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.

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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  Any allegiance that existed has been replaced by their valiant effort to get ahead and shine brighter than the other employees.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.

 

Take a bite of a story and digest it thoroughly

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“The man who reads lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen.  The man who never reads lives only one.”

 George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

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There is something divinely quieting about a good book.  It can take all of the external forces in our lives and make them seem non-existent for a few well-deserved moments. Losing ourselves in a great story line can give us a temporary escape from reality and take us on a journey to a life outside of our own.

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Although authors don’t write with us in mind, their words can give us a momentary reprieve from the demons that stalk us throughout our busy days and that try to dwell in the hours that we would like to thrive in after the work day is done.  When you open that novel or turn on that E-reader, the chaotic minutes that you have survived during your work day cease to matter and the outside world becomes a distant memory.

If you are one of the fortunate few who can switch that après-work brain to the “off” position, you are able to allow yourself to become fully involved in the plot line that the author has created and send yourself on a journey far beyond the realm of your existence.  The words on the page seep into your mind and transport you to a place and time ever distant from the here and now.

Those words, the way they are woven into a complex story line, allow us the ability to sink into a world of imagery and intrigue.  They give us the opportunity to leave our stress behind, to leave the world in which we live and venture into the fabricated journey of elusive enjoyment.  Those words have the power to enlighten us, torture us, amuse us and keep reality at bay as long as we will let them.

We owe it to ourselves to relish those moments of escape.  We deserve to embrace the worlds beyond our own and tune out the brash sounds of our real lives by bathing in the dulcet tones of pure fantasy.  Do yourself a favor…..grab a book, turn off the television and let yourself be transported by words.  You will be surprised at how simple it is to be carried away by your imagination.

Now, if you’ll excuse me….it’s time to shut the world out and take that first bite.

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.

 

 

Holy shit…..I knew it

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swearing

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I always felt there had to be a positive outlook on my sometimes expletive vocabulary!   As much as I try not to swear in my writing, I can curse like a trucker when I’m watching a football game.  There are days when those words seem to convey how I am feeling more than any other word….and I love words.

Sometimes there is no better expression of emotion than to simply let a few cuss words out in the conversation.  Those words are able to convey a simple honesty about how you are really feeling rather than having to grapple with finding the perfect word to sum up your feelings.   That one curse word is short and succinct and the person hearing that word is not left wondering how you really feel.

I will still strive to stretch my vocabulary when it comes to my writing but if I’m giving you a brief verbal synopsis on how something made me feel, don’t be surprised at the number of f-bombs I drop during our conversation.

A little dab’ll do ya

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Although this cute little catch phrase was originally used for Bryl Cream, it came rushing to the forefront of my mind when I passed a young man on his way into the grocery store as I was heading out.  He was wearing SO much cologne that I actually began to gag on the way to my car.  The scent permeated, not only my nostrils but, my taste buds and it eventually began to burn my throat.  It was overwhelming.  I guess he was never taught the old adage – a little goes a long way.

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I may have a slightly tarnished view of this because I am allergic to perfume and cologne so any slight whiff affects my delicate sensibilities, but, even so, it was like watching the well-groomed version of Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoon except the cloud was a film of cologne instead of his usual dust cloud.

I think Axe Body Spray for men, and any perfume or cologne companies for that matter, should adopt a new advertising campaign – commercials showing women and men running in horror from the noxious cloud created by those who don’t know when to say enough is enough when it comes to “dabbing” on that bit of fragrance.

For those of you fortunate enough to be able to wear your favorite scents, please remember – everything in moderation.  A little dab really will do ya.

Smart phones, stupid people

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ctv

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I frequently watch the news when I get home from work.  I like to feel that I am remotely connected to what is happening around me and have some knowledge of events that may have an effect on how I venture into the next day.

Last night, the top story angered, saddened and disgusted me.  A video was taken of a female police officer being physically attacked by two teenage girls.  The video was then uploaded to the internet and has been viewed an alarming number of times.  But the worst part, for me, is the fact that the person who stood and filmed the abuse did nothing to help the officer who so obviously could have used the help.  The officer handled herself with the utmost decorum and did not encourage further violence by reacting in a way that would only spur on the attack.

I don’t often rant on this blog but this situation made me absolutely furious.  This person not only stood by and watched a woman who swore an oath to protect and serve, and sadly to protect and serve the same horrible human being who had the audacity to stand by and film an assault on an officer of the law but, they also had the balls to laugh at the end of their video when the teens attempted to flee the scene and the struggle came to an end.

I cannot tell you that I would jump into the middle of the melee because I abhor violence.  But what I can tell you is that I would be using my phone to call 9-1-1 instead of standing still, clicking the record button on my video and bearing witness to a crime, only to film it, and upload it, for a deplorable laugh.  Teens who were interviewed and showed the video also laughed until the reporter asked why they found the video funny.

It worries me that this is how society today respects figures of authority and accepts the most hideous displays of behavior as funny without being the least bit concerned about right and wrong.  I can safely say that in this case, the phone that was used to film this atrocity is much smarter than the person who owns it.