The truth.

I have worked with my husband Lou for over two decades.

When there’s a business issue, there’s no posturing, masquerading or blaming.

When something is scary, we don’t have to pretend to be brave.

And when one of us is going down a path that is just plain wrong, the other doesn’t have to coach, cajole, set up a special meeting or converse in PC terms.  We just speak our mind openly to stop the mistake in its tracks.

The truth sure saves a lot of time and energy.

 

 

 

What is normal?

An expert is someone that can explain to you what “normal” is.

Something that is scary or outrageous to a novice, is usually old-hat to an expert.

For example:

A grandma can help a new mom discern between a normal cry and one that suggests illness.

A boss can help their staff understand normal corporate red tape, and shortcuts to circumventing it.

An older brother can help a younger one recognize what normal growing pains feel like, (“Phew, you felt this way too?”).

When I find out that what’s upsetting me is actually “normal,” I usually stop fretting immediately.

Wouldn’t it be great:

-if experts could think back and share their rookie experiences with newbies?

-if we all felt braver about requesting input from people we consider pros, instead of being afraid of seeming inept?

Imagine how much faster we’d all get to where we are going!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids are all right.

This Christmas, I caught up with many of my 20-something relatives.

C & J are newly-married business owners, and already understand how to navigate the potential typhoon of working together.  C is the steady force.  And J takes the risks.

My nephew and his fiancée are doing the hard work of deciding their division of labor before they tie the knot.  Turns out he loves grocery shopping and she doesn’t mind doing laundry.

K aspires to a career in law – and while she’s always been incredibly articulate, she now possesses a strength that will certainly benefit her future Clients.

M is a college freshman and was eager to tell me about his roommate.  R just graduated from college and is making sure he gets a great job before committing to his own place.

I told A some issues I was having at work, and she shared her insights that I’ll put right into practice on Monday.

What can you learn from listening to the young people around you?

Turns out, quite a lot.

 

 

 

Dinner again?

Every day at 5pm I’m surprised by the fact that my family needs to eat dinner.

I’m a planner and should be able to knock this task of the park.  But I don’t.  Surely it would be easy enough to come up with a one-week rotation of meals to have on autopilot.

Related:  I’m also startled when my kids’ have a half day of school, despite having every half-day written on my calendar.

Does this happen to you?

Schooled.

This week I had to learn a new software package at work.

And while I’d describe myself as pretty tech-savvy, I had no idea the concentration it would take for me to learn just a few basic things.  After the first hour on the first day, I was cranky and snippy.

I’ve always romanticized learning.  And what’s most embarrassing is how much this reveals about how little I’ve been stretching myself.

I have to remember this when I put my kids on the bus each morning, and welcome their weary souls back each afternoon.

 

Expectations.

One of my BFFs was celebrating a milestone birthday.  A jaunt to Tuscany was out of the question, so a group of us met at a Hampton Inn just 45 minutes away.

Our tiny hotel room could not accommodate a swinging bathroom door on a hinge, so to save space, the door was on sliders.  Our window looked out onto a highway off-ramp.  Someone commented that the room was actually quite large by cruise-ship standards.

We gabbed and laughed and ate microwaved appetizers.  We never set an alarm or got a wake up call.  Nothing we did the next day was pre-planned or required reservations.

We came home refreshed and feeling like we had spent far more than 24-hours away.

And while a trip to Tuscany might’ve been lovely, it would’ve also been fraught with jet lag, high-hopes and must-sees.

Having no expectations was the key to our magical getaway.  Something to remember during this holiday season of “too much.”

 

This is Marketing.

Seth’s new book reminded me of something.

Back in the day, my newly minted OB/GYN needed patients.

She hired a manicurist to give manicures to her patients in her waiting room.

In her first year she delivered more babies than doctors that had been practicing for decades.

This is marketing.

Rabbit holes.

I kick myself every time I use my phone’s calculator app.

I only need to multiply 234 and 345, and all of a sudden I’m responding to texts, emails and scrolling recommendations from Netflix.

20-minutes later, I can’t remember why I picked up the phone in the first place.

Other peoples’ spreadsheets.

People love their own spreadsheets.

This passion is born out of the author’s deep understanding of the logic they’ve painstakingly developed inside every cell.

But something happens when the spreadsheet is shared with others.  The author is exuberant:

“Isn’t this cool?”

“It’s so clear.”

But onlookers are confused. The unfamiliar jumble of numbers, colors and tables, is disorientating.

“Is ‘red’ a good outcome?”

“Why are we dividing cell A3 by cell T5?”

The audience simply doesn’t have their sea legs.

Other peoples’ spreadsheets make me feel downright dopey.

Please don’t email me your spreadsheet or present it on a large screen.

Spoon-feed me the results instead.

One extra minute.

The clasp on my watch had a recurring problem:  It would suddenly release at random times.

I took my watch from jeweler to jeweler and everyone had the same answer:  There was nothing wrong with the watch clasp.

At the last store, the jeweler asked if he could examine the way I put the watch on my wrist.

In just 60 seconds of observing me, he realized I was closing the latch from left-to-right, when it should be clasped right-to-left.

Problem solved.

Imagine the chronic issues and pains that might be solved with just one extra minute of attention.