• Life,  Parenting

    The Nuclear Bomb of Personal Change

    I turned 40 earlier this month. That same week, NPR ran a story saying studies have shown people don’t anticipate how much they will change in the decade ahead – their opinions, beliefs, personality traits – even when they acknowledge how much they’ve changed in the past. We can’t imagine our future selves as being much different from our present selves. I immediately thought, “Well, it depends on the decade, doesn’t it? I changed much more in the decade from 20-30 than I did from 30-40.” During the decade of my 20s, I lived in 8 different homes and worked at 9 different jobs. I also: Dropped out of college…

  • Parenting

    The best story from our vacation

    We’re driving on I-70 through central Utah, on our way back from a family wedding in Grand Junction, Colorado. Along this route are several scenic view stops, none of which have safety rails or fences. There’s no “nanny state” in Utah – I guess they figure that if you don’t have enough sense to stay away from the edge of a cliff, you deserve to fall off. Our boys are ages 9, 5, and 2. At half of the stops I stay in the car with the 2-year-old because I’d rather miss the view than try to keep our Little Explorer from running away to his death. One of the…

  • Current Affairs,  Life

    Empathy

    Last week I did this thing – this big thing, which I was anxious about, and had to psych myself up for – and it was hard. I hated it. When it was over, I felt a sense of accomplishment and relief. A few people congratulated me, or said they were proud or impressed. A friend asked me to write about it. I didn’t do anything important or impressive. I went without food or water for 15 hours. I participated in a one-day fast with other non-Muslim folks in order to experience what our Muslim friends do every day during the month of Ramadan. That part was cool. Joining others…

  • Life,  Writing

    Do you remember?

    Katherine is a teenager in Texas who has been my Twitter friend for almost three years. She is in the final stretch of her Senior year and wrote a fantastic “day in the life” blog post today that you should read if you, like me, are not a teenager. Especially if you (like me) peeled out from the driveway of your own teen years as quickly as possible. There is a writers’ maxim that writing about the specific makes one’s story universal. I’m 20 years older than Katherine; when I graduated high school in 1991 a different (much shorter) war was ending (and if I had to see one more…

  • Work,  Writing

    Some questions answer themselves

    Last night I was complaining to my husband that my latest Women of HR post only had one comment while the post before it had 15. “. . .Of course,” I continued, “the post before it was about authenticity in social media — being read by a bunch of people who participate in social media –and my post is about systems theory, using a dental practice as an example.” He looked at me. “Uh-huh.” In case you’d like to read it anyway (and I hope you do), here’s the link: The Tale of Discount Dental At work we offer two dental plans. The first one is the plan you hear…

  • Work,  Writing

    Writing for my work self

    I am proud to be among the contributing writers for the Women of HR blog. It’s a wonderful site run by some smart, funny women I first met two or three years ago on Twitter. (There are a ton of fabulous HR professionals on Twitter.) They’ve run two of my pieces so far and I expect another one to go up in about three weeks. It’s been a change for me to write about Human Resources, because I usually write to escape Human Resources as a self-definition. I’ve heard that in Jane Austen’s time it was considered terribly rude to ask what one did for a living and that’s one…

  • Life,  Parenting

    Killer Instinct

    We’re at our son’s indoor soccer game, watching him wander around the court as if in search of flowers to pick. So far it’s been a mediocre game: two teams of 2nd & 3rd grade boys and girls, some running after the ball, others standing around or wandering like our son. Occasionally someone kicks the ball towards a goal. I think each team has scored once, though they don’t post the score, so it’s easy to lose track. Suddenly this kid sweeps towards our team’s goal from the far side of the court. He’s one of the larger kids: not fat, but solidly built; his dark hair is trimmed close…

  • Parenting,  Pregnancy

    Why the baby doesn’t have a name yet

    Our third child, a boy, is due in April. My husband and I do not have a name picked out and likely won’t by the time he arrives. With our two older sons, we brought a list of possible names to the hospital and named each baby the day after he was born. A couple of nights ago we had a long (and initially productive) baby-name discussion. This is how it ended: I said, “I still like Grayson. Or maybe just Gray. Something like—“ “Something Batman-esque?” He asked. “No, I didn’t think of that, but there’s your comic-book connection.” “Something that says, ‘My parents were doomed acrobats?’” “Shut up! Are…

  • Life,  Parenting,  Pregnancy

    The baby’s not in your thighs, Dear.

    I’m seven months pregnant and digging deeper into the storage bin of maternity clothes each week. Today I pulled out “the $12 pants” and thought of this story, written about a week before my second child was born (originally posted on my MySpace blog). Monday, April 16, 2007 My mass and/or girth reached some sort of critical point on Friday and suddenly I could not pull on my maternity pants.  Fearing this might happen, I had purchased a pair of larger pants from the JC Penny catalog earlier in the week.  I wore them on Friday and Saturday.  Happily, they allowed blood flow to my legs while seated (a nice…

  • Dreams,  Pregnancy,  Work

    Fever Dream

    I’m pregnant and right now I’m also sick, so I nap a lot. This afternoon I dreamt that I had to collect everyone’s retirement incentive responses via Facebook. The first problem with this is that I deleted my Facebook account several months ago, because I hate it. I have enough trouble keeping up with my real social obligations without feeling guilty for not tending other people’s virtual gardens or sending them enough clever bumper stickers. The second problem with this is . . . NOOOO, DON’T MAKE ME WORK THROUGH FACEBOOK!!! . . . . Ahem. Anyway, I woke up amused by the idea of creating a “Human Resources” Facebook…