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Archive for the ‘Reinvention’ Category

A dear and longtime friend from Geneva sent me these wise words this morning.  Some of these lines make me laugh; they all make me pause and reflect. How well do I handle little frustrations and big obstacles? What can I do better; what should I do better to be my best self? 

Thanks you Suzanne for sending the email. And thanks to all my family and friends. I am grateful everyday for all of you.

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life.

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

… Maya Angelou

In case you are wondering …
I’ve learned that, as frightening as it may seem at the time, change can be more than good; it can be wonderful…and you can go home again.

But for now … I’ve got a bunch of aprons in the dryer that need to be untangled.

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What important lessons have  you learned over the years? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going. Just click on Comments below.

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Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365.

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To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings.

© Susan W. Nye, 2011

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For anyone who missed last night’s 15th Birthday Celebration with The New Hampshire Women’s Business Center’s … here are my opening remarks:

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Like many here today, I am a corporate dropout. Seven years ago I gave up a career in international sales and marketing for the fun, flexibility and … yes, the fear of self employment. I have come to realize that for all practical purposes the world is made up of two kinds of people: entrepreneurs and those who wish they were entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial women play a critical role in our economy –

From A to Z …

We are accountants, analysts and advisors,
Bakers, builders and bookkeepers
Consultants, cooks and candlestickmakers
Dog walkers, designers and DJ’s
Engineers, environmentalists,
Franchisees, florists and freelancers.

We are good at what we do.

We are hairdressers,
Ice cream makers,
Jewelers, jugglers and journalists.

We are kindred spirits, killer saleswomen … we are the whole kit and kaboodle.

We are lawyers,
Moms, marketing gurus, massage therapists and manicurists.

And we ain’t nobody’s fool.

It goes without saying;
we are optimistic and passionate about our businesses,
the quintessential queens of our domains.

We are retailers and radio show hosts,
Strategists, software experts and scientists,
Technicians,T-shirt designers and tutors.

We are undeniably very, very good at what we do because
We are wise & wonderful, xceptional Yaa Yaas with a zest for life and maybe just a little bit zany.

I guess we have to be – to do what we do.

Best Happy Birthday wishes to the WBC and women entrepreneurs throughout New Hampshire!

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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The deer ate most of my tulips last spring. Even though I adore them, when it came time to plant new bulbs, I surrendered to common sense. I skipped the tulips and concentrated on the already beautiful beds of daffodils. Tulips only live for a year or two but daffodils last forever, multiply on their own and the deer, squirrels and chipmunks leave them alone.

A few weeks ago I looked out my kitchen window to admire a sea of cheery yellow and creamy white. It was a spectacular sight. But on this particular morning, one vibrant, red tulip had sprouted up amongst the daffodils. If only for a minute, it took my breath away.

It struck me like the proverbial ton of bricks, “That’s me. I’m that tulip!” For most of my life I have felt like I didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the world. Kind of like that one tulip surrounded by a sea of daffodils or the kid in the Sesame Street song One of These Things Is Not Like the Others .

I don’t know when it began, maybe junior high or high school. Long legs and long straight hair were in fashion and I had neither. I was bookish, not particularly confident and a bit shy. I lived in a conservative, Republican town and was interested in liberal politics and causes. But then again what teenager doesn’t suffer from some degree of awkwardness, rebellion and angst?

Looking back I realize I’ve had and continue to have a particular knack of making different choices, for taking the road less traveled. No, I didn’t choose to have wild and wooly, thick curly hair or short legs but I did choose to be a feminist at fifteen. I studied art in college which doesn’t seem so strange. Nor was my decision to teach. In those days, lots of women became teachers. For some it was a stop-gap before marriage but for me it turned out to be a stop-gap before business school. I’m pretty sure I was the only ex-art teacher in my MBA class.

After graduation most of my classmates joined one of the technology firms on Route 128. Not me, I moved to Switzerland and joined the Swiss watch industry. I still remember walking into the management Christmas party a few months after I started. There were about 200 people in the room, a sea of mostly middle aged men. Except for the CEO’s assistant who was there to ensure the party ran smoothly, I was the only woman in the room. And the only American.

After a couple of years I left the watch industry. I stayed in Geneva and went to work for a large computer company.  At my new firm, I wasn’t just the only woman manager in my group, I was the only non-engineer! Slowly, eventually, a few more women made their way into management. When I returned to the US, it was a bit different. The marketing and HR departments were packed with women,  in fact they were  the majority. However, executive management, sales and engineering were still, for the most part, a boys’ club.

A few years ago, I dropped out of the corporate rat race and began to write. Sitting at my keyboard, I’m not just the only woman in the room; I’m the only person. Which begs the question; am I still a tulip?

 

Are you a tulip, daffodil, dandelion or daisy; maybe you’re a tiger lily? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

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Tulips by Alison Vernon

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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My mother has given me many presents over the years. Her greatest gift is not the Ginny doll I received when I was six or the bicycle at eleven. It is not the diamond earrings for my graduation from Babson or even the set of fancy pots and pans when I bought my first house. No, my mother’s greatest gift to me and to everyone around her is her optimism.

Mom is not some kind of crazy lady who ignores sadness or anger. She has had her fair share of ups and downs but my mother is a cheerful person. She loves life, her family, friends and chocolate. She smiles often and sincerely, with hers eyes as well as her mouth.

When I was in my teens I was both slightly embarrassed by and extremely proud of my mother. Slightly embarrassed because she was so full of life; her voice was loud and her laughter even louder. My mother was never one to gently fade into the background. She wore bright colors and bold prints. When thin lips and pale pink lip gloss were in fashion, she wore bright red lipstick and her big full lips never needed collagen. But I was very proud because she was so confident, so happy, so full of life. It seemed that everyone liked her and wanted to be with her. I envied her gregarious nature, her spirit, confidence and optimism.

I don’t know if I was typical teenager. I’m not sure how surly is surly. But I was a half-full kind of kid. I was the middle child, born right smack in the middle of the baby boom. The world always seemed a little bit too crowded, a little bit too competitive. I think I worried that I wouldn’t quite measure up.

Granted, it was not an easy time to be a teenager but then again it never is. One of my mother’s favorite sayings is, “The two worst times in a woman’s life are when she is thirteen and when her daughter is thirteen.” She then offers the comforting reassurance that it gets much better once we hit seventeen. During my teen years, in addition to the normal hormonal angst, the US was embroiled in an unpopular war, the civil rights and feminist movements were playing havoc with the status quo and drugs were slipping into suburbia. It was a confusing time.

When I was seventeen, I came to the obvious but still startling realization that happy people lived better lives. I think my mother’s example and gentle cajoling had a lot to do with this discovery. Since that time I have done my best to build and enjoy a happy life. I chose St. Lawrence not just because the school had a good reputation but because our tour guide was cheerful and friendly. I majored in Art not because it was particularly career-worthy but because I loved it.

After school, I did my best to continue to embrace life and enjoy the adventure, to emulate my mother’s optimism, her spirit and confidence. I didn’t shy away from big changes or audacious goals. I found I loved a challenge and moved on when jobs or life got too monotonous. It took awhile but one awkward step at a time, I became more confident, gregarious and optimistic.

It is not all smooth sailing. I’ve done some dumb things and suffered the consequences. A couple of men were foolish enough to break my heart. I’ve had tiffs with friends and unfortunately one or two of those misunderstandings were never resolved. I’ve endured bosses who were bullies and colleagues who claimed credit for my work. I’ve been laid off; I’ve even been fired (and rehired forty-eight hours later).

But whether I look forward, back or at just this very moment, I have a wonderful life. My glass is much more than half full. Yes, I have a few fears, some trepidations but I enjoy each day with confidence and optimism.

Thank you Mom and Happy Mothers’ Day.

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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Find Your Passion. When I heard this phrase for the first time, I thought, gggeeesssh. Then I began to hear it incessantly. At conferences. On the morning news. In the newspaper and in magazines. It seemed ridiculous, clichéd. It was the kind of thing I’d expect to hear in a made-for-television movie, on Oprah or in California. So why did I keep hearing it here in chilly, no-nonsense New England?

Simple, I was in the midst of starting over, of reinventing myself. I’d done the teaching thing and loved it for awhile. Then I’d done the corporate thing. I’d loved it until finally after one too many reorganizations, I ran out of energy and enthusiasm for the corporate rat race.  Now, it was time for the entrepreneurial thing.

I confess my ideas were pretty vague. I only knew that I was really tired. Not sleepy tired but worn down, fed up, wrung out tired. I returned to my childhood vacation home and spent a lot of time with family and friends. I did a lot of running, hiking and kayaking. Before too long there were bills to pay and I needed to find something to do on rainy days.

My initial goal was to do interesting work but as little as possible. An unlikely aim, since I was a self-confessed, card-carrying workaholic. With that in mind, I did what any self-respecting, unemployed executive does and became a consultant. I was and still am pretty good at it, in fact better than pretty good.

However, I thought a lot about cooking. I love cooking and pretty much everything about it. Food, cookbooks, cooking tools and gadgets, restaurants, farmers’ markets, growing herbs, you name it I love it. I kept consulting but I started a little hobby business, teaching cooking classes and catering.  

I began to promote this new business. Among other things, I started a newsletter. The newsletters were warm and friendly.  They started with a story about cooking or entertaining and ended with a recipe. On the fourth one, my mother’s friend Jane told me, “Susan, you’re a really good cook but a WONDERFUL writer. Forget the catering, you should write.”

And so I did. I sent a few of my friendly little stories and recipes to the editor of my local paper. She said she loved them and gave me a weekly column, she even paid me. Before I knew it, my friendly little column was in three newspapers. Soon I was writing for a magazine, then two, then five and then eight or ten.

Now I do more writing than cooking or consulting and  I’m back to being a self-confessed, card-carrying workaholic. It still sounds clichéd, I still cringe a little, but now I understand all the fuss about finding your passion.

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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