Archive | February, 2015

sweetness in my life.

24 Feb

When I lived in Chicago, 5:30am was all at once the bane of my existence and the jolt I needed to kick-start my day.

5:30am would start loud and proud with the shrill jingle of my alarm. I woke bleary eyed and grumbling, annoyed with the prospect of, well, 5:30am.

I’d scramble out of bed, throw on some ratty old running clothes, lace up my shoes, key up my iPod and wander out the front door, working through an encyclopedia of routes in my head before settling on the Lakefront Path heading north.

On my run, which generally lasted about 60 minutes, I’d work through all the world’s problems, settle whatever dispute was bothering me at that moment (usually that dispute concerned the a**hole cabbie that almost ran me over at the intersection of Fullerton and Lake Shore), fought off the stench of the smelly homeless man who lived under the Belmont overpass and watched The Sun rise in all her glory over the grand expanse of Lake Michigan, painting the groggy city in ombre hues of pink and orange.

By the time I got to work at 8:30, I was already three hours into my morning and noshing on a well-deserved donut from the Dunkin Donuts that held court on the second floor of The Mart.

These days, I am at work every morning between 6:45 and 7:00am, so my early morning jogs along the lake have evolved into 4:00pm jaunts along winding mountain paths. I still solve all the most complex problems of the world, relive wrong-doings from the day in an effort to “win” and enjoy cake and ice cream for dessert nearly every evening (no Dunkin nearby 😦 ), but instead of dodging rabid raccoons as they jump out at you from their dark, smelly garbage-can caves, I dodge tourists making unexpected turns with their skis on their shoulders. And instead of watching the sun rise over the greatest city in the world, I breathe in the beauty of the late afternoon sun as She highlights the Rockies in a jewel-toned veneer.

In unrelated news, my favorite guest arrived today for his second stay of the year. I had completely forgotten that he was arriving today and when I walked into the lobby, feeling prickly after an unnecessarily long conference call, I was thrilled to hear his booming voice shout a happy greeting before pulling me into a bear-hug. It’s gonna be a good weekend.


Dusk at the Beaver Ponds, Keystone, CO


wicked pup of the wild west.

15 Feb


perfection as a messy house.

12 Feb

Remember when I mentioned that I was working hard to focus less on being “perfect”. Well this is my first attempt…


perfection to a fault.

9 Feb

I struggle from this weird tick. A tick, that until the last year, I always thought was a secret tick; a tick that others couldn’t see and thereby, couldn’t judge me by.

Alas, it seems that my “secret” tick is not so secret these days.

That tick, this silly cause for unnecessary stress and disappointment, is known as perfectionism.

It never occurred to me that my friends, my colleagues and my bosses could smell it on me, the way a dog knows what you’ve had for lunch and can sense that you are afraid of him.

I always thought that I was sneaky enough that I could hide it behind a veil of a false sense of relaxed, laid back leadership; that things like missed sellouts, a dirty house, not even dirty…a lived-in house, and a bad hair day didn’t bother me.

But the truth is, they do.

A lot.

Instances such as dirty dishes left in the sink for two days, a “miss” at work that is merely a learning experience in most people’s eyes and burned pancakes are the sad causes of true “I feel shame” moments.

I always knew that I was particular about how I held myself in public and how others viewed me in the workplace, but it did not occur to me that I spent an inordinate amount of time ensuring that all outward facets of my life were “perfect”. I mean I know full-well that I am far from perfect, but I was under the jaded impression that others thought it was effortless.

Today, as part of an extended leadership training class through Vail, I received the results of a review that consisted of my peers, direct reports and members of upper-management scoring and commenting on my performance over the last six months.

All-in-all, after reading everyone’s comments I felt far more “warm fuzzies” than I expected towards most everyone that reviewed me; but it was brought to my attention that those that work with me on a daily basis, heck, even those that just work with me from afar, see right through my facade of perfectionism.

Comments such as “could take more risks”, “seems to be afraid of making a mistake” and “tends to get impatient when others don’t catch on quickly” punctuated the “opportunities” portion of my review. None of them necessarily negative, all of them perfectly constructive.

As I mulled over the comments, I began to link aspects of my personal life, the fun parts outside of work, to the thoughts of my colleagues. I was impatient because someone wasn’t completing a task in the time I had allotted them in my head and I am a bit skittish towards taking business risks because I don’t want to make a mistake that might disappoint those that look up to me and those that I look up to.

I began to realize that the people I work with know me far better than I knew myself. That they saw the far-from-perfect Me and were rooting for that Me to succeed and be the best Me I could be.

It was the perfect revelation. A perfect way to focus on bettering myself at work and at play. And starting tomorrow, I am making it my mission to let down that facade and give way to the imperfections that punctuate life and all its twists and turns.

Cheers to messy hair, dirty houses, brown shoes and a black belt and mistakes that I can and will learn from!


4 Feb

Mayhem so badly wants to be best friends with Abbey, but Abbey looks at Mayhem like she’s a flea.

That said, even though this sweet moment lasted all of seven minutes, I am calling it progress.

Also, these two?

Best. Snugglers. Ever.


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