Uncovering the wrong letter in the word team

5 Comments

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

(image credit)

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  Any allegiance that existed has been replaced by their valiant effort to get ahead and shine brighter than the other employees.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

14 Comments

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.

 

Of Mice and Men in the attic – fiction

12 Comments

attic

After hearing the word mispronounced, with the emphasis on the wrong syllable, she had an idea of what to do with the wretched people who would not allow her solace.  Fanatic – indeed they were.  They camped out in her driveway, followed her everywhere but, one by one, they became smaller in numbers.  Her “fan-attic”, mind you, was becoming rather full.  She hoped the smell would dissipate.

~~

66 Word Micro-Fiction written for the Chimera Challenge at Grammar Ghoul Press.  This week’s challenge is to write a piece using the word ‘Fanatic’ – noun – a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal.  (image credit)

chimera-badge

 

 

 

 

Take a bite of a story and digest it thoroughly

6 Comments

“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

~~

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.

iwdayala0240c

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.

A slight “paws” in my heart beat

14 Comments

My dog is near me more often than not.  She has become an extension of me and that bond has only been strengthened over this past winter because she has been able to come to work with me when the lodge is quiet.  It may seem like an unnatural relationship to those who do not understand the dynamic between human and canine but I cannot imagine my life without her.

window2

My two best friends were visiting over the past weekend and Callaway and I got to spend some much-needed time reconnecting with them.  It was great to see them and know that my puppy is just as fond of them as I am.

On Saturday morning while I was working, “Auntie Sami” had offered to take Callaway for a walk to her cottage which is a few short kilometers from the lodge.  A short time later, my cell phone rang and my heart missed a beat when I saw the number.  It was Sam and my brain automatically switched into panic mode.  I immediately began to formulate scenarios of what had potentially happened to my dog even before I answered the phone.  I calmly picked up the call and heard that Callaway was nowhere to be seen.

I trusted that she was fine but, being the protective mother I am, I sprinted across the parking lot to my car and began the short drive to the cottage.  Before I was even halfway out the first road, I saw a very familiar black shape in the middle of the road.  I slowed my car, whistled and watched as a ton of loyalty on four legs came sprinting down the road.  She jumped into the car and we made our way to the cottage to pick up Sam and tell her everything was fine.

Poor Sam was still searching for Callaway when we pulled up beside her.  As it turns out, Sam had deemed that everything in her cottage was fine and made a comment to my dog about going back to find mommy.  When Sam bent down to tighten the straps of her snow-shoes, Callaway had taken it upon herself to do just that and began running back to the lodge to find me.  She was out of Sam’s eyesight before Sam had stood back up and she was smart enough to make the necessary turns and follow the two roads back to the lodge.

I wish everyone could have the opportunity to have a dog.  I wish everyone could experience that type of loyalty and unconditional love.  I’m not her pack leader.  I am her family.

 

 

 

I chose, but then I chose to choose again

16 Comments

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

13 Comments

swearing

 (image credit)

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.