Skin in the Game

My honey looked at me the other day and said, “Even your skin sensitivity is different since you had the baby”, as the skin on my arm goose-bumped to his fingertips running across my wrist.

Now many women would blush and wiggle in their seat and say “Thank you honey”. But I thought about sales.

This response is not because I necessarily love sales or that I want my life to be run by sales as it has been for the last 8 years, but the wiring in my head is so engrained to think about sales that I saw a correlation worth exploring.

Skin sensitivity, heightened awareness and perception, openness. Some sales tactics compliment only the mental tenacity of a person to outwit their opponent, or in this case, their customer. But many women sell from a different place. And if they are mother’s, or very intuitive people, they can master multi-sensory selling techniques even more.

The old phrase to have “skin in the game” is to have incurred monetary risk by being invested in achieving a goal. This is a good, sound translation. Let’s evolve it.

Skin in the game, for me, now means that I am personally invested in the out come on every level. I am tracking something with all of my senses. I am willing to “mother” an opportunity forward to its full and best fruition. I will stick with it no matter what. And I will be patient for the natural flow of the sale to unfold, instead of pushing and forcing an outcome.

This sales technique takes longer, however you make many more friends along the way, and build deep trust with all involved throughout the journey. This can indeed result in great financial gain with longevity.

Women, we are at our best when we are feminine and nurturing, strong and sincere, bold and patient, reception and courteous, creative and helpful. The marketplace needs this energy. As more and more competition and products enter the marketplace in all industries every year, we need women looking out for the bigger picture – sustainable economies that do not continue to annihilate precious resources. Have skin the game for nature, people, and profit. We are the new leaders, the new workforce, the new trend setters. Trend wisely.



Life Balance is so 2014

As I close my eyes, I can feel the blood moving through my veins. A quiet pulsation, a sign that life is still happening. I must get out of the house…

Needing a break from my newborn, I asked my Mother to come over and watch him for the afternoon. She came. I left.

Stumbling down the beach with my mouth open, something we were never allowed to do in well-mannered Connecticut, I realized that I was stumbling and that my mouth was awkwardly open when I came upon an elderly couple hobbling sweetly together. Their bodies both curved with a swing to the left, back to knees to feet, they clearly had both been hit or worn down from something to create such a dramatic shift in their stature.


What did it? What caused this structural swing? Did life hit them so hard one day, month, year that they were forever slightly deformed? Together bent, holding the memory, recovering humbly, together? A car accident, raising a hyper active child, a windstorm of debt and dis-appointment? What did it? But they still gently stroll along, her in front of him, with lumbering strides, their shiny white sneakers bracing each step so their hips, knees and ankles land softly in the sand.


What sleeplessness? Suddenly I am speed walking and smiling and can see further than I could when I first arrived at the beach. My pall of self pity and new mother delirium is lifted by the reality of aging. The next lady I pass is wearing a bright red jersey shirt belted by a fanny pack. Functional, but still makes me smile because its 2015 and fanny packs are kinda old school. Anyway, her shirt reads “Live for this”.


Ok, I am getting the picture here. Life balance is some new agey, academic, time management course’s carrot for us over-achieving, efforting shmucks who think that life improvement answers are out there somewhere. Life balance is the goal of all those high fluting business books you read on the airplane during a business trip. However, its not reality.


Reality is where you do what matters most to you with the 24 hours you’ve been given everyday. You waste that time, your fault. Yes, I am blaming myself and us all. Some things are in our control and we get to take full responsibility for them.


Let’s use our time wisely. Life is precious.



Camel Shadows

How Having a Baby is Like Crossing the Sahara on Camelback

At forty years old, I find myself cooing at my son who is 30 days old at 5:45am, while pumping milk for the midday feeding, which will happen during a meeting on LED lightbulbs and energy efficiency. This is my life now.

When I met his father last January, 11 months prior to our son’s birth to the day, his father had asked me after a conversation regarding my 1996 eight day trek across the desert on my 21st birthday and my desire to repeat the adventure on my 40th, “Well, do you want a baby or do you want to cross the desert again?”

“A baby!”, I exclaimed while straddling him in my sun-soaked bedroom that fateful afternoon.

Words are spells, they weave our dreams and inklings, or fears and woes, into reality. The age old advice of watch what you wish for goes hand in hand with the sage advice, mind your words as you cannot take them back. Would I edit my words knowing what I know now about motherhood?


What used to be procreation to staff up the family farm, has now evolved (or de-evolved) into a conscious choice. Creating another human life is optional for our personal survival and lifetime satisfaction. Like many of my somewhat callous generation, I did not have the unwavering impulse to mate. The impulse flickered like my wifi contraption on the floor of my office. Off-on, maybe-maybe not. It became an inside dialogue that only seeped out to society when I was drunk or, in our son’s case, in love.

Crossing the Sahara Desert requires: a start and finish point, a map, equipment including camels, portable food and water, endurance for incredible pain and exhaustion, gumption, and a solid dose of crazy. Same goes for birthing a baby and raising a human being.

The start and finish point = 0-18years old. You hope.

Equipment = the list is so long and obnoxious I cannot type all of it without fear of an arthritic spasm.

Portable food and water = As an avid breastfeeder, I am it! Sounds simple and artisanal. Its not.

Endurance for incredible pain and exhaustion = We had a home birth. I pulled the baby out with midwives and a doula standing guard. But the sleepless sea of days that followed (still going) are far more painful than actually birthing a person.

Gumption and a solid dose of crazy = This is because I had a good life before parenthood. I was fit, healthy, well rested, working like maniac but inspired, traveling when I felt like it, dating whomever I wished to, and I made good money, which I got to spend on myself and things I desired to experience or gift to others. Basically, I was an adult brat. Self centered, myopic, and totally sustainable. That could have been my life in its entirety. I added good things to society through my work in sustainable business design and development, I was a loyal friend and daughter. I donated to charities and adopted a rescued animal.

When one really thinks about the science, chemistry, cost, time consumption, dedication, risk factors, heartache, and sheer responsibility of having a baby…its daunting. Just like the formidable desert. But if you take one day, one smile, one vista, one present moment at a time – wherever you are and whatever adventure you are on – it all seems do-able and often enjoyable.

My heart has expanded by both my time in the Sahara and the time with my son. I am in the very beginning stages of parenthood, and know very little about it or where it is headed, but I can say this…. I am better for having joined this human club. Compassion reigns and I am getting good at receiving and giving it. I am so grateful.