Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering Today...

It’s Memorial Day and most of us have a glorious day off! But how many of us actually take a moment to remember what this holiday is about? We are so fortunate to live in this country where we are free to do, be, say and believe whatever we want. This freedom didn’t just happen – there have been millions of people over hundreds of years who have made sacrifices so that we are able to live the way we want to today and we often don’t give it much thought, even on the day meant to honor this very fact.

I don’t mean to get all heavy on you – I want you to enjoy whatever activity or inactivity that you have planned today…I certainly plan to! But please just take a moment today to pause and give a thought of appreciation to all of those who have gone before to ensure that we remain free. We have had this freedom for so long that we take it for granted but if you saw how some people live in other countries and how limited they are in how they are allowed to live, you would have a whole new appreciation for living in the USA.

Veterans are not always appreciated for what they have done and really, if we just take a moment to thank someone who has served our country, it would mean the world to them. Whether silently or out loud to someone in particular, say “Thank You” and be grateful for a free nation.

I have a long line of American history in my family – we have a relative, William Hooper, who signed the declaration of independence. My great-grandfather was in the Civil War, my Grandpa was in World War I and my father was in World War II. I was fortunate to hear a lot of my father’s stories about being overseas during that time. My grandparents encouraged him to sign up for the reserves so he wouldn’t have to serve all four years. So he ended up serving three years and eleven months. Oh well, it was a nice idea.

My father was shipped out to San Diego for boot camp from his hometown of Peoria, Illinois. He fell in love with the warm weather here so as soon as the war was over and he went home, he slipped on some ice and promptly packed up and moved to California where he met my mother. The war had one good outcome for him in that respect!

I can’t imagine what it was like for him being so far away from home in a war. I do know that the opening scene of “White Christmas” - where Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are overseas during WWII for Christmas and putting on a show to entertain the troops on Christmas Eve – always made my dad cry. I have so much respect and appreciation for anyone who is in service for our country and for all the sacrifices they are making. And of course, my heart is with all those who have passed on who gave their lives to protect us. There is a reason they call us “The land of the free, the home of the brave.”

Today I am keeping my Daddy and my Grandpa closer than usual in my thoughts and in my heart. I will spend extra time smelling the delicious Veteran’s roses outside our back door today, which are a beautiful reminder of my father’s service. I am sending out thoughts filled with thanks appreciation to everyone who is still out there overseas, working to ensure our freedom and that of others.

To everyone who has served this beautiful country, still here or only in spirit, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all.

Happy Memorial Day!
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Work....Your Other Family

I have to say, although I love working for myself, having the freedom to set my own schedule and make my own decisions, sometimes I really miss having a work family.

Working from home and taking care of my mother keep me very busy during the week, and my Golden Time on the weekends with my husband is always a welcome break in the routine. But I used to have a wonderful group of people that I worked with for a very long time and we really were a family. We went through everything together over the years – births, deaths, marriages, divorces…you name it….and all of it always brought us closer together.

There was a time when I was part of an amazing division of the Capitol/EMI that was headed up by an remarkable man named Eli who treated us all with the utmost kindness and respect. He had his priorities straight….family first, work second. He created such a fun, productive environment that we were all proud to work for him and we all worked hard….and we played hard. Eli took us on business trips to Maui – incredible experiences that none of us will ever forget.

And there was always a party for every special occasion – after a while it was actually written into my job description that I was the office party-planner, so birthdays and holidays were always celebrated, big time! Then there were Happy Hour Friday’s in Frank’s office…no one left without a shot of tequila to start the weekend right! And my daily experience was always a happy and enjoyable one because I had the best boss ever – Adam. He is still a close friend, confidant, advisor and cheerleader. And I am proud to say that I believe he considers me the same. We were all so blessed to have been brought together by our work situation.

This week, one of my special girlfriends from my former work family, Kate, is moving to Nashville so I HAD to go to her going away party last weekend. Even though that meant leaving my husband and mother to baby-sit each other…I couldn't miss my last opportunity to see the lovely and hilarious Miss Kate. We were cube-mates – we sat right next to each other for a few years at Capitol and we had so many great times…Im-ing each other, four feet apart about the stupid office dramas as they played out in front of our desks…a weekend trip to Vegas to see Zumanity and visit our friend Joey Arias backstage… a girls’ trip to Maui…(thanks, Kate, for holding me up after too much rum in the limo after that 16 HOUR TRIP TO GET TO THERE!!!)

I was so happy to be able to give Kate a big hug and wish her luck in her new adventure (and find out how the heck this all happened since we haven’t had time to chat for months…both too busy for phone calls or lengthy IM’s…sad…) And at this party I was so happy to see a lot of my old work friends like Susan, who is one of my very best friends that I have had so many adventures with - too many to mention here. Everyone at the party made me feel so loved as they welcomed me with big hugs and some screaming (Woo Richard and Shirley ;)

I realized how much I missed all these people, seeing them every day and having fun and crazy times with them. And this small group is just a very tiny aspect of the large work family I accumulated over the years. Multiply these events by twenty years and countless other people and you may have an inkling of the magnitude of my memories and feelings toward this other family of mine.

But – life changes, we have to move on. I know I’m doing the work I am supposed to be doing and I love it, but I do miss having that group of people that you know you’ll see every day – some you may dread seeing, some you get used to but - some become your best friends, and some you don’t realize how important they are until they’re gone from your experience. My goal is to one day have my own business and create another work family, ala Eli, so yet another group of people can know how joyful and fulfilling a working experience can be. (Oh yes, business trips to Maui are definitely part of the plan :)

Make the most of your work family – you spend more time with them than anyone else in your life. It can be a positive, life-changing experience if you choose to make it so.

I am so grateful for each and every member of this family and I will always treasure the memories and most of all, the relationships that will always be there, no matter where any of us spend our work days.

Bon voyage, Kate!

To the rest of my Capitol/EMI family – I love you!
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