Beatitudes of my life

Being grateful for everything in my life…. no matter what…

My Maxims October 10, 2012

Filed under: Blessings,Communication,Life Balance — beatitudesofmylife @ 7:37 pm
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I’ve been reading a really amazing book. It’s called “One Piece of Paper” and is written by a guy named Mike Figliuolo. The best way I can think of to describe this book is to quote the author:

“Imagine explaining your leadership philosophy on one piece of paper – a simple 8.5” x 11” summation of all you are and all you want to be as a leader. How powerful would it be to have a discussion about that single page with the members of your team? But that’s impossible.
Or is it?
This book will help you do exactly that.”
– Mike Figliuolo

M read this book when it was first published and has shared it with a number of colleagues. I saw it sitting in our house and it sparked a conversation about leadership styles and expectations that had me taking my own crack at writing down a set of maxims… but first, I had to figure out what a “maxim” was…

By definition, a maxim is a noun. It’s (1) an expression of a general truth or principle and (2) a principle or rule of conduct. Once I began reading this book I realized that, while Figliuolo’s book is focused on those in the business world, I could easily apply these practices to many different areas of my own life. I may not spend hours upon hours in corporate America, but I operate under a set of principles or rules of conduct that could certainly qualify as Maxims.

I’ve been on PTA boards and athletic association boards, been part of a governing body for our church, and am now working in the wine industry. Each position has required a working set of principles that helps to guide my participation and/or leadership. When reading this book, I gained new insight into what did or didn’t work in each situation. I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses in past ventures and am continuing to evolve into the person I strive to be in the future.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who actively participates in their life. I believe that the act of putting down, on a single sheet of paper, the principles by which you live your life, is an extremely helpful tool, no matter what you do in life. Whether just starting out or hitting your stride late in life, this book should resonate with everyone. I hope you’ll take a moment and consider your own list of Maxims… it doesn’t have to be complete, but it should be something that grows as you do…

Here’s my list of Maxims… they may not make sense as they’re written, but they resonate with me or remind me to focus back on an important ideal. If you want to know what they mean, just ask…

Follow the Golden Rule.

Corral the “shiny”.

Save the drama for your mama.

Fool me once, shame on you.. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Be true to your beliefs and trust your gut.

Don’t ask anyone to do something you would not.

Praise in public, correct in private

Did anyone die?

SMILE!

Be truthful… Be honest… Be trustworthy.

Always honor your commitments.

Tell me something good.

Family isn’t just blood.

It’s not about me.

Let those who know, do so those who don’t, won’t.

I’m sure I’ll add or amend these as my life evolves, but this is a good representation of the core of my beliefs… are you ready to do the work to figure out your One Piece of Paper???

Thanks, Mike F, for coming up with something so simple, yet so timeless.

 

It’s almost Halloween…. darn it? October 6, 2012

Filed under: Blessings,Cooking,Family,Holidays,Parenting — beatitudesofmylife @ 1:55 pm
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Let it be known… I am NOT a fan of Halloween.  I try and be a good sport about giving out candy and have, in the past, put on a costume and gone through the motions of trick-or-treating, but I really do NOT like this holiday.  I don’t enjoy buying candy and having it in my house to hand out to strangers.  I don’t like feeling required to participate in handing out treats to kids who, for the most part, are doing the bare minimum needed to look like they’re dressing up in costume.  I don’t like having people with masks ring my doorbell and expect candy in return for their participation in this day in October.  I just don’t like it.  Is that such a crime?

I know there are those of you who will cajole and tease me to try and get me into the “Halloween spirit” but I just don’t enjoy being a part of this holiday.  The masks creep me out and the scary costumes kids wear just keep getting more and more bizarre.   Is it “bad” of me to dislike a specific holiday?  Are there others out there who don’t enjoy Halloween?

I remember a time in college when a friend put on a gorilla mask and chased me around our dorm.  I hated that.  I knew who this person was, yet the mask turned them into something completely sinister and frightening for me.  It wasn’t funny or silly… it was scary.  I think people sometimes underestimate how much a mask can conceal an identity in someone’s mind.

I have the same reaction to clowns… they flip me out and I just don’t find them to be funny or silly at all.   Check out this clown picture I found.  The lip outline is painted into a smile, but it’s one of the creepiest faces when you see the overall look.  I know that’s the point, but I have a hard time finding the fun in these sort of painted faces. The two “true” parts of the individual’s face are the eyes and mouth… and many times the eyes are bloodshot (maybe a reaction to having so much makeup around that area of the face) and the mouth/teeth aren’t in the best condition.  Have you seen many clowns with clear eyes and clean pearly white teeth?  I haven’t.  Maybe that’s why I don’t enjoy clowns… being a dentist’s daughter always has me looking at smiles and teeth.  That would be an interesting study… does a parent’s occupation influence their children’s fears and phobias in later life?  Then again, maybe not.

There are two positive things about Halloween, in my opinion.  The first is that we always have the same dinner on Halloween or whatever night ends up being designated for Trick-or-Treat… I make my Auntie Jean’s BBQ (sloppy joes) and homemade Kaiser rolls.  When E was a senior, he informed me that it just wasn’t Halloween to him without this meal… so how could I resist?  In honor of that tradition, I’ll include this recipe below so you, dear reader, may see if you want to start your own tradition.

The second and MOST positive thing about Halloween is that it signals that Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday of all time.  It ranks higher than Christmas, Easter and Birthdays for me.  Thanksgiving is the one time of the year when the focus is on appreciating the bounty and blessings in our lives and giving thanks for what we have.  It’s about family and food… it’s about being together with those you love and reaching out to those who need… it’s about the GOOD that is in the world and showing appreciation for what we have been given.

I’ll talk more about Thanksgiving later.  For now, I must share my Aunt’s recipe and let you all get ready for Halloween… after all… if we let Halloween hurry up and get here, we can start planning for Thanksgiving.  Right?

Auntie Jean’s BBQ (Sloppy Joe’s)

2lbs browned hamburger (I use ground turkey)

1 bottle ketchup (the 28oz size – I always use Heinz Ketchup)

2T apple cider vinegar

3T yellow mustard

3T Worcestershire sauce

4tsp sugar

2tsp celery seed

My cousin makes a double recipe and puts this into a crock pot so she has enough to feed whoever might drop by when she makes it.  I typically use two packages of ground turkey and then either make homemade rolls or use packaged potato rolls for my guys.  We love the tang of the spices and much prefer it to the jarred sauce you can purchase from the grocery store.

Wishing you a Happy Halloween… however you choose to celebrate!

 

 
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