Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Loving Meryl Streep

I'm dying to see "It's Complicated" - on the heels of watching "Julie and Julia" on pay-per-view when my family was out of town.

I adore, revere, and bow down to Meryl Streep. On the cover of this month's Vanity Fair she is so joyful. Now THERE is someone who is engaged with and enjoys her work and her life.

She is NOT one of those actors who impart the sense that being an artist is such a tortured burden. That they are giving so much of themselves emotionally . . . and what about being chased by paparazzi all the time. Woe is me I make more in one day than many Americans make all year.

I'm inspired by how much fun Meryl seems to find in her life, how fearless she is in her work, and how amazing she is at her craft. I mean, here's a lady that can make ABBA sound soulful.

And she does it all while being a spouse and parenting four children.

Watching Meryl makes me excited about entering my forties, fifties, and sixties. She makes it look wickedly fun.

I hope she beats herself and wins a Golden Globe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sparkly Sausage

So my family has already departed for North Carolina in Park-Davis Holiday Travel Wave I, and I've been:
  • Nursing my torn cornea, the result of constantly forgetting to go buy contact lense solution and not being able to order it from Amazon fresh because of new minimum purchase requirements. It's been a great medical excuse to go to bed early every night - so I'm excited to arrive in North Carolina with energy for celebrating with my family. Wikipedia says it will heal in 24-48 hours, I believe I am making great progress.
  • Going to hot yoga, afterwhich everything seems more cool, dude. Can't believe it's totally legal. And way to go Natalie - your inversions are awesome.
  • Holiday shopping - with Sandy downtown yesterday, and at Top Ten Toys in Ballard, which is my favorite toy store in the whole world.
  • Delivering holiday treats to my team in Gig Harbor and Downtown yesterday, to University District and Bellevue today. I love the Julep team! I love our guests! I love our company!
  • Procrastinating writing holiday cards.
  • Eating buttery things.
  • Eating McDonalds-y things.
  • Writing and rewriting all the lists of everythign I need to get done before boarding a plane at 8:30am tomorrow.
  • Looking for a Secret Santa gift for my bookgroup get together tonight.
  • Shipping stuff to my parents that they left behind (glasses, phone, etc.).

All of these things will get done much more stylishly now that I've donned my sequined dress (over black cords and under a cardigan, to mitigate some of the sparkliness for daytime). But the McDonalds-ing and butter-fest-ing (see above) have taken their tole - the dress does not go on as smoothly as it has in previous seasons.

So I feel like a sparkly saugsage, but those are two of my favorite things so I guess I am pretty lucky.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Being Present

I've been working on being present and focused in both my work and home lives - trying not to answer my cell phone in meetings and trying not to be on my laptop when my kids are around.

This morning I realized that it's just as important in emailing. Even (especially) in sending out a form email asking for signatures on a legal document. I needed to find some quiet space and wakeful time to focus on each person and figure out what I wanted to communicate.

In the end, the emails were mostly the same, but I did stop to think about each person individually, and hopefully some small part of my effort to be present came across.

It's actually easier NOT to make the effort when there is someone right in front of you because of the illusion of presence physical proximity can create.

I had to consciously focus on my emails, and it made me realize that I should apply myself more devotedly to the people who are right in front of me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Best of Times

Last Friday, a new investor said to me, "Remember to have fun! These are the best of times."

The only other time anyone has said that to me was when I had my first baby. These are the best of times?!! Not sleeping more than 3 hours at a stretch, wearing the same clothes for weeks on end and going through my reserve of antepartum percoset while riding the ups and downs of a high speed emotional roller coaster??!!

At least this time I don't smell like throw-up (to the best of my challenged olfactory senses) . . . but then again I'm out of percoset.

But I do have to admit that I often wish I hadn't been as crazy my first year as a mom. I wish I had been able to accept the changes in my life -and I wish I hadn't felt like I had to take my "time off" to organize a decade's worth of photos and suddenly begin cooking every meal from scratch (a habit that died as suddenly as it appeared). Why didn't I just pause to breathe and enjoy?

I'm trying to think about what the Julep equivalent is of the kissable chubby cheeks I miss - what should I be stopping to savor?

My first thought is that I cherish my connections with guests and employees who have been part of starting Julep. I need to be sure to enjoy these special relationships that are grounded in this unique moment in time that will never happen again.

And keep stopping by Trader Joe's for pre-made dinners.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is it worth it vs. Is it painless

Leading Julep is by far the most engaging job I've ever had. It is also the most joyful, painful, fun, stressful, exciting, and draining. Like every significant relationship in my life, the central question to me is, "Is it worth it?" Answering "YES" to this question is very powerful.

Because the avoidance of pain is NOT why one would decide to start-up a high-end retail start-up in the worst economic times in a half-century. There are mainly more painless options in the world.

What makes Julep worth it for me is:

  • Awesome guests who come in with their moms, daughters, sisters, and colleagues - just the way we dreamed
  • Amazing colleagues I learn from everyday
  • Stretching and learning everyday

There is nowhere else I'd rather be.