So incredibly humbling…a true meaning of shock and awe.

Have you experienced something that makes you wonder: “Oh my God. Why me?” but in a good way?  I had the shock of my professional life yesterday evening.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but this is really incredible.  I’ve had a rough two weeks at the office, culminating in two very, very disturbing incidences, the second of which involves a colleague completely attempting to discredit me professionally to the “Powers-That-Be”.  The original incident, which has not been settled, and the subsequent incident which amounts to who I’ll identify as the “Bus Driver” saving their behind at the expense of someone else (i.e. me), has been an eye-opening experience.  This has forced me to ask myself many serious questions.  It has been a real test during this holy season of Lent.  I’ve received very encouraging words from family, friends and my blogging and Twitter buddies, and for that, I am truly thankful.

Life can be so ironic.  Here I am dealing with a professional nightmare at the office, and the professional organization to which I belong and have been actively involved with for many years, bestows me with the honor of “Member of the Year” recognizing my work and commitment to the organization over the past year.  So incredibly humbling…a true meaning of shock and awe.   It made me so choked up and misty-eyed looking out at an audience of faces who in turn were looking back at me, clapping and cheering, and giving me positive energy and admiration.

You know that saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window”?  That’s what I feel.  He probably knew I was at the end of my rope, at the end of putting up with nonsense and ready to simply do as I’d said in my post:  “It’s the 30% that gets you to the point of picking up your belongings, walking out the door and not looking back…”

After what happened last night in a crowded Manhattan hotel ballroom near Grand Central Terminal, with the recognition of my peers, I know there are good people in this world who are not “out to get me”, believe in me and appreciate what I do — even if I never, ever sought the attention or glory in the first place.

My confidence was shattered last week during the closed-door meeting at the office, but I’m regrouping.  I’m not an overly religious person.  You won’t hear me quoting chapter and verse, and I know when I get to the Pearly Gates, it’s going to be something else — believe me!  But they’ve been moments in my life — and this is one of them — where I have a profound belief in the words of “Footprints“:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
 
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
 
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
 
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”

– Mary Stevenson

I hope I don’t crack: When your sacrifice is no added sugar or salt (sort of)…and no cocktails?!

Day 3 of Lent.  The whole giving up of something —  you know, sacrifice for 40 days — is not going well.  I’m to stay away from added sugar and salt (and drink more water).  Oh, and by the way, alcohol is also off-limits.  So, no cocktails.  Oh brother.

Well, I’m in for the night and made a home-cooked meal.  I’m not so sure I passed the test, but it tasted great.

I don’t know how I’m going to survive the next 37 days of Lent:

I hope I don’t crack: When your sacrifice is no added sugar or salt (sort of)…and no cocktails?!

Sigh.

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Remember, I don’t use measuring spoons or cups or whatever fancy gadgets a normal person would use in their house.  I simply don’t have the patience.

So, this is what I threw together using a deep saucepan-type pot (you’ll see it in the pictures):

Sweet Teriyaki Noodles and Shrimp by The Brainy Pint Sizer (@brainypintsizer)

  • Broad Egg Noodles (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
  • 6 Shrimp (cut into 4 small pieces each)
  • Onion (diced — about 3 tablespoons)
  • Olive Oil (about 3 tablespoons — maybe 4 — just eyeball it)
  • Teriyaki Sauce (o-oh…sodium)*
  • Honey (sigh…sugar, but it is a “natural” sweetener, does that count?)*
  • Hot Pepper Sauce (this is optional; if you use it, add to taste)*
  • Black Pepper*
  • Ground Ginger*
  • Crushed Garlic*
  • Thyme*

* To taste.  The two you need to be the most careful about is the hot sauce and the ginger. Too much and the dish is ruined.

  1. After noodles are brought to a boil, lower to medium heat.
  2. Cook until al dente (soft-ish, but not mushy or boiled to death) and then drain.  Leave in strainer.
  3. In the empty pot, add the olive oil, the crushed garlic and the onions.  Cook on medium heat until onions are translucent, which should take about a minute or two.
  4. Add the teriyaki sauce, black pepper, ground ginger, honey, thyme and stir.
  5. In goes the shrimp, stirring quickly, and add the hot pepper sauce.
  6. The noodles go in next and toss quickly, incorporating well — but only for about 2 minutes (no more).
  7. Remove from the heat and serve.

The ingredients

Noodles...bubblin'

Onions, garlic already in the deep saucepan, noodles at the ready.

Everything incorporated...not necessarily attractive, but not bad in taste.

The finished product -- plated.