Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013, hello 2014

First off, I confess to being one of the most boring people you could meet.
I am not a party-er or dare devil.
When I drink alcohol I get horribly sleepy.
And as an early riser it takes a really good football or basketball game to keep me awake late at night.
Bottom line? I am not "a blast" on New Year's Eve.
Besides for some reason I spend more time reflecting on the year gone by than on the year ahead.
So, 2013.
Like every year, it was an interesting one.
Personally I had a roller coaster year. I was in a low as a professional, business was flat, I am too darn honest to 'sell' myself, so I mired in a funk, doing all that presented itself with my absolute most. Upset that we live in a world in which BS is so highly valued, I wasn't really sure of my next move.
And then out of the blue an opportunity arose, with minor trepidation I jumped on it.
Life from that point - August 14, 2013- has been a blur.
I jumped into a firestorm.
Four and a half months later it is still raging and I am still working ridiculous hours on major projects.
It has fascinated me that I am physically tired but I am not stressed or 'freaking' out, it is as if someone has thrown down a challenge and I am thrilled to accept it.
Bring it on baby, I've got this!
I am energized and excited. And tired :)
I can't say how long I can do this at this pace or how long they will keep me, but it has been a great experience & opportunity both professionally & financially.
2013 has been a difficult year for my boy, this time last year I felt hopeless about his front leg injury. 
It got worse. When in a fit of happiness he went three-legged and I learned later he had snapped a piece if his elbow off.
And then even worse, with a failed surgery and complications.
And then we found a surgeon who listened and did what he could to help him.
Rehab went well, but then he didn't get any better.
I cried. I must say, more than once.
We were told to have him swim.
I religiously took him to the lake and he swam next to my kayak.
At first he was one of the most awkward swimmers you could imagine.
He got better & better, and stronger & stronger.
He loved it in a way that filled my heart.
My elbows however both developed tendinitis but we kept going.
He swam over a mile and a half but he couldn't comfortably walk two miles.
I was at a loss.
Eventually I took him to a rehab specialist and she gave me news that hit me hard. He was in constant pain & was physically compromised. 
I cried.
Sigh. I felt distraught. I have done all that I could for all his life to keep him healthy and had failed. 
This crazy, hyper, lovable beast needs to run and be active or his brain explodes. Now what?
So we started some new treatments.
I think they help but his behavior will never say. He is happy. He is always happy.
He isn't pleased with my work schedule but golly he is happy when I get home.
I mean REAL happy.
2013 had some significant lows and some highs.  I can say that I am riding a high as it comes to a close. Nothing super exciting happened but nothing tragic either. Thinking about January 2013 and December 2013 I assure you the latter is a better place.
So here we are heading into 2014 & Bugsy is still kind of gimpy, some days he's real gimpy but otherwise he is healthy. For that I am very grateful.
I have my health, as does my husband and all my family members.
I even have a beautiful new granddaughter to go with three fabulous grandsons.
I mostly love where I live, I have few worries heading into 2014, I haven't said that moving into most new years.
I have a few things on my wish lost for 2014 and I intend to be a more generous person this year.  If I could fulfill a dream it would be to be a philanthropist, lol, an itty bitty one but you get the idea.
I hope to have the energy and vision to actively make the world a little bit better for some.
I am thankful that my personal needs are modest and that instead of 'rewarding' myself for hard work I would rather help the less fortunate, human & canine.
Well I have rambled on long enough.
A huge thanks to all the friends & family in my life - I am blessed and I know it.
Raise your glass, be it filled with water, milk, champagne or koolaid and toast to a new year.
We each have a blank slate starting tomorrow, make the most of it. 
You are responsible for making your life what you want, don't look to others, grab the reins and enjoy the ride!
Happy New Year!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The US government and leadership

I desperately try to avoid politics.
I do study leadership from many angles.
The other night I was watching the news and Scott Pelley of CBS was interviewing John Boehner, current Speaker of the House and as Scott Pelley stated, "the highest ranking Republican in government."
The conversation was around the 'sequestering' that will occur after tomorrow if no deal is struck. These 11th hour deals are getting really old for the American public which in some ways is helping, as people are so tired of them, they are mad at all politicians instead of the hatred for the 'other side' that has become too common.

So Pelley asked him, as "the highest ranking Republican", if he felt an obligation to lead his side (why does it always sound like a bunch of children taking sides?) in coming to a compromise.
Boehner's response was that "we elect a President to lead".

Hmm so he is supposedly a leader, Boehner that is, which is why he is Speaker of the House - clearly a leadership position - and in a very serious moment, begging for leadership, he's playing games of finger pointing and refusing to a) accept responsibility to lead and b)to work to achieve the compromise the American people want and deserve!

I can tell you, politics aside, this man is not a leader. And he surely doesn't have the American public's best interest at heart.
He is an appointed leader refusing to lead.

Many of us fight the good fight day in and day out. We take charge of our family and in the workplace as appropriate, yet the highest ranking Republican flat-out refuses to lead because its hard? its not fair? he doesn't want to play?

Imagine if our leaders in Afghanistan chose to not lead because they didn't agree with the directions, orders or the war in general.

Boehner is supposed to lead. Some might argue that by not trying to work things out he is leading. You will never convince me. He is refusing to do the job he is appointed to do and WE the American public are impotent to enact change or create the necessary agreements.

A leader that refuses to lead just isn't a leader. Think of your worst boss. Think of that time you really needed a decision and you got nothing.

I will admit that my internal radar has never felt comfortable with Boehner, the crying attacks in public have always felt concerning, but this interview was the final nail in the coffin.
Politics aside the guy isn't a leader and clearly doesn't understand the position he is in.
Sadly it isn't him or any other member of Congress that will suffer. It is you and I.

Perhaps I should pursue a career in politics, they seem to be the only people that escape the impact of their folly.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's all about perception, really

I know you've heard this before and certainly I have been promoting this concept of late because I have vowed to make 2013 a positive year.
To do this, each time I find myself thinking negative thoughts or flat out being negative I do my best to spin it around and come up with some positive thoughts to replace the negative thoughts.
Not always easy, but surprisingly not as difficult as you might imagine.
However, I doubt I will ever be as capable of being positive in my outlook as my crazy mutt. He is permanently happy and positive.
For instance, this morning it is once again gray, dreary, raining and cold.
This weather pattern has been very common of late.
I heard the rain last night and by the time morning arrived I was already depressed that it was another miserable day.

I was settling into some work when the permanently happy mutt was being a silly nuisance and I realized he hadn't had much activity this week.
Reluctantly I told him we'd go for a SHORT walk.
With a grimace I selected wet weather gear and got dressed, meanwhile the mutt was wiggling and dancing and galloping with excitement.

When we stepped outside it was even worse than I expected.
The mutt pranced down the street enjoying the exercise and lovely day.

I spent the first 1/2 mile or so with my head down, wishing I wasn't out in 40* and rain.
The mutt was trotting along unaware that it was awful weather.
He was just doing what he normally does while out. The water was literally rolling off him - physically and emotionally - like water off a duck's back.

He was splashing through puddles and pretending that the water running in the culvert was the New River (a favorite spot of ours).

I allowed myself to be sucked in by his joy.
A smile came across my face as I recalled some childhood memories of playing in the rain.
I took in the scent of the rain, the quietness of the morning and that it felt good to be on the move.

The only thing that changed was my perception of the gray, cool, rainy weather.
My mood went from bah humbug to feeling energized.

How your perceive things is entirely up to you.
Will you be positive or will you be negative?