December 1, 2018
A new journey
10:15 pm cst
For the past two summers, I taught at the "Chamber Institute;" this is training I completed in 2014, and so I'm
very proud to continue to be a part of this educational experience.
While in Madison, I met a presenter and publisher
Tremendous Tracey Jones. I've always wanted to write a book (and sing on Broadway and win the lottery and...) so I bombarded
her with many questions. Turns out, Tracey specializes in helping first-time writers get organized. This initial conversation
lead to a half-hour phone call almost 6 months later and we have a game plan. A plan that will eventually lead to a book (I
Since then, my excitement and energy levels have skyrocketed. I haven't felt this euphoric since my dating days
(to my husband, of course). It's good to feel so purposeful while fulfilling a lifelong passion.
February 7, 2018
Please pass the brakes
10:46 pm cst
Early in my career, I attended a management seminar that helped me control my own emotional responses during stressful
situations. One strategy I have implemented often is to monitor the tone of my voice so that I don't come across as too intense
or sharp. In order to do this, our instructor told us to imagine the tone we use when asking someone to "please pass
the butter." This advice registered with me, because this tone was firm, clear and professional without adding unnecessary,
conflictual or emotional undertones.
I never would have dreamed this advice would come in handy with my license-in-hand,
ready-to-drive-at-every-possible-moment son. Tonight, while driving through the patchy snow-packed city roads, I heard myself
say calmly and quite blandly, "Honey, if you don't start to break soon, you will crash into the car in front of us."
to management training, I may actually survive my teenage son's learning permit stage.
February 4, 2018
Gordon's Big Adventure
12:56 pm cst
Yesterday, Gordon, the smallest of our two dogs, escaped from our backyard. Twice.
Picture if you will a mutt that
looks like Disney's The Tramp crossed with the Wizard of Oz's Toto and you have our seven-pound, rust-colored, highly-spirited
Because Gordon is smaller than most rabbits, he is like the Houdini of dogs, and his artistry at escaping numerous
challenges is quite admirable. We still have no idea where he escaped from our yard yesterday; this would explain the hodgepodge
of rocks, bricks and chicken wire scattered all around our fence.
When I think of this tiny, scrappy and fearless dog
enjoying his times of freedom yesterday, I cannot help but smile. While many details will never be known (I mean, did he get
to chase a rabbit or not?), I do know he got to meet a very nice lady who kindly brought him home after the first escape.
I'm sure it was a thrill for him to drive around in the police car, although my guess is the fun was hampered when he realized
the joy-ride ended at the vet's office.
Either way, the day ended with Gordon happily snuggled into his mommy's
lap, pooped after a day filled with such adventure. And his mommy was happy to have him home.
January 3, 2018
Learning from failure
2:20 pm cst
Yesterday, my son took his driver's test for his instructor's permit. And he failed the test. By one point.
into the License Office with a nervous, anxious boy and walked out with one simply devastated. Failing at anything can have
Even as adults in the professional world, we intellectually know that failure will happen. When it does,
we know we will learn from it and have the potential to grow to be stronger, smarter, faster, better. So, why then do we fear
failing as much as we do?
I'm sure many of you are like me this New Year, planning resolutions we will probably fail
before the month ends. As I mature (sounds kinder and less gray than age), I have come to realize the only true failure is
giving up or not trying at all. All those other times we label as failure really are just life's learning lessons.
today my son gave it another try. I'm happy to report that there is a new driver in our household!
December 29, 2017
Learning at all ages
4:31 pm cst
Yesterday, my son turned 14. In the state of Kansas, he can sit for his driver's exam and hopefully earn his learner's
permit. After encouraging (ok, more like nagging) him for a month to study for this test, he finally exploded and told me
to stop pressuring him.
Whoa, Nelly! After 30-plus years of driving myself, I forgot how nervous I was to
begin driving. I remember watching my twin brother take the test immediately after we became of age, but I chose to wait until
after Driver's Ed that following fall before I even made the attempt.
What I take for granted in my adult
life are new and scary experiences for my son. It's good to be reminded that we aren't experiencing life at the same speed.
Now that I begin 2018 with a new team at work (whew-75% turnover in one year can be tough!), I will need to remember patience,
support, encouragement and understanding are important skills to have as a parent and as a leader.