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Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Archive for April 2009

About Key West…

I posted Facebook entries that told the world I was heading down to The Keys with some friends for a long weekend. What I could not possibly convey that I was going to The Keys with six of the most special women I have ever met. I met these women several years ago when I began researching my novel, Mermaid Mambo, which is about a 78-year-0ld former Weeki Wachee mermaid who travels to a mermaid reunion to rediscover her soul.

I became friends with “the formers,” which is a cluster of former mermaids who are between the ages of 57 and 70. They are some of the best friends I have ever had. I share them with you so you can see that aging is nothing to fear. It is something to embrace — because you can travel this road with others who will fill your days with heart and adventure and great love. They are all older than I am, but so much younger. So, they are my teachers.

I hope you have friends like these great women. They all face real challenges in their lives, but the support they have from each other is unflinching and true. When you see the trust and connection that exists between them, you will realize that you can always feel true joy in the moment — no matter what else is going on. Count on your friends they will get you through anything.

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Time-out.

download children of dune online secret life of bees the dvd download I’ll be off for a couple of days, travelling to The Keys to do research for my next novel. Have a great week!

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It was supposed to rain today…

It was supposed to rain today, so I skipped my morning walk and stayed in and worked.

The clouds never left, so I stayed at my desk.

I didn’t want to get wet, but the day is now gone and I realize I made a mistake because there was no storm — just one minute of sprinkles. I missed all those dramatic clouds hovering over the shore. I didn’t get any exercise. I cheated myself of my two favorite hours of the day because I didn’t want to get caught in a storm that never came.

How many times do we hold back because we fear a storm that never materializes? And, what if we brave it and we get caught out there? What’s the worst thing that happens?

We get wet. Big deal. Better to be out there living and experiencing all that life has to offer than waiting inside where it is safe and dry.

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Why Susan Boyle Gives Us Hope…

If you haven’t seen the extraordinary video of Susan Boyle facing the judges of “Britain’s Got Talent,” you must. It’s worth every minute of your time. I’d embed the video here, but there are no codes available for that, so you’ll have to leave me for a few to see it. If this doesn’t bring you to tears, you must be a stone.

Susan was the brightest ray of hope on a dark day filled with thunderstorms and gloom. She’s almost 48, unemployed and never married. Before taking the stage in Britain’s version of American Idol, she admitted she also had never been kissed. Millions are wrapping her with their love now.

Her performance is so heartening because her beauty is so much more powerful than our biases. Sure, her voice is remarkable and she has more singing talent than anybody out there today. But that’s not it. It’s that she never gave up on her dream, and no matter what she looked like — or how impossible the odds were — she still believed in herself.

She shows us that we can keep believing, no matter what. That is true hope, and that is what this woman gave us when we finally allowed her star to shine.

The Slog.

I’m hearing from so many of you who so depleted by the economy and so worried about how you will make it through this year. This is such an obstacle course.

It is hard to stay up when you constantly feel your efforts are being beaten down, but your ability to get up every time you are pushed down is what will get you through this. Keep trying. Don’t wear your suffering on your face.

I have several clients who are truly struggling because they still haven’t found work months after being laid off. We hear so much about the economic crisis, but this is a very human crisis that has forced once-successful professionals into depressions because they keep “losing” at everything they try. Here are some simple suggestions on what to do to keep your mind in the game. It really is much easier than it seems:

1. Circumstances are beating everybody up — not just you. Don’t take things personally, no matter how many times you are passed over, rejected or ignored. There are millions of people in the same boat.
2. Stay optimistic. Do not EVER worry that the troubles you have now will last forever or they will last forever. Tell yourself that you are tough enough to outlast any crisis.
3. When you fall down, get back up. Every time.
4. Don’t give yourself brain damage trying to “force” a fix. Sometimes, things fix themselves if you stop pushing so hard.
5. Don’t sacrifice this year or any other to misery. Find something in your world that makes you happy and make time to enjoy that whenever you can.
6. Don’t show desperation. It doesn’t help anything and people, for some reason, don’t like helping desperate people. Desperation makes people uncomfortable.
7. Count your blessings the first thing in the morning and the last thing in the evening.

Hang in there. You’ll get through this.

Thank. GOD. It’s. Friday.

A Good Hair Day For Jessie-Lynne Kerr.

When I first started in journalism, I was charmed by so many of the newsroom characters who started in newspapers back when journalism was really all about reporting the news — not making more money. One of the most memorable reporters I ever worked with was Jessie-Lynne Kerr, an institution at The Florida Times-Union. Back then, she was smart, talented, fun and truly an original.  She still is.

She’s seen it all and written the stories. Now, she has lung cancer. I did the math and figured out that, when we worked together, she was the age I am now. I can’t believe so much time has gone by. She remains the same courageous, resilient woman she always was. And she is still teaching us so much about life.

It is such an honor to share her with you.

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From Today’s E-mail. I love this.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t push any particular religion or doctrine, but encourage everyone to find a spiritual component for their life. I got this e-mail and loved it…

Memo from God:

To: YOU
Date: TODAY
From: GOD
Subject: YOURSELF
Reference: LIFE

This is God. Today I will be handling all of your problems for you. I do not need your help. So, have a nice day. I love you.

P.S. And, remember… If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do Not attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME. All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege. Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years. Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it’s like to love and be loved in return. Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children. Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk. Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine. Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity. Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

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— God

Coping Skills: The Gift of the Downturn

Four years ago, I received an e-mail from a woman who saw me give a speech on risk-taking, then went to work the next morning and  quit her job. She had no employment prospects, no plan — not even a hunch of what she wanted to do with her life — yet she told me she felt liberated because she didn’t like her boss. Her financial planner was furious. I was horrified.

I never did hear what she wound up doing, because she disappeared after a month of correspondence.

I always wondered why someone would do something so rash. Sure, I’ve always been a huge proponent of risk-taking because none of us will ever know our limits if we don’t test them a little. I always say, “The worst thing that can happen is that you learn something.” But, I also have always said, “FORTIFY your risks.” That means having a plan. Or at least a notion. You don’t dive into the unknown without doing any homework.

Now, fast forward four years. It is 2009. Unemployment is horrible. The economy stinks. Every day, we hear of more layoffs and collapsing businesses. What do I say about risk-taking in this kind of climate?

Well, our greatest opportunity can be found in the risks you take. It can be a GREAT time to start a business if that is what you plan to do. There are plenty of ways to create success out of the downturn. But, you have to really put some effort into fortifying your risk. That means being ready. Having the resources you need. You can never be 100 percent sure that you are doing the right thing, but don’t be rash.

There is a push-pull in 2009. There is so much opportunity to be gained, but you have to cover yourself because there is a lot to lose. I have had to sit a few of my coaching clients down for a dose of reality. One can’t stand her boss. One hates her new job. The other is bored to death. All of them are tempted to bolt. All of their minds are stuck in negativity loops because they are miserable with their jobs.

I told them, “That is so 2007. You don’t get to be miserable with your job in 2009. At least you have a job. For the next couple of years, kiss your paycheck and find your joy outside your work.” That doesn’t mean they can’t look around or come up with their own Plan B. It means they need to make peace with a little unease while they do everything they can to find the right Plan B that will work.

Maybe we all got a little “soft” over the years. We expected to enjoy our work, be treated well, be compensated fairly and rewarded for our hard work. When things didn’t feel right, we went looking for change. The same went for relationships. If we weren’t happy, we moved on.

Our current difficulties are forcing us to acquire some of the patience and stamina that our parents and grandparents had. We are being forced to stop complaining and start coping. Earlier generations stuck together. They didn’t whine about bosses, didn’t spend frivolously, didn’t have credit card problems and didn’t expect to be coddled. They bucked up. In jobs and relationships.

I do agree that it was more fun when we could be a little less deliberative about our choices, but there is something powerful in the lessons we are learning today. There may be hardship, but what a teacher it is.