Proud to Have a Closed mind

ImageMany of my thoughts are triggered by my Grandson Jordan. He’s 10 years old and like most kids his age, he has very specific food likes/dislikes. In fact, his list of dislikes is extensive. This results in many discussions starting with “just try it” or open your mind to the possibility that you will like it. His response is a very firm…. Grandma, I have a closed mind. He’s not bragging. He’s just stating a fact. I finally capitulated and acknowledged that each of us has food likes and dislikes, and as he gets older, his food choices will expand. I agreed that I ­­would no longer hound him about what he eats (while I secretly plot ways to get vegetables into his dietary repertoire).

Wouldn’t it be nice if adults could be as open and/or aware of when they have a closed mind. It reminds me of an ad campaign from the United Negro College Fund that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”. Some people get an idea set in their minds like cement. No matter what anyone says or suggests, they stick to their idea like crazy glue.

I also have a granddaughter with a closed mind when it comes to exploring possibilities. From my vantage point, I can see the folly of her thoughts, because she is at a time of life when she can literally pick and choose from a cornucopia of possibilities… if only she would open her mind. But, most of us know people with closed minds.

Sometimes a decision to stay stuck in the Crazy Glue is due to fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Fear of success or failure, etc. Most of us know someone who is stuck, and sometimes we ourselves also get stuck. Then we have to be like the 1984 Apple ad where they smash through IBM. We need to smash through our own individual fears to succeed. 

Life goes on….

Muckety Mucks

Aleta bio pic - standing - white backgroundSpending most of my life in DC means that I am used to being surrounded by muckety mucks. Every one is a VP of this, Director of that, Presidential Appointee, or the like. So, when having the “girls” over for brunch, I don’t think about them by their titles. They are just “the girls”. When the brunch was over and I walked them to the door, I was looking out at their parked cars, and I didn’t give any thought to the fact that each of their cars had a minimum value of $50k, and everyone’s salary was six figures, because everyone in DC is a  highly paid muckety muck.

So, when I was told that I was being “introduced” to the San Diego community at a reception in my honor, I was flabbergasted. Why, I asked, would anyone come to a reception for me? This was actually the second indication that something was different here. The first was when I wanted to reach out and have lunch with a business associate, but I was told I had to be properly introduced. What? This is California! The land of informality! Unbeknownst to me, it appears I have become an MM. Apparently they don’t have enough of them here.

So, today I am writing my MM speech, and I had my MM picture taken.

Stay tuned… I could get used to being a MM.



The Yin and the Yang

firehose and little girlYesterday, the force of the water from the hose pushed my back up against the wall and by the end of the day, I sat in a puddle on the floor.  Today, I was able to dial back the faucet to a dribble, and ended the day with a feeling of accomplishment. Tomorrow the hose may be on full force again, but eventually it will slow to a trickle.

I have been told that it will take a year to a year-and-a-half to get this job down pat, but I reject that. How could it possibly take that long! I’ll show them! By year’s end I’ll be doing the backstroke while reading a book on top of the water coming out of the fire hose. Like Superwoman, I’ll use the hose to knock criminals off their feet. I’ll use the water to put out fires. I’ll use the hose as a ladder and climb tall buildings….

The message is clear…. some days it will be Niagara Falls. Some days it will be a lazy river, and some days it will be a slowly dripping faucet, or it could be a dry riverbed.  But that’s the yin and the yang of working on your passion.

Stay tuned

Sunburned in Coronado

I got sunburned while in a spinning class. How can that possibly be!?!… Class was held outdoors on 3rd floor rooftop patio (See picture below). I almost didn’t go because it had been a longgg day at work and all I really wanted was to pick up a baked chicken,  open up a bottle of wine and chillax. But, I had been putting the spinning class off for 3 weeks. So, I decided to pull a Nike and “just do it”.

Like all experiences here on Coronado Island  (BTW… it’s not really an island), I continue to be amazed.

Mother’s Day Tears

mom and dadI have no idea when my mother died. I was there. I planned and attended the funeral, but apparently I have totally blocked the date. If my life depended on it, I would not be able to remember her date of death. I’m guessing it was somewhere between 10 – 15 years ago.

I went through some semblance of the “normal” grieving process, and after awhile, I only thought about her on occasions, which became further and further apart. My thoughts of her usually occurred at some family gathering when we were reminiscing.

But yesterday, Mother’s day, the sadness exploded. The hostess asked each person at the table to introduce themselves and relate a story about their mother. My insides froze. The sadness welled up in my chest until I couldn’t talk. I was caught totally off-guard. I had no idea where the sadness had been hiding. Plenty of Mother’s days have gone by since my Mother passed, and the only time I remember it invoking sadness was when I spent my first Mother’s day without her.

As my turn approached, I had to find my voice. I didn’t want to cry in front of  these strangers. I was barely able to tell them my Mother had passed and it was not a good day for me. Naturally, that was a downer for everyone, because they had all been relating wonderful experiences about their Mom’s.  But everyone, including me, recovered.

I guess it just means that she is still with me. She is still in my heart and soul.

Stay tuned.

Full of Fear

Fear is a powerful motivator. It motivates me to keep leaping from one tall building to another. For if I stay still too long, I may rust-up. I’ve been called brave, courageous, and inspiring, but what I really am is…. afraid. Afraid I’ll run out of time to do all the things I want. Afraid to stop exercising my brain for fear the Big A will catch me. Afraid I won’t accomplish what I was sent here to do. My biggest fear is that I’ll spend all this time on this earth and my presence will not have made a difference.

So now you know what really drove me to leave my home and my husband to cross the country to a new job. It was to follow my passion before my time runs out and the Big A catches up with me. For the first time in many years, I have stopped chasing the dollar and begun chasing my dreams. I am on my way to making a difference. I am helping people plant their dreams and watch their businesses grow. I have found that which I was supposed to do. After I fulfill my passion (if that’s possible), I will probably still be afraid, but then I can make small steps instead of leaping tall buildings.

No… I’m not brave, courageous, or inspiring…. I’m just Afraid.

You Never Know

Going away card 2What you say or do can have a profound effect on others without you even knowing it. I still remember the smart dresser that I worked for in my early career. He even dressed on weekends or after hours as if it was a normal work period. He taught me “how to dress for success” and he doesn’t even know it….  and I don’t remember his name.

I remember the english teacher at community college who gave a book by Maya Angelou to me. (note the correct english in that sentence). She didn’t know (or I don’t think she did)  that was the first book by a black author that I had ever read. She opened my eyes to an entirely new world of literature. She had no idea what that one act of kindness did for me. I still get emotional just thinking of her, and I don’t remember her name.

When I moved to a new job in San Diego, I left my work-out buddies at the Sport and Health club. They took me out to lunch and they all signed a “sorry to see you leave” card. I carried that card across country. I wanted to save it for reading when I had time to read all the notes they wrote. It stayed in my bag unread for a week after my arrival. When I finally had a moment to relax from the move, I opened it and read all the good wishes they wrote. I placed it on my living room end-table, and four weeks later…. it is still there. They will never know how deeply I was touched by the lunch and card, but…. I remember all their names… especially Gail, Kathleen, and Eileen.

You never know….

Fearless in Coronado

Helmet camera

If it didn’t look so weird, I would walk around wearing a helmet camera to capture this pristine and overly friendly world here on Coronado Island. Today, my next door neighbor came over and introduced herself. As I walked by the pool, three people said hello and introduced themselves. Why are they being so friendly to me?

What kind of a world do we live in where I question friendliness. Maybe it’s just because I come from DC, where strangers are not at all friendly. I hope my DC experience is uncommon and the Coronado experience is more the norm, but I don’t think so.

Later in the day… I was taken aback by children who smiled at me and said hello as they biked by. It was then I realized that I had learned not to interact with unknown children, for fear the parents would think I was a pervert. Many children are taught not to talk to strangers, and that’s not a bad rule, but there has to be a line.  Do we want our children to live their lives in fear like many of us do?

Here it is normal to see children riding their bikes alone and biking to school on their own. The parents do not fear that someone will snatch their children. Maybe it’s a California thing? (Or maybe it’s because there are only 2 ways on and off the island.)

The smiles of those children and the “hellos” from my new neighbors   made me hopeful that the U.S. might not self-destruct. That it’s possible for us to find our way to a more peaceful and fearless lifestyle.

Stay tuned.

Lost My Rhythm

Thirteen days and I have not found
 my rhythm.
 Intellectually, I know it takes time.
 I had a rhythm
evolved over last 24 years.
Wake at 6. Protein drink at 7.
then chat with sweetie til 8.
Start working.
Moved to a new city without my sweetnin’ and
lost my rhythm.
Looking everywhere.
Looked for it at the health club.
Looked for it during a Meetup walking group.
Looked in a nightly glass of wine.
Looked for it when driving around town getting acclimated.
Today I looked for it at the pool.
They tell me to be patient.
I’ll find my rhythm
or it will find me.
Wait a minute… maybe my rhythm is my Sweetnin
and he’ll be here in 2 weeks!!