I have always been a scrappy gal. You give me lemons and after a short pity party, which I always allow myself, I will hunt down the sugar, a pitcher, and a spoon. This ability to create a simple syrup out of tough situations is something I unwittingly learned from my great grandmother, Bertha Anzulovic.
I can finally recognize the tools Bertha quietly taught me by the way she lived. She survived the Great Depression, eight miscarriages, and being widowed in her early thirties with four children to raise alone; never to remarry. During Bertha’s 86 years, she went on to earn a Ph.D., become a school principal, play the piano in church and at home, and make handcrafted dolls from dish detergent bottles. She strived to end global poverty, donating to children’s charities in Africa. She also truly lived to “beat the pants off” her many grand and great-grandchildren and anyone else brave enough to challenge her to a card game.
These subliminal lessons empowered me to navigate a tough single-parent childhood with housing insecurity, separate near death experiences of both of my daughters, and the last 21 years as a supportive partner and creative brainstormer to my CEO husband as he navigated his own business through 9/11, the 2008 recession, and now an unprecedented pandemic. Bertha’s rules to live by will coexist seamlessly in both your professional and personal lives and will help you develop a resiliency muscle that will make even a professional bodybuilder jealous!
My own professional evolution over the last 28 years from CPA, financial recruiter, stay-at-home mother, and now the leader of Global Design Culture at EBI and co-founder of the Just One World Foundation, makes me confident that practicing and sharing these three ways of looking at the world will immunize you from dreaded negativity at home, in your social life and at the office.
So, let’s take off our pity party hats and look at three opportunities we have right in front of us to start squeezing those lemons!
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