Award Winning

I am now an award winning blog.  The Sunshine Blogger award is a peer nominated award, which is pretty awesome.  Moreover, it certainly is nice to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve put into the site. The great thing about a peer nominated award in blogging is that the nominator understands the blood, sweat and tears that go into a blog.  I’d like to profusely thank Floatinggold whose blog I quite enjoy.  On this great blog, you’ll find great posts from topical news of the day posts, creative writing and wonderful motivational posts.  You should definitely check it out.

In addition to winning the Sunshine blogger award, I’m pretty sure I enjoyed some award winning donuts (Jupiter Donuts), pizza (Louie’s) and amazing wings (Wings Plus.)  Needless to say after the feast that was our team lunch, I probably won’t have to eat again until Sunday.  Overall, it was an award worth Thursday.

Finally, the best part of Thursday of course is that it is Friday eve.  Oh wait, my weekend is equally as busy as my weekdays.  The Mayor has two games in Coral Springs Saturday while Goalielocks has practice in Palm Beach at the same time.  So far, Sunday looks to be pretty open, so I’ll be heading to aerial yoga and spin in the morning.  Fortunately, this will leave me well prepared for the gorge fest that is the Super Bowl.

QUESTIONS FOR ME:

  1. Would you rather move to a new city or town every year or never be able to leave the city or town you were born in and why?  I’d rather move to a new city and explore the world than be constrained to one place in this world.
  2. What was the last picture you took with your phone?  The Mayor eating a Girl Scout Cookie.
  3. You discover that your wonderful one-year-old child is not yours because of a mix up at the hospital, would you want to exchange the child to correct the mistake?  This is a tough one.  I’d probably exchange the child or create a co-parenting situation.  After all, the kids would need to know their biological family and their associated health risks.
  4. Do you ever talk to yourself? When and what do you say?  All the time… It’s like a running monologue on my day and no I don’t answer myself…
  5. What is the best part of being a part of your family?  We have a blast together.  Our life is crazy, hectic, stressful and wonderful all at us.  I couldn’t ask for a better family.
  6. Is there something you constantly lose?  I lose my keys, my sunglasses, my water on the daily.

NOMINATIONS:

  • http://pvcann.wordpress.com/
  • https://mypaceoflifeblog.wordpress.com/
  • https://authentically50.wordpress.com/
  • https://bikeclimbrunswimrunyoga.wordpress.com/
  • https://adventuresofabusymom.com/
  • https://chungwipff.com/

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. If you could move anywhere in the world (money is no object), where would you move and why?
  3. What’s your favorite book and how has it influenced you?
  4. Coffee or tea?
  5. What makes your heart sing?
  6. If you could see any artist in concert, who would it be and why?

RULES:

  • Thank blogger(s) who nominated you for the blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate other new blogs to receive the award and compose new questions for them to answer.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
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Breakfast With Santa

Breakfast With Santa

Today was our annual Breakfast with Santa at work.  I know what you may be thinking.  We’re far too old to be eating with Santa, but you’d be wrong!  Importantly, our annual breakfast is the culmination of our Angel Tree drive. In fact, this year we adopted 363 angels for Christmas!

Our Angels come courtesy of ARC Broward, which is an incredible organization that provides people with disabilities and other life challenges the opportunity to fulfill their potential.  Raising children in modern times is incredibly expensive.  Unfortunately, for parents of special needs children, the costs can be exponentially higher, which is where we come in.

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This event started over seven years ago when my CRO and his wife adopted their daughter’s classroom having seen the need first hand.  Thankfully, my CRO shared this opportunity with our military team and we took up the challenge.  Excitedly, this is my second year leading the event with my partner in crime MK.  By comparison to years past, our team is bigger, more diverse and incredible this year.  We made a concerted effort to expand the team outside of our unit, so it would encompass representation from units across the company.

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First, we started off our morning staging the gifts downstairs.  As a result, our employees could get their pictures taken in front of the gifts with Santa.  The sight was beyond impressive with gifts for over 300 people including 20 bikes staged in reception! What struck me as I looked at the gifts, was the amazing generosity of my colleagues.  In that moment, I felt truly blessed and proud.  Blessed and proud to be a part of an organization where community involvement and philanthropy are prized and encouraged.

Importantly, current employee engagement theory has shown that engaged employees happier and more productive.  Since I had the pleasure of taking the pictures with Santa, I got to witness our employees reaction to the event first hand. Without fail, our collective generosity blew away my colleagues.  Time and after time, people made comments about how awesome it is to work with such great people and at a great place.  Undoubtedly, for me, witnessing both their pride and their joy was a profoundly rewarding experience.  As a result, I have no doubt that today’s event was an employee engagement win!

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Afterwards, I headed back up to meetings.  Meanwhile, the team loaded the gifts up for delivery.  I simply cannot wait to go hand out the gifts later this week.  Last year, it was such an amazing, life affirming experience.  Unquestionably, the joy on the children’s face coupled with the gratitude of the teachers and parents is indescribable.  Meanwhile I’m filled with the joy and gratitude for today’s experience.

Tonight’s song performed by  music legends David Bowie and Bing Crosby   is “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.” 

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?

your trademark

Your Trademark

What’s your trademark?  Is it the way you smile? Is it the cup on Dunkin in your hand?  The way you dress?  Or maybe it is the way you make people laugh.  Each of us has unique gifts, a unique look, unique ideas.  Either way your trademark is uniquely yours, so own it.

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I get it, trust me I do, its tough to own your fabulousness while fighting through the minutia (aka brave sierra) of the 9-5:00.  One of my favorite movies is Office Space.  As our protagonist became miserable in his job, he lost himself for a minute.  It wasn’t until he decided to make a change that he was invigorated again.  In the end, he defrauded the company and ended up in a construction job.  Obviously,  I’m not advocating defrauding you company, but I am advocating finding and following your passion.

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Nobody in Hollywood today or yesteryear, could compete with the awesome persona that was Mae West.  Without a doubt , her trademark blonde hair and acerbic wit were and still are absolutely legendary.  I love the quote from her below.  It’s not what you do or what you say, but how you say it.  Say things in your voice.  Do things in your own way.  Be true to your identity.

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As I wrote at the beginning, each of us has things that are uniquely ours.  This along with the way we make people feel is our trademark.  As I look at my own kids, each has a trademark of their own.  Jake’s trademark is his dimples and passion for music.  Goalielocks’ trademark without question is his flowing blonde hair and brilliant, inquisitive mind.  The Mayor’s is well he’s the Mayor – that’s his trademark.  Everywhere we go, people know the Mayor.  Certainly. his cute dimples and personality don’t hurt.    No matter the pressure, no matter what happens, don’t let life’s up and downs impact you amazingness.

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Tonight’s song:  Queen Ft. David Bowie Under Pressure

 

My Thursday

My Thursday

My Thursday started with a longer than normal commute down the turnpike courtesy of a wreck and some rain.  It is a proven fact that rain will jack up your commute.  Oh and it did! It jacked up my commute both coming and going today.   The sad, sorry fact is that it isn’t even snow bird season yet, so traffic is only going to get worse!  By the time I got to work, I was feeling beat up.  Obviously, it was a namaste in bed kind of day and I got the memo too late.

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Nevertheless, I grabbed my Dunkin’ and headed to work.  Thank God for coffee and the many hilarious memes popping in on a fantastic group chat.  These definitely brightened my Thursday.   I can’t say that every meeting was awesome sauce today, but I had a few their complete gems.  I’ve been a director for quite awhile, but seeing people develop and come into their own never gets old.  I freaking love it.  I can’t even express how happy it makes me feel.

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Over the lunch hour, we threw an impromptu birthday party in a team meeting for one of our very tenured employees.  When I first started in my current department, this person took me and my colleagues under his wings.  He made sure we understood the process and helped us in anyway he could.  Today we celebrated him and he was blown away.  Afterwards, you could see how much he appreciated the gesture.  Above all, it was a poignant reminder of how important it is to make sure your employees feel that they are important to you and appreciated.

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One of my last meetings of the day was invigoratingUn.  I love finding ways to make organizations better through collaboration and teamwork across departments.  Who needs silos anyway? Am I right?  At any rate, I look forward to seeing how the fruits of our labors can make a difference.

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On the home front, my brother sent a picture to the group text of the Mayorworking on the car at my folk’s house in Minny.  I can’t believe how young he looks in the picture and how old he is now! Unquestionably, I’m not ready for the boys to grow up.   The fact that my youngest is in middle school in mind blowing.   Undeniably, I would really appreciate if someone could figure out how to slow down time.  It is going far too fast for me.  Moreover, I know I’m not alone here.

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I’m a mere 8 years from kids being out of the house.  I know it sounds like a long time, but I also thought 18 years was an eternity.  Turns out it’s not.  Jake is now 18 years old and the hubby and I still can’t figure out where the time went.  It’s seriously profane how quickly the time has gone.  It seems like it was just yesterday, I was a kid watching Madonna on MTV and choreographing awesome routines to her songs.  Now she’s oldest to carry an AARP card and I’m old enough to have a kid in college.    #mindblown  In honor of today’s daily prompt, enjoy Madonna’s Express Yourself music video.

 

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!

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.

boy mom

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.