Tag Archives: women

Thought for the Day

I don’t make it a habit of sharing biblical references, but I read this one in a blog comment this morning (thanks to Steve Woodruff) and I had to share it. I found it spoke to me after closing out what was truly the hardest year of my life.

“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

You bet.

40 Lessons I’ve Learned in 40 Years

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday (as much as I kept hoping it wouldn’t happen). It’s impossible to not see 40 as a milestone – there’s so much stigma associated around that number, especially for women. Just look up “After 40” in the Books section on Amazon.com and you’ll find a plethora of titles geared toward what we can, can’t, shouldn’t or should be doing, wearing, thinking – all after hitting the big 4-0.

I’ll admit I got a little grouchy about it. But after it happened, I didn’t feel any worse – and in fact, felt oddly that this milestone is really one that kicks you in the ass to look around your life and decide if you’re happy with it – and if you’re not, why not and just what the hell are you going to do about it? It has also pushed me to look back and think about what I’ve learned, what I’ve applied from those lessons and what I still need to push myself to do, try, apply, accomplish, or otherwise still explore. Here are 40 things I now know – whether or not I’m applying them (yet).

1) There is never a “right time” for a lot of things: having babies, getting married, starting  your own business. No one can tell you the right time – you just have to trust your gut.

2) People have a lot of opinions – you can listen to them but you can’t live by them or you’ll go insane.

3) It’s okay to say no. (In fact, I should say no more often.)

4) I say “I’m sorry” way too much.

5) No one can prepare you for what it feels like to be a parent and how it will infinitely and constantly change and challenge you.

6) Your childhood experiences stay with you forever – whether you want them to or not. (Remember this often if you are a parent.)

7) There can never be too much: fun, laughter, friendship, food. There can be too much: sun, wine, tears, pressure.

8) Women need to support each other more.

9) Forgiveness is a powerful thing.

10) Sometimes the hardest thing to do is let go.

11) There’s never enough time in the day. So learn to manage it better. (I suck at this.)

12) Listen to what your kids say – they have a lot to teach you.

13) Regret is a wasted emotion.

14) For me, true and trusted friends are rare and should be treated with the greatest of appreciation and care and never, ever taken for granted.

15) Truly knowing yourself is one of the greatest things in life.

16) There’s no possible way everyone will like you. And that’s okay.

17) I do not want to discuss religion or politics at any dinner party, ever.

18) Sometimes you need to be selfish.

19) Some people are too selfish. Recognize them and decide if you can accept them the way they are or not – move forward accordingly with them in your life – or not.

20) Music is good for the soul. So is good wine, food and love.

21) Life really is short.

22) You can’t be honest with anyone else if you’re not honest with yourself first.

23) Saving for a rainy day is well and good, but so is having a little fun today.

24) Spend time often with your spouse alone – no matter how much you love your children and think no one on the planet is good enough to babysit.

25) Vacations don’t have to be extravagant. Take a day off, go shopping, have wine with lunch, get a massage, watch a movie – whatever gives you a reprieve from your normal routine and daily stress.

26) You can never say “I love you” too much.

27) Inspiration can be found in unexpected places. (I’m always looking for it in church or conferences and I need to give that up.)

28) My religion is not your religion. And that’s okay. We can share this world – even like each other – anyway.

29) Monsters exist.

30) So do miracles.

31) It’s okay not to get credit – do it anyway.

32) Some things can’t be fixed.

33) The most uncomfortable things are probably the things I need to work on the most.

34) I haven’t been dancing enough.

35) Caring what others think is exhausting.

36) It’s not hard to show someone how much you love them every day.

37) Be careful of your judgmental self. “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

38) I suck at card games.

39) I believe playing hard is just as important, if not more important, than working hard.

40) I still have a lot to learn.

Speaking of the Boston Marathon – @NYTimes ponders a gender war & if the ladies need to run faster…. ladies?

When do we stop increasing qualifying times – I mean, really, how far can they go? And the world expects athletes to not use performance-enhancing drugs. Twisted, if you ask me.

Amplify’d from www.wallstreetjournal.com

It’s Time for Women to Run Faster

Boston’s Crowded Marathon Prompts a Gender War; Why Females Get an Extra 30 Minutes

By KEVIN HELLIKER And DAVID BIDERMAN

If you’re interested in running next year’s Boston Marathon, you’d better get set.

Race officials say the marathon’s 21,000 prized slots, which used to take six months to distribute, could be filled in a matter of days after registration opens on Monday. In fact, every spot could be taken before the ING New York City Marathon—the nation’s largest—takes place on Nov. 7. If that happens, New York’s race would effectively be eliminated for the first time as a qualifier for next year’s Boston.

The record demand for Boston slots has much to do with the exploding popularity of marathons in the U.S.: The 10% growth in participation last year was the largest spurt in 25 years. The number of runners who qualify for Boston now far exceeds the available places (excluding about 5,000 spots reserved for charity runners).

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But there’s another possible reason for the surging demand—one that has the potential to kick up a fair amount of controversy. It’s the notion that the qualifying standards for women are too soft.

By all accounts, the running boom is being fueled by women more than men. Women made up 42% of finishers in the 2010 Boston race—a proportion that is higher than the percentage of all U.S. marathoners who are women. But according to gender rules instituted in 1977, the marathon times women need to post to qualify for Boston are 30 minutes slower than the times the men in the same age group have to run. The problem: There’s no evidence that women really need that much extra time.

Runners cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at the start of last year’s New York Marathon.

The typical gap in major 2009 marathons between the world’s elite male and female runners was closer to 20 minutes than 30—and has been shrinking over time. For less-than-elite runners, these gaps have created some questionable benchmarks. To qualify for Boston, for instance, a man aged 50 to 54 has to have posted a time of 3:35 or better. But that time is five minutes faster than the time required for women 34 and younger. In a nutshell, to make Boston, a 54-year old man has to run faster than the nation’s youngest and fastest women.

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Some running experts say that one way to reduce excess demand for Boston slots would be to stop treating women like the gentler sex. When the 30-minute qualifying gap was implemented in 1977, “the mentality was, ‘frailty, thy name is woman,’ ” said Tom Derderian, a Boston-area running coach and author of a history on the Boston Marathon. “People don’t realize many women today run faster than the men who won the Boston Marathon in the past.”

Compare the Boston, New York and Chicago marathons. See elevation profiles, last year’s fastest times, recent race-day temperatures and other details.

“The women’s times should probably be tougher,” said Maria Simone, a 36-year-old New Jersey professor who has qualified for Boston. Last November, Ms. Simone and her husband, John Jenkins, who is also 36, ran the Philadelphia Marathon in pursuit of a Boston qualifying time. He finished in 3:25, 13 minutes ahead of her. But she qualified for Boston with seven minutes to spare while he remains 10 minutes short of the 3:15 that he needed to qualify. “The strange thing is, I used to be faster than him,” Ms. Simone said.

Guy Morse, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which oversees the marathon, called grading for gender “an inexact science.” He said no tightening of standards is imminent for either men or women. Mr. Morse added that the marathon’s legendary course is too narrow to accommodate any expansion of the field. “Exclusivity is part of the allure,” he said.

The 30-minute head start for women was enacted only five years after the event began allowing women to register and fully seven years before the Olympic Games introduced a women’s marathon.

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Narrowing the gender gap would align Boston more nearly with its counterpart in the world of ultramarathon racing, the Western States 100—a 100-mile race whose slots are highly coveted by men and women alike. Qualifying requirements for the Western States have always been identical for men and women, says a historian of that race, Antonio Rossmann.

A veteran himself of the Boston Marathon, Mr. Rossmann said the women’s qualifying times for Boston “are much softer than empiricism should suggest.” Mr. Rossmann said he believes Boston officials have kept the wide gap as a way of compensating for all the earlier years of “keeping women out of the race.”

Teyba Erkesso winning the women’s division of this year’s Boston Marathon.

With physiological advantages such as larger hearts and greater lung capacity, men will probably always run faster than women. But elite women aren’t that far behind. The women’s world marathon record 40 years ago stood about 54 minutes behind the male record; today it’s only about 11 minutes slower.

The female winner at last Sunday’s Chicago Marathon crossed the finish line about 14 minutes after the male winner. At the nation’s five largest marathons—all certified as Boston Marathon qualifying races—the gender differential among top runners in 2009 stood closer to 20 minutes than 30.

Running USA, a research center based in Colorado, has collected raw data from nearly 500 marathons across the country that show a median gender difference of about 28 minutes in finishing times. But similar data also show that while men tend to finish in a long line from fastest to slowest, women divide into two distinct groups—one that’s fast and another that’s considerably slower.

Running experts say the second grouping, which tends to move as a pack, drags down the median finishing times for all women. “Women are social and tend to tackle new goals with a close friend or group of girlfriends more often than men,” says a report on the Running USA website.

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If Boston raised its qualifying standards, it’s possible that more women would fail to qualify. But many others would likely pick up the pace. At a marathon in Oregon in May, Julie Fingar of Sacramento, Calif., a pro runner who works as a pacesetter, led several hundred runners, mostly women, at a pace designed to finish just under 3:40, the Boston qualifying time for women 34 and under. “If they tightened the standards, I think most of those women would just run faster,” she said.

In any event, runners who’ve already qualified and who hope to register for next spring’s Boston marathon won’t be taking any chances on Monday.

“Everybody’s worried that it might fill up the first day,” said Boston veteran Jennifer Lashua of San Francisco.

Write to Kevin Helliker at kevin.helliker@wsj.com and David Biderman at David.Biderman@wsj.com

Read more at www.wallstreetjournal.com

 

The downside of multitasking – it fuels forgetting. An important piece on Alzheimer’s by @USAToday #health

Alzheimer’s runs in the women in my family – so I took special interest in this piece. With a busy life that practically defines the “many reasons for memory lapses: aging, stress, lack of sleep, distraction, inattention …” I am going to take some of these tips (click through to read them) to heart.

Please click through at the bottom to read the entire article. With

Amplify’d from www.usatoday.com
Memory lapse or Alzheimer’s? Multi-tasking fuels forgetting
SAN DIEGO — Those twinges of forgetfulness that appear to be getting more pronounced may worry you. After all, the statistics are scary: Every 70 seconds, someone in the USA develops Alzheimer’s. But every lapse isn’t a signal that your memory is kaput.

Cheryl Edwards-Cannon, 57, says she relies on Post-it notes and spiral notebooks to help her remember, since she’s multitasking “the majority of the time.”

There are many reasons for memory lapses: aging, stress, lack of sleep, distraction, inattention and disease. There’s a lot coming at us, and sometimes we may feel like we’re on information overload.

“Distraction may be just a very important factor that goes hand-in-hand with multitasking,” says Suparna Rajaram, a psychology professor at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y.

Whether new information sticks is “very dependent” on how much you focus, she says.

“Even if you’re distracted when remembering, you may be all right, but if you’re distracted when learning, you pay for it,” she says.

Rajaram is among researchers presenting new findings on memory at the American Psychological Association‘s annual meeting, which opens today in San Diego. About 14,000 psychology professionals are expected to attend the four days of presentations.

“People are trying to multitask more than they used to, but they don’t have to keep as many things in memory as they used to, because they have electronic devices that do that,” says psychology professor Nelson Cowan of the University of Missouri-Columbia. “Overall, I’m not sure whether this is training our brains or letting them go lax.”

Rajaram adds that people vary in memory capacity; some are just more forgetful. “Forgetfulness is not just being poor at remembering; it also occurs because as we gain experience in life and get older, we have more to remember,” she says.

Read more at www.usatoday.com

 

Notable females, take note. Lucky winner receives $25k in investment. via @TechCrunch #women #entrepreneurs #vc

Very excited to read about this – I love seeing wicked smart women supporting other wicked smart women. Hence my “wicked smart women” Twitter list 🙂 Click through to the story for full details

Amplify’d from techcrunch.com

i/o ventures has partnered up with notable females Arianna Huffington, Donna Karan and Sarah Brown to put together the first Women In Engineering Prize, and will be announcing the winner at the first WIE Symposium on September 20th.

The deadline for hopeful female founders to apply is Sept 10th, and the lucky and hard working winner will receive 25k in investment, become part of the i/o program, get free office space for a month as well as a trip to New York to attend the conference.

Female entrepreneurs should also consider this an open call to go mentor at i/o. Aspiring WIE Prize winners can apply here.

Read more at techcrunch.com

 

I was touched by this story in @marieclaire this month. Read, then go hug your family. #women #domesticviolence

Not your typical domestic violence story. Women around the world deserve to be independent, happy and safe. How can you change a culture with such deep-rooted beliefs that involve killing your own children if need be?

How is being a murderer more honorable than an “Americanized” daughter?

Amplify’d from www.marieclaire.com
Noor Almaleki t

An American Honor Killing

In a quiet suburban parking lot outside of Phoenix, a father floors the gas on his Jeep Grand Cherokee and heads straight for his 20-year-old daughter. His goal: to protect his family’s “honor.” Yes, honor crimes have washed up on our shores.

noor almaleki

A photo of Noor Almaleki taken by a friend.

On a cloudless, breezy afternoon in late October 2009, her father set out to end those dreams. As Noor walked across a suburban parking lot to a Mexican restaurant with a friend — a 43-year-old woman named Amal Khalaf — Faleh Almaleki gunned the engine of his Jeep Grand Cherokee and bore down on his 20-year-old daughter and her companion. The women took off running but were no match for the SUV, already traveling close to 30 miles per hour. Suddenly Amal turned, held up her hands in a futile attempt to stop the Jeep, and froze. Moments later, the vehicle struck the women, tossing them into the air. Amal hit the pavement; Noor landed on a raised median, in a patch of pebbly landscaping. Faleh wasn’t done, though. Swerving onto the median, he ran over his daughter as she lay bleeding, fracturing her face and spine. Then, he reversed and sped away.

Read more at www.marieclaire.com