Sneaking paranoia

Two days ago, I revealed a personal peculiarity about myself that to this point, I’ve told no one, not even my husband. Of course my readers know the recipient of this snippet- the illustrious She, who still declines to be named (I suspect she is afraid of all the grief she will get from shared acquaintances and doesn’t want to be told how blunt she is. Of course my sassality readers dig her, and she’d be like Chum on Pawn Stars, and end up being the true star of the show, but I digress).

“Are you kidding me?” She asks, incredulous. “You do that? I’ve never thought about that in my entire life.”
For what is she referring? My secret. It is this.
Somewhere, somehow, in the deep dark recesses of my mind I’m always paranoid someone is going to go through my drawers. Anyone. Workers. Visitors using my bathroom. Relatives poking through my stuff. It weirds me out in the same way that people who don’t take off their shoes in my house grosses me out, and you recall what I did then- I bought a sign that says “keep your shoes on.”
Well, if I wanted to proactively insult guest and essentially accuse them of being snoopy I’d just put up a sign that read-no snooping- but then I think that would make matters worse. Ppl would want to know what I’m hiding, and they’d still be insulted!
You see my dilemma. Worse, you see all the energy I have wrapped into this. Now the big reveal- I’m always thinking “what if I die? Are my drawers in order?”
“Do you really think that?” She asked me again, the worry that I’m losing my mind clear in her voice.
What do I do? Blame it on mom of course. “Didn’t your mom always tell you to have clean drawers?” I ask her. 
“No” she replies. “She had bigger things to worry about.”
I can’t believe this. “My mom told me this in the same breath that she said to always wear clean underwear because you never want to be in an accident and have dirty underwear.” – True story. It put the fear of God into me as an 8-year old.
My top drawer, beside my bed. glasses (too many) lots of pens (I’m
an author by day…(WAY too many) and writing stuff. shocker.
computer on top as you can see.
She is speechless- for a split second-then she half laughs, mocking me.
Because we are talking on the phone, I tell her I am sitting on my stool, leg up, cleaning out my top drawer of my nightstand in anticipation of guests. (photo as evidence).
“No one will look!” She tries to convince me. I dispute that. Of course they will. It’s human nature. I agree. When we were house shopping, we were in the bedroom and rog opens the top drawer the bed and pulls out a bottle of “lotion” for the horizontal mambo. I’d hissed at him to put it back, worried the real estate agent was going to catch him. Only weeks later, after I became friends with the agent did I tell her, and then she says to me-
“We ALL look in drawers!” Egads! I was proven right.
In any case, She thinks I’m a loon now, first for thinking I’m going to leave behind dirty drawers and care- and second, that everyone is searching through my stuff.
But as usual, She has a solution.
“You know, I have a ‘dirty drawer’ for each one of my kids. They are allowed to leave it as messy as they want. Give yourself permission to have a dirty drawer and then maybe you’ll move beyond it.”
I then told her I have one of those, in the kitchen, but it drives me mad so I clean and straighten it about every other day- or whenever it gets messy.

600 Posts today. Claudius Caecus would be proud

Hello Germany and Puerto Rico…and a shout out to Chris Grant on this day of days, the one wherein I reach my 600th post. Crazy.

In honor of that tidbit, I’m posting a single sentence that Chris sent me today. He attached it to the end of an email, obviously flattering me that I’d know what it meant. Do you? (Yes, sassality readers. Show are brilliant you really are).

Faber est suae quisque fortunae

Get that? I didn’t. Clearly, Chris G gave me more credit that I deserved. I did what any self-respecting Netizen did. I plugged it into Bing (I’m having personal issues with Google right now).

Faber est suae quisque fortunae means

Every man is the artisan of his own fortune.  It’s a quotation from Appius Claudius Caecus
The rest is from the net…
 Appius Claudius Caecus (“the blind”; ca. 340 BC-273 BC) was a Roman politician from a wealthy patrician family. He was dictator himself and the son of Gaius Claudius Crassus, dictator in 337 BC.

During his term as censor, he built the Appian Way (Latin: Via Appia), an important and famous road between Rome and Capua, as well as the first aqueduct in Rome, the Aqua Appia.

Inspirational Yelling

often am awoken at 3 am out of a sound sleep-arising like a vampire at the sound of pitchforks- and have Random thoughts that usually center on what I need to do or should have done. This morning (2/6) my thought was:

Am I doing all I should be doing to help others? I pressed the mental pause button so as to drown out the sound of my cat whining for food, and the faces of two people immediately came to mind. 

I’ve come to think of these early morning wake up calls as Inspirational Yelling. It’s the only time my inner spirit can be heard.

Now it’s 3:51 and ill go back to closing my eyes. Oddly and ironically, the question  wakes me up- the inspiration for the answer usually happens through a dream.

Gut or God? Executives give the credit to….

It’s 1 in the morning, the dead hour where I usually stop writing (or tonight, when it happens to be the pain pills have worn off my surgery Monday) and the time when I can actually go to sleep. I frit around with the layout, usually pilfering a quote someone has recently told me, and post my latest purchase (my latest spend was on a 12 dollar organic lip balm from France. I happened to b
e desperate an in pain, and was willing to pay anything to address my cracked lips while waiting for my prescription to be filled).

At this time of day–or really morning–my mind swirls through the misty hazes of comments made to me from complete strangers. it so happens that I’ve been working on a new business book that delves into why some people succeed where others with a better college degree or background fail. It’s always a joy to listen to individuals share their trials and pains, their triumphs and trophies in single sentence sound bites. They assume that I’m your standard, pain-in-the-butt writer that has not time for long stories, and I assume they are never going to stop talking. We are usually both wrong. I want all the gory details of an experience and once the interviewee knows this, the details float in the air like pollen on a summers day.

A trend I’ve noticed is these men and women talk about the role their “gut” has played in their lives. I dig deeper.

“Is it inspiration you are talking about?” Yes, some answer. Enlightenment is another common response, “like Steve Jobs without the boring black turtleneck,” was one CEO of a Fortune 500 firm  who I shall keep anonymous until the book is published. Yet I’m a curious being, and I continue my line of questioning. “Is it internal, and self driven gut or inspiration, or is it external, a thought or notion from something else?”

I don’t have to mention God. Diety. Buddha. T
his is almost always offered up by the person I’m speaking with, and you know what? It’s rare that a person under the age of 50 is willing to give any credit or credence to the ‘external force,’ whereas those of the older generation (e.g. 50 and above) frankly acknowledge that their wisdom or inspiration is divinely sourced, like its a matter of pride and not to be ashamed of.

During an interview, I type verbatim, asking for clarification here or a exploring a point there. I don’t ponder the words being said until later–like now. All twenty-three individuals who I’ve interviewed thus far, have essentially said that gut is only “God’s way of disguising his involvement.’ In other words, letting me think I did it all myself. At least, that’s what my gut is telling me.

The way it should be

Wouldn’t it be grand if animals came towards humans rather than running from us? Clearly, it takes a desperate animal to purposefully approach a man, but it happened.


Tom Satre told the Sitka Gazette that he was out with a charter group on his 62 foot fishing vessel when four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly toward his boat.

 

 

“Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at us. We could tell right away that the young bucks were distressed. I opened up my back gate and we helped the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals onto the boat. In all my years fishing, I’ve never seen anything quite like it! Once on board, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.”
 
 
 
 


“This is a picture I took of the rescued bucks on the back of my boat, the Alaska Quest. We headed for Taku Harbour. Once we reached the dock, the first buck that we had pulled from the water hopped into the dock and looked back as if to say “thank you” and disappeared into the forest. After a bit of prodding and assistance, two more followed, but the smallest deer need a little help.”


“My daughter, Anna, and son Tim, helped the last buck to its feet. We didn’t know how long they had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive. My daughter later told me that the experience was something she would never forget, and I suspect the deer felt the same way.”

 

Don’t Kill me…Yet

“Tell me when your leg heals,” Lucas politely requests. Why, I’m thinking, because you’re going to send me on the next exotic film location? “Because I’m gonna put out a hit on you. You’ve never been so productive.”

Ge-ross. Can I just have a nice, robust
woman w/some curves so I don’t have to
look at a dude’s dude?

Nice. (Note to self: this is what broken bones get you. more work, not less).

So here I am, taking a random break, which is not so random, according to the latest Internet statistics. Did you know that most of us lackies stop at noon, three in the afternoon then 11 pm at night to surf and generally waste time, and that there being addicted to the Internet is now classified as a addiction disorder? True story.  Empowered with this information, I’ve jumped from my non-Catholic self guilt and self-loathing to feeling down right normal.

I’ve spent the entire morning on the phone with my literary agent out of New York, who told me I have not one, but three books on my hands, and I have to figure that out (translation; make your existing shorter, backfill for the other two). Then he told me I have to cut 50 pages out of my current fiction book, and if I can’t figure out a way to do that, I will have to pay $100/hour for a “strategic editor” to chop for me. That’s like telling a southern cook to lay off the butter. Who can do that, really?

Then as I’m transitioning from the call with him (his name is Peter by the way. A former London-based fleet-street reporter turned bestselling author, Columbia school professor and concurrent literary agent, who, by the way, is married to an opera singer and plays jazz professional in his spare time), I’m waiting to get on the phone with a former CEO of a global 500 firm.

what I need to cleanse my
brain: happy-time fizzy water.
calorie free and no bulges in the
wrong spots

What do I do? I surf the Internet. What do I find? Well, this horrid photo assaulted my sense, for it literally jumped out at me from the health.com website and I almost swallowed my tongue. Do you see what I’m seeing, or was I in a particularly bad place?  You know, my brother always liked big girls (he called them Romanesque, but let me tell you, he liked them nice and fleshy) and after being mentally scarred with this image, no wonder. Who wants to see a skinny white chick with what looks like a mans package?! I may never recover.

So I had to wash my brain with a quick prayer and a bottle of Perrier before I could ask a 77 yr giant of business his best words of wisdom. I have to save some for the book, but he told me that he was acclaimed for his ability to “read people quickly,” …”be decisive.”

Sure, I want to be a part of the next generation of leaders, so I’m going to take his advice and be more decisive than I already think I am. Next time Lucas (or anyone) tells me he wants to put a hit on me, I’ll decisively tell him not to kill me…yet. I’ve got things to do, like surfing the Internet.

Pain for the Divine Purpose of Inspiration

  • If I hadn’t been for my broken ankle, I wouldn’t have started my latest fiction book.
  • If I hadn’t been for my broken ankle, I wouldn’t have launched my latest company, biztipspro.com, with the two partners (& former clients) that have had many discussions w/me to do so.
  • If I hadn’t broken my ankle, I wouldn’t have listened to Jim (one of the partners above) and gotten off the time for my 3rd biz book, created the interview sheets, sent it out to a select few of my biz friends, and gotten the likes of Stevie Wonder’s former manager, the VP of a global consulting firm and several billionaires who have great stories to share
  • stage 1- fusion therapy
  • Had I not been completely helpless around the house, I never would have known that my youngest daughter at nearly four, could still take a nap, and furthermore, be self-trained to go downstairs, crawl in bed, cover up and not get out until after she’d slept…all due to Rog’s commando-like style of “encouragement.”

Before you think this has been the easy road to enlightenment, let me clarify. It’s been nothing but three weeks of hell followed by one week of goodness with family over Thanksgiving, which means I was still in my inner purgatory, but at least had good food, which brightened things up again.

24/7 pain for 3 weeks solid was one thing. Worse than that…far worse, was being trapped in my own body, unable to be active, to get away from myself, to occupy my time and my life with things that I cared about. Initially, that meant I couldn’t take care of the family- husband, kids, dog or cat. I didn’t realize how much personal uplift doing for others, including the four-legged kind, lifts me up. With that stripped, I turned my thoughts and angst toward my career. That too, was gone. No meetings. No calls (calls on drugs does not a productive call make). The absence of the flow of ego-enhancing activity was like the water being shut off mid-shower. The final area of enjoyment is my hobby, which is like a second career anyway, and that’s writing. But I wasn’t feeling it. No plots. No interest. No output.

I had nothing to do but contemplate why God was giving me…nothing to do. The forced quiet, and I do mean forced, was the equivalent of being put in a room full of meditating yogis. I was unable to “do” much except be quiet–mentally–and in case you haven’t yet figured it out, that’s not an easy thing for me to do.

Yet do it, I did. I read. I contemplated without “thinking” of a new project or stressing out old ones. I just tried to be still, just like the books and magazine articles and self-help gurus counsel. It took the last two weeks (because I was too busy being pissed off to count the first three weeks), and then a subtle change occurred.

I started being inspired. Not motivated, but inspired. The idea of starting a business that me and my two former clients/friends and now partners, had always talked about came to me.

Rog trying to find out how much these machines cost

“Why not?” I asked myself, when the idea appeared out of nowhere as I was on my couch. “All of our work is just sitting here, in our computers, waiting to be used by others. After all” I continued, “zero plus zero equals zero. We might as well make money in our sleep if we can.” I said as much to my guys, they agreed, I offered to create a website, and within 24 hours the new business was launched.

“Can’t you just take the next month off and relax?” Roger asked me, exasperated when I told him about the launch. “No, I take that back. You don’t know how.” I clarified that this wasn’t doing for the sake of doing. It was inspiration, and once up, it could really take care of itself with only a few hours of effort a week. Rog didn’t comment. He just shook his head, but later told me he wasn’t going to argue, because it was better than having me angry.

A week and a half later, I called Jim up to talk about the site, and he just said to me “Sarah, you need to write it all down in a book we can read.” That book, he suggested, should focus on why some people with the right background, best schools and skill sets aren’t always as successful as peers who lack training, education and connections. He’d mentioned this before, and I essentially ignored him. This time around, I didn’t. Something clicked. Why not? I asked myself. What else have I got to do?.

Present stage: typing from the bed, watching
80’s movies on Amazon prime while I type

The next morning I woke and created an interview sheet with the types of questions I’d like to see answered in a book. I sent it off to a few people in my network, a couple CEOs of global 50 firms, and entrepreneurs. I got the written replies back, along with an amazing list of others who they suggested I contact, with appropriate introductions. (I didn’t tell Rog about this for a few days. I didn’t want him to think I was ready to start cooking again). I finally wrote an email to my literary agent in New York. He tried not to freak out that I wasn’t concentrating on my fiction work (where I’m behind on my latest work) but then he saw my interviewee list and his opportunistic reasoning took over.

“This might really have some legs,” he wrote back. “Lets talk next week,” which, for an agent in NY, is the equivalent of God telling Moses to come back up the mountain for a second set of tablets.

Then last night at nine pm, I go the clear and distinct impression–no, I’d call this a demand notice– to start writing a new novel that’s been spinning around in the back of my mind for several years. Don’t ask me ‘why now, why this time?’ because I don’t know. What I do know is that when a writing project is meant to be, it flows. It’s not hard or choppy. It just comes, like a basketball player whne he’s having an ‘on’ night versus an ‘off’ night. It’s that simple. I stayed up till 3 writing. Today, when the family left for a movie, I got back on, and wrote for another 6 hours. I’m only taking a break to write this out, because it will be 5 weeks on Monday, and in three ways, I have a whole new beginning that I never could have imagined prior to my “accident.”

Going forward, I’m going think about the purpose behind our little ‘accidents’ that drop us down on our knees and take us out of commission for a while, because I’m now convinced that sometimes, it’s the only way to receive inspiration, and I think that’s divine.

Above and over Epic

Photo caption: White bear is on my lap,
agnostic about my violent opinion on all that
 is Epic in this world).

Lying here alone, 3:32 am, in bed, trolling  the Internet. Shooting pain will do that. I hypothesize my insomniac mom is up doing the same in her abode, three states away, but I’m not going to test that theory lest she’s just fallen asleep. I do wonder however, if she and other night owls are as sick and tired of the use of the word Epic as I am.

 It was funny in Twilight (“it’s going to be epic”), and sometimes really appropriate (“epic fail” when referencing Obamacare) but now it’s taken a new life form of use by people who seem to be about 20 years over the hill to be using the word and it comes across as plain stupid.

Just tonight- I read about the “epic feud” between Madonna and lady gaga. No, that would be called a disagreement on whether or not Born this Way was a rip off of Express Yourself. An epic feud is Shaquille and Kobe going at it to be the lead player at the lakers, ending with shaq getting banished to Miami, his career sliding downhill, making a marginal movie, selling his monster home and getting divorced while Kobe got to stay in la, keep his starting position and was last seen leaving

If this is Epic we have real issues

Koi with his long-suffering wife in his Bentley.That falls into the epic category.

Then in another article I’m reading about the rash of pixie haircuts. Some numnutz reporter (that would be my mothers self created word for idiotic without using the word idiotic) wrote that we are experiencing  an “epic fashion moment,” by virtue of jennifer aniston, jennifer lawrence, pam anderson and whatsername chenowith getting haircuts.
Are you kidding me? Epic fashion is when Michael Jackson wore red leather in The Thriller video and suddenly millions  of cows were slaughtered and people ran around wearing too-tight, high-shine cropped leather jackets for three years until there was a run on red dye. Before that, Epic fashion was when Jackie O wore the pillbox hat and the heads of every woman around the world were covered in the lookalike, including my mom. Heck, I’d consider Botox an epic fashion moment  because it cuts across genders and races and foreign territories, but I don’t foresee millions of people looking at a few celebs and saying- yeah! I’ve spent years growing my hair long to resemble a Victoria Secret model just to whack it off because these women all had bad hair days. 
I know was a self indulgent rant about a four letter word but I feel good. I’ve given my anti-epic my opinion about and anti-epic topic of anti-epic proportions.  
 

From pissy to elegant, patience to charity and the kardashian connection

Five hours later, I’m on the couch at home, wtg for rog to return with daughter number one so we can pile into our car and go to the ankle and foot dr. My dog is whimpering in her kennel, the cat is on a parade through the house that includes my hurt foot and I get a text. It reads:

“You need more patience.” To which I want to reply back two words, but instead I respond:
I’m going to stop praying (because I in fact, am getting a response to my prayers! Hurry! Tell all atheists, including my husband, prayer works!)
She responds: 
“Patience leads to more charity. The pure love of Christ.” To which I, immobile and more than a bit pissy at my situation reply:
But wait-did u just type that? To me? I’m so full of charity-I’m brimming over like the little porridge-
To which She responds:
You are. You’ll just gain more.
There it is folks. I broke my ankle to learn patience and charity. Already, I feel myself transforming from a grumpy Middle Age woman to a classy, elegant being full of grace and supreme calm, like kim kardashian channeling her mother. And all it took was a slip on the ice. 

This would be the dog- far yonder in the corner by the back door,
looking rather black and rather glum as I’m confined to the couch
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