My Life Plan

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Recently I had the pleasure of spending time with some really cool people … some really accomplished people … and some really humble people.  I felt out of my league for most of the time … confidently in charge for some of the time  … and perfectly at home for one brief moment.

That moment was when I heard about one person’s “Life Plan” …. And by Life Plan, I don’t mean this airy fairy, like I really want to be “x” or accomplish “y” … but an actual Life Plan that has been detailed out (and followed!) for 30 years. Yep. Thirty – 30 – years.

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Now, I start a lot of things. And I mean, A.LOT! … Especially at the beginning of the year. I LOVE planning … But I have learned (and I’m not bragging about this in any way) … but I have learned that I am better at planning than at following through.

That sucks, right?!?!

Yep. It does. But then again, “realizing you have a problem is the first step” right? Well, at least that is what “they” say .. And right now, I am going to agree w/ that principle because it means I might have some hope after all.

So I started to write.

Write down the things I wanted to accomplish — To be known for — To experience — And I started thinking about the moments — and the memories — and yes, I even went so far as to think about what would be positively life altering — because I think I actually want something WAY more than what I have!

And I realized that while I initially thought that planning your life with a graph, and dot’s, and lines, year after year … month after month … and quite possibly week after week, might be a little obsessive (and yes, actually it really might be obsessive) … nonetheless, I realized that it is probably one really good way to make sure that you accomplish those goals – those dreams – those ambitions that make you smile and put in that little extra effort needed.

Oh, and I also realized that I really didn’t want to get to the end of my life and wish that I had done more with it. Because that makes me feel sad today – never mind how I will feel once my life really is over and all those years have passed by without a focus on what my heart really wants to experience.

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While I actually expect this little exercise to be quite hard … because c’mon … it’s so easy to dream and so much harder to put the effort into making it a reality … there are enough things happening in my life that tell me it’s worth every ounce of effort I can possibly find. Because I’ve always said – I want to live the length — and width — of my life.

So maybe with this new Life Plan … I will make that a reality.

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Thanks to the universe for the moment and experience that brought up this conversation. Dare I say thank goodness for girl fires, country music, wine (of course!), motor off and moonlit night … and new, but albeit, uncomfortable situations.

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#BeerWithJesus #TakeYourTime

One Year Ago

One year ago … there I was, boarding Caltrain on a seemingly uneventful Thursday afternoon … a serendipitous encounter created all because of my home town.

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Thank goodness I tell everyone where I am from so that people (specifically, those that are intrigued by that point of reference) recognize the name while attending a trade show of absolute no connection to me whatsoever. 

But … I digress.

One year ago … I was running on one of my favorite Bay Area trails … thankful to be in better shape than the first time I showed my running buddy the route. I was content with the conversation as two strangers caught up on the few months that had passed since meeting over coffee.

And one year ago … I was about to embark on the most exciting journey of my life. I knew it was possible but the real beauty is that I didn’t even have a clue as to what was ahead.

A lot happens in a year …

… friends find lovers.  They move away.  They learn they will become first-time parents. And you find new ways to stay connected across time zones and course adjustments.

… family members go through ups and downs.  Sometimes one step forward and two steps back, but never ever complaining. Always grateful for the one step of progress.

… strangers become someone you can’t wait to speak with every day … whom you look forward to exploring new adventures with … where you uncover fun that you realize has been missing in you life … and oddly enough, who can break your heart when you didn’t realize it was strong enough to be invited to the party!!

… and work can turn into your passion.  It can consume your life. Bring life to your life!  And at the same time, take away hours and days without you realizing anything has happened.

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But today is the real reason to reflect on One Year Ago … because today is when I remember the 365 days that have just passed and all the moments that have made me strong.  Oh … it hasn’t been the “best year of my life” … but it’s a far, far cry from being the worst one.  I am reminded that “life”, with all of its challenges and struggles, really does help us prepare for the untold story, and it gives us the courage to reach higher and look ahead (and of course, always tell people where you are from).

I will always be a work in progress … but because of those amazing … and crazy … and sometimes overwhelming … and “I’m about to break” moments … I am better prepared today, for tomorrow, because of one year ago.

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#HighLevel girl

What I Wouldn’t Do …

Have you ever said … “what I wouldn’t do for … or to have … or to experience …” ?

Yeah, well, thankfully, we all have.

And I say “thankfully” because while I don’t know about you, for me … it makes me feel human. Because we all have flaws, as well as “features”, and it’s only natural to sometimes want more.

There is no doubt that we all take simple things for granted … And we’ve accomplished so much that we now live a “really busy” life to enjoy the simple yet amazing pleasures around us… Yet, we all realize (at some point) that “what we wouldn’t do for” is often not what matters at all.

Because when all is said and done — at the beginning and the end of the day —sometimes just taking a moment to remember the gifts that are in our lives (our “very” busy lives no doubt); regardless how we make it through the day … with whatever support or encouragement or challenges, when you place your head on the pillow and fall asleep, with love in your heart and faith in your soul, maybe it wasn’t such a bad day after all.

Maybe, you wouldn’t do anything different at all … and all that you have, is exactly what you need.

#12yoGirlsAreAmazing

Radical Generosity

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I was so, so, so fortunate to be in the presence of some really amazing women a couple weeks back while visiting Toronto. Vicki hosted this group at her home (that would rival any 4 star restaurant in San Francisco!) for an evening of connection amongst amazing women entrepreneurs, vc’s, and other superb women in tech … plus little ole me. Thank you Vicki ~ I am in awe and with HUGE appreciation!

During this evening Vicki describes what she prescribes to — Radical Generosity … and she encouraged us all to consider following in her footsteps. Now, true to many women, and many Canadians, she practically apologized for saying out loud that she was practicing the art of radical generosity … which she shouldn’t … but I get it. Humility is a feature and it’s one we can’t shed (nor often should).

But the message came across without any feeling of ego or princess-likeness … It was simply her, from the heart, with what she believed in. And I was simply blown away because I loved being in the presence of that kind of giving and that kind of collaboration.

Even though I am both a woman, and a Canadian, and hopefully often display way more acts of kindness and humility than not, it still inspired me to really consider this statement and see what else I could be doing to be an owner of radical generosity.

For many reasons this resonated with me … history aside and the way my parents raised me .. which has everything to do with who I am … I believe in it because I.don’t.see.it.in.this.world.enough!! I am out there everyday connecting with new work colleagues, new personal relationships, past relationships on all fronts … and there is a huge gap on this planet (or at least where my latitude and longitude reside) … and it makes me, well, want to write a blog post!

Giving costs you nothing. It’s a smile sometimes. It’s a name of someone who can help with a problem. It’s a guide to a new trail run. It’s the courtesy of being honest. It’s the little note that says “you’re fucking awesome”. It’s the 3pm Sunday afternoon birthday happy hour. It’s the special invitation to new years eve. It’s the thoughtful text message after receiving an “I’m sorry” card. It’s the 40 miles you’ll drive to say hello … give a hug … see a smile. Hell, it’s the 3,000 miles you’ll do for that. It’s the text message that says “hey bud, you’re amazing – have a great day”. It’s remembering who your friends were before illness and before life’s inevitable challenges and sending an invitation to join in for the party just the same. It’s no judgement!  It’s just really simple and it really, truly, costs you nothing for what you get in return.

I’m not sure why life gets so complicated. But I know that if we live within the world that we are meant to live within .. the world is not complicated … it makes perfect sense. So maybe we should really focus on radical generosity, but when it isn’t reciprocated, then we can’t take any offense and instead we move on. Maybe we taught the person something. Maybe not. That is never the point. The point is to give away that which we have, and to do it with a smile and without expectations in return.

Radical generosity. It’s my new motto. It will make the tagline on my next business card. Those that have seen mine know what I’m talking about. But it’s what I believe in and will happily deliver.

And for the person that felt that my world is too complicated because my generosity was in the middle, instead of driving to their world entirely, … then I’m sorry, but you haven’t learned the lesson.

And as a tribute to you, Vicki, for the inspiration of this post … here is a little quote someone shared with me awhile back. You’ll get the meaning as it is your motto … Cheers to you for paving the way! #SheCEO!!

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The Art of {not} Letting Go

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Sometimes I write about things not because I have the answers, but because I seek them.

I consider myself a fairly smart person … I seem to make my way in life okay but I won’t ever win Monday’s trivia night (unless it’s about Canada, country music or the 1984 Oilers, and even then I will get a few things wrong) … But when it comes to some of life’s most basic decisions … I sometimes am such a dork and I fail miserably. I can very easily tell you what is in front of me, and why it/he will not work for me, but yet I’ll go against every grain of intelligence on the subject and go in the other direction. It’s a mildly entertaining thing on one hand, and frustrating as hell on the other hand.

I ask myself everyday .. is it time to let go? Time to move on? Am I ready to move in another direction entirely? Am I capable? Or am I still here with the thoughts and the hopes because I haven’t learned the lesson? Is there some other reason why I’m not moving forward .. moving on.  And why is it so hard to figure out {again, I go back to the fact that I’m probably smarter than the average bear but that doesn’t seem to help me much}.

I try all kinds of tricks … I write in journals … someone says “write him a letter and then burn it” … ha, yeah well that didn’t work out so well! Funny story actually but that’s for another blog.  Then someone else advises to focus on your work – “you’re always saying that work is overwhelming so focus there”. Nope … I have mountains of work to do and I do focus on it, but funny how thoughts of him come into every moment regardless how busy I am. And then there is the “just forget about him and move on”.  I mean, I get it … I probably give similar advice in a variety of circumstances but the actual doing part .. well, that is what is impossible at times.

So I’ve decided that I’m not going to let go. I’m going to just be with the feelings … and let them envelope my entire body.  Whether that gives me comfort or brings me pain, I’ll appreciate that at least I’m experiencing an expression of love. Not everyone gets to experience heartache and for those of us that do, maybe it should be embraced. I stole the famous line before “we are here to be swallowed up” … so why should I fight it.

I trust the universe will tell me when I’m ready to move on. And with that I mean that I trust myself to figure it out … maybe it will be tomorrow .. maybe another month from now … maybe longer.  But I receive comfort knowing that one day, I’ll experience love and friendship and laughter and understanding from someone who won’t break my heart and instead want to hold my hand.

#TakeYourTime … for a love like that – full of excitement and challenge, because even though I feel a great opportunity has eluded me, I do believe that it will come again, and it’s worth waiting for.

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Saturday Mornings

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It’s 0830 and I have yet to get out of bed. Call it lazy. Call it boring. Call it un-productive, but today I call it perfect.

For the better part of nine months this year I woke up on the weekends with one of my most favorite things planned … to go for a run. I had to start from scratch last year as I was coming off an injury that turned into a surgery that got complicated by a great distraction … so it wasn’t always an early morning and a long run, but it was always the focus.

And then the training runs did get long … and the desire and need for new trails came up … and those were even a further drive away … which meant that sometimes me and my (amazing!!!) running gals would head out for 18 miles and oops, get lost and then run 24! Friends and family were very patient when we left by 0630 and got home in the very late afternoon. And then, yep, of course we’d all get up Sunday and go for another run (albeit not quite as far).

In the final two months of my training I was out of the door by zero dark hundred … running in the double digits … and enjoying the beautiful trails for hours. Sometimes with friends. Sometimes on my own. Often I would run with one or two for 10-ish miles and then someone else would join or replace the others so that I could get my long runs done without too much time on my own. My running friends are beyond awesome.

So today …. No long run. Actually, probably no run at all. Just the day in front of me for however I choose. And right now, as I type this post … I’m loving what is in front of me … a smile from spending two days with a new friend and enjoying a precious little girl … knowing my mom is home from her hospital visit and on her road to recovery … the thought of making perogies with my sister when I am home next week for the holidays (I’m certain to impress a boy with home-made perogies, right!?!) … and thinking about the canvas I’ll paint for my life in 2015 … I’ve never been to Utah. Perhaps it should make the list this year. I hear there is lots to do in Utah and I bet they have a few trails I would enjoy.

#TimeToGetUp!

Xmas Cards … Really?

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Every year … around this time … it begins to happen. Christmas cards begin to arrive in the mailbox. People display them on their mantle. They fret over the fact that they haven’t gotten to theirs yet. They feel guilt that they received one from someone and they didn’t get one off to them yet .. or did they? More panic.

Well every year I generally tend to be one of those people – lost in the mix of guilt and shame but masking over it with the “I’m too busy” message. People usually believe me as it’s become a common excuse that the world tends to accept, because let’s face it – we are the busiest society we’ve ever seen.

But I am going to challenge that statement tonight and even refute what I myself have been saying for all these years because it’s absolutely not about the busy .. it’s about the interest.

I named this blog Being Superwoman for exactly the kind of person that sends Christmas cards. The person that is SO busy, who functions at such a high level … yet still amazes those around them with the thoughtful Christmas card and personal note. How do they have the time? Did someone else write if for them? This can’t be true because then I’ll feel more guilt because I’m definitely not as busy as he/she and yet I’m staring at a really nice thoughtful card from them, personalized for me. Huh?!?

So today I figured it out. It’s something I’ve always known, especially because it’s a trait (flaw) I carry .. and that is, when something is important to you .. or you’re interested in it … passionate about it … excited for it … or maybe just really happy in general — things like Christmas cards become exactly what you can do! They don’t seem overwhelming. They don’t seem like a challenge. They are something that you are very excited to do because you know it will bring you joy.

So don’t worry if you’re not excited about doing Christmas cards this year. It’s okay. Really, they are quite frankly overrated in so many ways. …  But maybe, just maybe, it’s time for you look at what is motivating you and where you’d like to spend your time. If it’s not Christmas cards .. then where are you excited to spend the little bits of time that you get to call your own?

Too Good to be True?

Have you ever wondered, is this too good to be true?  Like, am I dreaming – why doesn’t the whole world know about this!! (insert person, place or thing here).  And have you ever questioned what might be wrong with YOU because you seem to have stumbled upon gold and the rest of the world hasn’t clued in yet?  Well I know others that question the same thing.

I’m here to tell you that you’re not crazy.  I don’t believe in the “too good to be true” model because I DO believe in unicorns.  (So now you’re like – OK, that makes zero sense!) … But it is true!  Because I DO believe in the “happy ever afters” … it’s just that it’s “after” disagreements, challenges and sometimes huge misalignments … but, news flash – that is life!

Therefore I’m going to tell you why you should believe in unicorns too.

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Simply put, because the alternative sucks!!  I mean, believe in happiness or dwell in loneliness — or worse — mediocrity!! (see previous blog post on that subject!) .. I say, nope, no thank you!  I choose happiness. I choose “too good to be true”.  Because we are what we believe.

How many times have you read “you are what you think”?  If you haven’t then you need to read more because it’s out there in the universe … we become our thoughts so we should think before we move about this world too freely.

I’m not saying that life doesn’t suck.  It can.  Sometimes it really does.  We’ve all be there and it’s.no.fun.at.all.  But to let it knock you down, well — we are smarter than that.  Regardless if it’s our current reality — we still should dream — and have hope — and make that wish — because that “perfect spot” between crazy and amazing, well it does exist.  One just has to believe …  in unicorns.

As I’ve said before, if you’re going to dream – dream big.  That big audacious thing (again, insert person, place or thing here) is out there and available to you.  Don’t question it too much.  Don’t over analyze it.  Don’t re-think it just because you can.  Instead, believe …. in unicorns.

One of my most recent loved quotes is “You are here to be swallowed up.”

So let the “too good to be true’s” swallow you up.  Let the thought of that take you to the place you have always dreamed about — the place that barely anyone knows exists except you —- the one that leaves you with a smile the moment it crosses your mind.  Because … unicorns, yep, they do exist.

You just need to believe.

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#crazyhotmatrix

Food. In the basic form.

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Don’t you just love when you’re going through old emails and find something that makes you smile.

For the foodies out there, or those interested in exploring the Bay Area with some intention, take a look at this list.  I’ve yet to begin my exploration … but I will soon.

The 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants, July 2014

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