Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Foru Lessons Learned

While it is true that I did most of my holiday shopping online this year, I did spend one day running around, ok running is a stretch, but I spent the day out and about shopping locally.

With me was my son - one of my favorite people to hang out with. (in fact I'm so sorry that school has restarted!) Since we both had a few things we needed to pick up, it was going to be an entire day sort of thing. I knew we'd eat out, I just didn't know where.

Nearing the end of the day, we were leaving one shopping center only to find ourselves in gridlock. I mean true gridlock. (I blame this on the poor design of the shopping center )

And we were hungry man!!! grrrrrrrrrr.

We sat for a few moments going no where, discussing restaurant options and wondering how long we'd be stuck. Now, there are some fine eateries located right there in the perimeter of the shopping center parking lots but none really called out to LG.

Until we sat for like 5 more minutes. And I mean SAT.

Totally Still.

And who knew? Suddenly we were both feeling much more adventurous and so we made a decision to try the Macaroni Grill.

That is lesson #1

Sometimes the answer is right in front of you.

When you feel stuck - LOOK AROUND. What you need could be right there - either physically or in terms of inspiration.

We could have sat in that traffic for a really long time, hungry and waiting to get out. It was a powerless feeling, so instead we chose to take a closer look at what was right there.

Maneuvering carefully to extract ourselves from the line of cars we were in, I cut a sharp angle, and made it into the parking lot. We sort of went against traffic, sometimes that is exactly what is called for in life!

I'd never been there so didn't know what to expect. Turns out its a rather nice place to eat. Its sort of a 'formal' Italian joint.

LG ordered his favorite - macaroni and cheese - safe bet at MACARONI grill. :-) And I went for my standard - a Chicken Caesar Salad.

Then ----- I ordered the calamari.

I love calamari.

You never quite know what you're going to get as it can be awful if not done right, but it sounded good, so I went for it.

But it wasn't just me. Noooooooooooooo......

<- my LG tried the calamari.

And found he liked it!

This is Lesson #2

Try new things.

Even things that may sound awful or weird to you.

Let's face it - squid, octopus, octopi....it just doesn't sound terribly appetizing. And sometimes it doesn't look much better. But that platter up there is almost clean and WAS clean by the time we left.

So, if you know it won't KILL you (Silence!) - then take a chance. Try it.

Same old same old' is plain old boring.

And it doesn't get you any farther than everyone else who is doing and experiencing the same old things.

We enjoyed the restaurant so much that we decided to get a nice hefty gift card for my parents. We had already picked them up movie tickets for the theater down the road - now they could make it a complete night out if they so choose.

This is lesson #3

Share. Pay it forward.

I could have paid for our meal and gone on our way. But the meal was so good I figured I'd share it with someone who I knew could benefit. We wanted to share our happiness.

Don't keep it all bottled up inside - spread it around!

Tummies full and gift card in hand, we exited the restaurant and made our way to the car. Only to find that the traffic hadn't really broken up. Oh well, we needed to get home eventually, so we got in the car and started on our way. I was just getting ready to position ourselves to join the throngs of cars when I noticed a little car zipping towards the back of a nearby store.

And it hits me!

They are going to make their way BEHIND the shopping center, back along the delivery route where the big rigs pull in to drop off their goods.

This brings us to Lesson #4, something that seems counter intuitive and is a hard thing to master


Sometimes we have to look in the opposite direction of where we want to go to find out how to get there. Home is THAT way! cried my LG.

Yea, it is. But its going to be so much more efficient and faster to go this way. Trust me. (and you trust yourself my friends!)

And that is what we did. While everyone else was sitting in the traffic, inching along, taking turns letting one car go and then the other.....we went round the back! It took us all of 45 seconds to get to the exit, and when we got there - sure enough people were taking turns so we waited an additional 3 seconds til it was our turn...........

and we were FREE!

So the take away message is:

Don't get stuck this year.

Keep surveying where you are - look at what is available to you. People, places, things - make use of it.

Try something new. You may be surprised to find what you like or have a proclivity for! (Chances are you won't die.)

SHARE. It benefits others, but it also benefits you. GIVE. A compliment, a tip, a resource, etc.

and PLEASE - don't be afraid to go against the tide. How are you going to get anywhere if you are just caught up in all the other traffic?

Start today:

Explore the internet, investigate your town - find out what is at your fingertips. Join an online forum - network!

If you find this blog beneficial - share it with others.

Want to try a new technique? Check out the wire or metal tutorials at the Jewelry Artists Network

Intentionally go outside of your comfort zone - do something that you normally wouldn't do. That could be create in a different style or use different materials or even jump mediums! (see my candles or fabric hair flowers?)


My LG inspires me all the time

and I learn from him all the time

I try to keep my eyes open to learn from all situations.

Look for lessons each day, be inspired by those around you.........

and inspire us - leave a comment and let us know what lesson you are taking into 2011 or what inspired you today.