The expression ‘Once Upon a Time’ conjures up thoughts for me of a time when things were different, perhaps better, or at least simpler.
Generally, these are times fondly or romantically remembered but not always.
Once Upon a Time suggests a state of suspended history that we can look back on.
Today, as we near the end of this historic year, and I reflect back to the past months, it does seem that the world has lived in a dark fairy tale while our land was cursed with a pandemic.
All the kingdoms in the world were under siege from a villainous virus that threatened the lives and livelihoods of their citizens and the sustainability of many businesses.
I am not trying to make light of the negative and traumatic events of this past year by suggesting we have been living in some storybook or cartoon. But I think that you can see that there are some parallels with good old fashioned ‘Once Upon a Time’ narratives.
We know from stories of childhood bedtimes that...
I have been called the Mistress of Reinvention, a Maven of Transformation, and the Queen of Change to mention just a few of the identities that defined and shaped my life.
Part of my evolution and development has been candidly shared in the book “Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom, Unmasked, Uncensored”.
The story reveals how I became aware of my own identity crisis and the realization that change not only was a constant but, in fact, it was a catalyst for an extraordinary life.
Recently, I was asked to explain how I appear to embrace change so courageously and how I navigate the transformation process.
If you have peered into my life through the book, or you know me personally, you know I have experienced more changes than most and not all changes were my choice.
It will also be evident I have pursued change and faced change with optimism, even during the times I was terrified and completely uncertain what was around the next corner.
The ultimate catalyst to embrace...
The milestone age of 65 conjured up a lot of negative paradigms and more than few fears for me. I experienced several more bouts of Who Am I Now and identity crisis syndrome.
However, I am delighted to report that I did survive 65 and in fact, I thrived!
(And just to make this past year more memorable, a global pandemic blanketed six of my twelve months.)
When I was younger, the number 65 was held up as the peak of an adult life and pretty much everything after that was the downslope of meaningful contribution to society and family.
I came from the generation programmed to think grandmothers were handy babysitters and hosts of Sunday dinners. They deserved respect but were not expected to create anything new or significant.
Rearview speaking, senior citizens and retirees were viewed as expensive liabilities in society and gatekeepers of inheritances.
I am so glad that I have outgrown that limited thinking! Finally, I am mature enough to know the truth!
65 is an exciting new...
My blog today is inspired by the following poem which is an excerpt from a book written in 1977 by the multi-talented and versatile Portia Nelson.
Born in 1920, the youngest of nine children of a poor farming family in Utah, Portia became trailblazer and celebrated cabaret singer, recording artist, composer, actress, and director. She performed with and coached some big names in entertainment.
Portia started her career from scratch, and without formal training, built on her talents and strengths. She did not allow societal norms to define who she was and what she was allowed to accomplish as a woman in her time.
Portia Nelson is one of my SHEroes!
Her book is entitled “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery”, and more than forty years after its publication, this is still a powerful summary of the journey of transformation.
I have spent many years searching for answers to the question “Who Am I Now” and repeatedly, walking down...
At age sixty, I felt as if I stepped across a threshold into an entirely new world of my own creation.
I was energized by an infusion of possibilities and opportunities after my bout with Identity Crisis Syndrome in my late fifties.
I still had not fully answered the question “Who Am I Now?” but I was starting to figure it out.
There is something incredibly significant about turning sixty.
The number sixty is a measure of time and progress. There are 60 seconds in each minute and 60 minutes in each hour. We identify with fast cars that go from ‘zero to 60’ in a boasted time.
When I was young and impatient to grow older and more independent, time seemed to move excruciatingly slow.
As I evolved through my twenties, thirties, and forties, I was always trying to stretch time to pack in more ‘doing’. I was always “on the clock” trying to accomplish some goal or milestone.
In my fifties, I started to realize that ‘being’ was...
50 is Nifty – maybe - but that's not how I would describe my fifth decade.
I celebrated my 50th birthday in 2004.
The vibe was different then. We were riding high on the wave of a new millennium. We survived Y2K!
I threw a spectacularly fun New Year’s Eve party on December 31, 1999, my home bulging with friends, as we tipsily awaited the turn of midnight to see if our technology-based world would short circuit!
You know what happened, of course. All the hype about universal computer melt down deflated like my party balloons the next morning.
Enter the 2000s and we seemed to be on an energetic high! It felt like most of the world was making and spending money, more than ever before.
My company was growing at a rapid pace and I was running to keep up as its leader.
My 5th decade was witness to one more divorce and another marriage. Joyfully, this decade also allowed me to blend three families and extend the privilege of my matriarchal domain over multiple...
My fourth decade began in 1994. If you read my previous blog; The Decade I Balanced in Three Inch Heels: My THIRTIES, you know that I became an accidental entrepreneur in 1989.
Without forethought, experience, or any specific plan, I started a chemical business from my dining room table, with the belief that it was just a temporary thing to support my family.
Fast forward, five years passed and those were tough, grueling years which forced me to grow by leaps and bounds, in skills, confidence, resilience and stick-to-itiveness.
What was I thinking? I chose a business in an industry dominated by a closed club of men, tenured career professionals and science types. They were a hard drinking, tough talking, deal making on the golf course clique.
The initial years were like drinking from the proverbial firehose. Often, I simply got soaked, knocked down and left dripping on the outside of their fire circle.
I stuck out like a manicured thumb with glitter polish.
Fortunately, I came...
My third decade began in 1984 while I was employed in the executive and corporate aviation world. The culture and personalities of this micro industry taught me a great deal about what to do and what not to do to advance my career and dodge trouble.
I learned many skills including how to recite the aviation alphabet and hold my liquor like one of the boys. We worked hard and we played hard and for sure, today, many of the then accepted practices and behaviors would be forbidden. Let me just say the #MeToo club had lots of members.
My thirties were a very pivotal time in my identity development. This decade included my second divorce and my third marriage. I expand on this in the chapter "Serial Wife". in my book.
This decade was also the beginning of my education in the chemical industry, and a discovery I had an affinity to sales and marketing because of my fascination with the uniqueness and motivations of people.
Initially, I was terrified at the prospect of convincing...
Introducing the Number 3 in a series of interviews and true stories:
Womanhood Wonderland – Feminine Explorers and Trailblazers!
Canadian Amanda Sheldon joined the less than 1% club of young female expats and shared her experiences of living in the Middle East for ten years.
An expat’s life is an adventure and adapting to change is a required superpower!
As you can imagine, there are many differences between living and working in another part of the world versus Home Sweet Home.
However, some universal themes are constant, no matter where you roam.
In this interview with Amanda, we talk about how shopping malls maximize the use of real estate and are community hubs with up-levelled parking, multi-tasking, socializing, skiing, and sky diving built-in!
We discuss the pros and cons of vacation time and a six-day workweek and why TGIF has more significance.
Hospitality, customer service, and customer engagement are core behaviours and fundamental to recruiting, hiring, and...
Introducing the second in a series of interviews and true stories:
Womanhood Wonderland – Feminine Explorers and Trailblazers!
For the past ten years, Canadian Amanda Sheldon, has lived and worked in the Middle East.
We accompany Amanda on her journey to uncover misconceptions and misinformation, and how she learned firsthand about life in the Middle East, its people, and cultural practices. This informative and upbeat conversation will give you a peek inside the world of expat life, and perhaps, will inspire you to learn more about the diversity of opportunities around the world.
From the mundane to the mysterious, and peppered with questions only a mother might ask, listen in to this interview as we discussed the reality of safety, driving, dining, potholes and more.
Unfiltered and fresh, this a perspective on living, working and travelling in and around the many, unique and distinct countries and cultures with the Persian Gulf Region.
Hear first-hand how Amanda...