Maturity is skin deep

One of the most amazing, and by amazing I actually mean sucky, things about being over 40 is that there is now very visible proof that I’m getting older.  My decision to let to grey grow and show was inspired partly by the fact that it can be fashionably accepted now and partly by the fact that I can’t possibly be bothered to have it dyed on  a regular basis.

And so as I come to terms with this new stage in my life it absolutely floors me that I still have to deal with the occasional spots.  I mean, WTF.

I am an adult (after all, I have the grey hair to prove it).  I graduated from high school and university.  I have been working for many, many years.  I’m married and have two kids.  Two kids who are also dealing with spots because they are freakin’ teenagers.  Yes, of all the things I didn’t expect to be sharing with my kids…acne cream wasn’t one of them.

So what’s up with that? At what point do all the pieces of your life (and body) come together in live in harmony.

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And so it is that we are often faced (no pun intended) with those employees that basically exemplify my grey hair/spots dilemma.

At first glance they appear to be mature adults – they certainly look the part.  They are advanced stages of their life, have countless years of experience behind them, and are fully responsibly for large groups of similar adults. And yet – there are spots.

There are those occasional  breakouts which demonstrate that no matter how mature and experienced some may be – you better keep a tube of acne cream handy.

Recovery time

Really?!  I can't believe you just said that....

Really?! I can’t believe you just said that….

I’m still recovering from my trip last week. In fact, I will likely be recovering for months to come, but only with extensive therapy and red wine.

To distract myself, let’s talk about something else.

I was recently told that I’m different than many HR people. If that isn’t the ultimate compli-dis then I’m not sure what is.

What I believe they meant is that I will say what’s on my mind. Or At least I give off that impression.

You see, I’m frequently chewing over (read:over-analyzing) my words but then some days my brain to mouth speed is ridiculously fast which means I can often fire of pretty good one-liners and responses.

This can get me either laughs or trouble. If I’m really good, I can get both with the same comment.

So witty remarks aside – I believe what the person meant is that I often say what others are thinking but don’t want to say…and apparently HR doesn’t do this enough. I assume that this person’s experience with us HR folk was limited to vague, non-committal, and PC-laced comments.

And really not many want to hear that.

Then there are those of us (because I know I’m not an anomaly in HR) that say what needs to be said – whether it’s going to be popular or appreciated.

Oddly enough, not many want to hear that either.

So why do it?

My decision on what to say is motivated primarily by sleep.

You see I don’t do well with little sleep, in fact I can be a downright nasty piece of work. Oh sure one night isn’t too bad, but after a few nights of tossing and turning I could easily swing a spot on the Walking Dead.

So what keeps me up at night? All the things that I didn’t say – the biting of my tongue, the keeping quiet when I disagreed or had a different point of view…

But it’s more than that – I actually don’t say everything I think. I mull over and weigh the risks vs benefits of being completely honest, over-sharing, and being a smart-ass.

I think that might be what makes me a bit different than some – I pick my battles. I’m willing to share my thoughts and handle the consequence of my words. Sometimes.

Other times I just let it go realize that very little good will come me saying what I really think. Even when pressed. Continually. Over the course of an entire week. With guilt-inducing persistence.

Pass the wine – I have a therapy session to go to.

Vacation time

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The two sides of Ruby

This week I’m away on vacation, but I don’t want to start making excuses for missing a Tuesday entry already.  I’ll wait at least until Tuesday #33 before I do that.

In my head I’m a very well-traveled person.  I have imagined visiting places all over the world – from beach-side resorts where I do very little to small villages where I rent a place for months and just live there.  I do weekend trips to cosmopolitan cities – skipping the trendy tourist haunts to find the really cool places.  I stay in mountain side chalets, tiki huts, luxury hotels, castles, and other people’s homes.

The reality is that my travels have been extremely limited.  For a variety of reasons and excuses (time, money, family obligations, fear), I have not pursued travel.  I believe that part of the reason is that I’m certain that the reality will not meet my built-up expectations.  I would be frustrated, tired, and unwilling to relax in a way that allows things to just happen.  The other part of it is the cost – I’m the household accountant and when it comes to making a decision on where to allocate funds, travel just isn’t as high on the list.

However, every once in awhile I do get an opportunity.  So this week finds me in Arizona. Can I just say that if I had to make a list of the top 50 places I would like to visit in the world, Arizona would not be on it.  No disrespect intended to the state and people of Arizona, but it’s just a fact.

This is what I left at home:

If you can't have fun alienating your neighbours with snow - what good is winter?

If you can’t have fun alienating your neighbours with snow – what good is winter?

This is what I came to:

I was told that Arizona looks like Mars...I thought they were exaggerating.

I was told that Arizona looks like Mars…I thought they were exaggerating.

Culture shock doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling.

I think that’s going to be the key for me. Just go with it and see where it takes me. Be aware, plan what I can, and ride the sand storm (I would have said wave, but as you can imagine…not too many waves is the desert)

I also think that this going to be the key for me in my future career – have plans, follow through but avoid developing some glamorized idea of what setting out on my own will be like.

Nothing is worse than than when you waste your time and energy trying to re-create a postcard picture instead of taking your own selfie.