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

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Break on Through

Made the scene
Week to week
Day to day
Hour to hour
The gate is straight
Deep and wide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through
Break on through
Break on through
Break on through
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The Doors

I read a great sales book this week. The book and a searingly candid discussion with my girlfriend has exposed a huge gap in my professional development. I have virtually no skills at obtaining new clients. This is a problem in my business because I eat what I kill. What’s funny/sad/interesting is that I have hobbled along for 15 years making a decent living without these skills. I have had pipeline crises before but now I am really digging into the root of the problem and discovering what has truly been holding me back.

My theme for this year is self-discipline and I have to admit that for the first quarter it has sucked. With Taz’s wedding and other distractions, I have once again put my needs last and not focused on myself. That’s a problem. I need to be selfish. I need to be focused. I need to be more disciplined. I need to be more aggressive.

The good news is I know now what I need to do to fix this problem. I have outlined my steps and with a few more mental exercises, I’ll be 100% locked and loaded. The question becomes do I want to fix it? My days of cocktail parties, business lunches and endless meeting people aren’t so interesting to me. I need to do those things though, so I will need to figure out a reasonable balance so I don’t burn out.

By a quirk of fate, the Hunter had asked me to simply see if there are any jobs in our new locale. I googled it and lo and behold something in-house with an organization of gargantuan proportions popped up. It had been listed only 2 days before. On a whim, I freshened up my resume and applied. Then to make sure I made the short list, I called an executive there thinking I would report to him, I wouldn’t but he graciously pointed me to his counterpart in HR who forwarded my voice mail to the recruiter. I was already on the recruiter’s short list and the next day we had a 45 minute intro interview that resulted in him recommending me for the next round, an interview with my potential boss. The problem is the salary is too low. Even with the bonus and all the benefits.

This conundrum has occupied my mind this week as I roll the issue around and think about it from different angles. My girlfriend has been infinitely helpful coaching in this regard because she has sat on both sides of that table — the boss and the interviewee. Her advice: stand my ground, draw my line in the sand with regards to salary and let them want me. I have to agree. To go in-house means surrendering everything, so they need to pay for that.

What’s interesting is I noticed in LinkedIn – the absolute best place to stalk people – is that a business acquaintance joined them about 8 months ago. She works for another division in another location, but the job is the same. I have more experience, a much better pedigree of prior jobs, so that cemented my thought about salary expectations. I’m worth a lot more than her. I don’t say that to be conceited — it’s the truth.

So now unfortunately I have brought myself to a difficult fork in the road. Security of an in-house job versus freelancing. I have decided that I cannot wait around to see if this job materializes. There are too many unknowns. I have to continue down my current path with my current position with my current firm and focus on self-discipline and business development. I have to fill my pipeline, so I must concentrate on the business development which isn’t in my comfort zone, but is essential not only for success but for survival.

It all goes back to my theme this year – self-discipline. I have said this will be a year of change. I should go get a lottery ticket because I am right on the money.

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Pity Party

This week wasn’t a great week. Work was fine, the Hunter was fine but I was in a slump. My body isn’t cooperating. I am in a Facebook diet group that is using the The Beck Diet Solution, which is great.  The first week I did fantastic, then Thanksgiving got me and this week I have been feeling lousy, so I hit a wall. Exercise will get me out of this slump but it’s raining so much I need to start thinking about my ark.  

I had follow up appointments at both my gyn and my regular doctor as part of my annual physicals. The regular doctor was OK and I’m glad I went back in because she got busy tackling my migraine and stuffy nose. She pronounced it as a sinus infection and now I’m on antibiotics, nasal spray, etc.  It hasn’t kicked in because on Day 2 of my antibiotics I still woke up with a nasty migraine.  I feel crappy and it’s this “not so crappy” that you will infect people with your plague, but it’s the crappy that you just want to curl up and have a pity party 24/7. Sigh. That’s the first ugh. 

My gyn was not the bearer of sunny news. The only good news he came up with is that my boobs are fine – mammogram and ultrasound came back clean. That is a good thing since my mom died of a non-heritary breast cancer. No, instead my lady parts have gone astray since my last physical. My uterine lining is twice the thickness it should be and my Pap smear came back dubious at best. This means two more procedures so they can check things out further and do some biopsies. Add in a double digit loss of bone density over 5 years and Maggie is feeling old and a bit nervous. 

My doctor is soothing and believes all will be fine. He is an exceptional doctor and I like him immensely. My daughter, through fortuitous timing, happened to call right after. I wasn’t going to burden her since she has so much on her plate.  She agreed with everything the doctor is doing, explained a bit more about the two procedures and agreed that I shouldn’t worry right now. 

The Hunter was warm and loving.  He immediately made plans to leave early so he can bring me home after the procedures. I felt safe and comforted. But I still feel crappy and I am one of those people who is a bit cranky when I’m sick. My sense of humor vanishes and apparently my resting bitch face emerges. He is a sensitive soul and becomes worried that I’m upset with him somehow. That actually lead to me getting irked last night. 

I felt crappy and just wanted to snuggle and watch a movie. He made me a delicious sandwich while I was wrapping up some work.  He wasn’t into a movie, so he headed upstairs to grab a shower. Lately he has been teasing me by running his tongue over my nose or ear in a funny, juvenile way that makes me squeal and push him away. Usually I am down for this and it’s funny. Not last night. I was watching a movie and I’m trying to pause it so I can pay attention to him, his tongue goes up my nose and I snapped rather than squealed. That sent him scurrying away and avoiding me for the rest of the evening. Sigh. 

As I write this, I still have a migraine — it comes and goes throughout the day.  It’s raining, the Hunter is still sleeping and I still feel like crap. I will give myself a little more pity party time and then I will have no choice but to pull myself together and get some shit done. It’s a rainy weekend – perfect for Christmas decorations and cleaning. Joy – can’t wait for that. Perhaps I would be better served just staying in bed and fucking the Hunter regardless of how I feel. The man deserves some TLC. He has promised to make this amazing shrimp dish for me. I’m a lucky girl, I just need to feel better so my fog lifts and I can see the wonderful things in my life. 

This Year

This year is gonna be incredible
This year is gonna be the one
All the planets are lining up for me
This year I’m gonna have fun
This year I’ll paint my masterpiece
This year I’ll be recognized
I can feel
I’ll fall in love for real
This year, this year

A-Teens

On the Saturday after Christmas, I hosted a party for 7 girlfriends plus my daughter so we could make Vision Boards for 2015. Let me take a second to explain Vision Boards because they are a variation of New Year’s Resolutions or Goal Setting. Here is an excerpt from Jack Canfield:

Because your mind responds strongly to visual stimulation-by representing your goals with pictures and images-you will actually strengthen and stimulate your emotions… and your emotions are the vibrational energy that activates the Law of Attraction. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” certainly holds true here.

Find pictures that represent or symbolize the experiences, feelings, and possessions you want to attract into your life, and place them in your board. Have fun with the process! Use photographs, magazine cutouts, pictures from the Internet–whatever inspires you. Be creative. Include not only pictures, but anything that speaks to you.

This is the first party in my 1-1/2 years of living on my own. It was awesome. We started at 2:00 and ended at 6:00 so I could get my daughter to the airport. We drank champagne, cut out words and pictures, talked and just enjoyed one another’s company. I started a Facebook group for us so we can track our progress.

The women raved over my place. It is cute, homey, feminine and an excellent expression of me. I took my time and thought about what I wanted. I have a few tweaks to make but overall I adore my place. Even men have commented how much they like it. BG thinks it’s awesome.

In 2015 I want more parties at my place. I’m ready now. Living by myself has been awesome. I have never truly lived alone. Roommates, spouse, son – I have always had someone in or around. Now I’m flying solo more with my son away at school and I have been reveling in this solitude. But it is time to re-enter society. I want to have some small brunch and dinner parties. I want to expand my circle of friends. I envision some quasi business dinners to deepen relationships, some brunches to relax and chat, game nights for the competitive side of me, walk to the nearby restaurants, bars and movies for variety. There is so much to do in my little oasis, so it’s time to get off my ass and get going.

I’m Alive

So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars that I’m alive and well…

Kenny Chesney (feat. Dave Matthews)

I have been remiss in posting because life has been so busy during the holidays. Work has been hectic but in a good way and my social life has been equally hectic, also in a good way. I have kept myself busy enough with family and friends that Don Juan has not been first and foremost on my mind, although he returns this weekend. BG has been equally busy with work and family over the holidays, but he has stayed in steady touch with phone calls and texts. He cracks me up. We just got off the phone and once again I learned something new about him. Stay tuned for a future post about him because we are potentially about to get into trouble as his wife heads out of town for a week.

Although I haven’t been posting, I have been jotting down thoughts about things I want to write about, so I will be tackling these topics in no particular order. Since I just returned from camping with the Hunter, I thought I would tackle that first. Just to whet your appetite, I’ll be writing about drinks with my boss’ wife B and her dating advice; my afternoon drinking champagne and creating a Vision board with my girlfriends; my holidays with my ex and kids; reflections of how much my life has changed in a single year, thoughts and reflections on how I contributed to the demise of my marriage (resulting from reading the Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford). Plus life is continuing to careen forward so there is the Don Juan’s return and BG’s rabble-rousing in my near future.

For now, enjoy this song. It’s beautiful.

Patience

Said, woman, take it slow
It’ll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said, sugar, make it slow
And we come together fine
All we need is just a little patience
(patience)
Mm, yeah

Guns N’ Roses

I have to confess that over the past week Don Juan has been in my thoughts several times a day. Why is it that what I can’t have is exactly what I now want? Good grief – leaving on such a high note was one sure way to go out with a bang (multiple bangs if we want to be accurate) and to keep my fire burning. We had fallen into a habit of getting together on Sunday nights, so for the first time in a month, here I sit without him. He’s not too big on communication, so I am not expecting to hear from him, particularly since his son’s getting married this week.

In the meantime, I am keeping myself busy. The holiday parties have already kicked in for me, so I have a variety of events both last week and this week. On Saturday I had a real date. One of those where the guy picked me up, opened my car door and….we had no spark. Nice guy, but he didn’t even kiss me good-night. This was our second meeting. What gives? Am I too intimidating? I can be a bit much for some guys and I get it. Sometimes I talk about work too much and my work can intimidate guys. In any case, I got home relatively early and decided that maybe we just aren’t a match. Who knows, perhaps he’ll call again which would be fine, but if he doesn’t, that’s fine also.

A couple of POF guys have my number and should be calling over the next couple of days. I’m not holding my breath or worried about them either. Just more options for my pipeline and if they don’t call, it’s fine. I went through POF today briefly and decided that it’s just too much work for me right now along with too many familiar faces. Perhaps next year I’ll check out OK Cupid or make some effort with POF, but with the holidays fast approaching and my kids returning, why bother?

I listened to a couple of Dan Savage podcasts this weekend and he was telling someone that when you are dating, you have to remember that you are going to meet a lot of people who aren’t the One and that you’ll have to continue until you finally meet the One. This ties into a book I read this past week, “It’s Just a F***ing Date: Some Sort of Book About Dating” by Greg Behrendt and Amira Ruotola. This book is by the guy who wrote, “He’s Just Not Into You”.

The book is a quick read and has some good advice. For example, Principal #5 “Don’t Freak People Out with Your Need” and Principal #8 “Not Every Date is Going to Turn into a Relationship”. Their take is to sit back and wait these guys out. Give them space to think about you and if they like you. Don’t rush in texting or calling to say “thank you” or whatever – create a little distance. It has come in handy after this Saturday date. I am relaxed, kicked back and feel no need to text this guy to follow up. They also actually give you a first date/meeting scoring matrix so you can decide quantitatively if guy makes the cut for a second date. This is helpful and confirms what I have been learning in my new round of dating which is people are nervous, so if they have decent manners and some other attributes, they are worth a second chance.

This weekend felt normal. Normal meaning getting back to my routines prior to my Ashley Madison craze. I relaxed and didn’t do some of the things on my To Do List, but that’s OK. I feel good except for a little anxiety about some of the things going on this week. I am throwing a cocktail party for 400 on Thursday. My team has been to this rodeo before, so it will be fine. In the meantime, I need a new Sunday routine for a couple of weeks, so I’ll call some of my girlfriends and get that fixed.

Anticipation

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day.

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And I tell you how easy it is to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me.
But I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinking about how right tonight might be.

Carly Simon

Last night was the Bon Voyage evening with Don Juan. He leaves in the next day or so for a month. We’ll see each other in January when he returns. It was an interesting evening – a really good evening, but also interesting in both what was said and unsaid.

After saying farewell to my kids and seeing my ex for the third time in three days (don’t even ask, I’ll think about writing a post about it), I was ready for a self-indulgent evening with Don Juan. I stopped by one of my favorite Italian restaurants and picked up an antipasto. He had the wine. One thing I have learned about him is that food is rarely on his agenda.

When I arrived, he immediately apologized because he still had a couple of phone calls to make. There was a minor wedding crisis that he needed to resolve involving elderly relatives who had not gotten their emailed wedding invite. Of course they didn’t – they are in the 80’s! Then he tells me that during the ceremony he is performing a song with his wife and his son’s best friend. They haven’t been able to rehearse together and will only have time for 1-2 practice sessions prior to the ceremony. That was really interesting. I wasn’t familiar with the band or the song, which lead to a whole discussion and listening of their music. Very cool.

Then our conversation flowed to my Thanksgiving weekend with kids, the ex, the married friends who I saw on Saturday and the transition of relationships during and after a divorce. He suggested a book that he said made a tremendous difference in his life, Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford. Here is a taste of it:

“As you can see, you never know how life will turn out or why particular events occur. The Law of Acceptance teaches us that we always evolving, whether we are aware of it or not. What might look like the worst event that has ever befallen you could be part of a brilliantly designed plan that will lead you to a place of fulfillment, peace and contentment. Accepting your circumstances instantly relieves you of your internal struggle and frees you to start seeing new possibilities.”

I already sent him a text telling him we will have a discussion on this book upon his return. Very interesting, very interesting indeed.

I was touched last night. He is truly going to miss me over the next month – he made that abundantly clear not only with words but also actions. I stayed over last night but we didn’t sleep much. When we woke up this morning, he looked me in the eye and told me how lovely I looked. Morning breath, smeared eye liner, hair on end and he was telling me from the bottom of his heart. Don Juan is making plans for his return – things he wants to do with me. Not only in the bedroom but other things. He is planning a future which is a definite clue about his thoughts towards me. I told you this was an interesting evening.

In the meantime, I’ll continue with my pipeline of 6 or so guys and see where they lead. You can’t put all your money on one horse; that much I know for sure.

Life is a Highway

Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
There’s a world outside ev’ry darkened door
Where blues won’t haunt you anymore
Where brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore
We won’t hesitate
To break down the garden gate
There’s not much time left today

[Chorus:]
Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Tom Cochrane

I heard a wonderful speech by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray Love Author) over the weekend. I like her, enjoyed the book, loved Signature of All Things that she recently wrote, however, I do think she’s a bit crazy at times. Perhaps that’s the burden of a creative being. In any case, her speech really struck home and now I am firmly in Camp Liz. Note: This is going to be deep, so get ready.

Elizabeth spoke about The Quest. Yes, it deserves capitalization. The Quest is our journey through that occurrence called life. She had a great quote by Meister Eckhart, “He who would be what he ought to be, must stop being what he is.” Wow. Good stuff.

Then she went on to talk about the work of Joseph Campbell. I was not familiar with Mr. Campbell, so I did a little research and this is one deep guy. He ran around with John Steinbeck and Sinclair Lewis, later becoming a professor and writer on philosophy. Mr. C. was attributed with the “follow your bliss” philosophy. He has an interesting quote which ties into Sinclair Lewis’ novel, Babbitt. Mr. C says, “Remember the last line? ‘I have never done a thing that I wanted to do in all my life.’ That is a man who never followed his bliss.” That quote struck a chord with me and definitely has added fuel to my midlife crisis bonfire.

So let’s get back to my gal, Liz’s speech; she was talking about another major part of Mr. C’s work: the Universal Story, which is the hero’s story, which describes the essence of simply who we are – the roadmap of our life. It has several standard chapters: a young boy who is summoned to leave all that is familiar to him to venture out into the unknown. He receives a calling and once he leaves, he crosses a threshold where there is no return. Along this journey he faces a series of trials and meets a cast of characters (some good, some bad) that will build his team and his experiences. At some point he will face his lowest moment which is when he will call upon divine assistance which gives him the strength to tackle and win the big battle. Winning the big battle saves his community and he is forever changed for the experience.  When I was reading about Mr. C., one of the examples they gave for this Universal Story is Star Wars – Luke Skywalker. The original movie fits this perfectly.

During Liz’s speech, she had this quote (and sorrowfully I don’t know who to attribute it to because it’s a good one): “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than live somebody else’s destiny perfectly.”

This all has struck a chord with me. Over the years, I have been living other people’s destiny. I wanted to think it was mine, but perhaps it wasn’t. I went to college (OK, that was mine), got married young, had children, lived the classic upper middle class suburban life thinking that was my destiny. Lately, since my divorce, I have been thinking if that is truly my destiny or is there another one in store for me. I study a lot of motivational writers. One of my favorites is Napoleon Hill who talks about having a burning desire. He wrote that this burning desire is what will drive you to success. I was surprised, as I recently studied Mr. Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, that I couldn’t readily identify a burning desire.

Then I realized that I had already accomplished a major one – getting out of my marriage. I recognized that I needed to reset and come up with a new one. I have been searching for my burning desire for over a year. First, I tried a monetary burning desire – nope, no fire. Then a personal one (losing weight), mild flame. Now, as I think about this crazy Quest of Romantic Love, I feel a hot flame of fire. Perhaps this is my next burning desire and this blog is the journal of my quest.

Then we have another great quote from Mr. C., “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

I told you this was a deep post. This ties into some thoughts I had over the weekend. It was profound enough that I pulled out pen and paper in between my facial and my massage to jot down the following notes. Unbeknownst to my conscious self, I have been embarking on a quest of my own. I am on a quest for true, romantic love. Looking back, I’ve never truly been in love with a man. Lust, like, escape perhaps but not a true, deep, enduring love.

That is what is missing from my life. My health, thankfully is fine. My family – another blessing. Friends, work, finances – all good. But love – deep, crazy, romantic love – is missing. Each guy I have chosen in my past was about escape, security or lust – not deep abiding love. That is now my quest, my next adventure. Will I achieve that and spend my golden years with my true love? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I will be following Mr. C’s outline of a quest. I have already stepped over the threshold of not being able to turn back by divorcing my husband and setting up my own life. My cast of characters continues to gather as well as my trials and tribulations.

Thanks, Liz. Great speech and you have given me some deep shit to think about.

 

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