Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!

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Typical

It was a typical Monday in our household. Thankfully, I went to bed super early last night, so I was equipped to handle it. Unfortunately, the morning started with Goalielocks needing a Tylenol for headache.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but I felt all last week he was hiding his symptoms in order to play at states. He’s still not feeling 100% and I could see it in his eyes. All weekend, he was adamant that he was fine. Yeah, about that…….

The Mayor meanwhile bounced back well from an insanely busy weekend and was ready to head into his day. This evening he greeted me with a perfect score on his math test.

What’s amazing in all of this is that he has struggled in school and is now thriving. Moreover, he gives full credit to his teacher for her amazing teaching abilities. He’s said more than once that he is lucky to have the best math teacher in the school and probably the district. I’m blown away that he recognizes and is excited about how lucky he is to have this teacher.

Meanwhile, in the corporate world the grind continues. When you enjoy what you do, it makes the work so much more tenable and enjoyable. Nonetheless, I may or may not have had a case of the Mondays today. Well, at least until the second cup of coffee kicked in! Actually, there’s a lot of exciting things going on at work and I’m stoked for the future. As for now, I’m stoked about my head hitting the pillow!

Choking

Well, it was a day full of choking.  When I say choking, I don’t mean the kinky 50 Shades stuff, I mean sports teams utterly out performing.  Once could say shitty decision leads to shitty outcomes, but that seems a bit obvious.  As a hardened Vikings fan, I knew tonight would be disappointing.  Consequently, I spent the first half of the game working out.  Fortunately, while they gave up touchdown after touchdown, I burned 632 calories.  (At least there was some winning today!)

 

My kids, however, have not yet accepted what it truly means to be a Minnesota fan.  You know, the team will build up your hope only to choke in dramatic and devastating fashion.  Come to think about it, I probably should have used disappointment or today’s title, however, that would be redundant.  Nevertheless as a consequence of the Vikes’ epic collapse, I have one kid in a full on melt down.  Truly, I think he thought the world was truly ending.  Like many fans, I would have loved for my team to win, but hey reality is reality.  I simply don’t get my hopes up anymore.

Despite their epic loss, I love my Vikings and fellow fans.  How many organizations have a fan base that would raise well over $200,000 for an opponents charity? Not many.  At least the Vikes are honorable, which is more than I can say about many people.  I actually had some tell me today that they have a sliding scale of accountability and were proud of it.  Things to keep to yourself..  If you are in charge of anyone and have a sliding scale of accountability, you should probably quit your job.

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Unfortunately, the highlight of my day was the awesome chili I enjoyed at Culver’s between games.  When the chili was the highlight of the day, you know it was a bad sports day.  Additionally, I started reading Sun Tzu’s TheArt of War, which was quite enjoyable.   If you lead people, in any capacity or environment, you need to read this book on military strategy.  While this book was written with a military audience in mind, its principals are applicable across all industries and all leaders. In fact, I’m pretty sure its the first time in recorded history that a leader referred to a style akin to servant leadership.

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Ultimately, win, lose or draw, I love spending time with my family.  In that regard, today was a total win.  The Vikings’ season may be over, but I still have my Wild and soon the Twinkies will start spring training.  In short, soon the other sports teams from Minnesota can break my heart.   Lastly, if you’re looking for a good book to read on strategy, pick up a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

Tonight’s song performed by Minnesota’s own Soul Asylum is “Runaway Train.  I know, I know it is a bit melancholy, but after the drubbing my Vikes endured it seems apropos.  Of course, it also happens to be a great song and a great video.

Super Saturday

Super Saturday

We spent our super Saturday dividing and conquering.  While I traversed the state for hockey with Goalielocks and my two brothers from another mother John and Jon, the hubby stayed in town for the Mayor’s evening games. Since the Mayor was at a friend’s for most of the day, so hubby was able to have a productive day at work.  Meanwhile, we spent 3.5 hours driving from the Palm Beaches to Ellenton on 70, which is largely a two lane road.  We had great company for the drive, althought I’m sure you can imagine how much fun this drive is.

We actually made great time, so we were able to stop and have lunch on the banks of the Manatee River at Woody’s River Roo.  This nice spot is absolute perfection for feeding hockey players, while enjoying a great drink and the beautiful location  Moreover, it’s not fancy, so you don’t have to worry about the kids breaking anything.  As I sat dockside admiring the beautiful view, I succumbed to the temptation and ordered a mimosa.   I had a cup of clam chowder and a salad, while Goalielocks enjoyed the burger.  We finished our lunch and headed to the lunch, which was less than five minutes away.

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Meanwhile back in South Florida, the Mayor was gallivanting about with his boy JM driving the Kaputa and the bulldozer.  As I sat in the sin bin between periods, I caught a video the Mayor had posted on his Instagram that had me in stitches.  It was a video of him driving in slo-mo and then speeding by.  Honestly, it was the funniest thing I saw all day.  When we finally got home after a long day on the road, the Mayor was super excited to tell me about driving both the bulldozer and Kaputa.

Both of the boys’ teams went 1-1 on the day, but both hubby and I were happy with their efforts.  While the day was as long as the drive,  the time spent was well worth the investment.  We only covered a good 380 miles in 7 hours of driving! (Thank you JB for driving our motley crew across the state!)  Our first game in Ellenton certainly didn’t end how we wanted it to, but what I enjoy most of all is spending time with my kids and with our hockey family.   The Mayor and his team did well this evening winning their game 4-1.  My Mayor was stoked that he scored a goal and his usual line mates did equally as well.

The wonderful people that make up our hockey family are incredibly dedicated to their families.  Morevoer, they’re invested in their children and super fun to be around.  When I look at social media influencers on instagram and beyond, I see people who’s only commitment is to themselves.  Whatever commitment they had to their family or their kids is secondary to their own interests.  Its sad really.  In contrast, the hockey parent life calls for a parent that is selfless.  Hockey parents have to be  willing to dedicate of time and resources (aka money) to their children’s athletic pursuits.  I know some day my kids’ hockey careers will come to an end.  At that point, I’ll have time and money to spend on my interests.  Until then, I’m committed to living the hockey mom life.  In fact, I’ll be back at the rink tomorrow morning for Goalielocks’ game.

Fraud

Fraud

As I thought about today’s daily prompt fraud, I came across this quote from Sophocles, “rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”   It really spoke to me because I’d rather fail honorably than “succeed” fraudulently.  Bernie Madoff was once a darling to many as he provided them rich returns on their investments.  For years, Madoff lived the high life, but as is always the case his fraud was unveiled.  Deservedly,  he’ll spend the rest of his life rotting in jail.

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I think we can all understand the attraction, right?  It appears to be the easiest, most expeditious route to the top.  Moreover, it can be frustrating seeing dishonorable people succeed while you struggle. I’m sure many felt Madoff wasn’t on the up and up, but didn’t have the proof until 2008. Nevertheless, we cannot give in to the temptation.   Remember the fastest path isn’t always the right path.  A path pave b

Here are some of my least favorite frauds:

  • Vegan cheese – I could easily be a vegetarian, but as Meatloaf would say, “I’d do anything for love, but I wouldn’t do that….” No vegan cheese for me.
  • Equifax’s web security                                                                TPYznCi.gif
  • KUWTK – I won’t even dignify them by spelling out their show.
  • WWE- Closest thing to wrestling I enjoyed was Hogan Knows Best and that wasn’t real either.
  • Fake news
  • Fake friends – don’t be a plastic                         .tumblr_mhtj2cKMrP1rv3b62o1_500.gif
  • Decaffeinated coffee – this is perhaps the worst offender of them all.  At this point in my life, I need a daily IV drip of fully caffeinated coffee.                                                There-is-a-time-and-place-for-decaf-coffee.png

Tonight’s music selection is John’s Lennon’s diss track for Paul

 

Caffeine Drip

Caffeine Drip

I’m in serious need of a caffeine drip for tomorrow after the craziness of today’s hockey schedule.  The Mayor’s team was at the rink by 7:30 am for their 8:30 game.   My hubby, who is a saint, took the Mayor for warm-ups, so  I could sleep in.   7:30 am isn’t really my idea of sleeping in, but it was far better than the alternative.  The Mayor’s squad got the win, which started off our day of 4 hockey games perfectly.

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Post-game I headed to Burn Fitness, an awesome locally owned fitness studio, for my first aerial yoga experience.  Admittedly, I was a bit concerned about the inversions and the potential for nausea, so  I skipped my early morning coffee and breakfast.  Pre-class I had a GU gel for energy that wouldn’t upset my stomach during class.  I have to say I was a bit relieved to hear that the other newcomers to aerial yoga were just as nervous as me.

 

Once in the studio, we picked our swings that were best matched to our height and then setup our yoga mats under them.  We took to our swings to start working our core and open our shoulders.  The core work in aerial yoga is quite similar to working on the TRX, so it is intense and efficient.  Surprisingly, the inversions didn’t bother my stomach and didn’t make me dizzy.  I quickly learned that if I was swinging too much while upside down,  I could put my hand down to stop the swinging motion.  The warrior poses and half moons poses  felt incredible in the swing.  I could feel myself getting more elastic as the class progressed.  Unequivocally, the best part of class was the shavasana in the swing that quickly became cocoon-like.  It was absolutely heavenly.

After yoga, I was finally able to enjoy my morning Dunkin and some solid food.  I made myself some Gardein Schezuan Beef and broccoli ,which was super tasty.  No sooner had I finished my lunch, when we had to head back to the rink for the Mayor’s 2nd game and Goalielock’s first game.   Of course, I had to stop and get another coffee lest I get cold at the rink.

The Mayor was on fire during his second game.  He scored a hat-trick and had several assists.  It was incredible to see the kids moving the puck.  I loved seeing them work so hard to setup their teammate for a goal.  Undoubtedly, their teamwork today is what led to their success as a team.  Honestly, I just love watching my Mayor play.  He’s the smallest on the ice, but he plays and runs his mouth likes he’s six feet tall.  He works hard and is always giving 100%.   I love his commitment to his team and his game.

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As soon as the Mayor’s team left the ice, the Zamboni started cleaning the ice for Goalielock’s game.  I spent a lot of quality time with the scorekeeper today.   In an effort to contain my crazy, I ran the music during the games today, which put me in the sin bin where I belong.  Goalielock’s had the first game off, but his goalie buddy Brian was lights out that game.

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Unfortunately, someone probably should have called a 5250 for the megaphone mom from the opposing team.  We’ve been in travel hockey for many years and we’ve seen a lot things, but this woman took the cake.  She put the craz in crazy.  Keep in mind, these kids are either freshmen in high school or 8th graders not little kids.  Imagine, if you will, a mom screaming directions and commentary via a megaphone from the stands.   My favorite part, is when she chirped our player, #4, and he took the puck and went and scored.  Thankfully, the goal was enough to shut her up for a couple of minutes.  I did my best to drown her out with the music, while my better half drowned out the megaphone with a fog horn.  Instant karma was served to megaphone mom as we beat the team 7-1.

Between Goalielocks’ two games, we headed to pick up the Mayor from dinner and pick up some grub.   Unsurprisingly, we didn’t have a ton of time between games, so there was no trip home between them.  After taking Goalielocks’ to Publix for a sub, we headed back to Hurricanes to get hubby and the Mayor.  While we waited for the check,  I acquired a nice, new sexy tattoo.  You’ll love it, but don’t worry mom it’s only temporary.

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In the end, the Mayor decided to go to a teammate’s house during Goalielocks’ game, so we headed back to the rink without him.  I took my position in the sin bin, where I belong, ready to blare the music as the boys took the ice.  The game got a little chippy, but we were all relieved that there was no megaphone mom on this team.  By the end of the 1st period, we were up 5-0.

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Goalielocks’ wasn’t seeing a lot of work, which stinks for a goalie because you don’t have the opportunity to get into a rhythm.  Nevertheless, he was playing well when his team needed him. I was busy in the box with a couple 10-2 and repeat visitors.   Nonetheless, the boys won 9-2.  Goalielocks’ played well, but as always was quite critical of his performance.

 

 

 

Namaste

Namaste

Namaste my dear friends in the blogosphere.  Tuesday morning started off with the realization and confirmation that another icon of my youth was indeed taken too early.  Today Tom Petty is playing his guitar with George in the great beyond.  Consequently, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Travelling Wilburys provided the soundtrack for my morning commute.

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The soundtrack brought some solace and lots of nostalgia.  Petty’s songs played with heavy rotation in my house.  Inevitably, these songs remind me of my parents and all the great times we had as a family growing up.  Not surprisingly, as my kids have spent many their summers with Minnesota, these same songs conjure up sweet memories of their time in Minny with my folks.  Music unites us, our collective experiences and the generations.  One simply cannot ignore or question the power that music has to shape our lives.

Tonight, after too long of an absence, I finally made it back to Burn Fitness for yoga with my beloved yoga teacher Monica.  Oh boy, am I going to hurt tomorrow.   Undeniably, my return to yoga was long overdue for both my physical and mental well being.   After a year of pain and grief, tonight’s class felt like a welcome release.   As I work to get rid of the Irma weight, I’ve made the commitment to myself to take time and devote it to my yoga practice . This is long overdue as all of the running and Zumba are quite taxing on my body.  Meanwhile, yoga is the perfect anecdote to keeping my body in peak physical shape.

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Post yoga, its all about the MLB wildcard game between my Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees.  There’s something alluring and thrilling about baseball in October.  It definitely peaks my interest significantly more than the regular season.  We just turned the game on and its tied 4-4 at the bottom of the 4th.  We’re already into our bullpen.  Consequently, this isn’t the best harbinger for a favorable outcome for my Twins.  If the Twins lose, work will surely be miserable tomorrow with all the Yankees fans in the office.   Let’s go Twins!

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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!

Saturday night

Saturday Night in Tampa

After a long week at work, is there anywhere better to be on a Saturday night than suburban Tampa?  Thankfully, the drive is not too long and does not entail driving on a scary two lane road.  Can you sense the sarcasm?  Nonetheless, us crazy hockey parents journeyed westward early this morning for two games in Tampa.

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The drive from the Palm Beaches to Wesley Chapel took a little over four hours this morning.   We were fortunate to hit pretty good traffic and minimal weather.  As luck would have it, the monsoon came during my shift.  I was driving John’s (my brother from another mother) Volvo when he got some much deserved and needed sleep.  I only had to wake him up once to see if the windshield wipers could wipe a little faster.  They could not, but alas we survived.

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Neither game nearly as well as we had hoped, but that’s okay.   Winning feels awesome and lord knows I hate to lose.  However, we learn more from losing and our failures than we can ever learn from winning.  The tenacity, the team work, the grit, the perseverance we learn from our losses it is what equips us to ultimately win big. The choice is clear.  Either we choose to self-destruct due in the failure, or we choose to  lick our wounds and get back on the proverbial ice and kick ass.  Which one will you choose?

Undoubtedly, the major benefit of travel hockey (for me) is the time I get to spend with my family and extended family.  The outcome, while not completely irrelevant, does not outweigh the enjoyment I get from the quality time I get with my kids.  As the Mastercard commercial says, this time with my family is priceless.

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Thankfully, we opted to stay overnight.  If we had headed home post-game, we would not have gotten home til after 1:00 am in the morning.  As horrible as the drive is during the day, the drive at night is a million times worse.  Goalielocks and I enjoyed a fantastic steak with some of our hockey family after the game.  I even got some birthday ice cream and a saddle ride for our dear friend Dam Hart, which was hilarious.

I took some photos from the penalty box this evening of the team and Goalielocks during warm ups.   They’re quite the crew.  Most of these boys are now in high school and we started this journey in early elementary.   I cannot even fathom where time has go.  In addition to the photos of  team, I thought you’d enjoy these video reenactments of me while Goalielocks between the pipes.

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My favorite picture from today is the one I took of Goalielocks doing a full split at center ice.  As a yogi, I’ve been working on my flexibility for years.  Since I teach Zumba and am a runner, my legs and hips are super tight.  There’s just not a lot of flexibility there at all.  In contrast,  Goalielocks is nimble like Gumby.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit jealous.  I’ll leave it to you.  Who do it better?  Goalielocks or this hockey awesome mom?

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Glorious

There is something glorious about a beautiful sunset.  As I left work tonight, at peace with the past couple of weeks, I gazed upon the beautiful Florida sunset.  Albeit there are a lot of things wrong with Florida, but one thing that is oh so right is the sunsets.  Peppered by a bevy of beautiful white fluffy clouds, the red rays of the sun began to set slowly to the west as thunder and lightning rolled in over the coast to the east.  I mean you have to love Florida.  A thunderstorm out one window and world class glorious sunset out the other.  Since I was driving, I was unable to snap a shot of the sunset.  Consequently, I’ll add a picture of the sunset in Flam, Norway.

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Today was glorious because it was a gift.  I have to borrow this from my cousin Jessica, who started this as a daily reminder at the beginning of 2016.  A simple daily reminder of a profound truth.   Jessica has been a poignant reminder of how each day is a gift as she went through breast cancer treatments over the past year.   Fortunately, we were able to see Jessica and her family this summer in Norway.  My boys were overjoyed to meet her son Kai and spend some quality time with him.  Time with family near and far is a glorious gift that no amount of money can replace.

I had a brilliant conversation with a co-worker today about the Oscar Wilde quote on my Live Inspired tee and what it means.  Our conversation about this beautiful Oscar Wilde quote is how the meaning of this quote morphs with you are your progress through the stages of life.  In some sense, she’s completely right.  What defines a life well lived is dependent on the stage of your life.

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Since our youth, we are preconditioned to acquire stuff.  For example things like:  the big house, the big paycheck, the big title and all the fancy goods.  In the end, however, that is not what matters.  Importantly, what matters is the experiences we share with the people we love.  As much as we’d love to, you can’t bring your Louboutins or all that paper with you when you die.

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It reminded me of how truly lucky I was to have Debbie in my life.  I truly believe that God brings people into our lives for a reason, although I cannot yet understand why he tears them away from us.  Debbie taught me, and I think others would agree, a lot about what it means to live a life well lived.  Whenever I have a rough day, I think about her and want to slap myself silly.  I think about how graceful, how kind, how happy and how much she was throughout her battle.  She traveled the globe and the country with her family making beautiful memories.  Even on her worst day, you wouldn’t have know it.  She is and will forever be my hero.

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Another glorious conversation I had confirmed convictions I have long held about someone.  At this point in our lives, there are many experiences that we bring to the collective table.    Sometimes in understanding  those experiences, we can better understand our people and their concerns.  I’m lucky that I can speak honestly and candidly at work without fear.  This person is exactly who I thought he was and one the main reasons I cherish my current career.  Leadership is about making the world a better place.

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