Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grammy

Every Wednesday since J has been 3 months old, he has spent with his Grammy.  What a gift that routine has been...   My mom was a 3rd grade teacher before having kids and then a stay at home mom raising her 3.  I commend her for raising independent, strong, professional career women despite that route not appealing to her very much.

At 70 years old, she is all creativity and play.   Yesterday I got a text from her telling me that they spent 4 hours at the pool and then came home and "found monsters" in her neighborhood and made them invisible with squirt guns.  ...and rode his jeep ....and had a picnic.  Of course.  

Joseph lights up when he sees her and cries when its time to go.  She is pure love and joy and fun in his eyes.  There is always a game - mechanic Grammy and mechanic Joe was happening last week while they "fixed" his toy cars.  Or a car wash, a bicycle wash, an adventure.... a simple, old school, adventure.  A pause of gratitude for her patience, creativity and love of my little boy, her grandson. Their love is electric.


 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cup of Choices

My little guy has a new saying, "Mama, I'm going to give you a cup of choices."  He thinks he's got it right, doesn't realize it's "a couple of choices"... but it's too sweet to correct him.

Choices...   One of the most important lessons I learned.  We choose how we respond.  We choose how we rebuild.  We choose to make decisions and live with their consequences.  We choose to be better.  We choose to learn.  We choose to push ourselves beyond what's easy or comfortable.

Seth Godin says:
"Do what I say" vs.
    "Use your best judgment."
"I'm in charge because I have authority" vs.
    "Take responsibility if you care."
"It's simple and easy but ineffective" vs.
    "It's difficult and a bit complex, but you can handle it and it's more likely to work."
"It's the same as last time" vs.
    "This might not work."
"Because I said so" vs.
    "Show your work."
"Here's the kid's menu" vs.
    "Learn to cook."
"Comply" vs.
    "Question."
"Consume" vs.
    "Produce."
"You haven't been picked" vs.
    "It's always your turn."
"You have no choice" vs.
    "It's always up to you, if you care enough."

We always have a cup of choices.    Thanks J for reminding me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer delights

> Garden fresh tomatoes
> Kayaking
> Farmers markets
> Card games
> Beach trips with my boy
> Road trips
> Puzzles
> Ferry Ride
> New places


Monday, June 19, 2017

A muscle

Writing is a muscle, creativity is a muscle, the body is comprised of muscles.  What a gift that we have the opportunity to make them stronger.

What I was into this weekend:
1. James Altucher
2. My bike
3. Venezuelan hammock
4. Roasted veggies - always
5. Interviews




(source) Canadian Rocky Rail Trip....

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hatch

What if seeds didn't have to break through the ground.  Or baby birds to crack open an egg.  Would they be strong enough to survive?

Are we better for our struggles?  Are we stronger, more compassionate, more resilient because of them.  Would you trade them for a more simple path or are the very things that nearly break us the same things that set us free.  

“Adversity is a natural part of being human. It is the height of arrogance to prescribe a moral code or health regime or spiritual practice as an amulet to keep things from falling apart. Things do fall apart. It is in their nature to do so. When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we are not listening to the soul. We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego's will to prevail. To listen to your soul is to stop fighting with life--to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don't go our away, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood. To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty and to wait.” - Elizabeth Lesser  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Proust Questionnaire 6-15

Making my way through:

6.__What is your greatest extravagance?  A really good and expensive dinner. No regrets. 
__7.__What is your current state of mind?   Closure of something that was real and true and over. 
__8.__What do you consider the most overrated virtue?  Nobility. 
__9.__On what occasion do you lie?   To protect the person asking for the truth. 
__10.__What do you most dislike about your appearance? Fair skin in the summertime. 
__11.__Which living person do you most despise? Waste of my time.... I don't like people who hurt me and are disloyal.  But I don't spend time or energy despising.
__12.__What is the quality you most like in a man?  Self-awareness, courage, intelligence. 
__13.__What is the quality you most like in a woman? Self-awareness, courage, intelligence. 
__14.__Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  ?
__15.__What or who is the greatest love of your life?   Joseph Cassidy Campos 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Divine Dance

Did you ever imagine that what we call "vulnerability" might just be the key to ongoing growth?  In my experience, healthily vulnerable people use every occasion to expand, change and grow.  Yet it is a risky position to live undefended, in a kind of constant openness to the other - because it means other could sometimes wound us.  Indeed, vulnera comes from the Latin "to wound".  But only if we take this risk do we also allow the opposite possibility: the other might also gift us, free us, and even love us.   .....this then seems to be the work of the Spirit: to keep you vulnerable to life and love itself and to resist all that destroys the Life Flow."  - Father Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 8, 2017

"He is my truest mirror, my honest reflection, my most profound joy, the subject of my deepest fears.  My child connects me to the most primal parts of myself.  I well up with his tears, I cringe with his pain, brighten with his smile, suffer with his disappointments... In grace. In innocence. In gratitude.  With you, I am finally me. - Gabrielle Roth


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bourdain

It isn't always pretty.  It isn't always comfortable.  Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart.  But that's okay.  The journey changes you; it should change you.  It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body.  You take something with you.   Hopefully you leave something behind.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Brene - on kids growing up

Ellen graduated from high school this past weekend. It was beautiful and hard.

Emotions are complex things. I’ve been studying the relationship between thought, behavior, and emotions for close to two decades, and I learned something new on Saturday morning.

There’s a combination of joy and grief that can take your breath away. The sum of those two parts wells up inside you and holds your breath hostage until you let go of the notion that you can control the paradox and choose between joy and grief.

Your breath returns only when you submit to the reality that you are caught in the grips of both delight and sorrow. Both are strong. Both are true.

In many ways, the etymology of the word “paradox” captures the heart of what it means to love. From its Greek origins, it’s the joining of two words para (contrary to) and dokein (opinion). The Latin paradoxum means “seemingly absurd but really true.”

That’s how parenting has always felt to me - unbelievably true.

I’ve shared as many life lessons as I could with Ellen, AND she has always been my teacher. I’ve tried to model our family belief that it’s okay to be brave and afraid at the same time, AND our children have always been the best example of what this looks like.

We have a sign by our back door that reads, “We can do hard things.” We hung it there to remind the kids that hard work, tough conversation, and emotional pain are normal and important parts of life. AND, it’s Ellen who often whispers the saying in my ear when I doubt myself.

Sometimes she’s afraid to leave for college in the fall, and I assure her that she’s ready. Sometimes I’m fighting back tears, and she’ll say, “I’m ready. It’s going to be okay.” Sometimes we cheer together. And sometimes we hold each other and weep.

Now the toughest paradox of love – letting go and holding on.

Ellen, it’s time for you to fly. It’s one of the biggest scary-and-brave moments, but don’t worry – we’ll be holding on tight. Not always to each other, but to love, courage, faith, gratitude, and strength. All of the things you’ll need in the world. AND all of the things you already have.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Proust Questionnaire

35 questions made popular by Marcel Proust, I will use them as writing prompts.  Little by little...

_1.__What is your idea of perfect happiness?   New York City, January.  State of bliss.  There was art, charm, food, romance, adventure, mystery, love, connection, completeness and a little bit of snow.

__2.__What is your greatest fear? I dislike heights.  Emotional fear of loneliness, which I think is a basic human fear, but that is getting better.  

__3.__What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?   Lack of patience. 

__4.__What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Falsehood. 

__5.__Which living person do you most admire?  The nameless people you see featured in an occasional episode of tv that foster children with disabilities or other selfless acts with no recognition and very little resources. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Craig's List

"By monetizing Craigslist the way I did in 1999, I probably gave away already 90% or more of my potential net worth," Newmark said in a recent interview with the Nieman Journalism Lab. "The rationale is that if you’re a small businessman trying to put food on the table, I’d like you to keep the 100 bucks or whatever for a classified rather than me taking it and maybe giving back someday a buck." - Craig Newmark

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Joe Kennedy III

A great response to the Trump administration's health care proposal from Joe Kennedy III:

It is among the most basic human truths: Every one of us, some day, will be brought to our knees.  By a diagnosis we didn't expect, a phone call we can't imagine, or a loss we cannot endure.  That common humanity inspires our mercy.  It fortifies our compassion. It drives us to look out for the sick, the elderly, the poor and the most vulnerable among us.
Yesterday's bill --- yesterday's devastating bill --- does the opposite.  The bill is more than premiums and tax cuts.  It is a cold and calculated world view: One that scapegoats the struggling, and sees fault in suffering.  One dead set on dividing us based on who we love, where we come from, the direction of our faith and the size of our fortunes.  We see it in their tax plan, their budget cuts, their immigration policy, their civil rights assaults and yesterday, in their cruel health care plan.  We must reject it.  We must decide, instead, to take care of each other -- because, but for the grace of God, we will all one day wake up in need of a little mercy.  This nation's character has never been defined by the power we give the already strong -- but by the strength we give the weak.

Monday, May 8, 2017

What you're doing

You are 4.5 and what a joy.  You have transitioned without issue to our move to "the city".  You like to tell me, "mama, the yellow house was too big".  I hope that you mean it.  I hope that you feel how much happier and lighter the new place is and that you are happy there, too.  I hope that you grow up and realize that it's ok to start again.  It's ok to say, my intentions were good but that doesn't work for me.  It is a balance and for sure we don't always get it right, but we try.  We live.

You love to laugh.  We giggle all weekend.  You like tickle fights and Candyland (you are always the red guy!) and Maroon 5's Don't Want to Know song.  You are great at puzzles, I admire your focus and ability to stick with it even when it's a hard one.  Then you smile, proud, when you're done.

I call you my angel and have no doubt that you are.  You are my gift and my perfect boy.  My anchor, my mirror, my rock.  I love to watch you grow.  I still like to hold your little hand.  Grateful that it is soft and small and fits in mine.  I have no doubt that you feel my love.  I hope that it always gives you strength and confidence.
You still love the farm, the pig is your favorite animal and red is your favorite color. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Glennon

Two lines from Glennon Doyle Melton, worth sharing and saving.

It hurts and it's painful but then there's a waiting when you don't know what the hell's going on, and you don't think ay of its gonna make sense, and then there's the rising.   That's the pattern always.  But you have to stick around if you wanna see the rising.  You gotta freaking stick around through the pain and through the waiting.  Cause if you leave you don't see it. 

When her pain is fresh and new, let her have it.  Don't try to take it away.  Forgive yourself for not having that power.  Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try to snatch from each other.  They're sacred.  They are part of each person's journey.  All we can do is offer relief from this fear: I am all alone.  That's the one fear you can alleviate. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Gender Bias - employee reviews

A fascinating, sad and true article.  http://fortune.com/2014/08/26/performance-review-gender-bias/

Some highlights:
He had two people he wanted to promote that year, but he was worried that his peers were only going to endorse one of them. “Jessica is really talented,” he said. “But I wish she’d be less abrasive. She comes on too strong.” Her male counterpart? “Steve is an easy case,” he went on. “Smart and great to work with. He needs to learn to be a little more patient, but who doesn’t?”

In all, I collected 248 reviews from 180 people, 105 men and 75 women. The reviews come from 28 different companies and include large technology corporations, mid-size companies, and smaller environments. I didn’t see any impact of company size in the results, nor did I discover patterns unique to any individual company.

Negative personality criticism—watch your tone! step back! stop being so judgmental!—shows up twice in the 83 critical reviews received by men. It shows up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women.

There’s a common perception that women in technology endure personality feedback that their male peers just don’t receive. Words like bossy, abrasive, strident, and aggressive are used to describe women’s behaviors when they lead; words like emotional and irrational describe their behaviors when they object. All of these words show up at least twice in the women’s review text I reviewed, some much more often. Abrasive alone is used 17 times to describe 13 different women. Among these words, only aggressive shows up in men’s reviews at all. It shows up three times, twice with an exhortation to be more of it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Quitter

I reject the notion of quitting as a weakness.  Average people find comfort in that because it justifies the status quo.  It makes their lack of courage noble, not weak.   "Oh, I'm not a quitter" one boasts while they tolerate a destructive situation.   You don't quit the moment the boat starts to rock.  You don't quit before every stone has been turned.  But there is strength and bravery in being a smart quitter.  

The always notable Seth Godin:

" 'Never Quit.' What a spectacularly bad piece of advice. I think the advice giver meant to say 'Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment'. Now that’s good advice."
 
"It’s time to quit when you secretly realize you’ve been settling for mediocrity all along. It’s time to quit when the things you’re measuring aren’t improving, and you can’t find anything better to measure.....  Smart quitters understand the idea of opportunity cost."
 
"What’s the worst time to quit? When the pain is the greatest. Decisions made during great pain are rarely good decisions."

Friday, February 24, 2017

Art

2017 has been filled with excellent art.  During a time of transition, the consumption of art has helped to release stagnant energy, expand thinking, encourage creativity, ground me in the oneness of human experience, and generally be an antidote to woe.  Cheers to more. 

Image result for sleep no more nyc
Sleep No More, NYC
Image result for mfa
 
 Image result for who's afraid of virginia woolf playbill
Image result for The Moth Storytelling

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Beginning

For a New Beginning 
~ John O’ Donohue
In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.