Monday, June 27, 2016


Some of the best and worst advice that I was ever given, actually turned out to be one in the same. 

How could that be?
I was taught to respect my elders. They knew more, were wiser, and had lived longer and seen more, so they knew what life was about. They knew what worked and what didn’t, so why wouldn’t their advice be taken and applied? I certainly believed that. And, I’m not disputing that some of the advice was and is still good to live by, but I have also come to realize that some of it might not have been the best, and may have even done more harm than good.

First piece of advice given; don’t make waves, or don’t rock the boat.
This seemed logical to me. If you make waves, you might tip the boat and could drown. Check!
But let’s examine that from a different point of view.

When I am in any body of water, I could do some basic swimming, or lounge on my favorite floaty. I enjoy both. But what I really love is catching a wave on a boogie board in the ocean, and riding it all the way to the sandy beach! While I’m not technically making that wave that I rode, it’s still a lot of fun!

Or, how about these examples:
When I am in an above ground pool, I love standing in the middle of the pool, and while holding onto a big beach ball, I jump up and down. I jump until I make the waves so big that they splash over the sides of the pool. Now, I did make those waves.

Here's a boat scenario since I referred to a boat at the beginning of this post. I find it hysterical to rock a canoe to just before the tipping point. I made waves in more ways than one doing that. (Don’t judge :)) And in case you are wondering, no one got hurt, and actually had a little fun helping me make those waves.Truthfully, they might question my definition of fun, but I am pretty sure that they secretly loved rocking the boat too!

How do my examples have anything to do with the real life advice of “don’t make waves or rock the boat”?
Some situations in life require you to keep things calm, but if you always do that, you can be missing out on some of the things that you were trying to avoid. Things that might not be so bad, and maybe are a little fun.

So my advice is this: Examine the situation and then decide if you should make any waves, or rock any boats.

The second piece of advice that I had to learn the hard way was; keep your head low, or fly under the radar.
While I understand that you might want to stay out of the line of fire, I have also determined that if you stay too low, or too much under the radar, you can become invisible. And even though you may do great work, being invisible is not the way to have the decision makers notice you. So, when tough decisions get made about who stays and who goes, generally, those under the radar thinking that they are safe and out of the line of fire, can find that they are still  vulnerable to a stray bullet hitting them, and then boom, they are no more.

My advice here: Not only do you have to be visible, but you must also be valuable. Stand tall and proud to show people your worth; how your contributions help the bottom line of the firm, and why you should continue to be a member of the team. Do not fly low under the radar,because it doesn’t guarantee the safety that you are hoping to accomplish.

So those are a few examples of good intended advice, not always working to your advantage. But in all fairness, I have received other pieces of advice that are valuable, and to my knowledge cannot be disputed.  I have many examples, but I will end with this one.

Don’t run with scissors.

My final piece of advice: Seriously, don’t run with scissors.

Friday, June 17, 2016


There’s been a whole lot of shaming going on!

It seems like every other day, there’s another story in the news about some tragedy, or near tragedy, and in the end, someone gets shamed. Publicly, with such venom from total strangers who most likely know very little about the actual incident that lead up to the shaming. To that, I quote Gomer Pyle and say, “For shame, for shame, for shame!” Shame on all of you shamers!

If you are going to shame someone, maybe it’s time to start shaming the correct source instead of always the parents; who most likely are already going through hell, and you have just added more fuel to the fire! Thanks so much, fellow humans. I hope nothing bad ever happens to you that you ever have to experience that kind of pain.

Before any other parent gets shamed, I want to offer a suggestion for those of you heading to the beach this summer.

If you choose to go into the ocean, you should know that the ocean is home to many different species; some nice and harmless, and some not so nice, and most definitely not harmless, especially to humans.

A few critters come to mind that might hurt you, but the biggest one that everyone is afraid of is of course, the sharks. And with good reason too. I mean, how many movies have been made about them and their stealthy ways of attacking. Movies meant to scare the swim suits off of us! And, keep some of us out the water for a while. “Ssssssshhhhhaaaaarrrrrkkkk!” (A line from Jaws in case you didn’t know)

Let’s review what we know about sharks:

We know that they live in the water by the beach, they are predators, and we know that they have lots, and I mean lots of very sharp teeth, and we know that they know how to use those teeth. They get hungry too, just like us humans, and sometimes they mistake humans for their next meal, or maybe they are just feeling the love that day, and want to give you a love bite.
"Whoops, sorry, guess that love bite was a little harder than intended. Eh, just grow another limb. You can, can’t you? No? My bad..."

No worries though, if they lose a few teeth in an intended or unintended bite, they can grow more. That’s just how they role, or ...swim.

But how dare they take a bite of us humans! We are just enjoying the lovely warm waters, relaxing, surfing, and my favorite, boogie boarding. We're on our perfectly planned vacations, don’t they know that?! How dare they infringe on our time!

Shame on you sharks!! Shame on you for ruining our vacations. Shame on you for being a terrible shark and not paying closer attention to your hunger, strength, instincts, and teeth! And what the heck do you need all of those sharp teeth for anyway? Can’t you find somewhere else to swim, some other fish to bite. I don’t care if it’s your home I am swimming in, you are an awful shark and should be put in shark jail for being so careless with your sharky self! I hope you rot in shark jail! You had no right to be so insensitive to me and the other humans here in the water. Jeesh!

Shark shaming.  Shame the sharks if you must shame. They have thick skin, lots of teeth, act like they don’t care what anyone thinks, and mostly, they won’t ever read the hurtful comments sent their way. They're tough, they can take it…

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Communication comes in many different forms, both verbal and non-verbal, and each one is critical for all living beings, yet, even though there are so many ways to communicate these days, there seems to be too many times when we just can’t seem to communicate with each other in the most effective and sometimes, simplest ways.

Recently, while engaging in some normal activities, I observed the various methods of communications that were being used, and then determined if they were successful, or not.  My observations reiterated to myself why it is so important to communicate clearly based on the situation and subject.

A weekend of communication observations:

Settling into a very comfortable leather pedicure chair, I felt delighted with the bright pink polish that I had selected to be used on my toes. Yes, pink is just what I needed to get my feet sandal ready!

The nice man greeted me with a smile and a nod while he held up my pink bottle of polish. I smiled, nodded and said, yes, that is the color I want. I knew that there would be a language barrier between us, as did he, but throughout the entire relaxing experience, the communication between us consisted of smiles, head nods, and short yes or no responses. We didn’t speak the same language at all, although I knew that he knew more English than I knew of his native tongue, and yet, that didn’t stop us from having a nice time just using those simple methods of communications.  This was a great example of successful limited verbal and non-verbal communications.

Happy with my pedicure, I headed to my local grocery, which had been undergoing major renovations for months. I dreaded this errand as the last couple of times that I had gone there, I couldn’t find anything that I needed. But this store was more convenient than the others, and I was hopeful that they would be finishing up soon, so I sucked it up and headed to the store. When I pulled into the parking lot I found that most of the lot was blocked off due to resurfacing.  I located the opening for the two rows that were open based on an arrow they had posted, and made my way in search of a spot to park. This is a very large grocery store in need of much more parking than 2 rows, so I shouldn’t have been surprised of the limited available spaces, but I was very surprised when I got to the end of the lane, and there was nowhere to turn around and nowhere to park! After a very tight 5 point turnaround, I grabbed the first recently vacated spot.

In the store, things were still not completed, but I could tell they were getting close. The shopping took me twice as long as normal trying to find everything, and now, I just needed to locate mouthwash. I found the aisle labeled toothpaste, mouthwash, etc., so I turned the corner to find….empty shelves. Really trying my patience! Okay, there had to be a sign directing me to the new location of the mouthwash, but to no avail. I spent another couple of minutes roaming up and down the aisles until I finally found it.  At the checkout, the cashier asked me if I found everything okay. I bit my tongue from what I wanted to say, figuring that she had already heard it all, and it wasn’t her fault anyway so no reason to take my frustration out on her. As I left that store, I thought, if they would just have communicated more clearly regarding parking and where the new locations of items were, it would have saved time and frustration.  This was an epic failure to properly communicate, causing undo frustration, and possibly some customers. A great example of how bad communication, or lack of any communication, can cost you customers, as I questioned if I would ever return after that experience!

Driving on the highway towards home, I was behind a driver going much slower than the posted speed limit. Not able to get around him, I tried to remain calm, although my patience was already thin after the grocery store experience. With most of the traffic passing both of us to the right, I waited my turn to do the same since the slow driver in front of me was clearly not going to move over. He actually seemed oblivious to everyone passing him on the right side! Just as I was starting to get into the right lane, he also got into that lane with no signal advising me of his intent, he just went. He continued to go slower than the speed limit and crossed back and forth between lanes, never putting a signal on and causing some issues with the other drivers. I got around and away from him thinking, they make turn signals for a reason! To communicate to other drivers. Another epic fail. This failure to use a simple turn signal which could have caused wrecks.

The following day was my 4 year old granddaughter’s birthday party.  When I arrived, she proudly showed me how she was a beautiful princess! I adjusted my tone just a bit to match her enthusiasm and watched her take off to play and show everyone else how pretty she was.  I sat at a table with my elderly father in law who doesn’t hear very well and found myself speaking very loudly about the weather, gardens and anything else, noticing to myself how I adjusted my volume in my voice to accommodate his hearing loss. Successful adjusted communication methods.

The next day was a mother’s day celebration with my small family. I watched my grandchildren play, laugh and talk to each other. I watched my daughter’s cats and dog spar with each other, and look up at her, then down to their empty food bowls, and then, without a bark or meow, the bowls were filled. Non-verbal communication at its finest. I think that the animals do communication best.

Returning home from the eventful weekend, I sat on my porch and observed all of nature happening in my yard. I filled the bird feeders and it didn’t take long from the bird word to get out that the feeders were full once again! Around 15 types of birds ate, chirped and sang harmoniously together, while they filled their bellies with the assorted seeds and nuts. Later that evening it stormed. My older cat doesn’t like storms and doesn’t like to be held, so she stayed at my side during the entire loud storm. She didn’t say a word, just needed to be near me to feel safe. Her eyes and actions said it all. Animal communication wins again.

The power of communication is strong and powerful and with just a few examples that I provided, you can see how they can be successful or completely fail.

A quote from Zig Ziglar says “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply”

I think if humans could just learn to adjust their communication methods based on a situation, we would be much better communicators. We don’t always have to speak to get a point across. As a matter of fact, the use of body language, can be much clearer than the spoken word. Think about how strong a smile, frown or an eye roll can be. No words, but you know what is being communicated.

Take a cue from the starlings as they begin their migration. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. Their synchronized movements are a way to communicate the location of food sources as well as a way to create a defense mechanism against birds of prey. Beautiful and smart!

The world is full of different kinds of communications, and all are vital methods in getting ones message across. We have to adjust for the situation, but we can never stop communicating.


Peter Drucker said “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”

Listen to the spoken and unspoken word. Read the signs and between the lines, and then you can communicate accordingly and successfully.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Given how I was as a child, I think that some people (mainly my older siblings) might be shocked to know how difficult it is for me to truly relax, just sit, or do nothing for any period of time.

As a child, my siblings used to say that I had two speeds, slow and stop, and to their point, I didn’t move very fast, really at anything, or at any time, but oh how things are different now!

For whatever reason, I always feel like I need to be doing something, or if I’m not, I am not feeling very productive. I hear of others that can spend an entire day just sitting and binge watching shows! I can’t even imagine that! Well, maybe if it was a rainy day and there was nothing else to do, but I guarantee that I could still find a closet to clean or organize somewhere, so no, I can’t imagine.

Now there are exceptions to that rule, such as; (and this only applies when all of my house work is done) hanging out at my pond, while I am meditating, or, on the rare occasion that I do go on vacation, (and it is usually to a beach) I can definitely relax at the ocean. That is a force that I don’t even try to reckon with.

I attribute the vacation relaxing to not being at home where there seems to be the never ending "to do" list that always nags at me, and even though I am sitting quietly during meditation, I can rationalize that as I technically am doing something productive, such as trying to quiet my ever noisy mind.

But other than those occasions, I just can’t seem to do it. When guests are over, it’s hard for me to sit and enjoy their company for very long without the feeling that I should be checking on dinner, cleaning up after dinner, and ensuring that they have everything that they need.

I honestly don’t know when this compulsion kicked in, but I have to think that it’s in my genes and there is nothing that I can do about it as my son seems to suffer from the same thing. Poor guy!

My mother told me stories about my German grandparents who came to America from Prussia which might explain some of this. When my mother and father would be visiting them, as soon as my dad put an ash in the ash tray, my grandmother would quickly grab the ashtray, empty it, wipe it out, and put it down before my dad could get another puff on his cigarette. That sounds exhausting, and luckily I am not quite that bad, but some who have seen me might also argue that point.

She also told about how my grandma would swiftly gather any candy wrappers and take them to the trash as soon as anyone took a piece of candy from the candy dish. Now that I can relate to! Ugh…

Here is an interesting thought to me. (Or at least I think it’s interesting) Although I can’t sit still for very long at home, I really don’t have the urge to always be going places, so I can’t attribute my restlessness to wanting to get out of my house. I actually would rather be at my house, than just about any other place. Well, any other place like running errands. I would gladly leave my house for something fun to do!

So I wonder, is this an inherited Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or is it something else? Am I trying to make up for all of the “slowness” that I lived throughout my childhood? Maybe a little of both?

While writing this blog, I came across opinions for both sides of restlessness, some saying it’s a good thing, and others not so good, and so who really knows?

I think I need to conduct a study of sorts to find out. Maybe a nice long vacation, to a beautiful hot beach somewhere would help. If such an opportunity popped up, I would be more than willing to take that on and report back my findings, but first, I have to stop writing and make dinner.

 I mean, I have been sitting in front of this computer for over an hour now!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Just like snowflakes, there are no two seasons exactly alike and there is beauty to be found in each one.

Every year, each season is different than the last, and this spring is no exception.

Here in the Midwest, we had a fairly mild winter, so with that comes the fun of seeing who is going to emerge as the victors in the spring.

So far, my observations are that the blue jays, squirrels, wasps and bumble bees (the fuzzy huge freaks of nature, not honey bees) are flourishing like crazy! Let’s hear it for the winners!

I have not seen one hummingbird yet, even though I heard that they returned and have had my feeder out for a week anxiously awaiting their arrival.

The geese have come, left their mark, i.e. droppings, and are now gone to where I have to assume is sitting on their nests hatching their young. Goslings are adorable!

The deer have been in and out of my yard, but not to any large degree, so we will see if any fawns show up in June with their Mommies. I do hope I get to see at least a few of those cuties.

In contrast to last spring after a long, cold, snowy winter where the mosquitoes, ticks and fleas were abundant, I have not had to deal with much of those yet, however, I did notice 3 bats this last weekend while soaking in my hot tub, so I have to assume the mosquitoes are out there, somewhere.

The coyotes have made a comeback after someone in my area took it upon themselves a few years ago to "thin the herd" Grrrrr!   Circle of life, people!

The bass in my pond not only survived but thrived over the winter, and by the looks it, my grass carp did as well. This will make for a much more pleasant swimming experience this summer not having to feel the weeds around my feet.

The trees, bushes and flowers are bursting back to life daily showing off their vibrant colors and scents. This never gets old.

One of the things that never seem to change regardless of the severity of the prior winter is how well the dandelions in my yard always do! Just once it would be nice to have a perfectly lush green lawn minus them, but they do serve a few purposes, (though I don’t see myself cooking them or making any wine, the honey bees seem to like them), so they will never be anything that I will fight too hard to get rid of.

My least favorite and saddest parts about every spring is the abundance of dead wild life on the roads, and the “free kittens and puppies” signs that dot the telephone poles around the county.

(Picture me on my soapbox here)

With all of the reduced and free spay and neuter services available now, I just cannot understand why anyone still allows for their animals ( city or country people, house or barn animals) to reproduce, knowing how many innocent animals get put down every single day.

Enjoy all of the beauty, newness and renewal that spring has to offer, just please don’t make one of springs newness’s be an unplanned animal that may have to be put to death due to no fault of their own.

Monday, April 25, 2016


Writing is something that I have always loved to do. It feels as natural as breathing to me. That is, until I feel like I HAVE to write, then it’s something that feels like it’s suffocating me!
I never thought of it as a love/hate relationship, just a way to get my thoughts about everything down on paper. But lately, since I have been seriously considering making writing an even bigger part of my life, it feels like it has become one of those things. You know, those things you hate to do like cleaning the bathrooms. You don’t want to do it, but you know that you have to, so you eventually get to it, but only after every other chore is done and you have no choice but to suck it up, dive in, and just do it.
Now I am not comparing writing to cleaning toilets by any stretch, because I could not live without writing, but sometimes....
The thing is, my brain always has a million thoughts going on, so I could write 24/7 if I really wanted to, but obviously that is not feasible, nor would it be very interesting, so I find myself mentally discarding, or at the very least, filing many of my thoughts away, hoping that something mind-blowing will enter my head to write about.
Here is my second problem. Even though I write for myself, there is still that little voice that tells me “Yes Meg, you might think that (insert one of my thoughts here) is interesting and amazing, but will the masses?” Now that alone is funny, because I know that there are not masses that are reading my blogs, but still, on the off chance that someone does read it, I would like to at least have something interesting in there. So the battle in my brain rages on.
I loved the Seinfeld show. I can relate. It was a show not about the big things in life, but the everyday moments that make up a normal day. The things that seem so mundane and boring, and yet when written down and acted out, were very entertaining. I think about the writers of that show, and what the scripts must have looked like. I wonder if they knew how successful that show about nothing would become. And the one liners that came from it! “No soup for you!!” But I digress.
So, okay, here’s one big part that I love about writing. Many times when I am in a dilemma and I write about it, I watch the solution reveal itself to me through my writing. And, once again, here it is.
 I guess I need to be like the Seinfeld show and just write. Not worry so much if everyone (You 3 people know who you are, and thank you very much for your faithful reading!) will like everything I write. After all, they are my thoughts, and if they bore you then, you do have the power to just stop reading.
But in all sincerity, my other goal in writing is to share my life, my passions, teach anything that I can from my own life’s experiences, and help anyone that needs it.
So, I write.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Silly Goose

Each year, in the early spring, a goose couple generally spends their days hanging out in and around my pond. I don’t know if it’s the same couple each year, but none the less, it’s a couple.

 They fly in some time in the morning, and fly back out in the evening, to where I assume is the spot that the entire flock gathers for the night.

They have a distinct call out to each other signaling when it’s time to leave, and then in perfect harmony, they take flight side by side, heading for their nighttime destination.

You can usually expect that same thing to occur each evening, except tonight, when it didn’t.

The couple headed away from the pond as usual, although the female, moving slowly, lagged behind to graze for a bit longer. The male honked and flapped his wings as if to signal to her that it was time to leave. She just kept grazing, walking behind him. He honked once more, and then took off!!... She stopped grazing, and looked up to see him flying away.

He kept flying. She kept watching him. He was gone. She stood in the same spot looking toward the sky, as if she was trying to command him to return and get her.

I sat and watched her for over 20 minutes, not sure what to think or expect.

She continued staring up at the sky from the exact spot where he left her.

Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do some narration in my head as to what she must be thinking, and what he was going to think when he turned around and she wasn’t there. I giggled... Aahh couples.

Anyway, after I found some humor in the situation, I started to get concerned for her. What if she has eggs in her and now she lost her mate?

She still stood there.

My internal dialog went something like this:

"What should I do?"

"Nothing, Meg, you have to let nature take its course."

 "I know...The poor thing!"

Just then, after 20 minutes, I heard a honk, and she looked up towards that honk.

Oh, please let it be her mate!

He flew in and landed right by her side, and without missing a beat, she resumed grazing, barely acknowledging him. He lowered his head in a sign of aggression and I wondered if maybe that wasn’t her mate, but then he calmed down as she kept grazing.

 I thought to myself, she really looked worried while he was gone, but as soon as he showed up, she acted like she didn’t even know he was gone. Silly Goose!

They waddled toward the pond for a quick dip, and then, together this time, they flew off in perfect harmony.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Next Steps


Included in my severance package, was a subscription for a career placement company, and to kick that service off, I had to sit in on a webinar to hear what they had to offer.

I had been so busy with the holidays, and a relentless cold, that I didn’t have much time to think about my redirection from my Corporate America role to my unemployed role, so, when the call came in to set this webinar up, my gut immediately reminded me of which role I was now playing.

Oh, yeah, that…

So, finally, after a less than professional start to their webinar, I listened to the company talk about what steps needed to occur to get ready for my next job search. Truthfully, I didn’t want to be on this call; I didn’t want to be in this position, but I knew the value of their service, so I sucked it up and tried to make the best of it.

They talked about the importance of networking, LinkedIn and all of  the Social Media channels, the elevator speech, resume writing, interviewing and on and on; all topics that I was aware of already, all topics that I didn’t want to hear about right now.

What was wrong with me?!

Now, only half listening to the webinar, I stared out the window and watched a Red Tail Hawk floating on the wind, searching the ground below for his next meal. I thought to myself, he is sending me a message; “Fly and follow your passion, Meg!” and I thought to myself “Yes, that’s what I want to hear about right now!”

My prior career had never been about my passion, just a means to an end. And with that fleeting thought, the Hawk then flapped his wings furiously, which I interpreted to mean “You will have to work hard to get to your passion, it’s not as easy as my soaring in the sky appears”

That’s okay, I am okay with hard work if it means finally getting to my passion.

To those who think I am crazy, I stand behind my belief that we are always receiving signs and messages from the universe, but so many times, we choose to ignore them. I choose to watch very closely for signs, probably too much, but I don’t want to miss anything important, and I would like to point out that as soon as that webinar was done, I didn’t see the Hawk anymore.

Coincidence? I think not!

So, what are my passions, and next steps? Well, I am passionate about many things, but I am also very practical, so I am taking a two pronged approach to this. I am going to fully utilize the services offered to me and continue to look for a career in Corporate America, hopefully the creative side of it this time, and for the first time in my life, I feel that I am finally brave enough to pursue my other passion in writing.

Writing about what? Well, that’s still to be determined, but who am I to argue with universe.