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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting Ready for Round Two! #TR30Days

Watch the Video....

It's about that time to make out my next focus list for Round Two:  My #TR30Days Personal Revolution.  I had a GREAT time with the first 30 days and it really re-centered me; sharpened focus on what I want my life to count for.  I made new friends, bonded with some amazing people, felt like I made a difference in my life & maybe an impact in some others.  For a recap of last time?  Check out my Results Blog... I'm focusing on this next challenge on this post! :)  It starts on my birthday!!!

It's actually kind of funny that I'm talking about the future; because this 30 days is going to be fairly focused on staying in the PRESENT.  I was meditating on this while on the treadmill today & it's basically going to be my mantra as I head into this next 30 days:

"I am older than I was yesterday, 
Younger than I will be tomorrow &
 Ready to make a difference today.  
Make THIS day count."

Not sure that's like massively awesome words of wisdom or anything; and it's probably some culmination of stuff that I read who knows when... but it's making sense as something I need to focus on right now.  In April, I was all about "what wasn't."  May, I was really focused on "what had been."  June & July was really about "where I was headed/where I want to be" & now?  I need to focus on where I am NOW.  My mentor used to tell me my greatest 'challenge' profersonally (1) was mastering this:  "Wherever you are, be there."  Pretty sure he got it from Zig Ziglar or Jim Rohn but either way? He nailed it.  Then, it was trying to make sure that when I was at work, my home life with the kiddos was under control (2) & vice-versa.  I've pretty much nailed that down at this point & now it's focusing in on today & not letting the near-limitless possibilities of business & life have me chasing rainbows with no pot of gold at the end to show for it.  Make sense?

So, with a #focus on the NOW, here's my profersonal bucket list:

  • Cut the cord to the cell phone in the car- specifically, while I'm driving.  While I wasn't on the phone when I got into a minor car accident last week? It really woke me up to the fact that distracted driving probably should have been a factor and it's blind luck that it wasn't.  It was #wakeupcall & I'm taking it.  Whatever's going on?  WILL keep until I put it in park. 

  • Business Development - I will add 4 new clients from 7/29 to 8/29 :)  I've got a pretty solid business development plan built out and will be executing it.  Tying it to the "NOW" thing? I'm committing to having my daily work put INTO my CRM system at the end of EACH day - I'll admit I can have a tendency to want to neglect the "Administrivia" (3) but it's important, too.  Giving myself the "Three Pass Rule" (4) - I'll commit to giving up my #Wine Wednesday if I hit a 4th infraction where I focus on database development instead.  A 5th infraction will have me giving up a date night - so there will BE no 5th infraction, for sure!!! :)

  • Read One Book a Week & One Parenting & Fun Book Over the Challenge - Three a week is way too much for me to realistically keep up with this time, but 1 book a week?  Is a 2 hour time commitment - I can hang with that AND commit to a blog on it to boot!  Also want to read a "just for fun" and a specific parenting book relating to 'girl cliques' before the school year starts back up!
  • Blogging - Can I do three a week?  I think I can. :) I'm also going to make a decision on splitting my blog into 2 by the end of this 30-day or keeping it whole, as is.  

  • THREE - Three days a week I WILL - do yoga, do strength training, and do swimming.
  • TWO - Two days a week I WILL - play tennis & do spin - or spinnish thing Jen taught me (so gonna kill me).
  • ONE - EVERY day I will do my 10k - even if it has to be broken into 2 5ks.
  • I will drink 2 liters of water a day.

  • Daily Gratitude WITH my Girls - I really enjoyed this last time & it had such a huge impact on my overall outlook in life.  I want to include the girls into this 30 Days so they can enjoy the benefits of a grateful heart/outlook as well; AND so I can gain further parental insights into a different aspect of their personality. )
  • Bible Study w/ the Girls on Healthy Relationships & Sex:  Because if you wait to talk about it until you "HAVE TO?"  You've waited way too long.  We've chatted about it; but want to start doing a pulse check before we go back to school.  Want to do the study that Shannon Rowell recommended & really hit on what healthy "dating" in Middle School/High School looks like. 
  • Charity Work -   REALLY am keen on @lovedrop and want to be more of a part of bringing awareness to that cause during this #TR30Days challenge.  Also will be participating at the Service/Volunteer weekend at Church as being more involved w/ The Branch has been on my 'to-do' list since May of LAST year.  *Oops!*  Was really appreciative of the volunteer weekend & chance to change the 'to-do' to an 'am-doing.' :)

Wish me luck... and if you're participating, too?  Let me and/or the #TR30Days Tribe know on FB/Twitter so we can cheer you on, too!!!

(1) though he didn't use that term; again, great concept - if you aren't familiar check out Jason Seiden's blog - the link is on my blog list to the left
(2) I was a young divorced parent at the time with primary parenting responsibility of two young girls
(3) In that I can push it off in pursuit of "more important" activities & then it piles up.
(4) I developed this a few years back with my team, embracing the "nobody's perfect" concept.  So, instead of A free pass? We get THREE.  Fourth slip requires the accountability of doing something - positive - in addition to catching up what you didn't do to 'make up' for it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Someone Like You - Reminiscing On Our Quest for Camelot

This is one video that's absolutely worth listening to her talking about the song BEFORE you read further.  It's funny she mentioned this song reflected her being 'on her knees;' I was thinking this morning when I decided I wanted to write a blog using this song about the first time I heard this song.  It did genuinely bring me to my knees... emotionally speaking.  And then I went to YouTube & found this video where she's saying just that... I guess it's just so touching because it's easy to identify with 'profersonally' speaking - work, play, love.. it's all equally applicable.  Hurt. Fear. Restrained Reminiscing. Bittersweet Well-wishes ... we've all lived it. Correction... We All Live It.

When I first heard this song, all I heard was the loss. And that's what I looked back on - the things I'd built up & let go of; the unbelievable amount of effort I had put into a couple of roles in my career to just have felt completely unappreciated.  The guy where I knew I gave everything I had to have ultimately lost the relationship, anyway.  At first, the song was somewhat painful to truly 'hear.'  In all honesty, the girl that never cries in movies?  Cried listening to this song.

 Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead...  

Life is, quite simply, the sum of  how we connect. With people, places, things... Our 'connectedness' with others.. those relationships we form... they define us and they change us.  That change is a big part of our growth process.  I've written about that for years; so, this isn't exactly a newsflash.  But lately it seems that I've been doing a lot of 'looking back' with people in my life: former coworkers on old Employers we have moved on from, friends & acquaintances asking about my "now-not-really-new breakup" & how I'm faring, (1) and explaining the whys with mutual connections behind some friendly relationships I've let go of recently. (2)

Regrets & mistakes they're memories made... 
who would have known how bittersweet this tastes...
You know how the time flies; only yesterday was the time of our lives..  

I met with my mentor for lunch this week.  It was so good to see him & I'm always grateful for the discussions we're able to have.  We touched briefly on the Company we had worked together at & discussed the evolution it's had over time.  When I joined, the Company was truly like a 'Camelot' company to me.  (3)  And don't get me wrong, it's not a poor Company now; but it's definitely changed with time.  But things have to change; for there to be 'Camelots' or 'Glory Days' there have to be time-spans, relationships, companies that ...well... just aren't.  How do you appreciate greatness if you've never experienced anything but?  How do you evolve & grow individually if you don't take the working principles that achieved that greatness and apply it elsewhere? (4)

We were born and raised in a summer haze; 
bound by the surprise of our Glory Days....

The fear with striking out & leaving is, of course, that we will never find anyone that fits with us the way we thought 'they' fit with us when things were wonderful.  Or worse yet, that they WILL find someone; perhaps even a better version for them, to fill our now vacant shoes.  We look at the 'glory days,' at our former 'Camelots' and wonder - even pray - that we'll be connected in that way somewhere else, with someone or something else, some day.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.  Because let's face it: from the standpoint of desire, that's kind of what it's all about it, isn't it?  To feel wanted, value, connected, loving where you're at, who you're surrounded by, and what you're doing.

When we don't immediately find it, quite often we'll go back to what we had while the option is still there to take.  This is common enough that it even has it's own buzz-word for the occurrence:  "boomerang" - works with romantic relationships & employment status. I'm not going to say it's never the right thing to do; because there are times when it is. (5)  But, honestly? It's precious & rare - the growth that we experience that prompts us to leave often makes that repeat performance an abysmal experience. We 'boomerang' when what we should be saying is Nevermind, I'll find someone like you... but a version of you - of the positive attributes in our professional or personal relationship - that's better suited to the 'me' I am now.   Remember, while we fear change - because we're afraid to fail - it's that very change/failures that move us forward & help us grow.  So, reminisce if you want; but keep moving forward to the Camelots of your futures...not the ones in your past.

Nevermind, I'll Find Someone Like You 
Nothing Compares No Worries or Cares
Regrets & Mistakes They're Memories Made
I Wish Nothing But the Best For You....
(and the line she forgot)
And Will Accept Nothing But the Best For Me, Too...


(1) Before you have a chance to wonder? I'm fine.  It was a breakup; not the advent of the apocalypse. But, as a side note? It always strikes me as interesting when people ask if it hurts losing someone you love. Um, yes. It does - Of COURSE it does...whether you wanted it or not..  broke my heart; but that's life.  You have to deal with the negative outcome to find the positives & everyone can. We roll with it and move on to find new interests, new relationships, new loves.  That's how it works.

(2)The "Unfriending" Pts1 & 2 ended up being the catalyst for some relationship inventory work - while I haven't cut out a bunch of people, I have stepped back from some friendships that just don't fit with what I want my life to be/reflect & moved them more to 'friendly acquaintances.'  This fits in with the "5-Minute People" that this book I read a long time ago discussed... think it was called Rainmaking.

(3) So much so that I wrote about it twice.  Here's the first time:  "Camelot & Camelot Companies"

(4)Speaking more about work here, this isn't a reason to ditch your relationship to go "better" someone else, lol

(5) And when it IS one of those times? Grab it; life's really much too short to throw away happiness with both hands!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Results Are In: I Did It! #TR30Days Learning Round-Up

Well... I did it.  I made it through 30 days.  That, in and of itself, isn't much of an accomplishment.. basically, what I'm saying there? Is that I didn't die.  And, since my birthday is next Friday? I'm rather okay with that... think it'll be rather convenient to be alive when I turn 33. :)

So, on to the bucket list.  It's pretty long, so I'm going to say if you want to read the comprehensive list?  Check out my progress updates:

I went all out & was fairly ambitious with my list.  Most of it, I'm happy to report I accomplished & yes, it makes me feel good.  Mostly, though, I feel like this last 30 days helped 'recenter' me.  When I started this project, I was still a little emotionally adrift & had gone through a bit of a 'life-shift' due to a somewhat painful breakup the month before that really had significant effect on my social circle, some medical junk, work changes & the associated 'fall-out'/changes that come with each.  What I'm saying is that I needed, and was ready for, the challenge.  And boy, was it. 

Working through my bucket list, I learned some things.  A renewed focus on gratitude helped me renew my appreciation for 'the little things' and to give mental 'thanks' for all I've been blessed with throughout the day.  I have to say, it worked - this daily exercise has helped me enjoy life more.  And maybe this is odd, but if I can't find myself grateful for something in my life? I've been ditching it.  In the process of trying to repair some relationships I'd let lapse over the last year; I worked through the process of "Unfriending" (1)  - something that was a little bit different for me and got me thinking about troubled relationships (2) - from a 'profersonal' perspective. (3) Over the 4th, I ruminated on the perspective shift this exercise brought & my appreciation for those that really 'get it' when it comes to our responsibility to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness  &  FINALLY admitted that sometimes?  It's ok to admit you've got to give it up.  Those that know me well know just how hard that was for me to cop to -that's SO NOT my personality.

Not everything was a success... I tried my hand at vlogging to learn I've got a LOT of work to do in that area... and I'm likely never gonna be a newscaster. :p  I DID my squats, but after working out with my new trainer Jennifer yesterday?  I saw JUST how easy I took it on myself & now have NO delusions that I'm actually in any kind of good shape.  But, she'll fix that with me over the next couple months!  Had a lot of fun & was grateful working with various charity causes (4) but my goal of getting a blood drive organized in PV was pretty dashed.  Oh well.  Champagne Thursdays didn't quite work out- but started a Supper for Six dinner discussion social ... so, that's cool. :)

And that leads to what I think was the biggest #WIN for the first round of #TR30Days involvement:  relationships. Put my toes back into the dating waters & had good times with friends I've not been able to see enough of, expanding my social circle.  Good times.   I've met some AMAZING people & really formed some really cool relationships throughout this process.  They cheered me on & laughed with me.. we shared fun, frustration, and forged ahead together.  I've got some new role models and I'm unabashedly stating I'm excited at the thought of learning more from them as we continue this journey together.  Go TRIBE!  

TY @ty_sullivan, AMANDA @sexythinker, CHERIE @cherie28, BILL @culturedude, GINI @ginisays, JONI @luckypenny, Heather @HeatherEGraham, Belinda @BelindaK04, Jason @Seiden and others... THANK YOU.  You're an amazing group of people & I appreciate you all so much! :)  

So, that's it - long, I know; but like I said... it was a big list! :p  Looking forward to the next 30; but it's going to be a much more focused list - going to start on my birthday.. seems like a great time to start.  

(1) Part 2 Here
(2) Two more parts to this series:  "Here Without You" (snoozer) & "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" (better, I think)
(3) Want to learn more about 'profersonalism?'  I blogged about it, but Jason Seiden is really the brain-child behind this and his blog? Is greatness!  
(4) Not to mention the massive amounts of stuff I cleared out from my house.  Kinda sad when I look at how much more I have to go, though!

Week Four Finished: The Final 1st #TR30Days Update

For a faster "Catch-Up" Session?? Just read the updates in this color. :)  left the rest as a reference back. . .  If you're just catching this and want to know what it is?  Watch the video 

Gratitude: "Gratitude is not only the Greatest of all virtues; but the parent of all the others." ~ Cicero(Ok, this 'bucket' was absolutely snagged from @Sexythinker, the talented Ms. Amanda Hite - but it's fantastic & absolutely fits with where I want my focus to remain!)
  • Make a point of reaching out and expressing gratitude to 1 person that has made a positive impact in my life each day. Wk3 UPDATE: I'm loving this - and since gratitude doesn't have to be on a large scale? Might never stop.  Continued focusing on my daughters - working on building their self-esteem through the expression of gratitude for the many blessings they've brought to my life & cool things they do! #PositiveParenting

  • Start integrating gratitude as a prosocial behavioral motivator in my work UPDATE: Definitely made some progress with this; but it's an ongoing process - going to take longer than 30-days to see the 'pay-off' in this and that's okay.  Not doing it for a 'kudos.'
  • Share 1 thing a day from the Encyclopedia of Gratitude & write about how it's positively affected my life - why I'm grateful for it, too! UPDATE: This week my gratitude writings were on & why it made me grateful:
    • Holding Your Child's Hand - Both my kids are hand-holders & snuggly. I am SO grateful for this (I am, too!!)
    • Parks- When my gym is packed? I'm pretty grateful for the ones I can walk around in! :)  Plus, sometimes just chilling in the grass or the "Beach" at Grapevine Lake & staring up at the sky?  Peaceful good times.
    • Monty Python - Found myself singing "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" when dropping off a box of stuff this past weekend & remembered that those guys really crack me up.  The performance video for this? Cheeky Fun!! LOL
    • Dad Behind the Wheel - I'm so grateful my Dad loves tinkering with my car - saves me major $$ in service fees & makes me feel safer 'cause I KNOW he cares about my safety!
    • All You Can Eat - Horrifically bad for you, but great people-watching opportunities.
    • Women's Suffrage-  I hold a fairly low-importance political position & a girl friend of mine holds the same in a more important, heavily populated district (that I live in).  We both take these roles seriously & she does a GREAT job (thanks, Kate) - wouldn't be possible without the work done during the suffrage movement. :) 
    • Funny Movies- I enjoy being able to go to the movies now and again - and get to enjoy the show!  Saw a couple movies this last week & had a great time. :) 
  • Pay it Backward - Reach out to one person that has 'paid it forward' with me and see how I can help them in return... then do it! UPDATE: We Did It!!!  This is awesome & will make my bucket list next month, too.

  • Make a point of working on repairing a couple of key relationships that I let lapse over the last year UPDATE: Done.  
  • Do something with 1-2 friends that I normally don't get time to go do things with - expand my social 'outings' outside of my norm so I can really get to better know and appreciate my friends/connections - going to try to schedule something once a week. UPDATE: Done - met up with a friend from ELEMENTARY SCHOOL this past week. Coolness! 
  • Be open to dating - still not real hip on the thought of another serious relationship; but I guess they don't start there, do they?? :) So, I'm resolved to say 'Absolutely' to at least one invitation over the next 30 days. Still has to be with someone I'd WANT to go out with - I'm not going to just say 'sure' to anybody. Criteria should still apply, right??? :) UPDATE:  Accomplished.  Definitely.  
  • Restart Champagne Thursdays with the local ladies! :D UPDATE: This didn't happen. #fail

Giving Back- Volunteering/Altruism Project:

  • Complete the Natural Disaster Donation Project (1) by end of June.UPDATE: I've given away 1/3rd of my closet & 1/4th  of my house.  Wow.  I have  a lot of stuff.
  • Start the "Altruism Adventure" with the girls - teaching the importance of altruism, demonstrate the principle in my own life & have the 3 of us perform 1 altruistic act a week. UPDATE: I'm proud of the progress we've made with this - but we're not DONE - this was just the beginning.
  • Continue volunteer efforts - for this 30-days, want to include work with Attitudes & Attire. Have Three Bags of clothes to donate.  I think we can do better.  Will do again this next month.  

  • Find a workable date for the Blood Drive for Providence & continue to work towards facilitating/organizing that event. UPDATE: This one didn't fly.

Health & Fitness - Mental & Physical:
  • Drink my 3 liters of water a day (and stop complaining that I don't like how it tastes! LOL) UPDATE: Never going to commit to 3L of water again.  Did it.. and the news last week?  Said it was TOO MUCH WATER!  My nephrologist and I are SO having a talk.
  • Integrate One 15k each week IN ADDITION to the daily 10ks... cut time by 30-seconds/mile UPDATE: Yeah, I'm not getting the additional 15k in, but I HAVE cut over 40 seconds off my mile with the 10ks, so that's cool!   I also started yoga.  Insanity made me stupidly sick.  Holding off on this for 30-60days.  I've started with a trainer instead.
  • Restart Physical Therapy for my jaw - increase opening from 24mm to 28mm by end of 30days UPDATE: This has really helped my jaw.  Still going to need anther surgery at some point, but I think if I keep this up? I can stave that off for a year or two!
  • 1 hour of dance EVERY day UPDATE: DID THIS!! :) SO.MUCH.FUN!!!  I LOVE THIS SO SO MUCH!  This is greatness.  Stopped wearing socks and that helped. :p 

  • Do squats for 30 minutes every day while watching "How I Met Your Mother" UPDATE: I hate squats. And doing them with Jennifer yesterday?  Mine weren't hard enough!
  • Start friends Bible study with A (and maybe Julie?) UPDATE: Every day, every day, every day - love it.  Working a 1 yr study so we're keep on, keepin' on!  
  • 5:30 am workouts 3 days a week with Heather UPDATE: Yeah, not so much. #fail 
  • Read 3 books a week - but make sure one is just for fun and one is for general learning & one is for business (rather than ALL on business). UPDATE: I had NO time to read with work this past week - so,   Too Big to Fail, Jessica's Tweet This! book & Run Like a Mother ? You're on my list and will be done before 7/29 


  • Register for remaining conferences for 2011. UPDATE: Done! :)  Can't make blogher this year - it's on the girls' Dad's bday - need to be in town.  
  • Solidify Q3 Social Media Plan & Strategies for TxMQ & Clients. Write proposal for same. UPDATE: Done.
  • Revisit 2011 business plan strategies for Q3 & Q4UPDATE: Done.
  • Gain commitment to bi-weekly trainings for team & write schedule.UPDATE: Yeah, didn't finish this.
  • Finish new BD opp presentation for potential RPO client. UPDATE: Done! :)
  • Restart video blogging for work. Commit to 1/week UPDATE: Decided I'm not ready for work vlogs; so switched this to personal & prosocial vlogging so I can be ready for the next 30 day challenge. :)  - Got the next prosocial vlog in. I'm never gonna be on TV. :p  Done! 
  • Identify a potential Jr. BD person for DFW. UPDATE: Done & Done. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Exploring The Ugly Side of (Drop Dead) Beautiful - In Progress

While I was working out last night, I was listening to this song... I guess I was thinking a little more about the song, and a little less about the workout because my time totally tanked for that 3 minutes and 30 seconds.  Anyway, I was thinking about how there's kind of an ugly side to be beautiful for some.  While being attractive gives some the self-confidence to shine; whether it's in the workplace, in their relationships, or wherever... for some, it seems like it's a built-in mechanism to hide insecurity.  Or maybe a weapon, or tool, wielded to help them get ahead.  Something... but, it got me thinking. Which, of course, leads to blogging! And with that, I give you my thoughts on the the 'ugly' side of beautiful...

So, a while back, I met this guy.  Shock, I know.. single gal meets a guy:  Newsreel at 11.  :)

Can I say, he? Was (1) just flat out hot.  Great muscle definition, cute eyes, killer smile and just the right amount of scruff to say, "Why yes, I AM a manly man." LOL  We were thrown together quite a bit in our social circles & through circumstance; so, after finding out he was being flirty & making inquiries as to my dating status?  I felt free to flirt back with absolute reckless abandon. (2)  It was fun; he was fun.. didn't think much more about it than that.  Over time, though; I noticed he was one of the guys that Knew he was cute; which in and of itself?  Not really a bad thing.  I'm cute, I know it - but I think it's how you use it.  With him, I started to notice that he had built his professional persona around his appearance.  People started sharing with me how his 'playboy image' was actually part of his sales pitch.  I don't know that I buy that; but it did make me a little weary... I mean, after all, why would anyone do that?  He was smart, his business was sound - there was no need to employ the 'cute' factor to gain clientele... was there??  Had I the need for his services, I know I would have used him because he was just that good at what he does- and that would be true even if he looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was a turn-off for me on multiple levels. I finally ended the 'flirtociation' (4) after asking him about it... he didn't even realize he was doing it. And to me? That just seemed screwy; and terribly insecure... which wasn't right for ME.

But it's not always the individual that's capitalizing on the present 'exterior beauty.' There are many organizations that have done this for years. Remember the "Kelly Girls" that really started the Temporary Staffing agencies in the 50s-60s? They advertised that working for them could help available women find husbands at their temporary workplaces.. I guess just by virtue of being there, available, young & pretty. That particular advertisment was, according to what I've read, targeted at college girls. When, I started in Recruitment, I remember my then boyfriend recruiter (3) telling me that this one agency staffed "pretty."  They hired 'hot girls' to do their Business Development because people would buy from 'pretty' before they bought from smart.  I also remember not wanting to talk to him for like a week after that... but, it didn't make him wrong.

Does that make a company or an individual bad if they exploit someone's natural(5) beauty to get ahead in business? I've heard a lot of complaints from women over the years about it; but, the question begs to be asked: Did you know about it from the get-go? I've been associated with an organization or two that was very much focused on outer-beauty(6) and they made no bones about it. I was 'clued-in' from the interview stage - and so accepted the position knowing full-well what I was getting myself into. I've mentioned before I've seen employment agreements that stipulate specific grooming & attire - manicured paws, claws, heels, skirt lengths, hair styles... and they were signed by the candidates/new employees. If you go along willingly... are you really being 'exploited?'

And what of the customers/end-clients? If they're more comfortable working with someone who is qualified AND attractive... and that's available... would a company be remiss in NOT giving it to them? Or does that train/set expectations that might be hard to sustain long-term when it comes time to replace the incumbent "pretty person?" Is it perpetuating a stereotype that's just unfair at the individual employee level - whether the individual is pretty or not isn't really a fair basis for positional competency... is it?? I'd like to think people work with me because I'm smart, ambitious, driven and can most of all? Get the job done. But, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't know that there are times that being cute is what got me the time I needed to make a prospective client a current one. ;) Is the fact that appearance can play a part diminish the overall result??

I'm clearly intrigued... what's your take?

(1) Is, he's not dead
(2) drinks helped that, I think; not gonna lie... but, probably would have flirted regardless.. cute is cute!. :p
(3) Yes, my old beau DID get me into recruiting - he figured if I was gonna talk that much, I should get paid for it.  Good call!
(4) 'flirtociation' - it's a mashup of "flirtation" and "association" - what?? I like it! :p
(5) or store bought - hey, sometimes it's a man-made thing & whatever works, I guess!
(6) Though not to the exclusion of competency

Bye Bye Love...

So a lot of times when I'm blogging, I'll try to find a way to tie dating & relationships with our 'working lives'/the workplace.. because, there really are a lot of similarities, when you think about it.  And I'm sure if I sat here and thought long enough, hard enough... I'd probably find a way to do it with this one, too.  But, I'm not going to...not planning to, anyway.  We'll see what comes out!

Two weeks after my ex-boyfriend & I broke up, one of my oldest 'adult' friends announced she & her husband had broken up, as well.  I was there the day she got engaged, was a part of her wedding, was there for the birth of her first child and genuinely thought she and her hubby would be together forever.  After 4 years, their marriage?  Was over.

Okay, so that's not the first divorce I've ever encountered.  I'm divorced, for Pete's sake... but this one hit me differently.  Maybe it's because I was there for the milestones; or because during some of my REALLY ridiculous dating experiences.. I could look at the two of them and see a glimpse of what 'happily ever after' should look like.  And not going to lie, it made me happy seeing them happy.  That's gone now.  They're divorced & just two months later, I'm now seeing pictures of her that include another guy; and his FB has him in a relationship with another woman.  Neither of them are doing anything wrong; the ink is dry & final... but... it just feels wrong, in terms of love.  How quick is TOO quick when it comes to saying, "Bye Bye" and moving on??

Professionally, we're trained not to leave a job until we have a new one or risk damaging our careers... but, personally,of course that's a big 'no-no.'  I'm not going to hit on affairs & cheating - that's not the point of this blog post.  So, you 'do it right' (3) and end the relationship.  But, it's not like we immediately bounce back like a rubber-band into our 'pre-relationship' form.  No - we often have hurts & baggage to deal with... and even if you could convince me that it was the world's most amicable parting?  No baggage, no blame, all sunshine, roses & lollipops?  YOU have still changed - I mean, life shifts throughout the course of a relationship:  often who you socialize with, how you spend your time, preferences, etc... you're just not the same 'you' that you were before because as we grow, we change.  So, it stands to reason that it might make sense to take some time before you get back out there.

But how much time?  And to do what?  Having gone through a breakup last quarter, I obviously have recently looked to the 'experts' for advice on this very subject.  The one thing they all said in common? "Yes, take time."  Generally speaking, it's considered a good rule of thumb that relationships lasting more than six months will require some amount of "recovery" time because of the impression they leave on our lives.  The men I read offering advice were of two extremes:  about half said, "Get back out there in 30 days."  The other half said you take HALF as long as the relationship lasted.  (4)  That felt too long to me.  The women I asked? Talked in terms of YEARS to get to 'know myself' - holy cow; I turned single again, I didn't completely transform into a totally new person.  Small shifts? Yes.  a "Whole New Me?" No.   In the end, I decided that the amount of time that was appropriate was however long it was to successfully work through the following activities - because pretty much EVERYONE said this is what you do post breakup:

  • What can I do now that I couldn't do before?  (AND DO IT)
  • What are the things I no longer have to do?  (IF THEY DON'T IMPROVE YOUR LIFE? DITCH THEM)
  • What do I have that I didn't have before? (FOCUS ON APPRECIATING THE POSITIVES - I think it's unhealthy to believe there's NOTHING good that comes from relationships we engage in - that's rarely ever really the case)
  • What can I finally let go of?   (AND THAT MEANS REALLY LET GO - *This one's the real time-suck, I think)
  • How can I be different now, in a positive way?  (SPEND GOOD TIME ON THIS; IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE)
For some people, that probably won't take more than a couple of weeks; and I think a lot of it depends on the personality you have & who you were in the relationship.  Personally, I tend to be the 'acts of service' and 'pleaser' in the relationship - meaning I can flex a lot of my world in an effort to create harmony & I like doing things that maybe I wouldn't even personally otherwise to show I care/make my partner happy.  So, in longer relationships, that may make working through that list take a little longer than the guy or gal that has more of the "take me as I am," "you fit into my life because what you see is what you're gonna get" person.  Neither are bad; they're just different & will require different amounts of time to properly move on.

There's one last litmus stick, I think.  This really cool article in the Times is what made me think of it.  Getting back out there?  It's a lot like Getting Naked... there's a vulnerability to it that makes us nervous.  Like stepping out at the public pool in  your bathing suit; or yes, going to bed for the first time with your new partner.  Reading the title of that article really snapped things into perspective for me - when I was comfortable 'stripping down' to the level of vulnerability required to 'get into the pool?'  I was ready to date - this time? It took just shy of two months.  But, there was a time it took a year.  Maybe my friend & her ex-husband were able to do the same during the process of their divorce - I don't know.  Everybody, every relationship is different.  And, as Judith Sills says in her article on "Getting Naked" - getting back out there?  ISN'T a requirement - some people? Are happy saying "Bye, Bye" to Romantic Relationships Permanently.  And I think that's okay, too...as long as it's true to who you are. But that?  Is another story for another day... ;)

  1. This isn't a political thing, just really sat well with me. 
  2. I'm thinking she means if you expect it'll be easy, then it's a recipe for disaster. 
  3. Which sounds so wrong
  4. In my case, I remember thinking, "Nearly six months?! Are you kidding me?"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Beautiful People

At the pool yesterday, I was laughing with my neighbor about "the beautiful people" and their preferences when it comes to dating.  I'm seriously impressed by the self-confidence; as well as a little mystified by some of the expectations, that come along with beauty.  Did you know there's a dating site just for Beautiful People?  A few years ago in Dallas, the 'Beautiful People' had "The Beautiful Room" - where if you were a guy willing to shell out some $$$?  You could hang out with women that had been voted in as beautiful (and also pd $$) based off of skimpy photos... and meet-up around Dallas to drink/have drunken photo shoots.  The thought process with both aforementioned organizations is that 'beautiful people' wanted to be around 'beautiful people.'  I only knew a couple members - the girl wasn't beautiful, in my opinion.. but she was a drug-addict.  Seemed an expensive price-tag to pay to be surrounded by a very superficial, fleeting version of beauty.  In my own dating life I've noticed a major uptick in the number of strangers (2) who see fit to address me as "gorgeous," "beautiful," and/or "sexy." (3)  In dating, I think this trend to the Beautiful is a) nothing new and b) basically Social Darwinism.  I guess the truth is that people want to be around beauty... whatever we each consider that to be.

Moving on, recently I was talking in a Recruiting Chat about how so many people these days are misguidedly sending in photo resumes... do they do this in an effort to connect?  Do they think they're among the "Beautiful People" & think Hiring Managers will think so, too?? While studies show that if you are indeed attractive, you're more likely to be hired... Hiring Managers I talk to?  HATE. THIS.  Personally?  I just might be pretending like your resume never hit my desk to avoid a the potential of a discrimination suit, thanks.  In a #TChat on diversity, I had a side-conversation via direct message regarding how being Beautiful seems to get one a leg up when applying for Sales roles... It's definitely a different slant on diversity hiring.. eek!  Shoot, in some of the employment agreements I've seen? (1)  Appearance standards for hair, paws, claws, and makeup were written into the agreement.
It's the Beautiful People They Want... 
The Beautiful People They Love...

In truth, I think we all know it's a stereotyping of sorts.  Social Psychologists have noted this effect as "what is beautiful is good" - it runs along the same lines as the "halo effect." Basically, it's this:  We believe that those are good looking are good in other areas - career, virtue, cooking, whatever... we impress upon them characteristics we desire in ourselves and want them to have.  We form an impression that they're good, happy, BETTER based off the level of their attractiveness.  On the positive side, this can be something of a self-fulfilling prophesy; if we think someone is good, smart, and has a great personality - ya know, the INNER beauty... we treat them differently.  We naturally expect they'll live up to our expectations and so, well... they do.  #Winning!  ... Right????

This social bias towards the beautiful will help you get ahead in your career, too... if you're considered to be among them!  I read an article recently where I learned that for every added inch of height, employees can earn an additional $789/yr. See Friends?  I told you those 5" heels would help me get ahead in my career... ha!  Incidentally, I also learned that it wasn't male interviewers that tend to foster 'beautiful biases' in hiring.. it's actually women.  As a gender, we're guilty of being more apt to give favorable packages to those that could be considered 'eye candy.'  ;)  (4)  Conversely, hiring managers of the male gender tended to give out more 'low-status' job packages overall & only had an emotional response when giving an attractive woman a lower-status package.  Wonder why that is??  Whatever the reason, does this mean I should hope a woman interviews me if I ever need to interview again??

All of the beautiful people...Shining like diamonds
They got no problems...

Yes, being beautiful can have some fantastic perks in the workplace - make more money, advance faster  in their careers, and people go out of their way to help those they find attractive.  (5)  So, where does that leave those that are decidedly less than "glamazonic?"  Not out in the cold, fortunately.  The truth is that the same study found that "business legends" were of 'average height' and deemed 'average looking' & almost anyone can "improve their attractiveness" through the asserting confidence, maintaining eye contact, listen well, and my personal favorite?  Dress well.  Yes, I DO see this as yet another excuse to go shopping for cute new shoes from White House Black Market... that will add another $3k or so to my annual earnings. ;) (6)

Those? Are some Beautiful Shoes!!

(1) NOT the ones I've consulted on/helped draft, btw
(2) Read:  strange men I don't know
(3) Lest you people think I'm totally stuck-up? -I- do not consider myself to be among the ranks of "The Beautiful People" from an appearance standpoint.  Don't get me wrong, I know I'm cute; but I'm not a glamazon. :p
(4)  Read about the Study  This study is the first application of EDR to examine the influential role of beauty, status and sex during job negotiations. “From a business point-of-view, there is a need for leaders/managers to be aware of their assumptions in decision-making processes, be they strategic or operational, and that they may be prone to emotion and bias,” say the authors.  From http://www.blackwellpublishing.com
(5) up to 18% more than those people deemed "Plain" - Thank you CNN
(6) What? I love White House Black Market!  For 6 more ways to capitalize on "the Beauty Premium?"  Read This

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#TR30Days - Got to Give it Up

Some days?  Just don't gel and today is one of them.  It started last night, really, had some stuff come up with work that just really was less-than-stellar (1) that I ended up dealing with until nearly midnight.   This is definitely a challenge when your office?  Is also at home.  Anyway...  The fun kept going from there:

  1. That'd be about the time I realized I booked a date for the same night I have a concert. (2)  
  2. Found out this morning that one of the searches I've had my team working on because it was a 'top priority?'  Whoops, just kidding.. looking now like it was actually pretty much a complete waste of time.  Yay for the 30 something potential candidates we queued up. (3)  Blah.  
  3. Got into my marketing plan this morning and realized 1/4 of the way into it?  It's jacked up.. it's just targeted wrong.  So, back to the drawing board - didn't really have time for that right now but what I'm doing isn't working so I'm going to have to re-do it.  
  4. I've got ancient history completely on the brain right now; can't seem to get it off my mind - and it doesn't even matter anymore! Has that ever happened to you?  Something or someone gets stuck in your head & every few minutes it's/they're on your mind? Grrr...  
  5. And to add insult to injury?  Natalie is on a MISSION to keep me from getting anything done today with work. She has been So.Noisy!  I've tried hiding out in my office, hiding out in my room - NOTHING is working.  She's normally really good with my workday; but today she's driving me nuts. 
  6. And it's too hot to kick her outside.

Finally?  I decided it was time.  Got to give it up.
So... I made muffins. 

They're low-carb, so they won't even foul up my dietary plan that much.  Took about 10 minutes to make; but seriously kept me from losing my cool completely.  They came out pretty, I felt like I'd accomplished and it's helping me reset a little bit.  Gonna go submit three candidates, check my voicemail & then rework my marketing plan.  Yeah, it's not going to get me where I want to be this instant; but its a whole lot better than stewing in the sideways stress, I think... (4)  

I Can Not Do Everything. 
Stuff Will Go Sideways Sometimes.
People Come, Go, Change.
That's Okay. 
The Notion of Perfection?  Got to Give it Up. :)
Take me home, Marvin....(Or Justin Channeling Him)

(1) it happens, it's okay - just didn't make my day.
(2)  Thank goodness it was a first date & he's got a good sense of humor.  :p
(3)  again, it happens, but so frustrating... at least we have a good relationship with the HR team - they're cool.
(4) Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day style