Sunday, April 24, 2011
The point of the red is to symbolize the blood of Christ. But the part of the tradition that sticks most with those of us who only know of red eggs is the ritual of cracking them. The way it goes is everyone gets an egg. You turn to the person seated next to you and say Christos Anesti, which in Greek means Christ has risen and you tap the egg of that person who responds with Alithos Anesti, truly he has risen. You keep going around the table until everyone has cracked eggs. It is supposed to be good luck if you are the person with the egg that did not crack.
One of my five dinner guests this year is a non Greek who let me know this was their first ever Greek Easter dinner. It wasn't until then that it occurred to me I should make an effort that this is a true Greek experience. Roasted lamb, spanakopita , roasted potatoes with lemon and oregano, koulourakia cookies, and oh, red eggs. I was going to have to dye red eggs. Even though I never have!
So yesterday in the pouring rain I trekked down Ninth Avenue to the International Grocery, the only place I know for sure would carry red dye after which I headed home to the half dozen eggs I had left in the refrigerator.
Did I mention that I never boil an egg? I'm not a big fan of hard boiled eggs. Yes, I can cook an elaborate dinner, but don't ask me how to boil an egg, much less dye one red.
I didn't want to call my mother. I wanted to surprise her knowing she would be happy that there would be red eggs at Easter dinner. But after googling and finding at least a dozen different ways to boil and dye an egg I caved in.
"You only have a half dozen eggs? What if you lose a few?"
Lose a few? Where were they going to go? Jump out of the pot? It never occurred to me they could crack while boiling.
"Only one packet of dye? You need at least two to get that rich red color."
Two? I took a cab instead of the bus to 39th Street and I didn't think to spring for a second $1.25 packet of dye? What was I thinking?
But this is what happens when I jump into the unknown. I go for it. I don't think about making mistakes. I don't account for the what ifs that might go wrong. I just do it. I plan on success.
"Honey, don't worry. They'll come out perfect. Everything you do always does."
Thanks Mom! Some days I need to hear that more than others.
P.S. Only one casualty. More pink, than red. But now I know that cutting corners over the little stuff is not always good business.
Monday, April 18, 2011
|My uncle surrounded by my Dad on the right |
and their other brother on the left.
Their stories of Coney Island, Brooklyn in the Depression, WWll, how they thought my grandmother had a tumor when in fact she was pregnant with my Uncle Alex. It was 1940 and a women well into her forties and pregnant was rare. The day my grandfather cut the telephone cord because my grandmother was talking on the phone too long with one of the neighbors. Or the time the police showed up looking for my father when in fact it was one of their cousin's using his name and pretending to be him that was in trouble.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I've no doubt that many really do know what they say they do and just as many have the experience to back it. But I also know there are just as many spinning tales and trying to convince you that they know more than you do.
Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes they have persuaded you that maybe you don't know all that much.
But what do you know?
When was the last time you took a personal assessment?
I'd forgotten all I knew about sales and marketing. After 25 years I knew I was good at it. I'd enjoyed a lengthy and successful career, but I had taken for granted just how much I knew. It's what happens when we spend our days surrounded by people who do the same thing. We take our knowledge, our skills and our expertise for granted. Especially in today's corporate environment where accolades from above are few and far between and the focus is on what you don't know or should have known.
It wasn't until I was far enough away that I could look in the rear view mirror and take toll of all I had stored up in my brain and what of that had value to me moving forward. That my sales background made the marketing aspect of writing easier. That my teaching and sales management experience was essentially years of coaching expertise. That life itself, if you are paying attention to what is happening affords you insight and intuition that you cannot put a price tag on.
Sometimes you don't know what you know until you step away from it. And it is only then that you can use it moving forward.
What do you know?
Have you taken a moment to reflect on what it is and its value?
Can you make a list?
How will you use that?
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I have two. They are both in the shape of an apple. The one in the kitchen is green and the one on my desk is red.
Yes there is a timer on my desk. It is my secret weapon for anyone working for themselves and juggling several projects. Or for that matter anyone who is trying to monitor their Facebook and Twitter time.
Here's how I've been using it lately.
I have a lot on my plate, every one with its own set of deadlines, from my upcoming webinar, to coaching clients, my book proposal, preparing for my June self publishing debut and a consulting project. They all need a portion of my day. Uninterrupted. No phone calls. No TV breaks.
I decide in advance, either the night before or in the morning, how much time I need to devote to each. Then I set the timer. An hour of writing. An hour for the consulting project. A half hour of phone calls. A half hour for emails and social networks. You get it. I don't stop until the timer goes off which coincidentally has been about the time I feel I have made some progress. I schedule in my breaks too, which lately have involved a lot of dancing to loud music.
When you are in an office, someone is usually standing over you or at least their energy is, reminding you of what you are supposed to be doing and invariably measuring your progress.
But when you work for yourself, you have only you and in my case, an egg timer.
How do you self monitor when you have a lot going on?
Have you tried the egg timer trick or do you have one of your own?