And Then An Egg Explodes In Your Face
Sep 11 2010

You’re going about your weekend morning breakfast routine.  The kids are having fun and doing fine.  You boil eggs for them except they turn out a little runnier than one of your kids likes so you put it in the microwave to harden up the middle a little for 30 seconds.  The egg white was already slit and you remark that you hope it doesn’t explode in the microwave.  You pull it out and it looks fine.  You place it in front of your 5 year old daughter and take a fork to it to cut it for her and BOOM, it explodes all over your face, her face, the table, the chairs, the floor, etc.  You are stunned, she’s stunned, her brother is stunned.  You can’t see because there are egg pieces in your eyes and your daughter starts crying because she’s startled and scared.

You stand dumbfounded for a moment wondering what happened when you realize there are pieces of egg everywhere.  You wipe her face and your face and she walks off to sit on the couch nearby because she doesn’t want to be anywhere near the disaster and she wants to recover.  Your 8 year old son keeps walking around where the egg pieces on the floor are despite being told at least 5 times not to walk there, but he’s kind of amused by it all.  He keeps saying “sorry, I didn’t realize it was here.”  And you roll your eyes at him not comprehending why he couldn’t remember you just told him not to walk there.  You start laughing at the craziness and then after a few minutes you all start pointing at each other and laughing at the fact you all have pieces of egg in your hair.  You ask your daughter if she’s still hungry and she says she is so you offer her a bagel with cream cheese (which is her favorite) and she says she wants to eat it while sitting on the counter and you let her so you can finish cleaning the breakfast table area.  Her brother also wants to sit on the counter and eat a bagel so you let him do it too despite the fact he ate all of his egg because he likes runny eggs.

You clean up, you take them to your voice lesson where they color and play on the iPhone while you have your lesson, for lunch you cut them some apples and make them cheese & ham quesadillas that get slightly burned because you discover more egg pieces and get distracted trying to clean them up, you listen to them complain briefly that their lunch is slightly burned but you don’t get too upset because they are playing nicely together with some board games and staying out of your way while you continue to eradicate the kitchen of random pieces of egg, you take them to your daughter’s swim lesson where your son wants to download more free games to your iPhone, and then you come home.  You let them watch TV because you are tired and you lay in between them and fall asleep for 5 minutes before their Dad comes to pick them up.

Then you attempt to catch up on hundreds of emails, housework, paperwork, busy work, eat cereal for dinner because nothing else appeals to you, watch a recording of Mad Men, write this post and then go to bed.

Yes, that was my day today and I wouldn’t trade it for any other because an egg exploded in my face for the first time in my life and my kids were there to see it and everyone is OK. 🙂   And I’m grateful that it was just an egg and not an airplane exploding in my building like what happened 9 years ago in New York on this very date, September 11.

There are so many ways to tie an egg unexpectedly exploding in your face to life as an entrepreneur or parent, that it would take too long to write about here. So I’ll just leave it up to you all to come up with your own egg exploding business start-up and other parenting analogies.

Author: | Filed under: Just For Fun, parenting | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Sandi Aitken – Success To Me
Oct 24 2009

I interviewed Sandi Aitken (pdf) for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, for an article that was published in the Sep/Oct 2006 issue.  My writing partner, Pam Losefksy, and I pulled these articles together a while back and you can see them on the Success Profiles page of this blog.  You can see the full article on Sandi by clicking HERE (pdf).  I haven’t connected with Sandi since the interview so I’m not even sure if she’s still at Freescale, but here’s an overview:

Sandi was/is a benefits manager for Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. in Austin.  Previously she was Director of Wellness and work/life programs for Motorola and health and fitness coordinator for Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp.  She was also health and fitness program coordinator, director of nursing, critical care instructor, and director of the cardiac rehab and pulmonary education center for St. David’s Community Hospital.  She was awarded Texas Nurse of the Year and held a Chair position for the Seton Cove board of directors.  She received her MS from UT Austin in Nursing.

She shares:

Success has a lot to do with being true to your life’s purpose, vision, and goals. Often, that means running counter to what our culture’s definition of success is, because so often in our society, success is defined by your material worth or the initials behind your name. Making money is  important on a certain level, but what’s really important is to know your heart, to find your passion. Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true.” Like so many things in life, it seems so simple, but there’s probably nothing harder to do.

She goes on to say:

Finding that alignment between your head and your heart, while at the same time not getting caught up in external pressures, is critical.

Oh, if everyone could be true to themselves, what a world this would be.  But as Sandi noted it is so hard to do because being true to ourselves doesn’t always go over well with other people in our lives.  Aligning head and heart is something I struggle with as do many others because what your heart/passion wants you to do in your career and life doesn’t always mesh up with what is practical given life’s responsibilities and other people’s expectations.

I’m working on trying to mesh some of my passion/heart’s desires with life’s practicalities.  Today I scheduled a make-up voice lesson with my voice instructor, Gene Raymond, who I really enjoy working with, and brought the kids with me.  I’ve brought them to a lesson once before.  I bring them coloring books and they color without fussing at all.  I think they think it is funny to hear mommy sing scales and do vocal exercises.  Some of the vocal exercises are quite funny.  🙂

A few of the songs I’m working on right now are Killing Me Softly With His Song (Roberta Flack), Play Me (Neil Diamond – changing the ‘she’s’ to ‘he’s’), and The Rose (Bette Midler).  I have the opportunity to take a lesson with a teacher at a level higher than Gene in this particular style of coaching called Speech Level Singing in a couple of weeks.  This teacher has sung with Bette Midler and trained several American Idol singers.  I’m looking forward to it and hoping I don’t choke!

Author: | Filed under: music, singing, success, success story | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Singing and Entrepreneurship
Jan 27 2009

I just got back from a fabulous visit with my mom.  I even got to see my sister.  It was a much needed mini-life break, and it was nice to have the three of us together again.  I could use more of those breaks, but I’m just ever so grateful to have a place to run away for a little bit and a husband who I trust completely to take care of the kids while I’m gone…well maybe a few things get forgotten but everyone survived!

One of my new year non-resolutions was to sing more.  Since then, I’ve received an offer to sing with one of my bosses who I hardly see because he’s one, two (actually it’s unclear) levels above me, but he also happened to hire me to teach entrepreneurship back in the day so I know him reasonably well.   I’m not sure if or when that will happen, but I hear he’s a pretty good guitar player.  The other thing that happened is that my dear husband got me some singing lessons!

Now hubby has been hit and miss with presents…especially the big ones (when he hasn’t consulted with me first), but I have to say this gift was probably one of the more thoughtful ones he’s given me.  I was skeptical at first because he found the teacher online, and I had visions of some weird, washed up, wrinkled singer with a cane giving lessons because they couldn’t make it in the ‘real’ world.  But I was pleasantly proven wrong by Julie at Fiore Music Studio.  She has a great operatic voice.  I promptly told her I wasn’t interested in singing opera and she was totally fine with that.  She travels on tour from time to time.

I’ve taken 3 lessons so far and I’m down to my last one and will probably sign up for a few more.  The first lesson we just practiced warm ups and scales.  I left thinking, “Hmmm…not sure if I want to sing scales for the next several lessons.”  The second lesson she told me I had good pitch and an ear for music that is very hard to teach and in addition to singing scales we worked on one of my favorite hymnsAmazing Grace.”  I left more inspired to come back next time.  On my third visit we did some different warm up exercises and worked on Summertime”  by George Gershwin.  For my next visit, I’ve printed out lyrics for “The Rose” sung by Bette Midler and “Blue Moon” sung by such greats at Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to work on.

The day of my first lesson, Julie and I were talking and she said something that struck me as she was describing singers.  She said something like “That’s why singers are neurotic.”  I said to myself  “Well darn the luck, so are most entrepreneurs! I’m doubly screwed if I decide to label myself a singer too.”  So there you have it, I’ve just discovered I’m qualified to be a singer…well at least on the neuroses scale. 😀

Now if there’s proof that someone has to be a little neurotic to run operations at a technology incubator, then it appears I have found myself existing at the right place in time to battle three neuroses.  Wish me luck.  There must be a professor writing a textbook in need of a research subject out there somewhere…

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