Friday, November 19, 2010

Performance With Purpose

Last week my five year-old and I had a date to the dollar store with some money she received from her great grandma. As we were driving to perform this most important task, we had the following conversation:

Jenna (out of the blue): Mom, President Obama is out of town.

Me: He is? Where did he go…India?

Jenna: I don’t know what it is called. Some place with lots of monkeys.

Me: Monkeys? How do you know that?

Jenna: I saw it on the news…DUH!

Sadly, my five year-old is more “up” on current events than many adults I know.

I like to stay informed on current events. I enjoy reading both non-fiction and fiction books. On occasion, I even get to watch a documentary on TV. Knowledge gained from information and experience is power. And when you have power, you can have influence. Hopefully, we can all use our influence for the greater good.

I recently read a book named Influence by Maddy Dychtwald. The author refers to a 2007 study that found Fortune 500 companies with more women board members had a higher return on equity by more than 50 percent. Another study conducted showed that companies with more women on the board and in senior management performed better and saw their stock prices improve more.

Why? Wendy Beecham, CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs & Executives, says "Studies have shown there are different way of approaching problems, so the more diversity you have, with regards to both skill sets and and culture, the greater your chances of success."

To quote my five year-old... "DUH!"

Women have so much to offer any organization! And it’s been that way from the very beginning of time. Eve didn’t come along after Adam to just pick out paint colors and rearrange the furniture. She was there right at the start, taking an active part in the world. Her role as a woman was critical to the successful future of the entire human race!

I am so impressed by women who use their talents and strengths to make a difference. I love women who act with a purpose. I applaud women who get involved schools, community events, church groups, politics and charitable organizations. I respect women who can achieve work/life balance as they carefully manage a family and career. I admire women who go beyond their comfort zones to improve themselves and help others.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I have pondered my many blessings along with opportunities for growth. One of my greatest challenges has been achieving balance as a mom + career woman. And yet, it is managing those challenges that has helped me stay focused on what is most important and create a life with true meaning.

I resolve to be an influence for good. I will strive to perform with a purpose.

And I promise to take more trips to the dollar store with my five year-old so we can discuss the current events of the day and ultimately make the world a better place.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mom Music

Remember when you were a kid and your parents would tell you they didn’t like the lyrics to the songs you listened to on the radio? It’s come full-circle for me…but instead of my mom saying something about it, now it’s my daughter.

Last week I’m in the car with my girls and “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias comes on the radio. So I turn it up and start singing along when my 8 year-old asks, “Mom, you like this song?”

Me: Yep

Lauren: But Mom, it’s not a nice song.

Me: Not nice...why?

Lauren: Because it says “Your boyfriend is on vacation and he doesn’t have to know.”

Me: Oh. Sorry. I guess I wasn’t paying attention.


And this is not the first time she's called me out on my music. The other day she got on my case about “Pump It” by the Black-Eyed Peas on my iPod because of a couple of swear words. Not the really bad swear words...just the semi-bad swear words.

So the good news is that my daughter is aware that not all music is appropriate. The bad news is that my daughter is telling me that MY music is inappropriate.

I should be recording these conversations so when she is 16 years-old I can just play them back when I’m scolding her for listening to some lame hip-hop song. With my luck, she’ll develop a love for country music and we’ll be stuck listening to songs about trucks and turkeys and farms and feuds.

Of course I am doing my best to help her appreciate the greatest music decade ever…the 80s. So far I haven’t had much luck. I get ridiculed when I crank up an 80s tune and sing along.

The reality of the situation is that I'm in a lose-lose situation when it comes to listening to music with my kids around. I'm either getting called to repentance or mocked.

I've thought about switching over to some really boring audio book that they have to listen to while we're in the car. But that might put me, the driver, to sleep...and that would be bad.

So this week I'm turning off the radio so we can have impromptu spelling bees and math equations while we're cruising around. Or, I'll talk to them in Spanish the entire time we're in the car and make them guess what I'm saying.

After a few days of that torture they'll be begging me to turn on the radio for some "mom music".