Uh oh…Bad news is coming

I consider myself a “glass is half full” kind of person. I’m pretty optimistic about life.

I’m also fairly discerning, listening carefully to determine what a speaker is about to say, preparing myself for what’s next, always hoping for something positive.

I think many people are like this, but for those readers that could use a little assistance in this department, here are some clues you’re about to get bad news…

In the office:

One statement that should make your arm hairs stand up is “It’s been brought to my attention that…”

I have worked in the corporate world for decades, including corporate communications, and I have never seen this statement followed by good news, ever! Good things stand out, bad things get brought to the boss’ attention. A close second to this statement is anything starting with “Until further notice…”

Also pay close attention when your boss talks about “opportunities” for you.  This word is often used as subterfuge for “We have more work we’d like you to do, at your current pay, with no extra assistance.” If you choose to buy into it, buyer beware.

And when asked if you have the “bandwidth” to take on something, know that there’s no way to answer except, “yes,”  because a decision has already been made that you’re going to be given more work.  It may sound like you have a choice, but you really don’t, and saying that you don’t have the bandwidth could be viewed as not having the energy or mental capacity to handle additional responsibilities or, worse yet, insubordination.

At home:

“Honey, we need to talk.” This one should make you stop in your tracks.  Something is up and it’s likely not good. Best to get it over with now.  Putting if off will only add fuel to the fire. This statement is right up there with “We need to have a family meeting” and “I think you should sit down”.

Another doozy is “The doctor would like to see you,” and the oh-so obvious “I have good news and bad news”.

And when you hear “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you,” there’s a good chance it’s going to hurt you more, so hold onto something strong, quick.

And last but certainly not least, be on the lookout for the dreaded “but”. In fact, at home or at work, most phrases that start positively then insert the word “but” in the middle, are likely not moving in your favor.  Take for example “I’d like to offer you the position, but,” or “I thought we’d be together forever, but”.  A well-placed “but” can be a real downer.

So, there you have it… a few clues to bad news. They’re more subtle than “We regret to inform you,” but they’re out there. So stay positive, keep your eyes open and your head up.  Joy comes in the morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stress-free Entertaining

Is there really such a thing as stress-free entertaining?

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to conquer. When your days are filled with stuff…work stuff, kid stuff, family stuff, life stuff…it’s a challenge to host an event for the folks who bring good stuff to your life.

First, there’s the cleaning. And unless you live with Alice the maid or Geoffrey the Butler, there’s always cleaning to be done. And the degree of cleaning depends upon who’s coming to dinner. Overnight guests require cleaning for days because they might look in your drawers or sleep in your bed, and no room is off limits to them. Co-workers require a thorough cleaning because they’re likely to talk about your home at the office, and even close friends merit a tidy up.

Then there’s meal prep. You don’t want to underfeed folks who came hungry or overwhelm those who are trying to eat healthy. And then there are those with dietary restrictions like lactose intolerance, vegetarians and vegans. How do you cater to them all?

And what about entertainment? What if the conversation wanes?  What if they don’t like your kind of music?  What if the conversation turns political?

These are all thoughts that were pummeling my mind about a recent gathering, when a co-worker suggested some simple, obvious advice.   She said “Order a pizza and don’t worry about the cleaning you want to do that’s undone.  Your guests won’t know it’s undone.”

These few words were mini miracle workers. Regular pizza, vegetarian pizza, chicken wings and a salad covered everyone’s taste buds.  Line dance music and good old fashioned board games made fun for everyone. And what wasn’t covered with dust or encircled by flies didn’t get cleaned.  There was no need for cooking or cleaning for days or meeting expectations that were placed on me by me.

So, whenever you want to throw a shindig and ensure you’re not too tired to enjoy it, keep it simple! If it’s not a special occasion where you’re cooking Uncle Leroy’s favorites for his 70th birthday, clean a little, dance a lot and let ‘em eat pizza. He’ll never know you didn’t dust under the refrigerator.

Dedicated to my wise friend and co-worker, KP.

Follow my blog at lovingmiddleagedlife.com

Happy Wife, Happy Life

This one is especially for my male readers.

You’ve all heard the expression…Happy Wife, Happy Life.  Sounds expensive and elusive right? But what does it mean to a woman?

Does it mean that you have to agree with everything your lady says?  Does it mean that you can never win an argument?  Does it mean that you have to give up everything you enjoy to satisfy her wants and needs? Or perhaps it means that every cent you earn should be spent on her every desire.

Whatever it means, it sounds like it costs an arm and a leg. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some inexpensive ways to achieve Happy Wife, Happy Life.

  • Men don’t need to agree with everything a woman says…but they should listen. Offering an opinion on the subject lends evidence to active listening and makes a woman feel that what interests her, interests him.
  • There’s no need to give up everything you enjoy. Invite her along, if possible, and let her see if it’s something she might enjoy, too. Or, if it’s time with your buddies you require, be sure to encourage her to spend time with her friends doing something they enjoy. But, if your hobby is disrespectful to her, it’s a good idea to find another hobby.
  • Most women don’t expect you to spend all of your earnings on them. And if they do, they might not be the right woman for you, or for anyone.  What most women desire is for a man to be a provider, and providing can take many forms. Men who aren’t the financial provider of the household, but are in school, unexpectedly unemployed or tackling the role of Mr. Mom are still providers. And most women will tell you,  in households where one or both partners work, there’s nothing more attractive than a man that comes home and helps with the household chores.  Helping with chores is right up there with drying her tears and making her feel protected.  You can’t go wrong with these, guys.
  • Support her dreams.  Give her uninterrupted time to work on her business plan. Use your gifts to help her…paint a room for her office, taste the recipes for her cookbook, help her build her website or encourage her to take a class. There are tons of ways to support her in achieving her goals and you are just the man for the job!

All of these things can be done with a simple investment of your time, attention and affection, gentlemen. So what are you waiting for?  Why not help fold that laundry?

 

 

 

 

 

 

And away we go…

I’ve been thinking about blogging for a long time now.  What better time for a new beginning than the beginning of a new year?

I see things every day that make me say “Wow. I should really write about that!” Today, I’m going to start that journey and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

So…what to blog about?  Where should I begin?

I’m going to write about things I know best… like motherhood, relationships, and life for the middle-aged woman. I hope to make you think a little, laugh a lot and often say “Oh. I can relate to that!”

I won’t take much of your time and I promise it will be time well spent.  Since you’ve already read a lot for today. I’ll make today’s topic short and sweet and I’ll just introduce you to me.

My name is April and I am in my late forties.  I can hardly believe I’m this old already.  I really think and feel like I’m much younger and often find myself looking at others, especially celebrities, and wondering at how much they’ve aged, forgetting that I’ve aged just as much.  Ever find yourself doing that?

I am a Christian and I am married with three kids (a twenty-something, a middle-schooler and a high-schooler). I also have two granddaughters and a really cute white dog named Popcorn who bounces off the walls like…well…Popcorn.

I’m a working mom so, needless to say, I work HARD everyday. I have a bad junk food habit and plan to lose weight one day, but not today.

My house is often messy and sometimes I just let it stay that way, and I’m okay with that.

I like gospel, jazz and R&B and my favorite singers are Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker. When I see them, I scream, really loud.  I hope everyone has had an artist they’ve screamed really loud for. Think back, you’ll think of one.

I love to write. I have authored two fiction books and am working on my third, which is about relationships. And I am a blogger, of course, starting today.

My friends, today, I leave you with this…find your passion and do it everyday. Don’t know what your passion is?  Start with what you’re gifted at. Search for it in bits and pieces and one day, the puzzle will form a more beautiful picture than you ever could have imagined.

Bad day at work?  Do your passion.  Co-worker upset you? See your passion. Kids getting on your last nerve? Work your passion. Husband acting crazy?  For goodness sake, show him some passion!

Pray about your passion, laugh about your passion and be about your passion.  And, if all else fails, eat a Snickers!

Talk with you tomorrow!

Love,

April