Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's Your Algonquin Road?

Since Sunday morning, I cannot get the image of a tortoise, similar to the one you see here,  crossing the 4-lane wide busy road we were traveling. I see the cars stopping awkwardly and remember vividly swerving at about 40 mph and looking in my rear view mirror seeing her short legs moving slowly across the road.

Call me crazy but I've actually imagined the last "conversations" she must have had as she took off from the nest to cross Algonquin Road in Sunday am "church rush hour." We're going to call her "Trixie" to make it easier to follow:

Mom: "Trixie, where are you going at this hour?"
Trixie: "I'm not certain but I know it's in that direction."
Mom: "Well, if you don't know for sure you should wait."
Trixie: "No, I need to go now. I love you, mom. See you later."

She takes off, crosses the brush and approaches the empty parking lot of the church that stands to the north of her family's nest area. As she steps onto the pavement, her good friend "Lynn" startles her with a question.

Lynn: "Why are you headed THAT way? You know there are cars over there, right?"
Trixie: "Yes, I know but that's the way I need to go to get where I'm going."
Lynn: "Did you hear about Rachel Raccoon's cousin, who didn't make it cross yesterday?"
Trixie: "I did. Heard something about him scurrying. Sad. I have a plan, don't worry."
Lynn: "Yeah, he was a highway crossing specialist - you're not. Good luck."
Trixie: "Thanks, Lynn. Take care."

Trixie kept on moving.
Car swerved (no humans were harmed in this tale)
Slowly she moved.
Traffic parted and a way was made.
Steady toward the other side.

90 minutes later when we drove by, there was no sign of "Trixie". We drove slower anticipating seeing her barely alive on the other side but we were mistaken. I am certain she made it across Algonquin Road.

She knew what she knew. She believed in her plan. She believed in herself and accomplished her goal. In this case, her relationship with herself trumped what others thought or believed.

I'm channeling "Trixie" today.

What about you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

4 Relationship Lessons From My Bum Right Arm

This post is brought to you courtesy of my left arm and the Dragon Dictation iPhone app.

The illustration shows you what I've been struggling the last 7 days in my right arm.

Dr.'s orders no typing, texting or any repetitive motion with the right arm until he tells me otherwise.


Both physically and mentally with all I have going on in my life.

The extra time has caused me to slow down and re-think how I operate after the initial shock wore off and the reality of limited typing set in.

4 Relationship Lessons have resonated in my head the last week and I wanted to share them with you:

1.  Recognize and act on non-verbal cues

My forearm was in dull pain in the weeks and days leading into its strike but I did little to respond. Often times in our relationships, very clear cues are in our faces - we need to recognize and respond. Immediately, whenever possible.

2.  Don't overwork

Seems simple enough, but we all know it is much easier in theory vs. in life. Take breaks. Delegate. Pace yourself. Ironically, a good friend and mentor sent me an email telling me that about my output of work the day before my arm gave out. Too bad I was busy working so hard that I deleted the email before I finished reading it. Bet you know who was digging in the deleted email folder pecking away with one hand to find that loving and foreshadowing note. Relationships have seasons just like everything else in life. In order to endure, we must not overwork them.

3.  Appreciate and never take anything for granted

Who knew that you need both hands for other stuff too? Like brushing your hair or cleaning the coffee pot to set the timer for your daily caffeine fix? My first thought when my hand gave out mid-spreadsheet was about the two launches I'm currently planning and it never crossed my mind that I would struggle to get ready for work every day. Think about people in your life - especially those with mundane roles (like my right arm). Be sure and show them your appreciation every now and then. They need to know you notice and appreciate their contributions in your life.

4.  Get creative

Clearly when I heal,  there will have to be grand changes to how I accomplish all I have set out to do. The goals before me are not changing. Things are not going to just slow down. Quite the opposite, in fact.  So I put the word out and found the dictation app. My almost nine year old has chipped in with emailing and texting on my behalf for pay. I'll be finding ways to keep my pace without harming my arm - either of them. Stuck in some patterns in your relationships that end up in the same place over and over? Do something different. Reach out to others for ideas. For goodness sake - be creative!

As for me, I head back to the doctor tomorrow for follow-up and I've been obedient to his orders, hoping I'm well and ready. Either way - I am working on my relationship with my right arm. Getting her some relief and possibly some BLING for all her troubles.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3 Ways Facebook Can Help Your Relationships

This summer marks the 3rd anniversary of my joining Facebook. It was a reluctant addition to my life that summer as I'd been nagged about it by many friends, for many months.

Three years and over 600 "friends" later - I am so glad I joined.

There are folks represented from every era of my life. Grade School. Jr. High. High School. Both Universities I attended and every job I've ever work is accounted in the way of the many people who have touched my life over the years.

Recently - I replied to a friend who was horrified that someone she never spoke to in real life in her past wanted to connect with her on the social networking tool. I stand by what I wrote - "people you did not talk to in real life really have no place in your social network online". For me that is really cut and dry. However while thinking about my comment - I started thinking of distant, strained or damaged relationships and how much Facebook has been a big help to me personally.

While I am certain you can find drama that Facebook has added to some people's lives - I'd like to point out the three ways Facebook has helped me with relationships in my life.

1. Provides Positive Contact with A Huge (and often times, Distant) Extended Family
Seriously - I have over 75 first, second and third cousins in my family. It has always been quite a distant family as well - distant in proximity as well as emotionally. Facebook has provided a way to be in contact with some of my favorite cousins that I just could not nail down personally over the years. It has been a meeting place of sorts to connect and keep in touch on safe terms. Would I enjoy phone calls and visits more? Yeah - I would but perhaps they don't and that is why we can keep contact in a way that is comfortable for all. I would even go so far as to say - I am in more contact with many more family members and I have Facebook to thank for that opportunity

2. Provides a Safe Vehicle for Reconciliation When There Has Been Hurt
I am proud to say that most often - I don't live in conflict with people. Over my adult life - I can count on one hand the number of damaging disagreements I've had with others and in all cases except one - there has been full reconciliation. Because of Facebook - I am certain there is a chance for reconciliation with that one exception in my life. You see - when this person joined (even later than me) I watched as they connected one-by-one with our common friends. I knew this person would NEVER connect with me so I reached out to them. Why? Because I've forgiven the hurt years before and the discomfort was thick in our virtual network so I made the move. I've reached out to this person as I had before the "break up" on their birthday - and on the anniversary of the tragic loss in their life because I love this person. This year, there was even talk of a face-to-face reunion. Not sure we're ready for that but I am certain we would not be where we are today without Facebook

3. Helps Keeps Your Close Friends Close
As a working mom - this has been the most valuable for me. I specifically think of how limited my opportunities are to "chat" with my girls. All our real life conversations are really focused on making plans to catch up in person which is few and far between. So how do you get to know a new friend and share in their day-to-day life? Or how do you keep up on the key milestones with an old friend? Facebook! I am specifically thinking of a recent and pretty close new friend who lives less than 2 miles away yet we are not able to see one another much in the off-season of when our kids cheer together. Well- I'd love to hear all about what she's doing in her tennis league or how her 40th birthday trip to Mexico went but it is JUST NOT POSSIBLE. So we use Facebook to catch up on most of those things and use our time together to share and laugh and talk about other stuff. Could I have done that without Facebook? Sure because she is close by but it would have taken longer. And I don't use it to keep up exclusively with my friends who live far - if we talked before Facebook - we talk now. Facebook is just a supplement to keep me up on the niceties of how the family is doing. Of course I care but I'd rather use our talk time to catch up on each other - not our kids.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And We're Off!

The marathon to build Relationships Matter Now, LLC has begun.

In case you missed it - yesterday was the debut of the identity for our movement. Clearly you see it on this page but if you have not stopped and gone to my dear partner's page at  idesignyourlogo.com to see the blog post about us - please do so now at this link.

The really interesting thing to me about this logo is the fact that the three colors they used happen to permeate my closet - and NO LIE, I did not give any color directions (except no pastels). These guys picked up my vibe and the urgency of my movement and brought it to life in this logo. That is not a coincidence The pure surge in energy from this logo carried me through a challenging day yesterday because it painted the picture of what is coming. As long as I don't give up.

The roller coaster of entrepreneurship has begun. I anticipate the curves, the exhilarating highs and deep dips.
Heck - I've already experienced it to some degree and I KNOW I have not seen anything yet. The key is going to be moving through those phases and waves never losing sight of the long term vision  - to revolutionize relationships on planet Earth.

More than anything - I know we are on to something special.  I see in the response to logo and the wave a new people who learned about us in the last day - all of whom want to help. The two people working with me - one my webmaster and my soon-to-be virtual assistant (who, not by chance but by divine arrangement has a background in corporate wellness - BOOYAH) are as passionate about this as me. Now. Without yet making a penny.

It's on.

Join us on this journey.

Help us get the word out.

Send me messages (anonymously) about toxic environments for relationships that we can clean up.

Refer to me relationship experts you know and trust.

Dialogue with us on our Facebook page here.

Stay tuned.

We are about to change the world.

One relationship at a time.