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3 Major Life Lessons I Discovered During A Flight Delay

by Celle Rolon

 

Airports are unsuspectingly notorious for teaching us lessons.

Such as how to speedwalk through an airport rolling luggage with bum wheels.

How to shoehorn 2 extra pairs of shoes into an already stuffed suitcase.

And how to haggle your way out of paying $60 for that stuffed suitcase now that it weighs 51 lb.

But I never imagined I would learn lessons I could apply to my whole entire life while waiting at the airport.

Because I love to share my ah-ha moments as I walk my life path, here are 3 I learned recently while waiting in Ft. Lauderdale Airport Terminal 4.

Life Lesson #1: Foot Flushing a Toilet is OK

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a germaphobe.

And I finally traced its origins - back to my childhood, courtesy of my mother.

For years my mother ran her own residential and commercial cleaning business, so you can imagine the standard of clean I was subjected to growing up.

What? You’ve never actually seen an airborne crystalized gleaming sparkle except when you watched I Dream of Genie? Well, they were a common sighting in our house.

As a child when I came in from playing outside, I would hit the fridge for a glass of Kool-Aid and hear, “ah-ah-ah!...wash those mitts first!"

Fast forward 20 years and I’d become the lady in the public restroom stall, flinging her leg up 3 feet just to foot-flush the toilet. This gets tricky with skirts and push button toilets, but yes, I’ve mastered those too.

If you’re ever lucky enough to be in a public restroom with me you’ll also see me grabbing extra hand towels to wrap around the door handle so I can exit germ-free.

You may also catch me whipping out antibacterial wipes before I open a bottle of water much less eat something by hand.  (Disclaimer: as a self-respecting considerate germaphobe I do feel obligated to mention hand sanitizer kills less germs than wipes so choose wisely.)

Over the years I’ve taken great pains to make all my germaphobic behaviors look normal AKA hide it as much as possible and even wait people out so they walk away instead of eyeballing me while I do this stuff.

But as I sat back down without making skin contact in that squeaky bubble-gum bottomed lop-sided airport chair, I realized, there is no reason to hide who I really am.

People don’t care that I open convenience store doors with my wrist, or that I hold my breath and run two aisles away when someone sneezes within 3 feet of me (an MIT sneeze study found germs can travel 200 feet).

No, no one cares!

As of today, during this flight delay, I hereby declay (declare, yes) … I am no longer hiding my germaphobia.  

I will de-germ myself openly with pride.

Now, can someone please make me a green smoothie and put on a clean pair of FDA-approved food grade gloves first? 

Life Lesson #2: NASA Can Make You Younger

Tuesday of last week was my birthday.

Wait, hold your confetti — 

Because I didn’t actually get a year older … I got younger.

Now, I’m not one of those people who say they’re 26 when they’re really 58 … that’s not what I mean.

What I’m saying is I digressed in age and here’s how NASA helped me do it --

 As I was waiting impatiently (more on that in a minute) for an announcement from the airline, I looked around and noticed about 50 or so other people waiting too.  Many of these families had children with them.

The children weren’t impatient and they weren’t huffing and puffing. 

Know what they were doing? 

Playing.

Tag, patty-cake, and kick your sister while mom’s not looking.

You know, good clean kid fun. 

And it reminded me about an article I sent someone recently about how 5 year olds think at a genius level.

The article was about how NASA had administered a test to 1,600 children between 4 and 5 years old, and 98% of them scored at a “creative genius” level.

When these children turned 10 years old, only 30% of them scored at the same level.  

And when they reached 15 years old, only 12% of them were still considered “creative geniuses”.

Can you guess how the adults scored?

A whopping 2%.

2% of the adults tested were considered “creative geniuses”.

Now, while there are a gajillion conclusions we can draw, here’s what I took away from that study:

If I revive my inner 5-year-old, I’ll regain my creative genius.

And if it’s true that you’re as young as you feel, then not only will I move closer to creative genius status but I can feel free and child-like while doing it.

Now, I am still very much the mature, demure, professional I need to be when the time calls for it, but in my spare time I’m dunking Oreos, playing on my PlayStation, or cruising through my living room on my hoverboard that has the really cool blinky blue lights on the front.

Birthday-shmirthday. You truly are as old as you feel, and I feel years younger already. 

Life Lesson #3:  Patience Yields Ice Cream Cake 

It’s advice I give my son. It’s something I claim to have.  

But every now and then when the rubber airplane tires hit the tarmac I see evidence that maaayyybe, just maybe, I’m … 

Sigh…impatient. 

About 4 minutes into the flight delay I started eyeballing the time on my phone and forcibly exhaling out loud repeatedly until I annoyed myself.

I stood up, I paced, shot a little side-eye to the airline folks behind the counter…

Somehow I was controlling my inner basketcase.

For an entire 10 minutes.

Then I stopped myself.  

Pacing was only going to make this delay feel like a painful commercial break interrupting my favorite show.   

Especially without a bucket of honey-BBQ wings … ice cream cake … some semblance of nutritious comfort food.

So I sat back down in the chair, kicked off a playlist with Hall & Oates, opened a crossword app on my phone and took a deep breath, appreciating the trip I had just taken.

Appreciating that I have the freedom to travel...

Appreciating that my super sleuthing skills just paid off big-time with 6 semi-melted peanut M&Ms in the corner of my handbag...

Smiling at the airline folks behind the counter even though they returned my smile for a revengeful dose of side-eye.

And accepting the moment for what it was.  

Before I knew it, I was lugging my 51-lb suitcase upstairs to my room, washing my hands for 4 minutes straight, changing into my footed zip-up pajamas, and hopping into bed with a big bowl of ice cream cake. 

And it hit me — what I give, I get in return. And if I can accept myself in the process I’ll get even more.

It’s why children giggle so much… because they don’t take themselves seriously, and they see the world around them as a picnic basket of opportunity to marvel at the wonders adults have grown accustomed to overlooking.

My advice?

Take time to laugh more, stretch out a fuzzy blanket and count the stars now and then, and dunk your Oreos … whatever makes you feel young and free.

Just don’t forget your hand wipes.


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SEO: Sizzle vs Marinate

by Celle Rolon

If you own a website or maintain one you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization, or SEO.

While there are numerous components to SEO utopia, did you know there are two broad approaches to getting there?

Before we dive into each one, let’s step back and get further acquainted with SEO.

Search engines serve results on what’s called a search engine results page, or SERP, when we feed search terms into its search bar.

Depending on the search topic, the results are typically a treasure trove of links to videos, websites, and documents.

And the order in which those links are listed is the handy-work of what’s called search engine optimization.

Some websites do it so well they skyrocket right to the top of the page.

Conversely, webpages that are not search engine optimized will live a little lower (a lot lower) in the SERPs.

If your website isn’t SEO’d…

Not to worry, we can certainly remedy that with a little SEO TLC.

Just remember, high search engine rank is the goal.

Still with me?  Great!  Now we’re ready to talk about the two approaches to SEO.

To start, SEO is first a mindset and a blissful journey.

That’s because optimization is a continuous labor of love.  Search engine algorithms change like the weather so your optimization strategy should as well.

And, you’ll need to decide whether you’re running the SEO race as the tortoise or the hare.

That’s because both approaches will get you to the finish line but only one will do so ethically, while the other… well… not so much.

In the past, it wasn’t hard to scoff the search engine deputies.

Many webmasters boosted their search engine ranking just by stuffing their webpages with one repetitive keyword.

And back then, this lazyman’s shortcut worked, and it’s how the hares won the rank race.

But the search engine guardians eventually caught on and as a result, today, every website must legitimately earn its rightful rank by offering readers relevant content.

Which is highly beneficial if you’re on the search side of the house because your search results will more tightly match your search terms.

And for advertisers, this means a free meal for a properly optimized site. This means that rather than pay search engines for ads, your site will rank higher in the free results.

By the way, I am a hopeless foodie, so bear with me while I compare SEO to… well, food.

Let’s dive into the first approach…

The Sizzler 

You hear it before you see it.  

The aroma fills the air, heads turn and the pan of the hour is set down.

But it’s not long before that sizzle dwindles to a whisper.

That’s because sizzler SEO is made up only of flashy buzzwords (or, keywords, as they’re called in SEO-speak) related to your business.  

Sizzling words grab attention initially, but this type of SEO ultimately fails because its entire roadshow stands on one leg - keywords.

As a result, websites optimized using only repetitive keywords will find they live at the low end (um, very low end) of the SERPs.

Absolute Marination  

We all know marinated cuisine releases a flavor that’s unachievable with food served straight from freezer to table.

And if we translate that to SEO-speak, it means higher SERP rank for optimized websites.

This is because marinated SEO comprises custom-fit keywords and keyphrases and incorporates prediction and intention, which is how the tortoises do it.

Search engines have matured into web butlers who’ve gotten to know you and your search tendencies.

For better or worse, search engines are the judge and jury who decide whether your site is a reliable, relevant and trustworthy content solution for which people are searching.

Bearing the responsibility of exceeding your search expectations,

…they take their job quite seriously.

It all comes down to substance in the endless quest of search engine worthiness.

…which makes it well worth the time and effort required to optimize  your website to pass the sniff test.  

The first step of your SEO journey is to identify opportunities to increase your search engine worthiness.  

Not only can I do that for you but I’ll simplify the explanations and drop the geek speak.

Before you know it you’ll be well on your way to a beautifully marinated, search engine optimized website.

Let’s talk about how SEO copywriting can help you attract more traffic, clicks, customers and sales. Start by booking your free consultation.