Father’s Day was this last Sunday, but for the last few days, I thought of my own Dad and the lessons that I learned along the way, and how it has guided me in my own career. 

  1. Be OK with making the right decision, even if it is an unpopular one.. While my parents and I don’t always agree, that is OK. I would say that is the most formidable lesson that I learned from Dad. My Dad was my parent, and didn’t seem to care if I liked his decisions or not. He took his job as a primary decision maker seriously. There are times in your life that you will have to make tough and unpopular decisions, and make peace with dissention on those choices. 

  1. Your quality of work matters and it doesn’t matter what the job is. Once, I begrudgingly raked up the mowed grass in our yard as I was asked. I didn’t get all of it picked up, and frankly, my 14-year-old self didn’t see the reason why it had to be perfect. My Dad pointed out all of the missed grass, and stressed how no matter what you are doing, you should always put your best foot forward. Your signature of a job well-done matters—it affects your relationships and gains the respect from your colleagues that you can be trusted. 

  1. “You will get in more trouble if you lie to me than the actual act.” My Dad did not stand for liars, and a few times I tested this out. It did not go well. Eventually, I learned the value of coming clean with a confession, and an admission with an apology goes a long way, and solves a lot of issues. 

  1. Don’t be a sore loser and don’t blame others for your losses. It was a tense girl’s softball game and I was 12. We were tied, and one of my teammates hit a drive to the shortstop who flung it at the first base player in the nick of time, but it was very, very close. The umpire called her out. The other team went on to win. I complained all the way home and blamed the umpire. My Dad defended the umpire’s decision and reminded me how unflattering it was for me to be a sore loser, and blame others for your losses. Accountability can hurt, but it also allows you to take your power back when you admit your shortcomings and focus on becoming better.

  1. Be nice to everyone who is nice to you. I was the ripe age of 6 and one of my friends didn’t like another girl in my class who also wanted to be my friend. I came home and told my Dad that I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to make my other friend mad if I was friends with the girl she didn’t like. He quickly told me that it was my job to be nice to everyone who is nice to me. Period. End of discussion. This was one piece of advice that I have not wavered from, and it has served me well. Let people work out their own problems; and keep your relationships between you and that singular person. 

  1. The fine art of a spirited debate. Our dinner table was usually fraught with raucous candor, and we talked about every hot topic under the sun. Sometimes, these would incite frustration and anger, but I eventually learned how to not take other dissenting opinions personally, how to listen to opposing views and how to get others to listen to you. 

  1. Be prepared to stand on your own and make your own choices. I was 15, and getting ready to go out on my first date. My Dad asked me who was paying for the movie, and I told him that my boyfriend was. He reached into his pocket, handed me $10 and sternly told me, “I should not let him pay for my way.” When I look back, I realize that he was taking away any power dynamic that may have occurred between an older teenage boy and a younger teen girl. It was great advice. I still make sure that my own daughters have money on them if they are on a date, so that they are self-sufficient.

Lessons are everywhere and at every age. In my profession, we discuss the importance of “productive struggle” and I am grateful for a Dad that didn’t let me go out and experience the struggle without some tools and lessons to reflect upon. Happy Belated Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there.

Au revior, 2015!

Author: Wendi /

Whew! After a couple of weeks of holiday festivities and whatnot, I am feeling a bit introspective. I always get a little serious about assessing my life and where I am at during the new year.

2015 was a year of constant change. It was a great year, but a non-steady-Freddy boat-ride of twists and turns. I switched jobs (twice!) this year, am changing my religion, and had a lot of "firsts." One thing I am learning about myself is that I must continue to embrace change, and that I should never say "never." In fact, the older I get, the more I realize that I need to keep my mouth shut and listen more. My opinions and perspectives evolve, and I end-up eating my words too often.

So, for the positive side of this year, I really noticed that for me a successful year includes my spirituality, family, friends, and firsts. It also includes being grateful, for every little good thing that happens to me.

Luckily, as of this writing, my family is healthy. With this gift, I have nothing to complain about. I also know that I should never take this for granted. Believe me, I have seen how things in life can change on a dime.

My friends continue to feed my soul, and for that, I am forever grateful. Like my dear husband and family, I know that my friends see my multitude of flaws, and decide to quietly put those aside and focus on what is "bright and shiny". I can't tell you how much I appreciate this.

Anyway, on to acknowledging my firsts this year. I feel the need to pay attention to the magic and newness that happens in a year, and be grateful.

Firsts for me this year: (in no particular order)
1. Seeing Train
2. Going to a concert at the Fillmore
3. Visiting Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, and seeing sights that I will probably remember on my death-bed, provided I don't develop any sort of memory loss.
4. Visiting Hollywood and West Hollywood
5. Visiting Beverly Hills
6. Visiting Etna, Ca
7. Seeing Chicago, and Earth,Wind and Fire
8. Staying in a historic Inn in New Hampshire
9. Visiting Newton, Mass (outside of Boston--a cool place in its' own right)
10. Seeing Norway (briefly)
11. touring Black Chasm caverns
12. Attending the Pirate Festival in Vallejo
13. Checking-out the fun at the Treasure Island Flea market
14. watching a volleyball tournament
15. visiting some of the historical spots in Tahoe, (not just the slopes) as well as Eagle Creek Falls
16. Attending a 1920's party in a speakeasy
17. Visiting Palm Springs
18. Finding out my DNA and digging more into my ancestry

Anyway, I am looking forward to the adventures of 2016, and wishing you all a year of new adventures.


Author: Wendi /

I am a big believer in the "written word." If you write it down, you are separating your focused intentions from your random thoughts---releasing them out to the universe, and with a written record, no longer trapped among the clutter in my mind.

Here are my intentions for 2013: (in no particular order)

1. This year, I want to speak less, listen more, think more and thus, learn more. I simply can't open my mind as much if I am the one flapping my jaws, so I need to "clamp it shut" more often. This is especially important in my role as a parent, a friend, a teacher, a wife, a daughter, etc.

 2. Traveling with my family is what feeds me. I want to continue to explore new places, as well as re-visit the ones worth seeing over and over. I get recharged by new experiences, places, cultures, etc. and I am definitely not going to get that same excitement by sitting on my couch (unless I am watching the Travel channel).

 3. Do something unexpectedly kind for someone at least once a day.

 4. Be a good example of kindness, compassion and integrity for my kids.

 5. Express gratitude for any time that my kids, husband, friends or relatives are willing to make for me. Every minute is a gift, and I shouldn't take any of it for granted.

 6. Exercise at least 4 times a week. No excuses. I want to feel the healthiest that I can feel.

 7. Avoid those that do not have my best interests at heart. I am here for them after they conquer their inner demons, but I will not engage with those that are intent on hurting me or my family.

 8. Pray more.

 9. Become financially strong. Retirement is closer than I can imagine.

10. See more live bands. I am not going to be embarrassed or feel the need to apologize any more for being 40-something and appreciating music so much that I want to attend concerts.

 11. Speaking of aging, I have openly complained about it, spent a great deal of time discussing how to combat it, and perhaps, it is time for me to embrace it a bit more. If I am *lucky*, I will have the opportunity to love the 80-something version of myself in the mirror.

12. Be a peacemaker, not a pot-stirrer.

13. Develop stronger relationships with those that I enjoy spending time with.

14. Dance more.

15. Have the guts to form an adult glee club. Yep, I said it out loud.

16. Be quietly generous.

Trying again...

Author: Wendi /

So, it has been awhile since I have had the urge to write a post, not that I don't have anything to say....guess I have all of these random thoughts swimming around, and nothing is gelling together in a cohesive essay. I wish I had something profound to expand upon, but since I am lacking, I will tell you my random thoughts: 1. I like my new "old" job. I am back teaching at an adult school again (part-time) and feel great about what I am doing. It is incredibly uplifting to have students that soak up what you have to say and apply it. 2. When is one too old to stop dressing up for Halloween? I admit it; I like going to Halloween parties and yet, I can't help but wonder if others are rolling their eyes at me. 3. My eldest daughter just turned 12, and I can't help but worry about how to raise her properly now that she is becoming a tweener. Should I let her walk downtown with her friends? When is it appropriate for her to get a Facebook account? Should she have a set bedtime? Should I check her homework, even when she doesn't want me to? I know it is just starting, and I can't help but think that we have even more roads to navigate now, with the technology age in full thrust. I have to watch her physically, emotionally, and now, in a cyber format as well. 4. Pinterest is my latest guilty pleasure. Wow, what great ideas are out there. I am completely blown away at the inventive people out there that freely post their cool ideas. It is like free candy. Love it. Okay, I am awaiting my friend who I have known since I was 5 years old to arrive at my house. I can't wait to see her and catch-up. If anyone is reading, have a blessed night and weekend.

What a difference a day makes...

Author: Wendi /

Well, after reading my last blog, I decided that I really need to look at my current situation with a better attitude. Attitude is everything---or at least that is what one of those motivational posters that I saw had to say about attitude.

I figured something out, thanks to a great night's sleep last night. There is a reason that I am going through this process: I am being forced to practice patience. Awhile back, I prayed and asked God to help me become more patient, and to help me become the best that I can be. Well, alas, ask and you shall receive.

Literally, every day, since I have begun this new career has been a test of my limited patience....and as challenging as it has been, I have to say that my capacity for being patient has improved. It had to. I was forced to be patient or throw in the towel, so I am chosing to be patient. I have had to be patient with myself, with my co-workers, with clients, with the process of the extra long sales cycle, etc. etc. My boss even reminded me that "Rome was not built in a day" and was gently reminding me that I needed to relax a bit.

I asked my husband what my worst quality was, and he didn't even blink. He said that I am extremely impatient. Obviously, this is something that I need to change or at least, work on changing about myself. I am hopeful that I can set a better example to my family in the future.

Life change and voices in my head....

Author: Wendi /

So, I decided to go back to work this year. I was lonely at home, and missing my part-time job, and so, a dear friend of mine knew of an opening at her company, and the rest of history.

I am getting a taste of what it is like to be a full-time working mom, not that I don't think being a mom is a full-time job in itself. I now just have reports to fill-out, sales goals to make and lots of extra emails to answer. The best part is getting a paycheck, but it comes at an exorbitant price. My sanity is tested on an hourly basis, and I am not being sarcastic.

Today, after working at a trade show for the last few days, I finally left San Francisco, came home and realized that I need to figure out childcare for Monday. The kids are out of school, and I have to be in Modesto at 9 AM. Mitch will be traveling, so now comes the super-juggling of schedules and the guilt of having to leave my kids in the first place.

Why am I doing this again? Oh, yeah, I have to keep reminding myself that I needed this new challenge in my life, and the truth is, I actually like the work, for the most part.

I am also learning that I am a prideful person, and I am pretty sure that is not a good thing. I am resolved to stay at this for at least a year. I just can't bring myself to quit, and I get a sick stomach even entertaining the thought. Every time I shake my head at myself on "why I took this on", and perhaps I should go back to my old life, a very loud voice in my head tells me to "quit whining, be grateful for this opportunity, get to work, and finally, you need to give this a chance."

So, as my brain wrestles with itself, please forgive me if I seem aloof, forgetful, and distracted...the voices in my head are in the middle of a heated argument, and I am not sure who is going to win this one. I pray for a resolution every night.

When you smile, the world smiles with you...

Author: Wendi /

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa

Jane Murphy. If you ever want to see anyone's face light up, say those two words. The first thing Jane greets everyone with is an electric smile, and in all honesty, it is the most beautiful smile that I have ever seen. Rain or shine, she does not let anything get in the way of communicating her love for people and deep respect for life. It is my belief that Jane conceives that every day presents new astounding opportunities to embrace, and will not entertain otherwise.

Ask anyone that knows her: "When you think of Jane Murphy, what do you think of?" These are the adjectives (verbatim) what her friends had to say: Warmth, kindness, huge smile, amazing sense of humor, joyful, fun, adventurous, beautiful; and these are just a few of the words that will come to their lips.

I could spend several paragraphs on her excellent ability to multi-task, keen intelligence, rib-splitting humor, love for her children, and how she can literally do anything, but what I really want to explore is how she is one person who touches every heart, and even the iciest soul is immune to her warmth.

As George Elliot said, "Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles." Well, it is apparent that Jane is not lacking in having friends, and her face is wrinkle-free, by the way.

Anyway, back to the point: I don't care where we are---in the park, hole-in-the-wall establishment in the Bay Area or at a rodeo in Oklahoma, (Just kidding...never been to a rodeo with Jane, but I wouldn't discount that we could end up there sometime), there are people flocking to her. It is not rocket science why this is the case, but I will state the reasons anyway. Besides being gorgeous, superior conversationalist, and intelligent, Jane is not afraid to let you know that she is glad to see you, and deeply pleased that you are a part of her life. There is not a better feeling in the world than to feel loved and appreciated, and Jane is a master at letting all in her life know how important they are to her. If we could all emulate this skill, imagine what the world would be like.