Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Short Reflection on a Short Year

I'm sitting up (hooray for at least sitting up) in bed, propped up by pillows, laptop glowing in my face, sleeping baby cradling my hip and breathing rhythmically in and out. I can't remember the last time in my life I was so sick. I am on day five of fever, chills, aches, coughs, and surely death's door - the whole nine yards. What a wonderfully ruined Christmas vacation. This is the kind of sick that isolates you to bed upstairs while you get to listen to the family open their stockings and eat their Christmas dinner downstairs. Yes, next year I will be getting that flu shot.

I am alone on New Year's Eve with just my girl, while the guys have gone to a germ-free friend's celebration. What a wonderfully ruined New Year's Eve. But in the stillness of this house, and having read my book, caught up on my People, and watched the entire season one of Downton Abbey, I'm suddenly struck with the realization that I have no other obligation than to reflect on this year.

We are a blessed family of FIVE.

We survived the Great House Remodel. And I even managed not to maul any of the contractors who spent my entire maternity leave in the house with me.

We are fighting the vicious beast that is ADHD and though it's an exhausting daily battle for all of us, I believe we mark a W on more days than not.

We have cultivated new meaningful friendships in the arms of a community.

We got to introduce our sacred beach and annual family tradition to the newest member.

We celebrated 10 years of marriage. We are high school sweethearts who have grown into teammates.

We have contributed time, talent and treasure to local causes that can benefit from what we have to offer.

We are given a daily gift of watching our boys love our girl, and vice versa.

They say the days are long but the years are short and it feels no more true than at this time of year. How do I have an 8-month-old baby? How am I possibly going to remember all the little moments of this precious, fleeting time that I find myself begging my brain constantly to imprint? It's the catch-22 of a full life: it will not last. So here's to hoping 2014 brings more big and little moments that make me catch my breath and hit the pillow hard at night with the knowledge that I did my best to earn it every day. That I worked hard and played hard and prioritized appropriately. And that one year from right now, I will be cursing time, begging it to slow down while also recognizing that my begging means it was again a year full of so much to be thankful for.

Cheers to you and yours and happy new year!

Monday, December 9, 2013

When Girl-Power Marketing Accidentally Does the Opposite

I have long believed I am a psychologist or sociologist trapped in a PR gal's body. Or perhaps it's just that I was drawn to a career in marketing comms because I am so fascinated by how marketing can make people believe and even do things they may not have believed or done otherwise. Behavioral psychology. And maybe that's also why since college I have had a thing about gender-based targeting.

Check out my latest post at ModernMom.com, where I (probably not very popularly) discuss what I see as an big miss (though in fairness I think it was inadvertent) by a toy brand trying to debunk the myth that only boys should like engineering. I just don't like the approach this particular brand *coughGoldieBloxcough* took.

Do you agree? Disagree? Tell me about it.