Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Friendship Courting

When I was younger I never realized how much energy goes into creating a friendship. Early in life the opportunities to create new friendships are abundant. School, sports and other activities constantly push kids and young adults into new relationships and opportunities to create a friendship. College is like a friend frenzy with dorm life, fraternity parties and class study groups. 

Later in life, finding new friendships is hard. Kids open the door sometimes but finding a connection with a mom takes time. Between sippy cups, screaming toddlers and endless interruptions finding real common ground is basically impossible. It takes spark. I swear it is like dating.

One of my most successful adult life friends is Stacie. We met in the street. She was walking with her baby boy and I was chasing Hadley around. I'm not even sure where Harrison was. Maybe in my belly? Maybe napping? Regardless, we had a fleeting exchange in the street and exchanged phone numbers. I gave her my number and took hers. Secretly I thought it would be like any other park phone number exchange, a dead end. Sure, they were all nice moms before and I would have loved to see them and their kids again but the reality is none of those park phone number exchanges turned into anything.

With Stacie it was different. That night she did something bold. She asked me to be her friend on Facebook. Whoa! Now this is a woman who is serious about becoming friends. I accepted because I was serious too. I loved the idea of raising kids together with a like minded friend who had kids the same age. I really yearned for that relationship. But a Facebook friend request from a basic stranger was a pretty bold move. Go Stacie!

Years later we have managed wine nights to actually talk with one another. Our husbands clicked right away and the kids are all within a year of one another. Sometimes we happen to see each other at the donut shop and other times we plan a vacation together. The families just work together and it is awesome!

So the challenge for today... if you are interested in meeting a new adult life friend, be BOLD. Take the extra step like Stacie did: Facebook, avocado delivery, cul-de-sac wine invitation.... make the effort and maybe it will be just the spark a friendship needs! Lesson learned: Life=long friendships don't start with dead-end phone number exchanges.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall - Scarfs are BACK!

Okay, so let me just be clear I have no idea what the runways say are back for Fall. I just know I LOVE scarfs. A friend shared this awesome video with a million ways to wear a scarf. Just had to pass on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rain Lover

Apparently there is a word for people like me. 

Pluviophile: (n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days 

Found on We Heart It
Rain drops are like magic and serenity all wrapped together. Sunshine and snow are lovely too but rain is what I crave. When I was little, my mom used to encourage me to dance in the rain and talk about how it was kisses being showered down from the heavens. We used to watch it drip on the windows in the car. She would share how she was waiting to use the windsheild wipers as long as possible. She cultivated a love of rain in me. At my core. 

I am begging the rain gods for a rainy day. A rainy day, a rainy night are my favorite. Snuggles. Warm fire and cozy jammies. Probably my all time favorite. Thanks Mom. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Part 1: Mentoring - Purpose

The industry I work in is dominated by men. This isn't a bad thing, it is just the reality. The industry and the major firms in the market have all tried to evolve this fact but it is going to take more time. 

Super cool definition and image by United Purpose

So throughout my career I have actively sought out mentoring relationships. Some have happened very naturally with senior partners who took the time to show interest in my professional growth and development. Others, I have had to seek, stalk and continually build. Those ones take a lot more energy but are still fruitful. In my 10+ years at my firm, I have had a few really solid mentors and two of them are women. Considering 93% of my peers in San Diego are men, I am very lucky to have any female mentors. 

As I progress in my career, I still need coaching and guidance. Recently I enrolled in an online mentorship program. With hesitation but also with hope. The program is more general about key milestones in any solid career and typical challenges women have in pursuing a corporate career. It isn't specific to what I do, but I think that actually might be a positive thing. So for the next few weeks I am going to be doing this online program and sharing my major takeaways from the experience. 

The first week's lesson is all about Purpose. There were some specific videos and exercises to cover including values, self awareness and support system. 

Defining personal values and seeing how they align or don't align with the corporate values. This exercise has been really positive. We all know we have values and beliefs at our core but taking the time to write them down, reflect and apply those values to how I spend my time was very beneficial. 

The program also talks about this concept of self awareness and being honest with yourself and others about if we are living the life we want to. Hmmm. Now that one slowed me down a bit. We all have a myriad of inspirations, motivations and selfish ways we want to live our life. The key is to identify those very personal motivations and incorporate them in an authentic way into our career. Fascinating. After some time, I see I have naturally done some of this, but there is a lot more I can do to achieve purpose professionally while still satisfying my personal purpose. 

The component about creating a support system seems so obvious yet absolutely 
necessary. That support system can't just be a list of people who help you, it has to all tie back into your purpose. That link is what makes it all click. 

I am looking forward to week 2. 

Happy Monday!!! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

When the day chases me...

Why do some days just chase me?

No viable credit found via Insta.

Is it because of that old saying: Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, maybe. Maybe because it has been freak'n HOT. Hot, hot and hotter.

But it's true, sometimes I just can't catch a break regardless of the weather. Instead of the morning being filled with cuddles and reading books in bed it starts with kids fighting over who is laying next to me. I'm sure I should be thankful they want to be that close...

The day becomes a full sprint dash trying to escape/catch up/survive when it starts with that negative energy. I try to slow down, pause and reflect and redirect the energy forward. To let that morning go. To move on and embrace what is now and ahead. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it just doesn't and I struggle.

I guess some days you just have to keep running.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

One-on-One with Hadley

Mike took Harrison and Hannah up to San Francisco last week for a couple days so I had the opportunity to be one-on-one with Hadley. What a joy. 

It was in those moments just the two of us, doing ordinary things, I could see the amazing little girl she has transformed into. Most the time life is flying by so quickly I get caught up. Too busy to see it. Sad really. But this unique opportunity to enjoy her came and I did just that, I enjoyed her. 

I asked her what she wanted to do and she rattled off about 35 little things she wanted to do with me. I kind of expected her to say something like Sea World, the Zoo or Disneyland. Instead, she said she wanted to draw, shop for food, roller skate, read books, play, decorate for the baby (meaning a baby shower I was hosting), go to the library and the list went on and on. How sweet. 

So we did just that. A million little things. On our own time with no one else interrupting or setting our agenda. We just floated along. She kept track of our list at the grocery store and loved it. She helped me pick out pretty flowers and arrange them. We played. We read. We cuddled. 

Total joy. 

I am so grateful for this mini glimpse into this amazing little girl who is my daughter. I am so grateful I had the chance to enjoy her. To slow down and BE with her. I am proud of the person she is. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Inspiration: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is a woman I have always adored but recently I have come to admire her. Not only was she a classic and timeless beauty, she quietly lived a life behind the camera devoted to others. Ms. Hepburn was a fearless advocate against childhood hunger and a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. She was recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her advocacy work. 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this amazing woman.  

"The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, 
because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides."

“People, even more than things, 
have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; 
never throw out anyone.” 

“I don’t take my life seriously, but I do take what I do – in my life – seriously.” 

“It’s that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. 
This was the whole ethics by which I was brought up. 
Others matter more than you do, so ‘don’t fuss, dear, get on with it.’”