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lessons learned (part 2)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

more about my travels last month:

My trip to St. Louis was a business trip. It was actually a great honor. Only the top 10% of people in my job in the company are invited to go. But I really wasn't looking forward to it. I was just tired of being on the road. And to be honest, I'm pretty anti-social. I was just about socialed out!

The first time I really got excited about the trip to St. Louis was when we were told that we'd be going to NLCS Game 5 while we were there. And here's how I know I'm a Sparker – the second time was when we were walking through the buffet line at lunch and they had quinoa stuffed peppers! They were really good.

It was a great trip. The hotel had a really good gym and I was there every morning. I also did Pilates in my room. Lots of walking (our corporate campus is HUGE), but the walking was in heels. I don't have any dress pants that I can wear with flats. I took my most comfortable heels, but after several hours on my feet, my dogs were barking.

Plus all that airport walking. Somebody once said that Hartsfield must have 1000 miles of hallways. Unless I'm going past concourse B, I usually walk instead of taking the train. I do use the moving sidewalks. Wish I could get 3.1 miles of those! Talk about a new PR. The St. Louis airport is undergoing renovations, so it's a maze right now too. Glad our travel department was waiting for us as we came out of the concourse.

I met a lady from Boynton Beach and we hit it off immediately. The more we talked, the more we found we had in common. I found out that she had done a few marathons, and she has extremely bad arthritis in her ankle. She also has a bad knee (her legs almost form the letter 'K' when she's standing as straight as she can). Her son died in his 20s after a long battle with leukemia so she does lots of charity walks and runs to raise funds for cancer. She is such an inspiration! If she can complete a marathon in that much pain, I can definitely do the running I want to do! I doubt there will ever be any marathons in my future, but if can get to a consistent 10 minute mile pace for 5 miles or so, a half wouldn't be out of the question.

Our closing speaker was Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic photographer. He was amazing. His presentation was called Extraordinary Visions. He talked about looking for the good and changing your focus. He had slides of some of his gorgeous photos. He told us many stories of his childhood, his photography experiences, and his travels.

When Dewitt was a boy his father told him many stories. One that really resounded with Dewitt was a story of two men working very hard chipping away at massive pieces of stone. A stranger passes the first man and asks, “What are you doing?” The first man replies breathlessly, “I'm a stone chipper. This is my job – to chip away this stone day in and day out.” The stranger walks on and encounters the second man. When asked the same question, the second man responds, “I'm building a cathedral!”

Two individuals, doing the same job. One is exhausted and sees himself as a stone chipper; one sees himself as a cathedral builder. Dewitt wanted to be a cathedral builder!

In his many travels for National Geographic, Dewitt often had an issue with his camera or film and felt he'd missed the shot. His experience taught him that when you feel you missed an opportunity, you just need to find another (often better) one. If you think something is good, look for a way to make it GREAT! Focus on what excites you and you'll find greatness.

More advice from Dewitt:
>There's more than one right answer
>Reframe problems into opportunities
>Is your goal success or significance?
>The difference between a good frame and a great frame is measured in millimeters, not miles.
>Take it all in...and give it all back!
>Quit your flapping and ride the thermals to great heights

and one of his favorite quotes: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” ~ Michelangelo

One of the stories about a missed shot Dewitt shared with us: He was out walking in a valley one day and saw a field of dandelions in bloom. He didn't have the right lens, and rather than walk back to get it, he decided to come back the next day. By the time he got back to the location, they had all gone to seed. He was disappointed at first, but decided to try some shots anyway. He ended up getting some great shots.

The funny thing about that – I have been on a personal mission for over a year to lessen the dandelion population. When I'm out walking and I see one of those yellow flowers, I pick it before it can go to seed. Since the housing crisis it just seems that dandelions are spreading like...well, WEEDS! They are everywhere. I figure for everyone I pick, that's 50,000 or so that won't show up elsewhere, right?

I had to leave the closing presentation early to head for the airport. As I was walking out, we received a parting gift. One of Dewitt's photos!

I'll frame this and hang it beneath the award plague from my employer ;-)

yes, God. Message received and lesson learned! Be open to changing my focus. Yes, sir!

Dewitt's website:
if you are ever looking for a keynote speaker, I highly recommend him!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLYM48 11/18/2012 9:36AM

    Wow, this must have been an awesome presentation! Great lessons in this blog, thanks for sharing the words of wisdom! I might just take some of this to work and share it at the next staff meeting. emoticon emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 11/14/2012 11:19AM

    Great lessons learned!

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BJPENNY70 11/13/2012 9:30PM

    What a wonderful week you had! You took advantage of every opportunity to eat right and exercise. Great job!

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lessons learned (part 1)

Monday, November 12, 2012

October was a busy month. Lots of traveling. I spent one night in Mississippi, several nights in Louisiana, one night in Alabama, one night in Tennessee, and two nights in St. Louis. Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it!

The trip to Louisiana was to reconnect with family. It was wonderful to see my uncles (one divorced, one widowed) and several of my cousins. Sis and I will see them at least once a year from now on.

We'd lost touch because mom quit speaking to her brother and sister. Not some major blowout. Mom and her sis (who passed away December 2011) always were back and forth. My aunt was not the easiest person to get along with, but mom isn't either. Mom and her brother were very close. She stopped speaking to him because “I'm always the one to call him. He never calls me.” Seriously? That may be a reason to stop seeing somebody you are dating or a casual friend, but your family? Craziness, IMO.

Mom still doesn't know that we went out there. I keep praying that she'll just let go of the anger. She'd be so much happier if she did. Mom sees herself as a happy person, and on the surface she is. But that surface has gotten more and more shallow over the years. She can go from smiling to growling in a nanosecond. And you never know what will set her off. I'm pretty sure that's due to holding on to years of grudges.

I'm pretty good at holding on to those myself, but I do eventually let go. It may take years, but when I finally come to terms with it, I can feel the weight lifted from my shoulders. After I originally blogged about mom & her holding on to anger, I had a dream about my former boss (the only person I was still really harboring hard feelings about). In the dream, I saw him and he was so furious with me after all these years. I thought that was silly and kept asking him, “why are you still so angry?” When I woke up, my first thought was, “see how stupid that was? You are talking about mom...and YOU need to let go of some things too!” I felt like the heavens parted and the sun came through the clouds. I have seen the man once since I left that job (DH still works for him) and I was cordial but distant. Now I could actually be pleasant and converse with him.

Yes, God...message received and lesson learned!

More to come in my next blog...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENMOXIE 11/12/2012 8:01AM

    I think that it was good of you to let go of your ill feelings towards your old boss. I understand about your mom. Mine is BPD and she controls everyone like puppets. It was hard, but I quit trying to keep my mom happy. I'm sure you know how well that goes with someone like that. I understand why you don't want her to know, but are you prepared for when she finds out? emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMANDAROX 11/12/2012 6:44AM

    Isn't it interesting how sometimes our dreams become enlightening experiences?

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GHOSTFLAMES 11/12/2012 4:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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dog confessions - part 5

Saturday, November 10, 2012

they may be messy, but who can't love those sweet faces?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMANDAROX 11/12/2012 6:50AM

    LOL, these are too cute! My dog loves paper too, but I'm lucky she doesn't mess with my shoes!

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QUEENMOXIE 11/10/2012 3:58PM

    I love these...Thanks for the smile! emoticon

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JECKIE 11/10/2012 11:12AM


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CCASKEY37 11/10/2012 9:12AM

    My dogs would so let in a robber if that robber had a box of cookies.

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dog confessions - part 4

Thursday, October 25, 2012

happy Thursday emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 10/30/2012 3:50PM

    emoticon emoticon
Cats rule, dogs drool!

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REMEMBER2BME 10/30/2012 12:49PM

    Oh my!

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YELLOWDAHLIA 10/25/2012 12:06PM


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CAT609 10/25/2012 7:05AM

    uh oh!

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QUEENMOXIE 10/25/2012 7:01AM

    We love them no matter what! Adorable! emoticon

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dog confessions - part 3

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

yep. I've seen a very similar mess and a similar expression before!

emoticon EWWWWWW!

happy Wednesday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-DYET- 10/30/2012 1:26PM

    We have a boxer.... totally fits their personality!!!

These are great!! Thanks for sharing

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DORCAS9 10/24/2012 3:34AM

    Aaaw, wonder if we look so sorry when we make a mess!! Love the pics! emoticon emoticon

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SUSANBEAMON 10/24/2012 1:40AM

  dogs will be dogs. And that is why my sister crates her dogs when they leave the house.

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