Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

Laugh.

Play.

Indulge.

My new year’s resolution is to do more of this. Every day.

I witnessed this way of living early on, from a beautiful, confident, independent woman, my Grandma Janet. Growing up in the same town meant my sister and I were lucky enough to get to spend lots of time with her from a very young age. The stories I hear about her from my dad and aunt and grandpa are truly entertaining and I certainly gathered some of my own.

Laugh. Everything I remember doing with her involved laughter. From watching Hee-Haw and thinking it was the funniest thing we’d ever seen, to performing our own concerts in the car to Ray Charles, to getting to make a fun mess painting ceramics, everyday was about doing something fun. New Years Eve will always belong to Grandma Janet in my mind. That is my parent’s wedding anniversary, so we spent that night with her until we were in our early teens. Every year was a party! Every year we pulled out all of her pots and pans to bang at midnight. Every year we watched New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Dick Clark and sang and danced. And every year we never made it to midnight to bang those pots and pans. But that was okay, she let us do it the next morning. Every year!


Play. Our game of choice at Grandma’s was “dress up”. She had a closet full of clothes and shoes and accessories that were ours to create whatever look we wanted. She had a jewelry box that was pretty much free reign and we got to 18 or 20’s on a regular basis (see "The Point System" to understand this reference). She had one of those mirror trays that held all of her perfume and we invented our own scents. But, the make-up drawer was the best. Filled with eye shadows, blush, mascara, dozens of lipsticks, nail polishes. Well, let’s just say we were always “dolled up” at Grandma Janet’s. We created our own looks and did shows and pretended to be characters for years. It was a creative version of play that I still enjoy to this day! The best part was that she treated it as just a normal thing. We’d get all dressed up and then she’d take us to Sonic or the drugstore or the grocery store and I’ll tell you, that is where I learned to just OWN it. I’m not sure if we didn’t think it was odd because Grandma didn’t or if we knew we were in on some sort of joke, but it was only in the past few years that we told my mom that her daughters were carted all around town in dresses, high heels, more makeup than a pageant queen, and smelling like a perfume factory. That was kind of fun in itself!


Indulge. It was always about a treat at Grandma’s. We got to have those things we didn’t get often at home. Sonic, ice cream sundaes, McDonalds, chili cheese hot dogs, popcorn at the movies, and a few times candy cigarettes. I now know that you can’t live like that. It creates a lot of problems, some of which my Grandma had. But, there is something to be said for the occasional indulgence. It evokes feelings of joy, it’s comforting, and it’s fun. And I’m glad she taught me that. Here’s raising my gin and tonic to Grandma Janet!



…QueenB Says

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stepping Up

For the past month or so I have been involved in a project at work. It’s completely outside of my realm of responsibility, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it and it has turned out great.

The gym at work is kind of a pet project of our CEO and I stepped up to the plate to get it done. Now, by stepped up to the plate I mean I sent him an email saying the new equipment was awesome and who would I talk to about some ideas I had to organize the space and clean it up some. The response was along the lines of “It would be awesome if you would do that”. When the CEO says that, you say yes (just a little career advice from QueenB).

Well, what started as a project to put the equipment in logical space and organize a grand opening turned into creating a complete workout space, organizing a number of weekly fitness classes, even running one myself, and coming up with a communication plan to keep 300 coworkers privy of what is going on. We have cardio equipment, a weight machine, free weights, bosu balls, exercise bands, a full-mirrored wall, a flat screen and DVD player, speakers for your music, an announcement board for activity in the gym and one launched on line, a personal trainer coming in once a week, a bootcamp run by me once or twice a week, another trainer lined up, and a yoga instructor. I mean, really? How awesome is that?


This is one of those things I said YES to that I had to prioritize to make work. And I am so glad I did because getting involved in something completely different showed me some lessons that I needed to be reminded of in my real day-to-day job.

     -  You need help to get big things done. And it’s all about how you ask.
     -  You have experts around you. And getting them on your team is crucial.
     -  You can’t make everyone happy. And you have to be okay with that.
     -  You may not get individual recognition. And you have to know that people notice anyway.
     -  You have to be passionate about what you are doing. And you have to let people see it.

Signing off as your VP of Fitness…

...QueenB Says


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Say Yes

There is a buzz word going around my workplace these days: integrity. Our definition is that you are integrated, meaning your life is a reflection of your purpose, that you are honest, and that you will do what you say you will. In general, this is bringing out the best in people and the changes that could individually be seen as insignificant are collectively changing the way we interact at work in a very positive way.



The idea that you do what you say you will is important, especially in a line of work where it’s the efforts of dozens or even hundreds of people that must all come together, on time, to create and increase the market share of your product. By agreeing that you will do what you say, you should only agree to what you CAN do. But, there is a small undercurrent of this definition of integrity that has been somewhat troublesome to me. People are saying no to things that they could do with some extra effort or better organization or by enlisting the help of other team members or any number of other ways.


As a general approach to life, I say yes to too much. But I say yes to things because they are exciting and worthwhile and I am passionate about them!


I know that saying yes may require changes. My days are highly scheduled, busy, and I have had to reign things in a bit to be able to focus on me and have the priceless time at home with family (that I blogged about in August). So for me, the ability to say yes to things means I may have to let other things go or get more efficient at what I am already doing.


Making sure that I am clear about what I am pushing off the priority list has been my biggest challenge to this. Why? If I have said yes to it, it is because I find it important or worthwhile and telling someone that “I’m really sorry, but I’m going to have to get to this later” or “I can’t make this happen, is there someone else that can help you” or “With everything else on my plate I just can’t commit to this” or “I changed my mind”… well, telling someone that sucks. But, it’s integrity. And I’m learning to get better at it. Because the better I get at it, the more I can say YES to things that I am passionate about...

...QueenB Says


Monday, December 6, 2010

Put A Little Love In Your He-ea-art...

The past few years I have been a little bit of a Scrooge. I haven’t really decorated, reluctantly sent out Christmas cards, and have kind of just gone with the flow of what I am supposed to do this time of year. Both this year and last, the huz has asked me what is wrong, perhaps a little more bluntly than that (think “Why are you such a Scrooge?”). So, I’m going to try to answer that and do something about it.

First, let’s look at holidays I do like. I love Thanksgiving. I love Fourth of July. I love my birthday (yes, I know this isn’t officially a holiday in your world). I guess I would say I like them because of a couple of reasons:

They have less expectations and requirements. For me, a few hours of cooking is thoroughly enjoyable. Bathing suits, sun, and mixed drinks? Easy. Obviously, my birthday’s expectations are whatever I want them to be.

They all have more flexibility. Sort of the same thing, but this is about options. You can stay or go or make it big or little. Whatever. For me, these holidays have always been celebrated in different locations, with different people, and in different ways. There are fewer “traditions” you have to be beholden to, so you have freedom to make it be whatever is important to you NOW.

They all celebrate something that is clear. I know, I know, I know what Christmas celebrates, but it’s lost. It’s about parties and presents and food and schedules and balancing family commitments and travel and basically fitting several months worth of spending, mailing, socializing, and eating into one month. It is! At least it seems to me.

So, I've been thinking about how I can really enjoy this year's holiday. Here’s my plan:


1. I’m going to decorate. Tree and everything.

2. I’m going to stay home this Christmas with my husband (we planned it this way for the first time EVER).

3. I’m going to do most of my shopping online. And if I have to do it in the crowd, it will be with hot chocolate and a smile.

4. I’m going to balance out every party or busy night I have with one of nothing to do.

5. I’m going to eat chestnuts. Somehow I’ve never had them and if you see how expensive they are… well, they must be good!

6. I’m going to sit on Santa’s lap.

7. I’m going to make a snowman.

8. I’m going to watch Rudolph, Frosty, A Christmas Story, A Christmas Carol, and Christmas Vacation (that last one is being forced on me) as I did when I was a kid.

9. I'm going to finally put a few Christmas songs on my iPod. And listen to that station in the car.

10. I am going to one of my favorite places in the world, Newcastle. But I will have less of a schedule because I’m there following all of “that”. So, I’m going to look forward to my trip back to Oklahoma, as I always do, but with even more joy!

And last, I’ll read this list every day, just to make sure I’m on track...

Mom, Carrie, Me - Just look how much I loved it then

Still remember this as one of the best gift Christmases. A house and a shopping cart. If I only knew then...

Cousins. We did this every year. I was always Mary. The lead in my mind.

With Grandma. I don't really remember this, but how cool, huh?

Carrie, Emma, Me. The kids definitely make it fun.

...QueenB Says


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lessons from London

I have spent time in London twice this year. The first time was slightly intimidating. But the good kind, that makes you pay attention and figure it out quickly. So it ended up being exciting and wonderful and filled my head and heart and spirit with joy. The second time I knew my way around, knew where I wanted to go, and truly took the time to travel like I lived there.

A good trip will change you in some way, integrate itself into your way of being. And London has done that for me. Here's how.

It is bold and understated at the same time. I love this. Let me explain this using the way they dress. Everything is in beautiful neutral colors, but nothing faded. Think saturated greys and navies and blacks and chocolates. But in all of that neutral you are going to see some sort of detail that makes it special, maybe pin stripes or interesting seams or fabulous buttons. And the women? They are not afraid of adding in something you would never think of! Red tights! Camel colored boots! A hat with a bow! I want to be regal and sophisticated, but not afraid to add something bold and unexpected. In how I dress, but also in how I do lots of things.

It is diverse. I love the many different aspects of this city. You can sit in an old, noble church like St. Pauls and listen to a witty, humorous priest give his sermon. You can have a meat pie and beer in a pub, listening to raucous locals try to guess your accent and then walk a block to see Phantom of the Opera in one of the most famous theatres in the world. You can see where the Queen lives, admiring the guards in the funny hats and then hop in a cab and eat the best Indian food in Europe. And it seemed to me, at least in London, there is no discrimination. People are different and that is not celebrated, but its more like its not noticed. Like it doesn't even matter. Hello! THAT is equality.

It is surprising. I am often described as intimidating when you first meet me. But you will soon find that I am actually quite warm, interested in you, funny, and quick to laugh. I just take a little bit to warm up to people. I think London is a little bit like that. There is a sophistication to this town that is obvious within the first few minutes of stepping off a train. And if you stay on the surface, never taking the chance to get to know more, it will just stay impenetreble and elitist. But that's not it's nature at all! Just give it some time to show you what it's all about and you fit right in.

This is my kind of place. As I continue to visit other destinations in Europe, I think London will still be the place I think I could live. It suits me some how. I don't know that my life will take me in a direction that living there is possible, but I'll always love to visit and hope to do it even more. With wide eyes and an open spirit...



St. Paul's Catherdral and the Millennium Bridge
 
Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern Museum

Veeraswamy Indian Restaurant

Traditional British Pub

...QueenB Says

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

City of Lights

Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography.  Rome is feminine.  So is Odessa.  London is a teenager, an urchin, and this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens.  Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman. - John Berger

Dear Paris,

The only problem was that I didn't get to spend enough time enjoying you. You had so much more to show and I had so much more to do. But, what I did enjoy was perfection. Your famous sights were well deserving of their reputations.

From the Eiffel Tower...

To Notre Dame...


And the views from bridges on the Seine...


I couldn't have enjoyed your shops and boutiques any more... unless I had more money to spend of course!

Shakespeare & Co. had the ghosts of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway wandering around helping me choose the right books.


Your specialty and antique shops were exhilarating.


And the clothes! Oh my...

Tailored shirts at Coton Doux. Jewelry at Lotta Djossou. Boutiques hidden in the side streets of Arrondissement 3 and 4. And the vintage stores I just had to see. I mean, really! Look at the 1950's purse I got from Free P Star for only 20 euros:

   
But my favorite part was the food! The amazing cassoulet at an unnamed bistro near the Eiffel Tower. The coffee was the best I've ever had, every time. You know that wine goes with everything. The pastry shops on every corner with your macarons:


The best, by far, was Le Basilic. A memorable late dinner at a true French restaurant. A beautiful host greeted us at the door. He showed us to our table and brought us wine. I will forever be searching for anything as wonderful as the foie gras with onions. And cap it off with a flaming dessert!


But dear, sophisticated, elegant Paris, don't you worry. I will be back. And can't wait to see what else we will do and see and eat!

Love, your loyal admirer...

...QueenB

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shut Your Damn Laptop

I recently gave a short talk in front of about 150 people in my company. The goal was for those of us that went through a 6 month leadership training to tell the rest of the company what we learned and about our "breakthroughs", or things on which we hope to help lead change.

As you know, I am a planner, so I wrote my speech out ahead of time and practiced it in front of the mirror. I always do that. It doesn't ease my nervousness, but it does mask it so others don't notice it so much.


Well, I thought I'd share my speech. Many of you will see some of the concepts I've learned and blogged about mentioned. Here goes:


The title of my breakthrough is "Shut Your Damn Laptop".

To be honest with you, I was not very inspired or excited coming into today and in fact, I didn't even have a story to tell until early this morning. But in preparation, I decided to think about what it is that I got out of this training, what are the things that I will take with me for the rest of my life. And there are 3 main concepts that stick out.

First, is the concept of other-centered listening. You have seen what happens when you actually listen intently and with interest to another person. The energy and enthusiasm goes up drastically. I will be a better listener.

Second, is the concept of planning and follow through. I need to send an agenda if I'm running a meeting, or know what the agenda is if I'm not. I need to come prepared with what I'm supposed to. I need to take notes and commit to action items. And I need to follow through on those commitments. Building better processes and communication for this planning and follow through is something I commit to doing.

Last, and this was the biggest one for me, is the concept of generative coachability. You may be coached by a person, or attend a training and be coached by the instructor, or in some cases you may BE the coach. Well, generative coachability is the ability to coach yourself. To figure out what it is that you can get out of everything you do. This is how I want to live my life. I want to learn something from everything I read, everything I watch, everything I do and participate in to make me a better, smarter, more well-rounded person.

Now, these 3 things have something to do with my breakthrough. A few weeks ago I was in a meeting. It was a brainstorming meeting where we were to come up with new ideas around our upcoming outbound marketing campaign. There were about a dozen people in the room, and if I said 6 people were participating that would be stretching it. The others were staring at a blank sheet of paper, or out the window, or frantically typing on their laptops. And it bugged me. And you know what I did about it? Nothing.
I continued participating and we actually came up with some good ideas, but I didn't do anything about what bothered me. And THAT bothered me too. I thought about it all day and that night, and when I came in the next morning I talked with a few people that I really respect their opinions about it. In telling them how it bothered me and that I wished I would have said something I realized a few things. 1. I did have the authority to say something. 2. I should have said something. and 3. I will say something from now on.

Now, I don't want this to turn into, "Oh no, I'm going to a meeting with Betsy. I better pay attention and not bring my laptop". But I have to wonder. What would have happened if everyone in that room was engaged and participating? What could we have come up with? And what would happen if every meeting here was like that? What would it be like?

Well, I stand for better communication. And since meetings are a huge way we communicate around here, I stand for better communication in meetings. And I will stand up for that when I need to.

But, that is not all. If you are ever in a meeting with me and I am not fully engaged and participating, I give everyone in this room permission to say to me, "Betsy, shut your damn laptop!".
It went over well and I am glad that I stood up and spoke (it was optional). Maybe public speaking is not so bad and I will give even bigger things a try (yes, Emma, I'm talking about Ignite). Maybe...

...QueenB Says

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eat Whatever You Want

Have you heard about this professor who only ate junk food for 2 months? He lost 27 pounds!

A quick summary: He ate twinkies and brownies and chips, but also a daily vitamin, protein shakes, and a few carrots and he limited his food intake to around 1800 calories a day. Over the course of his diet he lost weight and lowered his cholesterol. His reasons for this diet are documented in the article.

Here are my thoughts:

1.  Like I've said before, it is all about math. Figure out how many calories you need and eat 500 a day fewer. (To lose a pound you must have a 3500 calorie deficit. To lose a pound a week, which is healthy, divide by 7 and you get 500).  It doesn't matter WHAT you eat!

2.  However, there is enough evidence out there that you should eat a more healthy diet... duh. If you need your body to work correctly (workout, repair itself, stay well), then you should eat to support that.

3.  I am pretty sure this will NOT become a fad diet, or at least I hope not. But I want to call out a problem with most fad diets (low carb, Atkins, The Zone, paleo, caveman diet); they are all based on high calorie, high fat food. If your goal is to lost weight? You have to really, really watch the total calories. If your goal is to lose fat? Then nuts and red meat are going to make that harder. Eat whatever you want, just know that the diet you are following is a fad and doesn't matter in the long run.

4.  You do not have to cut out food you love to lose weight. Again, you do not have to cut out food you love to lose weight. Quit doing that! If you love a brownie or a big bowl of pasta? Eat it. Just compensate for it somewhere else.

5.  You have to plan to keep up any form of diet. This dude even planned his days, and it was buying in bulk on the first day because all of his "food" would last though a nuclear war. It takes making a list, planning your meals, preparing food the day before or on Sunday for the week, transporting your food to work with you, and researching what you are putting in your body. I'm important enough to myself to do this... and you should be too.

Now, these are just my opinions. I've formed them by using the ideas myself, reading a lot of books and articles about diet, and by observing others. Take 'em or leave 'em. But most importantly, this post is not intended to encourage or advocate a Twinkie diet! Unless, of course, that would make you happy...

...QueenB Says

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giving Myself a Break

This is a 2 part post, first part written pre-break and second part written post-break. Here goes...

Part 1
I am heading to London and Paris for 12 days. I am beyond thrilled, of course for the vacation part of it and for the work part of it as well! I've decided to give myself 12 days off from the gym. It's been years since I have taken off that many days in a row. Here's my rationale:

- I will give my body a rest.
- I will overcome a plateau in my fitness.
- I will bring a yoga DVD and do it a few times to keep my muscles working. But, let's be honest, that is not really working out.
- I will be walking about 5-7 miles a day, a little more than double a usual day.
- Mostly? I just don't want to waste the bag space for workout shoes and clothes.

So here are the very mixed feelings I'm having about this right now: I'm definitely thinking about what I'll be eating and drinking and how will that math work if I'm not burning 800 - 1000 calories. I'm focusing on the extra hour a day that I will have to experience something new. I'm reminding myself that I won't lose the muscle and fitness that I've built up in this short of a time. I'm wondering how much the endorphins I get from exercise impact my mood. I'm trying really hard not to beat myself up about this and trying to see it as a great opportunity to let a few expectations go.

So how did it go?

Part 2
I'm back. I didn't work out, I didn't do yoga, and I needed every bit of that bag space. After 12 days of no exercise I'm on the second week of my normal schedule. Here's what my body is feeling:

- I'm sore, but in a good way.
- My hips and shoulders... and pretty much the rest of me... is feeling pretty good. Better than before.
- I didn't gain any weight. My clothes fit exactly the same.
- I didn't lose my "habit" of working out after 12 days off.

How did I feel about not working out? I didn't miss it one bit. I didn't feel guilty about eating whatever I wanted. There was no stress about it at all. Until I got back...

I've been in the gym everyday since. Not to punish myself, but because I truly do love it. I love it as part of my routine and I love how it makes me feel and I love how it makes me look.

So my experiment was a success and a failure. I mean, I did it, sticking to my no working out while in London rule. But, there were no real ah-ha moments. Unless it's proving to myself that I can be balanced and not so regimented... if I want to be.

...QueenB Says

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Do you need to change your point of view?

I am over people on Facebook who complain about their jobs. Stop it. You get on everyone's nerves. And there is a better way to live. Listen up.

In a leadership class I'm taking we had a session on changing your point of view. Here's how it works:

First, you look at some negative stance you have: My job is a boring, worthless activity.

Then you figure out what impact that point of view has on the people around you: You don't work very hard or you bring down morale of your coworkers.

Next, try to understand what benefit you are actually deriving from holding that point of view: By seeing your job as boring and worthless, you justify your decision not to work very hard. Or by seeing your job as boring and worthless, you feel as though you are smarter or better than those you work with.

There will be some diversionary paths in this next step. It could be that your job is boring and worthless and you are smarter than your coworkers. Well, get a better job or make some other change that allows you to meet your own expectations. More likely though, there is a way that you can change your point of view about your job that will be a win-win for everyone. Here's an example of how that works.

My job is a boring and worthless, activity...

Maybe it's not boring. Maybe it's a repetitive activity that you excel at or maybe it's something you visibly accomplish every day. Maybe there are things you could do outside of your daily tasks that would be rewarding, like learning from a mentor or creating a new standard level of excellence. Obviously, many of you have time to spend on the internet as you do your job, so why not use that flexibility to start a blog or learn a language or read some sort of educational material you might be interested in. Perhaps there are other things you can do to challenge yourself, like more output or higher quality or some other measurable goal.

It certainly is not worthless. I mean, they pay you, right? Are you doing something socially meaningful? Are you creating a product or service that keeps people safe or well or functioning in some way? Are you serving people in some way? Are there people that have vast histories and abilities and stories that could be interesting to learn about? Are you making a difference? Perhaps in ways you don't even know and may never know?

Last, you figure out how to word your point of view in a way that fits: My job is a daily rewarding, difference-making activity. My job is a future building, socially rewarding activity. My job is an opportunistic, beneficial activity.

This can work for many points of view that you'd like to change. I'm trying it on with several myself.

But for those of you that view Sunday as the end to your freedom or a day of agony that you have to go to work tomorrow... and for those of you that spend the whole 5 day week counting down the days until you get 2 days off... and for those of you that hate your coworkers... and for those of you that flip out several times a week so much that you feel the need to vent to hundreds of people - realize this, you will spend almost a third of your life working. Make it something you enjoy, are proud of, or at least appreciate. PLEASE. For the rest of us that are sick of your bitching...

...QueenB Says

Monday, October 4, 2010

Run Like A Girl

Yesterday I ran my 8th half marathon. I think it is the perfect distance for several reasons: you have to plan and train for it, it's not too hard on your body, and it is a big accomplishment if you finish. This race was the Boulder Half Marathon and they really do it right. It is well organized and limited in size and they have the BEST giveaways. When I got home I told my husband I finished in 2 hours and 17 minutes and he asked me, "What do you think about the whole time?" Well, here goes:

Mile 1 - In races, they usually have you line up based on your average time per mile. I average about 10.5 or 11 minutes per mile. They do this so the slower runners stay out of the way of the faster runners and I always comply. Well, this time I don't. I line up closer to the front. Turns out that everyone must already do this. I am clearly in the right group, as I don't have to run around people or run behind much slower people until I can find a way around or try to get a good pace going while zig zagging. Lesson learned.

Mile 2 - To the left are the foothills, to the right is the smooth, mirror-like reservoir with several hot air balloons taking off above it. It is brisk and sunny. I am running on a dirt road in one of the most beautiful settings and I appreciate it.

Mile 3 - As I am topping a hill in the beginning of mile 3, I hear my friend Megan yell, "Way to go, Betsy". Thanks, I needed that!

Mile 4 - This is where I pass by my friend Mike's house. Last year he made me a sign, a HUGE sign, that said Go Betsy. By far, the highlight of my running career. I didn't let him know I was running this race again, so I don't have a sign. But, the funny thing is, that exuberant feeling I got last year when I saw it? Is there.

Mile 5 - I recently took a public speaking training and the beginning of the session was focused on how your body reacts to the adrenaline: the increased heart rate, shortness of breath, ,shaky voice. Well, my body reacts in a similar way when running a race and I find myself fighting with my lungs to cooperate. Mile 5 is about the time I find myself in a great pace with regular, smooth breathing. Breath in, 3 steps, breath out, 3 steps... ahh.

Mile 6 - This is an out and back race, so we turn around. It's all downhill from here. Well, not literally. I do live in Boulder, you know.

Mile 7 - When you get a group of friends together to go out, there is always that friend that wants to go home before the others. Well, if my body is that group of friends, then my left hip is that person.

Mile 8 - Getting tired, my mind starts to wander. I wonder if that skinny girl in the short skirt knows how much cellulite she has? I will never wear a short skirt to run. I have that same shirt, hello guy that ran the Horsetooth Half Marathon. Hey, is that Keith Richards? Wow, look at that girl's gait... I hope I don't look like that when I run. That lady must be 65 years old... I hope I can still do this when I'm 65.

Mile 9 - Running by Mike's house again. I kind of need to pee. I wonder if I can stop? Maybe I don't need to pee and I just want to stop. Don't. Stop. You'll never get going again. I don't stop.

Mile 10 - Blisters and burping. I bought new running shoes for this run and training. They have been with me for about 2 months of long Sunday runs. My last long run resulted in a big blister on my left foot. And it's back. And it hurts. Also, I only drink water through a race until the last aid station where I grab a Gatorade. I accidentally grabbed a Gatorade at about Mile 5 and I'm reminded why I only drink water. Gatorade burps are gross. Water burps are slightly less gross.

Mile 11 - It's getting close to the end, so what does my Type A personality want to do? Feel for my keys in my pocket. Remember where I parked. Look at what time it is and figure out when I'll be home. Think about what all I need to do today. Plan out the rest of my day so I can get it all done. 

Mile 12 - This is where my boot camp mentality starts kicking in. 2 more miles! You run 2 miles in your sleep. Can you run faster? Then do it! Leave everything out here on the road! Leave it HERE! Don't get to the end and wish you had worked harder! This is what you've been training for! It's just your body, you will feel fine in a few hours! Freakin' GO!

Mile 13 - Just a little further. I can see the finish line. It won't be my fastest time, but it will be my second fastest. I am about to complete something that statistics show 98% of the population will never do. I set this goal. I worked for it. And I'm about to finish it. And I OWN it. It is my body and my preparation and my hard work and my desire and my heart that created this. I feel this pride and happiness and excitement every time I finish. And that is why I run like a girl...

...QueenB Says

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

I am not in a good place today. I'm actually pretty angry and sad and frankly, beat down. Last Saturday, my husband and I were in a 7 car pile up. A whole lot of chaos is how I would describe it, but it came down to a truck that didn't stop and rear ended us. It was scary and violent, and luckily we both walked away unhurt. Now I have either another totalled car or one that will take 6-8 weeks to repair.

For the third time in 4 months I am dealing with a major insurance situation. The first was a head on collision in May, where a 19 year old girl ran a red light. The second was a burst pipe in the house that caused a lot of damage to 3 floors. And now... ugh.

I get that I am supposed to be thankful that we are okay, and I am.

I get that I need to focus on the really good things in my life, and I know I have a lot of good things.

I get that things are out of my control and I have to just deal with it as it comes, and I clearly am doing that.

But, I am PISSED!

Wow, it feels good to say that. And I'm just going to let myself feel that this time. I'll let you know when I'm back to normal...

...QueenB Says

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What is Home?

When you are a child, home means your house. Once out of high school it is your hometown.  And as you get older, your home may become where you are most comfortable.

For years, "home" to me has been my parents house or Oklahoma. But recently, I have made a transition. I refer to "home" when talking about many places: home is of course my parents house, Oklahoma, Colorado, and my house in Lafayette.

Does that mean I'm growing up? I suppose so.

Home is not a place anymore, really. It's more about what I identify with. It's where I feel at ease. It's where I know exactly what to do and where everything is. It's where I recharge or feed the fire of inspiration. It's where I am comfortable and relaxed.

I love thinking about home in those terms. It expands the boundaries of what I can consider home. I feel all of those things in my career and at my workplace. I feel like that when I look pretty. I feel that when I am at brunch with my girlfriends. I feel like that when I am exercising. I feel like that when I spray on my favorite perfume. And I cannot wait until I feel that comfortable in my own skin all the time, and home is just with me, everywhere...

...QueenB Says

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fear, Schmear...

Growing up I never had a fear of flying. After college I had a job that was more than 50% travel and I flew all over the place. All of my jobs since then have required some travel. I moved far enough away from home that I have been required to fly back for several years. I did all of this with a lot of excitement and ease!

But, about 4 years ago I was on a bad flight. It was a little commuter jet that hit a ton of turbulence over Dallas and I've never been the same since. I have had to use a lot of techniques to get through flights since this happened: breathing, counting, drinking a cocktail, etc.



Well, I am happy to report that in the past year I have had several experiences with planes that have helped me manage and almost conquer this fear! Here's what I think helped and maybe some ideas for addressing fears in general:

1. Diving in. I rode in the cockpit. I got to see it all in action and see how you manage a plane. It's much more complex than driving, but still manageable for 1 or 2 people.

2. Asking questions. The pilots that I rode with answered my barrage of questions. I was honest about my fear of flying and they did not make me feel inferior or as if my questions were insignificant. And I asked a hundred. Maybe a few more.

3. Research. I was fortunate enough to tour an aircraft manufacturing plant last week. Are you kidding me? They test, double test, break things, try to break them again, research, and have hundreds of people working to make planes safe. I was thoroughly impressed. And trust me, I was looking for a reason to doubt the quality.

4. Trusting. If you ever get the chance to "feel" how the autopilot works, you should. It is instantaneously reactive to anything in the atmosphere. It's so fast that you hardly even feel it. Blew me away.

5. Appreciate. I took a chance to appreciate the innovation. We can fly. Say that out loud. Isn't that kind of cool? I took a chance to appreciate the convenience. I can get to Oklahoma in about an hour. I can be in Europe in 12 hours. That is freaking awesome. And I took a chance to appreciate the beauty. It's a totally different perspective. It's gorgeous up there...



...QueenB Says

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Meet QueenB's Mom

The other day I had to sew a button on, something I learned to do from my mom. She made me a sewing kit when I left home at 18 with lots of stuff I would need, that I still have 15 years later. I needed black thread and as I pulled it out I had to laugh out loud at what I just noticed for the first time. She had written our last name along the top of the spool... AND just in case no one saw that, she had a sticker with our last name stuck to the inside of the spool. All of this to brand a $1 spool of thread! Growing up my mom wrote our name faithfully with black magic marker on EVERYTHING. School supplies, backpacks, clothing, shoes, and obviously spools of thread. She still labels all of her things today.

This is something that I learned from my mom that I don't embrace. In fact, I guess you can say that it is something that I rebel against for a couple of reasons. It devalues my things. I don't understand the concept of labeling things that are intended to stay in your house. If I leave the house with them, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be able to hang onto it. Most of the things you would label are inexpensive so I tend to be okay if I lose or misplace something because then I can replace it with a NEW something. That's my recycling. I guess it caught me off guard and struck me as funny last week to notice that I have something in my house with my name clearly labeled on it for safe keeping. And I will keep this spool of thread forever because of it.

There is no doubt that my mom is a wonderful woman. She is sweet, smart, funny, pretty, good natured, giving, loving, and will kick your ass if she needs to. A lot of the woman I am today is due to my mom.

So this spool of thread got me to thinking about what my mom has taught me. And I can think of dozens, maybe hundreds, of things I learned. And only a few that I ultimately rejected, all of which are as insignificant as writing your name on your belongings. As a parent I suppose that is what you aim to do, raise a child you are proud of by sharing your wisdom and values and hope that you raise one that embraces them.



So thanks mom for sharing all the wonderful things with me. Here are the most useful things that I learned from my mom:

  • Be nice to everyone. That is what makes you popular. The example she always gave was that you never knew how what you did might effect someones day or life. She would go back to high school reunions and have people she could not even remember comment "how wonderful it is to see one of the nicest people I knew back then".
  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. This one I clearly took to heart.  She always dressed us well, bought me my first suit, and continues to hem and tailor my clothes.
  • Stand up for what is right and fair. I still remember when she stood up to a creepo (she uses that word a lot) and he never bothered her or us again!
  • Always fix your hair and makeup before you leave the house. Besides getting you in the right mental state to accomplish things, the few times I have not done this I always run into someone I know.
  • Read. A lot. Being well read lets you hang in any conversation and usually lead it.
  • Only boring people get bored. There is too much that life has to give for you to ever resort to being bored. Find something to inspire you.
  • Say no with grace and compassion.
  • A smile makes everyone prettier. :-)
Thanks, Mom...

...QueenB Says

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to Dress for Night Life

I am going to admit something to you. When I am dressing to go out at night I spend too much time figure out what to wear. I stand in front of the mirror in dozens of combinations and fret about my clothes. It's gotten to the point that I start planning my outfit for a night out a few days ahead of time. In fact, I laid in bed last night for an hour thinking about what I'm going to wear on Labor Day weekend when we have several people in town and we will be going out about 3 nights in a row.

So... I'm creating some rules, based on what I know now and what I am trying to incorporate.

1. You have to feel comfortable. Not pajamas comfortable, just not messing with your clothes uncomfortable. I bought the hottest dress a few weeks ago and decided to wear it to a party. The day before I tried it on and couldn't get it to sit right and I felt like I had to suck my tummy in and kept messing with the cowl-neck and straps. I'm taking the dress back.
2. Never wear new shoes when you'll have to walk or you are going out dancing.
3. Only give one hint. I mean, if you have a short skirt then you don't show cleavage. If you show cleavage then wear pants or a longer skirt. If you are wearing skin tight then make sure it covers more area. Note: If you cannot wear skin tight, don't. Please. I have times when I'm bloated or it just highlights the wrong thing too. Don't subject every one else to it!
4. Silk, satin, sparkles, beading, rouching, flashy jewelry, fun make up, fake eyelashes, all those things you want to try but never do? Try it.
5. Consider your surroundings. Boulder going out clothing is much different that Denver going out clothing. Dallas going out clothing is much different than London going out clothing. If you would wear it to a brunch wedding shower, then it is probably not evening wear.
6. Make sure your accessories are right. Get a clutch or a small purse. Your jacket or coat cannot be your normal, every day jacket. I think flats are a no no, but I guess if they are dressy and appropriate I'll give you a hall pass.
7. Learn how to do an updo. Just don't ever use plastic clips to hold it in place. An updo will take a normal outfit and make it much dressier.
8. If you can make jeans work for where you are going then they must be fitted, dark wash, long, straight leg jeans. No pleats, no poofing, no fading, no bagginess. 
9. If you ever find a dress you love and think "I'll never have anywhere to wear it", buy it. And always have one of these in your closet.
10. It is always better to be over dressed than under dressed. Always...



...QueenB Says

Monday, August 23, 2010

How I'm Prioritizing

I was in a boot camp class a few years ago. During the winter months we would go inside to the basketball courts to do all of our exercises. One of our cardio segments we would do involved running in a single file line around the perimeter of the court. The person that was last in line was to break out of the line, pass everyone, and ultimately become the leader. Once they made it, then the person who was now at the end of the line did the same thing. We did this until everyone had gone through sprinting to the front. There is a phenomenon that happens as people sprint to the front, they are supposed to slow down to the group pace, but after sprinting it's easy to slightly increase your average "pace". That means every person that gets to the front slightly increases the group pace, causing a gradual acceleration that is doubly exhausting. Also, the more people, the longer it took. So, if the class was especially large then you could end up doing several laps to get through the entire line.

Our lives are a little bit like that exercise, right? We have lots of priorities that are all trying to get to the front. We can only focus on thing at a time for the most part. Every time you add a priority the line gets longer. The more priorities you have the longer everything takes. The faster you try to go the faster everything has to go. And the more tired you get.

Just saying all of that makes me want to take a deep breath!

I made the decision a few months ago to start prioritizing better. I've quit adding new hobbies, like an art history class or a cooking class, every time I get an inclination. I'm working normal hours. I turned down a few professional development opportunities. I'm staying in more evenings. And the most difficult decision was to not return to my hip hop troupe this fall.

It's led to a slower pace that I've found I really enjoy and appreciate. It's making me enjoy the things I am doing more. It's given me time to focus on myself and know what I want in life. And it's made me love my life and my home and my family and my job even more.

I know that when I do find interests that will take my time and cycles they will be inspirational and worth it. I know that when I do spend time developing my skills professionally that it will make a difference in my abilities and earning capacity. And I know that when I go back to hip hop, I will be in a more artistic and expressive place. Why? Because I am only doing the things that mean something to me and because I am happier...

...QueenB Says

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I am Wonder Woman

Two days ago I woke up at 5:00 AM with my mind racing, a blog about prioritization running through my head. I decided to go ahead and get up and take an hour for myself, to drink coffee and write in a very quiet house. As I crossed the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot I found myself sloshing through a very large puddle of water. Several hours of panic and soaking towels and calling 24 hour emergency plumbers to find one that actually worked before 9am ensued. So now, 2 days later, I'm sitting in a house with enormous holes in the walls and ceilings on 2 of 3 floors, carpet ripped up, hardwoods that are warped, electricity in parts of the house not working, and the worst is the 11 loud fans that are running 24 hours a day for a total of 5 days. To add on to this, what started the plumbing problems was our bathroom remodel, so I'm sharing a bathroom with Jay. And that all started with a little leak.




My readers know that I'm not usually a big complainer, so I'll conclude my bitching shortly. I love my orderly, clean, peaceful, quiet house and honestly, this is a lot for me to take. It's daunting the number of workers we will need to hire, the amount of time until my house is back, and the pressure to keep our normal life running. I told my sister yesterday that I didn't think I could handle one more thing right now. Then I came home to hear that our lawnmower is broken and we need a new one. And you know what? I didn't crack. I handled it quite well: "Alright, let's go to Lowe's this weekend", with a smile on my face.

I'm definitely drawing on some of my recent epiphanies: perspective, generative coachability, and prioritization (next blog). As well as my general nature: efficiency, a good attitude, and  relying on the people around me.

I am trying to balance out the bad with good: flood in the kitchen with gorgeous runs around the lake; A/C not working with a dinner out; big fans running 24 hours a day with extra long shower to exfoliate and facial mask; sharing a bathroom with extra yoga sessions; holes in my ceiling with wearing my favorite dress; you get the idea... the more I can take care of myself, my well being, and my health, the better equipped I am to deal.

So, as stressed as I am, there are a lot of good things too. I am amazed by what I can actually handle as I am going through things. I am thankful for the wonderful people I work with that are understanding and my confidants for letting me vent. I am grateful for the ability to afford wonderful things and keep them wonderful. And I love that I'm mostly letting it roll off my back, keeping my perspective, and continuing to live a fun life...

...QueenB Says

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Buy a Bra

Did you know that studies have shown up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size?  I was. A few years ago I got fitted and stocked up on bras. After losing weight and lifting weights this year both my number (the circumference of your body) and letter (the cup size) changed. So, I got to throw out the old and start over. It was one of the most enjoyable shopping experiences I've had in a long time. Here's what I've learned:

  • Go get fitted. Do not try to do this yourself. Dillards, Nordstorms, Christina's (in Boulder) have lovely women who have been trained and do this every day. They will measure you correctly, help you pick out bras that will work best for you, and adjust them to perfection.
  • You need these 2 bras: A black and nude bra with no lace or detail on the cup. This will work under any fitted or thin clothing and not show through. I cannot stand seeing the top line of your bra under your clothing and any lace showing through makes you look deformed
  • Get a fun bra. This is for when you want to add a cleavage point. Or something else.


  • You may have need for a strapless bra, a bra with clear straps, a racerback bra, or backless bra. If you do, trust me when I say you need to spend some extra money on these. They can be extremely uncomfortable if you don't get a good one.
Nothing changes your silhouette like getting the girls in the right place. They need to be halfway between your shoulders and elbows, and for most of us that is not going to happen on it's own. And for a lot of us, changes in our body mean we have to continually update our collections to keep them there. So go shopping...

...QueenB Says

Thursday, August 5, 2010

QueenB's Square Dancing Rules

When I was in elementary school they made us square dance in PE class on occasion. I grew up in Oklahoma, this was normal, shut up. Mrs. McDaniel would pair us up, put us in groups of 8, teach us the steps of what would be “called”, things like Swing Your Partner and Do Sa Do (yes, that is for real), and put on a record, and away we’d go. (Wow, did you notice how that sentence eventually turned into a square dance song?)

The most mortifying part of all of this was finding out who you would be partnered with. When you are 9 years old you already understand the ramification that who you are partnered with will reflect on you either positively or negatively. It was a score if I was partnered with Mike Robertson and his cool demeanor, blue eyes with the long curly lashes, and dimples. Or Craig Griffith with his blonde hair, sense of humor, and last name (this was important in a small town). Or Rodney Eischen with his self-deprecating humbleness and adorable easy smile. Any of those boys were acceptable, they were fun, and I was okay having to hold hands with them on and off for 45 minutes. I’m positive I was not paired up with these boys every time, so sometimes I did have to dance with someone in another tier. But you know what, I still remember square dancing was fun and it did not scar me or my popularity.

It was also important that at least one of your girlfriends was in your group as they gave you someone who could understand what you were going through in one glance, they didn’t use it as an opportunity to make fun of you for dancing with your crush or with someone gross, and you had a partner in crime in an activity that was new for both of you. Hello, Tara and Kristine and Amie. Is this ringing a bell?

It’s amazing what you can learn from forced partnership in a time in your life when you are learning the social rules. And I would say all of this applies to your significant other, the friends you choose, and people you work with today:

1. Who you are partnered with is still a reflection on you.
2. Getting paired up with someone awesome is way more fun.
3. If you get paired up with someone less desirable it is never as bad as you thought it would be and no one really remembers it.
4. Having fun is up to you. No matter what situation you are put into.
5. Your girls make everything better.
6. I cannot believe how much the characteristics of boys I never even made out with influenced what I desire today. I got the blue eyed, adorable, self-deprecating, funny, cool dude after all. Ha!

...QueenB Says

Monday, August 2, 2010

Get Remembered


Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman. - Coco Chanel
I want you to think back to the last wedding you attended. Got it in your head? Now, remember that woman, the one that was totally together. You can kind of remember that she had a red or blue dress on, you know that she walked confidently and regally to her seat, she smiled at the right time, clapped at the right time, enjoyed her wine, and danced effortlessly.


Now, remember these? There was that one girl who changed into flip flops. And then that lady who's dress was 15 years old and had shoulder pads. Oh, remember that girl with the dress that was too short, too tight, and too low cut? And that lady who wore so many sparkly items she looked like a Christmas tree. What about the lady in the polyester halter dress that looked like it cost $12. And that one poor woman in the dowdy floral dress with the matching cropped, long-sleeved jacket. Then there was that one lady who's dress was okay, but her undergarments were all wrong because you could SEE them under the dress and hanging out of the dress.


The above quote was sent to me by a very regal woman that I grew up watching. I couldn't tell you what she wore, ever. Kind of like the first woman you thought of. But I know she was amazing... and still is.


The point of this post (and as my husband pointed out, "Haven't you posted this before?"... yes!):  Don't give people an excuse to not see YOU. What gives people that excuse? Ill fitting, cheaply made, too baggy, too tight, inappropriate for the occasion, dated, plain, unaccessorized, gaudy, or uncomfortable clothing. Make sure that you get remembered, for the right reasons. If you aren't sure? Ask me. I'll tell you the truth. I promise...


...QueenB Says

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Horoscope Said I'm Perfect

If you read along with me, then you know I am in  a period of growth and discovery right now. Sometimes I think it happens when you are in a difficult period, and I've certainly been through some of that in the past year... and I definitely learned and grew from it. However, right now I am in one of the happiest times of my life, and I have to tell you, I am learning so much more.

I am thriving in my day to day life, my relationship with my husband, my friendships, my career, my curiosity, my self-esteem, and my health and fitness. And probably a lot of other areas I'm not thinking of. 

My horoscope today said: You don't have to change a hair to rediscover yourself. You're perfect as is! Treat yourself as well as you'd treat anyone else you love -- you deserve the best, too! It's a great day to make an example of yourself by showing the world how they could be living if they wanted to.

I have to be honest and tell you that I don't really know what it is, if anything, that has me in this state of bliss. It could be that "you reap what you sow" theory and I'm reaping the benefits tenfold of what I'm trying to create. It could be that I've been working towards creating a level of community and stability in my life and it's all coming together. It could be that I'm more discriminating about the type of people and energies that I let into my life. Or it could just be the attitude.... you know the one that says:

 "You're perfect. You deserve the best. Go shopping!"*

*This is my horoscope through the QueenB filter.


Monday, July 26, 2010

QueenB's Ways to Stay Motivated

I'm excited to share with you on http://www.queenbsays.com/ my very first GUEST BLOG post

There are so many reasons to work out: weight loss, long term health, bone strength, endurance, keeps you younger, allows you to eat things you want, you feel better, you look better, it's fun.  The most compelling reasons I have seen came from a book called "Younger Next Year". I highly recommend this book to learn about what we can do now to age better in the future.  Here are a few quotes:
  • You may well live into your nineties , whether you like it or not. But how you live those years, on the other hand, is largely under your control.
  • 70 percent of premature death and aging is lifestyle-related. Heart attacks, strokes, the common cancers, diabetes, brittle bones, most falls, fractures, and serious injuries, and many more illnesses are primarily caused by the way we live. If we had the will to do it, we could eliminate more than half of all disease in women and men over fifty. Not delay it, eliminate it.
  • First Rule of this book: Excercise 6 days a week for the rest of your life.

This dude is 94 years old and still runs marathons.

And research shows what you need to do:
  • You need to do aerobic exercise 4 days a week at 70-85% of your heart rate for an hour.
  • You need to be able to do long, slow aerobics at 60-65% of your heart rate for 3 hours without getting exhausted. This is a long walk or easy hike.
  • You need to be able to do anaerobic excercise, 85-100% of your heart rate for 2 minutes.
  • You need to do strength training 2 days a week. Osteoporosis is bad, do this.

I get that it is tough to stay motivated to go workout 5-6 times a week. Arguments I hear are: there is not enough time, you have other obligations that are more important, it's boring. If you use those excuses then I'm not 100% sure I can help you... my answers to those excuses seem obvious to me: you have to schedule it, you have to make good health a priority and take care of yourself in health as you would if you had the flu, and you just haven't found the right workout.

For those of you that do enjoy it, you do feel better when you do it, and you know you look better when you do it... you just lose the drive after a few weeks, I think I may be able to help.

Lots of things can motivate me, and honestly I have to switch it around a lot to stay excited. In the past year, here are the things that I have found motivating:
  • I joined a bootcamp class. It was 6 weeks long and I loved it so much I signed up for 2 more sessions. This one kept me motivated for 18 weeks.
  • I download new music on my iPod. Just a new playlist works wonders for my energy level on a run or on cardio.
  • I worked with a nutritionist to get my diet on track.
  • I lost a few pounds. Um... huge, huge motivation. But that one will never last as long.
  • I get new gear. Just this week I finally got the Nike + iPod running chip. Cannot wait to use it this summer. Get a pedometer or a heart rate moniter for other ideas.
  • I found an awesome race I want to do. Check it out: http://www.warriordash.com/
  • I am going to do a 14er in August. This makes me want to hike for training.
  • I signed up with a trainer for a 5 week TRX training class. This is a new type of training for me and I love it. I just signed up for another round.
  • I get new workout clothes. Just having a new sports bra plus short combo makes me feel like working out.
  • I get new shoes. Same idea as above.
  • I cut out a picture of the hottest body I've seen in a long time and put it in my workout journal. I want to look like this!

  • I focus on a number. It has been my weight, number of consecutive pushups, how fast I can run a mile, and how long I can hold a wall sit.
  • I download a new cardio workout plan. Here is a great example of some you can try.
  • I compete with someone. I would always try to push myself as hard as Luis in bootcamp and it became so much fun to see who would do more reps or go faster or longer.

I want to look like this.


When these motivations aren't enough, I plan to try P90X and get a work group together to do lunch runs to kick start it again.

Steal my ideas and please tell me the ones that work for you! But only if you really do them yourself...

...QueenB Says

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What is Fair?

"Treating everyone the same is not fair. Each member of your team should get what they earn and deserve." - Coach John Wooden
A friend of mine posted this brilliant quote. It caused a bit of a discussion between me and an amazing women who I respect and admire immensely, and got me to thinking about fairness vs. equality.

Equality's definition is the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability.  Fairness is defined as free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice.

Here's how I think it works. If I am equal to another person in a certain scenario then I expect to be treated equally. If I am better or worse than another person in a certain scenario then my treatment should correspond to that. THAT is fair.

Every year in junior high and high school I tried out for cheerleading. Tryouts consisted of learning some sort of cheer and dance routine throughout the week that culminated with a judged performance on Friday. I practiced year round, but especially leading up to tryouts. My mom still has video tapes of me recording myself to see how I looked and where I could improve. I practiced with friends and at clinics and at a cheer gym. I was pretty good, but it was because I worked at it. One year in junior high, as they were announcing who made the squad we were told that EVERYONE made it.

I was devastated. All of my hard work didn't matter because people who just signed up without practicing made it too. All of my hard work didn't matter because no matter how much we practiced as a squad there were still going to be people that weren't good enough. All of my hard work didn't matter because we were only going to be as good as our least competent squad member and that, frankly, was not good enough for me. That was a lesson for me in equality and fairness. Someone truly thought they were treating us equally and that was fair, when in fact treating us equally was grossly unfair and demotivating. For everyone.

Equality is important, I do not want to diminish that in any way. I fully expect to be paid as much as my male counterparts if I am equal in experience and competence, I expect to pay the same as other people for equal goods or services, etc. But don't treat everyone the same and call it fairness, because in many cases it is not. Thank you Coach...

...QueenB Says