July 2012

Summer time is definitely here and it’s that time of year when there’s one thing on everyone’s mind…H-O-L-I-D-A-Y! Whatever you choose to call it – annual leave (A friend Doug Shaw had recently written about the ‘mechanical’ term annual leave ; interesting read for sure and I would also agree that such a term doesn’t sound exciting or inspiring ), vacation, holiday, time off – it all means one thing  : shutting off from work and focusing on everything else. Or at least that’s what an ideal holiday should be.

 

As I contemplate our upcoming ‘holiday’ (3 weeks to go! The last holiday I’d taken was more than a year and a half ago; and no – maternity leave does not count as a vacation!) I make a vow to myself that this time away will be focused family time. Just me, Baby T and Mr. C. No blackberry, iPhone, emails, text messages, tweets, or Facebook updates. For those two weeks  I will truly focus on enjoying my time with my family, on being present. I can appreciate nature and be at peace with myself. I can reconnect to what matters without being on constant auto-pilot. I can breathe.

I think about this and know that it will be a true test of will. Saying that I am definitely up for the challenge and willing to completely go “off the grid” for those two weeks; to disconnect in order to really reconnect. To truly grasp the concept of going “off the grid” I highly recommend checking out Brad Feld’s TEDXBoulder’s presentation “The Quarterly Week Off The Grid“.

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A Spoonful Of Sugar …

July 15, 2012

“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down, the medicine go down-wown …” – Mary Poppins

I couldn’t help remember this song after a recent discussion with a fellow HR professional. I was asked a simple yet thought provoking question – what would a happy you be like in 10 years time?

10 years, wow. Right now my mind exists in daily survival mode. Juggling full time work and a teething 9 month old means my thought process has to be very organized and prioritized. Bottles sterilized. Check. Toys cleaned. Check. Presentation slides done. Check. Shirt pressed. Check. I’ve been walking around with a mental check-list ever since Baby T’s arrival and just a little before (I will blame the pregnancy hormones for my then diminished memory!) The reason this simple question threw me off was that I hadn’t really had the luxury of giving my long term career plans much thought since becoming a Mama. Every day was a feat to be overcome and an accomplishment in and of itself. My first response to the question was “happy in what area exactly, family, work, life in general?”. The answer I got was “the whole thing, what does a happy you look like in 10 years from now?”. Hmmm.

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I was recently reading an article entitled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”. The opening lines go something like this:

“It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed.”

I read these lines and stop to reflect. It’s like someone else was voicing what I was thinking but haven’t had the courage to say. Ever since having Baby T almost 9 months ago I have been questioning my decision to return to work. Now, let’s reframe a bit, we were in a situation where I more or less had to go back to work. Being an entrepreneur’s wife meant one of us had to have the stable 9-5 including medical insurance and benefits. Fun!

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