Lost in the Space of Abnormal – Lay a Course

During the onset of the pandemic stay-at-home mandate, it was imperative for me to be productive around the house. To not wallow in the worldwide unprecedented conditions I decided to do one of the things people rarely or EVER want to do . . . clean out and take inventory of the pantry and household supplies.

Clipboard in hand, the digging into cupboards began. Talk about lonely, boring work.

If only my daughter were still a young girl living at home. We’d have turned this into an adventure. Just like those migraine commercials where playtime becomes magical and the imagination soars.

We would have pretended to be lost in space. Intergalactic travelers stranded on a planet, its air contaminated by noxious gas.

We’d have to take stock. Make an inventory of our supplies. Rationing may be a possibility until necessary repairs to the ship were made and we could make our escape.

Canned foods – check

Baking products – check

Cleaning products – check

Toilet paper – uh oh

Before you could say, “Danger, Will Robinson,” the game ended.

I was transported back to reality. Returned to an unrecognizable earth where the hottest commodity was TP. Yes, I went there. The classic demand “take me to your leader” popped in my head with visions of porcelain thrones.

After that flash of humor, my mind went numb. I could not process the magnitude of the world situation.

Normal had vaporized and collectively we were lost in the space of abnormal.

People aren’t meant to be drifting in space, off course, and lost. So, the internet exploded with tips and suggestions on how to process this new abnormal. I used many of those tips; as well as trusting in and conversing with the CEO of the Universe.

The CEO of the Universe reminded me that I wasn’t lost; I’d forgotten to hope and focus on looking for the good. Hope takes action. Hope encourages us to lay a course for new destinations.

Our ancestors were affected by plagues, a 1918 flu pandemic, World War I and II, the Great Depression, and countless other crises. Abnormal has been the human experience from the beginning of recorded history.

What we think is a choice.

Behavior is a choice.

Choice cast us out of the garden and into a flawed world. Despite the flaws, humanity always chose to look ahead. Take inventory. Discover what led us to crisis; what we could learn.

We can choose to focus on action and what we need to do differently. Entrepreneurs will choose to rise from the ashes and begin again. People will become creative and thrive.

Today, information and suggestions are increasingly posted for business owners and executives to take inventory, plan for future crises, identify what needs to be done, and what an emerging “new normal” looks like within a company. The CDC has a “Resuming Business TOOLKIT” available as a starting point.

As an employee who has worked for decades within various types of companies in multiple positions, here’s what I would ask decision makers to consider:

Add Non-Management Employees to the Team
Whether a leader of a small business or large corporation, you’re probably going to establish a team to oversee the planning and creation of a new normal. Non-management employees:

can bring a different perspective to the table;

can be more informed about particular challenges employees face;

have valuable insight as to what does and does not work within positions, and;

because they were part of the conversation, can be your greatest ally and advocate when launching new policies or procedures.

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak, and Educate
If you want to get people on board a new normal, sell the sizzle. This sales technique has been around since the 1920’s. It’s used every day by savvy marketing specialists. Apple, Coca Cola, Pepsi, alcohol and cosmetics companies are masters at selling the benefits, the lifestyle potential, as a result of using their products.

I can only imagine the impact if the aforementioned marketing wizards assisted the CDC and WHO with creating some of their messaging materials.

Use illustrations, graphics, images, and videos that express ideas and clarify the benefits of new policies and procedures. Especially when it comes to health awareness. What do employees gain? People always ask themselves consciously or unconsciously, “What’s in it for me?” Show them. Show them why self care is imperative to the strength of the company and their community.

I want to feel safe in the workplace, as do other employees. Educate us. Explain the why behind new processes and procedures. Information is so fluid right now; make sure you’re sharing and posting current local, state, and federal guidelines. Communicate with us. Give us a voice and a safe place to share our concerns.

Don’t open your company up to a lawsuit. If you don’t have a Human Resource department, hire a reputable HR consultant or firm, like the Human Resource Connection, Ltd., to make sure your new policies and procedures are well documented, equitable, and up-to-date with the ever-changing employment laws.

Inspire When you Hire
The wisest question every one of us can ask ourselves is, “Who do I want to be?” Each of us, employer or employee, are leaders. Our spirit reflects what flows from within us. What we do affects and influences family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and strangers. There’s a reason why the movie It’s a Wonderful Life is still popular after decades. We live with its theme every day.

Inspire people. Promote and show new hires and employees that you and your company’s behavior and culture inspires by:

radiating positivity;

trusting employees;

giving everyone individual attention, praise, and feedback during the entire year; not just during an annual review;

brightening the workplace (and remote worker’s communications) with color or nature murals, superhero images, and inspirational quotes, and;

mirroring Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey.

According to NBC news, for Twitter employees, “who are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.” If employees choose to return to the mother ship, they will be welcomed with open arms.

Let’s stop being lost. Lay a course and, “Engage.”

© 2013 – 2020 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation©

One of my favorite games is “Word Association.” The way our family plays it, one person will kick off a game with a word that describes their day or how they are feeling at the moment. The next person will quickly say a word associated with the feeling or we will respond with an expression of commiseration.

We can only communicate using the most descriptive single word possible. No swear words allowed. Or that could easily deteriorate in a direction no family should go.

Generally our words are so completely random, yet associative, it doesn’t take long before we’re laughing our heads off.

During the pandemic stay at home mandate we didn’t laugh much when we played. We found ourselves using words that were glum and dispirited. Very few joyful or positive reactions were elicited.

Instead of simply being a fun exercise, the game became cathartic. We were allowed to express any frustration, anger, hurt, pain, sadness, grief, belief or opinion in a safe zone. We took the time to really think about each word we were conveying.  It gave us space to articulate our emotions and a starting point for conversations about how to handle emotional distress.    

It made us stronger.

Collectively releasing the pressure, worry, and stress, we collectively focused on what we could do, not on what was denied us.

We didn’t like and still don’t like the new COVID-19 world order. Yet we know we are strong.

Strong doesn’t have to be rigid. Strong is defined as the power to perform physically demanding tasks; able to withstand great force or pressure; not easy to break or damage.

We are not broken.

We do not give up.

We do not stay angry.

We do not focus on complaining.

We still get choices. We get to choose every moment of every day how we respond to any circumstance.

We focus on gratitude and thankfulness for the thousands of people who kept our home lights on and our water and electricity running, our medical facilities operating, our essential stores open, our online orders delivered, and all the other countless ways we were and continue to be provided for.

We can turn to the CEO of the Universe who is always available to teach us about strength and replacing fear with love, peace, patience, and compassion. We can balance our convictions with love, peace, patience, and compassion.

 Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word.  “I am feeling strong.”  

© 2013 – 2020 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

 ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation©

We live in a turbulent, flawed world. It takes effort to find the good within our beautiful planet.

Pushing aside the usual horrors the media flaunts and in the forefront of most people’s minds is the frustration and fear of SARS-CoV-2 also known as COVID-19. A frightening disease with no vaccine or cure. It lies silent in some humans and kills others. Presenting itself differently in each body, it’s hard to know if you have it or can transmit it to loved ones or strangers. Add to that an unprecedented mandate for Americans to stay home, in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, putting thousands of people out of work. Mind numbing.

Dwelling too much on all the issues connected to SARS-CoV-2 that are out of my control I began to sink into despair. When the darkness inside me began to close in, it was definitely time to take action.

I knocked on the CEO of the Universe’s door. Every day, sometimes several times a day I informed the CEO how upsetting this new chain of events was to me. I told Him how scared me, my family, and my global family were and turned it over to Him. I prayed for the sick, the healthcare workers, and for everyone to have the wisdom to make wise choices. Above all, I asked for peace and that everyone knows we are not alone, the CEO is always with us.  

The good news that became my daily focus was Jesus saying, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 KJV) I ask for and receive peace each day. I trust the one who is trustworthy and have faith in the one who is faithful. I cannot control other people or situations or diseases. I can, with the supernatural help of the CEO, control myself, my emotions, my thoughts and my feelings.  

Today, I choose to cloak myself in the CEO’s light. I choose to feel peace, display love, and radiate joy as a reflection of the CEO whose kingdom will rule on this earth without any disease. I choose to dwell in hope for a better world when only good will come.

One word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word. “I am good.”

© 2013 – 2020 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

 ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©

Day #50  Victorious

The olive branch was used as a symbol of peace and victory in ancient times. Olive wreaths were awarded as prizes to Olympic victors.

Olive oil, used throughout the world, is a nutritious and delectable choice for healthy eating. Use it now, rather than later, for freshness makes a difference.

Olive oil can be burned for illumination in lamps and some cosmetics and soaps use it as a base.

All of which are great reasons to use the olive and leaf as a backdrop in today’s feeling victorious image. One of the prizes for victory over moving past childhood or long-standing negatives is emotional health and a clean, light life.  

I am feeling victorious over negatives in my past.

I refuse to let past choices, mistakes, or people harm me.

I am now making good choices.

Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word.  

Victorious 7-27-16 © 2013 - 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com

© 2013 – 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©

Day #37  Confident

I am confident in my ability to learn new life-enhancing habits, beliefs, and traits.

I am open and receptive to being taught what I need to know.

Confident is having a strong belief, being sure of oneself and one’s abilities, and having a likelihood of success.

It always raises my confidence level when I talk with the CEO of the Universe and ask for guidance. (Proverbs 3:5-12)

Trusting my inner voice assists in correcting my thinking. Trusting that the right reading materials, people, or doors of opportunity will appear to teach and train me in life-enhancing ways always works.

Being open and receptive means I can be taught and won’t miss out on ways to improve myself. And that makes me feel confident.

Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word.  

Confident 7-14-16 © 2013 - 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com

© 2013 – 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©

Day #36  Admirable

I am worthy of being respected, appreciated, and valued.

Believe it.

Live it.

Be it.

The power is within me to be what I choose to feel.

Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word.  

Admirable 7-13-16 © 2013 - 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com

© 2013 – 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©

Day #35  Fantastic

The power is within me to choose how I feel.

Today I am feeling fantastic whatever the circumstances.

Because I can.

Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word.

Fantastic 7-12-16 © 2013 - 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com

© 2013 – 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©

Day #34  Lucky

Today is July 11th or 7 – 11.

To some folks these are lucky numbers. Nevada was the first state to legalize gambling in 1931 and often times you can find souvenirs adorned with the numbers 7 and 11.

Having lived in Nevada for decades, I’m very fortunate not to have caught the gambling bug. However, one thing I did learn when first moving here, there is no such thing as a lucky number.

You can beg to differ with me and that’s okay, win or lose, it’s your money.

Seven come eleven is a term used in the game of craps where a “natural” is a roll of two dice with a score of seven or eleven on the come out roll. If players wagered money on the “pass line” bet – they win.

And that’s my extent of knowledge about the game of craps.

What I do know about is luck.

Did you know the definition of luck in Webster’s Dictionary is, “the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person’s life, as in shaping events or opportunities; good fortune; success.

I don’t believe in Lady Luck being “the force.” Although thoughts that other people were luckier than me persisted until what I think of as the true force, the CEO of the Universe, found me and lessons of the Law of Attraction (another force) were learned.

I will reap what I sow and what I give out will return to me.

BEING the person I want to be in my mind and my thoughts, asking with thankfulness and taking action, while releasing the outcome is a habit that makes me feel lucky.

As I routinely ask to be open and receptive to the good and abundance of the Universe, good from unexpected sources pops into my life.

It can in your life too.

Let the Universe maneuver circumstances to give you good. Make life-enhancing choices that magnetize good into your life. Cooperate with the CEO of the Universe by treating people with love, respect and appreciation and step forward when doors of opportunity swing open.

It worked and is working for me. My life improves for the better every day.

Today’s affirmation is, “I am lucky. I believe in the Law of Attraction and receiving good from unexpected sources; especially when I make wise life-enhancing choices.”

Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word.  

Lucky 7-11-16 © 2013 - 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com

© 2013 – 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©

Day #33  Rested

One of the best choices I ever made was to unplug and detach from world events and productivity at least one day a week.

I decided Sunday would be my breather from everything outside my family and home.

If the most powerful being in the universe took a respite from all the work he’d created and made, I can too. (Genesis 2:2, 3 KJV)

I refused to be afraid to miss out on anything.

And guess what, the world didn’t stop turning because I wasn’t plugged in. Terrible events kept right on happening; however I wasn’t affected or infected by them. My mind, body, spirit and soul got healthier.

Yes, I practice what I preach. If you’re following 365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©, you’ll see the postings sometimes don’t get done every day. Until I figure out HootSuite or some other social media management tool, there are intervals between productivity.

It doesn’t matter what day you pick, just pick one and try unplugging one day a week for one month. See how it makes you feel. It makes me feel rested.

And can’t we all use more rest in this noisy, fast-paced, 24/7 world?

Today’s affirmation is, “I am rested. It is okay to unplug and detach from world events at least one day a week. It is okay to take a productivity rest at least one day a week.”

Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word. 

Rested 7-10-16 © 2013 - 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com 

© 2013 – 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Today’s Word Is . . .

365 Days of Transformation One Word at a Time©

Day #32  Playful

Have you ever had a morning similar to this?

The other morning I woke up feeling really off. Nothing was wrong, just felt off.

Getting ready for work I banged my shin on the edge of the bed frame. Buttoning my shirt a button in a very strategic position fell off. And my hair . . . oh let’s just not go there.

Then my husband began telling me about the horrifying news of the day. It made me sad and angry at the way people are treating other people.

Went to post the blog for “Today’s Word Is . . . “ and the computer mouse decides to act up.

Not just act up; it threw a tantrum of epic proportions. What should have taken me about ten minutes to accomplish took forty-five minutes and there you go, getting to work on time was cutting it too close.

Especially when I had to take the time to ponder giving the computer mouse a horrific death.

As I’m racing down the street heading for my place of employment, a man in a huge truck looked right at me, pulled out in front of me and slowed waaaay down. He wasn’t even bothering to do the speed limit and traffic was too congested to pass him.

I think those kind of people have control issues.

Anyhoo, my thoughts were in a terrible place and I caught myself thinking the whole day was going to be ruined, darn it.

I started deep breathing; after all I had plenty of time with Mr. I Can’t Even Do the Speed Limit setting a snail’s pace. And I calmed enough to remember one of my favorite affirmations:

“I have the power to choose how I feel, whatever the circumstances.”

I can feel as good in this moment as I do on a Saturday when I’m having fun or when I’m on vacation. Or wait, when I’m at Disneyland home of the mouse that would never do something as cheesy as nibble away at my blog posting timetable.

Found myself smiling at fond memories of taking my daughter to Disneyland. Soon I was thinking and living out playful cheerful thoughts. I felt more optimistic and knew the rest of the day could be awesome. The truck in front of me turned leaving me a clear path . . . to a red light.

That was okay, because in my mind I was in line getting ready to savor a corn dog at Disneyland (which is the BEST on the planet) and contemplating riding the Matterhorn. Eh, what’s a red light?

Barely made it to work on time. Everything during the day didn’t go smoothly, yet I felt good. Playful. Full of fun. The people I interacted with picked up on that vibration and life was light and humorous.

Once again, the Law of Attraction worked. What you give out is returned to you.

The day could have been filled with gloom and doom. Sadness, anger, and yuck. I have absolutely no control over what other people do. I can only control myself and my thoughts. Recalling fun, life-enhancing memories transforms my feelings and brightens the day.

Today’s affirmation is, “I am playful and cheerful when I breathe deeply and recall fun memories to take the place of gloomy or dispiriting thoughts.

Transformation, one word, one day at a time.

Change your outlook.

Change your behavior.

When asked, “How are you?” answer with today’s word.  

Playful 7-9-2016 © 2013 - 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com

© 2013 – 2016 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.