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I Have Had Sufficient!

I have had sufficient.
You’ve gone fishing?
I have had plenty.
You’ve caught twenty?

And so it went on Sunday nights at our house when I was a child.
It could have been any night but that repartee between my father and us four boys and then my brother’s children seemed to be reserved for Sunday nights or holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving.
We were never allowed to say, “ I have had enough”, or heaven forbid, “I am full.”

It was that simple.

“I have had sufficient” was what you said if you couldn’t finish your peas, which I never could because I hated them, and then when you wanted to leave the table, you said, “May I be excused?”
If everyone was finished and the meal was done the answer was “Yes you may.” If everyone wasn’t and the meal wasn’t then you probably didn’t say it, because the dead silence only happened once.
Then there was the cry from my mother every once in a while of “ELBOWS OFF THE TABLE!”
But I have a feeling that all of that has gone by the way side with opening the car door or standing up for someone elderly (not old) on the bus. Although I must admit I have seen that a few times.

Where did all this come from?

I was having lunch today with a friend and the waiter knew that he shouldn’t clear our plates until we had both finished.

What do you mean?

Well, it is right up there with having sufficient and stacking dishes at the table which my friends always tease me about when they are stacking the dishes. It just isn’t done. It’s called common courtesy. It’s called being polite.

And I have had sufficient of a lot of things and somehow it all seems to go together:
• Thinking “Wassup” is another way to say hello.
• Texting when you are with someone, anyone, anywhere
• Checking Facebook on your phone when you are with someone, anyone, anywhere
• Taking a phone call when you are with someone, anyone, anywhere
• Eating before everyone is served at the table
• Going to the washroom during a meal
• And the list could go on ad infinitum

And the worst part is I have started to do all of that including the ad infinitum.

Change has to start with me I am told so next time you see me this just may be how it goes….

Hello!
How are you?
So good to see you.
How are things?
Good to hear!
Wait, let me get your chair for you.
No, I am sorry, my friend hasn’t finished eating, would you mind waiting to clear the table until we have both finished.
Oh no, I have had sufficient. Really, it was plenty……

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From Juicy to Feisty!

A few years ago I wrote a post about being JUICY (Are you juicy? – June 2011), and I published it again here on this blog on Sunday.  I am finding these days that being juicy just isn’t enough.

feistyŸ/ˈfīstē/
Adjective:
1. Having or showing exuberance and strong determination
2. Touchy and aggressive

Juicy seems to be the first part of the definition of feisty. I thought it would be enough to get me through life with a smile on my face. These days I think I need to go to Step Two: Touchy and Aggressive. Except I don’t really think it is about being either Touchy or Aggressive, I think it is more about being honest and saying it the way it is.

I keep finding myself in situations where I WANT to say:
“You are going to talk to me like that and think I believe a word you are saying?
Or
“It has been three months since you got back to me, and now you are saying you want to work with me because business is a little tougher for you and you need my business?
Or
“You told me one thing last week and this week you are telling me something completely different and pretending that you never even had that conversation with me?”

And you know what?
I AM SAYING IT EXACTLY THE WAY IT IS! 

I am being respectful and honest and only using the F-word in my head (that is F-U-C-K and not F-E-I-S-T-Y) but interestingly enough the response is quite refreshing. Well actually there is a lot of stuttering at first, long pauses at the other end of the phone, and many lines of apologies in the e-mails with closings that have gone from “Kind regards” to “Let’s talk soon!”. The end result is a stronger relationship and the knowledge (and relief) that both sides may be straight up with whatever they need to say.

Here is my advise on being FEISTY:
1. Listen to what that voice in your head is telling you – that you are being given a line, played with, or given the run around.
2. ALWAYS BE RESPECTFUL, POLITE AND HONEST IN WHAT YOU SAY. Remember, you don’t want to play their game or be mean or rude or condescending.
3. Ease into feistiness. It is a bit addictive, once you start; it’s hard to stop.
4. Start with being JUICY. If you haven’t mastered that you will never be able to be FEISTY!

Have a FEISTY day!

Success: I found it!

“I failed my way to success.”  
Thomas Edison

That is certainly what it feels like sometimes. A lot of failures and not too many successes. Starting a new business with your own money is certainly differently from working for someone else. My life has been spent in start-ups. I didn’t always see it that way because I was in it and we didn’t call it that when I started working 30 years ago, they were just new businesses. Now we put a name on it: start-up, and give the whole thing this glamour and possibility of huge growth and an eventual IPO. In reality it is just a new company starting out and who knows where it will go. Even when you think you do or plan for it, it may not go where you think it will.

When I was working for these other start-ups, they weren’t mine. Often and always it was my blood, sweat and tears, well okay my sweat and tears that helped to build them, but it certainly wasn’t my money. Interestingly enough when it wasn’t my money those setbacks that we encountered along the way were never failures. They were just setbacks. There were lots of them and we always found a way out: with the sweat and tears and unfortunately too much yelling, but we got through them and turned them into what most of us call successes. Financial success equal success right?

Now as I find myself doing the same thing but for myself, it seems very different. Instead of having someone on top being the motivator, it’s me. If things are tough, I have to be THE TOUGH to get going. You know what else? It’s work. Hard work. Or it seems that way in my dramatic ol’ head. The reality is; if and when I am capable of stepping back, as I am doing right now, it is not hard work at all. It is a lot of fun. I have surrounded myself with an amazing team who all have the same drive and passion that I do and they want the success as much as I do. We laugh a lot, eat whenever we can, drink way too much coffee, don’t yell, care incredibly a lot (if that is English) about our customers and customer service and being THE BEST at what we do. We are wiling to learn and to learn again until we get it right. I have built relationships with vendors and suppliers who work as hard as I do and want success as much as I do. Not for the money or the fame (fame?) but for the fun of it. The ones that don’t see things like this don’t last long. They aren’t quite sure why I end those relationships when I do, because they just don’t get it.

DREAM BIG. WORK HARD. GET IT DONE. PLAY FAIR.
HAVE FUN. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I don’t think Thomas Edison got it either. There are no failures in business or in life. Unless you are so deep in them that you can’t see beyond the end of your nose.

When I left my career in the fashion business I vowed that when I got up every day I would see each day like it was the first day of a new job. Do you remember that feeling? When you are filled with wonder and excitement. Nothing less and often so much more that you just can’t describe it. That is success for me. I see that I found it.

How about you?

Somewhere Over the Rainbow


I’m at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you…
Maroon 5

I was listening to the radio in the car yesterday and I heard the announcer talking about the new Maroon 5 song called Payphone. The producers were concerned that no one would get it because there are no payphones anymore. Kids these days wouldn’t know what the song was all about. It is #1 on the charts right now.
Now this post was going to be sentimental and touch you in so many ways. I was going to take you back to when you were a child and talk about walks to the ice-cream store and running through the sprinkler. I am sure if you were under forty you wouldn’t have related to most of what I was going to write because you may not have known those things in your lifetime, or maybe under thirty. And then I watched the video to this song.
When I got to YouTube I saw that it was marked, Explicit I figured there must be a swear word or two. It is a little more than that. Let’s just go with needless violence and destruction. I am posting it here although part of me wonders if I am only promoting the violence but you will go look for it anyway. So here it is:


I just have to ask: WHY? Why does it have to be that videos (and movies and TV shows and video games) are being made like this? All we hear about these days are shootings and bombing and death. Do we need to glamorize it in our music videos too? I know I sound like an old fuddy duddy and God I hope so! If I were in my twenties would I think it was cool? I hope not. Or worse, in my teens. I don’t even know what you do if you are a parent. Do you tell your children they can’t watch these videos? How do you police that?

If happy ever after did exist
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairytales are full of sh*t
One more stupid love song I’ll be sick….
Maroon 5

I grew up with happy ever afters and I believe in them. I really do.
I grew up with running through the sprinkler and ice-cream cones on hot summer nights.
I grew up with 45’s and 33’s and dancing in my bedroom memorizing the words.
I grew up where the channel was changed on the TV if the show was too violent and the language was too course and let’s not even talk about nudity. We didn’t.
We sat down to dinner on Sunday nights and had to finish our peas whether we wanted to or not.
We took the bus and got a ride with the milkman to the corner in his truck.
We delivered newspapers and didn’t expect a tip.
We knew when we did something wrong, we waited for the punishment we knew we deserved, and we were sorry. Truly sorry.

But we didn’t watch videos like this.

I am the biggest believer in freedom of speech in all ways. I believe in the joy and hope of creativity and that we have a need to express ourselves. What are we doing wrong that videos like this are what we want to create? If this is what our world is creating and expressing then do we have any hope for a happy ending anymore?

I will not give up.
I will make a wish on the first star I see at night.
I will say RABBITS! on the first of the month.
I will keep money in my pocket when there is a new moon.
I will remember what happens when I step on a crack.
I will hope that the violence and destruction that surrounds us will come to an end one day.
I will say my prayers before I go to sleep.
And I will pray that there is a happy ending somewhere at the end of the rainbow.

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