Sitting on the stone wall

I met one of the nicest group of people I’ve ever met in my life. 

Not just any stonewall. A wall in downtown Concord, NH.

Every Thursday I have a standing hair appointment. It sounds so basic, I know. But my Grandmother was grey at a young age and I’m not ready to go there quite yet. These ladies know just how I like my color, that I don’t need a massage, but that I love to visit and catch up. We eat, we laugh, we visit, hear about each others lives. Regular coffee talk. Minus the coffee.

Anyway.

On my way there I see the same group of people sitting outside the Clock Tower as I always do. We exchange pleasantries, say hello, and go about our day.

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The regular view from the stonewall

It’s on my way home the magic happens. 

My buddy Kevin plays the guitar. He yells “HI KATIE!” to me from across the street. He waves and smiles like I’m the only person he has seen all day.  And, every time I see him, he moves over on that stonewall and makes a seat for me.  I sit down, I visit, he and his buddies fill me in on what’s going on in town. We talk about the small things and the seemingly big things, which are of course all relative.

Today he was right in front of the State House, depending on the time of day and what’s going on in town is a pretty normal occurrence.  There were dogs, and families, new bikes, old bikes, and per usual, he moved over, made me a seat and we sat down and talked.  There was a ceremony on the State House steps and men in uniform walked by and saluted him and thanked him for his service. Today, Kevin was decked out in his military clothes. I also thanked him for his service.

And, he told me it was an honor to serve his country.

He told me about combat and where he was in the world, what he saw, and the kind of friends he made. He told me about how he left everything behind and when he came home nothing was as he remembered it. He’s a pretty private person and will only give little tidbits at a time about his life but I love hearing it and he knows everyone in town and their story too.

These guys stick together. They know where each other are most of the time. If someone’s missing, it’s because this or that. They care about each other and are proud to call Concord home.

When it got way too busy, the Introvert in me took over, and I said my goodbyes and he told me to be safe. We don’t even high five. It’s just an understanding, thanks for being here, nice to see you, hope to see you again next time.

With a wave and a big smile that was it. Until, we meet again my friend. 

The Office

Is a joke.

Oh Susan, please tell me more about your life, I’ll smile and pretend to care about your craft projects, or guys you’ve slept with, and how your night was.

Actually, let’s call a spade a spade. Not so much.

I hear that people have a hard time working from home; that there is too much that needs to be done around the house, and that there are other things going on, etc…coming from someone with a very high level of energy and a serious case of ADHD working from home for me is a miracle.

I can get more done in 5 hours than I ever could in an office. It’s time management at its finest.

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Take a Look at Ragged Edge’

Perhaps it’s not for everyone, but for me, working from home is a blessing. I can get my work done, meet my deadlines, not have to hear about Susan’s date last night, or any other useless drama that goes along with small talk in the office. It’s like the Monday morning quarter back, water cooler talk, blah, blah, blah, which to me are a huge waste of time.

If you trusted me enough to go to college, I can self manage. Trust me. 

There is a mentality in our country that you must be at the office by a certain time, be watched, micromanaged, and babysat the entire time you’re there. And, for me that just doesn’t fly. I know how to self manage. I know how to hit deadlines, I don’t need someone looking over my shoulder telling what to do. Give me a deadline and an idea of what you need, and I’ll make it happen.

In order to get a job in this country a Bachelor’s degree is expected, and then you get it, and you go right back to being in high school. It’s bizarre.  Working from home should not be earned, it should be expected. I build budgets, I pay you to work, I don’t want to pay to babysit your every move too.

While I was at UNH no one cared if I showed up to class, no one cared how I did on my exams, but, I only had three exams a semester per class my Freshman and Sophomore year so I better be damn sure I passed them with a B (any grade above a C was mandatory) if I wanted to stay in the Business School or on the Crew team. Which, obviously, I did.

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I spent hours and hours at the Thompson Library at UNH. Photo curtesy of UNH.

My experience at college was a lot of drinking, a lot of eating, a lot of studying, and a ton of time figuring out how to adult.  I knew what I needed to get done, when it was due, and how to manage a project.

Even if you didn’t go to UNH if you have any kind common sense, you get the point. 

Time management is crucial in any part of your life, whether you’re a mom, a professional, or juggling a ton of other projects. If you can’t be trusted to work alone, why keep that job?

I say that because I was just promoted and sixteen hours into the promotion an Executive in the company decided that our entire department needed to report back to the office because his son can’t be trusted to work from home. I’ll avoid the entire subject of nepotism for the sake of my own sanity,  but you get the point.

Hmmmmm….on that note, check please.

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So to wrap this up, I want to end with the fact that in my experience, adults don’t need to be babysat. They need to be trusted, empowered, and enabled to make their own decisions with the right guidance to get a job done correctly.

If you’re one of the managers that thinks anyone likes their hand held there are lots of books on the subject. 

My advice to you is to be a good leader, be a good role model, and make your employees happy. It may not be easy, but it’s the most economical, financially fiscal, and time efficient way to succeed.

It’s not you, it’s me.

And, I’m watching Suits. I’ve also been up for hours.

It’s not Making of a Murderer it’s better. Full of; smoking hot, smart guys, legal jargon, and emotionally unavailable men.

I can relate. Apparently, I’m a magnet for them. And, I’ve heard I’m the same way. Like attracts like apparently.

Anyway, let’s get down to business.

Dating mishaps, emotionally unavailable men, and train wrecks are pretty much where I am. Dinner, dates, and talks. Blah, blah, blah. I’m just like, well, that was fun, I’ll go back to my little life now.

I liked my little life, working, hanging out, eating, exercising, and just being a chick. A chick. Out of the spot light, a chick who just got her work done and didn’t run into the local store and hear she was on the front page of the paper. Above the fold. AGAIN. Well, that was nice, can I just buy this cheese, please?

So, let’s talk about you. Everyone we know has been in love and made mistakes. Yours truly has. Shocker, I know. But, it’s just a part of learning.

Being young, dumb and in love didn’t work out very well for me. And, I can start with my marriage, so hopefully it’ll work out better for you.

Watching Suits has brought me back to the basics. Looks don’t matter if you feel lonely, sad, or second place. What I’ve learned is that looks aren’t everything, hot guys may not be everything, but they do help.

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I threw that in there for your viewing pleasure.

The “It’s not you it’s me” line is one I’ve used a number of times, but it’s just not us is what I’m trying to say. You and I don’t mesh, we don’t click anymore, what we had is over. And, then, when that line was used on me and, I thought, wait one minute here, that’s my line.

It didn’t make it any easier. Breaking up is never easy. And, Suits uses that line all the time. Whether it’s a new relationship or a long term one, whether you’re the one breaking up or being broken up with, it’s not easy. We covered this in He’s just not that into you. But, keep that one in mind. It’s not fun to be second place to a career, life, or anything else. No one wants to be second. Even in a world where everyone gets a trophy, you don’t want to hang up a second place anything.

You can’t go to sleep with a laptop, a paycheck, or your work. So, treat the people you have in your life right. Remember that they are special and even if they aren’t right for you, they’ll make the perfect partner for someone else. Save the “it’s not you it’s me” line and enjoy what you have right now.

Because some day it may not be there to hold you when you’re tired, sick, sad, or hungry.