Joy

Let’s start the week with a little joy – watch this video of a woman enjoying the snow. I dare you not to smile at her pleasure.

Let’s list a few things that she could complain about, if she chose to:

  1. it’s cold
  2. she’s getting wet
  3. she has no gloves
  4. she might fall

These are all good reasons to stay in the car, right? I’ll bet it’s warm and dry inside and she could watch the snow falling just fine. What does she choose to do instead? She gets out of her comfort zone and she plays in the snow. I love her giggles and I love that her son (behind the video) is laughing along with her.

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May your day be full of joy, even when you’re cold and uncomfortable.

May you have someone to share your joy. ❤

 

Can’t Stop the Feeling

Happy September, Happy Friday!

Before y’all go running off to a 3-day weekend, let’s remember a couple of things:

  1. Monday’s holiday is to celebrate Labor Day, a tribute to our nation’s workers and their social and economic achievements that have contributed to our country’s well-being.
  2. Many will ironically work at least part of this weekend, so if you have it off, join me in being thankful for the time we have to spend with family and friends. It is because of the Labor Movement that we have standards for time off (5 day work week, paid vacation, etc) as well as health benefits.

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For this Friday’s jam, I’m borrowing a song from Trolls – JT’s Can’t Stop the Feeling – I somehow get the feeling that they got the dancers in the video from random people on the street, the laundromat, the grocery store. Next time you’re out and about, try to imagine the person in line ahead of you dancing. 😉

Like Pharrell’s Happy, how do you resist the joy in Can’t Stop the Feeling? Is it a coincidence that both of these songs were associated with ‘kids’ movies (Troll for JT and Despicable Me for Pharrell)? There’s no age limit on joy. 😀

 

Enjoy your weekend, enjoy the festivities!

Caryn

Own It

Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY!

I’m in need of something a little fun, a little camp, so how about a little MC Hammer? Yeah, that’s how we livin…. Need to get a fresh attitude? Oh, my Lord, thank You for blessing me….Looking for some energy? Now, you know you wanna dance. Want to shake off the seriousness of your day? No quote here, but how about you join me in imagining everyone wearing those harem pants? Whoot! 😀

Its your life so own it

It doesn’t matter how challenging things are, we all need to remember what we do well, celebrate who we are and own it. Whether it’s you, your family, your community or your company, you know you rock it. Need some help visualizing? I absolutely love this lipsync of U Can’t Touch This by McKinney High School. EVERYONE is in on the action – do you think it brought them together? And how great is it that the administration supported this effort? It tells you that they make their campus fun for their students, which pays off in a strong sense of community and students who are willing to work hard. (My favorite is the kid at 3’15” who looks like he might get pushed into his locker but, boy, he can bust a move. Good for him for taking center stage!)

So move, outta your seat, and… git r done, then enjoy your weekend!

Caryn

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.

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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. ❤

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!

Define Success

How do you know when something is enough? Are you successful or successful…enough?  I had a boss who told me I’d never get rich working for that particular employer. Wow, depressing, right? Or not…. His yardstick clearly wasn’t mine.

Like most folks, my husband and I were broke when we got married but we always had an income, a roof over our house and food on the table. We rarely had to tell ourselves “no” when it came to something. Not that we didn’t have to budget, but we spent our money relatively smart and were able to buy the normal fun things. We started out in a tiny little house but eventually traded up to a series of “forever” houses (my work has moved us around a bit). Every single house we’ve had has been beautiful in some way. Is that the definition of being rich? Maybe, but it only lasts so long if your house is empty.

We’ve always had an abundance of books. When the boys were little I would tell them, “we are rich in books!” because every bookshelf was overflowing. Does that mean we were rich? Even a house full of books may not be home though.

Ever since Martin and I got together, we’ve always had a house full of our boys, family, the neighbors’ and the boys’ friends. We wanted to be that house, the one where all the kids hang out. We don’t mind the mess, the noise or the extra food bill (even now, when each boy seems to need an extra large pizza). Ok, we don’t mind their mess as long as there is daylight outside…. In all seriousness, we love that they come over, talk for a bit, and then go do their thing. For us, this is the definition of success. It means that people see your home as safe and comfortable, that it’s a place to be yourself and where you are accepted for who you are. Our boys are getting older (the youngest is 17) and I’m happy to see them grow up. I’ll miss the impromptu sessions in our kitchen where they gather with their buddies around a pizza. I’ll still think we’re rich though, because of the role we’ve had in their upbringing.

My dad with Gus and Dylan. Don't let the scowls fool you - apparently the boys have outgrown smiling for the camera. :)

My dad with Gus and Dylan. Don’t let the scowls fool you – apparently the boys have outgrown smiling for the camera. 🙂

Happy Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day, a time when I think back to my childhood and then to my husband.

My dad is the kind of guy who is almost always smiling. Everything is an adventure to him. Even in his 70s, he’s learning new things and enjoying life, like converting to all Apple products and standing in line overnight to get the latest iPad. Yep, that’s my dad. Sitting in his lawn chair and also making friends up and down the line while they wait. Dad is also great at taking care of others. He’s always lending a hand with family and friends. He’s always been the best at this, even if it’s just moral support. I remember once when the unthinkable happened, I was just out of college and had gotten fired.  He lived far away but gave me some encouragement and advice long distance, basically reminding me that I was perfect, that I would be fine and that he was proud of me. Logically, I knew I’d find another job but having someone tell you they were proud of you even if you’d been fired? Priceless balm for your soul. I’m so proud to be his daughter.

Dad and the grandkids prepare to fly to CA for the summer - circa 2000.

Dad and the grandkids prepare to fly to CA for the summer – circa 2001.

Dylan, Dad & Gus a few years ago

Dylan, Dad & Gus a few years ago

Gus, Dad & Dylan in January 2013

Gus, Dad & Dylan in January 2013

My husband is another one of the great guys. He’s loving, smart and funny. He plays gorgeous music and leads a wicked pace up the mountains on his Calfee. Martin has been a SAHD (fancy term for stay at home dad) since Gus was born. He’s made our home a sanctuary and a great place for the boys to grow up. Martin is always taking care of folks, putting their needs first. This has given me the freedom to focus on my career, which has resulted in great adventures for us. More than anything, Martin loves us as we are.

Martin with Dylan, Father's Day 1991

Martin with Dylan, Father’s Day 1991

Martin with Gus after a game

Martin with Gus after a game about 5 years ago

Bike Dad at the Shiner ride

Bike Dad at the Shiner ride

With a dad like mine, is it any wonder I found such a great guy for my husband? Happy Father’s Day to two very cool guys. xoxoxo