluff?

We are born into this world with a body and a soul. What if that is all we need? Everybody is born into a different family with different circumstances in a different place, time, country, abilities etc. Even those of us born into the same family, same circumstances are completely different people. We have a completely different set of abilities and interests. What if we are born exactly as we are supposed to be? What if we are born with everything we need? What if inside each of us is all the tools we require? What if all the stuff around us is just fluff? What if we need to stop looking around us and just looked within? Now that’s liberating. Far from being a new concept, just look within.

What if you wake up tomorrow and say to yourself out loud, “I have everything I need to be happy!” What if you sat down and grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down very specifically, who you want to be? Please note, I did not say what do you want to have. Perhaps the number 1 desire is, I want to be a good Mom. Alrighty then, what from within you can you draw from to achieve this? Patience, kinder words, encouragement, maybe a little less time out and about and little more time talking to and hugging your children. All for free. You get where I’m going with this. Maybe you would really like to feel that pleasure of a job well done. Coming home from work absolutely exhausted feeling so satisfied with your day. Close your eyes, what does that look like? Grab on to it, define it. Let’s be real, this is obviously not a today thing but if you take baby steps toward this goal, well, what if?

The reality is some people just aren’t going to be happy. They could win a million dollars and they’d just be a pissed off millionaire. (Giggles) You can just hear them, right? They hate the cold weather but if they had won 2 million dollars then they could afford to move to Hawaii and live. These people are missing the point. Likely will never get the point. The point could fall in their lap and they would complain that something was on their lap.

The moral of this story is……..If you want to be happy start by writing down who exactly you want to be. Be that. If you write down a new car, a new house or vacations,  I can’t help you.

 

 

MOM

Hi Mom, it’s me. Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you have the best day, or however, time is defined in Heaven. Thank you for teaching me kindness and grace, it has come in handy. Thank you for living and therefore leading by example the art of being a wife and a mother. You were far ahead of your time teaching us that you can have it all. It takes organization, prioritization and just letting go of what doesn’t really matter. Here’s the thing, I just didn’t know any different. “You work hard and you get ahead.” Where have I heard that before? I got an education, thank you by the way, and once the kids headed off to school, I got a job. I married a guy with ambition because that was my normal. I remember you and Dad sternly telling me, “We raised you to be a leader in your life and a partner in your marriage. We didn’t raise you to be dependent.”You cannot know how many times I have replayed that conversation in my mind and how many times it has been those words that aided me in a decision. Or do you?

So on this Mother’s Day, thank you for being my cheerleader. Thank you for teaching me the difference between healthy self-esteem and unhealthy ego. Thank you for teaching me that self-respect is earned by being kind to yourself. Demanding respect from others, well that’s on them to earn also with kindness. Remember this line? “Criticism is nothing more than an unhappy person trying to make themselves feel better in the moment. Give them their moment, once.”

Happy Mother’s Day.

A Phone Call Home

Hi, Mom And Dad, it’s me. I’ve got some news. You better sit down. I just got drafted! I know, right! Nobody saw this coming. My new team is amazing! You cannot believe the sweet deal I just signed. I can’t get traded, cut or even suspended. There isn’t even a freaking Penalty Box. I only have to attend the practices I want to attend, no two a days or grueling land training, no gym, physicals, no video assessments. Unbelievable! They are telling me  I will never have a second of worry, no such thing as stress, I can’t get injured and contract negotiations aren’t even a thing. All I do is play the game I love at the highest level every day, all day, when and if I want to. We had our first team meeting and you cannot believe the guys that are here. Past Legends, Heros of the game and all the guys that got drafted on the same day as me. You remember when you told me to enjoy these years, as they would be the best years of my life? As always you were right! I am forever young, forever playing the game I love. Mom and Dad, this is Heaven.