Monthly Archives: November, 2016

Be Open to Out of the Box Thinking

November 29th, 2016 Posted by featured, writings 0 comments on “Be Open to Out of the Box Thinking”

At some point in everyone’s life, the way ahead seems really tough. In the case of my father, there was a terrible ten-year drought running from the late 1940’s to the late 1950s.  This drought had far reaching repercussions, not just in Texas, where lots of ranchers and farmers lost their land, but across other parts of the country as well.PreOrderTexasTenacity

Years later, my father and I were talking one day about that awful period. He told me that he had been at his wit’s end, not sure if he would be able to survive, when he realized he just had to stop ranching. For a while. And as ranchers do, hope for rain. But hope wasn’t enough. He had to have a way to stop, and then start up again. A rancher he knew was looking to find a place for his son to lease, and my father offered him our ranch for three years. He leased the ranch from my father, the weather finally changed, my father took possession again and continued for decades doing what he loved.

My father recounted to me that this lease was the single, smartest thing he ever did in his six decades of ranching. The lesson I took from it was that he thought outside the box…or in this case…outside the pastures…and saved his ranch and his livelihood. In my mind, it was as though one door appeared to be locked tightly shut against a path he wanted, yet he found a way to keep going. He was focused on the future, a future he wanted both for himself and his family, and he found a different way.

The tenacity this Texan showed left an indelible imprint on me for my own life. When something seems impossible, I just think back to how he solved it. I have learned to believe that there is always another way. Always. Life is uncertain, with strange twists and turns, yet it can turn out just as good but perhaps unexpectedly.

For any of us, we need to be open to a different ‘out of the box’ thinking to solve problems. If life is going to hand us a big old bunch of lemons, get out the pitcher and start making lemonade. Each one of us can do it. Sometimes we don’t see the way clear at first, but just keep looking.

Has something like this happened to you?

Thanksgiving – Let Us Count The Ways

November 21st, 2016 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “Thanksgiving – Let Us Count The Ways”

For many of us, the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for us to be together with friends and family on that day. But this year I am thinking a bit more clearly, beyond just Thursday…<img class="size-full wp-image-2180 alignright" src="http://www Visit Website.susancombs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PreOrderTexasTenacity.jpg” alt=”PreOrderTexasTenacity” width=”272″ height=”538″ srcset=”http://www.susancombs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PreOrderTexasTenacity.jpg 272w, http://www.susancombs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PreOrderTexasTenacity-152×300.jpg 152w” sizes=”(max-width: 272px) 100vw, 272px” />

Let me start by thanking the people and things I value.

First, my family. In my own case, this means my wonderful husband, our three sons and their fantastic families. Seeing our three grandchildren is a lot of fun…and they go home!   At times like these, I remember each son at different ages when they were small children and on past Thanksgivings. The first struggles with knife and turkey, the rocket propelled cranberry jelly (I was too lazy to ever make my own mush). Now they are grown men with totally independent personalities, senses of humor, and deep and abiding affection for each other and us. What a blessing!

Second, my friends. Over the years I have been so lucky to remain in close touch with friends who are scattered across this country and the globe. We can start a conversation after a long hiatus, and we are instantly transported back to when we were first close friends. The extraordinary part about these friendships is that we are each a secret reservoir of knowledge about the other person and they us…and if it is a long-standing friendship, they go back to our early beginnings.

Third, I am so grateful over the years for people who have given me support and taught me to do the same for others. When another person provides a much needed boost, you learn a truth: we are more human when we are helping others.

Fourth, I am grateful for anticipation. Looking forward with pleasure is a positive energy boost, and thinking about how the days are going to unfurl in the coming week makes me happy! Yes, I am going to be doing a lot of cooking, but I also am going to enjoy seeing my family enjoy being around the same table. And even more importantly the conversations between them are going to be the best dessert ever!

Finally, the best of all is having the chance to draw breath, and take in the incredible skies out west, the stunning red gold clouds at sunset, the crisp early morning air with dew shining on our ranch house tin roof. Everywhere I look, there is something to bring joy to the day. Learning to take joy from everything around me, whether small or large, gives such wonderful meaning to life

I wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. I know you have your own wonderful lists of things to be thankful for. Enjoy them all!

I Thought I Wasn’t Ready, But I Was

November 14th, 2016 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “I Thought I Wasn’t Ready, But I Was”

When our local electric coop at the ranch approached me some years ago asking for a huge new easement for a much bigger power line, I didn’t even know what questions to task. Why was it needed, how did the pricing work, and why even build it? I discovered that the state Public Utility Commission was the place to go for answers. Ultimately, it looked as though it was going to be a super expensive and probably unnecessary project. Ultimately because of finding allies, and learning this entirely new subject area of electricity transmission, we were able to show that this new power line wasn’t needed, saving millions of dollars. This problem became an unanticipated opportunity for me to broaden my horizons. PreOrderTexasTenacity

Here are the five things I learned from this.

First, any new ‘thing’ has to be studied carefully, information has to be gathered and you have to decide if you can become well versed enough to move ahead. Can you find a person or a place where you can learn enough? Today the internet would be my new best friend.

Second, what do you need to do to assess the level of risk in taking on this new project? Jumping into something can be fun but you might prefer a more studied approach to the next leap – don’t be afraid, just be smart. What cost benefit analysis are you able to do? What is the down side but also how high is the upside?

Third, once you have taken a comprehensive look at this new project area, do you know what steps you have to take? With the power line, there was a very straightforward answer – I had to be ready to go through an administrative hearing to contest the new power line. And you have to find allies, which were found by seeing who else would be impacted by the project.

Fourth, suppose you try and you don’t quite grasp ‘it’. You somehow fall short. My advice is to dust yourself off, sit down with a pad of paper or an electronic notebook and reverse engineer everything you did. What would you do now that you think would be better?

Fifth. Nothing is over if you don’t let it be over. So figure out what to do differently and go do it. In my own life, I resolved some time ago not to let someone else stop me. I might stop myself, but no one else was going to cheap levitra. I could always find a different way to attack or approach the project.

Being Pissed Off Equals Rocket Fuel

November 8th, 2016 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “Being Pissed Off Equals Rocket Fuel”

As a kid, I never used bad language.  In fact, when I was about seven my mother washed my mouth out with a bar of Ivory soap for saying “shut up’ to my brother. He had also said it so he got the same treatment. PreOrderTexasTenacity

But of course on the ranch I heard lots of colorful language. I won’t repeat them but many related to bodily functions in either man or beast.

We use words to express emotions, power us up or down, and sometimes keep us on a path. The nicer phrasing for describing being ‘pissed off’ is ‘righteous indignation’ or some such, but the power is in the stronger language.

Over the years I have found out that when I am fired up about a project, it really helps to have some rocket fuel.  When any one of us feels angry about an injustice or a wrong being done to someone, we do get ‘pissed off’ even if those may not be the words we use to describe how we feel.

As a Dallas County prosecutor handling child abuse cases, I was focused on winning for the child. I was so pissed off, that I focused on justice for the victims. I was about the child abuse. I was pissed off at he perpetrator. And this motivated me to focus on the path toward justice for the victim.

Through these experiences,  I have learned to harness the energy from being pissed off into pushing forward.  In fact, I advise people to find something about their particular life circumstances that they want to change, and ask them why?  When they look wistful or shrug, I figure they’re not ready for any fight. However, when they sit upright, and their eyes take on a powerful gleam, I know they’re in the game and they are definitely going to take new steps.  They’re motivated to redirect their future.

I have used that energy numerous times. In <a href="https://www.amazon generic levitra online.com/Texas-Tenacity-Women-Direct-Destiny/dp/1626343500″>Texas Tenacity I give full credit to its power, and its ability to keep up my energy even when times are tough and when doors are slamming shut.  What about you?  Ever gotten really fired up?  Pissed off?  I do embrace it.

What Makes Us Women?

November 3rd, 2016 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “What Makes Us Women?”

I have known several women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, undergone surgery, radiation, and chemo. For many of them, they opted for reconstructive surgery of their breasts at the end of that very difficult and painful time. They each told me it was very painful. PreOrderTexasTenacity

The New York Times had a thought provoking article about women who ‘went’ flat’ – they decided not to risk the surgery, the pain, and the potential downside of an increased risk of infection. For some of the women the article, complications after the surgery made them take their implants out. For others, there was a stigma attached to it and a website was mentioned called FLAT AND FABULOUS which gave one woman hope of being able to share her feelings with others.

I don’t take any position either way on this as it is ultimately each woman’s decision and her own personal cancer status which will help her decide, but there were many comments in the article which made me stop and think. Do we dare to be our own person?

If I were to face this decision, what would I do? How would I feel without breasts? Would I feel as though somehow I had been turned into a man? Nope. That I was no longer a smart, funny, accomplished woman? Not at all. We read a lot in the media today about boobs and butts, to put it bluntly, and it seems those outward signs of our gender takes on an outsize importance – pun intended.

In this age of the Internet, many of us go online for information. And as you launch into this discovery, I also encourage you to ask yourself a few questions. What do you want? Who and what defines you? You are the only person defining the real you…the woman you are. So, feel strong and empowered to do just that—be you. It’s up to you

 

A Rancher’s Guide to Reaching Your Goals

November 1st, 2016 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “A Rancher’s Guide to Reaching Your Goals”

At some point in our lives, a goal we want to achieve or a direction we want to take hits a wall or a roadblock. We either stay stuck, give up or find a way to move past it. Here are five ideas for the determination it takes to get past any obstacles, and these apply pretty much everywhere.  Even on a dry west Texas ranch. PreOrderTexasTenacity

First – Try knocking with ever increasing force….politely…at first!

Second- Go around to the back of the mythical wall and look for a door – meaning, find another way through the wall.

Third – Find a whole new path that will get you where you want to go. That may mean you invent the new way of reaching your goal.

Fourth- kick it down.  Just blow past it.  People put walls and doors up to stop other people from going ahead.  If you really want to get there, you can’t let them stop you.

Fifth- step back and ask yourself whether you need some help to reach your goal. With some help, maybe you can take a leap over all the obstacles.

Here how it works in the ranchers world.  My father made it clear that he was in the ranching industry for good, so when obstacles popped up, he had to get past or around or through them.  His path was to always go forward for the long haul. Let’s say you were in year five of a drought. For a rancher, a drought means bad times, and bad market prices.

First rule meant that you had to figure out what you could do right then with your current situation. Could you move your cattle around your own ranch and reduce costs.  The second rule meant that you had to find a new place – new land – something to radically change your environment.   The third rule meant that you might have to look at your cattle breed- were they going to be successful in your current circumstances?  Did you need to add a new kind of bull, or cow?

The fifth rule is you learned to ‘weather’ bad weather.  Sometimes it might mean that you sold off basically all your cattle, hunkered down, and got ready for the next year. You just leaped past today into tomorrow.

I have applied all five rules in various circumstances.  You need to consider all your options when you are determined to reach your goal. That’s tenacity!