I just read The Profile by Polina Marinova Pompliano (see above photo) and "Words and Character" do not carry enough weight these days. By the way, I highly recommend subscribing to The Profile, if you haven't yet. I was a fan when she did the Term Sheet at Fortune Magazine - and continue to be a fan. Today's Profile Dossier is on Hugh Jackman. I love this actor... and after reading about him today, I love him even more.
At the end of the article, there is a list of "techniques to try".... and one of them really hit a chord with me. Big deep one that's been on my mind a lot recently.
Keep your word even if it doesn’t benefit you: The most important lesson that Jackman’s father taught him was that promises are sacred. His dad taught him to always stay true to his word — even if it turns out there’s a better option or something will benefit him more. “If you get an invitation to go across the road to your mate’s place for dinner, and then an hour later, you get an invitation from the queen of England to go to Buckingham Palace, you stick by your first one,” Jackman says. “You always keep your word.” This, Jackman believes, is the only way you become a trustworthy human.
From about 2007 to about 2015, I had a really good friend. We met through salsa dancing and I remember just being so moved by the fresh energy and zest for life she used to carry. She's off the charts amazing as a dancer too - I'd often sit on the side watching her. She had a way of dancing that was so detailed and natural - it was like watching an exotic car move effortlessly in a sea of Toyotas and Hondas. Beautiful. I tend to just fall in love with the people I bring into my life - and perhaps I put them on a pedestal too. Wonderful treasures of laughter, hugs, memories, and more.
We went to each other's weddings. Our friends became her friends, and vice versa.
Then it started (again). I'm not sure if it's me. It's happened several times now where since I'm the only thing common, I can't help but think it's me. Maybe I'm not good enough. Maybe I'm just not that interesting. Maybe no one really wants to be friends with me in the first place. Am I even worth anyone's time? It's a downward spiral of sadness, and self-pity.
We'd be making plans to visit San Francisco, and of course, I'd send a note to my usual favorite friends to see while there. I'm usually an introvert and seek more of those intimate conversations with family/friends. Only if time is truly limited, I'll throw everyone into one big dinner or drinks...
She was on this list of friends I truly enjoyed seeing. The first time it happened, we were supposed to meet for a drink at happy hour. Then about an hour before, she was tired so wanted to push it to later. It became a dinner plan. Then around dinner, it became dessert. Then around dessert time, it became after dinner drinks... then late night drinks... then the next day.
My husband also thought it was weird. We brushed it off the first few times as oh well, the timing must have been difficult... oh bummer, they must be really busy... ...
Words and Character. Shouldn't they mean something?
Then on subsequent attempts on following trips to San Francisco, plans would be made and broken again and again. And the questions of, who else is going to be there? Is anyone else going to be meeting up with us? ... Is there anyone notable that she would miss meeting if she didn't come out to meet up with me? ...
It just was not working out. I suppose I could have confronted her candidly about what I was experiencing. Then again, the relationship at that point now had a giant chasm of doubt in between. I did not trust that I knew anything about her anymore. The character and values that are so important to me didn't seem to match. Then I had to make a conscious decision and remove her from my mental list of folks that I wanted to see, and/or wanted to see me... I took it as perhaps I'm just not that exciting enough for her. Perhaps not beautiful enough. Perhaps not influential enough. Just not enough - and perhaps most definitely, we're not a fit for each other anymore. It was causing me so much heartache so I quietly went a different direction.
Experiences where family and friends don't keep their word puts a dent in the trust tree. Words and Character - they should mean something. Put enough dents into the trunk of the tree and it'll fall down and die. Perhaps it stems from a childhood trauma - like so many of these things we think are unique in our adult lives.... I used to run home every day hoping to see my father after school. He was never there.... and then only once he was there standing behind the front screen door when I got home.
And then, he was never there again.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tapping my shoulders.
This past one (1) year, I've learned a lot. October 2018 to October 2019, I've learned an incredible amount about me, my relationships, recovering from significant challenges, the meaning of life, and much more:
Want the abbreviated version of what I've learned this past year? The summary is that the magic key ingredient to everything is empathy. Most of us are trying to make a mark, to do something with life, and to be a good valuable member of the community. Sometimes, a person may get wrapped up in the chaos they are in and respond too quickly. Another time, a person may poke a bear a little too hard with a stick that is too sharp and prickly. Emotions are real - and it's very important to not let the emotions get the best of us. Don't forget to breathe and find empathy.
My last post was my best 3 AM attempt to synthesize all of the voices and put into one holistic map of what’s going on locally in Seattle. We as humans, myself included, are bombarded with noise all day long - the billboard signs, the yard signs, the Facebook and Twitter feeds, emails, and yes, even getting unsolicited text messages from candidates (not cool = Tammy Morales). It’s increasingly difficult to find that quiet thinking time. It’s very difficult to figure out who has what incentives, why are they pushing a particular candidate (or not), and what is most important for me and my community.
My last post upset some people - even upset some friends. Hopefully, we can disagree and still like each other.
Here are five additional thoughts on the topic of Ari Hoffman and Civic Discourse:
We are all human. Likely, we all want the same things for ourselves and each other. Let’s start there, in the name of humanity -- and then work to figure out the details, the different approaches and ideas, and get there, together.
I actually pushed hard for several weeks in February, March and April of this year about running for Seattle City Council this year. Yes, while very pregnant with #theQuinoa. The timing did not work out. I have political interests for the future, yes.
Promised on our podcast episode of Windshield Time, "Ray Dalio Report, Poopcoin, and Local Politics" that I'd share this, so here it is.
Why now? Here's what we've experienced as a family, all in the last 1.5 - 2 years that's caused my strong attention to our local political scene in Seattle:
Here's what I think. Those in positions of public service, do not seem to understand that public service is about stewardship and taking careful care of our communities. I am very skeptical that many who are in Seattle City Council positions or that are running for Seattle City Council positions are doing so because they want to serve - and more for the $100,000+ salary that it comes with. Many are running for the pay-raise. Maybe some have run for the political platform and access. What we need is stewardship. Stewardship. Stewardship. Stewardship. Servant leadership. "The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care" is how Merriam-Webster defines Stewardship. Do a job so carefully that it's left in an even better state than when you originally were entrusted with it. As Seattle, that's what is missing.
So, there are endorsements and voter guides being published left and right. Liberal. Conservative. Facebook. Media. Pamphlets. I took what I have seen so far, and threw it into a spreadsheet. Excel. For transparency, I added a column for where I am leaning towards today - it may change by the time I fill out the ballet. The lens I share/vote from, is in this post above. I want to be able to safely take my children to the playground. I do not want to worry about my family's safety. I want to see the active stewardship of our city - by the City Council and everyone in the community. I found and like this resource that seems to easily list the data on all the candidates here.
Another great tool to help you figure out who you want to vote for is Align Vote. Here's the link.
Here's my spreadsheet, along with my thoughts:
My current vote-leanings and thoughts:
There it is. You may strongly disagree or agree with my votes or thoughts. Always happy to chat and learn more - hopefully, via a mutually respectful conversation.
Recognize the people in the image above?
Yes. That's my husband, Dae (aka @LuggageDonkey) on the left, me on the right.
Back when we had just started dating, my husband introduced me to the idea of "windshield time". Knowing is half the battle - knowing the idea of windshield time allows us to intentionally use it with each other. Dae uses it to catch up and bond with his aging father (who is now 79 years old). I use it with colleagues to prepare for meetings when driving together to a meeting.
I never thought I'd actually work with my husband... and here we are. We've argued and fought, and battled our way to actually LAUNCHING the pilot podcast episode this week. WHOO-HOO! I wish you could have seen his face on Tuesday - Dae was so happy. He was beaming about the beautiful weather, the view of Mount Rainier that was magnificent as we were driving to a meeting. We're on anchor.fm now. Check us out - give it a listen, send us some good mojo/feedback/ratings if you can to help us out. Thank you so much!
Can't believe we actually got this done. Whew!
Here's the link: https://anchor.fm/windshieldtime206.
For my next post, I'll work on a list of quick early lessons that I've picked up in working with my husband. We both have strong opinions and personalities - and we are married, live together, and have two very young children together. We're both sleep deprived. That makes for an interesting mix.
Hope you like it.
P.S. Second pilot episode of Windshield Time going live today!
I saw this image fly by my eyes at about 330AM this morning - and I saved it as a reminder that I want to share/write about this... A LOT MORE ABOUT THIS.
Many of us humans, we have our dark down days. Some have them more than others. At my worst, I think I did not leave my room/bed/apartment for weeks. Some times, the idea of being alive is just so exhausting. Some times, I am able to push myself into being somewhat functional, going through the motions of a fully productive day - only doing what is absolutely necessary to not let anything blow up. Other times, I've written long goodbye letters to my husband and family - only to "wake up" and throw it away. I even daydreamed about getting in the car, alone, and driving endlessly on the highway to just go away from this surreal non-reality reality I was living in.
I had a really tough time with postpartum depression with our first baby. Really bad. I had no idea how bad it was at the time. Only looking back today, do I realize how deep in the depths of velvety despair I was living in day to day, night after night, month after month. To help myself with this newest baby who was recently born, I did things differently.
Five Things I'm Doing Differently with Our Second Baby to Avoid Postpartum Depression:
Having a baby - it's like the whole family getting hit by a bus. For the mother who just gave birth, it's like getting hit by the bus a few more times. The physical and mental demands are big - and not knowing any better, I really struggled with recovery with our first baby. This second baby has been easier in so many ways, and more difficult in other (like having survived the unplanned c-section, that got infected... more on that some other time.)
Ask for help.
Accept and embrace the help.
Don't add more stress than is really needed.
Eat/sleep as much as you can.
Have strong mental and visual anchors to stay strong daily.
This is a blog post to... warm up my blogging self again. It's really hard to start something again after dropping the ball for so long. I am trying to pick the ball up again.
I look at our growing family, now with two amazing little babies (technically, one is a toddler). Never say "never" is the lesson. To think I was adamant with my (at the time) soon to be husband that I did not want children is crazy. Never say "never". I did not know what I was saying. Of course, it's hard - sleep deprivation, mess everywhere, our home has been invaded with kids' items and baby gear. Giving birth is hard - 36 hour labor with Lentil, and an unplanned c-section with complications with Quinoa. Feeding them (or convincing them to eat healthy) is a constant negotiation exercise.
On the other hand, I'm probably a better human for it (than if I hadn't been lucky to have had our children). I see the miracle of life, the blessing that life is, and have far more empathy for how babies grow up to be people. Probably, most of the troubles we have in our lifetimes are because of how someone was or wasn't wired properly based on who the parents were, on top of all the emotional baggage we collect as adults. That about sums it up. To fix some of the biggest world problems, be pro-human and make sure that the world's babies are brought up with love and the proper nutrition, from birth. How can we prioritize that globally as one human race?
Lentil is our toddler, full of passion, curiosity, energy and zeal. He loves to learn, sing, dance, anything art/creative, help in the kitchen, and most definitely, anything red with four wheels on it. I'm sitting in his bedroom right now as I write - smelling his toddler smells and smiling.
Quinoa is our newest addition and now barely over a month old. He arrived, after being breached (twice), and a failed second attempt at a versioning, via c-section. I'm mostly recovered from the c-section and its following complications now, as I'm now starting to worry about my vanity and how I am going to lose the extra baby weight (15 pounds to go).
Dae keeps referring to himself as "grandpa-dad" - mostly because he'll be about 70 years old when our kid(s) graduate college. :). I refer to Dae as "Benjamin Button" because he looks seemingly younger and younger each year that goes by.
Life's truest blessings is family and friends,
From across media and entertainment, to business and politics, it is the era where diverse people and #women are starting to get a seat at the table, take on the leading roles, and shine in the spotlight.
Jotting down and sharing some quick high level thoughts from the intensity of today. It is a very monumental place in time we are sitting today - and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be alive and a part of it.
Making decisions whilst drowning in ambiguity and chaos.
Yes - that describes what it's like to be a founder and CEO of a startup. That also describes what it's like to do a tokensale, an ICO, or anything in this new complex-business model blockchain "stuff".
Making decisions whilst drowning in ambiguity and chaos holding a newborn baby in one hand and the Empire State Building in the other hand while balancing on a tight rope standing completely buck naked in front of the mob in a crowded stadium.
That's more like what life has been like the past 12 months and continues to be like for me personally. It's surreal. Time is moving both so slowly and at "warp" speeds at the same time. Most of the time when I'm in a meeting, I am constantly having this "out-of-body" experience that allows me to walk around in the room mentally, while at the same time sitting in the chair and experiencing the meeting firsthand. Surreal. Sometimes my ghost body gets "stuck" in the physical body, where I'm trapped, blind, and suffocating.
There are also many times when it's just really tough. Working with white spaces and green companies, we don't usually have a playbook of best practices to look to. We don't have a board (of advisors or investors) to turn to on speed dial that can provide wisdom and a sounding board. And when a company is growing so fast moving through the stages of its evolution in weeks and months, rather than years - without realizing it, many of the things that a company does actually is setting precedent for its future. Forever.
In moments of really tough decisions, I play the scenario in my head over and over and over. It's me on professional judgment day. I'm standing before a jury of my professional heroes and heroines like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Meg Whitman, Peter Thiel, Ben Horowitz, Steven Sinofsky, Mary Barra, Sarah Imbach, Jeffrey Friedberg, and many more. It's really important to me that I can look at myself in the mirror, and also picture myself standing before the jury of heroes and heroines. I look for "defensible", logical, and figuring out what is the real intent of the decision that makes sense - and then look to what kind of precedent that it will set for the forever future for our employees, our culture, our advisors, our communities, ... and most importantly, our society. Humanity.
And so, that is the state of where I am today - mentally standing before the professional jury.
And fighting daily to find "space". Got tips?
You'd think that a founder of a company called "GiftStarter" would be AWESOME at gifting. I'm not. Especially when it comes to husband. Remember, I really dislike gifting for the sake of gifting. I really dislike "junk" gifts. Good gifts I think take a lot of time or a lot more budget. ... Sigh.
Here are examples from my husband-gifting my track record so far.
He's my best life's decision I've ever made joining forces to live life together. Forever.