Very Interesting And Provocative Blog Posts
May 10 2012

I wish I had more time to come up with compelling, informative posts, but one must prioritize.  So instead, I’m fortunate enough to happen upon some interesting ones

Eleven Compelling Startup Pitch Archetypes (with examples from YC companies).  A really easy to read summary of the types of pitches based on the type of company.  A must read for all entrepreneurs trying to fundraise.

Same Sex Marriage on AVC by Fred Wilson on President Obama’s support of same sex marriages.

Unforgiven: Inside America’s Student Loan Bubble about the student loan crisis.

Love And 6 Other Things Your Subconscious Mind ControlsAs a result, scientists are becoming increasingly convinced that how we experience the world – our perception, behavior, memory, and social judgment – is largely driven by the mind’s subliminal processes and not by the conscious ones, as we have long believed.”

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneur, fundraising, marriage | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

September 11, 2011
Sep 11 2011

Ten years have passed since that fateful day in New York City.  Many people have been born and many have died.  The 9/11/01 smashing of the World Trade Centers and attack on the American way of life is being talked about and shown on most news networks.  Today is 9/11/11 and so much has changed in the last ten years and yet so much is still the same.  When it happened, I had just been married 5 1/2 months and didn’t know I would be pregnant with my son a couple of months later.  I did a post back in May 2011 when the Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden.

A decade.  A marriage.  Two kids.  A new school.   A family implosion/disruption.  A few jobs.  Money in.  Money out.  Baby teeth in.  Baby teeth out.  Love.  Loss.  Understanding.  Misunderstanding.  Tears.  Anger.  Fears.  Laughter.  Confusion.  Joy.  Pain.  Sadness.  Health.  Sickness.  Awakening.  Words.  Songs.

I wish you and your family lots of Love and Laughter for the next 10 years and beyond.  I think if those who orchestrated and conducted the attacks 1o years ago had more true Love and Laughter and less Sadness, Confusion, and Anger, we might not be celebrating the anniversary of such a horrible day.  I wonder, though, if we as a nation, species, and world have truly woken up yet.

Author: | Filed under: marriage, new york city, parenting | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happy Mother’s Day – 2011
May 7 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope all the mothers out there have a pleasant day tomorrow – May 8, 2011 – with kids not whining doting on you, listening to everything you say, and smiling all day. :-)  If your kids are grown and if you’ve been a good mother, hopefully they’ll send you something or call you.  My kids are still young so I suspect they will give me something they made at school.  For one brief second I thought about writing a short Mother’s Day poem, but then I realized how late it was and changed my mind.  Being a mother has been the hardest, yet so far the most rewarding profession I’ve ever had.  I love my two little human start-ups (i.e., ventures) more than anything else in the world.  The mother-child relationship is the only relationship that starts with a human physically connected and constantly fed by another human.  I imagine I’ll always feel connected to them in some form even though the connection changes over time.  I hope I have as positive an affect on their lives as they have had on mine.

My neighbor shared some of her Mother’s Day roses with me today.  She said she had so many and she wanted to share some with me.  That was so very thoughtful and sweet of her, and I’m tearing up a bit writing about it now especially given the hard year we’ve gone through.  They are my favorite flowers: roses, which are shown in the photo accompanying this post.  I’m grateful for people like our neighbors who we’ve lived next to for over 10 years and who have been kind and supported all of us.  She’s a wonderful mother with 4 kids, and I think close to 10 grand kids now.  When she’s not working, she seems to be always doing something for her kids or grand kids.  Her husband is the wonderful guy who helped us plant our new trees, and he has also read my blog consistently since almost soon after I started writing on it over three years ago.  So I know he’ll see this post and hopefully tell her about it.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2011 to all.  Do your best to be great mothers every day and night (since it’s a 24×7 job) and hope your kids forgive you when you screw up as you will forgive them when they do…unless of course they forget mother’s day or your birthday!

Author: | Filed under: marriage, mom, mother, mother's day | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Mar 20 2011

This post went out accidentally via email yesterday before I had finished editing it.  I wanted to let it sit overnight and re-read it before publishing it.  Although I had reverted back to Draft in WordPress, Feedburner did not get the message and sent it out.  Fortunately, the edits are not major but were more for clarity. However, if you read it the first time, I suggest you read it again because those few changes will likely change your understanding of what I was trying to convey. I also took out some not so relevant sentences and added a couple links to the book on Amazon should you be interested in purchasing it.

My best friend of 23 years is an English professor.  We met during my first day in the dorm before starting my freshman year in college.  I was a business major who didn’t know much about English other than writing seemed to come easily for me even at a young age.  I can trace my interest in creative writing back to a 5th grade teacher I had the first year I moved to Lubbock, Texas.  I would make A’s and A+’s on my English papers in high school for creativity but practically fail grammar until my freshman year in college when grammar all of a sudden made sense to me.  Or maybe I should say I quit trying to make sense of grammar and accepted it for what it was. My best friend is a grammar guru and maybe the combination of taking freshman English and typing her papers for her, because I typed faster than she did, somehow helped me get the practice I needed to improve my grammar and punctuation.

Our professional worlds rarely collide, but when I’m facing a situation personally or professionally, she often has a reference to literature (sadly, my knowledge of great literature is not deep or wide given my business degrees) to help me try to make sense of what is happening.  Fiction is fiction but as a writer I have come to appreciate that really good fiction is based often times quite heavily on the author’s direct experience or observation of others.  A book that my friend suggested I read a while back when I was going through my personal family transition is called The Awakening by Kate Chopin (wikipedia) [The Awakening (Norton Critical Editions) – Amazon link], but she didn’t think it wise for me to read it while in the middle of my turmoil since the main character kills herself and she was concerned about me.  Not that I ever had suicidal tendencies, but it was probably wise I wait to read it because I’ve come to realize that the state of being one is in when they read certain words has a huge impact on how they receive and interpret those words.  So I read it this weekend.

The book was banished for decades after Kate Chopin wrote it in 1899 for it’s scandalous depiction of Edna, a married woman with two young boys, and her behavior.  I find it scandalous even today given her dramatic moves, an affair with not one but two men (one physical, one emotional), feeling no remorse, shame or guilt, and then killing herself when she can’t be with the man she loves thereby leaving behind two young children.  But it was back in the late 1800’s, when most women had no means to support themselves and they had to remain in situations they did not want to be in. The man also loves her but knows he can’t be with her because of the rules of their society and withdraws himself from her life. Since Edna is not able to pursue other opportunities or escape her current life, she resorts to killing herself (you’ll have to read the book to see how she does it) rather than live in a despondent world “without the vibrant colors of love.”

The main character, Edna, was 28 going on 29 when she began the awakening process.  I was 38 going on 39 when I started to realize I was waking up to a different perception of myself and the world around me.  I remember words I read in an email, I remember my response, I remember the place, the person, the drink, the conversation, the expression, a twinge that when placed together triggered a shift in my being that resulted in my songwriting, journaling, poem writing, emotion laden emails to co-workers, family and friends (i.e., gushes from my writer’s soul that had been behind an enormous dam for a long time).  I sought understanding through courses like Landmark (Transformation in Process and Who I Was Being Was Not Exactly Who I Am) and Search Within that both guided the participant to live an authentic life and not what Henry David Thoreau writes in Walden – “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”  That was a quote my best friend reminded me of this past weekend.  I couldn’t go to the grave with the song still in me, and I hope I don’t die (mostly for my children’s sake) before I release the songs based on my lyrics that I’ve been working on with my songwriting partner.  I also hope I don’t die before I find what some people call their soul mate so I can sing him my song, and he’ll understand it just as I will understand his song.

Here are some interesting quotes from the book written by an author who was 32 years old, widowed with 6 kids:

In short, Mrs. Pontellier [Edna] was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relation as an individual to the world within and about her.  This may seem like a ponderous weight of wisdom to descend upon the soul of a young woman of twenty-eight –perhaps more wisdom than the Holy Ghost is usually pleased to vouchsafe to any woman.” p. 17

She [Edna] is not one of us; she is not like us.  She might make the unfortunate blunder of taking you seriously.” [This was said by Edna’s friend to the man, known to Edna’s husband, who eventually became the object of her love.  Edna was not Creole but apparently it was common for young, unmarried men to cater to the needs of married women and flirt with them in that society.]

Edna began to feel like one who awakens gradually out of a dream, a delicious, grotesque, impossible dream, to feel again the realities pressing into her soul.” p. 41

He [the doctor] observed his hostess attentively from under his shaggy brows, and noted a subtle change which had transformed her from the listless woman he had known into a being who, for the moment, seemed palpitant with the forces of life.  Her speech was warm and energetic.  There was no repression in her glance or gesture.  She reminded him of some beautiful, sleek animal waking up in the sun.” p. 92

Yes,” she [Edna] said.  “The years that are gone seem like dreams — if one might go on sleeping and dreaming — but to wake up and find–oh! well! perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.” p. 147

Author: | Filed under: book review, books, marriage, music, parenting, poetry, singing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence
Dec 21 2010

I mentioned I had a post brewing in my head about this fortune cookie “statement” (i.e., not a fortune) in a prior post.  I actually did see a real fortune the other day that said something like “The love of your life is just around the corner,” but sadly I did not open that cookie, our office manager (who has been married almost 20 years) at work did, so maybe she is re-discovering the love of her life. :-)

Love is a strange emotion or thing or state of being.  It can be like a drug just like in the movie Love and Other Drugs I just saw.  It doesn’t often make sense.  People love Apple’s iPhone but if you did the practical analysis, the Google Android phone might be better.  In other words people’s imagination of the iPhone triumphs over hard data (i.e., intelligence).  Or there might even be a better phone option than that.  But people fall in love seemingly all of a sudden and sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why but some people like Steve Jobs seem to know how to push the buttons of a significant enough portion of the population and get them to fall in love with his ideas/products.  Selling to consumers is a tough job because we are fickle.  We can fall in and out of love (or is that “like”) of products pretty easily.   Probably because society doesn’t look kindly on us falling in and out of love with people, so we project that piece of our humanity onto objects.  No one will judge you or make you feel guilty for falling in and out of love with certain products.  I just came up with that piece of philosophy/wisdom so take it for what it’s worth!

Hugh McLeod (@gapingvoid) loves to cartoon about LOVE and I love the poignancy of his love cartoons.  Jeffrey Fry sent out a quote recently: “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” –Mother Teresa.

When people fall in love (infatuation), they certainly overlook the practical/potentially annoying things about something or someone (e.g., you have to keep re-booting the phone, but it looks pretty, it gives you good info on how to get places, and it gives you games to play or if it’s a person for some period of time you don’t see their flaws because he or she makes you feel special/noticed or it seems like they really see or understand you.).

The very few times I’ve fallen in romantic love in my life, I’ve been completely blind sided by it.  Knocked over like a ton of bricks.  Silly and stupid.  And on some occasions, I never even had a relationship with the guy – guess I’m just a romantic at heart and they somehow happened to connect with the combination of my mind/heart, which is very hard to do.  When I’ve fallen out of love, it seems to have happened over time and not suddenly after disappointment, disconnection, pain, and just the exhaustion that comes along with daily living.  I’m not trying to say I believe in ‘love at first site’ because I don’t, but that moment when you realize you love someone or ‘something’ seems to just happen without any warning.  One day you don’t have much feeling toward someone or you don’t know what you feel and the next you find you are in love with them.  Which has led me to the conclusion that we are not meant to love just one person (romantically) our entire lives.  I can see Jeffrey Fry reading this and thinking that I don’t know what true love is yet because he has studied it and apparently knows what it is.  He’s probably right, I don’t know.

There are people in ‘arranged marriages’ who grow to love each other and there are people who had ‘love marriages’ that didn’t work out.  It’s all that stuff that happens (and doesn’t happen) in between the years, the kids, the jobs, behind closed doors, etc. that I guess makes some marriages “work” and others don’t.  The same is true for business start-ups but currently the odds of a marriage making it to “death do us part” is higher (4o to 50%) than a small business making it 50 years (< 10%).  Plus, more people change their jobs and companies they work for now than they did 30+ years ago.  Go figure.

But the closest I’ve come to experiencing true love is the love I feel for my children, and yes the intensity of my love for them did surprise me at first.  And although they sometimes annoy the heck out of me (any parent who says their kids have not annoyed them at some point is a liar), I cannot even imagine a day where I would fall out of love with them.  I can see a day I may not like them sometimes, especially if they do something naughty or talk back to me, but I believe that I will always love them and do my best to support them.

I wonder if it’s harder to fall in or out of love?  That is the question.

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, Just For Fun, marketing, marriage | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Interesting Reads and Fortunes
Jun 13 2010

Here are a few interesting things that have hit my in box and show my penchant for Chinese food to read and think about:

Articles, Posts, & Cartoons

Why Change Is So Hard: Self-Control Is Exhaustible – Fast Company.

People won’t change because they’re too lazy. Well, I’m here to stick up for the lazy people. In fact, I want to argue that what looks like laziness is actually exhaustion. The proof comes from a psychology study that is absolutely fascinating.”

“This brings us back to the point I promised I’d make: That what looks like laziness is often exhaustion. Change wears people out—even well-intentioned people will simply run out of fuel.”

I found the short article interesting from a business and personal perspective.  Organizations and people can handle only so much change/stress that’s why it’s even more amazing to me when entrepreneurial endeavors make it because the speed and quantity of change that a start-up and the people involved experience is enormous.  Burn out happens often and frequently.  I’m a fairly high (and usually efficient) multi-tasker, but when I’m trying to process a lot of change and exerting a lot of self-control, it can feel exhausting which slows me down.  I also see how it affects people/entrepreneurs in the work environment.

Entrepreneurial Fog – A gapingvoid cartoon.  As an entrepreneur who has had a very interesting set of experiences in her life, many of Hugh’s cartoons resonate with me.  I did a couple of posts a while back on some of his cartoons called Love and Entrepreneurs Part 1 and Part 2.

“Army Generals talk about “The Fog of War.”  No matter how good your preparation is, it all means little once the actual fighting starts.

It seems to me that many things in life are foggy and one characteristic trait of entrepreneurs and great leaders is that they are comfortable with the fog…well maybe not comfortable with it but have the wherewithal not to let it completely overwhelm them like in some scary, horror flick.

Passing it On – A post by my favorite VC blogger, Fred Wilson about one of their firms junior investment professionals, Andrew, that is moving on after his two year stint, teaching their new professional Christina about “proceeds by class of stock.”  The teacher in me liked this post.  Although I’ve only officially taught a short time in my career (i.e., a handful of undergraduate classes in entrepreneurship), I’ve always liked to teach people things.  It must be in the blood because my grandfather and my mother were both professors at different times during their careers.  It’s always an amazing/rewarding moment when you see a student/employee/person ‘get’ something for the first time or you see them applying skills they may or may not have realized they learned from the class.  I sometimes hear from my former students via facebook and it’s really hard to explain the feeling you get when they mention how things they learned are still helping them today.  I really did want to comment on that post, but I think I’ll have to refer back to the ‘laziness/exhaustion’ article I mention above…when I finally had a few minutes, I felt the time to comment had passed.

Fortunes

A while back I did a series of posts based on fortunes from fortune cookies I had received and one post almost resulted in me being mentioned in a New York Times article.  As I was searching for the  links to my previous posts on the topic, I discovered one I did on November 2, 2008 called Business Is Like War; Easy To Begin But Hard To Stop where the fortune actually said “Love is like war; easy to begin but hard to stop.” I compared Love and Business in an actual table format!  How…how…business like of me.  The end result was most businesses and marriages fail (as people tend to define failure – something ceasing to exist) in some form or fashion.  This is when I sometimes look back on what I’ve written and realize I forget that I actually wrote it.  Those words seem to describe the disillusionment I was entering into or maybe it was the illusion I was waking up from at the time and that was over a year and a half ago.  Weird.  Anyway, here are some fortunes I or others have recently had the fortune of receiving.  Like some others, I think that the fortune cookie industry has run out of fortunes and has decided to move into giving mere random statements:

You are a fun-loving person and will find much happiness.

Life is like playing the violin in the public and learning the instrument as one goes on.

Love is the greatest gift of all.

You will be showered with good luck.

Be careful or your true idiocy will shine through. (I’m half joking on this one because someone I was sitting next to got something similar to this, but I can’t remember the exact words but the gist was the same.)

Chocolate covered raisins cure all ailments! (Yes, I made that one up because I’m about go eat some)

I’ll blame it on the entrepreneurial fog and change exhaustion as to why I’m not interested in doing full posts where I create compare/contrast tables on any of the aforementioned fortunes. :-)

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Streets of Barcelona
Jun 6 2010

Pigeons in BarcelonaI just got back from Barcelona, Spain, and I don’t recall another time in my life where I’ve had the time to sit, think, write and let the words come without having some daily routine distraction.  I was in Barcelona visiting my cousin, Ashan Pillai (a true Outlier) on my way back from a business trip to Portugal.  After getting all the gifts for my kids (couldn’t forget the Spanish team soccer/futbal outfit), I sat in a plaza near the famous Ramblas shopping area in Barcelona with a notebook, listened to the people, listened to the street noises & pigeons, and waited for the words to appear.  I had a lofty goal of writing 7 song lyrics.  I should have gone with the goal of 3 that Brett Wintermeyer, our courier at work and also band member of The Sophisticates suggested, but I have an ‘eyes bigger than stomach’ tendency.  I wrote 3 lyrics and started 2 others.  I wrote 5 poems and started 2 others.  Many more started and swirled around my head but never made it to paper or computer.  I still have no idea if my lyrics are any good as I haven’t yet put them to actual music.

The thing with poetry that I’ve discovered over the past year or so is that sometimes its meaning is different between the writer and the reader.  Who or what the poem is about becomes about the readers personal experience or interpretation of the words.  As a writer I know that I often write things that have double meanings which are both true but the degree to which one is truer can only be fully known by the writer and possibly specific readers close to the writer.

The meaning can also slightly change depending on how it’s read out loud…the rhythm of the reading can affect someone in ways unknown.  If you are a poet, this is probably not news to you. I suppose that’s the point…if it can touch someone even if it’s different than intended then it would have served its purpose.  I wonder how many poems/lyrics go unread by others because there are so many writers out there who write for themselves as they struggle with their humanity.  I suppose the really famous writers have their poems discovered after their death and people are left to interpret them best they can, but for us mostly unknown writers they probably disappear into oblivion.

I have never shared my poetry on this blog…well not the serious ones anyway but after being inspired by Shaku letting me post her Icarus In Flight poem on my blog, I thought I’d share just one.  On a side note, in addition to me knowing Shaku through a non-profit organization, she also worked for an Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) company called Webify that was bought by IBM.  It’s a small world considering I work for ATI now.

I wrote the following poem in my cousin’s neighborhood (the day before I went to the Ramblas) after hearing a song in a video my aunt was playing for me that evoked many juxtaposing emotions that compelled me to escape outside.  Fortunately, the weather is gorgeous in Barcelona this time of year.   This poem is a mixture of recent stories…a little bit of mine, a little bit of his, a little bit of people who changed our lives.  He is in the middle (or shall I say the beginning) of an experience no new father should ever have to go through.  So without further ado…

Streets of Barcelona

On the streets of Barcelona
I wander with ancient tears in my eyes
Thinking of you and nights all alone
At Last the song with many sighs

A translucent marriage to a soul
Recently departed to a sully sea foam world
Because one could not wait to grow old
Afraid to take comfort in touches never know’d

The blustery city noises and a pigeon’s soft coo
Might wash out the pain of consequence ridden choices
And obliterate irrelevant, life altering feelings taken by you
While holes you exposed must be filled with clear voices

True sadness eludes me because fear
Overrules the quixotic, addictive emotion of love
But steely sharpness of knowledge shall bring forth to bear
Wavering courage to continue onward from Above

© May 30, 2010 Aruni S. Gunasegaram

Author: | Filed under: father, marriage, parenting, poetry, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

About Pain
Mar 19 2010

Some of you may have been wondering why I took such an extended blogging break and why I’ve been so spotty in the times between posting.  I thought quite some time about posting this, but then I thought I might never reach my potential as a writer or even as a human being if I don’t throw caution to the wind and risk offending or for that matter validating/pleasing others.   Plus I thought that if it helps one person or helps someone think differently even if just for a nanosecond, then it would have been worth it.  Some of you may recall I wrote About Laughter, About Sleep, About Writing and About Car Paint.  This post is About Pain.

There’s physical pain and then there’s emotional, mental, and spiritual pain.  Most of us have experienced all different kinds in life.  The worst physical pain in my life came as a result of breastfeeding my son over 7 1/2 years ago now.  I developed an infection that hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep and if I was able to nod off, I would wake up with tears in my eyes.  I remember thinking “I want to die right now, but I can’t because I must feed my baby.”  I was determined to breastfeed him no matter how many people said I should give up.  I have never wished to die before or since.  I have wished to be waited on hand & foot while laying in a hammock on a beach drinking a pina colada and having my feet massaged, so if that’s what happens after death, I’m all in!  Thankfully the maternal instinct is so strong, and we live in a day & age where antibiotics are available that in a few excruciating weeks the pain was gone. But I still occasionally have memory pain that has diminished over time.

But emotional, mental, and spiritual pain seems to last much longer (unless you have chronic physical pain which probably exacerbates the emotional kind as well).  And unfortunately, a week of antibiotics doesn’t cure this kind of pain.  This kind of pain can start from childhood and stick with you…flaring up at various times in your life when things trigger your deep seated fears and emotional memories.  There’s a theory that you are often attracted to people that have some of the same traits as people in your family did growing up because it’s a known/comfortable pattern.  The theory continues that down deep, you want to resolve some of the pain that you as a child were never able to resolve, see your parents resolve, or resolve with your parents.  This theory is outlined in a book called Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage (Amazon Link), and I read it before I got married, but I didn’t really get it until now because I didn’t know what those patterns were until I was immersed in it as an adult and mother.

What happens when someone in a marriage (with kids) finally realizes that the pattern is not resolvable or they don’t know how to, don’t want to, or can’t resolve it?  They suffer or get divorced and the pain is horrid.  Especially the pain you feel for the kids as you imagine the pain they might feel.  I lived through a divorce myself as a child and was often caught in the middle of a lot of bitterness and anger, and I have relived that pain for my kids even though it’s a completely different situation and their dad is a very good, involved father.

What’s even harder is when you are both good people that happened to have a lot of unexpected crap happen throughout the marriage.  You wonder what is wrong with you.  When in most cases, there is really nothing wrong with you, but you look back and realize that neither of you knew how to nurture a marriage or you didn’t see or understand the signs that should have been big clues that something huge needed to fundamentally change in each of you.  It’s like you both have blinders on until suddenly one of you takes them off and doesn’t like what they see, don’t see, feel, or don’t feel.  Marriage, like life, does not come with an instruction manual and even if it did everyone is so different it would be hard to apply to your unique marriage and you would think you could wing it or that it didn’t apply to you.  There are more instructions around a divorce which requires a signed agreement between the two of you outlining your responsibilities than there is before a marriage.

So, yes I just got divorced after what was probably close to a year of being separated mentally, if not physically.  This past year is somewhat of a blur.  It’s the hardest emotional, mental, and spiritual pain I’ve ever experienced and unfortunately there are no legal drugs I can take to make the pain disappear in a few weeks.  Despite the fact that 50%-60% of marriages end up in divorce, it is the 2nd most stress inducing event anyone can experience behind death of a loved one.  And it doesn’t really matter if you are the one leaving, the one being left, or it’s mutual.  Mix divorce with unusual work dynamics, kids, and other personal issues and you have a recipe for a potential breakdown.  Fortunately, I am very lucky/blessed to have wonderful friends, co-workers, family friends, and family who have supported me and let me cry on the phone, on email (yes, it’s possible to cry on email) or in front of them and repeatedly (until I’m sure they were sick of it) told me that everything will be OK.  They let me say and write stupid (although sometimes funny) things and were kind anyway.  I have never felt so out of control in my life!  I mean I’ve gone months without reconciling my check book, was late on a couple of house payments, and my house (although overall neat) more disorganized than I’d like.  Plus a whole shit load of other emotional stuff.

I’m still a ways away from being back to normal whatever that is, but we both love the kids immensely and right now we can’t foresee not being friends and friendly for their sakes.  From my perspective, we both still respect each other and as hard as this has been, we’ve both taken the high road because that’s the kind of people we are, and we know it’s best for the kids.  A child counselor told us it was obvious we loved the kids and they loved us.  She also said that they got along so well with each other, were exhibiting normal behavior for going through what they were going through, and seemed happy despite what they were experiencing which of course took off about 80% of my maternal guilt.   I did a post back in September 2009, called Double The Trouble, Double The Fun which stemmed from me feeling glad they had each other during this hard time their parents were going through.  I felt that I/we had done at least one thing right by giving them the gift of each other to weather storms that life will inevitably bring them.

So now you know why I had such a long break from writing on the blog.  My personal life started to bleed into the blog, and I needed to get a handle on things for a little while.  I think back to that Entrepreneurial Ledge where I stood almost a year and a half ago.  When your sleeping heart wakes up suddenly, it’s a very disorientating, scary feeling.  It’s like gasping for air while at the same time trying to soak in all the colors, beauty, sounds, smells, shapes, feelings that you have not noticed/felt for years.  You start falling in love with life again and it seems that pain is a part of love.  You unknowingly/desperately reach out to people, anyone kind nearby to help ease this searing pain. In the case of some friends and family, they are there for you in ways you never imagined.  In the case of others, they can’t or don’t know how to be there like you want/need them to be and it exacerbates and magnifies the pain.  You start to realize that you are really reaching out to your lost self and the only one who can save you from drowning is YOU.  Then you start the process of excruciatingly, slowly mending a broken heart and falling in love with yourself…and you wonder why and when you fell out of love in the first place.

Thank you for reading.

About the photo:  The photo above is of a piece of art that my cousin, who goes by the pseudonym of Isaac Falconer, made for me when I told her I was getting a divorce.  I didn’t get to see her that often growing up.  She is a unique, vibrant, passionate individual.  She has followed her own path and seems to have found happiness in doing so as well as people who appreciate and buy her art!  She has even exhibited in Italy.  The piece is called No Pleasure Garden (c) 2009 and it’s made of Chantilly lace from Italy with hand made hypo allergenic orchids affixed to two locations on the huge piece of lace.  In her words, “It’s meant to be placed across the bottom of your bed as a reminder to you of YOUR personal glory – which has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with your life-mate or your kids or your professional work.“  It looks so lovely at the bottom of my bed and makes me smile when I enter the room.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, breastfeeding, father, marriage, mother, parenting | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments »

7 Years of Marriage
Mar 31 2008

7anniversary-aruni-erin.jpg 

Today is our 7 year wedding anniversary.  It’s been 7 years full of great memories, can’t-stand-you tender moments, tears, laughs, sleep deprivation, two wonderful kids, career changes, life changes, great travels, fights, hugs, great conversation, and love.

Happy Anniversary dear hubby!  Here’s to 7 more years of good luck, interesting adventures, good health, surviving parenthood, and happiness as we travel this journey of life together! :-D

Author: | Filed under: Just For Fun, marriage | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Do You Need A Wife?
Aug 13 2007

A friend sent me a link to this article: Wedded to Work, and in Dire Need of a Wife in the New York Times by Shira Boss.  My husband is great and does a lot of things to help with the kids and the house, but I’m still the one making sure the parties get planned, the thank you notes get sent, the gifts are bought for other kids parties, schedule the kid’s doctor’s appointments, etc.  Mostly because my schedule is more flexible.  I have to say I do love planning their parties though.  Our son just had his 5th birthday party (I’ll blog about it later) and it was so much fun! :-)

Now that women have solidly earned their place in the work force, many find themselves still yearning for something men often have: wives.

“The thing I most want in life is a wife. I’m not kidding,” said Joyce Lustbader, a research scientist at Columbia University, who has been married for 29 years. “I work all day, sometimes seven days a week, and still have to go home and make dinner and have all those things to do around the house.”

It is not just the extra shift at home that is a common complaint. Working women, whether married or single, also see their lack of devoted spousal support as an impediment to getting ahead in their careers, especially when they are competing against men who have wives behind them, whether those wives are working or staying at home. And research supports their argument: it appears that marriage, at least marriage with children, bolsters a man’s career but hinders a woman’s.

One specialist in women’s studies dismissed wife envy as something women “are usually joking about” and another called it “a need for a second set of hands, regardless of gender.” But therapists who work with couples on equality issues say it is no joke.

“I hear it all the time,” said Robin Stern, a psychotherapist in Manhattan and author of “The Gaslight Effect.” “It’s a real concern. Things that used to be routinely taken care of during the week are not anymore.”

With two-income families now the norm, and both men and women working a record-breaking number of hours, the question has become how to accomplish what used to be a wife’s job, even as old-fashioned standards of household management and entertaining have been relaxed. Many men are sharing the work of chores and child care with their wives, and some do it all as single parents, but women still generally shoulder a greater burden of household business (or fretting over how to do what is not getting done). 

According to 2006 survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five men engages in some kind of housework on an average day, while more than half of women do.

more…

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, Just For Fun, marriage, stay at home dad, working father, working mother | 2 Comments »

Multi-tasking men, women arriving at the same place
Jun 13 2007

According to an editorial written in the Austin American Statesman on June 12, 2007 called Multi-tasking men, women arriving at the same place, “The roles that American men and women assume have been seriously battered the past few decades, enough that men and women are beginning to resemble one another. In attitudes anyway.”  It goes on further to say: “A recent compilation of the research, interviews and studies about gender roles found men and women growing more alike in their views, especially about parenting. Long gone are the days when males did the work, brought home the paycheck and had little to do with the children. Just as gone are the days when women stayed home with the kids, cooked and cleaned. ”

I have certainly seen the increased involvement from fathers in child rearing within my peer group, but I wouldn’t say those days are “long gone” because I know several moms who do pretty much all the (non-paid) work at home whose husbands do all the (paid) work outside the home.

I believe we are in the midst of an interesting shift in American/Western society.

Author: | Filed under: dad, father, marriage, mom, mother | 1 Comment »

DadLabs – Building Better Dads
Apr 19 2007

While doing research for Babble Soft, I came across a company called Dad Labs.  When I found out they were also located in
Austin, Texas (Hook ‘Em!), I had to meet them!  So I contacted them and we had a laid back, friendly meeting in their (way down south) office/warehouse/recording studio a few weeks ago.  Daddy Clay was nice enough to write a chuckle-provoking review of Baby Manager on his blog.

Troy Lanier, Clay Nichols and Brad Powell (the 3 dad-keteers) represent the ‘new’ dad: unashamed of participating whole heartedly in the lives of their children.  What a great concept!  An involved, hands-on dad usually means a happier, less stressed-out mom which usually means happier kids.  I think Socrates (or was it Plato) came up with that logic:  if A, then B, which ultimately results in C…just a guess.  I wonder if either of those philosophers had kids?  Hmmm.  Maybe the dads at dadlabs will help enlighten other dads out there who just don’t seem to ‘get it’ yet. :-)  Fortunately, I happen to be married to one of the enlightened ones…

Check out Clay’s interesting and sometimes awkward interview of the co-authors of Babyproofing Your Marriage.  Also check out the dads’ nationally (at least regionally) acclaimed DVD: Due Dads – The Man’s Guide to Labor and Delivery.  Yay Dads!

Author: | Filed under: baby manager, marriage, parenting, technology | Comments Off

Baby Proofing Your Marriage
Apr 15 2007

Baby Proofing Your MarriageI just finished reading a new book called Baby Proofing your Marriage. I also recently met one of the authors, Stacie Cockrell.  She is a fellow MBA grad from The University of Texas at Austin and happens to be married to a venture capitalist that interestingly my husband and I had met briefly almost 10 years ago!  What a small world…or at least small town (Austin, TX).

This is a really great book! Funny, entertaining, and quick/easy to read.  It’s been a top seller at Amazon.com soon after its release in January 2007.

Several of the situations described in the book brought back memories of when my husband and I had some of the same “heated discussions” when our kids were babies. I’m now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I think this book is a must-read for those still in the “trenches.”

The men will particularly appreciate Chapter 4, The “Sex Life” of New Parents: Coitus Non-Existus.

So if you are in Baby World or know anyone who is, this book will provide something interesting to talk about … and could save at least one trip to the marriage counselor. :-)

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