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)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Power Within

"Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your task." ~ Phillip Brooks

I spent the afternoon with my friend Princess (Deb). And YES, I DO have nicknames for all the people in my life that I love -- yes, ALL of them! Princess has just moved down here from our old stomping grounds (Plymouth, WI) when we worked at Wilderness Log Homes. She now works for the (new) Harley-Davidson dealership in Oconomowoc ( and is charge of executing their marketing plans and handles the daily administrative duties that such a business requires to be done. I helped her get the company set up on the all-important social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) that are such a big part of doing business these days. Heck, the (World/Corporate) headquarters for Harley already has nearly 3/4's of million followers on Facebook! IMPORTANT stuff people!

So we did it. We got the dealership all set up on these social network sites and she understands some great ways to use them as sales tools, how to meet with the owners weekly for what's important to them to have "wallpapered" and "tweeted" (of course she will have to teach them what that means, too!), how to drum up excitement for upcoming events, and most importantly how to build customer loyalty using these tools. YEAH! I hope for this company to succeed beyond expectations because they are just a bunch of really great people who just want to make their stake in a business they love (and I think we all know how much I admire them for their bravery in doing this!). As they (the 3 owners) say -- "Life's short...screw it, let's ride!"

When I left Princess, she looked a little like a doe in the headlights. I've seen that look before -- after all, I've worked with her for seven years and at one point, she was the administrative lead for my departments making sure they all ran at the speed of light. So I know that look. But here's the thing -- while yes it is a new and potentially overwhelming thing to manage all of these things in addition to everything else "you" have to do (and yes I am speaking to her and others and myself), it is NOT something "you" can't do and beyond that, do well.

Princess is a task person - tell her what to do, it's done. But have her create, she questions her ability to do so. And yet, if she stopped to look at what really wakes up the little light inside, it is precisely that -- when she is part of the creation of something great. Too bad her "it" tells her she's not already great.

So, I'm going to tell her (again). Princess - you are great. You are more than capable and quite frankly, no part of you wants to become stagnant by just doing tasks you already know for sure you can do.

As her former "boss", close friend, and co-worker, I don't doubt for a minute that she can handle it. So, Princess, put your cape on and get it done! Believe that you can because your powers are great. Believe that you can because you can. And thanks for needing me today and letting me be in service of something. It was nice to be "at work" today!! :o)

Friday, March 26, 2010

How cute is this?!

Thought I would post again today as I have a bit of fun to share! I made this cake today for my niece's birthday party and it turned out so stinkin' cute that I just had to share the sunshine! :o) Happy 5th Birthday Budda Girl!

Words of Wisdom

"Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully." ~ Phillips Brooks

Many years ago, my friend Buttercup (Jennifer) and I worked together and became very close friends. In those many years, she and I both had a profound moment of wisdom with each other.

Mine was when I was doing a great job with my body and had become the thinnest I've ever been. She asked me why I was working so hard to have a better body and I told her "Honey, we only have so much time on the Earth to look HOT and then it's over ~ no more 'hot'!" Hot doesn't matter after that window closes. Now for me, "hot" means my little tropical vacations that I take at random times during the day in my own skin! SO, not nearly the same thing anymore! See what I mean! Now, "hot" has different meanings.

Some time later, she went into sales and loved it. She loves money - making it, spending it, whatever. Sometime during that period she had an epiphany. While, yes, she was paid well for what she did, she realized that "she made the companies she worked for very successful". She is a very hard worker (no wonder I loved working with her so much!) and it soon dawned on her that how good she is at work is a huge benefit to whoever she works for and that really she should run her own business so she could reap her own benefits!

That really is something to think about. And I have been. I am so good at these "things" that I do and I wonder regularly what it would take for me to put those talents to good for the benefit of me. And of course, I remember the blog ( I wrote about my fear. And the stories I create about it are so big and scary -- they could make a horror film out of it. Oh wait, no they couldn't. The reality is that it is not scary. Or real. And maybe it is, or maybe some of it is, but I act like I don't know that this or that could happen. It's so funny. It's kind of like death. We're "all" so scared of dying and yet we all know how the story ends - we die and the truth is we don't even know (ourselves) that we are gone, but we fear it anyway.

Yes I get that isn't the same thing and yes it was dramatic but my point remains. Whatever fear I have of starting my own cookie bakery or caramel corn making (Ma'an! You should taste this stuff -- seriously!!) or Home Care business to help people organize, revamp, remodel, build, etc. their homes so that they (as Oprah says) "Rise up to meet them" is not unknown. It will fail or it will succeed. Neither is necessarily a judgement, just simply what is. But let's (and by let's, I mean me) create all this drama about why it just won't work. Let's not speak to the fact that those things make me indulgently happy and higher than a kite because I get to be so creative (which, as a first born, is SO freeing anyway)!

Buttercup's right. If you are good, really, really good, you should reap the benefits of that mastery for yourself and your family/loved ones. My Auntie Lisa called me an "over-achiever" this past weekend. In fact she said, "Honey, this is caramel corn is so good, YOU SHOULD SELL IT...and of course you made up the have ALWAYS been an over-achiever!".

And I would say that she is right. I have been. I've never been happy with good enough. I'm only happy when the best is what I/you produce. And that's not to say that all I do I am good at. Have you seen me walk and chew gum? Not good, so not pretty. Or sing?! :o) OK, I won't...But I truly strive to be better and better. And I have this innate sense of being able to constantly see what needs to be improved on (much to the chagrin of my daughters, I'm sure)! :o)

So why is picking up a paycheck on Fridays with someone Else's signature on it more important? I'm really not sure why that is STILL better for me or defining. It's even more funny that I am this way since money does little to nothing to motivate me. (Don't tell my dad though, that might break his heart) :o)

I do know this, what I have to offer really does make a difference when I am at work - I do things very well. What I don't know is why I don't make a difference with my very own customers?! What kind of beautiful would that create?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Stage

"All the world's a stage!"

My friend Keith called me today. I call him "Solly" because he is (like) my twin in male form. He is one of my rare "new" friends. We met five or seven years ago, fell madly in friend love, and the rest is history.

I say "new" friend because as you may have learned from me or my posts, I have had the best and closest friends a gal could ever want, wish or pray for the last 29 years -- since Jr. & Sr. High school. I also have another group of very close friends that I have been close with for more than 15 years! And I barely have enough time to dedicate to loving (all of) them enough (my friend Ross is saying some sort of expletive right now in agreement to this statement about me), so I certainly do not want to do a disservice to anyone else I call "friend". It is for that reason, honestly, that it is a rarity that I allow myself to get close to "new" friends. I truly honor my friendships and their hearts and miss them when I am not with them.

While there are all sorts of ways to define friendship in each person's life, for me, it is being able to spend quality time together, sharing our hearts, learning about and from each other, connecting your batteries again with theirs (right where you left off) and knowing that they will always tell you if you look fat in that swimming suit! OK, so maybe that last part is reserved for my "oldest" friends, but at least I was confident that I didn't look like a peach colored elephant in my prom dress thanks to them! :o)

Now that is not to say that I don't fall in love with others -- oh, I do and in fact, I can honestly tell you that I have said "I would SO want to love her/him if I had more room/time for the honor of more friends"! But I fell for Solly, hard, in Jamaica, on our vacation with Pedro and Karen and all of "their" friends that stayed in the beach house with us. And it wasn't just the festive beverages talking! In fact, I fell in love with Randy and Bill as well. But Solly, well, it was weird. It was like I had seen myself in mirror -- only the mirror was funnier, skinnier, and more flamboyant! I thought that I took up a lot of room on the life-stage until I met Keith/Solly. You know how they say on "American Idol" - "use the stage more"...HA! That would never be said about Keith!

So...I was telling Solly about the little funk I've been in (not in a victim way, just as in reporting what's new for me - "been in a funk, I know it will pass, wish it would hurry up and go" kind of way). And my friend said to me, that he understands how I can be in this funk since the stage in my life is not big enough for me right now. THAT'S IT! How could I not see this myself?! And YES Lisa and Kelly, I know that is also (in a different way) the same thing you said, but Solly said it like that and it clicked! Now I understand why the cats have gotten so attached to me the last six months as they have been my most consistent audience! Oh. Sorry. Inside voice. My Bad.

Well that just helps. The stage is not big enough for me at this place in my life. So True! The fact is, I truly "earn my Oscar" every day when I would go to work. Not in an in-authentic kind of way, but in a "I'm in here to provide outrageous service" kind of way. To WOW you/the customer. To have you be grateful for having done business with me today as I was grateful for being given the gift of your trust and expectations. And because I want to be treated that way when I do business with anybody. I want to be grateful for having chosen ABC Company.

I TRULY am amazing with customers. Now, I know there is no humbleness there, but honestly, I'm not sorry about that. I'm aware, but not regretful about saying it in such a manner. I know I have to know my audience in order to speak so frankly. I also must know it to be true. Fully true. And it is. And I have a platform (stage) and believe that when that phone rings, when the meeting starts, when the email comes in, that it is my time to shine - Open the curtains please, I'm about to go on! I'm about to show this customer that they made the right decision choosing us and I'm about to get to work to live up to their (and the company's) expectations. Just writing it gets me jazzed!

I'm sure it's true that all the world's a stage, mine is not big enough these last few months. It's time for me to find a new Director and Producer and for the next production to start!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A reason to smile today!

OK, so part two of my day of funk. The movie version of one of my favorite books EVER (Eat, Pray, Love) is coming out soon! Who wants to go with me?! YEAH!! It's so exciting!! :o) Now, I realize this isn't a "work related" post, but c'mon, it's Friday and we'll all know where my brain is on Fridays! :o)

In a funk

"My train of thought has derailed."

I'm in a funk the latter part of this week. Not sure why since I should feel on top of the mountain now that I have completed my resume rewriting project and the fact that we have had the most glorious three early spring days of weather here. I should feel victorious, free, empowered, glowing. I don't.

Oh well, it happens. (Can't wait to be out of it though.)

I'm pretty sure a large part has to do with the fact that, as I've talked about before, I am "done" being home and ready to move on. I force myself to have the ambition to get stuff done around here now (and good thing I do because that basement storage area was a disaster!).

Oh well, it happens.

I have applied for a couple of neat jobs this week so I am praying that "with God, all things are possible". Which I know to be true, I just want it to turn out the way I want it to...which I get is not necessarily what will happen. And I reached out to a very busy woman who runs a piece of the MyPath network for Manpower (on LinkedIn). She is extremely busy with work obligations, but has accepted my request to see if there was something she could do to help me with the Great Job Search. I'm very happy (and honored) about this ~ not only that she accepted my request, but I think she really can help me.

That's it for today. A little uninspiring, I know.

Oh well, it happens. :o)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Inspirational Work

"We find in life exactly what we put into it." ~ Emerson

A friend sent this (video below) to me today and it touched me and brought me to tears. Of all the work we do, none is greater then the cathedral you build in someone's heart. Of that, I am sure.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New and Improved

"To me, error analysis is the sweet spot for improvement." ~ Donald Norman

I have no idea who this Donald person is, but I have spent the last two days (someone puh-lease rub my butt) authoring (one of my new "action verbs") the new and (please God) improved resume (tell me you hear a drumroll too). Analyzing the error of my ways and trying whole-heartedly to improve it. It is truly one of the hardest things anyone can do assuming you are over the age of 30. And it has taken me literally hours and hours AND HOURS of work. Yesterday I almost didn't eat because I was so entrenched in the work and rebirth. Oh don't worry, I've got enough storage built up to sustain me.

Now one may think this resume revamping not that hard to do; especially since I already had two others in place. HA! "One" would be very, very wrong. I poured over critiques, suggestions, criticisms, tips, etc. and then had to boil the last 27 years of my working life down to 2 or 3 pages (the accepted amount for someone with my credentials - just ask me, I've read it all). Thankfully, an acquaintance of mine (that works for Right Management) gave me a great head start from which to leap. Seriously, if not for Holly, I would still be working on it. I owe her some serious cookies! And for the record, her's not mine, she did tell me to do this exact thing last fall. Apparently she didn't hit me over the head like Ms. Malinda WillcoxSmithJones from Let Me ReDo Your did.

So, it's 2:00 pm and I am going to post my resume in a few places with full execution to follow. Wish me luck, pray for me, send me your good energy, or look at my resume and let me know if I did "it right". I'll take anything you got! :o) After all, "error analysis is the sweet spot for improvement"...but maybe you should wait to tell me until tomorrow. I may be a little delicate right now!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Resume Sucks

"Everything that happens to a child of God is Father-filtered and He intends to use it for GOOD!" ~ The Purpose Driven Life

I had my resume evaluated by a professional service that "does" resume writing. And you know what she said? My resume sucks. OK, so she was kinder than that, but that's what a ONE PAGE, SINGLE SPACED, 8 (yes 8) FONT evaluation says...I mean when you summarize it. :o)

Well, just great. Now I know those of you who love me want to rescue me by telling me (or already have told me) that this is a service that wants to get money from you to redo your resume -- it's their job to tell you it sucks so they can sell their services. But let's look at the facts people. I am SO good at "work" (sorry for the lack of humbleness there) and have a great job record, and have not been on an interview (outside of the one I thought I had) since December and that was a phone interview. So how could this not be true. I'm going with "it is".

My favorite blogger, Dani, wrote this in her blog yesterday: "the New Moon is about purification; bringing up what needs to be cleared, cleansed, healed and transcended...." Fine. Quit yelling at me. I'll do it already. Of course, I think her post was more spiritual and meaningful than "hey chick, quit dawdling and redo your resume".

Then I was writing some stuff on the calendar for April and low and behold there was another God whisper (the quote above). People who really know my heart, know that I believe strongly in listening for God's whispers which usually and freakishly happen to me in the shower (but that's another blog). So here are three. Fine. But maybe God could smell some of the cookies that I bake and send me some good vibes about owning my own cookie bakery instead of "yelling" at me all the time. Geez!

So that's it for today's blog as I apparently have a full day of typing and introspection and thinking outside the box ahead of me. Yuck. If you need me today...I'll be right here, typing away so that God's intention for good for me will have my full support.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

FIght for what you want to be...tomorrow.

"Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow." ~ Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros

I've been thinking a lot like this lately. I'm remembering when I pray not to be in want for anything (even though we all know I want a really great job again). I've been quietly surprised on a regular basis by kind little words of encouragement that show up in my inbox from my husband, Lisa, Carole, Kim, Kelly, Chelley, Rhonda, people I don't even know well that I used to work with, new people that I would like to get to know. And I'm thankful. A lot. Often. Daily, perhaps. Definitely more than I have ever been before in my life. Having the time to notice has been quite a blessing for me. The kind words my husband says to me (after reading my blog or hearing about a "lead") are more meaningful than before. So, I am definitely more thankful for what I am now and for what I have now.

What I need to keep reminding myself of is the second part of that quote -- to keep fighting for what I want to be tomorrow. That's what I have been thinking a lot about lately. See, many, many people in the world wake up everyday and they are a teacher, nurse, sales person, engineer, social worker, physical therapist. I wake up and say, huh, what the hell AM I? (career wise, of course). I'm one of those "generalists"...a "jack of all trades"...the "get it done girl". While my resume is filled with lots of great accomplishments, I can't answer people when I say what I want to do now or, for that matter, be when I grow up!

This is a problem. Unless you know me or know my work, this is a problem. Because you can not glean what I am capable of or good at or trained at or educated on from a simple piece of paper, because I can not definitively say, I AM A ......... or I am applying to be a .......... or want to be a ..........................

It's time to focus. I need to be able to present myself in a less wishy-washy manner. Although, ironically, I like the ambivalence as well. I like not knowing what the day (of work) will show up as. I like being able to juggle a thousand balls at once not letting any of them fall to the ground while people throw in more. I like the fact that I have a rarely failing internal clock that has me meet deadlines for any project thrown at me or added to my plate. I love to be presented with a problem or a system that doesn't work and be the person to create the solution (with a team or not) and design the system that makes something work or work better.

We have a saying in our daughter's bedroom that says something like "I walk, I fall down, I get up....all the while I keep dancing." I love that. I love working like that -- just keep on dancin'!

So my resolve is to start naming or labeling or pinpointing WHAT it is that I want to be. I'm great at creating systems and procedures that make work get done more efficiently. There. One done. This is going to be a long list, and for that, I am again thankful.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Definition of Inspire: 1 a : to influence, move, or guide. To exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on. To motivate. To infuse (as life) by breathing. To draw forth or bring out. ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The other day, a friend of mine (her daughter has been in my Girl Scout troop for 7 years!) touched my heart. She has had a double mastectomy/breast cancer and blasted through it like it was a common cold bringing light, authenticity and lack of victimization to her fight. She has a magnificent chest now and LOVES to remind me that she's not wearing a bra (witch!). This women, this cancer survivor, this mother of three, told ME (you should really be sitting for this part) that "I INSPIRE HER EVERYDAY TO BE A BETTER WOMAN". I am tearing up as I type that. How can that possibly be?!

Seriously! Did she not hear the one about the mother of three who had a double mastectomy?!

Those words are a gift on my heart and I shall never forget them. It has inspired me to write this blog today as I can not stop thinking of her telling me that. For my entire adult (and maybe even teenage) life, I have dreamed a dream where every day I make a difference in some one's life -- EVERY DAY. What I have not been able to dream is the realization of what that looks like. I just assumed that in order for that dream to come true, I would have to be like Oprah moving through the world one nation at a time. But I don't have to. Who I am (at work and at home) is an authentic woman that cares deeply about people that I can touch in some way with my walk in life that is filled with truth, exuberance, joy, sunshine (of course), and a belief that we can all be the grandest versions of ourselves that God intended for us to be. And quietly, people will notice the mission and they will become proud of themselves and confident within their own hearts and joyful in their own walks.

See, I don't believe life is filled with all the drama we decide to give it. "You" don't need to send/receive 750 texts a months to BE important - to BE of value. If you don't feel well, get better - and if you can't get better, be well. But don't BE a victim. If you must have the latest whatever, good, go get it, but don't BE that object. You are not a smart-phone or an i-pod or a whatever. BE important to you and the people you love. BE with them. What we need in the world is more people like my friend Carole, who authentically LIVE and touch people by having known them and aren't afraid to touch other people's hearts because you have touched hers.

Life is calling ~ go answer your smart phone and inspire someone today. Show up as a fascinating person who is fabulous and hard-working and gracious and loving and full of being. Show up at work that way and watch what a difference you make in the lives of your co-workers and what a difference it will make in yours. Make a difference. That's what I would be doing right now if I was "at work". And according to my friend, I am anyway.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Forth

"Once in the midst of a seemingly endless winter, I discovered within myself an invincible spring."

I'm doing a wedding cake, of sorts, for the auction (tonight) that raises funds for my niece and nephew's school. They go to a private, Christian school that I find to be so transformational. It's a beautiful school, but not as one would perceive beauty (in the physical sense). Beautiful as in what "it" teaches kids and how they are challenged and how they are given expectations beyond the normal compass of "acceptable". They are taught to "reach higher" and not just in a biblical sense (as in towards God & Jesus higher) but within themselves and within their family and communities. Reach Higher. Wouldn't that be great if all of us were taught that at a young age to "Reach Higher"! Imagine what would spring forth from more of us?!

The cake is a simple, spring-like, fresh, pure kind of cake. White, soft green, get it - refreshing. When I am planning a cake (a menu, a bathroom, a kitchen, an anything) for someone, I like to ask questions that find out the authentic FEEL of the event or end result. I like to find out what makes someone tick about something. Really tick. I think that people should stop asking "Will that be all today" (because, for the record, I'm going to start saying - "Isn't it enough?"). And instead ask your customer what motivated them to do business with you today. Something like this..."Have we fulfilled your needs today?" or how about "Thank you for supporting our business today. What made you choose us today?". Real questions that get to the heart of why people "do" what they do. "Will that be all today" - seriously, what an ungracious, unhelpful, unsatisfying, undeserving, and unfulfilling question to ask.

Instead, I asked the lady organizing the auction: what her theme was, what I could do to make the cake special for the event, what did she need from me to know that I would not fail to deliver the cake on time and with no extra effort or worry on her part. And I will be leaving here shortly to do just that. Deliver a lovely, simple, lemon cake with white frosting and fresh flowers on it that bring in a bit of the muted green color she has chosen for tonight. And while it is an honor for me to do anything that helps my niece and nephew's school, I will also thank my "customer" for choosing me to do this. Because it's enough.

It's going to be 40 degrees here today. That combined with my lovely spring cake and an event that my daughter and I get to play dress up to go to tonight reminds me that this long winter is nearly over and that the robins will be waking us again soon. That spring has sprung and God has given us another chance to create new possibilities for greatness.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Every Day's a Vacation

"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live." ~ Lin Yutang

I have officially been "off" work for 6 months and 9 days. Huh. In words, it seems like a long time to me. And on days, it feels that way too. It has certainly not been a vacation for me by any means, nor have I spent a single afternoon in a "useless" manner. People say that finding a job is more work than having one. Huh, again. Not sure if that is true, but I bet it made someone feel better if they believed it. I don't, but that's only because I really am a hard worker. I can't work hard or fast enough (unless it's Friday afternoon, and then, not get me started on that!). So this "vacation" of mine has been filled with lots of stuff to do, but not much that felt like work.

We just got back from a long weekend with James and Lisa in Florida. Oh how we love to play with them. And the four of us have certainly learned how to spend a perfectly lovely afternoon being perfectly useless. Ahh. It refreshes the soul, doesn't it? Such a grand life we have.

My husband's energy (for me) is that something is going to "pop" (please tell me he is NOT talking about the button on pants as I could not handle going up ANOTHER size!!) for me in the job market this spring. I wonder if he knows that Spring is only 2 weeks away. But that's his energy and I am just happy to have it be positive and surrounding me! And, as I have said before, Lisa is my biggest fan (yes, I have fans), so her energy is all about what a difference I can make in the world and it's usually bigger than anything I have ever dreamed for myself. And James...well, he's like my Cupcake (Jeanne) can't say one negative thing about him, so his energy just surrounds me with greatness!

That was my vacation...surrounded by three people who are building me to greatness. And I'm thankful and my hope is renewed and my spirit is lifted by having been with them for 5 days. Even unpacking didn't seem to dampen my spirits (but let's not pretend, it's still not fun). And I was thankful for their energy this past week as I received four more "hey, thanks but no thanks, even though we didn't even call you or meet you to see how great you are 'cuz we're really not interested in you but hope that you do well in your search and no need to reach us again" emails. Oh - was that title kind of long? Well, it's truly how I feel.

How can you even know I'm not the right candidate when you have never even spent 30 seconds getting to know me? How can I tell you how fabulous I am or what ideas I think I could bring to this job if I'm not given the time to tell you? That is what is most frustrating to me. This big ol' world just operates in one way and it has gotten worse and worse. Now, the computer will tell an employer if someone is the right match for the job. C'mon! Let's get back to the heart of running business people. When people were great and they hired more great people. Not when a computer couldn't find the "key tag words" they were looking for. The world was far better off when people used their hearts and heads to do their jobs instead of finding excuses why they couldn't get it done.

Grrrr....I'm ready to go back on vacation...............