Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Nice job taking your daughter out!

When I reflect on my first "real" job, (1979ish) what I always remember is my first performance evaluation.  I was all of 22 years old and my then boss, Art Ballou, sat down with me and went over expectations, goals and achievements.  This was like a report card all over again.  I still can see the smile Mr. Ballou had when I asked him if I could have an extra copy - to share with my mom.

Do we ever outgrow the need for others to see our value?  That may have been my first evaluation, but it wasn't the last one I shared with someone.  And not all evaluations were perfect, so even those that included statements that I may or may not have agreed with, I sought input and validation from those closest to me.

Our grade cards throughout school were, for the most part, a capable and objective measurement of our skills and talents (and even our behavior).  Once I transitioned to the performance evaluation, I realized how subjective this measurement could be.  It was especially challenging for me to remain objective when I began doing evaluations for others.

As I review (in my mind....I didn't save all of them) the plethora of evaluations I have been the subject of over my working career of 25+ years, it is easy to see how much more pleasing
I think I see it!
were the evaluations given by those who liked me.  And I will be the first to admit that I always want to be the "favorite".  Not as a given, but because of the value I bring to the team.  Notice, that is not past tense.

I take the liberty when being introduced to a new audience, to insert "his/her favorite" regardless of relationship.  Favorite to me translates to BEST!  If I am obviously not someone's favorite, I then determine what must happen....for that to happen.

I have been the recipient of forwarded emails, letters, etc. shared with me regarding those I work with...and those I love.  The information shared is generally written proof that this person is viewed as valuable where they work, through volunteering, etc.  What this proves to me is that I am not the only one still sharing positive affirmations received, with others.

Not all the positive comments involve performance and those are my favorite kind.  I think this need of hearing compliments started at an early age.  My mom has shared with me that when I was five, she had a friend over who while there heaped extravagant compliments regarding my appearance.  The next day I suggested to my mom that she invite her friend over she could tell me how pretty I was.  (And so it began)

I won't go into detail with the compliments that have stayed in my memory for a lifetime.  That would seem vain,  BUT, let me share the latest comment that made my day while we were in Nashville.  As Terry and I were walking down the street one evening, heading back to the hotel, we passed a young man who said to us as we walked by "nice job taking your daughter out, man". Well,

It is no secret that I tell people I am Terry's trophy wife, but I had no idea I would find buy-in (ever).

Sometimes I think life is just a series of "performance evaluations".  Your evaluator will either be measuring "whatever" based on reality, or may be very subjective depending on how THEY feel.

And I have just discovered that sometimes, how they feel,,,,,is okay by me.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It's a habit now...

So, who knew me (Kansas folks speak up) when I believed that Halls D lozenges (with echinacea and zinc) could cure anything up to and including, some cancers?  Every time I felt a sniffle coming on, a slight sore throat, tightness in chest, etc. I would start my regime of these specific Halls D up to the maximum of four times per day.  It wasn't so ingrained that I set an alarm at night, but I did manage to get the daily dosage.

Yummy! (#OCD)
When I moved to Texas, the stores down here did not carry that specific type.  For longer than I care to remember, I had friends in Kansas (fellow believers?) sending me Halls D care packages to get keep me alive and healthy.  Eventually I got over this particular vice, but in a conversation with my BFF Jessica, I realized how many new ones I acquired.

Tell me I am not alone.

Surely I am not the only one who shakes their hands thirteen (13) times after washing them?  This began after reading an article about how one could reduce the amount of paper used to dry hands after washing,.(think one square instead of three or four), I was in.  To this day, I am "shaking away" every time I wash my hands.  Just doing my part to save this planet.

That's not all.  Does anyone know what Maca powder is?  Fortunately, I read about it in an article that talked about several things that SHOULD be in your diet but probably aren't.  I am pleased to say that I was already indulging in Chia seeds and Flaxseed.  Do not confuse Chia with the plant type pets you can buy of your favorite Presidential candidates.  Long story short, now both Terry and I partake of Maca Powder (black for him, red or yellow for me) on a daily basis.  He is not as enthusiastic about this as I am, but how could I benefit alone?

But wait, there's more.  Organic apple cider vinegar has soooo many types of health benefits.  Yes, this is now in my daily routine - I even use a shot glass to deceive myself into thinking it burns all the way down....much like tequila, but without the side effects (both positive and negative).

Have I forgotten anything?  Well, I think EVERYONE probably already starts their day with a steaming hot cup of lemon water.  Oh, the benefits are too numerous to mention here, but I know you will want to google this "hot" topic.

The maca powder comes before my 5:00 am workout, followed by the hot lemon water as I get ready for the day.  Because we already know that working out before the day starts boosts metabolism, energy, etc.

Except for the weekly frozen margarita (or two) I think that covers my main habits (you already know I count everything so no need to mention that particular behavior again).  And while no medical documentation exists regarding the medicinal benefits of the margarita, I prefer to be ahead of the curve on this one.  It will happen.

I believe you can find my picture in the dictionary under Obsessive Compulsive behavior (but not severe enough to require medication....just cooperation).

Until next time,

your pal,

P.S. I still only eat Jolly Time Crispy White & Light popcorn.  Also not carried at my local grocer but thankful for quarterly deliveries via Amazon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Planning for retirement

Helping out when needed.
My sister Katy and I have been discussing retirement.  Even though we still look too young to consider the option, we are in that season of our life. Much consideration has to be taken to ensure that the "next chapter" is fully successful.

We have been considering role models of active and happy retirements.  While we are not exactly sure what we want retirement to look like for us, we definitely know what we don't want it to be.  Katy put it aptly when she said "I don't want to get up every morning to move from my bed to the recliner".

Our mom is retired.  And even though she is new to the Austin area, she is VERY SOCIAL.  She has a weekly quilter's group she attends and senior lunches twice a month.  She walks daily (when the weather cooperates) and probably knows more of our neighbors in her first year here than I do.  Another successful retiree is Sheila (my other mother).  She plays Bunco regularly, has a weekly scheduled breakfast, and is very active in her church.  Notice I haven't even mentioned hobbies that they both have (quilting, crafts, gardening, reading, pets..)  The list goes on.

Here in lies the rub with Katy and I (we are very similar).   We just are NOT that social.  Aside from church, once I go home in the evenings (and weekends), I have no other commitments.  Now don't get me wrong, I do have hobbies - I like to workout, knit, read, bake but all of these things require no interaction with others.  Katy is in a similar boat.  (Speaking of boats, we both LOVE cruises!)  Terry and I have "couples" friends that we enjoy going out to dinner with, but again...we can't eat out every night.  And I really don't need eating to be my hobby!

You can do this, Katy!
We are not without hope.  I have noticed since moving to Texas, I have become more outgoing.  The old rule used to be - when in public, avoid conversation (and eye contact if necessary) with strangers at all costs.  In fact, if it appeared that there might be a "talker" on the elevator - I would just wait for the next one.  No harm, no foul.

But Texans are friendly.  And what I mean by that is, when they ask how you are or how your day is going, they really want to know.  It took some getting used to but heck, now I am one of them.  I am that person in the elevator that will look you right in the eye and start talking.  WHO AM I????  The list goes on.  I smile at EVERY person I see (probably looking like the village idiot) and INTRODUCE myself to people.  Again, WHO AM I?

Know No Strangers!
Katy has shared that she is not quite there yet, but let's just call it like it is.  She lives in Louisiana. We both reminisced about our brother, Erik (and our dad) who have NEVER known a stranger.  I remember feeling quite uncomfortable as adults when Erik would start up a conversation with John or Jane Doe.  My face would feel like plastic as I put on the obligatory smile.  No words from me, just the occasional nod and strong stares at Erik to walk away.  Sigh.  The things we miss now.

So aside from other things like bills paid in full, enough money to live on after retirement, etc. we both still need to develop some social skills that extend beyond our current capabilities.

It's good to have a plan.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's a small world, after all.

So there is nothing like attending a conference with many people you know, and finding out that your shenanigans have proceeded your arrival.

Last Wednesday I was in San Marcos for a couple of days, attending a conference and scheduled to speak.  When I arrived, I was quickly reminded of just how many people I knew from across Texas that were also attending. Those were not the ones I needed to worry about.

You have all heard the saying "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas".  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for cruises.  As I walked up to the first group of people I needed to say hi too, I was greeted back with "oh, we were just hearing about your cruise".  Seriously...Terry was NOT in attendance and neither were the kids.  And just what part of the cruise was Tom (I will call him Tom because that's his name) referring to.

As introductions were made to those I didn't know, I quickly found out that my new friend Gary (also his name) was on the SAME CRUISE!  Apparently...specifically....he enjoyed my performance as a contestant (winning I remind you) on Game Show Mania.  I forgot that I had been asked what I did for a living, forever branding myself with the Commission I work for.  As luck would have it, he was very familiar with my occupation, and even more familiar with those who already knew me.  Sigh.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, when we were entering the theater for the show, Madison told me she had taken the liberty to put my name in the hat for the "opportunity" to be a contestant.  Even as I was saying "Madison, you know I don't like stuff like that" name was called.  Talk about a Jekyll and Hyde personality, as soon as my name was mispronounced, I threw my arms up in the air, screaming like a contestant on Price is Right and made my way to the front.  Unfortunately, I had failed to high five everyone on my way down, so I was sent back to take care of unfinished business.  I ran back to where I started but NOOOO, I again was redirected to start at the BACK of the theater, making my way forward.  Which I did, with much enthusiasm and energy.  (WHO AM I?)  After all this, I was up on stage with two other contestants.  Some of you might find this a little surprising, but I am no stranger to a microphone, and I am slightly competitive.  So much so that when I was still in Kansas, I could no longer play team building games at work (I may have taken it a bit too seriously).

All this to say, there was a witness (outside of family) who saw this type of behavior.   Actually, there were MANY witnesses, but this one in particular knew who I was.  Before the conference was over, I had attained what I call "celebrity status".  Over the two days I was there, I had more people come up and say "Hey, I heard about your cruise".

I was originally scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon but was moved up to "lunch speaker" status. Some people assumed it was because I took notice of who did not stay for my presentation last year (I have a long memory) but I believe it was to recognize my newfound celebrity status.

The main question regarding all this was "how many margaritas were you operating on at that moment in time?"

I don't remember everything but I can say this.  I WISH I could blame it on alcohol, but this is just a part of my personality that is generally revealed to only those who know me well.  Because they love me, anyway!

Until next time,

your pal,

Look past the water stains

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