Terrific Tuesday

I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad that this terrific Tuesday is coming to a close.  Today was just one of those days.  There were several times I wish I could have disappeared out of a room today.  In all honesty, it could be the lack of sunshine and blue sky that has me over today.  Admittedly, we’re quite spoiled with sunshine in South Florida.  The past week, however, has been absolutely dreary.  It is driving me and everyone else here bonkers.

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Of course, a lack of sleep could also be to blame.  After all the excitement of last night, I got to bed much later than I would have liked.  #damnbird. Meanwhile, our rescued baby bird is living the high life in her protected and cushy enclosure.  As the hubby and I look for places to bring her, Goalielocks and the Mayor have been plotting to make our house her forever home. #notgoingtohappen.  Thankfully, the little birdie is doing well and is safe and sound.

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There was no playoff hockey tonight, so it has been a quiet evening for me.  I get these athletes need to rest, but selfishly I don’t want to wait for game 7.  Tonight’s game should be epic.  There’s nothing better than game 7 playoff hockey!  Since I’ll be up late tomorrow evening, I’m heading to bed a little early tonight.

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Exploring The World

There’s nothing I enjoy more than exploring the world with my family and friends.  Last month, we were in the Bahamas for a fun and relaxing trip with family.  This weekend the Hubby is headed West for an adult hockey tournament with Goalielocks, while the Mayor will head to Epcot with school.  Jake will be working, which means I’ll have an entire Saturday to myself!  (Say what!?!?!)  If I didn’t have all these blisters on my feet from starting to run again, I’d probably go get a long over due pedicure.  I’m just a little concerned about picking up an infection with the blisters, so I’ll probably go shoe shopping instead.

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Before I get to my super Saturday, I have a 5K on Thursday night.  It’s all about the preparation with these races, which means I’m facing an uphill battle.   I’ve trained pretty steadily for the past two weeks, but it isn’t going to be sufficient to yield favorable results.  My goal is to get back under 30 minutes, but I don’t think this will be that race.  Nevertheless, it feels great to be running again.  To be clear, it feels good after I’m done running not while I’m running.

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Next weekend I’m headed to the islands for a well deserved momcation.  I can’t wait to be on a beautiful island with incredible women and incredible beaches.  Its been a hell of a first quarter and this is the perfect way to recharge my battery for the second quarter.   Honestly, I cannot wait to disconnect for a few days while in the company of great people.   Plus, you cannot beat the beaches in Turks and Caicos!

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One of my goals has always been to travel more and see different places.  The trips don’t have to be long, but just enough to get away for a bit and explore a new city.  Consequently, I’ve been thinking that for the boys’ birthdays, it would be better to take them on a weekend getaway than buy them something.   I love the idea of shared experiences over material goods.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Lastly, Goalielocks hit the ice for the first time in earnest since his injury almost two months ago!

Amazing Art

Last night, I had the opportunity to view some amazing art at an art gallery opening in Wilton Manors.  The gallery, Negril Art Gallery, was holding its grand opening complete with wine, hor d’oeuvres, music and great company.  This event was made even more special as my employee was one of the night’s featured artists.  It was an awesome opportunity to enjoy some art while supporting a colleague.

Honestly, I had an inkling that his work would be great, but I had no idea just how amazing they would be.   Consequently, I was completely awestruck by his work.  His portraits were sublime.  If you asked me which one was my favorite, I wouldn’t be able to pick just one.  They were that good!

I really enjoyed the gallery opening.  First of all, it was the first time in a long time that the Hubby and I were attending something that wasn’t hockey related.  Secondly, the art was utterly sublime.  Lastly, it was amazing to see our team there to support their colleague.  Truly, it was incredible seeing all the people form work that went to support Kwame.   It was a great event!

Afterwards, several us went to Padrino’s for some Cuban food and more drinks.  Oh yes, the vodka and long islands were free flowing as we waited for the others.  I enjoyed Arroz Con Pollo, while the hubby had lechon asada.  Fortunately, both of our decisions were pure perfection.  Both the chicken and the pork were cooked perfectly and were full of flavor.  We will definitely be back!  Moreover, our bill was only $200, which for 8 adults that are all drinking is pretty darn cheap.

After Padrino’s, we headed over to Cafe Vico for some more drinks and live music.  Unfortunately, the band had finished playing by the time we got there.  They had music playing, but the song choices were not fantastic.  Fortunately, the DJ/Chef/Owner let us start playing the music from his iPad. We had a fabulous time and shut the place down.  We ended our night by committing to go to Reykavik or Zurich for a girls weekend.   All in all , we had an amazing night out on the town.

Tonight’s song performed by Prince is “When Doves Cry.”

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.

Magical Moments

Magical Moments

Our morning was filled with magical moments as we joined Santa to deliver gifts to the beautiful kids at ARC Broward.  This is my second year leading the initiative with my incredible partner in crime MK.  Consequently, it was also my second time attending the gift delivery.  Last year,  the event blew my away.  When I left last year’s event my heart was full after watching these kids and their parents relish their moment with Santa and their gifts.  I couldn’t wait to go back!

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This year ARC Broward’s preschool is under new leadership, so we’ve been working with new people.  Can I just tell you how amazing these people are?  They do an incredible job educating, advocating and creating futures for people with disabilities.  When we first arrived,  Shawn ushered us into a room where ARC’s Culinary program had catered in breakfast.  Their culinary program provides post high school education via a certificate to adults with disabilities.  The food was absolutely amazing!

As we finished our amazing breakfast, ARC’s high school class came into the room to visit us.  They performed a couple of songs and posed for pictures with all of us and Santa.  It was magical.  These high schoolers had incredible energy and were filled with joy. ARC’s commitment to these teens and young adults is to give them the skillset to find a job they want in the community.  Indeed, it’s all about creating opportunities for these students to excel.

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Afterwards we headed over to the preschool to start handing out the gifts. I struggle to words that adequately describe how beautiful and amazing it is to watch these kids receive their gifts and see Santa.  While some were afraid to sit on Santa’s lap, many were excited beyond belief.  They bounded with joy to get their presents and see Santa.  Their innocence, excitement, happiness and gratitude were overwhelming. It’s hard to watch without getting misty.

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I was so excited to buy for my angels after having met them both last year.  These two girls are incredibly sweet and full of energy.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to give one of my angels her gift today.   Moreover, I was able to meet her mom (who’s incredible) and chat with her for a bit.  Many times we donate to charities or toy drives and don’t have the luxury of getting to witness the child receiving the gift. I can tell you that there is nothing better than watching a child receive that gift.

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It’s no wonder that we left today’s event with a full heart and complete joy.  There’s something beyond gratifying in making someone’s world a little better.  As we go on our journey around the sun, it is easy for us to get stuck in the rat race.  We don’t have to be stuck!  We can live our legend, even if we’re punching the clock at a 9 to 5.  Sure we’re not crossing the Sahara looking for an alechemist, but we can find ways to fee our soul.  For me, it’s paying it forward via Angel Tree or raising funds an awareness for pancreatic cancer research.  It doesn’t have to be grandiose to be magical.  It would be a small, purple pony that you give to a little sister who didn’t think she’d be getting a gift.  Sometimes it’s all about the small things.

Tonight’s song performed by U2 is “Christmas.”

Life Cloaked

Life Cloaked in Fatigue

When you’re a hockey mom, your life becomes a rat race cloaked in a fog of fatigue.  Some weeks there simply is not enough caffeine to keep you awake.  Day in an day out, you race from the bus stop, to work, to the gym, to practice and then to home.  By the time you eat dinner, its after 9:00 and your falling asleep on your plate.  Maybe your kid doesn’t play hockey, but plays another sport or activity, but the story is the same.  Pure unadulterated exhaustion.  As I figure it, I will finally get a chance to sleep in sometime in December!  Woohoo!

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In effort to balance your life, you have to make yourself a priority.  It could be carving out 30-60 minutes for exercise. Or maybe you take the time to actually use the Massage Envy membership you bought yourself.  At this point in my life, I could get 86 90 minute hot stone massages without me having to come out of pocket.  Do as I say, not as I do is clearly the message here.  Nevertheless, I’m taking time Sunday to get a nice relaxing massage.  If the meme below speaks to you, like it does to me, it is time for you to make yourself a priority.

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I went for a run tonight when I got home from work tonight, despite the fact my abs were destroyed in Barre.  For context, my abs have been so sore since taking my first Barre class that I can barely get out of a chair, rollover in bed or stand up.  Hey, the upshot is that I know the class worked!  In order to run, I had to figure out how to mitigate the pain in my core.  As a result, I found a girdle (sexy I know) for lifting weights that I could use to support my abs while I ran.

The run sucked, but running in 88 degree weather is never the most fun you will ever have.  The runner’s high you experience post-run is amazing and can’t be beat.  I only ran 2.75 miles because I’ve been having some serious shin pain in my right leg and serious knee pain in my left.  Sadly, my left knee was not loving the run so much.  Fortunately, my right shin felt pretty good during the run and feels okay still.  Fingers crossed!

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No sooner had I sat down after taking a nice post-run shower, when the Mayor called me asking me to pick him up from practice.  Hubby took them to practice tonight.  The Mayor’s practice ends at 7:20.   Meanwhile Goalielocks finishes practice at 9:30 pm.  I, of course, told him I’d pick him up.  I drove to the rink through the usual log jam that is Friday traffic on the turnpike to get My Mayor.  The normally six minute drive, took at least 15-20 minutes.  Good times.  Only in Florida, is the quickest route on the turnpike through the pay lines and not the Sun Pass lanes.  Craziness!

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I got to the rink and saw my Bantam parents outside in their “Oktoberfest” beer tent.  None of them had seen the Mayor.  As I drove towards rink two, my hubby came out of the rink laughing.  It seems the Mayor, in between the time he hung up with me and I got to the rink, had arranged to go home with a friend and out for dinner.  Amazingly, the Mayor forgot to relay his change of plans to mom.   I thought I was going to blow a gasket.  I had finally gotten comfortable when he called.  Now here I was circling the parking lot at the rink in my pajamas hair uncombed with searing pain in my core.   Ah yes, motherhood is a glamorous gig.

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As I figure it, the ab pain is really a good news bad news scenario.  First of all, it is good because apparently my ab muscles still exist.  It is bad, however, because any movement like coughing, standing up, sitting down, laying down, coughing or laughing causes the some serious pain.  Sadly, while I have now confirmed the existence of said ab muscles, they’re nowhere to be found.  In fact, they’re now in the witness protection courtesy of Irma and stress.  Here’s hoping they emerge from the program before the holidays.

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I’ll leave you with this incredible video of the band Aha (awesome Norwegian 80s band) performing Take One Me acoustically.  Shout out to one of my fave people, the one and only BG for directing me to it.  Its incredible, enjoy!

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!

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.

 

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Boy Mom Life

Being a boy mom is not for the tentative or faint of heart.  Unequivocally, it takes a tough gut, a tough mind, a strong will and the flexibility of a yoga master.   My oldest son was and is a saint.  He was easy going as a baby,  a child and remains easy going as an adult.  He was definitely God’s way of tricking us into having more kids.  Its not that he didn’t have the requisite trips to the urgent care or ER that come with raising kids, but they were in frequent.  If we were at the doctor with Jake, it was because he picked up something at daycare.

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My younger two are strong willed as Jake is easy going.  Oh boy….  The thing about strong-willed children is that they can drive you absolutely mad.  Strong-willed children can absolutely change the world, however, if you don’t try and tame their spirit as is often the case.  It is tempting because it can be maddening.  While Jake spent no time in the urgent care due to accidents or sport injuries, Goalielocks and the Mayor are on a first name basis with the local Urgent Care staff.  You know you’re a hockey mom, when the Urgent Care practitioner knows you, your child and their hockey position.  They even remember to ask how they did at their last tournament.  The urgent care really should have a frequent flier program.   I’m hoping now that the boys are older, our visits to the urgent care center decrease.  Wish me luck on that one!  

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As a child, Goalielocks used to ask us deep philosophical questions while we drove.  These were not easy questions either.  No, Goalielocks wasn’t asking questions about Barnie and Friends.  He was all about the meaning of life as a toddler.  What’s worse is that he would call us out if our answers were inconsistent or changed.     Who expects to be called out on the meaning of life and the origins of the universe by their preschooler?

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Women,  well at least I can speak for myself, tend not think in a linear fashion.  Men tend to think more linearly.  I try to think more globally.   As a young mom, I assumed that my boys thought in a similar fashion.  Oh boy, was I wrong.  I didn’t realize that their thinking was quite singular and linear.  For example, when I told my kids to take a shower, I didn’t realize I would have to specifically tell them to also shampoo their hair and wash their body.  Lesson learned.

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A more recent, and perfect example of this, occurred during Irmageddon.  For some unknown reason, my hubby had brought in a work light from the garage.  The light was unbalanced as it’s legs hadn’t been fully extended..  Goalielocks accidentally knocked into the light knocking it over sending glass shards everywhere.  My hubby and I did our best to vacuum up all of the glass shards, but we clearly missed some of them.  As I swept and vacuumed this weekend, I found more shards of glass.

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I walked into my bathroom noting droplets of blood across the bathroom floor and into our hallway.  As it happens, Goalielocks stepped on a shard of glass cutting his foot.  He had tended to the cut by removing the class, cleaning the wound and covering it.  I asked that he clean up the blood stains he had left in my bathroom. Goalielocks cleaned up the blood stains in the bathroom.

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I took the picture above last night of a blood stain Goalielocks left the day he sliced his foot.  It is important to know that the stain is in our master bedroom hallway about an inch outside of the master bathroom.  As I was taking the pictured, annoyed that the stain was still there,  I asked Goalielocks why he didn’t clean this stain up.  After all, he had cleaned all of the others.  His answer was simple.  “Mom, you asked me to clean up the stains in the bathroom.  This one isn’t in the bathroom.”   I was incensed at myself and him all at once, myself because I should have known better and him because he should have known better.

I brought this picture out at work today.   As it is truly a perfect example of how people that think differently perceive different situations.   When you know that someone is a linear thinker, like my kids, you know you need to be very specific in your communication. In contrast, with a global thinker you wouldn’t have to be as specific.  If you tell me to clean up the blood stains, I’m going to clean up the blood stains even those outside of the bathroom.  On the other hand, a  linear thinker speaking to a global thinker may want to be very specific in their communication leaving no room for misinterpretation or broadening of scope.  

I love how this interaction with my teen turned into a lesson on interacting with different types of thinkers.  Life has a funny way of teaching us when we least expect it.  At first, I thought it was about a male and female brain, but it is not that simple.  Not all women thinking globally and not all men think linearly.  The important take away is that people think differently and we need to communicate accordingly.

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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