Thursday, July 28, 2016

Nothing Changes...

Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes.

I read that yesterday and it made me think.

One side of my brain went...Well duh!!!

The other side of my brain went...This is life changing news people!!!!

My brain often does that.  It is like a bad reality tv show going on up there pretty much 24/7.

The part of my brain that was less than impressed knows this simple statement is so obvious a two year old could figure it out.  However the other part of my brain that was utterly amazed by the deepness and complexity of this one thought was sure it took Franciscan Monks years of silence and holy communion with God to come up with such a life altering view.

Isn't that how most things go? 

Often our greatest Oprah "ah-ha" moments end up being the most simplistic ideas.  They were things and ideas we have intrinsically known all along but when someone else says them to us or puts them on Facebook with clouds and a sunrise as the background we are blown away by this seemingly "new" knowledge. 

Nothing changes if nothing changes.  Wow!!!  Still it gets me! 

So often in life I want things to change but I personally resist changing.  So often I want people to change but I don't change my views of them, how I treat them, how I react to them, or even change my stance and just accept them for who they are.  So often I want my past to change but I stay stuck in my same old habits.  This then means my future will be no different from my past.  I could change my ways and thus change what happens in the future (which will someday be the past) but I refuse to most of the time. 

Change is hard.  Change is scary.  Change can hurt. 

Not changing is hard.  Not changing is scary.  Not changing can hurt.

Nothing changes if nothing changes might not be earth shattering information but it is definitely worth putting on a sticky note and sticking it to my bathroom mirror.  And posting it on Dotty's mirror.  And putting it on the dash of my car.  And using it as a tag line for all my emails from this point forward. 

Things do change whether we want them to or not.  We age.  We get grey hair.  We get wrinkles.  We slow down.  We get more grey hair even though we paid good money to color the ones we got last time.  We forget things.  We get aches and pains.  We get more grey hair...dang it. 

I can't permanently change what I see in the mirror because Mother Nature is always going to be there to show me who is in charge, but I can make a big change to what I can't see in the mirror.  I can change my mind, my heart, my attitude, my feelings, my soul...I can change my world. 

We decide if nothing changes.  We decide if we stay where we are or if we move forward or backward.  We decide when and how we change. 

Nothing changes if nothing changes. 

This is life changing news people...duh!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Why??? Why Not!!!

Sometimes the question is....Why???
Sometimes the answer is....Why not!!!

During a church service I attended this weekend the pastor pointed out that fear is often one of the main reasons we never take a risk.  We fear the known but mostly the unknown.  We fear failure and we can even fear success. 

We are scared to ask someone out, enroll in a college course, start our own business, leave the job we hate, apply for the job we always wanted, write the book, write the first chapter, write the first word, ask the girl to marry us, break up with the boy who we know is bad for us, tell our kids no, tell our kids yes, tell our kids we have no clue, paint a masterpiece, paint a picture, paint by numbers, get the dog, get the next dog, get the cat, get the fish, get the whole zoo!!! 

We usually know the why.  What we are looking for is the answer to the why.  We look for all the possible reasons, outcomes, pitfalls, and possibilities.  And sometimes the only good answer is...why not! 

Friday, July 22, 2016

You Can Have It All...Just Not All Today...

As I roll out of bed and head to the kitchen I see my "to do" list on the counter.  It reads...

5am - workout
5:30 - read Bible and meditate
6am - get ready for work - look fabulous!
6:30 - wake up Dotty
7am - fix a healthy breakfast and have meaningful conversation with Dotty
7:30 - head to school/work
8am - check and respond to all email
8:30 - team meeting about day's events along with daily devotional and team celebrations
9am - store opens, greet customers with baked goods I made fresh the night before
10am - write four to five chapters of my recent book
11am - create new product along with entire marketing campaign
12am - lunch with friends where we share recipes, class party tips, and solve the world peace problem
1pm - record my daily web show where I tell everyone how they can do it all and not go nuts!
2pm - review all the company's financials and discuss in detail with my CPA
3pm - pick up Dotty at school with a healthy snack I packed from home
4pm - all homework is done and both of us have read an additional 20 minutes
5pm - practice (softball, dance, cheerleading, or golf...depending on the day)
6pm - home cooked dinner with lighthearted banter and lots of love
7pm - bath time using soap I made from scratch
7:30 - meditation for both of us
8pm - lights out for Dotty
8:30 - all laundry and housework are done and make fresh baked goods for the following day
9pm - lights out for me

Anyone see a problem with this list????

Well for starters if any of you know a woman who can get ready in 30 minutes and look "fabulous" after a workout then I want to meet her.  I also sort of hate her because it takes me a good hour to get my look to the point where people won't ask me if I feel bad all day long. 

Another laughable note is who has ever responded to ALL their email???  I have at least 20 in my inbox at all times and based on what I hear from friends that is on the low end of the spectrum.  Also, for those of you who know me well you know my skills in the kitchen are down right scary so anything baked by me would need to be consumed with caution. 

Pretty much every item on this "list" was meant to make you all laugh out loud.  However the truth is I really do wish I could do everything on this list every day.

Could I do a lot of it?  Yes.  Do I?  No.  Could I do some of it?  Yes.  Do I?  Sometimes. 

I want to have it all...I want to be a great mom, Christian, manager, writer, innovator, baker, homemaker, friend, motivator, and sleeper (man do I want to be a great sleeper!!!)...but some days I am only a few of these...and some days I don't feel like I am any of them. 

What I know for sure is I can never be all of them at once.  Depending on the moment I am in I have to choose what I want to be great at or not so great at.  At some point in time I can be great at all those things...I just can't be great at all of them today.  But being great at just one or two of them a day isn't all that bad in the grand scheme of things.

Today my goal is to be a great sleeper.  So if you stop by the store and I am napping just know that I am working on my personal goal for today and don't wake me up.  :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Aren't You the Pecan Shed Kid???

Last night as we were getting up from our table after dinner at a local restaurant, Dotty and I were talking to one another when a man at the table next to us interrupted by asking "Aren't you the Pecan Shed kid from the commercials?"

I looked down to see if I was in a Pecan Shed logo tshirt.  I wasn't.  This guy had a good eye...or a good ear since Dotty had been talking nonstop for the entire meal.

Dotty immediately went into diva mode and smiled brightly at the gentleman as she nodded shyly.  After a few more kind words from the man, Dotty and I turned to leave.  As she spun around with flare, Dotty flipped down her big sunglasses she had perched on her head and walked out of the restaurant mumbling with a grin how she couldn't go anywhere these days without people recognizing her.

I don't have a pecan princess on my hands.  I have a drama queen!

I took the opportunity to remind Dotty once again that we are always to be on our best behavior because we never know who is watching and will associate us with the Pecan Shed.  As part of the Montz family we represent the business 24/7.  I was preached this sermon when I was a kid so often I knew it by heart and I was going to make sure to pass it down to the next generation.

As we drove home though I began to think how we all have to be on our best behavior regardless of who we are or where we work because people are always watching.  Children are watching their parents to see if they say please and thank you like they remind the kids to do all the time.  Students are watching teachers to see if they walk on the grass when the sign says not to.  Employees watch the managers to see if they get to work on time like the handbook clearly states. 

But what about when no one is even around?  How do we behave when the only ones watching us are ourselves and God?  Do we take an extra cookie even though we claim to not be cheating on our diet?  Do we drive the speed limit down the old county road when we are late already?  Do we look at websites we would be ashamed to tell our spouse about? 

The truth is someone is always watching how we behave, what we say, and can even read our hearts and minds.  Scary huh?!  We are that someone!  We know the real us...the person we are when no one else is looking. 

Personally, I am thankful every day that only God can know my thoughts and even then on some occasions I have to ask for forgiveness...okay on more than just some occasions.  I think sometimes people forget (or maybe just forget to care) that they are being watched by others in society, by friends, family members, children, their dog...and of course God.  While they might not represent a family business like I do they still represent a family or at the very least themselves. 

I am known for telling my team that when they wear Pecan Shed shirts they represent the store, the Montz name, and 35 years of hard work so they better be being good.  I think I will start going one step further and remind them when they are not in a Pecan Shed shirt they represent themselves and that is their most important representation of all. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Whistle Blowers of a Different Kind

When I was younger I played a lot of sports.  We were taught as athletes that our bodies were able to handle a lot more than our minds thought they could.  Our coaches pushed us to the point of muscle failure and body fatigue.  My legs would feel like Jello after practices.  I would have to lean my arm up against the shower wall and move my head back and forth under my hand to wash my hair because I couldn't hold my arms up over my head some days.  We pushed and pushed and pushed ourselves past our breaking points in order to build our bodies back stronger, faster, and better than before. 

During practices, just when I thought I couldn't take another step, that was when I would hear the infamous "On the line!"  As I wobbled to the baseline while sweat poured off my face, I was sure I would fall over any second.  Right before I crumbled to the floor, the whistle would blow. 

From somewhere deep inside, down in a place I didn't know existed, I would find the strength not only to move but to sprint down the court and back again.  This happened over and over and over.  Each time I was amazed my body could function much less run. 

Then when the glorious words "Huddle up!" were said I suddenly had tons of energy and could jog over to where my coach stood.  I had survived!  I had preserved.  I had accomplished a task I doubted my ability to do before, during, and even a little bit after it was done. 

Some days I miss my coaches' styles of encouragement.  They believed in me even when I didn't.  They knew I had more to give when I thought I was spent.  They saw in me and in many others more than I saw we saw in ourselves. 

In the real world we don't have many people who will push us to that breaking point and beyond.  We don't usually know how to push ourselves that far either whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, or otherwise.  At work and at home we usually only push until it begins to get uncomfortable and then we stop.  We don't get back on the line and try again.  We call it quits and head to the metaphorically locker room.  Many of us don't have an internal or external motivator to push us beyond our perceived limits. 

Not too many people still wear a whistle these days.  Perhaps we should all wear one if only to push ourselves a little more. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Be Careful What You Say...

Recently I was playing Candy Land with my daughter.  It had been a long day so I was kind of quiet and Dotty was just rambling on as we drew cards and hopped our game pieces around the multicolored board.  Dotty was talking about her day, her pajamas, her friends, her dogs, her future husband, what she wanted for breakfast in the morning, what she wanted to be when she grew up, what she wanted to read at bedtime, what she wanted to wear when she met the princess (any princess...doesn't really matter) and what card she did or did not want to draw next in the game. 

Every time she got a great card that would jump her ahead several spaces she would start worrying she might draw a bad card that would send her back to the beginning of the game.  Sure enough it wouldn't be long before the gingerbread man or candy cane showed up and Dotty was hopping her little green guy way back down the board with a frown and folded arms. 

We played the game six times.  I won five rounds.  As we were putting the game up Dotty mumbled something about me not being very nice because I didn't  let her win a few more times.  I reminded my competitive angel that Candy Land is not a game that Mommys can easily "let" their kids win at since it is really just a game of chance rather than skill. 

However, I did tell her that I believe that our words have power.  I believe our words have the power to hurt or heal people and so it is important to use them wisely.  I also believe that what we put out into the world usually comes looking for us.

For example, if a person says they get the flu every year, then stand by with a box of Kleenex because usually they start sneezing soon after.  If a girl says she can never find a good guy to date, then don't get too attached to the next guy she introduces you to.  Chances are he will not be a keeper.  If a guy says he always gets the best parking places, make sure and ride with him the next time you are headed to a big event. 

Of course I know I can't Pollyanna my way through life and no matter how positive I am or how many words of affirmation I speak some things in life will go wrong.  People I love will get hurt or sick, the economy will go down, customers will get mad, and a host of other things.  Yet I don't dwell on these negatives for too long.  I choose to remain positive. 

I don't wait for the other shoe to drop.  I just assume the shoelaces will hold and the other shoe is firmly in place.  I don't expect the worst.  I plan for everything and hope for the best.  When I draw the game piece that shoots me up to hang out with Princess Frostine I just tell the universe to keep sending me those brightly colored square game pieces and I don't worry that Grandma Nut is going to send her peanut my way.  I hop along the board until I am singing "winner winner chicken dinner" with King Kandy in the Candy Castle. 

Choices and Consequences...

"You can choose your actions, or you can choose your consequences, but you can't choose both." 

When I read that line in a book not only did I underline it but I stopped and really thought about it for several moments.  While we all know this to be true we often choose to ignore this fact.  Most of the time we have a good idea of what the possible consequences of our actions might be and yet we still try to manipulate those consequences in our favor.  Sometimes we get away with it and sometimes we don't. 

Sometimes the consequences last for a few moments or a few days.  Sometimes they last for a lifetime.  Sometimes they change our plans for the weekend.  Sometimes they change our plans forever.