Archive for March, 2010

More Sunshine

March 15, 2010

The clocks have just adjusted giving us the extra hour of sunshine and I find myself surrounded by it a lot. Even though lately the skies have been more grey here than anything else.  The brightness comes from the after effects of Mondo, the new dedication to being present and reflecting over the last 5 weeks since the M.B. ended. Our little tribe agreed to meet up and chat about where we are, where we are going and most importantly to me just promising to stay in touch with these amazing women. So here I am!

I had quite a chance meeting last week. The meeting itself was ordinary and something I do on a regular basis; meet with a new restaurant/bar owner who wants to be on Zifty and have their food delivered.  Almost instantly we got to chatting about life being bigger than our  businesses and what we considered work vs a passion. Turns out he is in the process of starting a side company, as his passion that is about 102 dreams. The idea is you ask your employees to write down 102 of their dreams. He had found that once someone gets past the first 20 (which  tends to be the super material stuff) it gets pretty personal and super attainable. He asked what if we as employers could not only provide a competitive salary/benefits; but we could help our employees facilitate their dreams? He shared examples of a man working for him who wished he could have lunch with his kid at school once a week and a woman who had always wanted to do a triathlon. Some easy moving around with the schedule and the man was having lunch with his son; and it turns out he does triathlons and served as her coach and signed them both up for a small tri in the spring. No major undertaking or cost but results that  the two of them will never forget. It was such an aha moment for me, especially coming out of Mondo where we exercised and stretched our dreams over the 5 weeks and continue on with it today.

I loved that it was so brilliant. And I loved that it is so simple. He immediately asked me what did I want? I talked candidly about how much I am craving collaboration these days. I am one of 2 owners of Zifty and we have about 50 employees and Stories of Gen is just me; so there is a lot of solo or 2 people decision-making. A new community for brainstorming would be a dream for me. A place where I can get outside of myself and see/hear something new. The next thing I know he is offering me his spot this week at Zappos.com headquarters. There will be 20 people there from all different types of companies and the focus is customer experience and being the best place to work. And now I will be one of those people. Flying out Wed and home on Friday. A quick adventure. We are also going to collaborate on the 102 dreams as well; we talked about having the capacity to take this outside of our own companies and sharing it as a new approach to “work”.

I am excited to see who I meet. Whether it’s at the airport, the meeting or my hotel.  I am even more excited to see what I learn. What I share. It is also the first 2 days all to myself since I had Seven. I’m at a point now where I can not feel guilty for going, for making the most out of the 48 hours and letting them play themselves out vs plan every second. It is the last 10 weeks that has gotten me here. Mondo and beyond it. It is also having a place to continue to share and think and question without any hesitation or worry about judgement or not being “enough”.

My little tribe will probably never really realize how big they are in my heart.

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Seven, Surprise Baby & Such

March 9, 2010

I haven’t been able to get to writing too much over the last week or so. From a freak snow storm, new adventures with Seven, a surprise baby, a little tequila- its been busy over here.

Tyler was out-of-town, so Seven and I were rolling solo and we made the most of it for sure. We hit up  Relics and Rarities. Think lots of cool old cars combined with an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. He was more into the cars than anything else; so we skipped the ice cream this time and just ran around instead.

Next up was our trip to  IKEA for his newest passion. Trains. The wood set has been the “it” toy ever since. Continuing on this theme, the next day we hit up the SE Train Museum. OMG, the kid was in heaven. It was so much fun to get to watch his 2-year-old self completely in his element and going on his first “real” train ride.  I knew even more that it was a hit when Tyler came home the next night at 2am,  and Seven woke up just long enough to give him the complete “choo choo” update. We weren’t sure of the exact story but it definitely involved a lot of trains.

On our last solo night, the two of us went out for Thai and salty caramel ice cream.  Perfect. Over the 5 days, we passed on opportunities for play dates and yes we missed dad; but it was such a little gift  to have each other all to ourselves.

You know what was also nice? Was that I found myself very present in it all, not stressing out and just rolling with the extra work and lack of sleep. That wouldn’t have been the case this time last year. AT ALL. It is so amazing to watch your kid grow and learn and seek out new things. It never stops for them, it’s all so new. What I’m finding with  Seven is how much he is actually teaching me! (I know- duh. Apparently I’m a little slow.) It doesn’t have to be this constant running from one responsibility to the next. It can be snuggling up and reading books together, making banana bread with really good dark chocolate and remembering what it was like to be completely beside myself just because I was in a park.

But wait the surprise baby part. (no, not me) So….in the middle of all of this fun, I get an email from a friend about a friend who just had a surprise baby. Yes the kind of thing you see the TLC special about. But this involved two 20 year olds, possible stomach tumors and a healthy 5 pound baby boy. Anyhow, they obviously had no time to plan or buy ANYTHING so the email was about getting things donated. The next thing I know I am rounding up lots of baby items from furniture to tiny Vans. The new dad stopped by last night to pick it all up and their story was quite amazing.  Whether it was 20-year-old denial or a true mystery…you know what I don’t really care. The kid was excited and it felt awesome to be able to help out. So I did. Sometimes questions just don’t need to be asked. (It is kind of funny that I had all this stuff on the front porch and Tyler asked what is it for and I told him the “surprise baby”. He just kept on his merry way, apparently we are on the same page about unnecessary questions)

So I must say a week like this has had a bunch impact on me. In one sense, I got a little nervous because I wasn’t tackling anything specific on my dream list. But on the other hand, I have to be believe that if I am playing, being present, generous where I can and feeling light….that Mondo is not very far from me.

I Mean Really

March 1, 2010

So wow, what a weekend. First up was Saturday when I had agreed to go to a class that my friend was putting on. What was the class you ask? Improv! Yes, a 3 hour improv class. It made me nervous. It gave me a pit in my stomach. Get out on a field and play a sport, sure. Run a business or two, not a problem. Tell a story to a group of people at party, most definitely. Get up on a stage and do random unscripted things? Absolutely not.

But I went and I was so glad I did. First it tackled a fear. Second, it got me outside of myself. There was a group of about 9 women and I did not know any of them.  All but one was in their 50’s. That surprised me. You know what also surprised me? The random things that came out of our mouths, the struggles we all had in using our brains in other ways, and how much I laughed! Pretty much 3 hours of straight up laughing. Not because the scenes or exercises were so hilarious; but because everyone was so open, no one was judging, or worrying about trying to be the best.  So we all just played!

It did not get past me that I just did a cleanse on getting to the play part of my life. Then in  a very unexpected manner, an afternoon of play presented itself. What was also surprising was that it came from an event I  was completely  unsure of and not really convinced I wanted to do. Lesson learned for sure.

On Sunday I went for a run that was windy and hard but the sun was shining brightly. While I was running I got to envisioning myself running the Portland Marathon in October. I thought about the fears I have had in other races that held me back and how this time it was going to be different. The next mile or so I thought about why I had these fears (ie: negative thoughts about myself)  and when did they start. These thoughts where I told myself you are running too slowly, you aren’t going to finish, this sucks, you didn’t train hard enough, you are going to be the last runner. So my brain started to back itself up the last 30 or so years.

I have had stitches 13 times. I had surgery where my face was sewn back together (literally). My right leg was broken in 5 places and they thought I wouldn’t walk again at age 4. (I was hit by a car) I’ve had spinal meningitis. I’ve had the flu that puts you in the hospital. My nose has been broken 3 times in sports and dislocated once. I’ve ripped my hamstring and played the whole season anyway. I’ve had 2nd,3rd,4th degree burns from flying out of a go kart. I’ve hit the diving board in competition. I’ve thrown up in a middle of a half ironman from heat exhaustion. I’m not going to list it all out but I think you might get the idea.

Anyhow all of this was literally flashing through my brain while running. The next thing I know, I am laughing. Why? It FINALLY occurred to me…what the hell do I have to be afraid of when it comes to racing and sports? Let it be, I’ve been through it, I got up each time and did it again. Have some freaking faith in myself! I so cannot wait for 10/10/10. It’s going to be life changing!