How to Clean Up Broken Eggs

While placing 18 eggs one by one in a pot of boiling water, one egg quickly slipped out of my hand and landed on the kitchen floor. Splat!!!

As the yolk partly laid on the floor and partly resting inside the shell, I thought it looked disastrous but also colorful and pretty.

Instead of stressing over the silly egg, I took a few pictures and pondered over what could be said about the broken egg.  The splattered egg reminded me of an earlier experience in my life and inspired me to write this post.

Nearly 20 years ago, I was the Advertising/Communications Manager at a Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I was new to the position and new to advertising, but I loved the creative energy, the enthusiasm, and the department’s director was amazing! She was smart, witty, confident, and knew her stuff. I was like a sponge, eager to soak up all the knowledge my director was throwing my way. For once, I envisioned myself in a department for the long hall.

While working as a Trainer in Human Resources, the  job literally fell in my lap. It turns out, the powers that be were observing me and liked the way I conducted myself and worked with employees in the company.

Seven months into the Advertising position, out went the old president and in came the new one. As with any new leadership, the rumors began.  For or a little while, things remained the same, but eventually major changes occurred.

The new president (Dennis) may he RIP, passed a few years ago, was unlike any leader our company had before. He was high energy, unconventional, believed in giving people chances, and never seem to care about people laughing at his out of the ordinary ideas.

I remember attending a pep rally, where some employees won a lottery for a chance to step into a money machine! The machine swirled money into the air and the employee was given a certain amount of time to grab as much cash as possible. Lol!! How cool was that! You can imagine the excitement!!

Anyways, he had a new vision for the company and wanted to move in a different direction. As a result, my position along with 120 or so other jobs were eliminated. I was disappointed but not surprised. Damn though!! I was finally working for and with someone who really knew shit and was willing to share her knowledge.  Then my position gets eliminated.

I signed the proper  paperwork, packed my belongings, said my goodbyes and left. On my way out, I saw my colleagues’ devastation and tears. I remember thinking, it’s not the end the world. Of course my husband held a steady job, but still we were a two-family income and my salary mattered.

After a few days of taking the job loss in, I felt compelled to write a letter to the president. I was confused! During the pep rally, Dennis spoke. He said he wanted employees who were loyal, hard-working, committed, friendly, and more!

He described me in his speech! So, why was my job eliminated? I needed to know the answer, so immediately I sat down and wrote the president of the casino a letter. I did not hesitate on the letter because I felt as though I had nothing to lose.  My letter was not angry, dispirited or nasty.  It was a letter of genuine inquiry about why my position was eliminated. I also requested a meeting with him to discuss career opportunities with the company. I told him that I was everything he wanted in his employees and he could check my file. He seemed like a fair and reasonable man.

The next day, I hand delivered the letter to his Administrative Assistant, who graciously took it and promised that she would give it to him. I thanked her and left feeling content that I asked the question.

Shortly after, I don’t remember exactly how long but a day– a week– or several weeks later, I received a phone call from a company representative. Although while working full-time, I also attended college at night. I was offered a position as an intern in Affirmative Action.

I worked in Affirmative Action for a few months and was eventually offered a job in a new department, Quality Assurance. For a few months, I was the sole department. Lol!!

Over the next eight years, my career continued to flourish with the company.  In 2002, one month after I graduated college and earned my BA degree, I received a job offer from a local school district and gave my resignation.

Just because a situation does not go as planned, does not mean that all is gloom and doom and that a disaster has occurred.  There is always a reason things don’t work out but to sort through it, we have to be open-minded, patient, and malleable.

So what the egg breaks! It’s still raw, scoop it up, laugh at yourself, salvage what you can, and move on. Successful people arrive by way of a series of detours, road blocks, failed engines and more.

If you’ve ever played  Monopoly, at some point you will land in jail. Eventually you get out of jail and move on and sometimes, go on to win the game.

Learning not to stress over cracked eggs, broken china, the slow driver ahead, junior league football, and other trivial stuff, took me many years to understand.  However, one day I figured it out and and stopped sweating the small stuff.

I know that after bad comes good. After darkness comes light.  After pain comes pleasure.  After tears come smiles.

At 50 years old, I take it all in stride and make it a point to laugh at the silliness in each day.

Make your day a great one!  🙂

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I Must Not Fear

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.  And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank HerbertDune

What you are about to read may surprise some and may sound ridiculous to others but… it’s my truth, so I am sharing.

My fanatical friend and trainer is basking in the tropics this week, which leaves me all alone. Boo! 😦   I knew this day was coming and I’ve been restless about it.

Throughout the day I nervously studied the prescribed and written arm workout.  In case I misplace or lose the original paper, I made an extra copy.  One stuffed in my gym bag; the other on my desk.

My thinking is, if I study the workout beforehand, when I arrive at the gym, I will feel more confident, look more like a pro and look and feel less like a lost soul.  I confided in a friend.  She asked,

What are you afraid of?

Well… good question.  If I am going to be 200% honest with you, I need to reveal that Mrs. Fitness and Mrs. Patty Perfect (self-titled) always wants to do things to perfection.  God forbid I do something wrong and Lord knows that I have in the past and will error in the future.

By no means do I think I’m perfect or better than anyone else, I simply want to do the best of my ability (near perfection) in everything that I do. I’m working on the typos! 🙂  I try not to judge others, which is human nature in this country, but I am the critic when it comes to myself.

I know, I know!  There’s no such thing as perfect; however if I aim for the “P” word, then I’m assured that I’ve done my best and that’s all I want to do.  I can’t stand half-stepping or half-a** effort in anything.

You know what’s crazy?  I’ll run anywhere that is safe alone, take a fitness class where I don’t know anyone, but ask me to walk into a gym and lift weights alone… Nope.  I have never done this.  Most people who know me would not speculate that I have insecurities relative to any fitness environment.  But that goes to show you that we all have undisclosed bits and pieces of our personalities.

The gym environment is intimidating!  Ginormous, oversized, pulsating, loud music, tattooed male and female jocks grunting and slamming weights around.  You know the deer in the headlights thing?  That’s the situation I see myself in going solo to the gym. It’s silly because I know exactly what I’m supposed to do and I’m no stranger to the gym.

I asked a few women how they felt about weight lifting in the gym alone. They were not comfortable going it alone and feared “looking silly” or “not doing it right.”   I suspect the fear keeps a large number of woman off the gym floor.  The same is probably true for some guys, but they may not want to admit or acknowledge the intimidation factor.

Anyway, I swear by positive self-talk. The self-pep talk is my comrade that supports me when I lack confidence in myself. The talk has gotten me through many nerve wrenching situations.

While warming up on the treadmill, my eyes swiftly darted from one side of the gym to the other…. scouting out availability and space for my first exercise.  Boom!  I found a spot to begin my seated dumb bell curls.  I scurry off the treadmill and to my first station.

Are members watching and critiquing me?  Focus girl! My trainer’s note read….

Go hard or go home!

I claimed my bench with my one gallon jug of water, cranked up one of my favorite reggae tunes Shaggy’s, Strength Of A Woman, on my iPod, grabbed my 15 pound dumbbells and went to work on my bicep curls.  I knocked out three sets of 12 and before I realized it, I cared less about the who’s and what’s.

Tucked in my waist area, were my trainer’s written instructions.  Before moving on to the next exercise, I carefully reviewed her notes…  Twice I caught myself laughing aloud (not paying attention to anyone else) at the amount of weight I was instructed to lift.  Like, is she serious?  While shaking my head! LOL!

It took me less time to complete the workout than when I’m with my trainer.  Most likely because I did not talk to anyone–per her instructions–and really focused on the mind-body connection.  On A few of the exercises, I challenged myself to lift heavier than recommened and felt great about it.  At the end of the workout my arms were fatigued and I felt accomplished.

In spite of my fears, no one approached me to tell me that I looked silly or absurd.  While working out, another member may have been near me experiencing the same anxiety, but I wouldn’t know that.  Seriously we have to figure out how to get a handle on our fears. They are crippling and stifling.  Driving home I reflected on my experience.  All that fear and anxiety… for NOTHING.

Preparation for this competition is more involved than I anticipated. Not only am I tearing  down and rebuilding muscles, but I am also breaking down walls and barriers that unbeknownst to me have held me back.

At almost eight-weeks out from the competition, I am filled with anticipation about what the future holds for me.

Hmm… gotta love the unknown!

Thanks for stopping by!



Quitting is not an option

Emphatically blinking to hold back the tears, her aged but youthful eyes spoke for her. In a moment though, her glossed over and molten eyes released the flow of tears that stained her flawless almond colored skin.

Three years senior my daughter, this young woman is experiencing the harsh realities of life. Life as a single mother of a three-year old. Life as a daughter to a mother who has grown tired of mothering. Life as a role model for her younger sister, whose same mother has grown tired of mothering her too. Life as a divorced mother, who is uncertain about the future.

I listened attentively. She thanked me for sharing my story at the luncheon. Even better, she tells me that she had felt discouraged, but the speakers at the luncheon influenced her to believe that quitting is not an option. In spite of her situation, she attends college and is working hard to carve a better future for herself, her child and her baby sister. Her journey is one of challenge, but I’m convinced that she can overcome and continue to move forward. Quitting is not an option was the topic of today’s luncheon.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’ve trudging seems uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile,
but you have to sigh,

When your care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Someone whom I admire and have a great deal of respect for asked me to speak to a wonderful group of young ladies today. Young ladies that have been erroneously written off as failures, although I disagree! They are smart, creative, witty, strong-willed, determined, and rebellious but they are genuinely trying to see their way through dim clouds to a brighter future. They simply need nurturing, support, guidance, positive influences from patient women and adults who won’t quit on them.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,

You may succeed with another blow.

Earlier in the day I was also inspired and emotionally struck by a conversation that I had with an extraordinary recent college graduate. Why extraordinary? For nearly four years, he fought, what seemed like an endless battle that most adults would have given up on.

As a young child, he came to the U.S. (undocumented) with his mother. He attended the public school system. He was raised by a single mother of two boys who earned modest wages. Most challenging? Peer pressure, the absence of his father, and the unsettling and dangerous community where he lived.

In spite of the obstacles and roadblocks, he sustained and ultimately acquired citizenship and graduated college. During college continued to work through obstacles, however he participated in many social and political groups and helped to raise $1,000,000 for his University! I am so proud of him. He accomplished what many said was impossible. Quitting was not an option for him.

Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when is seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worse,
that you must not quick.

Be inspired and do encourage others. Regardless of what ever it is that you’re moving toward, remember that quitting is not an option!

Happy Valentine’s Day!