Shut It Down! Deal Breaker

             

What is perfect? How do you define it? What is part of your perfect? Are there versions of perfection? How does one even begin to explore perfection?

When I examine perfection, I’m more than curious not to what it is but how do you get there? Could it be similar to going to the grocery store without a list? Just hear me out.

In the book, Raving Fans, there are three secrets to creating a Raving Fan for your business. The book is focused on creating loyalty. The three secrets are Decide, Discover and Deliver.

  1. You have to “Decide” what you want.
  2. You have to “Discover” what your customer wants.
  3. Then you deliver the vision plus one percent.

This concept can be culture changing for an organization and quite possibly life changing for those of us…well like me. I have a semi successful dating history, but struggle with the purpose and want to make sure we are following the best steps along the way. “But Sally, how is this like going to the grocery store?”

grocery-list
Have you ever had that little trip to the grocery. You need milk, bread and ham. You don’t need a list for these items…you can do this without it. One hour and $200 later you walk out of the store with everything but milk, bread and ham. How frustrating? Or is it? Instead of the simple items…you now have wine, ice cream, steak, potatoes, three types of potato chips, sriracha sauce, new locally made soap and a vanilla candle. (You really don’t like vanilla candles, but it smelled so good in the store.) Not a thing wrong with these items, but still all you needed was milk, bread, ham and that $200 back.
Just like in Raving Fans, nothing wrong with the way you have been running your business and taking care of customers, but where is the intention. And how do you know if its working? Do all these extra items create a sustainable meal planning for the week?

Are you with me now? Do you see what I’ve been doing? I’ve been shopping without a list. (For men…not groceries.)

In a previous post, New Adventure? A Podcast! “Ask Me About” is Launched, I not only introduced you to my new adventure, the collaborative podcast Ask Me About , I listed some of my favorite podcast. One I am most fond of and will be referencing is Death, Sex and Money If You’re Not_____, Then Never Mind

In this particular episode, our host Anna Sale interviews actor Amy Landecker of Transendent. The focus of the interview is in regards to Landecker’s divorce and return to dating.

From the podcast: “Actor Amy Landecker got divorced in 2011. “It was the worst time of my whole life,” Amy says. “People told me it was going to get better and I didn’t believe them.” Amy and her ex-husband share custody of their daughter, and Amy struggled with being away from her for days at a time.”

Now, I’m used to this story, I’ve told this story. But I really tuned in when she explained that her daughter was the one to tell her it was time to date. “My daughter was worried that I was gonna be alone and…she was like, let’s just make a list of the qualities that we’re looking for,” Amy laughs. “So she takes out this piece of paper and she titles it, ‘If You’re Not This, Then Never Mind.'”

I’ve made several of these lists before, at the recommendations of many people. Prayerfully, by Gametime friend, TBQ, I made a list. It was a good one too, but I went to the store without the list bought ice cream instead. “The Mentor” talked me into another one of these lists too and I went back to the store and bought wine instead…lots of wine.

But that phrasing, “If you’re not this then never mind.” I decided to try again. As I wrote, I saw natural categories of the list. The first set were core principles. The second, for joy or fun and third, were action items. Some may see this list as basic, but nothing that becomes a nonnegotiable, a dealbreaker, is basic. So…here it is:

If You’re Not This, Then Never Mind

  • If you’re not a Christian, then never mind.
  • If you’re not working, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a Democrat, then never mind.
  • If you’re not politically minded, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a beach lover, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a music lover, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a sports fan, then never mind.
  • If you’re not going to buy me flowers, then never mind.
  • If you’re not going to respect my Southern ways, then never mind.
  • If you’re not going to respect my motherhood, then never mind.

I’ve carried this list with me for months…and I have neither added to it nor edited it since I originally wrote it. It’s just this simple. These embody my three secrets: decide, discover and deliver. The master grocery list. The nonnegotiables. The deal breakers.

Don’t spend too much time trying to dig holes into mine. Instead, take that time to write your own. Write your very own milk, bread and ham! Enjoy the ice cream, steak and locally made soap along the way…but don’t forget the milk, bread and ham either.And please, don’t buy the vanilla candle…you don’t like it. You know you don’t like it.

The Song That Changed My Life?

**I hope to goodness, you click on these links!

NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour “Life Changing Songs”

One of my weekly favorites is to listen to NPR’s podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour. The latest episode featured a segment on “Life Changing Songs” It made me wonder…what song(s) changed my life? When I wrote What’s Your Theme Song?, I was kind of on the same page. Many of those songs are from life changing moments, but really, is there a song, one song, that changed my life. A song that really made me take it all in and change the course of what was happening. This is not a song that just marked a passing in time, this would have to be a directional changed.

I immediately went to Dave Matthews Band. Within a few bars of a melody, I can be in a place and time of joy, love, sadness, regret. The music and lyrics to these works are autobiographical to me. Many have multiple meanings. I knew my life was forever changed when I listened to this one. I was very freshly broken up with my first true love. Grace describes “Adam” as my relationship Utopia. No one has ever put me more in that place of total trust than Adam. Recently, I was trying to explain why it was so easy to love Adam. I had no one else to care for. I was 18, moving to college and he was my world. It is easy to love when you have no other worries in the world. It is easy to love before you grow up and realize that life can really be hard, really be sad and really be devastating. This is terribly hard to explain to people that were fortunate to spend a lifetime with their Utopian loves. If you can take a moment, go back with me…are you there. Remember him or her….I give you Dave Matthews Band  “I’ll Back You Up.”Dave Matthews Band, “I’ll Back You Up” 7.12.2000 For Adam and I, Dave Matthews Band was our band. Most of the 13 shows I’ve seen of DMB, he was there.

With this song I moved on and past him. I moved into adulthood. It may be possible that no relationship will ever be like that one, ever. I had it once, for 3 amazing care free years. I grew up and so did he. He became a wonderful husband, father and professionally successful. I can’t ever put myself in that life with him. We were so young , I don’t think I would have remained “in love” with the adult Adam and to be honest, I don’t think he would have remained in love with me. Sally at 21 is definitely not the Sally at 35+. We all have to grow up sometime, and this song is my growing up song. I realized this when I attended Adam’s father’s funeral. I’ll always back him up, and I know he will always back me up.

The biggest change I ever experienced was becoming a mother. When I was on maternity leave with my oldest, Gilmore Girls came on everyday at 10 am and 3 pm. I still remember rocking her to this. Gilmore Girls Theme.  When my second daughter was born, we watched the Gilmore Girls too. Anytime I think of being a mother to my girls, Lorelai Gilmore is who I most relate to. We are not foreign to making mistakes, we are not foreign to bad timing, and we are most definitely not foreign to our children knowing when our relationships end and what it’s like to be hurt by men. My one true worry, is that they will follow in my footsteps when it comest to love. I want them to love with their whole hearts like I do, but I also want them to keep their hearts close and guard them deeply. That’s the Gilmore Girl mistake. It’s a new process for me, but I believe it is working out for the best.

In the last year, I have had to change my heart to forget someone. Do you know how hard that is? I have to purposefully attempt every day to not think of him. I thought when I wrote him a letter, I could put him past me, but it isn’t that easy. Most days I wonder if I am really trying. The truth is, I have never been able to tell the entire story. You got pieces of it in Break Up Via Selfie…Again? and I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, but you have no idea. My soul was punched right in the stomach when Joy Williams released this song right about the time…all that happened. Joy Williams, “What A Good Woman Does” I promised never to tell the truth about Cleats, and I never will. Yesterday, that promise was truly tested.

I have spent all week, studying my musical history, and I am at a loss…what song has CHANGED my life? I have plenty that were a part of “changes” but as much as I love music, I can’t put my finger on a song where I heard it and did something different-actually changed my life. I look forward to the one that does…it’s going to be epic and it better be good, real good! As my dear friend, “Shannon” told me this weekend, “I have a feeling you will have everything you need by the time you are 40.” I said, “You realize, that’s in 2 1/2 years, right?”

A Love I Can’t Carry Anymore       

Do not read without watching this:
Only a few times have I been afraid to write…this is one of them. So I’m releasing my vulnerability and going to put this out there.

Last night I stayed up too late waiting on “Hero” to make me breakfast. I mean it was 3 am! And the words started coming out of my mouth…”you know I like him right?”

I have been focused recently on building real friendships, true relationships with people I can trust my truth with. These relationships have brought in people like Hero and the friend who will remain “Nameless”. He has another blog name, but I’m just not that brave right now. This blog is a second step. The first step was when I said it out loud to Hero. These friendships have been amazing as I still struggle with so much that has happened in the last year. Nameless has been there at the end of all of them. And I’ve been there at the end of his too. One night after dinner, the bartender said,”Are you sure you are just friends? I never see him talk to anyone the way he talks to you…and I never see anyone talk to him the way you talk to him.”

So I confessed last night to “Hero” all about it. Why I don’t say anything or do anything because I want to keep our friendship. He made a good point, “what if he feels the same way?” This is where I’m letting my fear get in the way. I can’t make it without him. I don’t want that to show. I’m afraid if he knows, he’ll stop being my friend. I’m too afraid to be without him and not brave enough to be honest with him.

Damn it! I’m a mess. Let’s break for a video while I get it back together.

I don’t know a girl who doesn’t put herself in a  Julie Roberts movie through out her life. I am currently in “My Best Friends Wedding”.

That’s what I was trying to explain to Hero this morning-this never ends well.

I watched Grace go through this…she fell for her best friend and it nearly ruined our group and most definitely their friendship. The group actually disbanded for almost 9 months. I pretend she has forgiven him for hurting her, but if I know Grace she hasn’t. It’s never been what it was before. I can’t risk that, can I? Should I? I’d really like to ask…what happened to Jules and Michael after the wedding?

No one makes me happier. I live for his smile and his laughter. He makes me forget all those who have hurt me.

“Kimmie says, if you love someone, you say it, right then, out loud. Otherwise the moment just passes you by.”

What if Nameless prefers Creme Brûlée and I’m just Jello?

Failure to Launch Phenomenon

People get married everyday. Traditionally, Saturday’s are the most popular, but any day will and can do. I’ve had the big white wedding. Hundreds of guests, church, reception hall, dinner, dancing, bar, the works. It was lovely. If I ever do walk that aisle again, I honestly don’t think it will be this kind of affair. But my optimism cup runneth over and is never failing so, we shall see.

Grace is my best friend and has personally witnessed many of the stories I share here. She actually gives me the go ahead to write on many topics. This one is no different. We were discussing a recent engagement of one of my exes-The Yankee. This one and I actually broke up almost a year ago…yeah-I was thinking the same thing “that was quick.” We started counting, he was number seven. He was the seventh guy I have broken up with that the next lady he dated after me, he married. Yep! MARRIED!

#1-serious boyfriend from college

#2-second serious boyfriend from college and 1st post divorce boyfriend

#3-Sweet Fella

#4- #2’s friend

#5-Momma’s Boy-wedding planned for June

#6-Squirrel (who is not married or engaged…yet, but it’s likely coming)

#7-The Yankee

#8-Cleats

Yep, I failed to mention that Cleats is now married. Now this one is amazing. Less than 2 weeks…TWO WEEKS!!! I end it and he put a ring on it!

Some of you may be saying, what about Derek…If we count him that makes it 10-because he dated and remarried his ex wife twice while dating me in between. I just don’t count it but you can if you would like.

Sarah Jessica Parker is making a heavy appearance in this blog  but not as Carrie Bradshaw. I give you Failure to Launch-Paula’s Pitch:

So there you have it mostly ladies and a few brave gentlemen…I have been doing this since 2000!!!! 15 years and increasing the self esteem of men I have been in relationships with and preparing them for marriage. Everyone on this list has had ample opportunity to marry me. It just never happened. I can’t answer the why it didn’t  part, but as I write, I stare at the left ring finger and it’s as bare as ever. Sometimes I wear and substitute ring on it just for fun. It would be nice to have one there one day, but for now there are nine other fingers if you count the pinky’s that can have rings on them.

This week, today in particular is Mother’s Day. Can I be honest…I really dislike Mother’s Day. Now, I love to celebrate my Mom! She is awesome and deserves this day. But this is just not a good day for me. For example, I left my ex husband on Mother’s Day. A few year’s later was the first time Derek got back together with his ex wife and now…#7 and #8 all with in a week! I have difficulty wrapping my head around this.

This morning, I made a list. A list of my research of dating men since my divorce.

1. They don’t know how. Yeah, obviously I don’t either. But, I had to recently date a man who was old enough to be my father to actually feel like it should to date. Come on men between 30 and 45. Get it together!!!

2. They show no effort. Again, back to the older man I recently went to dinner with. He showed effort and I appreciated it.  I want to ask any single, straight man reading this-when was the last time you sent a girl flowers? Yep…that’s what I thought.

3. No gentlemen qualities. Either they have been lost or they were faking it in the 20’s. ( and so was I…)

I would like to iniate a challenge. A challenge to men. Date me, I dare you! Baseball season has started and its a whole new ball game. My record is not as good as the Cardinals, but there is still time to make the playoffs. So if you are reading this and you are a single man or if you know a single man, I’m game if you are! Just remember, “there is no crying in baseball.”