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Out with the old …. In with the new!

Break out the party hats, serve up the cocktails! Ta-Daaa! Behold, I give to you the new and improved Witty Woman Writing web site! I got to thinking (always a costly proposition), and I realized that I hadn’t updated my website for over 2 years. Oh, that won’t do! Being current is something I pride […]

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Kitt Crescendo - I always knew you were a colorful lady. It’s great to see it on your blog, too! Just an FYI, I received notice that you’d posted through my email subscription…so that’s working. 😉

mel glenn - Love the new website. It’s perky, spirited and helpful, just like you. I hope many readers take advantage of The Network. May it soar.
I wish you nothing but the best.
Mel

Tammy - Hi Kitt, THANKS so much for letting me know. And for the nice review on the new site. I think that the delivery system has a bug or two. Hard to know for sure at this point, but it’s all par for the course. SO very appreciative that you reached out to let me know you are still on the other side of Witty Woman. Awesome!

Tammy - Hi Mel, whew, so glad you are among those that received the blog delivery. Appreciate it TONS that you let me know. From your mouth….to God’s ears…may it soar! Catch you next week, my friend. Thanks for being here!

Billie Jo - Love the new site, so proud of you! “Out with the old, in with the new”- I know a wise woman named Gertie that says that all the time!

Tammy - Hi Billie Jo, WONDERFUL to hear form you. Thanks tons for the affirmation! You tell that wise woman Gertie that I do love her MORE! Appreciate your stopping by.

Beverly Diehl - Congratulations – looks good, and I’m not just saying that.

Love the side buttons for FB, Twitter, etc – they are bright and colorful and DO NOT BLOCK the text on the page. I always hate those.

Tammy - THANKS, Beverly. So appreciate the feedback. I agree, I hate pop-ups and tabs that block the text. Ooof! Why do people even use them? I’m hoping the new Witty Woman site is easy and fun to navigate around. After all, it’s my office, and we all like our office to look and feel comfy. Thanks ever so for popping by!

A Pleasant House - I LOVE the new look! Very sassy like you my friend. Now I have to go check out The Network!

Are You Too Old for the Workplace? Are You Sure?

Since when did “old” become a dirty word? Come to think of it, since when did 50+ become old? I am more than a little ticked off with what is going on in today’s workplace. I have 5 very dear friends, all over 55, who have been looking for work for over a year and […]

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Joan Cooper - I always knew I had to work until I moved to another world because I am not rich. I have always worked for a living. And I still am. However, even though I am and have been self employed for 20 years, while I could always get a job, I reached a point where employment agencies stepped back in horror when they looked at my age. At first I was disturbed, but then it was really funny. One started to pull out an application and then stopped and said they were all out, please come back another time. Yeh right.

I don’t know what or why the prejudice. I once told a plastic surgeon that I was a working woman and employers want someone who looks 20 but has 100 years experience.

I have no answer.

Joan Cooper

Tana Bevan - “I take a chance on myself rather than lean on anyone else.
It’s not always an easy road, but at least I’m doing the driving.” Amen!

Once upon a time people were encouraged to be independent & pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Later they were encouraged to become a cog in the great industrial complex. In the information age, they are encouraged to be a “team player.” The only problem with the later is, the team is rarely defined, the rules poorly articulated (if at all), and they constantly change.

The upside of the free-for-all is there’s a good chance any idea has the potential for success. The downside is there’s more uncertainty. However, since the uncertainty is there regardless, here’s hoping all these great minds with fabulous work ethics find a way to reinvent themselves. I for one am rooting for them, each and every one!

Sandy - Right on. I have a friend who has quite literally given her youth to Chase Bank. She is a VP of a pretty important department and she is burned out and burned up. She is now on leave and may not return. HOWEVER, being an older woman she knows she will struggle hard upstream to get a decent job that meets her credentials and capabilities. For now, she is taking time to think about things, but feels she will be forced back to a lesser job with the company just to make it. Otherwise, she may become a business owner and entrepreneur. What’s ironic is that we took two vastly different paths in our careers. I have for the most part been self-employed. I’ve held “suit” jobs in corporate and I hated them. I didn’t fit in with the 20-something cliques (that reminded me of high school) and I wasn’t a yes-person. I headed teams and did my job. It was less than satisfying. I have been told I am highly unemployable in the corporate world now because I’ve been running my own ship for a long, long time. Corporate doesn’t like free-thinkers. That’s WHY they hire the young things who chat about their upcoming party weekends and their boyfriends.

I worked under a very young manager ONCE. It was hard. She was good at her job, but also had something to prove to her elder workers. That she was the boss. It was uncomfortable. We talked it out though, and she loosened up. She ended up quitting to move to another position. I was up for her position. Another young woman was handed the job. That was fine. In truth, it was not a fun position. That’s when I decided to go freelance once and for all. I haven’t looked back. I took that company as a freelance client and worked for them at a much higher rate of pay for the same writing work I was doing for terrible pay in-house. It was a good lesson. That was 15 years ago.

I worked at one other corporate job for a year and once I had learned how things worked and that I’d make far more money freelance than what I did showing up every day 9 – 5 I went freelance with them. Yep. Took them as a long-term client, too. Again, a lesson.

Yes, I have to pay my own insurance. We all will soon enough. And, yes, I have to make sure to do my taxes right and take every little deduction I can. But, guess what? Totally worth it.

Like you say, being a 1099 worker can be a challenge in between jobs, but because we are resourceful and bright, we can do just fine. I’m a ghostwriter. I’ve worked my way up the ghost ladder and now I earn good pay for what I do. I run Full Circle Media & Author Promotions, too. We take book projects. We are new to the market but have a lot of experience. We are beginning to do okay there, too. And being entrepreneurially minded, I’m developing an app specifically for authors at a good price point. AND I’m developing an app just for fun that I hope will be embraced by the world. Can’t disclose much about it now, but let’s just say it is VERY fun.

Would I wander into these woods of creativity if I worked 9 – 5 somewhere or would I be then dedicated to the company’s goals? The latter, I assume.

As a free spirit, I get up when I want, start my work day at maybe 10 and work however long it takes to get a job done. Then I’m on to the next and the next. I have to double task, I multi-task, I juggle and balance and manage MY OWN LIFE. No one is to blame for my missteps or failings. The buck actually stops with me. I like that.

I work in teams, too, but as the leader, the buck stops with me, too.

Anyway, my heart goes out to your friends, but perhaps it’s time they start thinking about what they might do on their own. What type of business could they start that would make them happy? At this age, that is most important. To get them through the mindshift that would have to take place first, suggest they read Greg S. Reid’s INITIATIVE. Actually, they can get a cool signed copy if they ask J. Massey, a contributor to the book, for a copy from his site at http://www.cashflowdiary.com. J. is one of my clients and he’s cool. Motivationally speaking, he changed his life from corporate to business owner quickly. I am helping with his upcoming book, and this guy MOTIVATES others in a very real way.

Anyway, once again… excellent blog post. Sorry for writing a book here in my response, but it was necessary. Your friends might do better shifting into a new way of thinking!! Then they will be one of us.

Sandy

Frankie - I am going to just be 50 next year, and have little retirement set aside yet. I am beginning to worry. I have been a loyal employee, marketing manager, for a small firm for over 8 years. I am a working mom so the job offers me flexible hours, decent pay and medical insurance. I consider myself lucky. But lately I’ve been thinking about what happens in the next 10-15 years before I have to retire? Now you post this gripping tale of those at age 55 losing their jobs. Great. Makes me even more worried. Basically I feel for you and your dear friends. I agree, ageism sucks! THANKS for bringing out the elephant in the room!

Mel Glenn - Tammy, don’t blame HR reps; they are worried about their OWN jobs, fearful that they, too, will be judged too old.
It is a failing of our American society that we worship youth and disrespect age, (unlike other countries,) and ageism is the result when advertisements are geared to the under 30 generation. They are seen with the power to buy, buy, buy. Best to work for yourself, or retire. Good column.

Christine Lang - Bravo Tammy!!! I have heard so many stories of inept, unprofessional HR people who don’t return phone calls or possess even the most basic sense of business decorum.

Unfortunately most businesses give only a tiny portion of their budget to the HR department, since it is a department that doesn’t generate income, and so they are frequently understaffed, underpaid, etc. A sad state of affairs to be sure.

Good for you for pointing this out – hopefully some company execs will take notice.

Ande Lyons - Given I’m unemployable… at any age… I’m not the best person to seek out for advice or comments on this topic. (LOVE your quote Tana Bevan!)

That said, I will jump on your soapbox Goddess Tammy… because it’s not just Corporate America who paints folks 50+ with the “out to pasture” brush stroke.

You see it everywhere. Advertising, the news, and especially in social media. As if anyone over 50 doesn’t understand technology… puleeze… who was creating the original programming back in the 70s?!

My dear friend, Little John, has a movement called Gratitude Growing. He and his organization are working hard to reframe the 50+ picture and our society’s attitude toward “aging.” They honor the journey and the amazing continued VALUE of folks in their Third Stage of Life.

Yup, cCorporate America is shifting their direction… to lower salaried executives versus paying for the “seasoned” executive’s higher salary… even thought he/she will probably save them money by making better decisions – internally and externally (with all due respect to the X/Y/Millennials!).

OK… jumping off the soapbox… for now… gotta get back to talking about OTHER things we can still do after 50… 😀

LOVE YOU!

Suerae Stein - I share your frustration Tammy, as my husband is one of those men that you speak of, although he is 2 years shy of 55, but has been struggling the same fate as your friends. He’s managed to keep afloat by being creative and starting his own consulting business, but would prefer to be part of a company rather than work from project to project. It’s tough out there!

Tammy - Tana, you have hit the nail on the head with your observation that uncertainty exists in the corporate world as well as in the life of the entrepreneur. We never know what is around the bend. To think thank we are safely employed would be foolish at best. I confess, I’m not a fan of insecurity, but once you realize that security is a bit like vapor, you are able to maneuver around the prospect of failure with much more ease. I too, am rooting for each and every one of them. Thank you for that!

Tammy - Hi Joan, the story you shared had me aghast. Did she think you were stupid? Do these people never consider that they, themselves, will be “old” one day too? I mean, seriously, it’s not a disease, it’s a privilege. I’ve come to the conclusion that our corporate world is filled with A-holes. I have an answer: hire someone for what they bring to the table, not for the number of years they have lived. Come on, people, get a clue. We have tremendous value. And to you, my friend, I say, keep on keeping on!

Tammy - Hi Frankie, oh dear, I didn’t want to make you crazy worried (sad face). But, you’re right, the elephant is in the room, whether we want to talk about it or not. Let us both hope that you will continue to enjoy good steady and appreciated employment until the day you no longer need to work. I hear that it happens. I think smaller companies are more apt to value the individual. Here’s hoping! I think I will take your cue and make up signs that say “Ageism Sucks!”. *giggling* Thanks, Frankie, for the read and the wonderful sharing.

Tammy - Hi Mel, well, it isn’t often that we disagree, but this time we run the risk. I think that many HR reps are absolutely to blame for their shoddy business practices, inability to look past a birth date number and lack of decorum when dealing with applicants. And, many are very young, which might explain a lot. I simply don’t understand the ageism in advertising. Boomers are the largest market in existence, yet we are less catered to than the 30 year olds. I get riled up just thinking about it. *sigh* And it does no good. You’re right, Europeans know what American’s have yet to learn, respect your elders and all that they offer. You, sir, have mine.

Tammy - Hi Christine, thanks for the supportive comment. I kind of doubt that if company execs see this post that they will be inclined to rectify any deficiencies their HR department might have. They would much more likely put a picture of me in their HR offices and use it as a dart board. I would consider it a privilege! Just as it is to have you on the other end of my blog!

Tammy - Hi Ande, haaa! You are so right….WE were the ones creating the technology back in the 70’s! I would be very interested in more information on your friends movement, Gratitude Growing. You, my dear, can share my soap box any day of the week! The times, they are a changin’ and best we make the most of who we are and what we’ve got. And I’m happy I’ve got you in my corner. No lie! LOVE YOU TOO! (but not in a lesbian way … not there’s anything wrong with that) *giggle*

Tammy - Hi Suerae,it IS tough out there. My heart goes out to your hubby as well as my admiration. It takes a brave soul to make something out of nothing and earn a living doing it. Kudos to him, and hugs to you!

Melanie Kissell - Can’t thank you enough for writing this piece, Tammy.

I pounded the pavement for well over five years looking for a full time job — filled out hundreds of job applications and only heard back from a few employers. I was willing to do almost any kind of work and then I finally gave up the fight. Why? In all that time, I only secured four interviews which, by the way, went really well. The polite rejection emails said so. “Your interview went great and we really enjoyed meeting you. However, we’ve selected another candidate for this position.” A younger candidate, no doubt. 🙁

I back you up 100% on your comments about HR personnel — mainly those who work in hospitals. The majority of them can’t even define “follow up and follow through” let alone act on those skills. It’s pathetic. Most of my calls and emails were NEVER answered.

I’m certain I’ve been discriminated against because of my age. No one will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

My heart goes out to any midlife man or woman who’s trying to land a job in corporate America. You’d be better off to open a daycare center in your home and care for the children of all the young adults who seem to go straight to the front of the line in the job market.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize it’s difficult for anyone to land a job these days. But I can tell you, firsthand and without a doubt, the year you were born is a BIG factor in whether you’ll be considered for a position.

I wish some employers had the balls to say, “Those over 50 need not apply. Don’t waste your time. We have no intention of hiring you.”

Pam Weston - Unfortunately, it’s all about money, not age (per se). Young, less-experienced people can be hired for a much lower salary than older people who have worked for years. And the bottom line (profits) is the most important thing to many companies, I’m sorry to say. Give me a seasoned 60-yr-old any day over a 20-something kid!

Laurie Braddy - Amen! This had to be said. Thank you for saying it so well.

Tammy - Hi Melanie, I would be a hundred bucks that your story has been lived by thousands. Or more. I’ve never encountered an HR person or a headhunter that was worth their weight in salt. Epic fails, ALL of them. It would be good if honest were more prevalent. I get it that it’s against the law to discriminate based on age, but the truth is, employers do it all the time. Just tell them up front and they won’t waste hours of time submitting grueling resume forms and enduring lengthy questions. Ridiculous. You want quality, experience, know how, down and dirty results ridden logic? Hire someone over 50 and sit back and learn. Yeah, I’m pissed all over again. Thank YOU, Melanie, for your insight, sharing and support of my little blog!

Tammy - Hi Pam, I agree it’s about the money. What I don’t understand is that in the long run companies make more money with employees they don’t have to re-train, re-hire or watch over like little mother hens. Corporate decisions should be made by those in the know. Look who I’m talking to … preaching to the choir. I’m with you, I’ll take a seasoned employee any day of the week over a green horn, well intended kid. Experience matters. Damn it! So happy to see you here! Thanks for that.

Tammy - hi Laurie, Thanks for the kind review and unwavering support. YOU are awesome!

Tammy - Hi Sandy, I LOVE that you shared those stories with me. All excellent examples of why corporate isn’t for everyone….even those who think they belong may not. I am so VERY happy and proud FOR you and OF you for your achievements. Believe you me, I KNOW the price that is paid when you are self employed. When you’re up, it’s awesome. When your not, it’s panic. You are super versatile with your writing, we are twin-sies that way. My writing works for me on so many levels. I am grateful everyday I don’t report to a boss who would one day see me and my skills as overpaid and dispensable. Thanks, but NO thanks. Like you, I’m okay with the buck stopping with me. A buck is a buck! Thanks for your marvelous sharing, Sandy. Love you for that!

Melanie Kissell - I think another factor worth noting, Tammy, is something prospective employers don’t consider when interviewing applicants over 50. Beside dependability, a wealth of knowledge/creativity/experience/mature thinking/problem-solving skills, etc., that midlifers possess …

We don’t have small children at home. That fact, alone, means employers will have less absenteeism to deal with for all the obvious reasons. I’m not implying our younger counterparts are slacking in this respect but let’s face the music. Children get sick, their school schedules are sometimes wonky, and daycare issues are oftentimes a problem.

Also, one of your loyal readers remarked “money” is the real issue here — that baby boomers demand a higher salary because of years of experience in the work force. I mean no disrespect but I fervently disagree. I was more than willing to accept whatever salary (or salary range) came along with the positions I applied for and yet I was still turned down.

Tammy - Melanie, I hear you loud and clear. Such is/was the case for many 50+ peeps out there. Still, there is some credibility that some companies would rather not pay the higher insurance premiums, and wages that an older employee would incur. Which in the “long run” makes pity little sense because seniors generate more profit because of their years of know-how, a much lower absentee ratio, and a stronger work ethic. I remember a friend being discriminated against because she had small children at home and the employer worried that it would cause her to be unable to work more often. Now she gets discriminated against because all her kids are grown and gone and she is 56. Something’s gotta give here, don’t you think?

cheryl - AMEN————I could make a comment about discrimination as it is and has been around forever on many many levels. I do not know where to begin, and if I do I won’t know when to stop. I do remember once being told I might be too SHORT to get a certain job in which height would make no logical difference——never understood that as my feet touch the floor the same as anyone else. It seems this age thing is a new “wrinkle”, or should I say “huge fold” in the discrimination game. Aging is not for sissies!!!!!!!!!!———–but I guess it’s better than the alternative.

Ernie Tamayo - Tammy,

While I agree that there are those who work in HR who probably shouldn’t be, I think you’re directing your post at the wrong crowd.

HR is an integral part of any business and as such, it shares the responsibility of keeping its organization profitable through the strategic management of its human resources. Even then, HR is still not responsible for the current “cost of labor,” that cost is determined by the actual labor market itself.

The labor market functions as any other market, supply and demand play a huge role in determining the cost of labor. The more workers there are (as is the case now after the most recent recession) the cheaper labor becomes and vice versa.

So in essence, maybe HR aren’t the ones to blame…like you said…we’re just the gatekeepers.

Ernie

Tammy - Cheryl, too short for a job? Hmm, if you were stacking inventory on high shelves maybe. That’s a new one. Yup, ageism (how disturbing that we even have a name for it) is here to stay. I imagine it will get worse before it gets better. But you’re right, it IS better than the alternative. Still, wouldn’t it be nice if they not only allowed us to work until we were ready to retire AND valued our hard earned experience. In a perfect world! So great to hear from you. Thanks for that!

Tammy - Ernie, first off, thank you for posting your valued opinion in an atmosphere that is less than agreeable with your point of view. I respect that, and am very happy to have you here. I understand your point of view and understand that there are HR personnel out there who do their job and do it well. Unfortunately, from where I stand, they are few and far between. I agree completely with your assessment of the economy driven supply and demand. You are right on there. It does not, however, excuse those gatekeepers who operate with pity little integrity, sloppy business ethics and little regard for the follow up and follow through. When you are on this side of the fence, you see it all too often. I am pleased for anyone who is fortunate enough to have you as their HR liaison. I hope they know how lucky they are. Many, many others are forced to deal with HR people who do not return calls, keep phone interview appointments, are not forthcoming about job opportunities or descriptions, and rely heavily on the perfected run-around. It’s tough out there, and if you are in a field of professionals, it helps greatly if you behave like one. Kudos to you for being one of the good guys. Thanks again for contributing your two cents. It was worth far more!

Julie DeNeen - This was awesome!!!

Tammy - Thanks, Julie. YOU’RE awesome!

Are You a Sore Loser?

I’ve lost a lot of things in my life. A house to foreclosure, a car to the repo man, a 27 year marriage, prosperity, status, friendships, parents, supple skin, thick hair, trust in humanity, wide-eyed wonder, and the ability to wear my sexy red sating high heels. At times, I’m pretty sure I temporarily lost my mind.

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Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Tammy:
I used to be such a sore loser until I got fired at age 49. This made me feel like such a loser for a while, until it led to so much good fortune!
First it led to me starting my own dating service then to meeting the love of my life and finally to becoming a writer at age 50.
Thanks to one asshole of a boss, I have now discovered why I’m here… BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!

Joan Cooper - You really have a knack for knowig what I need to hear on a given day.

The Greeks were right – life is a tragedy. But – if you study history it is stated that out of this view of tragedy, came heroism, and out of that came comedy.

Well ok – I am not laughing either, but that is a fact. I have lived a long time, but I still don’t know what it is all about. Some things are closer to the heart than others. Hold onto those.

Joan

Sandra Sallin - I’m with you Tammy. I can’t add more. You’ve said it all and well.

Suerae Stein - Wonderful post, Tammy. I am, no doubt, a very sore loser. Always have been, but have somehow been able to pretend that I was a good loser. A good sport, as they say. But if I’m being completely honest, I am not a good sport. I try to cheat aging every chance I get and I’m sure I’ve wasted plenty of money and time trying not to lose my looks than I care to admit! As they say, acceptance is the key. I guess that when you’ve finally accepted a loss, that’s when you are ready to learn the lessons learned from it.

Tammy - Laura Lee, that is the BEST story ever! I hope you send that asshole of a boss a Christmas card every year thanking him for firing you. I would. But that’s just how I roll. I too have had the fortunate opportunity to stand back to look at a canvas that time built. I better understand that the divorce happened because it was a bad fit. It happened so that I would have time to heal before finding that special someone who truly loves me the way I’ve always longed to be loved. It didn’t seem like at the time, but it was one of God’s greatest blessings. Long live the losers of the world….and may we reap all that we deserve!

Tammy - Hi Joan, I LOVE, love your Greek analogy, and agree with it completely. I believe Shakespeare would have concurred as well. I’m not sure any of us really know what life is all about. I’m not at all sure we were meant to. I am sure that we were meant to live it to the hilt. Go big … or go home. As far as losing goes, I will never be a fan of it. I know it has brought me better things along the way, but when it comes to losing those things we can never reclaim, well, the hurt is endless, and who the hell is a fan of that?!

Tammy - Hi Sandra, thanks for the kind words. I think that if we are lucky to live long enough, we all lose those things that feel unbearable. Taking things “on the chin” has never been my forte. Still, I appreciate the irony that often plays out before our eyes in the years that lie ahead. It’s pretty awesome when you think about it.

Tammy - Hi Suerae, I so agree with you, my darling. Passiveness is highly over rated. When life grabs something from us, something we are not yet ready to let go of, is it any wonder that we are left pissed off and a bit broken? Acceptance has come to me, but it has taken years to find its way. From a distance we can see more clearly. Still, time doesn’t stop the ache of any loss. At least not for me. Not as of yet. Fight the good fight …. you were born to rally!

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - I never thought about it before, but perhaps a thank you note really is in order!

mel glenn - Despite your losses, Tammy, you are still way ahead. Look at all you’ve accomplished, principally, wisdom. There will always be people better off and worse off than you, and you seemed to have come to terms with the ups and downs of life. I get very upset when I habitually lose things, like keys, but try to tell myself it’s small potatoes.

Tammy - Hi Mel, small potatoes is right. Although, not so small if you are in a hurry to go somewhere. I remember when my divorce was in full throttle, how very angry I was that, despite all my efforts, my life was not going to pan out the way I thought it should have. I felt so cheated. Little did I understand that years later, a young boy I had been friends with in high school would resurface and make my life a loving retribution to all that I thought I had given up. You just never know until you can stand years back from it all. Thanks for your kindness towards me. You don’t know how very much I appreciate it.

Melanie Kissell - “I’ve also gained a bit along the way. A few extra pounds (thanks for nothing), computer savvy, dear old friends, a rip-roaring sense of humor, lactose intolerance, acid reflux, a wonderful loving man, and a deep appreciation for wine.”

Me, too!! (F.Y.I. – wine is pretty much a staple in my house at this stage in my life) LOL!

Tammy, I realize there are lessons to be learned from every good and not-so-good experience in life. However, I resent the opportunity to find some kind of value in “losing”. I royally stink at the attempt to look for the silver lining in the dark clouds of loss.

Love your sincere, off-the-cuff, down-and-dirty perspective! Thanks for another worthwhile read. 🙂

A Pleasant House - Have you been peeking into my brain? I can accept the losses and changes and interior information life throws at me- but I’m not giving up my red stilettos!

Kitt Crescendo - Like you, I have a competitive streak a mile wide. The problem with that professionally speaking, I’ve learned, is that people can and will use that to manipulate you into taking on more and more until you’re all work, no balance. The thing that suffers? The stuff that matters. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Knowing this is an issue, I’m teaching myself to recognize what I tend to get competitive over and use it only on the more productive, positive aspects of my life. I hate to lose, but I’d hate to lose things like time with the people I love more.

It’s also taught me that there are certain career fields that, though I’d be successful, it’s better for me to stay away. I don’t ever want to lose touch with my creative self and give up my writing and music again.

Tana Bevan - Many years ago I befriended a woman who’d survived WWII in Germany. She was forever saying, “You can never fill a full cup.” For something new to enter your life, something has to leave. True, some of the losses really suck. But the bottom line is, if nothing changed we wouldn’t change. And, for better or for worse, we’re all about change.

Tammy - Hi Melanie, so, so happy to have you here, my friend. So happy. I too stink at finding the silver lining of loss. Bah! Clearly we have an attitude problem. Happy to have the company!

Tammy - Hi Pleasant House, God bless you for hanging on to those gorgeous shoes. I fractured my right foot in 3 places last year. I’ve never made back into my fav heels. Yet, they still sit proudly in my closet and will probably need to be donated upon the occasion of my death. Because there are a few things that I simply refuse to let go of! My house … my rules.

Tammy - Hi Kitt, competitiveness can absolutely be a breeding ground for over achieving. Fortunately for me, I have just the right amount of ‘lazy’ in my system. If it’s something on my radar, its because I’ve deemed it worthy. There are a lot of things that don’t make the cut these days, for the very astute reasons you mentioned. Give up your writing and music? Dear Lord, woman, don’t make me come over there! Never!

Tammy - Hi Tana, I so appreciate you sharing that particular story. It will be a mantra of mine for years to come (assuming I live that long). I’ve embraced change for years. Sometimes with less grace than what would have been suitable. But I have always fully understood that being relevant means forever evolving. And so it goes. Clearly, not without some grumbling.

Kitt Crescendo - Truthfully, I never thought the day would come where I’d get so caught up in work that I wouldn’t have time for my writing and music. I always thought they were things I’d “make time” for. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. My singing was limited to home and the shower…or singing along to the radio. My writing became such a rarity that when my sister mentioned how cool it would be for me to write a personalized poem for my bridal party I froze…afraid I’d lost the ability. It had been THAT long and I hadn’t even noticed until she asked me to use the skill. I won’t even tell you how rarely I got to church. My family got the over tired, “whatever’s left” side of me. Yup. At 40 I’ve come to realize that moving up the corporate ladder just isn’t as important to me as loving my friends and family…or writing or singing…or God. And I’m happy to compete with anyone in those areas. 😉

Melanie Kissell - Well, Tammy, if I’m going to share an attitude problem with another person on earth …
I’m just happy it’s you! LOL!

Tammy - Kitt, I’m SO in your corner! Amazing the knowledge we acquire as we get older. I realized that I was fricken brilliant when I turned 50. Haaa! Stay the course. You’re in damn good company!

Tammy - Melanie, you took the words right out of my mouth! The feeling is mutual, my sister from another mother!

Chloe Jeffreys - Damn. I just lost my house, a whole shitload of people I thought were my friends, and my dog. Life just sucks sometimes, doesn’t it? But I’m finally coming out on the other side and seeing that it’s all okay. I survived. I’m even thriving, thankyouverymuch.

I’m happier without the big mortgage payment. Most of those people weren’t my friends and I knew it, but I was to cowardly to walk away first. And my dog? Nope. Still not happy about my dog.

But that’s life. And I learned a shit ton of stuff that I needed to learn. Like that I’m a good person. And I’m strong. And I’m resilient. And I’m a survivor. And I’m a good writer. And I can trust myself to love people again because what happened is more about them that it was about me anyway, so I don’t have to take on other people’s shit if I don’t want to.

Anyway, good post. It resonated with me. Thanks!

Tammy - Chloe, sometimes life seems like a country western song….not in a good way. I get it. I lived it. More than once. I agree that losing friends that were anything but is a hit to the soul and the ego we sometimes depend on. You are better off without them in the long run. But you already know that. Losing my home is something that I never quite got over. Not the loss of the house itself, but how I could possibly let it all slip away. Haunting still. As far as losing your furry best friend, there are simply no words of comfort or explanation that would suffice. That kind of loss is of the truest nature, a forever pang that lives in the heart that held them so dear. It can only be tempered by being owned by another furry companion …. eventually. My heart goes out to you, my friend. Life is a fickle bitch but its all we’ve got. If it’s true that misery loves companion, you have plenty of company in me.

Life is Not a Burger

I’ve had my fill of false advertising, phonies and liars. I’m tired of being sold wrinkle cream by a 26 year old, mascara by women wearing false eyelashes, diet products by people who have private gyms, personal chefs and trainers. I’m also sick of the print media, who clearly lost its conscience decades ago.

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Sandy - I don’t read many blogs. Most bore the heck outta me. Yours, however, is something I’ve come to look forward to because you are funny, observant, honest and likable. I share them. I comment. I enjoy! Thanks. That’s all. Just thanks. (P.S., I think we are in the same age group, because I too am not a day over 50 — or so I appear!!)

Joan Cooper - We are kindred spirits – I have always prefered animals over people – they are more honest. We are taugtht that we never know what an animal will do – well – we never never know what a human may do.

Speaking of products, I have been trying an inexpensive face cream with stem cells in it. It is working and very inexpensive. The rest is just hype. Our whole country is just hype – that is why I love Telemondo Novellas. My how they understand human nature and present it so interestingly. Our TV is so so boring – so predictable.

Joan

Kitt Crescendo - Sadly, I learned with Gone With The Wind not to expect books and movies/tv shows to have much in common.

And you’re right…lots of people and things play well with smoke and mirrors to the detriment of themselves and those around them. Sadly, sometimes the people they fool most are themselves.

I don’t have time for fakes in my life…(authors writing under pen names don’t count as fake to me…much like the half broken cookies and calories).

If they teach a class on how to spot those in school, can we also teach people how to develop common sense? 😉

Tammy - Hi Sandy, those are some of the nicest words anyone has ever spoken about my blog. Thank you for that. So very happy you are enjoying the reads. Its kinda wonderful for me to know that you are on the other side of my weekly rants. I don’t know how you found me…but color me grateful to have you here!

Tammy - Kit, oh my, what a world it would be if we could teach common sense!? THAT would be awesome. I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, I suffer idiots with less grace. I look upon it as a blessing…to both me and the idiot. I agree with you, television and cinema are not a books friend. The last time I was happy with a series on a book was waaaay back in the day when Roots came out as a mini-series. Since then, it’s been downhill all the way. So happy to have you here, Kit. Thanks for that!

Tammy - Hi Joan, kindred spirits indeed! Lots of animals are predictable. Alligators bite and devour, cats and dogs oblige and keep company, birds sing, lions hunt. But you are SO right, we can never predict what humans can or will do. Predictability translates to dependability for me. Sadly, there have been pity few people in my life whom I have been able to depend upon. I’m grateful for the few. I enjoy many of our programs here in the states. But many would disagree with my choices, as I do love fantasy and competition. You MUST share the name of your face cream. Us girls have no secrets! Thanks, Joan, for popping by for the read. Love that you are here.

Tana Bevan - In short, substance vs. facade. Sadly, many prefer the latter. IMHO they’re missing out since it’s the former which gives life it’s depth.

eileen - I am a fan, of course, but this post really struck a chord with me. It voices my thoughts on the subjects of honesty and being real. I think truth no matter how difficult is always the best answer, although I think it’s OK to add kindness to some truths when telling them, “real” could never wrong, and I couldn’t agree more that we can learn many of these values and more from our four-legged friends.
Some of the most important things I’ve learned about how I want to live in this life were taught to me by a black dog named Gypsy.

Mel Glenn - You are a seeker of truth and honesty in this world, but sadly, you’re going to be disappointed.
You continue to fight the good fight, but you are up against the arsenal of dreams and profits. Truth in advertising? Come on. You might as well buy snake oil. I love the way you tilt at windmills; continue to do so.

Maryjo Faith Morgan - I’d tell you to get off your soapbox … but when it comes to all this … and especially DOVE soap, I have to agree 100% with you!

There is no substitute for the truth. Period.

Keep observing, commentating and writing! Ranting is OK, too.

PS: About book to movie … 120 pages of script can never do a book justice. However, it can tell an excellent albeit different version of the story. Said by someone glad to see writers writing books interesting enough to be made into movies.

Tammy - Hi Eileen, we share common ground, you and I. I’ve learned much of what I want to be when I grow up from my furry family members. To go through life with grace, give unconditional love, and be accepting of those things we can’t control, not being the least of it all. I fear we are in the minority when it comes to respecting and honoring truth. Apparently it’s so much easier to misrepresent your way through life. I never thought the complications were worth the trouble. I still lie, on occasion. When I do, I feel certain that it’s the right thing to do at the time. Hurting someone’s feelings is something I try to avoid even if a “white” lie is needed to do it. Ironically, telling that kind of lie seems noble in a way. Guess there is no pleasing me. Thank you for the read AND the comment. Blessing to your Gypsy. Clearly a wise old girl indeed!

Tammy - Mel, you are so poetic. Yup, I’m still fighting the good fight and still spending a good deal of time being disappointed. Guess it goes with the territory. I love dreams AND profits. I just don’t know why we can’t go about getting both of them without such vile deceptions. I will continue tilting, Mel, as long as you continue reading. Thanks for that!

Cindy Keller - Oh my gosh, I was just saying (yes, out loud) to the TV, “Why do you use 20-year-olds to sell anti-aging products? Give me someone my age and then I’ll believe it.” You speak for the trees, Tammy Bleck. I’m so glad I found your blog.

Tammy - Cindy, brilliant minds think alike. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. I LOVE speaking for the trees! Watching a 20 something year old sell us anti aging cream is like watching a teenager hawk Depends. Insulting. You don’t need to speak loudly to your TV anymore. I’m just a holler away. And for the record … I’m super glad you found my blog too!

Tammy - Maryjo, I’ll share my soapbox with you any day of the week! I so agree with you that scripts can give a wonderfully different version of a good book read. But tell us that (for the love of Pete!). Don’t push it on us with the notion that it’s the “book come to life”. It’s a rotten way to treat a loyal reading audience. All right … stepping down from my soap box (for now). I’m thrilled to know that you are still out there, Maryjo. Thrilled! Thanks for that.

Tammy - Tana, I’m afraid your observation is correct … substance vs façade doesn’t generally stand a chance. Unless you are in my world, then it means everything. Happy to report that there is little shortage of interesting, loving, supporting depth in the world occupied by yours truly. I am a lucky girl. A truthful lucky girl. Happy to have you in it.

Tana Bevan - Make for an interesting conversation don’t’cha think?

“What do you collect?”

“I collect substance.”

The answer says it all.

Answer one: “Huh?”

Answer two: “Coolio!”

Glad our paths crossed.

Ande Lyons - Tammy!

I LOVE how you are keeping it real this week – thank you!

We lived in LA (Pacific Palisades!) for two years and experienced first hand your ex-husband’s modus operandi. It was all about who you know… and yes – any contact with a celeb was turned into a BFF moment. WTH?

The attention to one’s car status in LA also amazed me. After 3 months I put a huge amount of duct tape on our car – just to make a statement! I’d also go WEEKS without washing it – GASP!

I hear you re: the Importance of Being Choosy when it comes to the folks (and pets!) you hang out with… in real life and online. The barometer check for me is someone who says they’re going to do something, then they go and do it. That’s one of the things I love BEST about YOU! 😀

Wishing you a day filled with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

LOVE YOU!

Ande

Tammy - Ande, Pacific Palisades is beautiful. But the snob factor is tough to take. Just saying. When my ex inherited the money he had been waiting for all his life, he didn’t hesitate to go out and buy himself an Aston Martin and a Mercedes. This was in addition to his 2 other cars. Yup, car envy is huge in L.A. It’s all so ridiculous and I’m thrilled to not have to deal with “that” anymore. Thanks for the kind words, Ande, I feel the very same about you. Doing what you say you’re going to do is evidently as rare as truth in advertising. Pity. That is why it’s wonderful when you find yourself aligned with the real deal. Which is why YOU have a fan in me! That’s the truth…so help me God!

Tammy - Tana, that’s awesome. I don’t collect substance … I AM substance (she says with her head held high). A blessing and a curse.

Jim Lunsford - Tammy, I’m not sure if the following link will show up in the comment box, or if it will still be linked. It is a video you may have already seen, “God Made a Dog.” In many ways it reflects your thoughts about the value of truth and your mention of how it seems to so naturally manifest in our beloved pets. If my dog were an advertising executive, the commercials would be more entertaining AND more honest than most of the shows on television.

Addiction is a Lot Better Than I Imagined!

I’ve never smoked, drank or did drugs. Boring, I know. But the point is, I’m not an addictive personality. I’m pretty much a take it or leave it kind of girl. Unless, of course, you count my addiction to the Grimm television series and M&M’s. But I digress. A friend of mine visiting from across […]

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Lisa Flowers - What a fun post about addiction! 🙂 I had no idea that sometimes games don’t cross over country barriers. So, it will be interesting to see how it does here in the U.S.

Tammy - Lisa, me either!! I’m predicting it will be a WILD success! THANKS for the visit and the comment!

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - No cellphone and no gaming for me… I guess I figure I waste enough time just messing around on the Internet already!

Valerie - Lmk when it gets to the US, gaming for money without the plane ticket to Vegas .. yay!

Tammy - Hi Valerie, I KNOW, right?! As soon as I know … you’ll know. They even do cash giveaways. No kidding. SO glad you popped in for the read and shared. Thanks for that!

Cathy Chester - Wow! I look forward to checking this out!

Jennifer - I am totally an addictive personality. I am addicted to my dang computer! I don’t normally play games, but this sounds fun. Definitely let us know when it is available here.

KymberlyFunFit - You have gone over to the dark side. Come back into the light. Slowly, slowly.

Suerae Stein - I’ve never heard of Pocket Fruity, but then again, I haven’t been overseas since the invention of Smart phones! I can get addicted to things, but thankfully, none of them have been harmful… yet!

Tammy - Cathy, that makes the two of us. Warning: it’s highly addictive. Appreciate the comment!

Tammy - Will do, Jennifer. They even give away cash prizes. What!?! Awesome.

Tammy - Kymberly, hahahaha, you are too funny! Yup, I straggled to the dark side and it was good! Thanks for being here!

Tammy - Suerae, I had never heard of it either. Supposedly it is making its way to us. In the meantime, we must be satisfied with our chocolate and puppy dog addictions! Happy to share them both with you!

Mel Glenn - I recently saw a picture of my son with five work friends standing in line for a roller coaster ride at Six Flags. Each one was checking for messages on his phone. What? Is conversation a lost art? I may be a troglodyte, but such devices will mean the fall of civilization. Run, run very fast away, and say hello to a stranger on the bus.

Tammy - Hi fellow troglodyte! I understand, and feel your pain. During my B-day weekend of visiting Hearst Castle and the countryside, I encountered a lovely young woman, probably around 20 years young. As we were all being led on a fascinating tour of Mr. Hearst upper quarters, she never once stopped texting on her I-Phone. It was all I could do but to rip it from her hands, hold her shoulders tightly, stare straight into her eyes and tell her in a low deep voice that would frighten God, to pay attention to the wonder around her, as it is likely she will never see it again. She was lost in technology. Lost to the beauty of the place where the present met the past. She will never know. How so very sad. Yes, I am that girl that not only talks to the stranger on the bus but welcomes her to join me for a cup of java. I’m with you, my friend. If only others followed suit.

Ande Lyons - Oh my gosh!

I understand completely about this type of addiction Tammy!

I don’t have an addictive personality either. Goddess knows there’s been plenty of opportunities to test this theory, but nope – got too bored with each attempt pretty quickly.

Until… those delicious little mind games like Pocket Fruity… I can’t stop! I tell myself just one more… but 15 minutes goes by in a heartbeat. I have to set the darn timer… and even that doesn’t always work!

I think the reason is in our busy, crazy world, the female brain needs a break from all it sees and all the multi-tasking it manages. Stepping into the masculine energy of hyper focusing can be a delicious respite.

Ok, that’s my excuse … er… observation on this lovely little addiction.

MUAH!

@AndeLyons

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