You Matter

I saw an item in the news recently and had to share – and, yes, I’m in total Moir Mom Mode (or M3     Grin ) after reading the NY Times item on distracted driving.

Let’s talk about risk …

When you get in the car, do you buckle up?

Sure you do. I’ll bet you also make your passengers (kids!) buckle up. Why?

As my generation would say, “We didn’t have seat belts and we turned out ok.” Absolutely, great logic. That makes total sense. (Warning: you’ve entered the sarcasm zone.)


What are the odds of you getting in a car accident on any given day? Probably small, right? According to Forbes, the car insurance industry estimates you’ll file a collision claim only about every 18 years (2011 data). No biggy, you’ll probably be fine today. Seriously.

So, again, why buckle up? Even if you have an accident today, chances are it won’t be deadly – the same data says only 3 out of every 1,000 accidents involve a fatality. It’s all good, right? The odds are totally in your favor. If you get in the car today, you’ll likely return home safely. No need to take any precautions, you made it home yesterday in one piece.

 Before we jump in the car, though, let’s break down the possible consequences of an accident:

  • Best case? Minor fender bender with no major damage, no injury, no insurance impact. But (!) you lose the time and incur the stress of an “oh, crud” moment (I’m trying to rein in my potty mouth here, insert your word-of-choice).
  • Likely case? In your mash-up, there’s enough damage to require insurance to repair things (the average claim in 2010 was $23,750), there are injuries to you or the other party, you earn a traffic ticket if you’re at fault, you get increased insurance premiums and, the above “oh, crud” stress and time impact.
  • Worst case? Mayhem strikes and one of y’all don’t go past Go or collect your $200, there’s major guilt for the drivers, major financial impact, loss of license (that last seems trivial in comparison to the first item in this list, doesn’t it?). No need to even talk about the “oh, crud” stress.

Do I need to ask again “why buckle up?” Point made? The odds may be low of an accident but the consequences can be life altering. Smart risk management of a low probability/high impact situation says you do something to reduce both the probability and the consequences. You’re smart, so you take precautions to prevent accidents and you buckle up in case the dice roll against you.

How do you decrease your chances of an accident?

  • You drive smart with good defensive driving habits.
  • You don’t drive under the influence (the #1 cause of accidents, BTW).
  • You don’t drive tired, either. It’s as dangerous as driving under the influence.
  • You don’t speed, uhhh, much, and you obey traffic signs (because that soooo makes up for the eensy-weensy speeding, snark!).
  • You keep your car in safe driving condition.

Sure, you say, “I’m all that and a bag of chips when I’m on the road.”

But what about handling your devices?

Do you talk on the phone while driving? If so, I hope you’re at least hands-free (which is the law in countless cities like here in San Antonio, 14 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands). Thirty eight states even ban any phone use by novice drivers.

Do you text? How about taking or looking at pics, tweeting, checking out Facebook or posting on Instagram/Snapchat/Vine? Checking your Clash of Clans village? Yelping to find the address of the restaurant/store you’re going to? Surfing the web?


Nearly 25% of auto accidents involve a cell phone (all data below from, which cites government data; the NYTimes item above has different info which may be explained by the source and the context of the info).

  • Texting makes a crash up to 23x more likely.
    • On average, you are distracted for 5 seconds if you text while driving; meanwhile, your car travels the length of a football field (at 55 mph). Boom!
  • Dialing makes a crash 2.8x more likely. Wait, what was that number? I know, it’s in my contact list, I just need to scroll for it…
  • Talking or listening makes a crash 1.3x more likely. See what I mean about a gabfest?
  • Reaching for a device makes a crash 1.4x more likely. Geez, picking up the thing is even distracting.
  • 34% of drivers admit they have texted while driving, 52% say they have talked on a cell phone while driving, 20% say they have surfed the web while driving. (I’m not sure I believe any of these…. Based on my informal observations, I’d say those numbers should be way higher. Why wouldn’t folks admit they’ve texted/phoned/surfed while driving? Maybe….errrr, because they know it’s not safe?)
  • 77% of young adults think they can drive safely while texting and 55% say it’s easy to text while driving. 48% say they’ve seen their parents do it. There’s a reason why the majority of states have banned cell phone use for new drivers.

I’ve made my point. Now, let’s recap.

You buckle up because the consequences of an auto accident can be life altering.

And you don’t text or fiddle with your device while you drive, right? Take the It Can Wait pledge and share it so others do the same.


It’s time we put driving while distracted in the same category as driving while under the influence – it’s not safe and nothing you can think of justifies the risk. If it’s important, pull over. X b4 u drive

Need more info on how to manage your teens’ driving? Check out or

Drive safe – You matter to me!




Your Day is What You Make It


It’s a rainy, yucky morning here – do you look out and see the gloom or the valuable water we need? Both are out there if you want to find them, it’s all in how YOU react to what is available. That goes for everything in your day: the alarm going off, bad hair days (including whether you still have any), traffic, meetings, email, Q, phone calls, firedrills, lunch…… and I’m only at your midday. :)

Me? I do my best to shake off the sucky part of my day. Some days it works and other days I need y’all to help me do it.

For example, I had a really cruddy couple of days last week and I was feeling like a deflated balloon Friday. Then one of y’all sent me an email connecting me with an old friend. I met her shortly after I joined PacBell but had lost touch in all the moves and her retirement. Guess what lifted me back up? I picked up the phone and called her and we had a fabulous conversation. In 30 short minutes, I was back to feeling like I could power through ehhhnyyytheeeeng. Absolutely anything. Whoot!

The moral of the story? Your day is what you make it. Your loved ones help you shake off the stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Appreciating all you have takes us back to the beginning – your day is what YOU make it.

Have a fabulous day and a stupendous week!

Love You Dodo

Love in the age of electronics means being able to laugh at yourself. Seriously. Haven’t you ever sent something by accident – either to the wrong person or typed badly or gotten help from spellcheck? Of course you have. It’s not the mistake that matters, it’s how we react to it that counts. Like wrinkles, it’s our reactions that give us character. They become the evidence of a life well lived.

When I send a text to my husband, I often sign off with an “xoxo”. This is so automatic that I frequently send it to coworkers. Usually, this is when I’m doing too many things at once. (Uhh, that would be anytime I’m doing more than one thing at a time….) Fortunately, it’s a loving mistake. They reply with things like, “love you too, boo” or “awww, that’s sweet”. I even get, “bet you were sending this to Martin” (that’s Dear Husband or DH).

So, now it’s the day before Valentine’s Day and I’m sending a text. I’ve got the recipient right – DH – but not focusing on the keyboard or the blasted spell check. DH is running an errand for me and I meant to send him, “xoxo” By the time I notice “xoxo” has become “dodo”, the text is gone. Poof. Sent and forever in the ether.


One of the best parts of our relationship is that we laugh. A lot. Fortunately, this is now just another one of those moments. He knew what I meant and he could guess how it happened. Will he forget it? Of course not. Years from now, he’ll be sending me texts like “Love you dodo”. It’ll be an inside joke. It’ll give our relationship a little more depth, another line that defines us, evidence of a love well lived. <3

How much do you love me?




I was thinking a lot about forgiveness this weekend, after I had a discussion with a retired minister. The conversation started with us discussing something my husband, Martin, did. A couple of weeks ago, when I came home, Martin greeted me with, “How much do you love me?”




Hmmmmmm. As a conversation starter, what does that inspire in you? My reaction was A) What did you buy? or B) What did you do? In this case, it was B; he’d seriously messed up one of my finished pieces (y’all know I knit, right?). It was a gorgeous wool vest that shouldn’t be machine washed because it shrinks – seriously shrinks, as in, fits-a-child-shrinks.


After, compared to another version that is original size.


Anywhoways, the point is, hubby did something and was worried about my reaction. Sweet, right? I couldn’t get mad; it actually made me laugh to look at it. (It also made a bunch of my fiber friends laugh…) And therein lies the point of the discussion with the minister.


After. Definitely after.


She (yes, she; bet y’all thought it would be a he…), she said that this was very forgiving of me, as if it cost me something to not get mad about the ruined vest. I thought differently – it would cost me wayyyyy more to get mad. Here’s why: First, I appreciated that he felt bad (after all, he did ruin it) but I also felt bad that he felt bad. People make mistakes and we need to give each other room to do so without judgment; empathizing with them is part of this and judging others degrades your relationship in my view. And really, what’s more important to you, the relationship or the mistake? Getting angry about it would put the emphasis on the mistake and not on him. Since he’s so much more important to me than any object, it makes sense, right? It also helped that it made me laugh (one reason I married him) and that he didn’t mind when I shared a picture of it with some friends and we laughed ourselves silly. I ask you, did forgiveness cost me or benefit me?


Our friend Patrick models the new-and-improved vest, errr, hat.  Whaddaya think?

Our friend Patrick modeling the after version as a hat.         Whaddaya think?

Why this topic, this day? Because today is when we honor the Reverend Martin Luther King, Junior. He’s famous for many things; one of my favorite quotes on forgiveness is his:

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King, Junior.

Not every instance of forgiveness is easy. It’s usually quite difficult but that’s beside the point. Forgiveness is often more about how we think of the world and forgiveness, or a lack of it, affects how we act and how we influence others. If you get a moment today, think about forgiveness. It’s one way to honor Reverend King’s legacy.

It’s All Good

Happy Friday! Get down, get Funky! I usually send out a note to my coworkers on Fridays with a Funky Friday theme. We started out with watching old Soul Train videos and it expanded from there.

Is it work related? No, not at all. But… it gets us up and dancing and brings a common grin to everybody on my email. Shared experiences bring us together and, for a national team, it’s a challenge to accomplish this. We don’t get to see each other in the halls or go to lunch. We’re on conference calls nonstop and it’s too easy to miss the personal connection. What to do then? Inject a little humor (have you seen the hair on those Soul Train vids? Priceless!) and a little musical inspiration and you have something that gets us up out of our chairs. Totally worth the few minutes of distraction…

Today’s song is one of my favorites – its retro funk sound is not only perfect for my Booty Shaker playlist, it’s also got really good lyrics. Basically, its message is that it doesn’t matter about our differences –

Hollywood, or in the hood, it don’t matter…

Tight fade, or long braids, it don’t matter…

East coast or west coast, it don’t matter…

Either way, it’s all good.”

This is Robert Randolph and the Family Band’s Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That. Time for a little chair dancing!

Making Time

mindfulness-en-movementI write a mini blog for my day job, almost daily. But I haven’t been posting it here. Why? It’s usually pertinent but, well, because I haven’t made time to do so. This morning, my mini blog was about this very topic so I decided to make a change in my daily routine…. here’s today’s post. Before I go any further, I’ll emphasize this site is not a reflection on my employer. Instead, it’s simply thoughts I have on being a better person, leader, wife, mother, employee. Read on for my thoughts on making time….

Hi Y’all!

Monday flew by really fast didn’t it? Do you ever find yourself saying, “Sorry, I didn’t have time to do it”? Did you really mean that you didn’t make time for it, either intentionally or unintentionally? I’ve had several conversations the last few days where this came up and I thought it might be good to take a moment (uhh, make time for it). Does this sound familiar?

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” Louis Boone (courtesy of Brainy Quote) 

Louis E. Boone was a business professor at the University of South Alabama. While his comment is funny, his point is this – we make time for what we find important. The key is to be mindful of what is important and try (!) to get the less important things out of the way. Look at your calendar, what do you see that is not your highest priority? Does it really need to be done or to be done by you? Should something else be on there? By the way, making time to relax can be as important as your must-do-for-the-boss items. If you’re not able to relax your brain and body, you’re not going to be at your best. It’s not all about go-go-go (I know, that’s rich coming from me…). As a former boss used to tell me, “sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.” Not sure if that’s original or what but it’s been immensely helpful.

What a great reminder, then, about making time – here’s to not saying “I didn’t have time to call” or “I didn’t get around to it.” Instead, let’s be clear about priorities and making time to call those important to us and accomplish the critical things, whether that’s paying the bill or taking time to crash on the couch for a little bit. Join me in being mindful, won’t you?

Groundhog Day

I work in corporate America, where large meetings are common. If you’ve worked in this environment for any amount of time, you likely know your fellow meeting attendees well. But sometimes you find yourselves in a room large enough and full enough of near strangers that the organizer requires you participate in an icebreaker. I can hear y’all groaning. Yeah, sometimes they’re superficial and boring. But sometimes you get great insight into people. This particular one made me think about my marriage differently and several people came up to me afterward and said they could never have imagined what a romantic I was. (Xena, Warrior Princess is warmer and fuzzier.) Here’s the icebreaker question and my answer.

Question: If you had a chance to do over one day in your life (a la Groundhog Day), what day would it be?

My answer:

I’ve already had my do-over. It was Memorial Day weekend, 1986. I was  working two jobs at the time, daytime in an office and nighttime, cocktail waitressing in a sports bar. I had student loans and in those days, you could actually pay them off if you took a parttime job. These days, not so much, right?

Anyway, back to my story. It was Friday night and I was working my tables. Sitting at the bar was a very good looking guy. Of course, all I could do was watch since he wasn’t in my section. The joint was jumping but I managed to keep an eye on him and was so, so disappointed to see that he appeared to be on a date. She was really cute and they looked like they were having a great time given how often they laughed. By the time the bar closed, they were gone. It might have ended there except for Mr. Good Looking’s interest in soccer.

The next afternoon, I was back at work. It was a gorgeous May Saturday and if I could have stayed by the pool, I would have. Imagine how happy I was to get to work and see Mr. Good Looking back in the bar. This time, though, he wasn’t AT the bar, he was at one of MY tables. Even if he was taken, there was no harm talking to him, right? He was nice, he was funny, he was charming. He said he’d come back  because he was looking for a place to watch the upcoming World Cup games. (This was back in the day before ginormous big screens and a gazillion sports channels, so you had to go to a bar to watch.) Oh, and, come to find out, his ‘date’ the night before was his sister-in-law. And he’d come back because he’d seen me waiting tables the night before.

He spent the afternoon, watching sports and talking to me; I had the early shift and I didn’t have to close. We had our first date that night and have been best friends ever since.

So now you know my Groundhog story. Martin & I were married about two years later (April 1, 1988 – yeah, April Fool’s Day – warned ya about my missing romance gene). We have two beautiful boys and 27 years of memories.

What day would you want to do over?