Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Monday, March 28, 2011

More on That Monday: Friendship

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.  ~Elisabeth Foley

Angie and I met at a church function when we were 15 years old.  We were two of very few girls in a huge room full of boys, so naturally, we gravitated to each other.  Next thing you know, we were friends.

Since then, we've gone to college hours away from one another, been separated by jobs and families that took up all our time, and we currently live 4 hours apart and see each other, on average, once a year.  We've weathered all kinds of situations and have remained friends through it all.

One day, Angie's daughter was asking about what things she and I have in common.  We don't generally  like the same movies, books, music or TV shows.  Confused, Samantha asked why we were friends if we didn't have anything in common.  Angie replied that we were friends because we like each other.  And that's all friendship has to be.

I don't like the societal standard that is out there in movies and TV about what friends should have in common.  They should be the same age, same gender, same socio-economic class, and they should enjoy sitting around a table drinking coffee or beer.  Oh, and there should always be at least 4 friends in the group.  Less than that is just sad.

Bull hockey!!  Friends don't have to have anything in common other than that they like each other.  Differences of opinion make for lively conversation.  And a different take on things can open up your mind, challenge your convictions, and lead you to new likes and experiences.

How did you meet your best friend?  What are some of the differences and similarities you cherish?

This is the first in a series about friendship.  I challenge you to follow along.  You might learn something.  You might even make a new friend along the way. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fun: Perfect Weekend

(I've had a busy week and haven't gotten to try out the new format yet.  Sorry about that.  I'll get with it next week.)

I woke up this morning to the sound of pouring rain and thunder.  And it's cold enough that I had slush on my windshield.  Bleh!

But what if it was beautiful this weekend?  What would make it a perfect weekend?  Here's what I would do...

What would make this a perfect weekend for you?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

I'm going to try something new with my blog.  It's a combination of ideas I've seen on other blogs and my own posting habits.  The new feature is that each day of the week will have its own theme.

  • More on That Mondays - These will be stories that are related or in a series.  First up:  friendship.
  • Talked Out Tuesdays - Tuesdays are my busiest day at the college, and I don't usually have much energy or time for blogging.  So I'll be posting only a video with no comment on it from me.  Might be a news story, or inspirational story, music I've discovered, or even a movie trailer.  You never know.
  • Whatever Wednesdays - These will be similar to my current format - just whatever I happen to be thinking about, whether it's health, music, books, or Doctor Who.
  • Thriving & Thoughtful Thursdays - I'll try to feature articles that make you think, encourage you to do something positive for yourself, or celebrate being in mid-life.
  • Fun Fridays - This will be like yesterday was, just a fun list, or a story, a survey, something fun to get you ready for the weekend.
  • Surprising Saturdays/Sunday - What will be the most surprising thing is that I posted anything at all!  
I hope you'll join me next week for my new format.  Be sure to comment and let me know what you think.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Fun

I've seen several blogs and Facebook posts recently about creating lists.  The Music 30-Day Challenge, the ABC Posts, the Photo 30-Day Challenge, etc.  While I'm not too keen on actually doing any of these (because they always seem to include things I have no interest in) I do like the lists concept.  Lists are fun. 

So I decided to make a list of my Current Favorite Things (not in any particular order, just as I think of them).
  1. Pomegranate Lemonade by Crystal Light
  2. Supernatural on the CW
  3. Fringe on FOX
  4. Bejeweled 3 Butterflies
  5. History 112 (American History since 1877)
  6. Creating playlists in Media Player and on my MP3 player (Next up:  Road Songs)
  7. Learning to crochet
  8. Having a TV in the bedroom so I can watch the shows my hubby hates in peace
  9. The weather (since yesterday)
  10. My house post-spring cleaning
  11. My tweed blazer
  12. Going to the park for a run and finding it nearly empty
  13. My crazy, jumbled, crowded and colorful cork board
  14. Rock bands with awesome female lead singers
  15. Daylight Savings Time
  16. The Exiles
  17. Def Leppard (always a favorite!!)
  18. My Van Gogh "Sunflowers" copy
  19. Phone time with my BFF Angie
  20. Phone time with my daughter Carrie
  21. Phone time with Mom
  22. Blogging about favorite stuff!
Crazy Cork Board
An awesome rock band with female lead singer:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

If you're enough lucky to be Irish, you're lucky enough!  
~Irish Saying

Since today is St. Patrick's Day, I made sure to wear green.  Are you celebrating?  What will you be doing?  Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your day.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Customer "Service"

I once worked at a franchise of a large corporation, which was eye-opening on many levels.  We were always having retreats, training, conferences and meetings, rarely accomplishing more than wasting time that could have been spent on actually improving our services.  But I digress.

I remember one meeting with our Corporate Liaison (THAT was a cushy job) where we were discussing customer service.  This liaison was always telling stories about the great customer service she always got from a particular hotel chain, no matter where she went.  (In hindsight, the fact that her best customer service stories were about another company should have been some kind of sign.)

She asked us to share what businesses we thought had great customer service.  My assistant chimed in with Walmart.  When asked why she thought they had great customer service, she explained that she was able to do one-stop shopping there.  Never mind that she totally missed the point of the question, and possibly the entire meeting, but she obviously had never experienced customer service of any kind at the store.

My gripe with the mega-center is not so much about customer service as it is with the attitudes of their employees.  For instance, yesterday my husband and I stopped in to pick up a few things and ran into some relatives we hadn't seen in a while.  We were chatting in an aisle and since there were 4 of us, yes, we were taking up the whole aisle, but we were in electronics and there were no other customers in the area at the time.  Then an employee bumped past us without an "excuse me" to get to the great unknown through the double-doors at the back of the building. 

Were we taking up the aisle?  Yes.  Did he need to go through those doors?  Yes.  Did he have to bump past us to do so?  NO!  He could have easily gone around to another aisle to make his way to the cave. 

And that's what I experience every time I go there.  An employee who thinks he has the right of way over customers.  An employee who won't move her cart full of things she's restocking to let customers get by.  Employees walking down the aisle, taking up the entire aisle, who refuse to move so customers can easily pass by.  If it weren't for the fact that they are cheap and so am I, I would never shop there again. 

Those who work in businesses that involve actual people should remember the motto that Corporate Liaison always told us, "A customer is not an interruption of our work.  He is the sole purpose of it." 

Here's a funny video of just how frustrating dealing with customer service can be.