Puzzle Pieces

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Recently my son has gotten in to puzzles. I am amazed at how quickly he is able to figure out where the pieces go and put them in to place.  When he received his 1st puzzle I thought he was too young for something that advanced.  Over a month or so he began to be interested in the pieces and what they could make.  Even though there were 24 pieces in front of him he started to learn how to assemble piece by piece.  Instead of looking at the heap of pieces in front of him, and getting frustrated, he learned to focus on what he knows.  First he finds a part of the puzzle where the boys’ leg goes, then he finds the piece that attaches to the body, then the shoe, then the arm, etc…

As I watch him take on new puzzles and learn new pictures to put together piece by piece, I cannot help but reflect on my own life’s puzzle.  At times I tend to get overwhelmed and look at challenges ahead as impossible.  I tend to take on a lot of stress when I don’t know the solution or feel as if I don’t know what to do.  In watching C put together his puzzle it has caused me to re evaluate my approach to challenges in work or home life.  To look at each situation as a puzzle where I focus on what I know, what I can link and solve, and then grow from there…

Awareness moments: January edition

I have made it a goal this year to jot down times in which I see gender inequalities or awesome feminism moments each month.

Here’s January:

  • Sitting in a weekly operations meeting with 25-30 people and realizing I am the only female manager in the room
  • Asking for a raise, and getting one!
  • Having two men enter my boss’ office and introduce themselves to him and ignore me completely
  • Having my boss stop the conversation to introduce me 🙂
  • Watching Trainwreck…ugh
  • Attending a training for career development in my company and seeing an equal representation of men and women
    • throughout the training the women spoke up more than the men in the room and commanded such a great presence… inspiring…

Trainwreck… really?

imagesI have been so excited to have an evening alone to watch Trainwreck.  I cannot tell you how often my husband and I sit down to watch a movie and how frustrated I become at the lack of choices with a female lead.  I have heard great things about Amy Schummer and was excited to see a strong female story line.

Needless to say, I was SO disappointed.  Without going into all of my detailed thoughts I wanted to throw out some of the questions that crossed my mind:

  • Why is it that a woman who has chosen a life of carefree sexuality and some fun with drugs and alcohol is considered a “Trainwreck”
  • Why is that when she finally meets the right guy she completely changes who she is for him?
  • Why oh why does the movie end with her dressed up like a cheerleader prancing around?
    • Need I mention in the beginning of the film that she makes a hilarious crack about cheerleaders losing women the right to vote
  • Does the fact this film exists and I have the ability to share my thoughts and pick it a part show signs of progress in our society?
  • OR was this just another stereotypical Hollywood movie where the woman is saved by love and changes for her man?

 

New Year Reflections

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We’ve all done it… seen someone walking down the street and thought… “What is he/she wearing?” “Wow she is pretty.” “She/He could stand to lose some weight.” …and perhaps sometimes worse.  More often than not, if we are with someone at the time, we share our criticisms.  In doing so we are reinforcing an appearance standard and a norm of what is socially acceptable.

A few years back I made a resolution to stop commenting on the appearance of others.  I watched a powerful documentary on Netflix called Miss Representation that talks about the portrayal of women in the media.  Throughout the film they interview a series of young girls.  The girls talk throughout the movie about bullying and the power of comments regarding appearance.  At the end of the movie there are suggestions on how to take steps towards ending a cycle of unrealistic and unhealthy standards of beauty.  One of their suggestions is to stop commenting on appearances.  After finishing the film I decided it was time to make a change.

The start of 2016 marks 2 years since I have made a negative comment about someone’s apperance.  When I first decided to stop talking about others, I remember feeling nervous (which is sad) because I had several friendships where that was often the topic of conversation.  I was worried as to how I would redirect conversation without making anyone uncomfortable.  In reality it was easier that I thought.  It took me a couple of weeks (maybe a month) to consciously stop myself from saying something that I was thinking.  I learnt that very quickly my desire to comment about others went away.  I found myself having more meaningful conversations with friends and colleagues and overall feeling more positive.  I also found that eventually I stopped thinking negative things about others.  Finally, I found myself thinking far less negative things about myself and my own apperance.  As someone who has struggled with self esteem and appearance issues off and on throughout life, I cannot tell you how liberating that feels.

Recently someone close to me told me that they made a similar resolution.  I can only hope that my choice inspired them to make that change.  On a larger scale I hope this post might inspire you to do the same.

 

Pocket problems 

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I absolutely love wearing suits to work everyday, no sarcasm here, I really do!

I love the way that I look and feel when I where a suit.  I always feel powerful and accomplished.  Anytime I have gone in to work without a suit on, something just doesn’t feel right.

With that being said, I am constantly frustrated by the lack of pockets in womens’ suits.  Mens’ suits have deep pockets both on the outside of the jacket, but also some nifty hidden pockets on the inside of the suit to tuck cell phones, business cards, keys, pens, etc… I don’t understand why womens’ suits usually have only 2 puny pockets on the front of the jacket with little to no room to carry anything.

I have to assume that the reason for this is one of 3 things:

  1. Women should look fashionable and trim and adding pockets would create space for us to carry more things, thus making us look bulkier.
  2. Women don’t need to carry around as many things in the workplace as men do.
  3. No need for pockets, isn’t that what purses are for?

Obviously I don’t agree with any of these conclusions… but I can’t think of another reason.  As you can see in a picture of me below… me attempting to carry only my cellphone and keys looks ridiculous.  I end up looking bulkier and less professional because my pocket is too small to hold what I absolutely need for the day.

While this dilemma irks me on a daily basis, what really got me the other day was I tried on my brand new suit jacket that I got from my Stickfix order.  It was a beautiful black suit jacket.  I removed the stitching keeping the pockets closed and low and behold… there were no pockets… SERIOUSLY?!  I opened what should have been a pocket and it didn’t exist, just some fabric that went straight through the jacket… LAME!

If anyone knows of somewhere to buy a nice looking women’s suit with some decent pockets, please let me know!  I will never go back to anything else.

Something Disturbing Is Realized When Men Are Removed From These Photos…

Source: Something Disturbing Is Realized When Men Are Removed From These Photos…

To highlight the disparity in numbers between men and women in politics, Elle Mag did something drastic!

Despite efforts being made to equalize the workplace for both men and women, the world of politics largely remains a male-dominated environment. To highlight this disparity, the ELLE UK magazineremoved all the men in the pictures of politicians, leaving the meeting rooms and assemblies looking a bit deserted.

“The story of how women in positions of strength continually support and empower each other is consistently ignored while the myth that we pit ourselves against each other perpetuates,” reads the #MoreWomen campaign page on Elle. We want to change this narrative in our feminism issue and create a more positive conversation – to reflect the power of women, and to support and grow each other as we push for global equality.”