You Might Be At A Masters Swim Meet

If you just watched a 91 year old swim 200 yards of butterfly, you might b e at a Masters swim meet.

if the person next to you pulls a blood pressure cuff out and checks their blood pressure before a race, you might be at a master’s swim meet

if you see a 70 year old in a gold  lame speedo, you might be at a master’s swim meet

if you see a woman in a wonderwoman swim suit, you might be at a master’s swim meet

if warm up started 30 minutes ago, and nobody has gotten in the water yet, you might be at a master’s swim meet

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Things I Should Have Tweeted

During a cold night, after swim practice at the Y, I lost my phone, and learned that paying for cell phone insurance equates to paying someone to stop your carrier from screwing you.  So, instead of paying another $200 for a phone I didn’t love in the first place, was just not something I wanted to do, I’ve gone back in time.

I’ve reactivated my Blackberry Bold.  Not crazy about the small screen, no 4g available, LOVE having my keyboard back, and software is screwed up and nothing has fixed it, so Facebook is through the browser, and so far I haven’t been able to tweet from my phone <major bummer>

My husband recently changed jobs, and in the first month of his employment I’ve been asked to attend company functions.  First, bowling, for a charity.  No, not on Wednesdays, that’s when I have swim practice, and I only go once a week.  Second, company dinner, it’s kind of a big deal.  Okay.

So I skipped swim practice and we attended.  I couldn’t tweet from my phone (okay and it would have been rude).  So instead, I ducked into the coat room, and into the bathroom, and emailed myself the tweets I wanted to send.

Here they are:






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Hurray For An Audience

So, I got to be the announcer at the kids swim meet recently. How much fun is that! Oh, and it was a State Meet, so there was a medals ceremony every few events. As a stand up trainer, who has been focused on eLearning for several years, where to focus is audio with no audience is reality, I had a blast.

I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered by how much everyone said how great I did, or offended by their surprise. I’ve decided to go with flattered.

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Parenting Via Skype

Contract work requires actually showing up at the office from time to time.  So while I’m on road I decide to make the most of technology and skype with my family back home.  First lesson about parenting via skype:  get a better camera!  After two weeks away from home and trying to determine which shadowy figure was my son and which was my daughter, my new computer arrived.  Ahhhh, that’s better!

Next trip, I was able to actually make out who was who.  And, as it turns out, it wasn’t a wobbly camera, it was the kids continually attempting to push each other off the chair as they sat in front of the computer.  Each evening the kids have swim practice, and on Mondays my husband plays hockey.  So one Monday night as I’m chatting with the kids, I ask “how was swim practice tonight”?

My 13 year old son: “good”

My daughter who’s 9: “I didn’t go because Daddy had a hockey game”.

Me:  “You didn’t go to swim practice?”

My daughter:  “No, I went to Dad’s hockey game because he didn’t have time to take me.”

My son whispering to his sister: “Oh great, now you got Dad in trouble.”

Me:  “Ahhh, guys I’m right here, do you think I can’t hear you?”

Let me just clarify, nobody got in trouble for missing swim practice!  When I was out of town, everyone had their hands full, and we all just did the best we could.

Eventually I was tired of watching the kids attempting to push each other off the chair, and the whole skyping thing was not giving any of us, as far as I could tell, any real connection.  I like the idea of video calls, but it wasn’t working.  I didn’t feel connected to anyone at the end of the calls.

The next night after watching them pushing each other on the chair, I asked my son if he had the headphones for his iphone, he said they were up in his room, and I asked him to go get them.  When he got back I had him put them on, and I told everyone else; my husband and daughter, to leave the room, and told my son to plug in his headphones.  Then I asked him about his day at school.

I had noticed when we talked that the kids weren’t looking at me, they were looking at the computer screen, where my image was.  It made it seem like they were distracted and not paying any attention at all, and I realized I must appear that way to them as well.

So as I addressed my son, I looked directly into the camera, as I asked him about his day, his classes, his teachers, any tests he had coming up, the book he was reading.  Getting him to talk still required and long list of questions but he started to engage, at one point I think he was actually enjoying talking to me.  It worked!  I felt connected.

Then I did the same with my daughter.  I think the whole looking directly into the camera thing helped to engage them, well that and the fact that they had the chair to themselves!

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Ten Rules Men Need To Implement When Driving (An Incomplete List)

I was trying to be a good wife, and avoid my compulsion to correct my husbands driving.  We had recently bought a huge SUV.  I am the primary driver of “the truck”.  My husband, who drives from office to office for a living is the primary driver of our more reasonably sized, and economical car.

Anyways, in my attempt to bite my tongue about how he was driving my truck, I pulled out my blackberry and started a list.  It remains incomplete, but here you go….

1.  Tailgating – don’t do it.

2.  It doesn’t matter if the other guy is at fault if we’re all dead.  The objective should be to avoid the accident.

3.  Different types of cars need to be driven in different ways.  You can’t stop on a dime with a 6k pound vehicle.  See rule #1.

4. The objective is not to weave your way successfully through the traffic.  It should be to drive at a decent speed as far from other vehicles as possible.  Unless we’re late to somewhere I need to be.

5.  Always fill up the tank before giving the vehicle back to me.

6.  Bright tail lights are not a suggestion, slow down.

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I Am A Swimmer

I am a swimmer , it’s what I do.  It’s what I watched my mother do, and now I think of it as a gift she gave me.  I remember Mom talking a little bit about swimming. I remember that she was the one who suggested it to me when I was in middle school and she and my Dad wanted me to pick something to do.  They wanted us involved in something, and Mom suggested I try swimming.

When I thought about it, I remembered seeing the picture of Uncle Mike that hung in Grandma and Grandpa Harts house in Saginaw on Lathrop Park. He was so handsome in his dark Navy warm up suit and super short hair cut. I knew he had been a swimmer, Captain of the Arthur Hill High School team. Aunt Marilyn was a diver, but then there was some story of someone hitting the board, so diving didn’t really ever become any I was interested in doing.

I was surprised when my Mom told me she had been a swimmer, it never would have occurred to me.  A few years after my sister Jody and had both been swimming competitively we found some old newspaper articles on high school sports in the basement and found my Moms old meet results. Jody and I sat at the kitchen table on Threasa Street with Mom while she made dinner and laughed, along with Mom over her times, telling her we swam faster than her times at practice!

It was also around this time that I remember watching Mom swim the lake. She may have done it when we were younger, but when I think of it now, this is when it seems. She had a beautiful stroke, which looked more synchronized than competitive, her hand curved beautifully as her fingers broke the water without creating a splash. Her feet kicking lightly as she glided through the water in a way that seemed like no effort at all.

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My First New Full Time Work In 23 Years

So, they took us out of solitary confinement during my trip to the left coast this month. For the second time I stayed over the weekend and put in 10 days plus nights (and weekend when they approved OT.

I was glad to get home. But still, the pace is palpable, and although I feel like I have my head around the project pretty well, everyday is another something I didn’t know, and then you go back and you edit everything you’ve put together so far. And at the same time you must keep the project moving ahead, must…….hit…..the …….milestones!

Here’s the other part, it’s like being in grad school again. Only this time you have to write your thesis as a group project. And each one of you understands different parts, live in different time zones, different parts of the world, and in different cultures. It’s amazing!

This project is all about the template. The template is amazing. There are/were (that’s a different blog post I haven’t written yet) two schools of thought regarding the template. You love it or you hate it. It pays to love it, because really, that’s what they’ve hired you to do. Once I understood this I obeyed, after I obeyed, I began to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the design. Next is building out from the design, okay, we are already doing that, and it’s fun.

Actually all of it has been fun, although I’ve decided that I’m not staying weekend anymore, too long, too hard.

I still worry about the next contract, the next interview, whether or not I should be spending more time fishing. But right now, life is good. I feel appreciated, by the people I am working with (for the most part) and by the amount they are paying me (it’s how you keep score). I know I am already going to walk away from this experience with a whole new level of experience and skills. And in my business, that’s what matters (I think that might be my new tag line)

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