Words & Banter

More Than A Queen. A Symbol Of Royal Perfection.

Courtesy of Royal Collection Trust

Red assets.rebelmouse.io

I knew, like most people, that Queen Elizabeth II was in her last days. But when the news came, as expected as it was, it still made me sad. Not because I had lived in England for many years. Nor because I love English history, especially the Tudors, which, I might add, included Queen Elizabeth I. But because she unflaggingly, for 70 years (!), seemed never to make a wrong step, but always had the vision of how to “be Queen” perfectly in her sights, which meant putting country above self.

And while she wasn’t perfect, as none of us are, I defy anyone to walk the balancing act she did over the decades. Encountering changes and challenges not only personally, but as the symbolic head of state for her country … and doing it with grace, dignity, and respect.

Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I leave the history to Red, but I cannot stop thinking about how most of Great Britain has only known one head of state, Queen Elizabeth II. For that matter, that is true of Canada and the many other countries where the British Monarch is head of state.

She was a link to an almost vanished generation yet was a rock that helped stabilize decades of significant social change (and, family challenges) with dignity and humility. She was both an institution and an icon, and her loss will be enormous … for the family, the country, and the world. Queen Elizabeth II was a ruler for the ages, over the ages …

When Red first heard Black talking about the importance of "soft skills," she didn't even know what she was referring to, let alone that they would be important to her life. So, Black explained that it was a term used to describe intangible but essential skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, communications, and conflict management.

Red, trying to be sarcastic, then asked if there was such a thing as “hard skills,” Black matter-of-factly told her those are tangible and technical skills such as computer skills.

Of course, Black couldn’t pass up an opportunity for sarcasm and explained that although there’s consensus about the importance of soft skills, there’s debate about what they should be called, with her favorite being the Texas Education Agency (TEA) calling them "21st Century Skills" – although she's old enough to remember they were important in the 20th Century, too.

But would anyone call them “Mom Skills”? Well, Red couldn’t help but remember the time Black told her, “Your job is every bit as demanding as a corporate position, and, in fact, you use many of the same skill sets.”Not something Red could ever have imagined, but it made sense once she better understood what soft skills are and how they are used. But then Black took it a step further,

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Money. It’s the first thing Red thought about when her husband came home and, totally unexpectedly, told her he was fired. And what was the first thing she did? She freaked out (Black likes to say that Red finally used her theater degree), assuming the worst about their financial situation. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she was certain she couldn’t “do” personal finance.

She then made a third foolish assumption … that her sister Black, who had an M.B.A. in International Finance, would tell her what to do. Instead, after giving Red a few days to deal with her emotions, Black started to ask her basic questions about their financial situation, and it became obvious Red’s default setting was to “freak out”.

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Life rarely goes as planned. Sometimes, unplanned events only cause minor adjustments. But sometimes, they can put you in “crisis mode” and might require major transformations. Like the rainy Friday when Red’s husband came home and told her, totally unexpected, that he had been fired. In a split second, her life went from fairy tale to nightmare.

So, whether you freak out (Red’s default setting) or are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain where to start, when we relaunch this site in the New Year, there will be a section called **IT HAPPENS. Filled with tips and tools (and, of course, food for thought), we hope it will help you survive and thrive during even the most stressful life events.

Because we’ve experienced them, we know that a “crisis” can come in many different forms (financial, work, relationship, health, natural disaster, the list goes on), and what starts as one issue often impacts many aspects of your life. But, as Black recently explained to Red,

Every situation is different, but you can approach them in a similar way, although I did not tell you that at the time. I did not even let you know we were going through the steps one-by-one because, in your case, I knew we first had to deal with the emotional aspects. And, when I told you I thought your “crisis” would be the best thing that ever happened to you, you thought I was being nice. Even though I do not do nice.

Well, Black may not “do nice”, but she did help Red through her “crisis”, and along the way, managed to help Red see that adjusting her mindset and perspective could make all the difference.

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