My favorite quote (or reminder as I like to think of them)...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (Marianne Williamson - A Return to Love)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Real Job...

"The first duty of a human being is to assume the right functional relationship to society -- more briefly, to find your real job, and do it." ~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

So what does that look like exactly? My "real job", I mean. Since I'm on this quest to find this, I should probably know what it looks like, right? Houston ~ we have a problem.

I truly believe that the "right functional relationship to society" for me is in service to others and I mostly picture that as in service to children and/or the underprivileged. However, here is what I can also in an energetic role leading department(s) of employees to achieve great things at their jobs (to be better at "doing" than they thought they could be). I also see subdivisions of beautiful houses that are filled with clients that are so pleased to be living in their homes because I helped them with this most difficult process of building a home. I see myself in leadership meetings with other leaders of the company being honest about what work needs to get done and how we (the leaders) can make a difference in that/those outcome(s). Hmmm...I see creative energy abound -- designing a system to make some current way of working to be done better, running a kitchen of some sort (either baking cookies and treats or a business' catering functions), helping a marketing team create new energy about a product or a business...oooo!! That sounds SO good! I always say, even though I hate sales, I could sell wool socks to a billy goat if I believe in the socks!

I think this is part of my current problem (note the use of the word current there!). I can honestly see myself in all of these roles, thus narrowing my focus abilities! To work hard and creatively all the while making a difference in my little (or big) part of the world!! That's my real job!

There's so much to do and I'm half-way through my "work years" already!

Seriously, someone should hire me soon...time is ticking people! :o)

Monday, February 22, 2010


“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose." ~ Mary Shelley

At the start of my "time off", I was SOOO excited for all the stuff I had to do (before I started to look for a job). Repaint the basement, clean, and I mean CLEAN (like you do when you move in or out of somewhere new) every room in the house, get my recipes organized, and so on. The list of stuff to do was H-U-G-E! And I mean long! I couldn't work fast enough or get enough done. Now, I've always been a great list-maker -- one of the best really. I simply don't work without lists. In fact (ok, here's the part where you really get to make fun of me), I have my Honey-Do list Typed, 12-Font, in Excel at all times. I know, I know...but honestly, I've looked, there is no help for someone like me....It is in my Honey-Do (which ironically is just a Honey-Me-Do) that I find my steady purpose each day.

I worked really hard to get as much off that list as I could for the past few months and it is nearly complete (oh, who are we kiddin', I'm never gonna put those darn pictures in albums), and I am noticing that I miss my steady purpose. Now, I know my purpose should be (and don't get me wrong, it is) to find a great job, but c'mon, it's not nearly as exciting as how cool the basement looked when I repainted it (in a day and half, mind you!)! But that's my (steady) purpose now. Finding a great job. Kinda boring really. But a purpose none-the-less. It is exciting to meet new people that you have a chance to learn something from (which I really try to do with each person I meet) and to have conversations that wake up visions of "what if" in your head. But otherwise, really boring.

And maybe the difference is that doing all my other "to-do's" were rewarding. I saw results for the efforts I gave. The house looks fantastic. My meals have never been more health-full and creative. I've never been able to be so attentive to the people I love. Rewards. And that for me is what is missing now. This steady purpose has not resulted in rewards (I know I should enter the word "yet" here) and what I am left with is feeling like I'm wasting my time. UGGH! There's that TIME thing again! I'm off to start the daily Great Job Search. I just think you should know that I am seriously thinking of shooting myself out of a canon with a big banner that says "Hire Me - I'm Amazing - I can transform business with you!!" -- after all, at least that method of the Great Job Search would have a fun ride for a reward!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Type A personality

"You don't have to have a plan. God already has one. All you have to do is keep your heart open every moment so the plan can be accomplished." ~ Marianne Williamson

Well, that I have known all my life. My problem is that I am a STRONG Type "A" and I'm pretty sure that God is a Type "B" so I get anxious waiting for the plan to unfold. I'm so Type A that I swear I get things done even before I knew I started them!

A few thoughts for today...

One...Do I want to go back? My best friend told me about a position open at a local company as their caterer -- you know, "business caterer" - lunch functions, etc. It's part time and very close and I think interesting. OH! And don't forget creative. L-O-V-E that part. And, who are we kidding, I would rock the house down at this!! But does it feel backwards or does it feel like doing my hobby for a living? I mean I've already "been there, done that". So, that's what I'm sitting with today - backwards or familiar or ?? Well, that and the job post said some nights and weekends, and huh -- those are already reserved for my husband and daughters! Though, I probably shouldn't think that way as I'm sure it wouldn't be many of those, after all, it is a Monday - Friday business. Did I mention how much I love cooking and baking? Did I mention how much I love being creative? I should also probably let you know that this thought is being strongly influenced by my homemade granola baking in the oven...all full of cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, coconut, YUM-O is that? If only you could smell this blog!

Two...A friend of mine (her daughter is in our Girl Scout troop) just emailed me to tell me: "...I wish I had trainees with half your passion for helping people…" I love her. And I needed that today...apparently when you don't have any job interviews in a week (again, because I wasn't "filling the pipe" when I thought I had that "other" job) your ego tends to be a bit low.

Three...I did notice how perfectly wonderful my life is (my resolve from yesterday per Marianne Williamson's quote), but I also noticed that I could picture other ways for it to be perfect too! Hmmmm...maybe that's not so much what she meant when she authored that quote.

And D... :o) I'm considering starting a web-based business with my friend, Jeff, that is filling my head with all sorts of beautiful ideas and pictures. This is the first step of Visioning and I think that my visions are beautiful! I also have a really neat spin to my cookie business (but I can't tell you here or everyone will steal my idea!!) that is so original and neat that I have actually been considering doing that as well, or both, or ???

And lastly, this past Sunday, the Milwaukee Journal honored Carole Kratoska as Realtor of the Week. Carole is the lovely lady (and I use this term strongly) that we bought our land from and she is also the reason that I went on board with MLG to start Somerset Homes (another great job I had and the most creative I've had outside of a kitchen). It is through Carole that I met Tim, the CEO of the company and the man I would eventually call my boss. Tim and Carole work together on their Orphans Ministry foundation through Elmbrook Church. I reached out to Carole yesterday to congratulate her on her lovely honor and to extend an offer to help in the Orphan Ministry. And get this...she took me seriously! Do you know what a blessing that is when people actually honor your words? She will be getting back to me to let me know how I can get involved soon. So, maybe I don't have to go to Haiti to go get us some of those beautiful babies! Maybe I can do this and help even more babies!! And (as I said to Carole) what could be better than babies and God? Well, besides ice cream............ :o)

I guess I will just keep my heart open to see what God has planned......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My dream life

"The life of your dreams is not a different life. It's the life you have now, transformed by your being more positive and more loving." ~ Marianne Williamson

Huh. How 'bout that? Who knew (I mean besides Marianne)? It makes sense, it just never dawned on me that that could be true.

.........It's the life I have now...really? The washing machine is running, I am doing my homework (as soon as I am done blogging), my cats need some good luvin' and their litter boxes cleaned, I need to quick-vac, my nephew has to be picked up in a few hours, my husband is sickly today, and I need to start the daily job search effort. THIS is the life of my dreams? Seriously, what the heck is she smokin'?

But it's interesting none the less. To simply contemplate the simplicity and meaning of that statement. So, I think I shall leave my blog at that for today so I can notice how this quote shapes my day and I try to BE in the quiet of my "dream life" until tomorrow. I assume I shall notice more of the positive and lovingness that is my life all around me.

And may I ask, or rather, give you something to think about today...How's your dream-life going?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Successful People

"The thing I remember best about successful people: They just love what they are doing, and they love it in front of others."

Truer words may never have been spoken. I wonder who was wise enough to think of that...someone successful, I'm sure!

When I first left my "perfectly good" job, I had many conversations with the home builder I used to work for (about coming back w/ them) and with a company that my friend Karen (Jeff/Pedro's wife) worked for. Both of these companies are on that vision board in my head of places I would love to be.

In fact, in my conversations with, let's call it the "right company for me" (those who know Karen will get this name), all of which were wonderfully long, inspiring talks, I left feeling a sense of renewed hope. Hope that I could be successful there someday. In fact, when I hung up the phone with this gentleman (his name is Cliff), I actually cried because I was so moved at what this company does and how much I could see myself doing that with them. I called my husband and told him if I ever call him from jail, it will be due to the fact that I violated some restraining order! ;o) My conversations with Cliff, Debbie and Holly had me resolved that this was the Right Company for me...or at the very least a company that was equally as resolved to make businesses better, people's lives better, and keep the heart in the center of it all.

What separates them from other people that I have met with, talked with, interviewed with, networked with, etc. is that they are passionate about their jobs (just like the gentlemen who I thought I was going to go work with). I mean fully on, owning their jobs, giving it all, driven, and using their hearts to go to work everyday. ON.

We all have those "on" moments, but in my opinion, those who are most successful (career wise) are those that get to turn it ON for work! Now, I am "on" (still)...just haven't been for work in a long, long time. I am "on" when I am a Girl Scout leader, or when we volunteer to help people with our church group that helps under privileged people in our community, or I'm baking (especially with my daughters), or I am helping my friends with their kids and/or homes. But I haven't been "on" at my work for a very long time. And I miss that. I miss when auto-pilot is you performing at an amazing level at your job -- getting "it" all done and then saying, "Thank you sir may I have another"!! That kind of "on"....when your juices get flowing to get to work even before that cup of tea/coffee has hit your lips!

Those are the people that I wish to be like (again). That is how I want to feel when I go to work - again. That is how I want to measure my the passion of it all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The resurrection of the world

"The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins."

OK, maybe I don't need to be that dramatic - resurrecting the world and all.

I found this quote on my favorite blogger's site. It's been there for a long time, but today I really noticed it. I have renewed energy today -- since I gave up wanting that job working for that man I barely know but already adored. You see, when you free yourself of what is weighing you down, you have a chance to become you again. So today, I'm lighter (insert joke here) and I'm free-er. I am back to being that woman described above.

You see, I AM a woman of influence. People are moved by my words and inspired by my authentic being. The last week or so, I felt like a shrivelled version of my-self due to the angst I felt waiting to hear back about "the job". The truth is that I am a very creative artist of my life and it doesn't serve for me to shrink, to be less than who I am due to the control that I am allowing someone else to have over me (and funny part is, he didn't even know he had or was using this sort of control!!). I did that to me.

So today I resolve to not quit fighting for that great job -- whatever it shows up as. I will continue to build my network of people who can help me find that job, I will apply for jobs (even some that I don't necessarily feel are great as you never know what it could lead to), and I will find new avenues to market myself -- the real self, the real authentic, powerful, inspiring, energetic, motivating, creative, meticulous, organized, outgoing, responsible, get-it-all-done-and-ask-for-more self that I am. Today I will get back to creating the grandest version of my-SELF that God intended for me.

I shall mourn no more (I just wanted to add that for dramatic effect)! :o)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Did I miss something?

“In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do” – Dorothy Dix

Yesterday, I decided to be brave! I know, right?! I marched my butt right up to my computer and sent an email to the gentleman I thought I was going to go work for!

OK, so I'm not completely brave - I get that a phone call or visit would have been much steps! But I did it! I sent him an email asking him when his promise of coming to work there was going to happen? How long did he need to "noodle" (his word, not mine) over the job description, objectives, goals, etc.? Heck, in the two weeks since I was told that "we want you to work here", I have researched what other like companies look for/need/do, I've written down all the possibilities for greatness that I could think of them to expect from me/this position, and could have been performing them by now. So what is taking so long? I was pretty sure I knew the answer as I have been to this alter before.

"Tracey, I know in my heart we will work together sometime, but I struggle if it is the right timing. My veteran ... are behind their commitment right now and I’m not so sure I justify another negative spike in cash flow. We are doing okay, but not great. I wish I could instill the passion and dedication into some of my ...’s work ethic right now for your sake, but I can’t. I promise I will reach out someday and I’ll have to put on my best sales hat the next go around. Good luck with your search. "

Hmmm...I seach for my feelings...bitterness, anger, disappointment, sadness....let's go with that one. I'm really not bitter or angry. Of course I'm disappointed which led to my sadness. I cried for at least 15 minutes. Then my girlfriend (Rhonda) sent me this email "Remember not to invest in the outcome - only in the journey - that is where the message can be found :)" And I know she's right, but it didn't make the hurt go away entirely. I really saw myself at this company doing great things, making a difference, working hard, being passionate about it. I was invested BIG TIME in the outcome.

My husband again stepped up (how long can he keep this up, really?) and said, "Just remember…We (you) did this knowing what it might take to get the job you need/deserve. We agreed that it could take a long time. We did this with our eyes wide open. Nothing has changed (except your expectations). Keep fighting. It will be worth it in the end. Remember this…right now, you ARE in sales. You are selling a very valuable commodity. YOU!!! Be proud of your product. Sell it with zeal. Don’t shrink from an opportunity to sell you. It is the best damn thing on the market. I wish I had you to sell (not in a weird pimp kinda way). Remember…you are GREAT. Make the world understand that!" And of course he wins Best Husband of the Year award AND Best Comic Relief, but he also gets to be right (and really, who are we kidding, we all know which he would prefer!) :o) My sister-in-law, Lisa, and my friend, Kelly, also stepped up to console me and try to make me see the light through my sadness, but I guess I just needed to cry...although I must say, Lisa is my biggest fan and I swear she is going to find a great job for me before I do!

So today's another day. And what I realize a full 24 hours later is that I didn't have anything, so I didn't loose anything, so there really isn't anything to mourn. This simply falls into the category of "What are the three things that cause upset" -- this being two of the three: thwarted intention and unfulfilled expectation. OK, I get that. I'm practiced enough in the art of upset. But I gotta say, it didn't hurt any less knowing what I know. Fact is, all I really loss was a couple weeks of trying to find a great job (since I thought I had this one wrapped up, I didn't try very hard the last 2-3 weeks to find anything else). Of course that's lost time to me and oh boy...let's not get on that soapbox again!

I'm clear today that I didn't miss anything that was said to me. I was told that they want me to come on board. I was told that he just needed time to work out the details and he would get back to me. I guess what I missed is what any good sales person WOULDN'T have missed...I didn't ask for the close. I didn't say "by when". Sales....grrr.....................and in a world with so much great work to do, there must be something great for someone like me to do!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm not a quitter!

"Here are the seven most powerful words in the world: Take 100% responsibility for your entire life."

Did you hear the one about the girl who quit her job in a time when the job market was at it's worst of her lifetime? Ha! It's a good one! You should hear the punch line!

OK, so I'm taking full responsibility for my angst at this time of my life. I chose to leave my perfectly good job. My choice. I get it. But I left for really important heart was not in it, my talents were underutilized, my leadership skills were not used to their fullest, and my brain was not challenged. See, much like my first marriage, this was a perfectly wonderful job, just not for me. I need more. I need to be challenged - not by mindless, endless tasks - really challenged. Challenged like "make this the best program we have", "make our clients passionate about the service we provide", "design a system that works for this or that", "help me make this ___ the best". That I can get on board with. That I loose sleep over (in a good way). That is where my passion lies.

"Talent is good, Practice is better, Passion is best." ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

When I went to go work for the two home builders that I am proud to have worked for, I came on board and they both did the same thing (which is also what my great friend and ex-President of my best job did for me/us) - figured out how to best utilize all that I bring to the work table. I started out slow (for me) and within a very short amount of time, they all realized that they could really use me -- I mean really USE me! It didn't take them long to find more and more things for me to take on and I don't mean mindless things, I mean stuff that made the business better. I never chose to leave those jobs -- a little thing called the "housing market crash" made the choice for me.

See, I'm not a quitter. Generally speaking, I guess. I don't try a bunch of things simply to see what sticks. I give everything I try my full effort, including my "perfectly good" job that I left. And don't get me wrong, they (too) tried to find things to challenge me. But in the end, what you have left, after the trying, is the results of your efforts TO YOURSELF. And, in my strong belief that one has to honor oneself, the truth came out that this was something that consumed a lot of my time (more than any other job had) and did little more than fill my bank account. People who know and love me will tell you that that specific outcome doesn't work for me. See for me, nothing is more important than time (another reason why "sales" doesn't work for me). I cherish my time each day. I literally go through each day step by step to make the most of my time, get it all done, and be able to not have tasks interfere (as much as possible) with my experiences with the people I love and care for and about. I'm like a Super Woman! And Super Woman would never quit and can literally do it all! So for me, it isn't that I quit, it's that I started realizing that this wasn't the way I wanted to spend my time. I know, tomato, tomato...

But the truth is that I am actually proud of my decision to quit my "perfectly good" job. I know in my heart that I left because my heart wasn't served there and I also knew that the longer I stayed, the less time I would spend finding a way out - finding a way to find a job that was better than "perfectly good" - finding a job that was perfectly fantastic! A job I am passionate about (again). I made the decision in honor of my self and also out of love for the people I worked with. They too should have someone who is lovingly wanting to be there and be fulfilled by having done so.

While there hasn't been a day since my leaving that I haven't questioned my sanity, one thing I know for sure. I have never been truer to my self than I have been this past almost six months. And while that also brings bouts of questioning, ego-loss, worth, also reminds me that where ever I do end up, I will show up as a different, even better, more passionate person than I ever was before and that, my friends, is hard for even me to imagine!

Monday, February 8, 2010

If I were brave...

So, I have a favorite saying as I'm sure we all do. But mine gets to the core of who I am as a first born of four daughters given a lot of responsibility in life at an early age (something to this day I am thankful for) and as someone who hates to disappoint people. It goes: "What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?"

PHEW! It gets me every time I say it! Let's see...I would open a cookie bakery with an ice cream parlor....I would move somewhere warm....I would march right into the office of the man I want to work with/for and tell him I'm not leaving until I have a desk and a start date....I would start my OWN home building company and show all the others (OK many of the others) what it means to REALLY deliver unparalleled service and empathy for each client as it is one of the hardest things they will ever do (and I would still do that while being fiscally responsible to the business)...and I would have had birthed children. OOO, and I might be a photographer of people's moments in life as I viewed them.

You know -- simple things.

The funny thing about this realization is that I always considered myself to BE brave. I consider myself to be one of the most self-aware, self-confident women I know. And yet, when it comes to these things, I don't leap. Truth is, I'm not brave about things I can see not working out. I'm not sure why since I truly think that mistakes in life are just that MISS-TAKES -- you know, do-overs, life lessons, practices, chances to perfect something.

I even have a name for my cookie store (and the cute t-shirts picked out for the staff -- they say "One Hot Cookie" on them - so cute, right?!), and I know exactly what I would wear for my first day at my new job working for you-know-who and more importantly I know exactly how well I would listen that first day so that I could soak in all the information of the great people around me there. OH! And I know what I would have named my (birth) children.

What would I do today if were brave?

Maybe I would run an ad letting everyone know that I want to work for a company with at the center of it's success is the heart of it's people and that I would make a great addition to that heart-centered company and that I would own it as if is was my own...because I get what it took for that person to be brave enough to start or run this company and I get that each day they consider their success and the success of all those that work with and for them.

And because I would be honored to work for someone so brave.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Day...

"If you think there's something you need in order to be happy, then you believe you lack. Then believing you lack, you will create more lack." ~ Marianne Williamson

So, today is my 43rd birthday. I don't know if you have noticed, but I didn't get what I want for my birthday.

And, I know why...

When I was 21, my boyfriend (who became my first husband) and I were living paycheck to paycheck. Not that this wasn't supposed to be the case at this age of our lives, I get that is the norm for that stage of life. But I didn't like it. I didn't like worrying about money. So, I sat down one day (I can literally recall the exact moments of the day down to what I was wearing, where I sat, and what the sun was doing) to figure out our situation. And I did just that. I wrote our budget, put us each on an allowance (something that served us VERY well in our adult lives and marriage) and gave it up. Literally, gave it up. I gave it to God and never wanted for money again, even still to this day. Money does nothing to motivate me (that's why I don't "do sales") nor does it make me jealous, nor do I want for more (or less) than I have.

That was 22 years ago, and I can honestly say that I have never wanted again for money. Sure we have times of highs and lows in a year of spending - too much this month, extra this month - but it's all cyclical and I don't stress, worry or want for any more than what we/I have in that budget month.

Then again, 10 years later, I realized that my love life was not the grandest version of itself that I thought God had intended for me to experience. Afterall, I am a very love-filled person! I have experienced a most beautiful love from my relationships with my sisters, my friends that I have been graced with since I was 13 years old, and my family (parents, grandparents, and aunties alike) and they all showed me what love is - both giving and receiving! After a VERY long struggle with this decision, I requested a separation from my (now ex-) husband. I just gave up the struggle. I gave up WANTING to be loved differently than I was (by him). And God stepped through my pain (and boy there was a lot!) and I let it go. No, I'm not kidding. I let it go -- completely. I accepted that I experienced a love that served me (still to this day) to a very kind man who just wasn't meant to be with me. And within a few months of me completely letting go of it, my life became completely and exactly as filled with love as I could handle! I got to experience more time and love with my family and most specifically with my nieces and nephews and sisters. I got to date for fun and companionship - not to find another husband (which, if you are paying attention to what I am saying, you know is the exact reason I married John). And I got to learn more about myself than most people will in a lifetime of searching. And I got to reconnect with my friends who had loved me for more than 20 years. Because I stopped wanting.

So on this day of my 43rd birthday, what I am clear about is that I want a great job. I am also clear that this (wanting) is inherintly the problem. I am also clear that until the peace about this phase of my life becomes who I am BEING, it will continue to elude me. And God doesn't do this FOR me, but rather in partnership WITH me. One of my favaorite bible passages is in Philippians (4:6), "Do not be anxious about anything..." and is furthered in verse 12: "...I have learned to be content whatever the cirumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty...the secret of being content...whether living in plenty or in everything through him...."

I didn't get what I want for my birthday. But I did get two daughters jumping out of bed to wish me a happy birthday as their first words of the day. And I did get a perfectly lovely man/technician (reminded me of my brother-in-law, Kevin) to work on our cable (ha! when does that happen, ever?!). And I did get three birthday phone calls already singing their love-felt Happy Birthday songs to me from my Momma and two of my best friends of the last 29 years! Maybe it's not that I didn't get what I wanted for my birthday, but rather that I got exactly what I needed to fill my heart with love for yet another day in the love-FILLED life of me!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I "get" people!

"The world will not fall apart if we step into our grace and express our vastness. It is more likely the world will stop falling apart when we do." (Geneen Roth)

When I left my last job, I was resolved that I would (only) work for one of “The Best Companies to Work For”. So off I went, my Business Journal in hand.

About three weeks into my new way of life (that is me not saying that I don’t have a job), I started the journey and looked up each and every one of those companies. I visited each of their job-boards. One company had on their site a job for a Communications Specialist. PERFECT!! I’m a great communicator (not talker, communicator…no matter what my husband tells you!)! I was asked to interview with this neat company - an insurance company (one of the award winners in the small company category). Like I know anything about that industry! But I was interviewing for a Communications Specialist – just tell me what I need to communicate and I’m your gal!

It was a long, nearly three hour interview and I found myself really interested in this position. That was in September, and as you all know, it is now (say it with me) – February, the month of Tracey. I don’t work there. And as far as I can tell, they have never hired anyone for the position as it is still on their job-board (she says in defense of her ego).

My sister-in-law tells me that it is a good thing because she didn’t feel that would be a good fit for me – that I wouldn’t be passionate about it. She knows me pretty well. OK, very well. Yet I mourned. See, I have this thing about creating a story about what I can do for someone and their company and I can see it and how it manifests itself and how enrolling I am to coworkers and more importantly customers! This was going be great! Yeah, that’s what I said when I went to work at my last job and was so over-qualified that at times I felt like a hamster on a wheel. And while I think that for the insurance company job, I would have been blessed to use one of those hamster balls – you know, instead of the wheel – I think, eventually (sooner than later) the job would have flat lined for me.

See when you are helping someone build their house or creating with food (the two industries I have known for the last 27 years), every day is a new way to be creative and challenged. Every day I would have to execute the perfect project (someone’s cabinets, their birthday cake, the master bathroom finishes, a batch of quadruple chocolate chunk cookies with coconut and almonds…) and every day would bring about a new possibility for greatness. Ma’an – there is nothing like a customer who sees their kitchen for the first time and it is BETTER than they had invented or the smile in someone’s heart because you made them a batch of their favorite treats!

See that’s what I do. I know PEOPLE! I get PEOPLE! No, I mean TRULY GET THEM! So that’s what I need to do. I need to be in leadership positions where I can enroll people. I need to be the voice of someone’s business and show ‘em what we’ve got! I need to be the Queen Communicator for a great employer – the face of the company.

'Cuz that’s what I do - amazingly well. And people will be amazed that they were taken care of ……so well!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The month of ME!

I just read, in one of my favorite writer's blogs, that her birthday is (also) in February. She calls it the "Month of Dani". Not in a selfish way (but instantly women want to think that, I'm sure, as we can't possibly build each other up to greatness, but rather instinctively seek to diminish or at the very least read that from fear that she must think she is better than I/we am/are). Instead, in a self-centered, as in she is fully centered on her self and who she is. Self-centered. Self-Aware. And even possibly in love with herself - enter large gasp here. Well then, it goes to reason that February would also be the month of Tracey, and therefore I am starting "my" month with this new avenue to find greatness, passion and (simply put) a great job.

So, in this the month of my 43rd year on Earth, I am struggling with desire for greatness vs the ability to secure it. You see, while many women define themselves by their children, hobbies, their husbands, I have never been able to do that. Instead, I have always desired to define myself by what I do, have done, my actions, and what I am a stand for. Sure, I'm proud of my daughters, my "other-daughters", my nieces and nephews - who are all a reflection of me and how I have helped to raise them - and I'm proud of who my husband is and love to "brag" that he still rubs my feet all the time, even after 10 years, and who I am also a reflection of...but WHO I AM and what MY actions are is how I choose to define my-SELF. And quite frankly, I am very passionate about work.

My mom and dad were/are such good examples what it means to be hard-working. As a carpenter, my father defined long hours and physical exertion at work. And perfection. Did I mention his pursuit of perfection? My mother doesn't seem to know that her whole life she has been barely 5'4/120 pounds as she will literally carry any amount of weight, do any task, and never ask for help ('cuz she doesn't need it) and she never sits still or waits for someone else to do something for her and she has a hard time quieting her brain because she is so creative. They are also smart people. So I have, at my core, a learned desire to work hard, use my brain, be creative, and motivate people. I love work. I love to work hard. Go home. Love and play hard. Sleep well and go back to work the next day. I love to make a difference at my job. I love to inspire people to be better at what they do either by my example or by my coaching.

So why is it that I am now struggling to get back to work. It is not for a lack of desire - that much I am sure of. When I quit my job to find a job that is "as big as I am", I never thought I would be still looking for it - five (+) months later. And I am. I have been courted by my ex-employer (who I have always loved working for) several times only to be left in the aisle. I have even "stalked" the man/employer that I want to work for (passionately)...but to no avail. I have been on very few other interviews and have (lovingly) even blown some of them intentionally as soon as I figured out that the job was not enough for me. I recently told a recruiter (can we talk about what a lovely lady SHE was!?) that I am a fascinating person -- and I meant it and we both laughed at both the boldness of the statement and the fact that it is true!

I want to go back to work and I want to do it now! I enjoyed my time off and taking (amazing) care of our home, but I'm finished with what I wanted to accomplish in our home and ready to go! My friend said to me yesterday that the reason I am so anxious and restless is that "this (being home during the day) is not where I'm supposed to be anymore". She's right. It's not. It's not that I couldn't be a stay-at-home-mom (or that she was saying I couldn't find peace doing just that), it's that I have chosen not to be, and there isn't peace for me in staying home, not working. Maybe that too is "self-centered", but I need something different. I have chosen that I need my work(s) to define who I am.

So I seek to find peace until I find that great job. My husband told me that in making the decision to leave my last employer, that I left not from fear but from love and that we would be just fine and that I didn't have to settle until I found a great job. He's right, but peace about that still eludes me. Am I the only one who knows how great I am (at work)? Am I doing something wrong in my search? Is my resume or cover letter not good enough to speak to who I am? Do I have to shoot myself out of a rocket to make people notice me? And how much longer will my husband be at peace that he supported my decision? Uggh.

Well, of one thing I am sure. I had an unbelievable job once before where the leader of the company saw greatness in me and demanded it from me every day (he still does that today as one of my closest friends) and I lived up to his demands. And I fostered in that environment -- lit up by the demands of being a leader, creative thinker, job-getter-doner (it's a word), and committed employee. I will choose not to settle for anything less. And in the words of Nelson Mandela, I will not play small or settle for a life that is less than what I am capable of living, for there is no passion in doing so.

But in the stillness of my head, I still hear the dwarfs..."Hi Ho, Hi's off to work I go"....