Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's all in a name...

Just yesterday I saw a boat with the name “Pandora” lettered across the stern.
Instantly I was reminded of a childhood story about “Pandora’s Box”, based on
 the myth of Pandora's creation referenced around line 60 of Hesiod's Works and Days. Let’s not get stopped here!
This particular time of our calendar year, specifically Thanksgiving and leading on to Christmas festivities and New Year’s wrap-ups,   presents social situations which may be unsettling (or worse) for both individual family members and families as a whole.

How often have we heard, or perhaps even thought it ourselves, “I hope they don’t ask me to go there because I can’t stand being in the same place as him/her/them”. If the husband says this aloud, of his partner’s traditional invitation, storm clouds will grey their thinking. If she says this about her partner’s side there might be a flare up of childish defensiveness and a mother-in-law who takes it all too personally! You get the idea…

In this complicated world where everyone is doing a juggling act and trying to keep everything in balance, instead of opening our own Pandora’s Box maybe we could try compartmentalizing. Someone once counselled me to simply “Simplify” - break up the collection of “stuff” and create a little room in my mind where everything can be stored in its own place.

This technique is not too difficult to put into practice – when you hold the key to opening each room when and if required you will sleep better, feel more balanced, and have control over the daily ups and downs that can feel overwhelming.

If family members, as an example, and their individual counterparts seem to create impatience and apprehension – put that group in its own “room” and don’t leave the door ajar.

My own efforts to simplify are an ongoing project for sure, but compartmentalizing the contents of Pandora’s Box does seem to be helpful.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Annie Oakley Where Are You...

Our local Fall Fair was held this past weekend. Autumn is my favourite time of year – and this time around the weather was absolutely perfect. Cold nights great for stargazing or stealing a squeeze…and sunny days with the air so crisp that the horses’ coats almost seemed too bright to admire.

As I drove along our main street I saw a tall young man bobbing along with a distinctly oversized tiger toy slung over his shoulders. It was a real beauty – and I decided that after aiming for a chimp last year, this year I would shoot for a tiger.

The first row of the carney tents was missing the shooting gallery – but it was in Row 2 after all. And in all their glory were two “big cats” toys – one a white leopard and one a tiger. There was a sign posted on the side wall, “if you don’t understand the game, ask. And if you still don’t understand it, don’t play.”
Just to be sure, I did ask – and was told by Ole’ Grizzly that you had to completely shoot out the red star in the center of the paper target.

My first try – 100 rounds for $5. Was not terrific – but anyone knows it does take practice to get the sites in your mind and read the rifle. So round two was sure to be better – my aim was as accurate as I could ever hope – and I felt like Annie herself. Feeling mighty pleased – and wondering how I would get that tiger home – Old’ Grizzly shows me that the most minute red dot was still intact. And I mean minute – scarcely the size of the head of a pin – the smallest of zits is bigger!!
Nonetheless, despite my pleadings for mercy, no tiger. Maybe Ole’ Grizzly could read my mind when I mused to myself he looked like he could use a good dunking with some soap. And a razor. The $10. tiger tryout would have gone a long way there.

Same time next year – maybe I’ll try for a donkey to suspend in my office lest I forget what an asinine effort it’s proved to be.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Whack A Mole...

I’m looking forward to the annual Fall Fair which is being held this weekend in my home town. Sights, sounds and smells are captured on film and in mind’s eye as aficionados cherish the memories until Next Time.
One of my favourite midway games is Whack a Mole – you gotta be quick…and random attempts to hit that little game boy on the noggin aren’t at all encouraging until you step back, watch the rhythm of the “popping up” and then – Whammo!

Not unlike the allocation of daily tasks into Urgent, Very Important, Important, and Other. When you desk's piled with paper, the phone’s ringing wildly and you don’t quite know where to start, use the Whack a Mole principle…Step back, recognize a pattern, identify what sequence events will “pop up” and then win yourself  a prize for accuracy, response time and ability.

The frenzied pace of business and daily living doesn’t easily afford those precious moments that can make things go smoothly or present a bumpy road. Visualize yourself with a rubber mallet and concentrate on which mole you’ll whack next….and by the way, if you visit a midway and the game is there – try it…with your insightful analyses you might take home a stuffed toy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Self help...

When I made my decision to “fly solo” in my real estate career it was both a tremendous and tremulous leap of faith…holding my nose and jumping off that steep cliff into unknown waters.

I’ve often reminded myself since of the time when I was just 10 years old and committed to making my first dive into a pool from the low diving board. Decidedly unsleek, which I still am, and also unable to see exactly where I was aiming due to magoo-like eyesight, I took heart in my father’s encouragement and launched myself – the effort ending with a too-huge belly flop. Sputtering, crying and thrashing wildly – my father’s instructions then were to sink or swim.

Thumbtacked on my  bulletin board at the launch of my career, I had a series of motivational and enthusiastic words of encouragement. Like “Ramp It Up, Sherry”, “Burn Bright!”, “Lock it down!”, and “Work Smart” – to offer just a sample. The universal name of the game for all entrepreneurs though is still “sink or swim”.

Anyone who is dog-paddling with tenacity and resolve must surely know that keeping one’s head above water in these troubling economic times is an accomplishment in itself. When you have a day filled with  sputtering, crying and thrashing wildly; remember that even a bellyflop won’t sink you -  keep on swimming!