"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Letter to Myself

I opened my mail to discover a handwritten envelope with no return address.  What the heck?  When I opened it, it began “Dear Maggie”….

Good grief, it took me a line or two before I realized it was my own handwriting!!!  This was a letter I wrote to myself about 4 months ago during a day-long business planning summit.  The exercise was to write a letter of encouragement to myself.  Here’s what I wrote:

Dear Maggie,

You are amazing.  You tend to be too hard on yourself, so remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.  We have picked one of the hardest specialties in our profession — we need a specific client at a specific time, so we have to just keep searching.

Remember that the only way to get to shore is to keep rowing.  While you are rowing, remember to keep a consistent stroke.  People like you– they really do, so just be patient and consistent.  Great things are headed your way.  The money will always follow — hopefully before the bank account = 0 (LOL).

Stay positive, stay consistent, show everyone your greatness. 



Wow, I really wrote that?  To myself about myself?  Wow.  What a wonderful thing to receive today.  I had completely forgotten about this letter.

I feel good.  Nothing good to report except I feel good.  I decided that if the recruiter job doesn’t pan out, then I’ll approach that company’s competition — why not?  The more I think about that industry, the more excited I get, the more plans and strategies I am creating — damn, they need to give me the job because I am thinking about it constantly!  Now, about the money….it is running out, but that’s a story for another day.


I’m a star – Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash


Study of a Woman

Nicole had this cool, hip androgynous vibe that just mesmerized me.  She would run her fingers through her hair and swoop back the bangs of her asymmetrical pixie haircut.  She was wearing a cool pair of Raybans which hid her beautiful pale green eyes.  She had full lips that hid a beautiful smile.

I’m not sexually attracted to women, but something about Nicole struck a vibe in me that wanted to go home and fuck the shit out of the Hunter.  She was, to me, incredibly sexy and 100% unattainable.

We met at a networking event.  She was the +1 of her partner, a fem attorney.  As they sat together on the patio on a sofa, she touched her partner’s arm.  When her partner mentioned that the sofa didn’t have enough pillows, she immediately got up and retrieved another pillow to make her comfortable.  The same attentive Acts of Service  and physical touch that I love about the Hunter.

Nicole dressed in dark skinny jeans, with a nondescript dark long-sleeve shirt that partially hid her sleeve tattoo.  She had a purse — no, let’s call it a bag that was like a hip worn leather messenger bag.  Her fingers were long, masculine with very short nails.  I sat across from her and just stared.

She has a very demanding, stressful job as a high-profile first responder.  We talked about the male-domination of her field and mine.  Mostly I just nursed my glass of wine and drank in the amazingly cool vibe that Nicole projected.  It was one of confidence, acceptance of who she is — may I aspire to be that cool and hip.

I’m a Dinosaur


Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash

I spent some time with my accountant and it was dismal.  I cried.  He felt awkward.  Maggie & Co. isn’t profitable.  I didn’t lose money, but I sure as heck didn’t achieve a decent level of profitability.

As we sat and talked, I aired my grievances about his service.  He explained the numbers and the reality of my situation weighed heavy in the room.  Bless his heart, after our meeting, he flooded my Inbox with referrals to his BNI group.  I hate BNI, but I appreciate the gesture.

One thing that became clear to me, as we sat and talked,  is my profession is one that is becoming radically changed by technology.  It isn’t just morphing, it’s going away.  Think about carriage makers as cars became common. We still have a few carriage makers, but far, far less than pre-car era.  That’s the comparison I was thinking about.  I spent the rest of my day in teary self-reflection.  I’m still teary.

I did drag myself to a professional networking event because I paid for it, the venue was cool, so dammit, I went.  I’m glad I did.  I pulled myself together and had a nice time.  I’ll write about one of the women I met because she is such a badass.

The Hunter came home and immediately saw I wasn’t happy.  He asked what was wrong and I told him I had a bad day and then elaborated.  He’s such a good man.  He knows not to try to fix it, but he offered love and encouragement.  I am blessed.  He has addressed and changed all of the issues I had about our relationship.  He went to a crappy party without me having to ask because he knew I wanted him there.  He cleaned up the house this weekend to channel his frustration and nervous energy about some client checks not coming in.  I am a lucky woman.

But I am a dinosaur.  The good news is that I am recognizing the problems facing my profession sooner than many of my colleagues.  The question becomes: “Am I an extinct dinosaur or am I just a bird that needs to find its flock?”  I think I am the latter.  Now it’s time to find my flock….


Photo by Alan Emery on Unsplash

Here I sit on Friday procrastinating from digging into the minutiae of what I need to get done.  I have written a LinkedIn article, posted some interesting crap so I look sparkly.  Now I have to think about the following:

  1. How much cash do I have?  How much is coming in and how much do I need?  Ugh, cash flow calculations are such a downer these days.
  2. What can Maggie & Co. generate as I continue my job search efforts?  How can I squeeze it so it keeps paying the bills?  Will it be able to pay the bills?
  3. What the heck is going on with my accountant?  He LOST MY CHECK and had the balls to send me an email asking me to send a replacement.  He is really on my shit list because he refused to send me some reports until he got paid (financial reports from previous years that I needed for my business plan and that I had already paid for the work).  What really burns is that I had already processed his payments (and told him) before I asked him for the info.  WTF?  I’ll be getting a new accountant for 2018. In the meantime, I have to call him and chew his ass out.  Ugh.
  4. What is the best use of my business development time?  That’s a big picture question but a very important one.

I am reading the Morten Hansen book, Great at Work.  I strongly recommend it.  Then I went to his website and took his quiz.  Boy that was a downer.  One thing that he stresses is to do less and then obsess over doing it extremely well.  I need to figure out what that means for me in my business development efforts.  It does make infinite sense.  I’ve been trying a bunch of different things and can definitively say that NONE OF IT WORKED.  Now I need to think about what did work and do more of that.

OK, enough whining.  Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.  Today is all about making some $$.  The job search efforts will continue, but a girl’s gotta eat.

Maggie, the eternal optimist, just had a great call with a recruiter this week.  I was pinged on a job that is related to my profession and sounds great.  I would be the market leader for a company expanding into my neck of the woods.  The recruiter loved me and said she was only presenting 3 candidates — of course, that could mean just 3 for the first round, but I want to believe that it’s only 3 period.

Round Two will be a phone interview with the boss and then a trip to their HQ for a formal interview.  It’s a cool company with some really, really smart people running it.  I gulped as I read their bios.

I also found a local job in my field and applied to that.  The HR computer bot rejected me, but I am undeterred.  I’m revamping my resume and sending it to the local decision-maker.  Then I’ll have a buddy who knows him put in a good word for me.

The tricky part of this job search is to keep Maggie & Co hobbling along generating income so I can stay afloat as I pivot to something new.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..

Now I’m thinking interview suits, etc……


Thanks, Yogi Berra.  You are a wise Yoda of truisms.  

As I sat on the beach thinking about how I got sucker punched, I’ve also been thinking about other times I have totally misjudged situations.

I’m an optimistic romantic who always believes the best in people. Then I get screwed, hurt and betrayed. It’s happened in work, friendships and love. With my recent rapid fire series of punches, I am taking time to step back and think. My questions are:
• Who am I?
• How do people perceive me?
• How have I ended up where I currently am – struggling & unhappy?
• How come big success eludes me?
• What should I do next?
• How can I be better at my relationships – all of them? One answer is to re-read, study and implement Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone, but I’m so raw right now I just don’t have it in me.

I am now 53 years old and soon to be 54. Why haven’t I figured this shit out? Why am I struggling with $$, have limited retirement funds and a 5-figure amount of debt? Why don’t I own a home? Why do I drive a cheap car? My peers do well and flash the cash. I don’t need the $3K handbag or $500 shoes. I do need stability of income with $$ in the bank.

I am thinking more and more about closing Maggie & Co and going back to work for The Man. It’s been 7 years since I worked for The Man. 7 years of learning about life outside corporate America. 7 years of learning about myself. Here’s what I have learned:
• I love being on a team. I don’t want to be the quarterback, but I do enjoy being the receiver.
• I need recognition – ignore me and I sulk, grow resentful and unhappy.
• I’m a great strategic thinker with tons of ideas. Recently I took the Clifton Strengths assessment (I strongly recommend it) and it confirmed that.
• The same assessment shows that my top strength is Positivity – folks with this strength are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do. This is probably why I get myself into trouble misjudging situations at times – I only see the best in people. Sigh.

Now I have to figure out how to put these pieces together to forge a new chapter in my work life. That favorite saying of the definition of insanity – to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results is having a lot of resonance with me. I’ve been working so hard with no results. The Hunter told me that he has painfully watched me for the past 1-1/2 years push so hard and try with everything I’ve got to win new business and come up empty-handed. As he said, it’s not from a lack of trying. It’s just that my business isn’t an easy one and small firms like mine are easily crushed by the big ones.

I’ve got lots of thinking to do, but I have to remember that action begets action. I can’t sit on my butt too long because I’ve got shit to do. It’s time to make some new plans and then work those new plans. I’ve scheduled an appointment with my university’s career center. I’m scrubbing my resume. I’m researching new jobs and I’m going to reach out to some recruiters. It’s time to get my ass headed in a new direction. Oh and in the midst of all this, I need to work out a plan for and with Robin. She is my most faithful, devoted fan. I need to make sure that she lands on both her feet as well.


Photo by virginia lackinger on Unsplash

Why Did We Break Up?

Let’s peek behind the curtain of my relationship with the Hunter and reveal some of the hidden truths (and some of the recent insights and changes that have taken place over the past several days since our break-up).

At the onset of our relationship, I had some niggling questions about the Hunters’ attraction to me. My lifestyle was a nice improvement for him. I did ask myself if this street savvy guy saw an opportunity to improve things with a lonely woman.

The answer at the time was I was OK with that. He wanted to take care of me and went out of his way to do so. I felt loved and taken care of, but over time the red flags began accumulating. I did not confront these head on and we have been discussing these issues more openly now. What, do you ask?

He’s not social. OK, I’m no social butterfly, but when we got together I was good about keeping my calendar mostly full with outings. We don’t’ really have the same interests and even though he didn’t care if I went out, I allowed my calendar to grow empty. That’s on me, I will take ownership of that.

His pot-smoking. I have written about this in the past, but a self-professed pothead is never going to have enough fire in the belly to achieve a decent success in his career. He likes a 30-hour work week. He doesn’t have a desire to push. He hasn’t felt pressure to make more substantive contributions to the house and I have been shouldering the burden alone.

This topic has been much more openly discussed over the past few days. He has apologized profusely and is taking immediate steps to correct this. He has stopped smoking pot and we are taking that one day at a time. I realize that it’s a very difficult habit to quit, but I am proud of him and relieved that he loves me enough to immediately stop. We both realize that we both may have drug tests in our future, so we need to have a very clean household.

He has apologized for being lazy (his words) and he is changing up his schedule so that he is more active in his work. Once I had the courage to open up and bare all my feelings about finances, work, etc., he has stepped up like a real man and has promised to contribute more. We talked about the balance of housework along with my frustration of being both the breadwinner and the major housekeeper.

The Kracken showed me his Red Flags of selfishness and failure to compromise. He had told me this would be a 45-lb dog. The Kracken is 85 lbs. That dog destroyed my patio furniture, shoes, living room sofas and the list goes on. We talked about his typical reaction to my entreaties of help around the house, dissatisfaction with our situation, the dog, etc. The Hunter has been doing what he wants to do with no apologies and little discussion. His typical reaction has been one of “that’s simply the way it is” and not discussing any form of compromise.

This Red Flag came up again as I explained I applied for a job out of state and he emphatically said he wouldn’t move with me and I was creating the end of our relationship with that type of move. I said that it was only an application, too soon to make that type of statement. He backtracked and we were able to talk about it along with sussing out his reactions when he doesn’t agree with something.

On my side, I compromised too much and too soon. I did not stand up for myself more. I did not open up to the Hunter about all the turmoil going on inside my head. Examples of over-compromising include: moving before he passed his 90-day probation; I let him move in too quickly – we probably should have considered dating more before that big a move and I agreed to that damn adorable puppy too soon.

I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m moody at times and I tend to keep my turmoil bottled up. In my childhood and marriage, showing my feelings only provided ammunition for my “loved ones” to use against me. I’m not much of an initiator when it comes to sex – I much prefer someone else to take the lead. I know that the Hunter has made some compromises when it comes to our sex life. He is too much of a gentleman to give specifics, but he has hinted at this. I know that if it becomes a deal breaker, he will let me know. We have discussed a couple of things that I am addressing on my side.

It’s time for me to really sit and think and be open about my feelings. The Hunter is a good man. He’s smart and perceptive. He has been nothing but loving and supportive as we unpack how our relationship fell off the rails and how we neglected it. We both have areas to improve upon. I’m glad I reached out to my therapist. I need her in my corner as I freak out, recover and move ahead. Today I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. Time will tell.


Words to Live by :: Photo by Ty Williams on Unsplash

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