Uncovering the wrong letter in the word team

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When you work with people for a significant amount of time, you not only become a real team but, you become friends.  You get to know the nuances of each team members character and you learn to blend your strengths with theirs.  They help to balance your weakness and you do the same for them.  It becomes an unspoken rule that you have each others’ back and treat each other with the utmost respect because you have developed a real bond at your job.

But, unfortunately, teams change.  Members of the group that you have come to know and admire often move on causing the dynamic in the team to become drastically altered.  People tend to cling to the familiar faces expecting them to be their closest allies but that is not always the case.   The feeling of working together suddenly changes and it now feels like you are working for the team and not with the team.

there-is-an-i-in-team

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When the faces of the group are substantially different, there is usually a member of the original group that will try to use that reality to their advantage.  Any allegiance that existed has been replaced by their valiant effort to get ahead and shine brighter than the other employees.  They insinuate themselves into the role of the “a-hole” and become the only “i” in the word team.

I have met many of these “i” people.  Usually the ones who had assumed this new identity shocked and disappointed me.  We had worked well together but when the opportunity of advancement presented itself they didn’t think twice about using me as a wrung on the ladder of their ultimate success.

I’m happy I was able to move beyond those people.  I didn’t dwell on their negative traits but focused solely on my positive traits and moved forward.  I chose to enjoy the hours I spend at work with a new team that appreciated my contributions.  I chose to be a part of a group where I could thrive and where my efforts would not be a stepping stone for that one person who didn’t know how to properly define or spell the word team.

 

Hearing the most important voice

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I did something yesterday that I sincerely hope I remember to never do again – I bought a fully processed and synthetic lunch because I had failed to prepare my own.  What seemed like a good idea at the time came back to haunt me a few hours later when every part of my body screamed in disgust.

Recently I have been very smart about my food choices.  With only the occasional “treat”, I have been preparing all of my own meals so I know exactly what my body is ingesting and I have really enjoyed cooking again and experimenting in the kitchen.  The only processed items that have passed my lips are the ones that I have processed myself so I know what kind of food is in my food.  My body made it abundantly clear today that it will no longer put up with my bad choices and laziness when it comes to preparing my own meals.

It is simple to adhere to a proper diet when you take a few moments to prepare in advance.  I love when I have a full day in the kitchen and am able to think ahead about what I want to use to fuel my body for the coming week.  I make all of my own soups and freeze them so I am not overwhelmed by the hidden sodium and preservatives in canned soups.  I make ‘Salad-in-a-Jar’ for each day of the week and sometimes even prepare sectioned grapefruit or ‘Refrigerator Oatmeal’ for breakfasts.  It takes the guess-work and stress out of having to prepare meals each morning for the work day ahead and it can prevent those bad choices when you are hungry and pressed for time.

salad in a jar

Salad in a jar was an amazing discovery for me.  I bought a case of Mason Jars and made a week’s worth of salads for lunch.  Each day I opened a jar onto a plate, the lettuce was still crisp and it was a quick way to have a healthy lunch.  For those of you who may have heard of these but never tried them, I urge you to buy some jars and spend and hour on the weekend making your lunches for a week.  Knowing those go-to lunches are always there during your work week will alleviate the stress of wondering what you will eat at the office and you can add any ingredients you like to your salad.

I listened to my body today and got the message loud and clear.  I’m not 25 anymore.  I can’t just eat what is available and go about my day without ever giving it a second thought.

Your body’s voice is the most important voice you will ever hear and you should heed its advice.   It will be more honest with you than any of your friends or your family and only has its best interest at heart.

 

I chose, but then I chose to choose again

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choices

Life is about making choices.  Every day we are presented with numerous situations in which we have to decide the outcome of the situation by using our instincts to make those choices.

I am certain I have made many choices that, given the chance to go back and do again, I would change at the drop of a hat.  But making those choices has made me who I am today, warts and all.   I learned a great deal about life and especially about myself by choosing the way I did.  And I learned even more about me by giving myself permission to make the choice to choose again.

I chose to get married.  It was a bad choice for me, given the circumstances, but it was a choice I needed to make to learn a very valuable lesson.  After that lesson had a chance to penetrate my brain, I made the choice to not be married anymore.  Some frowned on my choice without having understood how much that life was not meant for me.  It was a road I needed to venture down, but it was also the path that showed me who I could be if I chose to finally put myself first.  That was probably one of the first choices I ever made with only me in mind.  I didn’t gauge how many others would be affected by my choice.  I just chose to make myself happy without putting anyone else’s needs ahead of my own.

Just because you’ve chosen, doesn’t mean you can’t choose again.  While your first choice may have seemed to be the one that was best for you, perhaps making the choice to choose again will be the choice that will make you the happiest.  Life is not predictable and giving yourself permission to choose what is best for you should always be your first choice.

 

 

My wish

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fountain-coins

I wish, oh how I wish

that I could open up your heart.

I want to get to know you

but that’s the hardest part.

I know you from the outside,

your voice I recognize.

But the real you I’m looking for

is always in disguise.

Sometimes looking into your eyes

I can read what’s on your mind.

But then you turn, you look away,

afraid of what I’ll find.

I want to know what makes you tick,

what makes you run away.

I’d like to understand you,

there just seems no easy way.

My empty heart beats for you,

it wants us to be one.

It wants to heal the scars you bear,

to have the knots undone.

The seconds move, the hours wane,

and still you turn from me.

Still I wait, I keep you close,

awaiting what may be.

~~

(image credit)

Those little voices that follow me

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I have had a debate going on in my head for a long time.  I am a very spiritual person but I don’t devote myself to a particular religion. I don’t grace the interior of a church on a regular basis but I do believe in a higher power and life beyond this place we call our reality.

As I child I had a few “imaginary” friends.  I don’t recall their names, nor do I remember how long they graced me with their presence but I know, undoubtedly, that they were there.  I watched a movie years ago called ‘Walk Like A Man’ with Robert Downey Jr. and the discussion I was used to only having in my head came barreling, full force, into my here and now.  Perhaps the innocence of my childhood allowed me to hear things beyond my three-dimensional limitations.  Just maybe my mind was permitted to be opened to hearing the spirits that chose to help me on my journey through this physical world and those voices in my head were not merely conjured by childhood imagination.

spirit-guide-team

Similar to the plot line in the movie, those sounds in my head were slowly extinguished as I got older.  As my childhood innocence was replaced by teenage angst and the stress of being a young adult, the voices were unable to permeate the reality that had stolen my youth.  My ability to connect with those ethereal intonations was replaced by the clanging, brash sounds of adulthood.

I have been to mediums and people who are able to channel the spirits of those who have moved beyond the physical world.  Some have been a pure hoax and some have been truly blessed with the ability to connect with those voices that wait patiently on the other side for those who are able to hear them and willing to listen.  Through those people I have learned more about spirit guides and souls who have passed but are still connected to my soul.

I can occasionally hear those murmurs again.  Faint whispers land gently on my ears, each with their own unique way of communicating.  I like to believe that those voices have always been with me but I became too surrounded by the cacophony of life to hear them.  I take solace in the fact that I am never truly alone and if I listen closely enough, if I really stretch myself beyond the closed walls of my mind, the whispers of those friends and family will follow me through this journey into whatever adventure lay in wait for me after this one.

Finding the hidden beauty

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invisible sunrise

The sun may be rising

behind a curtain of clouds,

but it is still grabbing onto the horizon

and pulling itself into our morning sky.

The beauty may be hidden,

the stunning colors may be invisible,

but the sounds of a new day

echo what we cannot see.

Life begins anew as the sun comes up.

It rises regardless of any obstacles

and we can still feel its warmth.

Its light through the clouds is proof that a new day has dawned.

Even though it may not touch our skin,

we know that holds a place in our day.

And though we may not be able to see it,

we have faith that its hidden beauty is there,

waiting for that chance to peek through the clouds

and shine on us again.

 ~

(image credit)

Getting to the root of the question

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I am a natural brunette, or at least I was a natural brunette until sometime in my twenties.  Like my grandmother, my hair started to age before its time and I began to notice more salt than pepper at the roots surrounding my face.  I have been dying my hair since then because I refuse to go down the path of “aging gracefully” without a hearty fight.

Someone recently asked me what my natural hair color was and, after I finished giggling, I responded with “I’m guessing somewhere between alabaster and egg-shell white”.  I still like to think the hair color that I have paid for on numerous occasions reflects the age I feel and not the age I should look when I am eighty.

When I was younger I remember  hearing the belief that grey hair made men look distinguished but made women look old.  Along with every other changing belief, this is an outdated way of thinking and there are many women disproving this theory at an alarming rate.  One stand-out woman who takes grey hair to a new level of sexy is this woman.

Jamie-Lee-Curtis-image-3

Jamie Lee Curtis is 56 years old, a mere 10 years old than I am and she looks absolutely stunning having allowed herself to embrace the natural greying process.  Since the length of my hair in the summer months is very similar to her pixie cut, I have been tempted many times to put the box of “natural” color back on the shelf and see just what color my hair really is at this stage in my life.  Somehow those ‘Natural Instincts’ make their way to the counter every time.

Maybe when I hit that magic number, the big 5-0, perhaps then I will be ready to leave the color in the box, but until then it’s time to put those gloves back on and keep fighting the good fight.