BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

With each passing moment… December 31, 2009

I’m experiencing an ‘aha’ this evening…just home from work after another day of shocks and thrills. I’m considering that the universe feels I’m suited for the frontline, I’m supposed to be the commander of the artillery regiment. I certainly am becoming adept at putting out fires and managing change. Not initially, I still react like a terrier during a lightning storm at first blow, but I know I’m best qualified for red alert, Mayday alerts and though rarely heard of, today was close to a DEFCON 1 alert. In fact, these alerts are becoming commonplace in my world.

‘Ohhh, another pesky earthquake, hold on darling, I’ll be there in a sec.’ Yawn.

I no longer dream of lazy afternoons on Italian hillsides in the sun, I think more about how fantastic a mere 12 hour work day will be or a day off to shop for groceries and change my sheets.

This thinking brought me to something new today. After dealing with our ‘company alert’ and bit of mayhem today, I watched this team of mine in their own style rally forth, come together, solve problems, give of themselves, find some appropriate giggles at one point, (thank you) and of course make fun of their boss in the most affectionate way. They are a sturdy group of ‘gals’ who I’ve somehow gathered together, a crop of loyalists perhaps, the high percentage ‘older’ women like myself, (though we appreciate the ‘youngster’ in the group greatly and her spirited perspective of the world)!

These ‘older’ women though….they’ve been ‘there’, seen the world through their own lens, experienced heartache, loss, had their triumphs. They somehow seem to ‘get’ what I’m after and have an appreciation of the jobs they’ve accepted and been chosen for and in my estimation, take them to heights of commitment which honestly, I haven’t seen lately in the way I see it in them. There is no martyrdom, no need for recognition, just a sense of duty and commitment which I appreciate more than I might EVER know how to express. Truly.

I’m the parent of this business, it’s my job to be present during turbulent times. Certainly at this point in my business. But it’s the small moments of offering time, help, thoughtfulness from my entire team that moved me tonight.

Being New Year’s Eve, I’d planned a night of zydeco dancing in Athens, (and it’d been a looong time since I merrily moved my feet in public or saw my band of lively dancer pals), though was foiled by our ‘today’ travesty which needed my immediate and prolonged care and attention. (A business being not unlike a very small baby).

While waiting for our visiting chef to finish his New Year’s Eve prep, I sat with Debbie, my new operations angel, going over the day, the week, the month. It was New Year’s Eve so I felt it appropriate to break open a bottle of wine while we waited as it had been a VERY long day full of stressful moments and uncertainty. As we relived the day and the month, we’d get to what are NOW the fun parts of dramas lived, (and which we survived since her recent tenure at my establishment), and began to relive and act out (well I did), the unbelievable episodes of our recent past.

We laughed til we nearly peed our panties….and Debbie has a laugh, (which I love) which could rival Paul Revere’s call. Welcomed moments during a day of siege, indeed!

I remember in a moment, feeling a certain sense of peace, which honestly I’ve not been having much of lately. I thought, ‘this is exactly where I’m supposed to be, (for now), in THIS moment.’ I often am way ahead of myself, missing my ‘now’ with pursuits which nip at my tail. But here, exhausted after a day of nip and strenuous tuck, I was experiencing the good humor and dedication of this extraordinary woman. Lucky me.

And then Lois, fondly name the ‘Velvet Hammer’ arrived, my new financial wizard. Having worked in the Gwinnett government system for 28 years, ‘the Hammer’ as we affectionately call her, is the presence who will assure that each department in my company has their policies, procedures and protocol. (did you hear a HUGE sigh)? In came Lois with a bag of salty corn chips, a bright red ‘jar’ candle which she’d bought on sale and Paul Newman’s spicy salsa. She’d come to see if we were okay and if we needed anything. I could feel my shoulders drop a solid foot.

‘Wow. Thank you. No, really, thank you. How entirely thoughtful.’

And there we sat, three ladies over 50 truly enjoying the passing of time and stories we’d already built in knowing one another barely a month.

Then in came Roger, our tall, slim, ‘fix it’ man, in like a wandering troubadour! I’d left a message earlier that day that our sink was linking in the back kitchen, to alert him to let Debbie know when he could come fix it next week. His long lanky self appeared in the doorway of our office with his wrench in hand and that crooked smile.

‘Roger….you’re here on New Year’s Eve!!’

‘Well,’ in his low voiced southern drawl, ‘you said your sink was a leakin.’

I hugged his skinny frame and led him to the sink.

I learned that his wife was out in his truck in our drive so invited her in to see the place, to ask about her holiday, plans for the evening. She met Debbie, Lois and our chef and then off they went, and our leaky sink sat dry as a bone.

It’s the moments. Only the moments which matter. What did Mother Theresa say, something about not worrying about doing great things, but to do small things greatly.

I am a woman whose wealth is best measured by the people who surround me. Of that I am sure.

My sheets will get changed tomorrow, (maybe), and groceries, awwww, there’s cereal in the cupboard. Tonight, as I ready for bed to service a full work day tomorrow, and as we symbolically move into a new decade, I look forward to experiencing the moments which might unfold in 2010.

With gratitude to my entire team at Carl House. Thank you. Here’s to great things in the upcoming year and beyond!

BB Webb

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Friends can be like…

…popcorn, constant explosions of impulse, surprise, support, smarts and fun, fun, fun! I’ll speak today of one favorite friend….my pal 2Lu. She’s smart as a whip, wears the funniest clown pants in history, makes me laugh so hard with her quick wit and sharp tongue, has a selflessness in key areas that inspire and leave me in ‘fall over, knock your socks off’ awe and yet another side can rally forth a litany of insults to a deserving creep in record fashion. She is a distinct enigma to me. She’s private though I am honored to be privy to her inner most thoughts which I’d never expose for I am as loyal as my dogs are to me….more so maybe. (And as a non-dog lover, I’m proud to say, she adores mine).

Though, I must say, I am comforted to know that should I die before my blessed hounds, they’d saddle up next to any loving heartful person who would rub, feed and love on them as I do. I’m very good at that….especially the loving part. And 2Lu would no doubt find the very best home for them, (knowing that would NOT be her home), and….she’d maybe go visit them.

I am honored to have her trust in me and I’d never betray her….I HATE pain, but would have to die screaming with torture before I’d spill a confidence she asked me to keep. (Though I admit, the torturer would quit just to stop my INCREDIBLE protest….I’m a noisy one and will scream, holler and screech if I need to, in a way that frankly could put Jeff Gordon in a sudden stop on the Nascar raceway).

But back to my friend. She can kid at my idiosyncracies, the self absorbed parts, in a way that makes us both laugh til our sides ache. We regularly act out scenes we have experienced and embellish them with our dramatic interpretations, which we might repeat a dozen times with added nuance, the laughter building to Olympian heights.

We’re known to indulge in select carbohydrates, (mind you, if at my house, only served in pretty bowls), and on occasion, when she can rally a driver, we’ll polish off an entire Pinot Noir with Toll House Cookie chocolate chips, (with my special mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and chopped apricots), all this while doing the latest impression of someone we find unruly or rude, because we can, and it lifts us from the periodic doldrums of our busy, challenging lives of to and fro.

The Gal with 2 Lu's....

Our commonality: 2Lu and I both know where we’re going….if not distinctly, clearly….and there’s a significant difference. The latter allows a level of magic and mystery to influence the journey. We’re traveling on a similar caravan and how good it feels to have such companionship. The road less traveled is so much more fun with a pal to laugh with and shoulder the loads, celebrate the wins. I know, I’ve traveled solo for decades taking snapshots of my shadow to prove I was there!

While exuding compassion and ridicule in the same sandwich bite or absolute seriousness about all things commerce, (she CLEARLY more savvy than I), I can count on her for fresh outlook for whatever idea I spout forth, and I have millions. She listens to what I’ve written time and again, and only as a devoted friend might, she’ll ask to hear it again so we might consider another vantage point, point of view or way to deliver the intent to my imagined audience, for there always is one, has been since I was 4 years old, maybe 3.

She considers ways to make money with things I know I must do, (and she’s created her own dozens of revenue generating businesses and schemes), so now, it’s just a matter of mixing smart with fun. Our ultimate goal is to create revenues with fun, meaningful projects then give our money randomly to deserving ‘do gooders’ and maybe to punish the naughty nellys so they might rethink and repent. Ooooh, we’re diabolical and unstoppable together. It’s true!

This 2Lu pal knows exactly when and how to lift up the areas in me which are sagging with the weight of disappointment, challenge, sadness or frustration AND she can be lovingly direct when I need to do my own ‘about face.’

She possesses the parts I’m striving to hone within myself and though she says she feels the same about me, I think she says so just to make me feel better. She makes me feel funnier, smarter, prettier, fitter, savvier, more fashionable, compassionate and overall, just a better person than I consider myself to be. That’s friendship. That’s love.

My friend Lulu! Really, only one, maybe two other folks do I keep handy in my clift notes of friends, though 2Lu wins the Pulitzer prize for excelling in her role as BB’s friend. She’s the Eddie Haskle to my Wally, the Gail to my Oprah, the Old Yeller to ‘what’s his name’…that cute little kid.

And regarding the role she plays so impeccably well, I should know, I’m an actress really; I know authenticity when I see it and can spot an imposter before they’ve applied their dark glasses or moustache or fraud quicker than the bank. I know real and this pal is the true grit.

Damn…I swear I’m getting luckier each year with the people showing up. My focus is growing keener and I know quality. I’m VERY particular. Loyalty, selflessness, smarts and an eagerness to do well, spread goodness and light….all qualities which with me will NEVER lose cache.

These sort of friends make the dark light, the cold warm, the rigid tempered and the shrill a soft melody.

Life without them….hollow or the sound of a stick on an old, dented, tin bucket….and I so prefer an orchestra replete with timpani and horns. I’m spoiled rotten with this friend of mind.

So, on this last day of a most arduous year, I am saying thank you to her today. 2Lu….my friend with 2 Lu’s. Catalyst, pioneer, iconoclast and the woman whose grit could challenge any rustling cowboy.

Wow. I stand in awe and love her from the top, bottom and middle of my heart. My ‘rocking chair friend,’ one who will indeed be with me until we’re old, old, old….but probably not doing much in rocking chairs if I know Lulu and me.

Thank you my friend, for showing up when you did, possibly in the ‘nick of time’!

BB Webb