Let It Go Unapologetically

There comes a point when you just have to let go of things and people that no longer fit into your life. We, people, myself included, try to make things work. It’s like fitting a square into a circle. You can’t, it just won’t work.

There has been many times when I’ve tried to make friendships last, or relationships grow. Only to find out it’s a waste of time and energy. I truly believe that if someone wanted to be a part of your life they will be. They’ll be there all the time, not just when it benefits them.

Time and time, I give way more than I get back, and I try harder than the other person. Guess what. Those days are way over. I’m done. No more throwing hints, offering suggestions, and giving too much. No, I don’t mind giving, but when it’s not appreciated, why waste my time.

All relationships require effort. Family, friends, love and more all take take effort on BOTH parts. It’s give and take on both ends. It requires understanding and listening. Remember not just the big things, but thev small things too. What do I mean? If you KNOW me, then you’ll know that I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan, but you’ll also know I don’t drink coffee. I had an associate that remembered how I write my name when I shorten it. That’s a little thing that was remembered, even though I NEVER bought it up in conversation.

I tell people all the time, if someone can’t see you in the daylight, they don’t deserve to see you in the night light. What do I mean? If they can’t be seen with you in public, then they don’t deserve to see you in private. This goes for EVERYONE. I had some female so called friends that started acting that way. I had to let go.

Everyone has quirks about them. I know I do. Some worse than others. I can hold a grudge and be petty with the best of them. Yes, I know, not the positive side of my personality. However, the grudge part has gotten better. I figured they were not worth the energy. The petty part, while it’s not positive, it can be fun. I do try to keep it light and fun, but sometimes, I can Queen Petty when pushed.

All I’m saying is sometimes you just have to let it go. Feed them the same old, dry and stale energy they tried to feed you. You are important enough and deserve it. Be unapologetically happy.

Summer Olympics 2020 in 2021

We are finally here! Another delay due to Covid. Still, I’m excited it’s finally here! This is the week of the start of the Summer Olympic Games. I’m so excited, you’d think I’d be there or personally knew someone competing. I don’t, but more on that later.

The Olympic games actually date back to 1896. I got into enjoying the games in 1988 right before we went to Germany. Even though I enjoy all of the games, my favorite part is the opening ceremony. The artistic openings that we see today started in 1912.

On my bucket list is to go to the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. So, if anyone would like to help me get to Paris in 2024 or Los Angeles in 2028, I’d be forever grateful.

As I stated before I’m really excited about the games. No, I’m not participating or supporting a specific athlete. So why am I so excited? It’s pretty simple, the energy is contagious. It gives off an amazing vibe. Yes I’m proud of all the athletes from every country that worked hard to get there.

For me, yes, I’ll always rock USA. However, if I see amazing talent somewhere else I give them their props too. Great is great. I’m looking forward to seeing new World records set, new talents shining through and just the overall love of sports.

Yes, the love of sports is what does it for me. While some of the events I may not watch year round, some I may not understand all the technical stuff, or even know the key players, but the excitement is enough most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few I won’t watch at all unless it’s the late night replays while I’m studying.

There are some new events that are added this year. Looking forward to seeing how they play out. I know this year will be different due to civic and the Covid restrictions. I’m hoping that them just being and the support of each other will help them.

I’m looking forward to each aspect of the games, but especially the opening ceremony. What are you most looking d forward to?

Leadership Series – Positivity

Definition of leadership: the action of leading a group of people or an organization.”different styles of leadership”

Most of my working career has been in retail. Mainly one company. Over the last five years I’ve noticed the major decline in effective leadership within this company and others that I’ve been watching. Then I look at other companies, some I worked for, others I was watching and saw an increase in proper leadership.

One of the things I know for sure about the leadership in the various locations is that it starts at the top. When you are leading your leaders, then you grow your team and your company. I’ve seen some small business excel through this pandemic just because they had some great leaders in place.

There are so many qualities that make great leaders shine. So I’ll do a series of blogs to discuss these. Today we’ll talk about positivity.  I come from an age where this quality is taught by words and action. Yes, it still applies today.

Being positive is key in any line of business. It can alter the way your business functions and grows. When you are being positive it helps your team be open to changes and new responsibilities that may arise. Remember, everyone doesn’t like change and may take a bit to adjust.

We all understand the concept that everyone is hired to do a job. Yes, we all get that. Still, showing appreciation will make them WANT to work even harder. “Thank Yous” are free. Show your team you appreciate the work they are doing. While you’re doing that, be respectful. The worst thing you can do is treat them like children, even if they act that way sometimes. I try to remember, how would I feel? I tell people all the time “what you will not do is yell at me like I’m your two year old.” I know I’ve caught myself a few times, it’s easy to do when you get upset. Just remember, that won’t get you the best results. That positive appreciation goes a long way to being successful.

One thing that the will help you show positivity is by showing enthusiasm. When you are enthusiastic about your work it’ll show and reflect in your team. Enthusiasm is contagious. You want your team to happy, after all, when they are happy your customers/clients will be happy. Being enthusiastic also helps when you have new products or a change in the way things are done. Don’t underestimate the power of enthusiasm.

Place others before yourself, for the good of the team. Yes, you are important too. However, in leadership, sometimes we have to step back and focus on those we are leading. In one of my locations I was always missing lunch or taking a really late lunch so they could take theirs and we still get the job done. Putting them first, they thought about me. We established a great working relationship. It was a nice circle of caring and respect.

Speaking of respect, respect is vital to establishing positivity. Without respect, you can forget about any positivity you may have had. When your team knows and can feel the respect you have for them, they will respect you too. Showing respect for each individual will boost the moral of your team. When you’re nasty to them and not showing any respect, you have the opposite effect. I’ve seen awesome leaders earn respect the right way and those that earn it by fear. Getting respect through fear will not boost your positivity rating within your team or company. Instead it will have the opposite effect. Earning respect by showing respect is the best way to keep a positive, growing team.

Always remember, as a leader you are the the energy of your business. We all understand the ups and downs of business. You win some, you lose some. Just know and understand that if you don’t display that positive energy, then your team will not either.

In the next article we will discuss empathy and how of an important role that plays in effective leadership.

Compliments

Some of you may know that I’m an independent consultant with Paparazzi Accessories. My business name is MM Butterfly Jewelry.

Our founders are always encouraging us to do better and be better. This is not just in business, but also our personal life. One way they do this is by issuing challenges. One such challenge was issued for this past weekend. We were asked to give 10 compliments over the weekend.

I think I did pretty good. At first I was thinking this would be tough with me at work and all. However, once I gave the first one, it was pretty easy. I realized that I did it more often than I thought.

What I noticed was that when I made sure my compliments were sincere and specific they made people feel good and it made them smile. On the flip side, when they smiled, I found myself smiling more. Even when I started to feel agitated I would find something positive and compliment them on it. Being an introvert sometimes makes it hard to speak to others and offer them a compliment. But, I did it. I feel about it too.

Have you given a compliment recently that was both sincere and specific? Why not make it a priority and see the difference in your day?

Biggest Regrets

We all have regrets in our life. If we didn’t, we’d be prefect. As you know, we are not perfect. Of course, some situations may sit heavier than others. Today I want to talk about one of mine.

One of my biggest, if not the biggest, regret was falling in love and getting engaged with whom I considered one of my best friends at the time. Yes, this ranks high on my list.

Why do I feel that this was one of my biggest regrets? No I don’t hate or regret that I loved him. I hate I lost my friend from a relationship that went bad. We were pretty close as friends. One of my best friends. He was one that knew me better than most people, at that time.

Maybe falling in love was the next natural course. I guess it was to be expected based off how close we were. How well did we know each other? You know me is to know I’m very picky with food, but I love food. He’s the only person outside of my immediate family that could order food for me and always get something I can eat. Yes, I trusted him to do that. He’s also one of the limited people I trust to fix me a drink and not have to watch him.

We knew things about each other our families didn’t know. Yea, that’s not too huge, but at the time it was. I guess we just didn’t know enough about each other. Where are we now? We are nowhere. Not even friends at this point. When I look back, I realized I would have much rather had his friendship today. I know I can’t guarantee we would be friends even if we hadn’t hooked up, but I like to think we would.

Even though I regret where things stand right now, I’m okay with it. After all, I’ve said it many times before, even then he set the bar, the original standard. A bar he no longer reaches, let alone the new standard. Am I mad about it? I use to be mad for a long time. Now I just use it a lesson and great memories when I feel nostalgic, which isn’t that often these days. I have my life to live, he has his.

Yes, this was one of greatest regrets throughout the years. Would I change things if I had a time machine? I don’t know. How much different would things have been? Who knows. Maybe the friendship would have dissolved on its by now. Having regrets is normal. Just make sure you don’t dwell on them. Learn from them and continue to move forward.

15 Facts About Me

Today I want to share some information or facts about me. If you know me, some stuff you may already know, others, you may not know yet. So let’s get started!

1. I’m a full fledged Dallas Cowboys fan. I don’t want to hear the mess. I’m all over it. You won’t change my mind.

2. I absolutely love to travel. I actually have a pretty long bucket list for traveling. Yes, I’m ready for Covid to be gone so I can get back to that bucket list.

3. Another absolute is the fact that I love to read. I can pretty much read a almost any genre. I’ve even jumped into some foreign language books. Yes they were translated.

4. Soul food…most of it is not my thing. Yea, I eat chicken, but a lot of things, most people eat on Thanksgiving I won’t eat. Why? It’s just one of those things.

5. I found that my taste buds have changed drastically over the last few years. One thing is the fact that I have never ever liked ginger ale in any brand. Now, I almost prefer that over my favorites, Sunkist or Fanta orange.

6. Most of the time I’m not a crier. Normally if cry then I’m ready to fight someone. Well now since I’ve had Covid, some things have changed. I find myself just crying at random times. I don’t be mad or depressed, I just start crying. It’s the craziest thing. That hormone imbalance sucks.

7. I absolutely love building my family tree. It actually excites me when I find connections in the family. Will I meet everyone, probably not. Will I contact everyone, probably not. I’m excited to see how far back I can go. Who wants to help? Taking all offers and tips.

8. Most people close to me know I love photography. I’ve been taking pictures since I was in middle school. I have most of my first pictures from Germany. That’s where it really began. I believe future generations would enjoy seeing more than just hearing about the past.

9. Call me crazy, but I like to see an actual surgery of any surgery I’m about to undergo. I’ve had 5 surgeries and I took the time to watch each surgery before hand. I just like to see how it’s done.

10. I don’t like shopping at all. Shopping for gadgets is decent enough, but I try to avoid that too. With my gadgets I did all my research and then just go buy. With everything else I hope it can just be ordered online. Even better if I can get it delivered.

11. Don’t hate me for this next one. I’ve never wanted to physically have a kid. Like, actually going through the pregnancy part. However, I wouldn’t have minded adopting one. I love kids, just didn’t want to carry one. If I had got pregnant I would have had it, but I was never trying to have one.

12. I love to teach and train. At one point in middle school and early in high school I thought I was going to be a teacher one day. That didn’t happen. I fell in love with with accounting and took that instead. Now, Wal-Mart has provided the opportunity to both teach and train in various supervisor roles throughout the years. That’s one thing I always tried to pride myself in regardless of what others thought.

13. I absolutely love watching a storm. I don’t want to be in it or see others hurt in a storm. To sit and watch a storm rage gives me life anytime I can relax and watch it.

14. I hate laziness. It’s okay to have lazy moments, but to just be lazy all the time is not cool. I understand we get tired, exhausted, and overwhelmed at times. We will have those moments. We still have to push through. If you want something, work for it. Don’t try to take the lazy way out. Work for it.

15. I like to collect books, pens and movies. My family think I collect everything. That’s false. I absolutely love books, pens (I write) and movies.

Those are just 15 random facts about me. How many of those facts did you know about me?

My Bad Habits

A bad habit. At least that’s what I consider them. Sometimes it works in my favor. Other times, not so much. Some of these bad habits I’ve been working on for years. I don’t know if it’ll ever change, but I’m still working on them. They are: my facial expression and procrastination. Just writing that had me shaking my head. I mean I procrastinated all day with writing this.

My facial expression always says it all. Like the saying goes “I wear my heart on my sleeves.” If I’m mad at you, you’ll see it. Won’t have to say a word. If I’m disgusted with something, you’ll see it. However, on the flip side, if I’m happy, you’ll know. If I love you, you’ll see it.

I was told early in my career that I needed to work on that and that I’ve been working on. Needless to say, I’ve not accomplished much. Still, I’ve made a little progress in controlling my expressions. Just not when I’m angry. Sometimes I can now conceal hurt. I can even conceal an attraction.
Still, this is something I’m working on.

I’ve gotten better over the years, but it’s still there. One thing I can never seem to hide is when I’m not feeling good. No amount of training or practice has helped in the slightest bit. I’ll never be able to play poker, because, I don’t think I’ll have that much control. Still, I think I’ve gotten better over the years. Not great, but better for sure.

Procrastination…What can I say. This habit does more harm than good with me. Don’t say it, we should never procrastinate, I know. Just go and get it done.

However, as crazy as this may sound, some of my best work be at the last minute. Not always, but more often than not. While in saying that, I still try hard not to procrastinate when I’m handling specific tasks like work or business. If I’m not interested in whatever I need to do, chances are 100% that I’ll find every reason to do it later.

There have been times when I was glad I waited to do something or go somewhere. Some of it I’d like to thank my gut instincts for. Other times were just pure luck. This is something I’ve been working on for a few years too. Although I’ve been working on this for a bit too, I haven’t made any progress with this. Maybe, one day something will click and I won’t procrastinate anymore. One can hope, right?

What’s a bad habit that you haven’t been able to break?

Dealing With Changes

Changes happen all the time in life. There’s really no way to avoid them. We may try to delay it as much as possible, but change will always happen.

I’m actually one of those people who doesn’t mind change at all. As a matter of fact, most of the time, I actually welcome it. It’s not always easy to adapt to change, but more often than not, it’s worth it. It’s all about adaptability.

Many companies have went out of business simply because they couldn’t adapt to change. Many people have been left behind because they couldn’t accept change, even if it saved them time or money.

Today I want to talk about a few changes I’ve dealt with in my working career. To know me, is to know I can get bored rather quickly. Most of my work experience comes from Wal-Mart. Regardless of your personal feelings, or some of what I’m about to discuss, Wal-Mart has changed to keep up with the times, that’s why they are still here.

I’ve always enjoyed learning new things. So when it came to work it wasn’t much different. Eventually, I applied for assistant manger and got it. Good days and bad days, I overall enjoyed what I was doing. To have the ability to teach and train others while taking care of customers was a great experience.

My biggest challenge came when I got accepted at a store in Alexandria, VA. I spent two years there. The stories I could tell from just those two years! What made that specific change so difficult? After all, I said yes to the position. Can you see my shrug? LOL

While I wasn’t living with either of my parents, I was never far away. Yes, I was able to call them anytime. Most days, like today, I talked to my mom multiple times a day. Not having them right there when wanted them or needed them was hard. Still, it was a change I was pushing through.

Another of those serious experiences I delt with was my job.  I mean, that was the reason for the move in the first place. Being an assistant manager at Walmart in Northern VA is a different experience than in GA.  The expectations are different.  One was because we were a prototype store. Because of that, the visits we received from corporate were almost every week. These were not your normal market, or regional visits. These were the staff from the CEO and CFO offices. Who would have thought I’d meet the person in charge of everyone’s payroll? That was just one. One of the many I had pleasant conversations with. Still, preparing for those visits could get stressful.

The people are also very different that I met there.  Even though it was a new culture, I so enjoyed learning about everyone’s home countries and their families.  Even learning phrases from their native tongue. Needless to say I’ve learned a lot about myself.  Learned some things about myself that surprised me. For instance, I was was hesistant, more like afraid to take on a specific area of the store. I embraced the change and got to work.  However, once I started learning the area, I actually learned a lot and think I did pretty good. Not great, but good enough to put up numbers that surprised my old supervisors back in GA.

I learned that because of the way I managed my associates they worked hard for me.  They worked for me when they wouldn’t work for others.  When I needed them to step up and be above average, they did it.  They constantly shined when it was extremely important.  That taught me that what I was doing was the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the stress from dealing with scandalous bossees and team members took a toll on me and my body. This was a change I found unacceptable. Never thought I’d work with supervisors more drama filled than the associates they manage.

I was out of work twice due to an ankle injury.  Of course all the crazy hours didn’t help either.  I was even hospitalized with extreme high blood pressure, chest pain, and shortness of breath. All my vitals were at stroke level. My co worker was like she take me or I go in an ambulance.  Thank goodness I didn’t have  a stroke or heart attack.  Still, it did prompt me to leave the company for something less stressful.

I’ve made a few new great friends over this time.  We argured, disagreed and still remained true.  When I needed them, they were there. No questions asked.  Durning that time I also lost some so called friends.  I came to realize that some of them were hating on the changes I was making. It’s all good because I didn’t loose any sleep over it.

Like I said, changes could be good or bad. What matters most is how you deal with those changes. Accept the change the best you can. Remember to at least give it a chance before saying no.

Handling Rejection

First let’s start be defining rejection. Why? For some reason many people don’t really understand what a rejection is.

REJECTION: the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.

We’ve all been rejected at some point in life. Most, many times. If you claim you haven’t, then you my friend need reevaluate the definition of rejection. However, this isn’t about you, or the next person, it’s actually about me.

As I prepared to write this, I thought back to some of the rejections I’ve received and some I’ve issued. Let’s be real, rejections of any kind can be heartbreaking.

Yet, I sit here flipping through my 40+ years of memories trying to find a few that may have more significance than others.

The one, or you may say two rejections that hurt the most was the breakup of my ex finance. Which lead to rejection number two years later. I should have learned the lesson the first time. The breakup was so bad, I couldn’t even work that day. My supervisor told me to go home. I cried for hours and hours. The worst part? He was deployed at the the time. How did I handle it? I prayed and meditated. I was already beginning to allow hate to build and it wasn’t even 24 hours. That could not happen. I had to remember who I was. After all another person can’t define who I am. When I decided to let go, I let go.

Yes, I heard from him throughout the years. I still got excited to hear from him. It was almost fifteen years before I physically saw him again. Yes, I was giddy then too. We had a surprisingly good evening when I was in town. We talked, cleared the air. He reminded me why he set the bar back then. Still I knew, there wouldn’t be no “us”.  I was okay with that.

Years later, years again. This time I reached out to tell him about my dad passing. This was the beginning of the next huge rejection.  He was there and not there. Was excited to have him working with me. Until, the day he called me his sister to the chick I despised most. Okay, hated the most. I didn’t even qualify for friend or ex. Yea, some would have been okay with that, but I was pissed on a whole different level. Let’s just say it’s been 5 years since we spoke. With that rejection, I lost every bit of feeling I may have had. If I see in the building I feel nothing. No love, no hate, no anger, nothing.

I think those two moments were the worst. I’ve been denied jobs, rejected by other guys, nothing had me feeling like those two moments. So how do I do it? How do I handle being rejected?

For me, it’s a thought process. If I didn’t get the job, why was I going to stress over it. I moved on. If a guy didn’t like me, that’s his loss, not mine. If someone didn’t want to be friend, it’s cool. If they didn’t want to buy my product, I’m okay with them not being in my target audience. I’ve said all that to say I just brush it off. I refuse to allow another person or situation to make me feel that bad again. Don’t misunderstand what in saying. Don’t think I don’t put my all into it. If you’re my friend, then I’m a friend. I just don’t stress those that don’t want to be in my circle. I don’t stress those that don’t think I’m capable. I just show them otherwise.

Rejections in any form is not fun. It hurts regardless of the importance. Just don’t allow it to be all consuming. If you need help handling it, go to a trusted friend or family member. If necessary, get a professional. Under no circumstances should you allow the rejection to define who you are and what you do next!