inspire

Writers Block

Lately I’ve felt like I’ve had writer’s block. I have a lot to write but I don’t necessarily want to write as most of it appears negative. However, when I sit back and reflect I think it’s the perfect time to write. Go offload the blah.

When thinking about a picture for this post I immediately thought of my current book passed on to me. The No Asshole Rule is my current read. Although just into it a few pages I thought about the title. It’s meaning. It’s importance. Then I thought about my writings. My audience. My titles. The importance, hence you get today’s joyful rant. Consider this the no asshole zone. Or maybe I am an asshole. Asshat. Arsehole. Assclown.

The system(s) of life can be draining. The political system. The government system. The judicial system. The whole nine yards. Systems are in place to maintain consistency and reduce problems. However, many of our systems are outdated at best. Many systems are broken. What used to work doesn’t. When systems show signs of weakness they should be able to bend and flex, but it doesn’t because it’s a fixed system.

Life is messy. People are messy. Drama is always lurking. Money is the root of all evil in my eyes and ties to most systems, people and problems. The more you have the more you waste. The more money you have, the bigger the target on your back. Politics thrive on money. The government likes to waste money.  Money rules life. Money is a system in itself. A corrupt system because it’s not always fair and consistent among all people.

The judicial system shows different signs of weakness yet its system hasn’t been updated.

I coach one tangled in this system. Most days it’s unkind. Most days money is factor. Money ties to this service. Money means you can’t have this service. Money or cost means you can’t get something you need. Nobody can fix the system because it’s broken and robotic souls manage the chaos. 

The things I’ve seen in 2022 cause me great pause. Influential leaders covering their own ass at the expense of another. Those making examples of this or that instead of doing what’s right. So many people in general taken advantage of. So many trying to beat the system. The proverbial system. The system that sticks out likd a sore thumb.

I like to think I give enough in life to others to know karma is on my side. What about others? Where do they fall on the spectrum? Has the world changed so much in my 50 years that one’s self preservation rules over what’s right? Does money solve problems or create problems?

Each day I seem to walk through the mud of life. Some days the mud seems to be thick and heavy weighing me down. Some days it’s just annoying like a rainy day puddles in a field causing aggravation but not devastation. And then the days that the mud feels like it’s quicksand in disguise. If you don’t move fast enough you will be sucked in. I’m not alone. Many are on the struggle bus at various stages or phases of life.

Kids

Work

People

Family

Money

Politics

Religion 

These are just some of the the words that form a tangled web in which we must coexist. We live in a technology world much like the Jetsons cartoon yet our systems are still built on the foundations of the Wild West. Crazy but in my eyes it’s true.

I still have much more to write but this rant will be paused here. In the muck of it all. May this post allow you to reflect on you and what you do for others, for self, for the system or even how the system impacts you. Heck it was just 2020 when the system dictated everything for us thanks to corona. Did we learn anything? Did we make adjustments?

adventure

Here We Go Again

On the road again. And again. And for a third time because it’s a charm, right?

Northern tip of Florida is stop one from northern tip of Georgia. Just a couple of days for business trip #1. Off to coastal Georgia for a conference. A picturesque landscape but one you won’t enjoy as your schedule consists of inside time spread across a hotel campus for days. Stuffy dress up clothes. Limited outside time. Lack of normal routine. No time to get cozy. Time to head northwest to the land of orange, also known as Tennessee. Stop #3 for next set of business tasks not too far past the Honky Tonk of Nashville. But again not a fun trip just boring business to do’s. 

Three states. Three different business obligations. Seven days on the road, again. I had settled back into my routine after my summer road show of travel.  Now it’s time to hit some other spots even if all business and no pleasure. I suppose money makes the world go round; this girl is off to work to support herself.

First segment on the road was eventful. Major rain storms popped up at random limiting visibility. Minor to major accidents galore. So many cars turned the wrong way after crashes. Ambulances. Fire trucks. Police. I was complaining about delays at first then I realized the delays prevented me from being caught up in the multiple wrecks. How I came to realize I dodged some major bullets on that segment.

The drive was enough for my nerves until I was notified of a boil water advisory upon check in at the hotel. Bottled water only. I had never had this experience at a hotel. Many adjustments only to find all nearby establishments were closed for this reason. No coffee in the morning after a rough evening of travel was not on my agenda for the day. Gas station grapes and crackers for the win on this fine morning. The day didn’t get much better. Restaurants served soda from cans. No water for consumption. The frills we take for granted.

I should have made the water advisory it’s own post as there were so many situations that popped up that made for good stories. On this bright sunny morning, I am enjoying my coffee. Boiled water over 180 degrees according to the server. At this point I don’t care. I’m just happy to have my rocket fuel to start my day. The coast is calling my name at this point in time. Hoping the water is usable on stop two. Fingers crossed. 

Highlight of trip two was a good meal On the coast. Snow country boil was the name. A combination of shrimp, sausage, corn, and snow crabs. A little twist on a favorite meal thanks to the add of the snow crabs. I was extra full that night but it was all delicious.

The highlight for trip three was really a lowlight. A rude awakening of sorts. A meltdown of my mind and spirit. Too much. Too fast. Too tired. All leads to emotional weakness. I caved at the end of the day on my drive. My broken spirit was obvious. That led to overall sadness. I attribute the negative emotions to the last meeting. A shit show in my mind. A train wreck from the get go.

As I rejuvenate my spirit and my mind, I am opting for some physical fitness to get my mind going. Tennis was the sport of choice. Then after a match some crumbl cookies were in order to signify my crumbling the day before. Symbolic in one way and a splurge in another. For today I have some peace as I move forward in a slightly different direction.

Thankfully a long weekend is backing up to this 3 state road trip. Eeek. There are events on the calendar. I guess it was a good thing I flipped my calendar to see what was ahead. Preparations are a must. Hoping to catch my breath on this long weekend before the fall chaos of more travel hits. A spa day would be the perfect match for that extra day off but at the same time doing nothing but watching Netflix in my pjs will probably win.

As I think about the hectic travel schedule I take a deep breath and remind my of my fortune of being able to travel. To see new places. To meet new people. These benefits far outweigh the stress involved in traveling and twisting to get everything done. Palm trees always seem to make you feel like you are on vacation and I saw lots of palm trees in stage one of this trip and two. Maybe that’s why stage three was a dud. No palm trees. Celebrate the small wins in life. Sunshine is never really far off and eat crumbl cookies when your life feels like it’s crumbling. 

These days all seem busy but somehow we manage. Or maybe we aren’t managing at all. Maybe we are just surviving while others are thriving. As I wrote today, I’m sitting outside enjoying the cool breeze before a small storm sets in. The calm before the storm. As I’m reflecting I giggle a little knowing how many blogs I wrote this year about traveling adventures. Funny how life just fuels content most days.

Until next time, enjoy your day and thanks for keeping up with our blog.

adventure

Price is Not Right

Oh a few years ago I booked my first flight on Spirit Airlines. It was a treat to say the least. Discount airline means you need to have really low expectations. For this trip I went with the low price deal having no idea how thrifty the experience would be. In the end I vowed never to fly Spirit again and have held true to my word.

However, I had to use Jet Blue recently to get to a destination that carrier frequents on short notice. Cheap was key. My memories of Spirit were tugging on my emotions. Don’t do it my subconscious was saying, but I didn’t listen. I went with the cheap seat as it was just one day in and out. I could pack light.

First email: warning no baggage with this ticket. Just a personal bag like a purse or backpack.

Reminder: no overhead storage with this seat.

Attention: if you have to check a bag it’s a minimum of $65 at the gate.

I have a backpack. I’m packing light. Somehow I think putting my underwear in the bag might cause me to check the bag for $65. I’m seriously having anxiety over the 10 email warnings I’m getting what what I can’t do. Holy cow. Does this leadership team think this wins over customers? For the first time I took out a measuring tape to make sure my backpack fit the dimensions. Insanity.

I can’t wait for the bumpy flight. The no leg room. The lack of snacks. The grouchy people. The overall shitshow I signed myself up for. Why oh why do I torture myself to save a buck? But of course I need to wait. 7:32 pm departure. The time comes and goes.

It’s dead silence on the dark plane while we sit at the gate. Still have a glare from the screen in front of me that I can’t turn off. Just the normal babies crying despite me wearing headphones. I know I said it was quiet, but the babies pierce through with their cries amidst the silence of others. The screen in front of me is all advertisements to pay money for access.  Taunting me during this wait. I wonder how many cave in. Oh, how I miss Delta.

I get an email before I hear an overhead announcement. Take off is now 7:59, but it’s already past 8. The first announcement says we are waiting on bags to be loaded. Okay sounds legit. Or does it? Then I stew on that for a bit since I have time.

15 minutes later, the update is well they are short staffed with laborers to load. It’s taking longer than expected. This is funny. Good thing I still have internet. The guy next to me also has the nervous shakes. One leg goes up and down. Fast. Slower. Super fast. I think it’s nerves but it could be time to go to the bathroom. If he keeps it up I will have to go.

 I almost forgot to mention the poor dad with 2 boys under age 10 who were split up. The dad is in one of the front rows. I’m guessing a six year old is across from me. The other 8 year old is between them. The one closest to me has no headphones. No family. No stacks. I feel for him and the lady next to him who is trying to help him cope. Just heartbreaking. I guess that’s another downside of cheap airfare. You don’t get to sit together unless you pay the fee. 

Just got another email. Another 15 mins are added to take off. I guess the cheap airfare accounts for your time wasted which would then equate to the cost of Delta. I guess I have learned another lesson. Plan ahead to avoid having to choose cheap again. Deadline missed again. 

I will end this post here as it’s about as much negative as I can stand to write about. Well, it’s enough for today anyway. Tomorrow I rant again if I am at the gate for hours.

awareness, challenges

Jail Time Revisited

Recently I had the opportunity to experience a county jail with an added twist. I’ve written about visiting the jail before as a contractor recounting an inside view. I visited the exterior as part of a jail run a few years back that included running the officer obstacle training course (so much fun) and the campus which bordered the barbed wire fences and guard towers. Both experiences were memorable and offered different views of the same place.

Over the past week I had yet another view. An unexpected view. I needed to try to visit an inmate. What started out as a simple endeavor ended up extremely complex. So many things I didn’t know, didn’t expect or just couldn’t wrap my arms around.
The first big blow is no in-person visitors which is the exact opposite of the county website, which states visitation Mon-Fri and Sat/Sun for under 18. I guess they are still under COVID protocols even though most other places are not. This was funny in itself as you don’t  need a mask to enter the jail but you can’t visit. The next option is a fee-based video visit, but figuring this option out almost requires an IT degree and a lot of patience.

That’s right. Get the app. Download the app. Set up a user ID. Add funds. Upload identification documents to prove who you are. Now wait. Wait until somebody in an office somewhere approves you. This took three days in my case. Once you have access, you can schedule a call. I almost forgot you need to deposit more money for the call and pay more service fees. Just when you think you are at the finish line you have to be patient again. It seems the schedule is not the same day. That means you wait longer and the person inside has no idea how hard you are trying to make contact. Big sigh.

What’s the other option? Send a letter. I was told happy mail is very uplifting. Okay, what’s the address? Well the address you mail to is far away. It has to be sorted to make sure there is no contraband. Well over the holiday, mail delays, etc. would lead me to believe this would be another dead end.

How about a phone call? Can the person make a call? Only if they have money they tell me. How do they get money? Glad you asked. There is a jail ATM. Never seen one of those before. You have to upload your picture, your social security number, address and so much more. Then you can pay money and exorbitant fees. Again, it’s not instant. It takes a day to process and the funds need to be deposited by 8am. That means if you put money in the ATM on Sunday at 4pm the inmate won’t see it until Tuesday after 8am. Delays galore.

Four days it takes to get any form of contact. This provides so much insight into what folks deal with when they are immersed in the jail system. I can’t even imagine if my parent was in jail, how a young adult could handle all the chaos associated with saying hi to somebody who probably needs some extra support during their incarceration.
This experience has taught me I for sure don’t ever want to spend time in jail. I also don’t want to have to visit anyone I know in jail. I like my freedom too much. I like to choose what I do and when I do it. I thought visiting somebody in an assisted living facility was hard in the heart of the pandemic however I would definitely say visiting a jail is 1000x harder current day. 

With mental health issues challenging society today, it is bothersome to me that inmates lose not only their freedom but their ability to get compassionate care. I define compassion to include communication with willing visitors vs. starving them of hope and friendly faces.

in summary, I’d always tell somebody think carefully about actions or inactions that can land one in jail. It’s not a place I’d recommend at all.

celebrations, hustle

The List of 49

In 2022 I will hit the big 5-0 birthday. Will I be successful at 49 and blah at 50? It could happen or it could be my perception. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this coming of age in many ways over the past few years. The now is finally here. I’m in the 60-day approach window. A panic time of sorts.

Did I accomplish enough by the time I’m 50? Did I cram too much in as I near 50?  Will the lingering pandemic ruin my big 50 bash? So many questions in my mind. There is obviously no guidebook for hitting 50 or maybe there is and I didn’t read it! In lieu of a fancy book, I’m going for the condensed blog version. Snippets of my fabulous life. The list of 49 idea is in motion or technically has been in motion for years.

As some of you readers may know, each year I write a New Year’s list of sorts. It’s normally in January and dedicated to that month in time. I love re-reading these lists (just 31 days) in upcoming years. This year is special to me thus I opted for a list twist.
This year the list will expand to a recap with a few highlights from the vault to round out my 49 list. It’s dedicated to some things I celebrate or remember over those 49 years or maybe it’s just random facts for those who don’t know me well. The list may seem odd to some but intriguing to others. Without further ado, below you will find my list of 49. In no particular order and each has a longer story but of course you just get the highlights.

  1. I was born of course and had a wonderful childhood. I lived in one family home with married parents and siblings. This in itself can be an oddity based on current day.
  2. I went to public school.
  3. I was a tomboy.
  4. I ziplined.
  5. I traveled internationally. More than once.
  6. I’ve traveled to many states but I haven’t been to Washington state, Hawaii, Oregon, North or South Dakota, Michigan, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
  7. I’ve built businesses from scratch.
  8. I’ve sold or dismantled businesses.
  9. I’ve operated a franchise/multi-units.
  10. I’ve been snow skiing and water skiing.
  11. I’ve wakeboarded, knee-boarded and wake surfed. I prefer water sports.
  12. I’ve ridden a horse in many states and abroad.
  13. I bought a tiny home.
  14. I went snowmobiling and it was fun.
  15. I built a glamping site.
  16. I have many great friends and love meeting new people.
  17. I’ve driven a mini van but I’m more of an SUV girl.
  18. I like vintage cars, muscle cars and basically any ride on wheels with flair.
  19. I’ve ridden on a motorcycle but can’t drive one.
  20. I like and use recreational vehicles such as a jet ski, four wheeler, boat, camper, and dirt bike.
  21. I like soft blankets.
  22. I’m an author.
  23. I’ve played whirly ball, kickball, wiffle ball, and tennis which also has a ball.
  24. I played hockey and like to skate in boy’s skates. The black hockey-style skates.
  25. I enjoy CrossFit.
  26. I have a shoe collection, car fetish, and I am a hair fanatic.
  27. I’m a loyal Starbucks customer.
  28. I like pizza. I like it a lot. Not sauce so much.
  29. I have tattoos and will get more.
  30. I grew up in the north but love living in the south.
  31. I’m looking forward to 2022 and all the year has to offer.
  32. I think gas is expensive.
  33. I have learned a lot about who I am and keep toxic people at bay. This is a requirement for life balance.
  34. I like outdoor activities.
  35. I like temperatures in the 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit over cold.
  36. I am looking to do 50 new things in 2022. Never done by me that is.
  37. I’ve lived in four states.
  38. I’ve lived through a pandemic. Something I never planned for and somehow it keeps resurfacing!
  39. Betty White just died just shy of 100. A true golden girl. Gonna miss that icon.
  40. I’ve held true to my mantra of looking for sunshine in the shittiest of situations.
  41. I played Topgolf and really suck at it.
  42. I’m due for some fresh ink to celebrate 50.
  43. I’ve hit the height as a woman-owned business that many dream of but never achieve. 
  44. I bought a farm and grow things which was never on my bucket list per se.
  45. I focus on learning each day, week, month without question.
  46. I like freshly baked homemade cookies.
  47. I can’t cure stupid no matter how much I try and I may give up after trying for so long.
  48. I don’t like wearing masks. Thanks Covid for an experience I never wished for.
  49. I like blue raspberry slush puppies.

Well there you have my random list of 49. A new list about me to help ring in my upcoming birthday. I’m sure some will giggle when they read this but it’s a true recollection of me at random points in my years lived. Not all-encompassing but tidbits for those who want to get to know me. My life on the web, unveiled. Wink to the one who inspired my thoughts herein.