Thursday, September 18, 2014

What I think about the NFL right now.

Hi, gang -- I've taken a week off to think.
First, let me be honest.  I don't really watch football. I've always thought it was more fun to watch with other people and frankly -- as a single 50-something -- if I'm going to be with other people, I want to do something more fun -- like talk to them.

But because of all the NFL player relationship revelations over the past weeks, I've spent a lot of time thinking about it.  Of course, I'm shocked and appalled that grown men are wielding their considerable strength against people they should love and protect.  And it sickens me to watch it, to see the photos, to hear more and more of it coming out.

Adrian Peterson says that he is not a child abuser, but the photos of his son with switch marks covering his legs tell a different story.  You can see them here:  And supposedly Peterson has a history of child abuse with a previous case.

This is totally unacceptable.

Heroes need to be heroes.  Good men everywhere need to condemn this activity. Good companies need to quit advertising.

My dilemma has been about the role of a boss in this stuff. Obviously, if one of my employees  admitted to abusing a child, I'd fire their ass.  It is part of our mission, thus I cannot have an employee doing exactly what we are trying to eradicate. But, is a hitting a child with a switch or hitting your girlfriend in an elevator (with no legal conviction, yet) affecting that person's job performance?

I put this question to a room full of smart, smart people yesterday -- the board members of Community Partners of Dallas.  And their answer?  A resounding YES.  The men and women in our board room talked about character, heroism, morality.  We talked about advertisers leaving the NFL and about politics.  About rushing to judgement and about women standing up and leaving football because they are not going to support an organization that makes these men into role models. And about how pro-business conservatives need to feel the same way because what is more pro-business than letting employers fire who they want.

And don't get me started on why the NFL is a non-profit organization.  It's time for that nonsense to end too.

It's not an issue that seems to be going away anytime soon. I'm glad we're all talking about it because evil cannot live in the light.

Let's bring in the sun and stop it for good.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

6 People I Like

I agreed to give a speech next week about a topic with which I'm not familiar (don't ask), so even though I've known about this speech for more than a year, I'm on a deadline to write it NOW.

So, a quick list of people I like, in no particular order:
  1. Mo'Ne Davis
  2. Jenna Bush Hager
  3. The Kardashians (and Lord Disick)
  4. Mike Rawlings
  5. Brene Brown
And YOU.

Thanks for reading and prayers for the speechwriting, please -- Paige

P.S.  Gotta add Joan Rivers.  RIP.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm letting my breath out.

This is the time of year where all of us at Community Partners of Dallas breathe a sigh of relief.

And no, it's not because our bi-annual board retreat was held last night (although that is a load off my mind as well).  The board retreat was great!

NOTE:  Who knew one of our board member's first job was making pinatas and another made cold calls to people to sell burial plots?  Love our board!

We are relieved that kids are back in school, because for most abused and neglected kids being in school is safer than being at home.

When kids are in school a teacher is watching over them.  She sees that Nathan is limping a little.  That Jessica's clothes are dirty.  That Cruz is spending a lot of time acting out sexually.

And that teacher, nurse, counselor, principal will call in a report to CPS.  That's why I'm letting my breath out.

NOTE:  You can call in a report of child abuse in Texas 24 hours a day to 1-800-252-5400.  You are required by law to do so -- even if you just suspect it.

Thank you to the hundreds of you who donated to our Back-to-School Drive at CPD -- because of you, more than 2,600 children in Dallas County received the supplies and uniforms to go back to school and feel safe.  We're still receiving supplies -- I see the Wisteria Catalog truck pulling up now -- so keep dropping off supplies at The Container Store until August 31st and at our offices at 1215 Skiles Street in September. 

We'll keep receiving them as long as you'll keep giving.  The kids are relying on it.

And I like breathing easier too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Al Turns 60 Today

It's my friend Al Roker's birthday today and he's turned the big 6-0.

I love Al.  I've been watching The Today Show for 25 years or so and Al has always been my favorite.  I love him fat, thin, weather-man-ing, shooting the breeze-ing, in a suit or in a Halloween costume.

Here's our pic with Tamron Hall:

NOTE:  I will never be lured away from CPD by one of the tech giants due to my photo shopping skills.  Giada De Laurentiis had to move over to let me be in the shot.  Sorry, kid.

Anyway, whether or not you watch The Today Show, I know that you will like Al's list of "Six Lessons for Six Decades" from this morning.

Family comes first“The thing that's got to be most important to you has got to be your family. And whatever you do, that's got to be your guiding principle. (It’s important) they know that I love them, that they matter the most to me, above all else, and that, even if I'm not there, they are still present and I am still present.”

Health matters“When it comes to your health, you — and especially guys — I think we put that on the back burner. You wouldn’t reschedule your kids’ pediatrician appointment; why would you cheat yourself on that workout?”

Find a rewarding hobby“I think you need to have something that relaxes you and takes you away from what you normally do. I like providing meals for my family. ... To physically make something and put it on a plate and here you go, is nice.”

Learn to laugh at yourself “If you can’t laugh at yourself, trust me, there are plenty of people who will. I don’t think anyone is ever going to look and say, ‘Hey look, Denzel Washington! Did he shave his head?’ That’s not going to happen. And I’m comfortable with that. I think that's a much better place to be than saying, ‘Aren’t I fantastic?’”

You don’t have to retire “My dad retired at 55. And the reason he retired was he wasn't enjoying what he was doing anymore. I love what I do.”

Never stop learning“If you’re not learning and you’re not learning new things, you're dead. We're built to continue to learn, and if you continue to use that muscle that is the brain, it only gets better.”

Keep working Al -- you're an inspiration!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Do You Believe This?

I was on vacation last week.

What a blessing it was to be able to get away for a few days and visit Napa Valley, California, with my friend Jill and -- thanks to Jill -- we were there to attend a fantastic charity weekend --The 16th Annual V Foundation Wine Celebration.

The V Foundation was started to raise funds for cancer research and it does so in the memory of Jimmy Valvano.  One of his most famous quotes was "Don't give up, don't ever give up."

If you are like me (and you probably are if you are reading my blog), you may not have heard of Jimmy V.  Jimmy was the head basketball coach at North Carolina State University and his team won the NCAA finals against very long odds in 1983.  He was an inspirational leader and died from cancer just 5 weeks after he gave this 11 minute speech when he won the Arthur Ashe award at the ESPYs.  Do yourself a favor and watch it now.

His advice to do three things every day is revelatory:
  1. Laugh
  2. Think
  3. Cry
I really believe that this world would be a different place if each one of us did these things every day.  So much of our lives is spent in motion -- just working to get to the next day -- not stopping to think or feel life.  Just this morning, I woke up and thought about all the things I have to do today and said to myself, well this time tomorrow this day will be over -- whew.

Now, is that a good way to start the day?  I can do better.  So can you.

And if you need help with your three things today, watch the speech again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Couple of Quotes

You guys know I love quotes.  I've written about some of them before -- you can search this blog to read a few.

And since I love quotes, I'm sure that you do too. 

NOTE:  Not sure why that follows, but you are living in my world now, people.  Or at least you live in the recesses of my brain.

And since it's a special week, I'm giving you a gift of my love -- not just one quote, but two!

I learned this quote just a few months ago while I was doing my online course with Brene Brown through Oprah.  It is by Howard Thurman.

Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

I love the Thurman quote so much I painted a picture in my journal and wrote it over the top.  I use it as my cell phone wallpaper too.  Here it is.

NOTE:  You didn't know that I was an artist, did you?  Neither did I until I took Brene's course.  I will add that my talented friend Camille Warmington has nothing to worry about -- I'm keeping my day job.

My second favorite quote (and I tell people this one all the time) was on a sign in my friend Jane Browning's kitchen.  Before Jane passed away, we played bridge at her home every Saturday, so I got to see it a lot and it always cracked me up.

Money can't buy happiness, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.

Ain't that the truth?  Have a great day, friends!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Coldplay is Changing my Life.

When I was young I loved music.

If that seems like a sad sentence to you, it does to me too.  I think that the older I get the more that other things take up my time.  It is easier to sit in an easy chair and watch TV at night than to crank up the tunes and dance around or sing out loud.

NOTE:  Even now I still sing in the car, but lots of times I find myself tuning into talk radio or talking on the phone, so the singing time is short.

When I was young, so much time was spent with friends sitting around and listening and talking.  And at a very young age I remember playing music in my room for hours and singing along (The Partridge Family was one of my favorites). 

But now a song really has to move me to get me listening.

Most recently, that song has been A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay.

I began my love affair with the song when I was watching The Voice.  Chris Martin was the special coach for all the teams and (of course) I fell in love with him.  Coldplay's new album was about to come out, so they kept showing a clip of the song (from a Target commercial, I think), and then NBC even had an hour-long special featuring the band.  I was hooked from the start.

It reminds me of the "wall of sound" stuff made famous by The Beach Boys, but it also has the driving beat that makes your heart race.  And if you haven't seen them do it live, watch it here right now:

I cannot get enough of it.  I especially love watching Chris dance.  He is a bit of a goofy dancer, but he seems not to care.  Like a child.

NOTE:  I saw myself dancing on video once (from my friend Cathy's wedding) and didn't dance in public for about 15 years.

Children have no inhibitions, so even as babies if music is played, they start to move.  Such joy!

Some of the kids we serve at Community Partners of Dallas have had their joy taken from them.  An abusive parent has stolen it. 

I choose to dance.  I choose to be young.

I'm pledging to you right now that I'm going to play some music tonight and dance around.  Will you join me?

I'll save a dance for you.  Chris gets the last one though...