Sand, Sea Rocket & Sonny’s.

Sea Rocket

Florida. For a pasty skinned Canadian (such as myself), just hearing the word brings to mind sun, sand, surf and relaxation…especially during the cold winter months! So what better way to decompress from losing my job than to sit on a beach for a month.

Not only was it good for my soul but also my health. Within a week my blood pressure dropped, my arthritic joints stopped aching and I could finally run again! I felt like a new man and took full advantage of this newly found time and started to reconnect to myself. Who knew that unemployment could actually bring something positive!

The pic shown here is of our little getaway (The Sea Rocket in North Redington Beach). Imagine a place with 1950’s kitsch and cozy (meaning small) accommodations. Luckily we had an end unit that had a very large balcony and some privacy. Mornings were spent having breakfast while the sun rose then a nice stroll along Redington Beach all before my spouse hunkered down to work for the day. Me? Well I at first wanted to become the prototypical beach bum and not shave or shower for a month…well, that lasted all of two days as the whiskers were driving me crazy and the sand was getting in every nook and cranny on my body! 🙂

sonnys_i95_sign_5x3The third “S” in the post is about a regional barbecue restaurant called Sonny’s. I know it isn’t traditional roadside but we got the hankering one day for bbq and did a quick local internet search..sure enough Sonny’s came up and was fairly close by. At this time, the restaurant was promoting their “All you can eat chicken” and it sure didn’t disappoint! Needless to say, this became our home away from home as we generally went a few times a week to sample all the bbq on the menu. 🙂

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This is what got me thinking about how to cook this for myself. It couldn’t be that hard….could it???

D-day…as in Downsized.

Downsizing Cartoon

There are dates in life that people tend to remember vividly: Wedding, birth of children, tragic world events, first car, graduating school, death of a parent or close friend and unexpected job loss.

Friday, January 10, 2014 is a date that I will remember quite well as it was the first time in my entire working life that my job was eliminated and I would not be reporting for work the following Monday. I was about to sit down at a local restaurant with my spouse for dinner when my cellphone rang….yup, like a phone call at 2am, a call from your boss at 5pm on a Friday generally isn’t for positive reasons.

Yes, I am 6’4″ but unfortunately the downsizing was not about height but about trying to stop a financial loss which seemed strange to me since this sales rep increased revenue by over 10% that fiscal year (and each of the previous 7 years that I worked for them).  There was obviously more to the story than what I was being told but the decision was made and it turned my life upside down.

You see, I was about to embark the following week on a month long business trip down to Florida where I could get out of the crazy January cold of home and spend time in a warmer climate seeing my customers. Everything was pre-planned and pre-booked and had been given the blessing from management about a month earlier. I was now beyond the time to cancel and get any money back.

So rather than take the monetary loss, we decided right then and there that we would make the most of the trip. It would be a perfect way to leave my “old life” behind and decompress and start fresh….it turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.

And so it begins.

Wow…who knew a first post would be so difficult to write! Am I new to the world of social media? No…I’ve got a Facebook and LinkedIn account along with 150 billion other people but writing a blog seems so much more, well, personal. Weird, I know.

I have tons of ideas flowing through my brain and my fingers have been poised over the keyboard…why aren’t the words coming out? Is it that I’m fighting back the urge to spill all sorts of emotions? Is it that I worry that people really wouldn’t care? Do I care what people think? Do I wonder if I have what it takes to construct a meaningful blog and online presence? Is there a part of my ego that wants my first post to be ground breaking and spell-binding?

The answer to a lot of this is, YES but then reality sets in as the main reason for this blog is to share, to be therapeutic, to perhaps lead me down a path that I have forever thought about but never acted upon….so enough procrastinating, enough negative self-talk, enough waiting for another day for the perfect words…its time to get this long overdue process started and I my promise to you is that this will be the last time you see me dithering about posts.

What you will see is a look into the life of a 40+ yr old former corporate sales professional who has recently been downsized, the ups and downs of being unemployed, what I’ve learned about myself along the way and of course how southern BBQ fits into the equation. So welcome, come on in, the door is always open….