3 Pockets- The Untold Story

 

I was born in the year of the horse, according to Chinese astrology, but that has almost nothing to do with this post. Read on and you’ll see….

During my first trip to Santorini in May of 2015, my husband and I came across this handsome devil every day on the way to our hotel from the main beach road.

Grecian friend

We always said hello and managed to catch this image.  I’m not sure if horses smile and he doesn’t appear to be.  Perhaps he’s happy and enjoying the land, visitors like us and the weather, but he’s not running free… something that made me rather sad each time I passed him on the hill.   Is he grateful for what he does have?  Does he have friend’s, a mate or even a comfortable place to live and sleep?  I don’t know, but he is there and he looks healthy and well cared for.

Next photo victim.. Me

I’m smiling, the sun’s on my face, I’m in paradise and enjoying a wonderful vacation with my one true love.  Everything is wonderful and I’m full of life.

Me

All of this is true, or is it? (scroll down for more)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is true however; no one really knows what lies beneath.

I’ve been smiling since the day I was born (nearly) and I enjoy being happy and doing pleasurable things. I counsel friends who are down, have a playful sense of humour, have taken care of my family and husband when they weren’t well and take pleasure in finding perfect gifts for everyone in my life for special occasions or “just because.” I give a lot, probably more than is healthy for me.

I have 3 pockets.  I stuff each pocket with things that I don’t need or want while I’m enjoying life and happiness. My first pocket is close to my heart and holds the sadness of losing my father, the second pocket holds my worries… for everything and the final pocket holds my fears.. fears of health and fears of future.

The moment that I walk through my front door after a relaxing and enjoyable vacation or fun event, it’s there again. Me, the “me” that I tucked away in those 3 little pockets.  The me that has been struggling “inside” with trauma that has taken over my persona.

My outside (public self) stays positive, optimistic and playful. Nobody realises, I am a great actress and my smile hides a lot of stories.

With love-Hands-On

Optimists…we’re only human

A letter to Daddy

 

 

CollegeGrad-DadDear Dad,

It’s been awhile since I’ve written you a letter, but I think of you every day.

A lot has happened in my life since you left and the piece of my heart that you took with you on your journey is still felt. I didn’t think it would be this hard… not to hear your voice, tell you about my life and hear your stories (even for the 10th time), but it is.

Your pride, your unconditional love, support and general inquisitive nature…it is a part of what’s missing in my life, my routine and my being.  I am not the same person without you, I have lost the one person who made it all better just by listening and being my father.

Life is funny in a strange way…as a child, I never saw an end to anything, only seasons,the last day of school and maybe an ice cream.  Those are moments that are enjoyed but their end does not leave a lasting mark.

As I reminisce about times past and the holiday season, I am reminded of how time changes things.. circumstances, people, events and myself. All of this leaves me searching for something and I haven’t put my finger on what it is yet. So this letter .. I’m an optimist but sometimes even an optimist falls. I resisted writing this, for fear that my readers would doubt my optimism, but I’m only human.

I’ve been watching videos I’ve taken of you and it’s almost like you’re here. I wish you were. I have a heavy heart writing this because I have changed since you left. I know that I was lucky to have you in my life and I have wonderful memories of all of the times we’ve spent together. Somehow I feel selfish… selfish for wanting everyone to understand my loss, but I still keep these feelings tucked inside.

I’m in a foreign land, with a man that I love however, my heart is missing family and familiar places to ease my sadness.  So I listen to songs that remind me of moments, people and places and sigh.

I’m trying Dad, but there are few that understand my dreams, wishes and wants.

I hope you are safe and not worrying about me. I will bounce back but you dear father have left an large empty space.

 

 

Something amazing

Image shared from wildspeak.com

Something amazing happened to me this morning.. for the first time since I’ve lived here in the UK, I witnessed a Monarch butterfly land in my back yard and it stayed for quite some time. So I decided to check into the meaning of this, if there was any…. this Optimist is now speechless…

Here’s little preview of what I found, but the full description is available by viewing the Monarch butterfly link added above.

Lessons and Challenges:

The monarch butterfly teaches us that life is short, and that it must be valued. Assuming that we have decades of our lives left (or at the very least, years) is all well and good for things like economic planning, but it is through recognising the fleetingness of human existence that we come to value every day, even those which get us down or which are hard to appreciate.

Enjoy

Happy Friday

With love,

Hands-on

10 Special ways to celebrate Father’s Day

DadnMe

Whether your Father is present   or dearly departed, I feel that sometimes, Dad’s Day get’s the short end of the stick.

Okay, so how many father’s day cards have you seen with either a tie, fishing rod, some type of sport or racing car on it?

Countless right?  The public are therefore stating that all Dad’s fish, race cars and play sports…. Um nope.. they’ve got it all wrong. I realize that each family will have a different experience and that times have changed due to technology, modern conveniences etc however; there can be many special talents within Dad’s (young and old) and I’m here to tell you about what I feel is important to remember, based on my personal experience’s with my Dear father.

What my father gave to me  was precious and I  remember each gift as if it was yesterday. It is the gift of time.

Dad   had 4 children before me, so he was well versed by the time I arrived but older and a different kind of wiser. When I was growing up, we didn’t have much but there was always “time”, creativity and self-made adventures. As I get older and wiser myself, I have realised that time is definitely more precious than things. Remember one thing, you can always replace a possession but you cannot replace a time or a moment.

So, without further ado and moving on to the celebration of Father’s Day, I present my 10 ideas (a mixture of ideas for kid’s and adults):

  • Go for a nice walk and spend some time just talking, catching up on life and listening to his stories
  • Prepare a nice dinner of his favorite item’s (even if it’s not what you would eat)
  • Make your own card by hand if you’re a kid or if you’re an adult, choose some photos sharing special moments together and showcase on a card
  • Take the time and experience something new together- whether it’s an outdoor activity or    a new movie
  • If you’re like me and your Dad always insisted on paying for your dinner when you dined out, treat him this time
  • Make something together, it could be anything from a “mud pie” if you’re a kid or something less messy as an adult that he would enjoy making
  • Return the kindness and teach him something-perhaps how to do something new on the computer, if he’s   technophobic (exercise patience)
  • Switch off the TV  and play a board game
  • Adult and children alike-if he has his own car separate to mom, surprise him and wash it
  • And last but not least, thank him for being there and loving you unconditionally

I would like to add that the same love and kindness applies to Father figure’s and Step-father’s and whomever you have considered to be a Dad in your life.

Thanks for reading

With love on this Father’s Day weekend

Hands-on

People who need people

happy employees

Curious title… yes!

I’ve always been drawn to people, both in life and as part of my career.  They interest me, intrigue me and yes, sometimes disappoint me. As  an optimist, I am not here to focus on the negative, but I do want to raise the awareness of the “good stuff” for those who would benefit from a little self-awareness and improvement. I’m the observer and the people watcher, which  has served me well over the years.

Let’s talk about the “good stuff”, respect and admiration for just a moment. Over the course of my career, I have encountered many types of people:

  • genuine
  • curious
  • helpers
  • Loyal
  • competitive
  • Driven

For me, I prefer working  with the first 4 types. Don’t get me wrong…being competitive and driven can be great but there is a time and a place for it and you need not forget about the people you work with.  Cut-throat is not my style and it drains my “good energy”.

I recently saw a post on LinkedIn, quoting the type of work practice and ethos I’m into, so I shared it.

T.E.A.M

  • together
  • everyone
  • achieves
  • more

It’s that simple and so true. Let’s use Sir Richard Branson ( inspirational  leader) as the example… he’s an extremely successful and powerful entrepreneur who develops ideas into businesses that for the most part, have excelled. Did he do this alone? No. He sought advice, created his support team and ensured that everyone worked together for one common goal>SUCCESS.  He motivates and rewards his teams too, which is why and how he has done so well.  So the next time you hear a story or read a story about dear Richard, know that he picked and lead his teams well to get where he is today.

When you consider how much time we spend at work each day and week… our rituals and experiences need to be positive don’t they?  Yes there are targets and yes there are objectives but for me, a business cannot and will not succeed if their people do not support one another. Would you like another  benefit of working together? Okay… what about learning from one another? Each person that you encounter in  your  workplace  has a different style, level of knowledge and expertise in a company or if they’ve been doing it a while, their sector. It’s not a competition, it’s a learning experience. I myself have learned from people 10 years my junior and 20 years my senior.  Make someone feel good and ask how they would go about doing a task you’re about to do.  You will probably learn something great, but you will also make your co-worker feel needed and trusted.  Everyone started somewhere, everyone needs help and guidance no matter the level and people do genuinely need people.

Streisand
Thanks for reading! Hands on 🙂

Look into my eyes-tips for connecting

eyes

They say the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul…. I truly believe this.

In fact, the realisation of this in my lifetime has proven itself time and time again both in my personal and professional relationships.

I ask each and every one of you who are closely attached to a significant other, whom you love and adore to test this out!  Look deeply into his or her eyes and think about what you see.  You might be thinking “what am I looking for?”  Well… I’ll tell you what you should look for:

  • Sparkle
  • Warmness
  • Love
  • Respect
  • Infinity (where there is no end)

and most importantly, this person should be looking back at you and you should return the favour of the above.

Now if you apply this rule to business, obviously you’re not looking for love but rather a genuine, honest and non-threatening professional connection.  I’ve listed a few traits to look for and a few to avoid.  I like to end things on a positive note therefore; I’ll start with those you should avoid first:

  • Shiftiness
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Disconnection
  • Shallowness

You’ll know how to recognise these traits when you experience them. Think about when you attend networking events… there may be some people who you meet and think to yourself later, nope.. didn’t connect with him/her so I don’t think I’ll contact them.  TRUST your instincts.

Here’s what you should look for:

  • Sincerity
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Openness

and of course, always pay attention to see if they are looking back and connecting with you.  Genuine folk have no problem making eye contact with other people.

I do not profess to be a psychologist or an expert in this field, but I have lived, experienced and tested this in my life so why shouldn’t you?

Thanks for reading

Hands-on 🙂

5 tips about how not to sell

We have all experienced the act of selling and being sold to in our lives.  The question is when do we like being sold to?

As consumers, we receive countless phone calls and marketing leaflets encouraging us to buy or rather “act now” because you don’t want to miss this deal.  What some salespeople and companies don’t realise is that regardless of their targets or quotas, the customer has to need or want the product or service.  Competition is tough, but not that tough where companies should feel the need to pressure their staff into selling something that a potential customer does not need or want. Even companies that we do business with sometimes miss the point of valuing their existing customers.

My husband and I recently received a letter from our bank, stating that they have tried to contact us on several occasions to no avail.  The account manager did not even provide his full name, only his initials and as for trying to contact us.. they only had our mobile numbers, email addresses, home phone number and an on-line banking messaging facility to do this…. hmmmm this was obviously a ploy to get us to arrange an appointment to “review” our services hoping that we will buy more.  This is sadly the standard way that a lot of companies are managing customers these days, but is it the right way and what are their competitors doing? Maybe we would have contacted them if their approach was more personal.

When I was a kid, the biggest running jokes were the encyclopedia salesman and of course the stereotypical used car salesman.  In most cases, these salesmen were “groomed” to persuade the customer that they wanted what they were selling, without finding out what they actually needed or wanted. Countless families ended up with a set of bulky, dusty books that quickly became outdated. (my family were one of them)  What do I remember from these antique paperweights?  The pictures of course and being one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to carry the box of bulkiness when we moved to another home.  As for the used car salesmen, well.. you only have watch the movie “Used Cars” to know what I’m talking about.

So without further ado, here are my 5 tips on how NOT to sell:

  1. Do not treat selling as an art-  (You may be a sales genius, but leave the art factor to Michelangelo please)
  2. Do  not hustle your customers- (I know this is quite a harsh statement, but customers will only remain loyal to you if you provide an honest service, quality products and good value for money)
  3. Do not treat sales as a transaction- (Yes, it is a transaction however; if you are purely treating it as a transaction you are  missing out on providing a good customer experience)
  4. Do not treat selling as a science- (Okay, for some it may be considered to be a formula or experiment relating to the perfect way to seal the deal, but try thinking more about how you will continue to keep the customer coming back)
  5. Do not guilt your customers into buying- (Informing your customers that you will win a holiday in the Caribbean for two if they buy your product or service is well…. wrong and I’m sure you’ll agree)

Now for those of you who know me, it’ll be quite clear that I’ll be finishing this blog off on a positive note…

Here is what selling means to me:

  • Selling is finding out the customers need and then filling it
  • Selling is all about relationship building
  • Selling is about trust
  • Selling is coming to a mutual agreement

By the way, I like being sold to if the salesperson has done their research and really cares about what I want or need.  That’s not an Art..that’s a Skill.

Thanks for reading!

Nancy