To Boldly Go …

I can be my own best friend or my worst enemy. You know, sometimes my dreams just carry me; other times I get lost in a blur of “what’s going on?” Finding clarity can be tough. Looking for a role model. Someone I can climb up next to and find “my” place.

Imagining life one year from today, I will not be happy if it’s the same as it is right now. I wish to experience adventure and passion, challenge and achievement, the journey and the arrival at the goal. And sometimes the way is not clear.

So, girlfriends, if you’re standing at the peak of a mountain, send encouragement into the wind that it may carry to the heart of your sisters who are making their way along the path. And if you are standing at the base of a goal, take a step in the direction of your dream — if your dream isn’t clear, follow the voice in your heart.

I’ll pause now to meditate upon my breath and to find the path that calls. And I’ll look to you, my sisters, for inspiration.

PS as soon as I find the source for this photo, I shall give credit where due. The topiary women were designed by Topiary Joe of Tellico Plains TN. The giant Topiary Women reportedly stand at the Las Vegas Nove/Playboy Club/ Palms Resort.

School Lunch

Here it is … my attempt to provide my child with a balanced, nutritious, healthy lunch that will be fun to eat and socially acceptable among the lunchroom crowd.

Sometimes I include baby carrots – but otherwise I find vegetables most difficult to deliver (if only I could inspire a taste for V8). Some other common selections for the lunch box include: jerky (beef or turkey), pringles chips (a treat), peanuts, mixed nuts, pudding, granola bar, apple slices, dried fruit.

This one is packed with protein which I find helps support a focused attention span of a few more minutes than a more carb heavy selection.

What do you send to school for  your munchkin?


Back on Track

Okay, I hit a bump in the road. Stress derails me– tripping up my self discipline and leading me to the snack aisle. What knocks you off track?

Anyhow, that was last night. It’s a new day. I started with a cup of coffee and a protein-packed breakfast of whole grain toast topped with almond butter, sliced banana and honey drizzle. Increasing protein is tough for me because I gravitate toward all the grains.

Oatmeal, eggs with bacon and toast, or nutty granola with blueberries are my faves at home. As for going out for breakfast… when traveling internationally, I enjoy hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt and fresh breads with marmalade. In the U.S., I like buckwheat pancakes (though they’re tough to find), eggs Benedict (with tomatoes instead of potatoes), or an omelet. But I digress.

Did you know that bananas, blueberries, blackberries, apples, apricots, cherries and grapefruit are good sources of protein? I am thankful because they help keep breakfast interesting. Toss them together with walnut pieces. And fold in some plain Greek yogurt if you wish. Okay, back on track (and making a plan for tomorrow morning).

At lunch time, I squeezed in a 45 minute workout split with cardio & weights plus 5 minutes of stretching. Then for lunch I had a kale salad with pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, blue cheese crumbles, sweet onion, and carrot drizzled with red wine vinaigrette.

So tonight, I’ll stay mindful. Breathe deep. De-stress and keep on track for dinner of fish with vegetables and a glass of red wine. Not exactly the 4 hour body dream diet day, but a recovery diet day for me. How are you doing?



Classic Ad: Marilyn Monroe, Nike – ‘Statistics Lie’ –

Had to share this message from an inspirational ad run by Nike in the early 1990’s. Compelling still.

“A woman is often measured by the things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or doesn’t curve. By where she is flat or straight or round. She is measured by 36-24-36 and inches and ages and numbers. By all the outside things that don’t ever add up to who she is on the inside. And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is and who she is trying to become because as every woman knows, measurements are only statistics, and statistics lie.”

via Classic Ad: Marilyn Monroe, Nike – ‘Statistics Lie’ –

Practically Perfect in Every Way

Measure up with a tape, just like Mary Poppins. And adopt her mantra, too!

In my quest for fitness, I took to heart the recommendation to get off the scale. Instead, I am alerted to my results by the way my favorite jeans fit (or getting back in them). Another tool I like is the tape measure. Get the circumference of each bicep (they might vary), your chest just above the breast, your waist at the belly button, your hips across the widest part, and each thigh (they can be different). Then add up the inches. This number is the one to watch.

If you are working to whittle, you might find that you don’t lose weight but you do lose inches. Muscle is more dense than fat so it weighs more and takes up less space. So for the past month, while I didn’t see a drop on the scale, I did find a drop of an inch. My weight shifted from fat to muscle. Theoretically, this will help boost my metabolism, too. I’ll keep you posted.

At the same time, while measuring my flesh and bone, I have embraced the Mary Poppins perspective. Practically perfect in every way, I repeat to myself in the mirror. I thank my body for working with me here. Enough of the judgment. On with getting stronger and healthier. I recommend it – talking to your self with the same encouraging perspective you would share with a friend.

Share your ideas and tips – what works for you?

How to Get a Free Head-to-Toe Makeover

I saw this on Rachel Ray and had to share! You can get a head-to-toe designer makeover without spending money. Invest some time and you’ll see a new you.

Hair: Check in for the Salon Training Night (usually a high end salon will have weekly training sessions with staff).  Be flexible – training events are usually held in the evening. And plan for extra time – since it is training, the process may take longer than a typical appointment. Most importantly, be open minded – you get the look they want to give you based on the training program. Rest assured, it will be salon worthy.

Make-up: Visit the cosmetics counter at the department stores (such as Clinique or MAC). Choose an off-peak time like mid-morning so the consultant can spend the time with you. You’ll get full make-up and a lesson in application, plus possible sample booty to go!

Outfit: Take your old look to the resale boutique (some will give consignment, others give you immediate credit for your things). Trade for a new look to go with your hair and makeup!

Then be off with your new self to enjoy the day!

Tap Into the Power of Thanks

Six Effective (and Affordable) Ways to Improve Morale, Motivation, and the Bottom Line ~ via WE magazine for women.

Here is my takeaway:

  1. Always say “Thank You”
  2. Be Open to Constructive Criticism
  3. Care Enough to Help Others or Improve Yourself
  4. Graciously Accept Thanks
  5. Give Consistent Heartfelt Recognition
  6. Acknowledge Positive Performance

At the very least, consider a heartfelt handwritten note. It makes quite an impression. Even though the paper is soon recycled, the sentiment lives on. This is wonderful professionally, and personally, too. Thanks for your attention.

Working Together Across Generations

Ah, pursuit of happiness. Finding fulfilling work. I sometimes wonder if my resume is kicked aside because I am “older.” Would it be intimidating for an employer to bring in a someone as old as her mother to “boss around?” Probably. But hey, have the nerve to talk with me first!

I recently enjoyed a perspective from 20-something Kayla Cruz in How to Get Along With Older Coworkers « Gen Y Girl. Entertaining; and it hit home on some important issues about working together across generations. Like, how to forge the relationships that make getting things done more pleasant.

I suggest mentorships. Not one-way teacher-student pairings but mutually beneficial partners who can help one another shore up weak areas – I’ll show you my abacus and you can show me your laptop … But seriously, I could use an update on the latest social media facets I could share the wisdom of a trend analysis. And, then, getting to know one another comes more easily.

When I was in my 30’s, I worked for a woman who was 60 and considered a curmudgeon. She was quite talented, actually. I learned a lot from her and a lot about her that led me to have great respect for her. We never became “friends.” But I am thankful to have earned her respect. It doesn’t always have to be personal.

On my team was a woman in her 50’s and completely full of energy. She always had an inspirational message to share.  It was fun to meet with her over a project, and, to share the occasional lunch hour with her. I rarely noticed the difference in our ages.

Final example. I hired a 20 something fresh out of college. It was wonderful to have her energy, and it was frustrating to have to tactfully tell her to make sure her top was long enough and/or her bottoms high enough so that her thong panties weren’t showing. I blushed. She just tucked it in. (Reminds me of the time the elastic broke in my half-slip and I found it at my ankles while standing among my colleagues).

Anyhow, I can share examples with male colleagues too. Like the time the company hired a man who was younger than me and less experienced in business overall – to be my boss – because they couldn’t have a “girl” running the account. Even though I had been successfully running the business for 6 months while they searched a replacement. Let’s hope that one doesn’t fly anymore.

It is key to enjoy people and to inspire the best work toward common company goals, then embrace the friendship that develops. Most will stay within the office hours. And some will stay with you for life.

Working Woman

Job search rituals have become automated and computerized. Posts rarely include a person to contact – complete with name, phone number, and address for correspondence (not even an email in most listings).

We apply via computer to the discerning logic of a search engine. So my resume is updated with “keywords” highlighting my career and my competencies. It can be helpful to hire a resume writer trained in the art of defining and presenting your talents. Or you can find a template online.

In addition, it is wise to do your research. Search for detail about the job you wish to land – look up the company, make sure you are familiar with the responsibilities outlined in the job listing. Be ready to meet the requirements of the position and to present your strengths in doing so. Also consider what you want from an employer (this is a process to determine mutually satisfactory fit). Prepare for compensation negotiation.

I’ve had a couple interviews. Made it to the finalists. But so far, always a bridesmaid. I know my perfect position will pop up. And when it does, I’ll be ready.

What tips do you have? How did you land your job?

Apple or Pomegranate?

A question asked often since the long lost days in The Garden. I suggest, neither. Let me attempt an explanation. In the tradition of storytelling and to help explain complex concepts, symbols are used to paint a familiar picture. This way, the idea can be translated by the most people in some way.

We do not harvest a “tree of knowledge” (nor a “money tree” unfortunately) growing in the garden offering orbs of “forbidden fruit.” However, there is the opportunity to experience in a way that gives focus to time and space rather than the ethereal world of All That Is. This focus branches out and takes root, as a tree would. And in this human realm, one is limited to the five senses through which we can get a “taste” for the physical. There is much to explore in this tale and many have found a facet of understanding to share. What is your interpretation?

Still, if one wishes to take it literally, take your pick – apple or pomegranate – but pick wisely (the one you least favor) as it will forever be “the forbidden fruit.” Though I would not want to ban either the apple or the pomegranate as they both offer wonderful nourishment to the body.