Miles on the highway can soothe the soul. At some point in life, everyone has a moment where their spirits are low and your soul needs a recharge. Recently, this was the case. Lucky for me—-one of my closest girls were available and flew in for the trip! I picked her up from the airport—-vehicle packed and ready to hit the road. We called it the “Thelma and Louise Trip”! However, with any luck, no one would be killed—-especially us when we arrived at our destination!

Two girls on the open road—-free spirits—-no counting calories —-no working out! We’d sleep when we were tired—-eat when we were hungry—-and well go when we needed to.

Down the highway we rolled—-chatting and laughing —-Our first stop, a travel plaza just outside the city. We needed a caffeine stop. Chocolate as well! What’s a trip without chocolate? We found our snacks—-headed back to the vehicle—-plotted our shopping stops and away we went! Our target—-exit 68! Lucky for us the GPS screen gave us a listing of approaching exits including distances to each.

Wheeling down the highway, laughing and talking—-having a great time —-when my partner in crime noticed we were approaching exit 61! What happened to 68? Had we driven past it without noticing? Could it be possible we didn’t smell the shopping? I frantically pulled the destination up on my phone’s map. There was a reason we were at exit 61—-we had yet to change states! Exit 68 was in the neighboring state which we had yet to drive in to! We looked at each other—-stunned—-then laughter filled the vehicle!

We continued down the highway. Before long, the huge sign welcoming us to the next state was in front of us. Within minutes we hit our desired exit. Anticipation quickly filled the vehicle as we entered the parking lot to our destination! It was at that time we realized the incredible shopping we thought we’d find was merely a deserted island of shopping gone bad. We hit the highway—-calculating our next stop!

At times, knowing exactly where you are headed doesn’t always get you exactly to where you want to be. After all, it’s the journey that matters—-not the destination!

Sometimes a good laugh—-being with a person that knows you—-that truly understands you—-and eating chocolate are all you need!

Did you know you can’t think and be angry at the same time? It’s true!  It has been medically proven; the human body is incapable of both at the same time.

Not long ago, a friend of mine and I had gone for a long, challenging bike ride. Before you get the idea of a serene, therapeutic ride through the woods, it’s quite the polar opposite. For some reason, we feel the need to race each other the entire trail. This day in particular, we had challenged each other for a total of 20 miles—-after which we took a dip in the pool at my friend’s house. By the time all was over, it was later in the evening—-completely dark.

While my friend utilized the outdoor shower—-I went to my vehicle and retrieved my bag. I was in dire need of a shower. There is nothing better than an outdoor shower—-unless of course it’s November. I dropped my bag inside the door, shed my sweaty clothes, wrapped a towel around me, grabbed my toiletry bag and headed for the shower. My friend passed by me and back into the house. I was in heaven as the water fell on me. It was a great night. The sky was clear. A light breeze brought the smell of summer into the air. This would be an extra long shower.

When finished, I wrapped the towel around me and stepped out of the shower. It was then that I realized —-I was standing outside—-my clothes were in the house. Now this probably doesn’t sound like an issue—-just open the slider and walk into the house—-right? Well that might be the case if it were a normal house. However, my friend worries about intruders and therefore installed a security system somewhat similar to that of the White House. The only thing missing are the secret service agents. When you close a door behind you—-they lock. If you know the code, you can walk completely around the house to the side door, input the code into the keypad and open the door. If you do not know the code—-you’re stuck outside. Which is what I was—-in nothing but a towel. Thank goodness for towels!

I knocked on the door—-nothing. I could have called from my cell—-it was in the house. Nice and secure. I could have driven to my house, except my vehicle’s key fob was—-you guessed it—-inside the house. Everything I needed, including my friend to open the door, was inside the house—-locked up tight as a military arsenal. My friend—-no where in sight.

So there I am—-in a towel—-barefoot—-walking around the house knocking on doors and windows —-ringing the doorbell—-in a failing attempt to get the attention of my friend. The house was completely secure. On the other hand, I was becoming dinner for every mosquito in the area. Maybe a neighbor would see me and call the police. No such luck. Where are nosy neighbors and police officers when you need them?

My first reaction—-absolute anger. Hello?! Whatever happened to checking on people?!

As I calmed down—-the realization that ‘everything broken down becomes simple’ came to mind. A keypad was numbers—-numbers had combinations—-remember combinations he told you in the past. Think—-THINK!  All I had to do was remember any combination of numbers that seemed relevant. I walked up to the the keypad and started inputting number combinations.  The first code, failed. The second, failed. The third—-the green light displayed and I heard the beautiful click of the door opening! I had opened the door! It doesn’t seem like opening a door would be so joyous. However, I felt as though I had just won a gold medal at the Olympics. Not that I know what that feels like, but this had to be close.

Seconds later, I was in the house and wearing clothes! Where was my friend you ask? Sitting in the bedroom watching television. Not a single one of my knocks, nor the doorbell I rang 20 times had been heard. He looked up and said, “That was a very long shower you took.”  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to giggle or seriously injure him!

I laughed, sat down and decided to say nothing. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. After all, I was impressed with myself. I managed to think my way around a state of the art security system. What my friend doesn’t know, won’t hurt him. Right?

Remember, you can’t think and be angry at the same time. Sometimes, it’s better to think than react—-believe in the power you have within yourself—-and always have your cell phone and clothes near at all times!

 

Have you ever decided to eat healthy?

Why is it women are always on a “diet”.  A statement you will never hear a female say, “I need to gain weight!” I’m fairly sure if I did happen by that statement it would cause my brain to malfunction.

Recently, I made a commitment to increase my exercise regime and eat healthy—-ok healthier.  There are some things a female should not give up.  Things like chocolate, the occasional french fry, nacho night and Starbucks runs. These keep one’s sanity in check.

So in my newfound “healthy” mode, I decided to be proactive and hard boil eggs to have for a quick grab healthy protein snack. This seems intelligent—-Right?

Please allow me to digress. Two days ago, I found an aromatherapy shower gel claiming to give “energy”. Of course I had to buy it. Who doesn’t want “energy”?

Now back to boiling the eggs. I had just walked in the door from a 6 mile run. Knowing it takes approximately 15 minutes roughly, I decided to be efficient and boil eggs while taking my shower. It feels pretty good to multi-task successfully! The eggs were boiling and up the stairs to the shower I went.

My new “energy” shower gel smelled wonderful. The smell—-very relaxing. Walking out of the shower I felt like a wet noodle. The same feeling you have after a great massage. As I sat down on my bed, I thought to myself, “I’ll just close my eyes for a second.” The energy shower gel was more on the level of tryptophan then caffeine.

I awoke to a very loud explosion and the smell of sulfer. THE EGGS!

I ran down the stairs to find my kitchen had become an episode of kitchen nightmares! Did you know when eggs boil to the point of all water evaporating they explode?  Completely blow up. I had an entire week of boiled eggs in pieces on the ceiling—-cabinets—-oven—-floor—-countertops—-everywhere —-and even places you can’t imagine.

I grabbed the pot from the stove as the last egg exploded. What a mess. My “energy” shower gel had backfired. My kitchen looked as if a food fight had taken place. After 3 hours of cleaning—-I have the cleanest kitchen on the block! My “health” kick no longer involves hard boiled eggs. Lastly, my “energy” shower gel has been changed to “tranquility”.

Sometimes multi-tasking isn’t the best option. Sometimes you are better off taking life one step at a time, eating chocolate and enjoying life. If you try to multitask too many things at once—-well—-things can explode.

The next item on my health food kick—-salad!

Most days start with the same routine—the alarm chimes off too soon—I stumble to the bathroom and step on the scale—this shocks me awake to a point I’m able to safely get in the shower. Isn’t it amazing how a nice shower can complete our wake up?

30 minutes later I’m headed to the office. Another day—wonder what is in store. Bullying seems to be the topic of choice these days. We hear about children pushed to their breakpoint because of constant badgering from their peers. I’ve often wondered how it is a child moves into a personality where they feed off of bullying another child. However, after being exposed to the adult form of this behavior, I am fully aware how this behavior can begin in children.

What is more interesting is how the situation has become somewhat of a lab experiment for me. Although I am the recipient of the harassment and bullying behavior—at times a person must step back and see the root cause of the behavior. How is it adults can group together and “gang up” on harassing someone? How is it they have never been taught this behavior is not appropriate? The best question—why is it most prevalent with women?

I introduced you to the ‘Mean Girl’ click last week. Rest assured they have yet to mature. In fact, last week after once again complaining about my wardrobe—they once again attempted to mimic my style.  Another funny anecdote —they attempt to copy the style of someone they bully.  Further adding validity to the theory women bully other women that intimidate them.  We should consider bullying a compliment.  As it is validation we have become a driving force of intimidation to insecure women like these.

This brings me to the root of my observation about bullying. Have you ever noticed with clicks of insecure women—they are evil to any woman they deem to be intimidating—better looking—more successful—or anyone that raises the bar in any way. It is interesting to me how we as women do not embrace the differences and leverage our positive attributes to raise ourselves into new levels. Why? Instead the insecure group together to seek and destroy the strong. It is no wonder to this day men remain at the top of most corporate ladders. When have you ever seen men grouping together to gossip and tear down a coworker? My point—they never do.

Last week I was subjected to harassment—bullying behavior—and outright hateful attitudes. It made me feel sad for them. I watched as they fed off of each other—the bullying a form of stress release for them. It is sad —how awful their lives must be that they have to inflict this kind of craziness at the office. How can we ever eliminate bullying in our children if it exists within adult society?

They say Karma affects everyone. Karma can be something as simple as having to exist within the toxic mentality people create inside themselves.

My challenge to all of you is to stand above the typical “female” —as most men describe it. Stand out in a crowd—let your own personal style shine—be unique—leave the insecurities behind—we as women do not have to attend every battle we are invited to! My challenge is to hold your head high—know your value even if others are attacking it—and strut!

Have you ever had to work with women who are still living as though they are in high school? These juvenile delinquents live in a false reality of gossip and deceit. Whereby anyone they are intimidated by become instant enemies. They will befriend you to your face— and work overtime behind your back to destroy by any means necessary.

I have the wonderful opportunity to work with 3 women fitting this profile. Some days it is very entertaining to watch the exhaustive measures they will go in their attempts to take out all females of any perceived “threat”.

As for me—other than entertainment, it doesn’t bother me. Although I did think it might be entertainment for everyone, so thought I’d share.

Please allow me to digress a moment to give you a description of the women I’m speaking of.  The first is young, impressionable and naive. She borders on anorexia and tends to make fun of those that do not look like they’ve spent undue time in a third world country. The 2nd is very tall with enormous hands. She talks in the tone of a two year old and seems to think “Ummm” is a word used by smart people as a conjunction. The 3rd is the ring leader. She has a huge education chip on her shoulder—namely—she has no education.  She expends enormous energy staying “in the know” of the gossip circle and will make up juicy gossip if she fails to dig any up. Her fashion code can best be described as “Goodwill Chic” which wouldn’t matter if she wasn’t so critical of everyone else. Her business shoe of choice—flip flops. Her personality as genuine as a three dollar bill. Some of the more sophisticated females in the group have nicknamed her “Trailer”— although I’m sure that would insult those living in a trailer park.

As for me, I remain neutral watching the antics and the drama like a very bad Broadway show. The ring leader can turn the most simple of tasks in a drama routine even Elizabeth Tailor would envy. My mistake with the ring leader? I love fashion and am influenced by no one—most especially her.

My first encounter with the ring leader, I was merely walking to my office. She walked up to me with an ear to ear Cheshire Cat smile and said, “GOOD MORNING!” It was so animated it caught me off guard. First thing in the morning, most people are not screaming at the top of their lungs. Startled— I’m fairly sure my feet left the ground. It’s difficult to maintain composure with so much noise. As I returned a normal toned “good morning”, she began to walk with me. As we walked, we played 50 questions. Her throwing numerous inappropriate personal questions and me avoiding most of them. Finally, she became distracted by another victim and off she went. Whew!

The day continued, busy as usual, when my phone rang. It was a man from the human resources department—he needed to meet with me briefly. That is never good. Off to his office I went. As I walked into his office he began to speak. He informed that the ring leader had been down numerous times to complain about my wardrobe. “You know how women are”, he chimed. “No—how are women?” I responded. He informed my dress was too “edgy” and was making women envious. “Does it fit within the dress code guidelines of the company handbook?”, I asked. His response was a definite “Yes”. Although it was making the ring leader feel less than adequate, therefore she needed to complain. “Can you put that in writing please?”, I asked. “There’s no need for that, as this isn’t anything formal, just the two of us speaking.” He replied. Of course an illegal conversation wasn’t going to be documented in writing.

As I returned to my office, the ring leader was business as usual —yelling and creating drama to draw attention to herself. I wondered if people like her ever get tired. Do they get tired of pretending to be happy? Do they get tired of creating drama? Do they get tired of wondering what it would be like to be genuine? Have they lost hope entirely of ever knowing what genuine and honest actually feel like?

As she walked away, the sound of her walk thumped like wild buffalo running on the plains. I overheard one of her team state, “thank God she left!” A piece of me felt sorry for her, as she most definitely had no idea her direct reports have no respect for her. Karma is a funny thing. It can rear it’s head in the most odd of times.

It is interesting to me how some women still operate as if in a click in high school. How can we expect bullying to be eliminated in our schools when parents instigate it in the workplace? Instead of leveraging the talents around them, why does the ring leader feel so threatened that she has an innate need to eliminate the competition?

One of the younger women in the office walked up to me the other day and said, “You’ve raised the fashion bar around here. Look!” I turn around to see the ring leader attempting to dress like me. The young girl smirked and said, “She is trying but failing miserably!”

Why is it there are insecure women who can’t get their act together therefore they have an inner need to cause trouble for those of us who do have our act together? As women, we have enough pressure with society and career. Do we really need to cause more for each other?

For now, the ring leader is content in creating drama and spending enormous time during the day catching up on the latest gossip. As she continues on her journey—I will share some of my more humorous observations. After all—I will most definitely continue to wear my sassiest stilettos—and strut! Which will win me (and my trusted readers) a front row seat!

 

 

 

Do you ever have days when you have to laugh at yourself—otherwise you would eat too much chocolate?

Why are we our worst critics?  Why are negative people allowed to tarnish a great day?  Why do we let them?

You can be the most beautiful person in the world —everybody envisioning light and rainbows when they look at you—but if you do not know it—if you do not know your value—your self worth—all of what people think is irrelevant.

Every second you spend doubting your worth—every moment you criticize yourself—are seconds wasted—moments thrown away on negativity.   Life is not permanent.

Do not waste any of your seconds— do not throw even one of your moments away.  Live life positively!  See value in yourself!  Put on your favorite kicks—lift your chin up—and strut!

Have you ever met the “Perfect Man”? Well, obviously no human is perfect, but the perfect man for you. A few years ago, 6 years to be exact, I was introduced to my version of perfection.

We actually lived in different areas of the country at the time. So when he first called me—anything was possible. The day we met, he was moving his only child into their first home. Empty nest syndrome was setting in already. He was taking it in stride, but the reality of his baby growing up was setting in.

As we spoke, the conversation was lighthearted—enjoyable—pleasant and entertaining. It was a Saturday. Sitting in the Burbank airport awaiting my flight home—we had our first call. After an hour on the phone, he asked if he could call me later in the day—I agreed.

That evening, he called as promised. We spoke for hours about everything from life to hobbies—food to travel—as I continued to hear his voice—perfection set in. We spoke via phone—text—or email all day long for the next 5 days.

Thursday afternoon my perfect man mentioned that we should meet—face to face. He was not looking for a phone friend and there was an “elephant in the room” we needed to tackle. Namely, we’d never met—face to face.

Jokingly I said, “I’m free tomorrow!” “DONE!”, he exclaimed. What just happened?

The next thing I knew, an email popped through with airline and hotel reservations for —Tomorrow! I quickly opened my calendar and began to move meetings and appointments! After all — meeting the man of my dreams was more important than any meeting!

After clearing my calendar—off to the mall I flew. A new outfit was needed! Something chic—eye catching—sexy! I wanted to make a statement! To strut!

Almost immediately, I had the perfect dress. It was a modern mini to show off my legs! Of course a great pair of stilettos! Lastly, Being that it was the dead of winter—I’d need tights to keep warm. Instead of going with the tights already in my drawer—new tights were in order. A stop by hosiery—I was all set!

Boarding the plane—my stomach was in knots! Would he like me—am I too tall—too fat—to this or too that—as women we can be so hard on ourselves!

I landed and off to the lounge I went. His flight would be about 20 minutes behind mine—so we agreed to meet in the frequent flyer lounge.

He emailed from in flight — delay — he would be an hour now instead of 20 minutes. Great—more time for me to melt down.

By the time he called to inform he had landed and was making his way to my location—I was a nervous ball of goo. Is it possible to analyze yourself into oblivion? If so, I accomplished it that day!

When he walked into the room—the whole world stopped—the “elephant” flew away leaving behind— PERFECTION!

My only task—getting a car service—forgotten in the midst of analyzing into goo. Therefore, a cab was the option.

We arrived at the hotel —checked into our respective rooms and headed up to change for dinner.

Walking into my room—my heart racing—I flipped open my suitcase—grabbed my makeup and headed for the shower. It was time to strut my stuff!

I hurried out of the shower, freshened up my makeup and sat down to put on my tights. My hands pulled them up to my knees, I stood up, and pulled—the tights running out at the middle of my thigh. What?! They were too short!

Grabbing the second package I looked at the size the clerk selected—too short! What would I do? It was freezing, to go bare legged was impossible. I pulled the tights up as far as I could and threw my dress on, the dress covered the top of the tights barely two inches! It would have to work.

Walking very carefully, we left for dinner. “Please don’t let my tights fall!” I thought to myself. If there is a God my tights won’t fall. Strutting was not possible—all focus now was on staying upright and not tripping over short tights!

Making it through dinner—we headed back to the hotel. The tights barely in place. I made it!

As we walked back into the hotel, I said, “change into sweats and meet you back here?” “Ok!” He replied. I hobbled back to my room—ripped off the tights—breathed a sigh of relief—changed into sweats and headed back to talk to perfection. We talked and laughed the rest of the evening.

Sometimes in life—relaxing and enjoying the imperfections help us to see the humor in life — figure out what is important—and forget about all the minor details. It is possible to strut even if your tights are too short!

Have you ever had a bad date? When we are young, everyone tells us to meet our Prince Charming while in college. “If you don’t know your husband by your Senior year—you have a better chance of being hit by a bus then finding a husband!” I was raised in a time warp somewhere between “The Help” and “Footloose”.  No stress there!

As an adult—dating becomes interesting.  Case in point—years ago—a married friend set me up.  Her theory?  If a man is single— I’m single—two single people should be together—right? Wrong!

So here I am agreeing to a blind date —all of my instincts telling me to stay home and spend time with my trusty canine.  She didn’t want to throw me completely to the wolves–so it was decided we’d double date to the Symphony. I loved the symphony, so why not?

We arrived at the amphitheater. My date was waiting at the bar—nerves must have made him thirsty as he was drinking like a dog on a hot day! As we walked up to make introductions—I noticed his shirt was untucked —and his slacks were dropped enough to allow his horizontal smile to shine in public. He smiled—put out his hand and shouted “Very meet to Wow you’re hot!”—the alcohol induced slurring and spitting causing much attention. He brought his outdoor voice inside. Joy—my date was the male alter ego of Roseanne Barr!

We filed in and took our seats. As the symphony started to play—he leaned onto me yelling — “Why are you single?”—”I think you’re hot!”—”Is that your God hair color?” —”Are you on a diet like most women?”

As I was contemplating how this wonderful gem had managed to avoid being snatched up—it happened—INTERMISSION!

Everyone emptied into the lobby for a drink. I slammed down a glass of Pinot Noir—watched my date fall to the floor—excused myself from the group and walked home.

Dating as an adult is like a box of chocolates—sometimes you’re going to be forced to taste one you don’t like! It doesn’t stop you from grabbing another one in the hopes it might just be the perfect flavor on the next try!

 

Stumble Steps

Have you ever noticed when something embarrassing happens you’re never alone? The other day—while walking out of the office — down the stairwell—I was speaking to one of the young girls from another department. Quickly noticing she had exchanged her heels for flip flops—we began to talk about shoe comfort.

I’m one of those odd women that has more grace in heels. Although I love flip flops—walking forward in them is a challenge. Tripping down is more what is accomplished.

As we spoke about grace and tripping—walking down the stairs—me in front and her two steps behind—suddenly I felt my ankle give. You know the feeling—when the realization hits that falling is inevitable! Fall I did! I went flying forward—down two steps—my pocketbook flying into the air— and landed on all fours like a dog at the bottom of the stairs. My butt in the air—of course—the worst position possible!

Completely embarrassed—I immediately jumped to my feet—laughed it off and kept going. My fear—tomorrow the entire office would be whispering about my fall from grace. Maybe I could find another job by tomorrow—disguise myself—call in sick for a week until something new distracted everyone—what should I do?

The next day—nothing. Not a word. Maybe I managed to slide by unscathed!

Three days later —while speaking to a colleague—strength came up in conversation. “You are tougher than anyone here!” She professed. Why would she say that? She knew very little about me. She continued, “the other day you fell down the stairs—no blood or broken bones—in fact—no ambulance was needed! You merely jumped up—shook it off—never missed a beat and kept going! I’m not going to mess with you!”

What I thought would be an embarrassing moment —turned into a life defining moment. Sometimes in life we have to just shake it off—move on! Afterwards—let whatever happens—happen at will—lastly, always remember to hold your head high and strut!

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