When did we stop asking WHY?

When I became a parent for the first time almost 14 years ago, my first son skipped the terrible two’s and the never ending “why” stage. WHEW!!! I was spared BIG TIME! (Or so I thought…I am getting ALL of the teenager stages, I guess they call that “balance”). Speaking of balance, I now have a 3 year old and he has followed the stereotypical toddler stages roadmap to THE T! We are currently knee deep in the “WHY?” stage. I mean heavily in that stage. EVERY sentence out of his adorable little mouth either begins with a WHY or ends with a WHY. Some of his questions are easy to respond to, but others just leave me at a loss. “Momma, why does the truck have so many tires?” “Momma, why did the people leave that there?” “Why does fluffy (our dog) have toys?” “Why is it raining?” “Momma, why is there poop coming out of my butt?” “Momma, where are those cars going? Why?” By the end of that walk or drive with my all too inquisitive toddler I am out of words and responses and clinching to…”because Momma said so” or “I don’t know”.

Yesterday, as I tucked my lil guy in bed, read a book and answered about 7 more WHY questions…I started to wonder, when did we stop asking “WHY”? When did we ultimately stop asking questions? There is SO much coming at us every single day and in so many different forms…texts, phones, emails, meetings, kids, spouses, house duties, television, work, social life, AHHHHH!! It’s no wonder we have the tendency to go into auto-pilot mode, just get things done and keep on moving so we can get to the next “thing”. What would happen if we stopped and asked “why”? Why do we need that meeting? Why are we maintaining the status quo? Why don’t we consider this instead? Why didn’t this opportunity/relationship work out? Did we stop asking because well, we are adults, we are suppose to have the answers? Or did we stop asking because we are afraid of the response?

It is NO secret that communication is the foundation of ANY relationship. The importance of asking questions, questions that make an impact and unravel the doubts and often misdirection we create in our heads is KEY in building that foundation. As a training and development professional I have had the opportunity to facilitate many communication trainings and have observed even the most experienced executives struggle with asking questions. It’s a skill, a skill that goes hand in hand with listening…the Mom and Pop of COMMUNICATION. When we are confronted with a situation that requires us to dig deeper and ask high impact questions, very often we take the route of sticking to surface questions, safe questions, questions that we know we can answer should roles be reversed. WHY? There is so much more we can learn if we just stop and ask WHY?

So granted, while my toddler has his “why” questioning skill mastered, he still has ways to go with his listening skills (as does every member in my household, including myself). However, this little human has reminded me that I need to stop more often, turn off the auto-pilot mode and ask questions. Who knows, I may learn something new. So, the next time you are thrown a new project, task, or assignment and you are not clear…ASK QUESTIONS. What do you have to lose? Better yet, what can you gain? If only we asked more questions, then…


The stories in my head!

Last week I had the joy of participating in one of those “great” perks you get when you join the Forties Club!!! Yep, I had my first mammogram! I barely slept the night before, tossing and turning and reliving all the horror stories I had heard in the past. How will I deal with that pain they have told me about? Will my implants get messed up when they squish them? I was a hot mess. My appointment was not scheduled until 12pm so I tried to keep myself busy with my lil guy and organizing my closet. Let me tell you…I purged the heck out of my closet that day! Time came to shower and prep for my appointment. No deodorant, no body lotion, no perfume, and no powder allowed…thank God it was SUPER breezy outside because with my nerves, my sweat glands were on overdrive. I dropped off my lil guy at my in-laws and off I went down that long road to my final destination! I went into auto-pilot mode once I walked into the office…handed my ID and insurance card over, gave the receptionist the necessary details and sat down to read my book. Well, I read a line and watched HGTV, read another line, and watched HGTV. I continued that sequence until I heard my name. The next thing I remember was walking in the hallway, following a very mellow speaking woman into a room while I held my shirt and bra in a plastic bag and I wore a top that opened to the front. She talked me through the process and I just felt the sweat trickle down my sides…there was no going back now. And so it began…WAIT!!! What?!? This is IT?!? WHAT?!? I lost SLEEP over THIS!!! It was NOTHING!! It didn’t pinch or hurt. She didn’t flatten them like a pancake, my implants never knew what happened! I practically danced my way back to the changing room. As I drove home EXCITED about my experience, I realized that once again I allowed the story in my head to take over and take control of my life. Unfortunately, that anxiety, that fear, that awful, painful, dark story has taken over too many events…when I had my bellybutton pierced, when I had to facilitate a class for the first time to a group of executives, when I had to facilitate my first virtual training, when I found out I was pregnant with my second child, and most recently when I lost my job. BUT guess what? The reality of each of those moments was NOTHING like the story I had in my head. The belly piercing was a breeze, both the classroom and virtual training were a hit, my lil guy is a happy and energetic 3-year-old that keeps us on our toes, and as for my job…TODAY marks 1 month since I was let go and I am here, I am LIVING and moving forward.

Am I the only story-teller? Does anyone else build this entire production in their head before any event that brings with it some kind of uncertainty? I would LOVE to know…how do YOU shut those stories down? Why do we create such a bleak outlook? I can’t do this anymore, not to myself and not to the ones I love because they feel it too. Tomorrow when I wake up, after I thank God for another day filled with opportunities, I am going to create a BEAUTIFUL and successful day in my head. Each day brings its own mystery and opportunities, lets discover them instead of dreading them. Living with that anxiety and fear has made me lose sight of so many blessings I have around me each day. Life is too short for that. Will you join me? Create that inspiring story in your head and then create the actions, behaviors and confidence you need to see that come true.


After 23 years…what’s this?

I started working when I was 17 years old. I worked as a sales associate at Clothestime, a clothing store with the latest and greatest casual fashions for  women (at least that’s how I saw it back then). That was the start of my work life. This new journey took me through many more retail clothing stores and ultimately to the financial industry where I found my passion in training and development. I spent 19 years growing and learning in the financial industry before venturing into the healthcare industry in order to further my career. Well, that was short lived…On February 24th, after 23 years of working and only taking holidays, weekends, maternity leave and scheduled vacations off (I may have taken 1 sick day off somewhere in there too), I was let go from my job. WHAT?!?! What the heck do I do NOW? My bonus daughter starts college in June! We have 3 kids! Crap, where is that savings account?!? AND then began all of the “if only…then…” scenarios in my head. And oh, the scenarios did not just focus on the past 14 months in the healthcare industry, OH NO!! The “if only…then…” scenarios went as far back as 1983 when I lost my mom in a car accident, they went back to 1995 when I graduated high school, they went back to 2008 when I got divorced, and continued to 2015 when I lost my dad to cancer. Holy CRAP…what was I doing! I was digging myself into this pity hole that no one would be able to pull me out of. So I sent out my SOS smoke signals and thru the amazing support and love from my husband, kids and dear friends (special thanks to Mr. Energy) I DUG MYSELF OUT!!! What the HECK was I doing? So what, I lost my job…BUT I have an amazing husband, healthy kids, a roof over my head, food on our table and I have the skills, knowledge and experience that NO ONE can take away. So I put on my big girl pants (well, more like my pencil skirt and high heels – more my style, LOL) and changed my mindset.

Yes, I am going on 3 weeks in this new status but the journey is just beginning. I have faith that this is where God wants me to be right now, so for now, I will enjoy my family, keep learning and growing and keep on blogging…What challenges have you faced and thought “If only…then…”? Guess what, if you are reading this today, you have either made it through that challenge or you are MAKING IT through that challenge. You are alive and breathing and THAT means YOU CAN MAKE IT!! You are not alone. I know the right door will open up for you too…let’s turn this challenge around and LEAP into the new possibilities! The only way we fail in this journey is by not learning from it and growing from it!