Super Saturday

Super Saturday

Today was definitely a super Saturday as I spent it at the rink with the Mayor and his team.  Fortunately, we were local playing two games down in Coral Springs.  Moreover, the scheduler did a great job as his games were perfectly scheduled.   Consequently, I was able to pick up the race packets for the Purple Stride event after the team lunch.

The Mayor came out on fire this morning in game 1 against the Panthers scoring a beautiful goal on his first shift.   He ended the first period with a goal and an assist.  His team has come together nicely and really plays for each other.  In the second period, his line-mate BK came to visit me in the Sin Bin.  The ref sent him to the box for for interference after he took down the kid that had just leveled the Mayor.  He came into the box and said “there’s no way I was gonna let him get away with hitting the Mayor.”   Honestly, when a kid comes to the box for defending their teammate, I’m never mad.  Sticking up for your teammate is what good teammates do.

That penalty was in the second period, but BK would be back to visit me in the 3rd.  The Mayor took the puck on our blue line and started heading towards the offensive zone when a linebacker of a player boarded him in the neutral zone.  The player really should have been called for a 2 and 10, but whatever….

Fortunately, the Mayor wasn’t hurt.  He skated hard down to the offensive zone, where the same kid had just checked his line-mate BK into the boards.  The Mayor laid this kid out.  I gotta be honest, I was proud of him for sticking up for himself and his teammate.  The hit was a real beauty and would have been perfectly legal if they were bantams.  While the Mayor may be small in stature, he is large in personality, strength and presence on the ice.  Undoubtedly, the player he laid out will remember him.

Afterwards, we headed to Lefty’s for lunch with the team.  My brother met us for lunch, so the Mayor was totally stoked.  Originally, I hadn’t planned on staying at lunch because I had to pick up the packets.  My bro was able to take the Mayor back to the rink, so I could go to Boca to get the packets.  Meanwhile, the Mayor was super excited to spend some time with his uncle.

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Both J&B and then Rich were able to join us for the second game, which was a much tighter contest.  It was a fun game to watch and the kids worked hard together.  They enjoyed watching him play.  The Mayor use his new stick even if it was a little tall for him.  He was just a little excited about it.   At the end of the day, I love watching the Mayor’s squad play.  They create an atmospheric experience at their games.  Undeniably, there is nothing better than watching these kids come together and start playing for each other.

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Now it’s off to sort shirts and put together the packets for tomorrow’s race.  Undoubtedly,  I’m nervous for the race since my training has been non-existent and I hate sucking.  If you haven’t donated to the team or still want to join (it’s not too late), you can donate at this link or register at tomorrow’s event.

Tonight’s song is “Machinehead” by Bush.

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My Manic Monday

My Manic Monday

While last night’s blog was dedicated to my favorite riffs, I could have very easily written about my manic Monday.  Queue the Bangles song here please.  From the very beginning of the day, and I do mean the very beginning, I had a dubious feeling about they day.

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My Monday started as the clock struck midnight and Goalielocks woke me up.  Sadly, he was unable to fall asleep and was quite listless. His shoulder was bothering him and he had reached that point of sleep frustration where nothing was going to help.  Consequently, the poor kid only got a few hours of sleep when the alarms went off for school six hours later.

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Since Goalielocks had gotten no sleep, I made the wise decision to let him stay home and sleep.  The last thing we need is for him to be overtired all week and get sick.  Unfortunately, when he gets sick, he gets really sick.  Thankfully, he doesn’t get sick often and I wasn’t about to chance it this week.  He walked in a zombie like state to my bathroom and I sent him back to work.  For once, he quickly complied with my directive.

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Meanwhile, I still had to get ready for work and get the Mayor to the bus stop in time.  I failed.  Oh it was going to be one of those Mondays.  Sadly, the Mayor missed his bus and I had to drive him to southwest Boca for school  While his school is much closer to my work, the commute from his school to my  work is longer than my normal commute. Ugh!

All day Monday, it was one thing after another.  Nothing went right and seemingly everything was going wrong.  As I worked, I got an urgent call from Goalielocks at 3:30 pm.  Goalielocks was concerned that I had forgotten him this morning. Meanwhile, did you notice how he waited to ask in the late afternoon when it would have been too late for me to take him to school?  I did.  I chuckled and reminded him that I told him to go back to bed since he literally got no sleep the night before.  Keep in mind, I had spoken with him via text several times that day, but he never brought it up until he called me.

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When my work day finally ended, I had hoped the commute home would provide a respite.  Oh boy was I wrong.  I pulled up my Waze and kept looking for routes, but the commute got longer and longer with each refresh.  Noticing the extremely long commute, I called my hubby to let him know.  Unfortunately, he hadn’t left the job yet, so there was no way the Mayor was gonna make it to hockey practice last night.

 

Meanwhile, my drive took an hour and forty minutes.  It usually takes between 30-35 minutes for me to get home.  Oh what a little rain and snowbirds can do to one’s commute.   Honestly, driving in S. Florida is one of the most aggravating experiences one can have.  As I was literally parked on the turnpike, I noticed several drivers that felt the shoulder had become their new lane.  The fact that S. Florida drivers are that selfish, self-important and reckless is beyond aggravating.  If someone had been changing their tire or working on their car, they would have been killed.  I cant even with these people.  You see that?  They totally bring out my inner 13 year old girl.

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Fortunately, my night ended on a high note literally. I spent it writing my blog about my favorite riffs, cuddling with my boys and researching salt water tanks with Goalielocks.  Then I went to bed and shortly thereafter my hubby and Jake got home from their beer league hockey game. Before going to bed, I had sent Jake my blog link to get his opinion on my favorite riffs.  He’s a complete music aficionado, so I was both excited and nervous to get his credit.  When he came into my room to tell me good night, he told me I did a great job and that made my night.  I love my boys.  I have so much gratitude for my boys and their love.  I’m quite lucky.

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Before I leave you with my music video of the night, I wanted to be sure everyone in the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitterverse are aware that tomorrow is the last day to register online for the Purple Stride event.  If you’re not local to S. Florida or can’t participate, that’s okay as you can support the team with your donation.  Presently, we’re over $3,000 away from our fundraising goal.  Here’s the link: Team Deb Force Five

Tonight’s song comes to us courtesy of the Bangles.  Enjoy “Manic Monday!”

Friday Afternoon Bowling

Friday Afternoon Bowling

Today I spent my Friday afternoon bowling at a team building event for one of our business partners.  On the heels of yesterday’s BBQ for our team, bowling and building relationships with our business partners was awesome.  Truly,  I spent a good part of my week building relationships and on employee engagement.  Is there anything better?

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Unequivocally, one of the things I love about my job is the people I work with.  Some are on my team, but many work across the organization in the departments we work with daily.  Silos are the greatest danger to any organization.  Make it your mission to remove silos from our place of employment.  Make it your mission to make positive relationships with the people that support your department, but may work outside of it.

 

That’s all I have for career/work advice tonight.  Let’s talk about the bowling.  I’m awful.   Truly I don’t have enough fingers on my hand to count the gutter balls I threw today.  Consequently, during our second game I switched to bowling from my left hand.  The first ball I threw left handed resulted in (gulp) a gutter ball.  I promptly followed it up with a right handed spare.   Thereafter, I alternated between the hands in resulted in a score that was double my second game.

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In fact, in game two I even led for a moment.  Albeit a brief moment.  For that brief moment between the 2nd and 3rd frame of game 2, I was in the lead.  Since this never happens, I simply had to take a picture of my amazing accomplishment.  Unfortunately, I followed it up with some more gutter balls before netting another spare and two strikes.  You can only imagine the awesomeness of my post-strike strut.

My AD and I had joined the white team.  There were five teams and we rocked it.  As sure as I was that I would torpedo the team, we killed it.  We had a blast!  It was such a great opportunity to meet new  people, connect with those we know and build positive relationships.  While I will never become a professional bowler (cue the small violin here,) I look forward to my next bowling trip my colleagues.  Special thanks to our friends TE and NM for the invite.

Tonight’s song “Smooth” by Santana ft. Rob Thomas.

serving others

Serving Others

Today was all about serving others – literally.  As a thank you to our staff and business partners, we threw a BBQ for our entire South Florida team.   While this wasn’t our first rodeo, it was our third, our last two BBQs have been for a team of 40-50.  Comparatively, today’s BBQ was for a paltry 450 people! For the majority of the team, leadership included, this was their first offsite BBQ.

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Our day started early with a trip to Sam’s to pick up the food we had pre-ordered.  While MK and I got the food, the rest of our crew headed to the park to start the grills.  In order to serve by noon, we started grilling at 10.  Our chefs, as always, were fantastic. When I finally got a chance to eat a burger, it was incredible.  By the time our teams showed up to eat, we were more than ready to go.

For the next three hours, my team and I served our employees burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers.  It was an amazing opportunity for us to interact with our teams and build new relationships on our expanded team.  We spent the entirety of our day preparing for the BBQ, executing and cleaning up the park.  Unquestionably, it is hard for us to be away from the laptops for extended periods of time, but it is worth it to serve our teams.

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Some leaders fall into the trap of getting caught up in titles and even self -importance.  True leadership, however, is about serving those that report to you.  I privileged to be part of a team that espouses the servant leadership philosophy.  After I left the insurance industry years ago, I never wanted to be in a leadership position again.  Surprisingly, here I am in a leadership position again.  What drew me back into the leadership role was the commitment to servant leadership.

Today was an exhausting, but rewarding day.  The opportunity to meet and celebrate the people that make an organization successful was amazing.  I look forward to our next event celebrating the team’s success and our employees.  In the interim, I remain grateful for the opportunity to serve my team as a servant leader.

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Lastly, I’ve been handling my iPhone X gingerly, so as to not drop it.  I’m acclimated slowly to the major changes on the phone.  Truly, the facial recognition piece is amazing. Once I’ve gotten accustom to it, I will post my review here.  

Tonight’s song: “Mr. Jones”  I’m totally on a 90s music kick this week.  Can you tell?  What’s your favorite 90s tune?

be brave

Be Brave

Be Brave, be bold, be unapologetically you!   It’s quite the call to action isn’t it?  But what exactly does it mean?  To me, being brave doesn’t mean mustering up the courage to bungee jump or sky dive. I mean, I guess in another context, it absolutely does mean bravery.  Rather, I’m talking about the bravery it takes to get out of bed after life’s darkest night’s.  When life has thrown everything it has got in your face, but you still get up, put your make up on, rock your heels and smile, that my friend is bravery.  Yeah, it isn’t jumping out of a plane or anything like that, but sometimes not giving up is brave.

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Speaking of brave, last Wednesday I wrote about my first Xtend Barre experience.  What I may not have shared is that by early Friday, my abs were so sore I could not roll out of bed.  In addition to basic movements, I couldn’t cough, sneeze or laugh without significant pain.  I was that sore!

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I’m obviously glutton for punishment or stupid because I went back for more Barre torture tonight.  There was no bosu ball madness in class tonight, which my abs are quite happy about.  Adam is a phenomenal teacher.  I thoroughly enjoy the class, but am certain that by Friday morning I’ll be unable to walk.

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Whether it is returning to a fitness class that kicked your butt or holding your head high after disappointment, be brave.  Harness your inner shield maiden or warrior , take risks and own your future.  “Audentes fortuna iuvat”  remeber Virgil’s wise words “Fortune favors the brave.”

 

Be Exceptional

Be exceptional, don’t settle for average, don’t settle for mediocrity, don’t freaking settle!  Do you hear me?  Instead choose to be your best.  Everyday we have a choice.  We can choose to be average or worse mediocre, but we can also choose to be exceptional.  This doesn’t mean that we are perfect or striving for perfection.  It only means that we do everything with our best effort.

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For example, when we work out.  Do you give your best the entire time?  Or do you slough off a bit?  If we’re not giving our workout our best effort,  we won’t see the results we covet.  Our results are proportionate to our effort and sadly our diet (damn you age and womanhood.)  For example if we only give 50% effort at a Zumba class,  instead of burning 500 calories, we’ll only burn 250 calories.

Tonight I tried my first Xtend Barre class up at Burn Fitness.  Cheese and rice, I will feel it tomorrow.  Adam, our amazing teacher, likes to call his class barre boot camp.  He wasn’t lying.  Hey, at least he was up front and honest.  He’s a great teacher with tons of energy, so class went quickly.b8d1df9391abe1705203067426eec94f--barre-memes-funny-barre-fitness.jpg

Class may have went quickly, but it was tough!  In truth, I felt a little bit like fish out of water as I was the sole novice in the room.  Adam, as good fitness instructor will do, made the class appropriate to everyone’s level including mine.  Even though I was new to barre, and admittedly not that good, I gave it my best effort.  Consequently, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to move tomorrow, but no pain, no gain.  Right?

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Being exceptional isn’t just for the fitness studio though, it’s for all aspects of our lives.  If we find that what we’re doing is no longer inspiring us to be exceptional, then it is time to move on.  Life is far too short to settle for mediocrity.  It is imperative that we find something that makes our heart and soul sing.  In addition, it is easier to be exceptional when we find something or someone that we are passionate about.

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Tomorrow morning the choice will be all of ours. Join me in embracing the madness one cup of coffee (see meme below)  at a time and being exceptional.    If you’re not where you’d hope to have been by now, that’s okay.  Now is the perfect time to start working towards your dreams.   Now is the time that you stop settling and grab the bull by the horns.   Its time to go get it!

p.s. I’d like to give a special shout out to my Finland for tagging me in the meme below on Facebook.  It very accurately depicts my relationship with coffee!                                     22365410_1448928341822504_7005541926207002228_n.jpg6361016783982351261051636329_574e2900dc33501062016054456

 

Freaking Friyay!

It’s Freaking Friyay!

It’s freaking Friyay!  I swear I could hear the hallelujah chorus emanating from every car as I made my way home on Florida’s turnpike this evening.  Oh yes, the sweet release to the weekend.  The short, but sweet break from the reality of adulting.  Fortunately, our hockey games are local this weekend, which makes our lives significantly easier.

By this time of the week, I’m exhausted and ready for bed by 6:30 pm and today is no exception.  I took full advantage of national coffee day today enjoying more than my usual serving of glorious Dunkin’ coffee.  Yet, here I am ready to sleep by 7:30 pm..  Oh how things have changed….

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I’d though I share with you some of my witty observations from the week in the form of memes and gifs.

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We had a real code red situation this evening after picking up the kids from the bus stop.  The Mayor is at a sleepover tonight and had packed a bag this morning for said sleep over.  Unquestionably, you can imagine his horror when he returned home this evening to find said bag missing.  Clearly, while at work and the eye doctor, I had misplaced his bag.   Obviously, as a working, hockey mom I have nothing better to do than hide his sleep over bag.  Makes total sense, right ?

Certainly between shenanigans at home and work, I may eye roll myself through a portal into another dimension.  Emphatically, as I think about this further, this may be the cause of my eye issues…  See, writing is good for you and aids in self-discovery and self-diagnosis.  Nonetheless,  I’m slightly worried about eye rolling myself into another dimension with no portal back home.

Right up there with my eye rolls, is the WTF’s coming fast and furious these days.  I’m amazed by how adult women treat public bathrooms. (PSA -this is a little gross.)  As if  a pad will actually flush down the toilet, since the high efficiency toilet cannot handle other feminine products?  Seriously, ladies whiskey tango foxtrot?  Apparently, common sense does not exist in the ladies’ rooms across America.  Aside from the ladies’ room and raising three boys,  my work week ensured that the WTFs continued to come at light speed.  As Buzz Lightyear would say, to infinity and beyond…

If you want to see people move fast in an office building, myself included, just let them know there’s free food.  This week at work, our engagement team held a health fair for our employees.  Our engagement team did a phenomenal job putting the event together. One of the vendors, a local cafe, was providing a plate of their food.  If I had to guess, 99% of those that attended went through that line twice.  Nevertheless, while that may run counter to the point of a health fair,  the food was that good.  I don’t think anyone felt guilty about their multiple plates.

Happy Friday to the blogosphere!

Struggle Is Real

The Struggle is Real

The struggle is real.  By the time we get to Thursday.  I’m fresh out energy, both mentally and physically.  Life as a hockey parent can be freaking exhausting.  Through the week, we run from the morning drop off at the bus stop, to work (pit stop at Dunkin), get the kids, head to the rink, teach Zumba, conquer homework, try to get in a workout and coerce the kids to shower before bed.  Rinse repeat day in and day out.

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By the time we get to Friday, sleep deprivation is hitting its peak and our energy is hitting its low.  The exhaustion is all encompassing, yet we press on.  We derive our inspiration from our kids, while our energy comes courtesy of perpetual coffee.  We should likely have stock in Dunkin’ and Starbucks.  Any hockey mom that’s been around for more than a season knows exactly where to find her favorite coffee near every rink.

Notice how I say we because I’m fairly certain that I’m not alone in my craziness.  It’s not just me… Seriously….  Ask any hockey mom or day and they’ll tell you. As I left work today, I let out a smile as I realized this weekend’s games were home!  Winner, winner chicken dinner!  The realization that  I don’t have to drive to Tampa this weekend was almost transcendent.  Of course at this time of day on a  Thursday, I’m looking for any win.

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I headed home feeling a bit uneasy about life and my path.  Its easy to feel that way when exhaustion fits in.  Thank god for my beautiful, energetic and incredible Zumba girls.  These ladies rock my world (not that way you pervert) and always bring a smile to my face.  There’s nothing like a great workout to clear your head and remind you how great life truly is.  Thank you endorphins!

 

Closing out my Thursday with a rocking Zumba class is the best way to launch myself into productive and happy Friday.  Not every moment in our life is picture perfect.   Moreover, there will be times in our lives where our progress doesn’t align with where we envisioned ourselves.  That’s okay.  So maybe you’re not where you want to be professionally or personally, who cares.  Ultimately the control over where you land is with you and only you.

Dr. Pangloss

No Dr. Pangloss here

I’m an optimist, most of the times, who see the glass as being half full, but this girl is no Dr. Pangloss.   You may remember Dr. Pangloss from Voltaire’s glorious work of satire Candide.  In this novel, Dr. Pangloss clings to a view of unreasonable optimism even when his life experiences constantly contradict his philosophy.

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Sadly, Dr. Pangloss  never makes the mental leap that their outlook on life is dead wrong.  Rather he continues to adhere to a ridiculous philosophy that has caused much pain.  Keep in mind this is a man riddled with syphilis, nearly hung and almost dissected, but he never abandoned his dead headed philosophy.

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In many ways, Dr. Pangloss was the anti-Voltaire espousing and championing ideals that Voltaire shunned.   As Voltaire so eloquently said, “it is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”  Pangloss was not willing to drop the chains of his broken ideals.

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Admittedly, there is no coincidence in my writing about Voltaire’s Candide.  In many ways, we face similar difficulties as Pangloss.  Sometimes we don’t want to accept reality as reality.  Instead we tend to explain circumstances away, make excuses for people that mistreat us all while hanging on to our beliefs.  As a consequence, we stay in relationships, we stay in jobs, or we stay in friendships that are no longer healthy.

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Sometimes, as hard as it may be, we have to accept reality, reset our mindset and move on.  In the immortal words of Ace of Base, “I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes.  I saw the sign.  Life is demanding without understanding. ”  If you are unwilling to pivot when life calls for it, you may find yourself in a Candide like misadventure.  Let me be clear here that what I’m advocating is being realistic and not blindly optimistic.

 

Squirrel!

Squirrel!

Who doesn’t love the Dug’s famous line “squirrel” in the movie Up?  I love the movie Up and all of its bittersweet beauty.  Maybe its just me, but some days I feel that my ability to focus is on par with the Dug’s.   For may of us, we where a lot of different hats and have a boatload of differing responsibilities.  Some days it feels like eight arms and 72 extra hours wouldn’t be enough to get everything done.  The overwhelming nature of our 21st century lives certainly leads to many “squirrel” moments.

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The trick is to teach ourselves to stay grounded and focused.  By focused, I do not mean laser focused only on our to do lists or the tasks at hand.  Rather, I believe staying focused means remaining true to your priorities.  If family and career are your priorities, you need to ensure that your actions support those priorities.

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To stay grounded, as I wrote about Sunday, it is important to pamper yourself and keep yourself mentally and emotionally ready for life.  When you fail to take care of yourself, there is no way you can effectively manage your priorities and responsibilities.

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It’s easy to write all of this, but it’s not nearly as easy to live it.   In our society today, we are surrounded by judgement, opinions and other noise.  Everyone and their uncle has an opinion on how one should manage their lives and their priorities.  Ignore them- nobody knows better than you what your priorities are.  Moreover, those same people may try to distract you from your priorities.  You have to learn to ignore the noise.

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Each of us make choices for ourselves or are families on the daily.   For us, we made a commitment to our kids’ and their love of hockey.  Many people cannot understand our willingness and devotion to a kids’ sport that eats all of our time and our paychecks.   Nevertheless, these same people do not see the immeasurable benefits that our kids and ourselves gain from the experience.

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I’m pretty sure each of us hockey parents question ourselves as we leave at the crack of dawn to drive across the state for hockey games.  This lasts, of course, until we get to the rink.  There’s nothing better than watching your kid play the sport he loves with kids that have become family.   The cherry on top is being able to enjoy the game with your fellow hockey parents, who have also become family.  Thankfully, most hockey parents/families have similar priorities i.e. their families and their careers.  Thus providing an incredible support system that I could not be more thankful for.