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Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1197218
Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland
Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland

Modern Day Alice

Welcome to the place were I chronicle my own falls down dark holes and adventures chasing white rabbits! Come on In, Take a Bite, You Never Know What You May Find...

"Curiouser and curiouser." Alice in Wonderland

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.

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September 3, 2021 at 8:42am
September 3, 2021 at 8:42am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT September 3rd
What is the Hardest Part of Your Job? Tell us how you deal with it.

I've been an airport brat ever since I started teetering after my father in the early years he worked as an aircraft mechanic. By the time he and his partner purchased their own FBO, the smells and sounds of a busy aviation shop had become part of my landscape. I still love the smell of MEK and the whirl of gear swings, the buzz of the techs working in every corner and the stillness of the hanger in the morning with all those silent fuselages lurking in the dimness. Its always felt like home to me.

I spent all my summers working with the company even as I pursed my other interests. I believed I was destined for a different career, despite how much I loved working with my father. Even though I started down a distinctly different path in college, I managed to find my way back, as if it called me. Midway through college I switched my major from science to international business. I moved home and started working in the aircraft sales division of my father's company. I found that I was uniquely suited to contribute to the company's success between the skills I learned at school but also because of my long history of working in virtually every department over the course of my life.

I worked the fuel desk as customer reception, then moved to logs and records transcription for the maintenance department. I researched Cheyennes all over the world for the sales department and I did a stint as an interim GM for a satellite location we purchased. I even ran an international sales division overseeing some agents working in South American procuring aircraft for import and resale. Over the last 25 years, I've made a career in aircraft sales, working closely with my father. It has taken me a lifetime to build the tribal knowledge around this industry and this company. I cut my teeth in an industry that is largely male dominated and driven by egos. It has been a hard-won battle for my place. I strive to emulate the leader my father has been everyday. I care deeply about the families connected to this business, many of them have been with us nearly 40 years. I have tremendous pride in our people and our reputation. My job is a dream job. It is challenging and dynamic and rewarding. I love the work, especially when the deals are complex and the demand is high.

So what's the hardest part of my job? Being my father's daughter, hands down.

From an early age, I knew I had to work smarter and harder than everyone else because of who I was. I refused to be the co-worker everyone tolerated because I was the bosses' kid. I worked crappy shifts for crappy pay for years. I did every job put in front me, and volunteered to do the jobs no one else wanted. I never once took advantage of who I was. I never pulled rank and never was an asshole. I dedicated myself to the company, to taking on whatever tasks were needed to further its success. Many times that meant working with people who made far, far more than I did who did not share the same commitment to the "cause". Without the benefit of separation, work always followed us home. It's always easier to take out frustrations on family and I bore that too, like a badge of honor sometimes - often volunteering to "talk to him first" if a situation needed diffusing or a mistake needed explaining. here was a lot of frustration but there was also the sense I was building my own legacy here. One day I would be asked to step up, and I would be ready. When that time came, no one would question that ascension because after all, I'd put in all the same dues alongside everyone else all these years.

This past summer, my father said he wanted to start stepping back. He wanted me to take over running sales. There was never a question. I was ready, of course. What I had spent 27 years training for if not this? He made the announcement about my promotion and the reception from my peers and coworkers was amazing. The overall sentiment was that it was "about time I had been given a larger role" and the outpouring of encouragement and support meant the world to me. It was the best validation that I had built a career here of credibility and service and that I was truly respected by my fellow coworkers. It made me proud. It made my father proud.

BUT, not everyone shared those sentiments. My father's business partner, his CEO and CFO, flatly opposed any sort of ascension or empowerment for me. Their despondence came as a real shock because this was the team of executives that I work the closest with. I had always had a very candid and solid relationship with his CEO and right-hand man in particular. There were several uncomfortable meetings when my role was debated around the table as I was vetted as one might a new hire - not an employee who has put in nearly 26 years of dedicated service. I don't think I've ever seen my father as angry over the push back, furious that all but his closest advisors, supported a decision that had been in the making for decades. For someone who has operated under the radar as much as possible, it was emotionally painful to be in that spotlight causing discord and tension among the highest ranks.

Inevitably, my father's will won out. My promotion was approved thought it has been very bittersweet. In the process I have learned how some people really feel about my abilities and contributions and has been very discouraging and disappointing. It isn't easy coming to work every day to do a job you love but know some of those most power people in the company are waiting for you to fail at. The zero confidence that I feel from those I work closely with every day, is the hardest part of my job by far.
September 2, 2021 at 10:31am
September 2, 2021 at 10:31am
30 day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT September 2nd
Where do you see yourself five years from now? Be realistic, write about your writing plans, or other plans you may have.

I always find these prompts to be very challenging. It is more about trying not to live for expectations over goals. I have goals for the next five years, get healthier, become the best leader for my sales team and develop my own credibility and industry recognition for myself and to write and publish more. Writing and publishing more means devoting more time to my craft and that's a tall order as I take on more and more in my career. It seems that at least those two goals are designed to be in constant conflict.

Five years passes in a flash for sure. In five years my daughter will be a softmore in high school and learning to drive...things I can not conceive of at the moment but I know will be here sooner than I anticipate and certainly before I am mentally prepared for them. Five years is a tough bracket of time to pin down honestly.
September 1, 2021 at 7:16pm
September 1, 2021 at 7:16pm
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT September 1th
Well, let's get this official month started with a different sort of prompt... What room in your home do you use the most? The least?

Happy to be back at the blogging thing, almost I nearly forgot Day 1!
The room in my house I used the most is the breakfast nook off the kitchen. It is a sunny area framed by a bay window that looks out over the bird feeders. It was always one of my favorite spaces since we moved into the house but it took on a special significance during the pandemic. I worked from home and struggled with the limitations and isolation of not being in my normally busy office. I settled in with my laptop and found, after a few weeks, that the space with its natural light and central location - brought me a lot of balance and comfort. I became fascinated with the birds, especially a crew of bright yellow finches that visited my feeders. The birds and their busy activity helped bring some energy and chaos to a world that had suddenly gone very still and silent for me.

The room in my house that I use least is ironically a little writing nook I made in the corner of the master bedroom. Perhaps the builder had envisioned a closet but never followed through - resulting in a little off-shoot that just big enough to accommodate a desk. It's a cozy, welcoming area that begs to have a novel written in but here I am, writing instead in my breakfast nook *Smile*
May 10, 2021 at 11:02am
May 10, 2021 at 11:02am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 10th
Think back to a time when you felt completely calm. What made you feel that way?

Completely calm? That is a the rarest of conditions for me lately. It seems I am always thinking about work or my daughter or some element of my life I'm trying to manage. Even during yoga, when we are all supposed to be picturing ourselves walking on the beach and clearing our minds for mediation...I find myself making mental lists, thinking about to what I need to do when the class ends. I'm not good at going completely calm.

There is one exception, one place where I find it easier to let go and be in the moment. I find that kind of peace at the barn. My sister has a horse farm and several days as week my daughter and I go to feed and before her lesson. On the bright Spring days before the fly season kicks in, the place is a peaceful slice of paradise. There are blue skies and green grass. The horses are happily munching and we tool around in the farm vehicle listing to our barn playlist and taking time to visit with our gelding Roo. There is a real serenity I find there. It is such a departure from my 9-5 world. Whatever is troubling me, I tend to forget it the minute I step on property and hear Roo's nickering. He seems to know whenever my daughter is near. Watching them walking side by side, backlit by the glow of the late afternoon sun, brings me a calmness and joy that seems boundless at times.
May 7, 2021 at 11:15am
May 7, 2021 at 11:15am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 7th
In your entry today, write about dreams. Do you dream often, or do you rarely remember your dreams? What is the strangest or most memorable dream you have ever had?

In the last year or so Ive begun taking melatonin gummies before bed. I find that they can sometimes give me very lucid but very disjointed dreams. I recall some parts of my dreams very vividly but the parts never seem to make sense when I try to join them together. I don't think I was a big dreamer overall, at least not memorable dreams. I went through a bizarre stint when I would have dreams about Mark Walberg after watching any movie at all in which he had even the briefest of cameos. They were racy dreams which was really odd because he wasn't at all someone I found particularly interesting. It lasted about a year then just as mysteriously, they went away. I can watch him in any movie today and no longer wake at 2am from a dreamy tryst.

The most lucid dreams I can remember having though where ones in which my ex would appear. I used to have a reoccurring dream when I would stretch out my legs in bed and my bare feet would come into contact with someone's back. It would be him, lying perpendicular across the end of my bed. In another I would wake to find him trying to place his clothes in my dresser draws. The conversations would always be sad. I would wake in tears most every time. My ex was a bad alcoholic. I had left him several months before his death and I think the dreams were always a manifestation of my inner guilt perhaps.

The most disturbing dreams I had were ones that involved me losing my teeth. It wasn't just one tooth, I would lose several a time. I think this is a fairly common theme in dreams and it does have several interpretations but I forget just now what those were.
May 7, 2021 at 10:35am
May 7, 2021 at 10:35am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 6th
Write about a community service or volunteer experience you’ve had in your life that made an impact on you.

This prompt has me drawing a blank, and I am embarrassed to admit that. I don't know as I have had much opportunity to volunteer in my community for some time. I was however a Sea Urchin volunteer during my middle school years at our local aquarium. It was definitely an impactful experience. At the time I believed I was destined to be a marine biologist and I was convinced that gig volunteering at the aquarium would be the first milestone on my journey to scientific greatness.

My stint lasted over two consecutive summers. It was filled with surprising revelations, the first one being that I did not enjoy dealing with the larger marine vertebrates...at all. I would have thought that spending the afternoons with dolphins and sea lions would be the ultimate dream for a girl who modeled herself after Dr. Eugene Clark and Jacques Cousteau. In reality, those duties numbers among my least favorite. The dolphins were ill- tempered. They like to spit at my while I was mopping the marine stage. The sea lions had a lovely habit in sliding in their own poop piles and cleaning up after them was horrendous. They were also know to be a bit mouthy and I saw more than one Aquarist with nasty bites from dealing with them in close proximity.

The tasks I ended up enjoying the most were more menial in nature, which was equally as surprising to me. I loved working behind the exhibit tanks with the Aquarists, preparing the food gel and stuffing the fish with vitamins. It was smelly, messy work but I enjoyed it. I loved feeding the variety of fish and other marine species on display. There was a lumpfish who was so comfortable he would readily take bits of food from my hand and let me rub his head. I loved being on the inside of that world. I felt so proud walking through the door marked, "Designated Personnel" to the wide salon where the display tanks were all accessed from a door on the roof of each tank. One of my favorite spaces was the "closet" where they grew and cultured the brine shrimp that they would use to sustain many of the exhibits. It was a narrow space lined with large glass jars where microscopic shrimp grew in increasing sizes as you moved down the row. It buzzed and hummed with filters and machinery and seemed to me at the time to be a wonder of invention.

When I visit the aquarium now, much has changed. There are still some exhibits that are original to my time there, like the trout river and circular shark tank. The smell is there too, a strange mix of brine and chlorine and it always takes me back. It was a wonderful experience and I have a lot of stories from my time spent there.
May 5, 2021 at 2:12pm
May 5, 2021 at 2:12pm
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 5th
If your job gave you a surprise seven day paid break to rest and recuperate, what would you do with those seven days?

My current vacation day balance is 349 hours...just over 43 days. In a standard year, one not plagued by covid, I barely manage to take a week straight off. My vacation time does not rollover so if I fail to use it, which I always do, its lost to the great never-was...along with some of my soul.
My office is understaffed but what's more, I'm the only individual who knows how to do my job. Prior to the pandemic, I spent almost two years training an assistant, someone who could back me up in case of emergencies...(or vacations!) and then sadly, COVID hit and the company had to lay her off due to lack of work. No one was thinking about buying aircraft when the world was virtually closed for months and months.

My job, my career...is a bit of sore spot for me these days. I've grown up in this industry and I think I live and work a lot of the edge of perpetual burnout. I'm not in a good headspace and I feel like this prompt could easily verve off into a briar patch of bitching and complaining - who needs that?!

To focus on the strictly positive then...I have booked our family vacation. We are going to Cape for a week in August. It is our happy place and after missing out last summer, my family is really looking forward to exploring the dunes and beaches of the National Seashore, shark watching and taking in the sites and sounds and shops of Commercial Street in P-Town. We are counting the days. I know that the minute we pass through Wellfleet, I will begin to smell the salt flats of Truro and my soul will start to heal in all the rough places. I know that when I climb the observation tower and look over that beach forest landscape where the white dunes give way to the wide expanse of the deep blue Atlantic ocean, my heart will be overcome with gratitude once again. We will spend our days with our toes in the sand and our nights eating ice cream and watching street musicians and drag queens dance. I love that each year we ask our daughter where she wants to go and year after year she says the Cape without a moments hesitation. She obviously feels the same pull as I do.
May 5, 2021 at 1:30pm
May 5, 2021 at 1:30pm
30 Day Blogging Challenge
May 4th
PROMPT May 4th
May the Fourth Be With You!
Write about a movie franchise or book series that you love.

I don't read too many series actually. Harry Potter might have been the only one in recent memory. Who doesn't love Harry Potter, right? It is so imaginative and creative. Despite her politics, I have a lot of respect for JK Rowling and the impressive world she built over an equally impressive number of volumes. She is a very prolific writer I think. I enjoy the immersive quality of her writing as well. For the most part, her books have lent themselves well to the films, I'm left satisfied that cast most aptly fits their literary counterparts. I think it makes the movies more enjoyable. There is something really special about seeing some of the elements of the books played out in a visually stunning ways.

I'd be remiss not to give a nod to Suzanne Collins for her Hunger Games series. While dystopian worlds don't typically attract me, I thought it was highly original and engaging. I loved the characters and once again, felt the films really brought the books to life in a very credible way.

I know as soon as I finish this entry I'll have a bunch more come to mind but its a cold, dreary day here in the New England and I'm much too preoccupied with making a visit to the coffee machine. The distractions are winning out over the muses today.
May 3, 2021 at 10:50am
May 3, 2021 at 10:50am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 3rd
What was the best thing that happened in your life over the weekend? Looking at the week ahead, what are your goals and how will you motivate yourself to achieve them?

This weekend my husband and I got our 2nd doses of the vaccine. Even though it knocked us both on our asses, it really felt like the best part of the weekend because it means we are 14 days closer to hugging my grandmother, to hosting our friends and family and planning vacations again. It has been a long, long time and there is much we have missed. Unfortunately, the slight fevers, headaches and body aches made finishing our weekend chores impossible. The week ahead will consist of catching up on those tasks and projects we could not get to. There is a levity in those chores though; the yard work, cleaning the deck, taking the summer clothes down from the attic...they all make life ready to absorb the summer months and all the promise and fun that season brings. I will be motivated by looking forward to enjoying the yard, of hearing the sounds of my neighborhood - alive and full of life. I look forward to bonfires with friends and grilling most of our meals, enjoying dinners on the deck. This summer seems so much sweeter, so much more full of promise after all the long months of isolation under the pandemic. There is tremendous motivation in reclaiming some normalcy.
May 3, 2021 at 10:32am
May 3, 2021 at 10:32am
30 Day blogging Challenge
PROMPT May 2nd
What smells or sounds bring back great memories of your childhood?

For me, it seems my childhood was spent in the basement of the tiny Raymond Hill Library. It was my happy place. They kept the Dorrie the Little Witch book in the children's stacks and it always smelled like moth balls and dust down there. I would curl up and read while my mother would attempt to corral my younger siblings into listening to story time or using the Lego tables. I moved quickly on from Dorrie to other more astute works but that musty combination of old books and dusty shelves always takes me back to the time when I first fell in love with books.

MEK is another smell that connects me to my childhood. MEK is a noxious smelly lubricate that the aviation technicians use. I spent many hours at work with my Dad at the airport and the smell pervaded the hanger and has become part of my permanent olfactory landscape. Even to this day, walking through the hanger on the way to my office, it transports me back. It has been a smell that has been part of my earliest memories and it grounds me like no other.

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