Friday, February 27, 2015

Success Metrics and Your Collective Whole

May 5, 1992

Success is not measured by the name on a desk, a given title...or even a job description.  Success comes from within and is a feeling of accomplishment measured by your own self worth.  It doesn't include bottom lines, bank accounts, or any other tangible monetary metric.  True self worth can come from work or home or just living life in a way that stays true to your convictions and brings you peace at the end of each day, knowing you've done your absolute best.

Any aspect of one's life that fulfills the standards set forth by you, not societal norms.  It's not the size of a house, but the quality inside that house...the people contents, not collective objectives...but your collective whole that makes it home.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

TBT - Somewhere in the Middle

TBT - 1/15/1994

I am of no origin

Standing still in time and space

Waiting for enlightenment

Expecting wisdom, realizing ignorance

Seeing the future repeating the past

Trying to break the cycle without knowing the course

Believing in everything, standing for nothing

I think of me as a formidable one

Capable of expression

Yet the ability to say nothing at all

I speak of times to come

Through traces of what used to be

Somewhere in the middle

I'll find the rest of me


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The uninvited, but welcome dinner guest #Facetime (not so new find Wednesday)

Cheers to #Facetime

I was traveling for work this week, leaving our two younger boys in the most capable hands of my husband.  It’s been several months since I last traveled and even longer since I was away for more than a night.  And three nights away seemed an eternity to our ten-year-old.

Let me just share the day by day texts, #Facetime chats, and how he ended up joining one of my dinners.

First Night Away:

Sunday 7:55 p.m.

Missed Facetime call

Me: Love you.  Still at dinner.

Christian:  I miss you so much (multiple emoticons crying, frowning x12)

Me:  Miss you too baby.  Did you see what I left on your bed?

Christian:  Yes I love it.  Also I am pooping so please don’t text me right now I will text you when I get done

A few minutes later ….

Christian:   Hi mom I miss u so much and I love it (a deck of cards) and dad made meatloaf.  PS this is Pete also here’s a joke.  This isn’t to u just a joke.  U piece of (insert pile of poop emoticon here).  Lol

Sunday 10:08 p.m.

Me:  I love you too sweet dreams

Monday 6:54 a.m.
Christian:  Hi

Monday 10:58 a.m.
   Me:  Love you

Sidebar:  Christian’s basketball team won, but he was disappointed and sad, wishing to play more time on the court…and missing me.

Facetime call accepted Monday 8:30 pm (short call…tears, hiding in pillow)

Monday 9:03 pm

Me:  Don’t let anyone take your power away.  Believe in yourself.  I believe in you and I love you.  You are exactly who you are meant to be in this moment and you will keep doing even more J

Monday 10:09 p.m.

Christian:  Love u 4 every day of my life 

Sidebar:  Made me cry when I read it.

Tuesday 6:25 a.m.

Me: Now u making me cry.
Fast forward to my last night away, dining with colleagues.  I saw a couple of missed Facetime calls, but I hadn’t had a chance to call home.

Now, I’m not really superstitious, but I do believe sometimes things happen for a reason.  As I sat around a lovely table, full of conversations, a nice glass of wine, and great colleagues, something unexpected happened.  The lights went out.  They came back on, then off, then on, then off for good.  The servers quickly brought out candles and flashlights and the natural flow of conversation was abruptly interrupted.  Just as I was looking around at the dark, yet charming candlelit atmosphere, I saw a silent glow coming from inside my evening bag.  It was Christian trying to Facetime me . . . for about the 4th time in an hour.

It didn’t take me any time at all to decide to take his call.  But what happened next was as much a surprise as the unexpected blackout.

Conversations were happening in every direction, across the table, and across the room, and suddenly a new comer.  He’d arrived fashionably late, joined by one of the biggest innovations for working parents.  Facetime does exactly what it says.  You get face time with your kids anywhere in the world.  And the travel miles don’t seem so far away, and the anxiety usually subsides and they are able to sleep after a goodnight talk and quick nighttime prayer.

Tonight, I’d say we broke the travel barrier in that restaurant and took Facetime to a new level.  It started out as an impromptu hand off to a colleague on my left…and turned into 1:1 conversations between one 10-year-old and six individual business leaders.  As the phone made it’s way around the table, he answered questions about homework, missing his mom, advice for dads (he had none BTW), and sports. 

As the last person at the table handed him back to me, I was waiting with a smile.  Great friends and colleagues sharing family time with us…telling my son what a great mom I was and encouraging him for just about everything in life.  All in a matter of a few stolen moments.

You’ve guessed by now who came to dinner.  My son, already networking and using technology like a pro…a future captain of industry…but today just a sweet kid missing his mom.  Regardless, thankful to my indulgent colleagues for adding a +1 to dinner, turning a surprise blackout into one of those moments to be seized, embraced and treasured…#thanksstevejobs #I love Facetime. We are a #modernfamily too!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bandaids, friends, and finally landing the plane

It’s late.  I’m sitting up watching #Nashville.  My body hungers for rest, but my mind is insatiable and refuses to be quiet long enough for the peaceful slumber to let in as I sink my head into a soft pillow.

Admittedly, this one’s out of focus.  Like something circling, looking at something from a distance, and trying to make a smooth landing.  But planes and turbulence are about as predictable as life and this moment….it’s a little bumpy.

I live to write and write to live.  It’s my direct connect to passion.  As I was circling in thought tonight, I thought maybe I might find something in my treasure box to share.  My treasure box is what inspired this blog.  Stacks of memories typed neatly, center aligned, with “M” signed at the bottom of every one.

Some of the newer additions are on my hard drive.  I was looking for something to send out and inspire…what I found was a greater need for me to be inspired and found it in a curious Word document named "bandaids."

If you can imagine waking up on Christmas morning and finding the most thoughtful gift, neatly tucked away behind the tree…as I opened my “bandaids” the white screen and black text contrast jumped off the page…illuminating my mind, giving me comfort and helping me to realize it was finally time to land this plane.

I would love to share absolutely everything about this, but because it’s not my story to tell, I can only tell you about the many, many bandaids that attached and affixed themselves to me, quickly and tightly wrapping around an open, gaping wound.  Friends, who were faster than first responders to a terrible accident, offering immediate life support while still trying to assess the damage and treat my pain.

I lost something last year, suddenly and abruptly.  It’s so complicated and as I said, not my story to tell…my intention is to share hope and faith for others, who may experience something difficult to overcome…most importantly, to the countless people onboard this difficult flight, who had no more control than I, having traveled the same distance, the same journey…all experiencing an unexpected route and diversion.

My file, tucked away on my hard drive, was a collection of messages and emails from my friends during a very difficult time…as I re-read the messages, I felt renewed comfort and a blanket of peace surrounding me with every word.  I couldn’t see it at the time, but it’s clear to me now that the support and faith in me by my friends is what ultimately gave me the strength I didn’t know I had.

So my apologies if I close with even less focus than where I began…to my friends, I want to thank you again for being the angels on the wings of this journey.  My wish for everyone is to be as fortunate as I have been in having people in your life to raise you up and make you better than you believe you are.  My friends, you know who you are.  If you ever need me to meet you at the gate, on the tarmac…or to help you land your plane, I am there, without question.  I may not have any clearer of a flight plan, but I promise you I’ve got your back if you need to go on auto-pilot.  I think I’ve finally landed this plane and before I finally get out and move on, I want you to know I couldn’t have done it without you.  And for anyone else that reads this, realize that those same beacons of light are at the ready on the runway and you’re stronger than you think. #tryingtopayitforward