Of Kisses & Horses (Part 2)

There's no label that says, "Meat".

There’s no label that says, “Meat”. Well, I guess the “Loin” sign may be misleading some folks…

I’m not into horses but I often dream about riding one into the sunset. It’s unlikely that will ever happen.

Last week, one of my favourite grocery stores announced that they found horse meat inside their beef burgers. I understand that people make mistakes and that society is often too hard on companies that fail us in one way or another but this is alarming. I have a whole bunch of questions – and they don’t seem to be questions that news authorities are asking.

The key question from the public seems to be, “how did horses’ meat get into your beef burgers?” While this is a valid question, I’m more interested in WHO exactly is KILLING horses in such a way that they are dead enough to be meat in a beef burger!

May I ask if horses’ meat is an accepted delicacy these days? If pork or fish or duck or even hamster meat was found in the burgers, I may understand how that could happen but HORSES’ meat? What is going on? My heart goes out to all horse-lovers.

Moving on…

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Of Kisses and Horses (Part 1)


There are nagging issues to lay down before I move on with my life.

I picked up a habit recently when texting people. You may have picked it up too or be involved with someone who has. The habit is placing an X after your text message. I was under the assumption that Xs mean kisses but the over use of it is beginning to bother me. To make matters worse, the absence of an X appears to bother me also. Help me out here.

Let’s say you get a text message that says: “You still meeting us at Rex bar? X”

Then you reply, “Yes, on my way. X”

Then they reply, “Please pick up some chewing gum on your way. XX”

To me, this is madness. Why all the kissing?? In real life, you wouldn’t kiss after every.single.sentence. Actually, maybe they do in some countries but this X thing is getting out of hand. I started putting these Xs mostly out of guilt. If I don’t respond with an X, it might mean I’m not enthusiastic. I don’t know what the

social manual

says about these things so I’m just guessing.

Let’s say a new acquaintance sends a text saying, “Was great meeting you at Julie’s. Wanna come over for a coffee tomorrow? xx”

You know you can’t make coffee tomorrow so you write, “Was lovely meeting you too. Tomorrow’s tight for me – what about after the holidays?”

The recipient might be like, “WHAT?? No kisses?? She is definitely blowing me off!” So I would feel pressured to write, “Was lovely meeting you too. Tomorrow’s tight for me – what about after the holidays? xxx”

That extra X may send the right message…that I’m into her and that it’s a shame I’m busy tomorrow.

Is this a parameter to measure a friendship by? If I write only one X is this sending the wrong message??

The whole thing is bizarre, I tell you. B.I.Z.A.R.R.E.

I’ll tell you about horses in my next post!

Photo credit: www.weheartit.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

I’ve come across lovely pictures of January snow in Aberdeen, Scotland. Here’s  a little taste of exquisite scenes of beyond.

first snowfirst snow1first snow2


Photo credit:   Jude McBean

Starting Over: Unhealthy Detour Ahead

I wanted to start over in 2013. I had plans to start a new career and build leadership capabilities. The years before now have been rewarding – no doubt – but I often felt stuck in 2nd gear (including the annoying sound and irritating other road users). Every once in a while, something would happen like a promotion or a commendation and I’d think “yeah…I’m coasting into 3rd gear.” There were a few false alarms.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I started a new job this year. This is my second week on the job and it really has been great. People are nice and I feel like I could fit into the rhythm and culture – this is good for me. However, the actual start of the job didn’t go as planned.

My elaborate list of things I was going to do to prepare and read about to help me “hit the ground running” was cut off and took a slight detour. Also, I was going to treat myself to spa and relaxation as I transitioned mentally into a new job/company. Well… on New Year’s Day, 6 days before the start of my job, I was hit with a really bad flu. Not the type that goes after 3 days. I mean, this flu took over my body and (eventually) my soul. You can guess what I spent the next 6 days doing.

I prayed hard AND sneezed harder. I didn’t want to start sick on a new job. I couldn’t breathe or think. And worst of all, I sounded like a pathetic little mouse! Everyone would say, “Oh, look what the cat dragged in!” if I turned up that sick at work. By day 4, all hope was lost. Things were not getting better and I felt like my big job plans were being attacked. How can I be at my best when I can’t breathe properly? Then things took a turn for the worst. I developed the most disgusting cough ever. I was doing things with my oesophagus that I didn’t even know was possible. I couldn’t cough or clear my throat without something gross settling in my mouth. Sorry but you need some details to understand my pain.

Day one of the new job came and I basically went in, ready or not. It was a very busy day and I remember only coughing once on my way to a meeting, at which point I turned right back to go to the restrooms to empty my mouth. I was sleep deprived and throbbing but somehow I was enjoying my first week.

I went from getting up at 7am to getting up before 5.30am as I have an earlier start at work. I’m not a morning person so having intelligent conversations by 8am was the biggest challenge!

I’m making personal changes such that I’m more organised to leave home early. I’ve gotten lots of support from family and friends, and I’m so grateful to them. They know how much I want to start over. I’m getting excited after a rocky start to my health. Things are looking up and getting brighter. And I’m growing up and getting happier about the changes – because frankly, I wanted things to change.

Four important things I did in 2012 for a better 2013

I strongly believe 2013 is the year to “go back”. I’m going back so that I can go forward with greater clarity and confidence. I’m referring to a sort of reappraisal of the past, why I have certain tendencies, what triggers them and how I can cope with the natural (mostly negative) reactions that I have to these triggers. The point is for me to go forward without the hitches and doubts (I call them techno-personal hitches).


To give you some background, I did a few things during 2012 that helped to focus my attention. One is professional and others are personal:
1. I got a professional coach to help me develop as a leader
2. I re-engaged with at least one old friendship
3. I deepened one existing friendship
4. I created many new friendships and left myself open to the fondness of strangers.

Professional coaching
It was great to discuss my professional victories and challenges with a neutral person. Good coaches are worth their weight in gold because they put a mirror in front of you and enable you see how others perceive you. Most importantly, my coach allowed me see how I perceive myself. Some of it was surprising but all true. I understood that I am often not true to myself because I fear that I’ll get some negative results like I have in the past.

He encouraged me to identify my triggers and find coping strategies.

It is a relief that I don’t need a frontal lobotomy. I can continue being myself, only better.

Instead of learning from past events or incidents, I had (in many cases) totally abandoned the relationship, the idea or even the physical place itself. I didn’t want to go near any of it. Making, keeping and rekindling friendships has given me new perspective. I’m working on opening up myself to the possibility of getting hurt or being used or embarrassed. At first, I thought I was being wise by closing off but it always felt uncomfortable to hold back in that way. It wasn’t me.

It was like not using major muscles in my body.

It meant second guessing myself, arguing with myself even.

Old friendships remind me of who I am and deepening existing ones let me know I’m just fine the way I am. And new friendships? Oh, those are really exciting because I get to understand others first, with great interest and a complete willingness to accept, not criticise. After a time of understanding what makes people tick and what they fundamentally care about, then I try to be understood. I also know fully well that there may be disappointments but I give it my all for as long as it lasts. I’ll be wise enough to open up again to a new opportunity for friendship (and leadership) regardless of the outcomes.

Happy 2013!

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