Sunday, October 16, 2016

Making champagne out of vinegar



My husband and I suddenly had it dawn on us that we are truly empty nesters ... EUREKA!  

The first dawning was Thanksgiving.  It was peaceful and quiet.  Almost too quiet.  We're used to all four kids and boyfriends and orphans join us for Thanksgiving (last weekend for Canadians).  My son wasn't there to claim ownership of the almighty drumstick.  There was no circle of thankfulness that has been a tradition that I have tried to enforce.  That is when we go around the table and everyone speaks to what they are thankful for.  


Typically, the "Thanksgiving Story" is told by me of when I was a single mom, as usual trying to do several things at once.  I had prepared the stuffing for the bird, and had it all ready to assemble.  I also had a deadline to get my youngest to the outdoor soccer field for tryouts for the upcoming indoor season.  There never seemed to be enough time or alternatively, I was juggling priorities.  I ran up and had a shower before I was going to get the turkey stuffed and prep'd before we headed out.  The bread cubes were all ready, celery and onions diced for mixing.  All it needed was the crowning by spices.

When I came downstairs to do the final stuffing, the kids were still around, and giggling amongst themselves.  Well, they had a field day!  Someone thought it would be a good idea to "help" spice the turkey stuffing.

To my dismay, when I went to mix the stuffing I couldn't help but notice a lot of colorful contributions added.  The kids had raided the spice cupboard adding cupcake colorful sprinkles and candies in the dressing.  Oh horror was me.  I was beyond stressed by this because they had soaked into the breadcrumbs casting a colorful rainbow of tint throughout.

As a single mom trying to hang on to normal family traditions was ruined because the stuffing was sweetened beyond recognition.  I was upset, a cross between anger and angst.  

I needed to get out the door and get Kelsey to her soccer field and running out of time.  I had no more ingredients left for the stuffing.  So I just put the turkey in the oven, trying to "make champagne out of vinegar" (one of my favorite attitude adjustments when things are not the best circumstances).

Not to be outdone by the mischievous crew, I put a third of the stuffing into a baking dish and threw it in the oven, despondent over the missing aroma of turkey roasting with the wonderful smell of the typical spices mixed with turkey.

When we sat down for dinner, I gave each one of the kids a heaping spoonful of their stuffing creation and told them that since they had put an effort into making it, they were going to try it.  


I like to say that I don't get mad, I get even.  This was a perfect example.  This is when they fessed up and told me that along with the candy sprinkles they had added Pepto Bismal, aspirin, and Tums into their creation.  I was horrified that I could be poisoning the kids with the added ingredients if I forced them to take a mouthful.

I tell the story over fits of giggles every year.  To the dismay of the family, because it is just too priceless not to reminisce for the past 10 years and counting.  It is more with fondness at their banding together to play a trick on mom I most enjoy.

Perils of entrepreneurship  
You may find this HILARIOUS (I hope).  I signed up with a dating site called  Elite Partner . com because the owner/principle is a former colleague of mine from HP.  

Back then, he worked on behalf of our enterprise clients internally, while i was the product manager and project manager for server builds, ensuring security, apps, and such were assembled.  

It was a time of legends.  I worked with pretty amazing people who were beyond merely talented and most bordered on genius.  Some really superb people.  It was really interesting.  I loved it.  It was unfortunate that saving money at all costs meant offshoring more and more North American jobs.  


Do you find it ridiculous that I signed on to a dating site, me happily married, in order to do a proposal for Elite to launch their social media program and write their blog.  I did go to check on it and, yes, the owner had popped on to see if I had signed up as I said I would.  He would have been surprised if I had not because that was what he liked most about working with me.  We were both under a lot of pressure, driven by technology which was hard enough keeping up with personal technology.  I have a pet peeve of those that over promise or under deliver.


Well I DO have other PET PEEVES:

Clipping nails:  that is as personal a thing as plucking eyebrows, popping zits and similarly are all intended at one's own discretion in their own private moments.  Like scraping the inside of your nose because it feels crusty and it looks like a pick.  There are just some things only meant to be done in private.
Chewing gum:  I have rarely, mostly never met anyone who chews gum with any elegance or class.  Mostly everyone I see chewing gum looks like they are battling the gum or attacking it.  I suppose if you just wanna zone out and not talk, and you are alone.  Have'at'er.  You have the freedom to decide what to do with your free time.  Me, I like to spend time on iTunes, listening to my music channels or their choices for me.  I joined up for iCOULD more cohesively and liking that a lot. 
BROKEN PROMISES are a toughie and I think most people agree with me.  Very few people enjoy being on the broken end of a promise. 


AND OTHER THINGS that matter...
I am a somewhat chatty, gregarious, outgoing person.  At 5 ft, I always say (after my favorite: "when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping") that "what I lack in stature, I make up in ATTITUDE".   I would say I am a very the "glass is half full, and start looking where the other half went to" kind of a person.

I'd rather distract someone and steer them away from anger, bitterness, whining, bragging to talk about me.  That is enough to aggravate them to forget what they may have been complaining or talking down someone else about.

I haven't been blogging here as much because I've been "distracted writing".  Not while driving, of course.  There could be a fine for that in Alberta, specifically Calgary, where I live.  I have to say that the media is pretty quiet about this.  Is it because it isn't policed very much, difficult to police or hardly anyone care enough to ask? 

Many are likely similar to me.  I rarely watch "reality TV".  So much why due to the fact that I can pick out the actors paid to act like they're contestants when they're really playing a part.  Quite brilliant if you ask me.  Why go to numerous dissapointing auditions when you can just pick one character, that could be like your alter ego, and act that part for reality TV.  Kinda like that Chumly character on "PAWN STARS". 


I just watched last night, one of the latest NETFLIX productions about Mascots competing at a world event.  What a riot of a plot.  Same idea as this, really.  The portrayers are being MASCOTS.  As in the people under the costume as well as the performance art as a mascot.  You could almost feel yourself want to clap along with the show's audience, so much like REAL PEOPLE that it feels like you're invading into someone's personal home video. 

The reality TV of all time is going on right now.  This US Presidential Elections is going to go down as the greatest political fight of all time.  Just think of the stakes:  the United States of America may actually vote for their very first woman President.   I wrote about this a couple of months ago .... more about the opportunity to have its first female President may end up being too difficult to resist. 

Pilary Clinton

Hilary Clinton, or Pilary as I like to call her (from "Pi" in Pinochio combined with "lary" taken from her first name). The first of its kind was back in (I'm going to go looking and fast checking on this) the 1990s I think with Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.  Was it Bennifer?  Can't quite remember exactly.  Recently, we were reminded about Bradgelina. 


Mein Trump

Then there is Trump.  Who's biggest celebrity fan must be  Cosby.  I'm guessing that Cosby has made donations to the Trump Camp merely as a token of appreciation for distracting media and audiences away from his never-ending women disgrace and accusers.    Cosby is now looking to head up the chapter of "I'm not as bad as him".  A chapter dedicated to adding membership like a veteran's club of disgraced men of yesteryears.   Does anyone really care anymore that Russell Brandt seems to have some issues.  I can't say I've paid any attention of late, but there seemed to be some sort of fascination of bedding any female worth his plight.  Even wedding one who would refuse to be seduced until she had a ring on it which said "I do". 


I really don't know who the American people are going to choose.  Honestly, if it were me, I'd be jumping into super bionic mode to be able to vote (an 80s term for you young'uns as in BIONIC MAN from the "Six Million Dollar Man").  
The 80s had one of the greatest decades of breaking out super star legends, in my opinion.  The ideas that began in the 80s have built a foundation for audiences and fans to this day with reincarnations of everything 80s:  music, fashion, TV shows, cult scene.


I remember.  Wasn't it the guy that was the BIONIC MAN, Lee Majors, married to the biggest sex symbol of that era, and in a dead heat with Marilyn Monroe for sex symbol and iconic as Diana, mother of William and Harry.  Farrah Fawcett was her name.   I'm not sure if she was the biggest PIN UP of all time?  But I'm sure it would be a close runner up to that one of Greta Gable or the movie siren of the 40s bought by GIs fighting the world over in WWII.  I'll have to get that name and image for insertion here too.


Mindfulness
It really feels like the empty nesting has hit us with full force.  I guess like after any traumatic events, it takes a while to get over them (in our case blending 4 kids together as they were just hitting their teens, 3 of them girls born 3, 2 and 2 years between each of them.)  I'm writing in circles.  Well, it is intuitive and mindful of the mom 
Mindfulness.  This craze has not even hit magnetic gigantic proportions yet.  I predicted in my optioneerJM blogspot a year ago April 2015, that there were really good reasons why Adult Coloring Books were a brilliant idea.   I researched the benefits and started doing it.  It really had a way of calming me, relaxing me.  You are not chilling out truly unless you are coloring in an adult coloring book.  Sitting back with headphones on listening to music doesn't come close to the europhoria of coloring.  It is like formal, authentic permission was given to do one of your most favorite activities you had as a child:  coloring.

 It really wasn't a gender biased thing either.  It was perfectly acceptable for elementary aged boys and girls to like coloring.  The boys ended up still having their sports in there while girls were shoppers-in-training with Barbies.  Barbies taught girls of my age that one pair of shoes was never going to be enough, with mininimum requirements of one in every color, heels of every height, wedge, spike, stilletto with a purse to match and jewellery to accessorize with.  And the plain black or navy Channel-esk suit was ever enough.  Unless, of course, your accessories were vast and all real or really good costume jewellery.

I remember back in the early 2000s when I was researching to launch a National magazine for an airline in Canada.  I recognized then, the franchise that Oprah was making with launching her own magazine:  O!   Its popularity in print was solidified by Winfrey's golden touch.  Making  it about beautifying the outer body, while purify the inner soul.  Back at the time, VOGUE, PEOPLE and the NEW YORKER were reigning in media vibe. 




Today is replaced by the moment is now.  As in mindfulness is the next big springboard to capture the major population.  Reduce your stress, eliminate your anxiety, calm yourself the hell down awareness can be found in MINDFULNESS.  It really only is about being aware of the present moment.  Right now.  With practice and discipline combined with obedience training, one can become mindful.    No longer a slave of yesterday's disappointments or yearnings.  As in letting go, get over it are no longer needed to be heard.  You just stop dwelling on yesterday or yester years.  No longer yearning.

Tomorrow isn't here yet.  Mindfulness has the ability to train your patience.  This would be the most excrutiating exercise for those with anxiety, depression or stifled fears about tomorrow.  With mindfulness, you are centered, balanced with a full stake in the present.  A steady hand, a graceful pose.  You stay here.  Take time to smell the roses:  take a sniff of the air with the freshly cut lawn, or check which flowers actually have scent.  You dismiss buying anything that doesn't have any.  If you are in a mindful state, you can only think about how it smells now.  You are not allowed to remember when or in what surrounding you were when you first were given a rose, from a former boyfriend, a floral bouquet as a bride or a bridesmaid.  Nor are you allowed to jump to tomorrow to think how you will investigate where to buy the most fragrant roses or flowers because that is invading the space or bursting the bubble of the now parameters.    Mindfulness boundaries are clearly defined and boxed in between before and tomorrow.

I did begin to say that I have been distracted.  I set up a couple of more Blogs so it defintely thins my writing out on here.  I apologize for that.  The good part is I can experiment and find what I like writing about without breaking into this theme or the business-Y theme of optioneerJM blog (link on right).    I've discovered an interest in finding really good poems and have tailored The Publisher blog more on that side.  That is more a creative outlet than anything because I am not writing the poetry, I'm merely humbly sharing the very great ones.  Then enjoying the find of a great image, art piece or photograph that seems to resonate with the poem.  My interpretation of it at least.



I did miss writing on this one.  I am more about just letting go and enjoying the sphere of writing, not worrying about the focus or trying to analyze any self-discovery.  A journaling of sorts on a massive scale when you think about just putting it out there and see if anyone reads. 

I'm actually learning to embrace the present moment in writing.  Actually it is quite freeing.  In a mindfulness-sort-of-way I'm writing what I'm thinking about now.  Less and less on reminincing of yesterday.  Although a blip on the radar will always emerge, as did earlier even in this blog when some of the 80s coolness is rebounding again.  A marriage of what was cool back then is adopted as even tres cooler now.  More apparent with Millennial generation.

A lot of restraint and discipline I need help focus with is NOW.    It is a really nasty habit to break if you are trying to hang on, be still attached of things that were long enough that they are only relevant to you.  Not interesting to anyone other than you.    To be a better writer, if you are teaching or informing people of something that, unless a historical or bio, is only interesting to you.

As a parent you watch your kids glide from one area of awareness to quite a different one.  What was once a fascination with them when you shared a memory or a cool childhood event they were rapt with attention (more likely because it was past their bedtime and they thought they were masterful distractors or potential politicians).  To now, it is me me me and mine ..... and they don't even fart or burp anymore like they used to drive me crazy and see if they could get a passionate angry reaction from.


I can't abide by disrespect and poor manners.  I'm growing into my Mz Mannerz persona who is wrestling with the Grammar Queendom.    You, as a reader, get to follow along.  As long as you turn on and tune in.  Should be fun. 

The nice part of being in the now.  I am writing this for me now.  Not worried necessarily if I had any readers yesterday or a building audience tomorrow.  I can't change that right at the present time.  I can only control what I am writing right now.  So, it is good enough for now.  It doesn't matter if it will be good enough for tomorrow or if readers from the past will return or if it will do better than my few pageviews blog.  Pretty impressive, not out of this world by any means. 



I don't mind being responsible for cultivating the best, niceful, peaceful "REMEMBERS WHENs" of tomorrow.  I can't even sway the outcome or force the present moment to be any different.  I'm content where I am at this very present moment.  Forcing myself to focus on this the weekend, ignore any anxiety or worries about work next week or whatever else pops up bigger or smaller than what I can imagine.

I have a lot to learn about MINDFULNESS and that is okay.  I like to become a student of a topic that I am intrigued by.  Reading and understanding it so that I can slam the door on any regrets or great memories ... nor jumping or fast forwarding ahead to what tomorrow brings ..... steering perhaps but not quite in total control of.  That's ok.  The weight of the befores and the pressure of the tomorrows are a big burden to lift.  But once let go, the possibilities are really truly amazing and endless.  I can only imagine that now.