A woman on the $20 bill?

I had never really thought about it, but how come it is 2015 and there are no women on our paper currency? Seriously. This is a no brainer. I am not sure why I never really thought about it, but just with the right to vote, and have a fair wage, there should be paper currency and coins that have women on them. What kind of message does that give to young girls? Maybe they do not really notice, or maybe it is subliminal and they do not even realize they have noticed.

There is a campaign out called “Women on 20’s” that is a vote to put one of the following women on the front of the twenty-dollar bill: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Wilma Mankiller. Their website gives background and discusses the fact that 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote. I even learned something – I had not heard of Wilma Mankiller, and now know about her. It is also interesting that two of the women are black women, and one is Native American. That is progress too.

We should be giving girls and young women something to strive for — maybe instead of a woman thinking about how much money she is making she thinks more about how she can be a role model and maybe one day be ON money? Not something I have ever pined for, but why would it be such a bad goal for someone? It would be refreshing to get rid of some old, balding presidents (joking, but why not update our currency to be “current”). Nothing wrong with that, but maybe I am just thinking about the issue from the surface.

I encourage you to take some time and explore their website and vote for a woman candidate for the twenty-dollar bill.

Making shit happen

I am a planner. I like to think things through. Yes, I can still be a “fly by the seat of my pants” kinda woman, but it happens after I plan a structure into life. I will give you an example. When I travel, I like to research a list of places we might want to go. Restaurants, green juice bars, cupcake bakeries, boutiques, brunch spots, art galleries, local artists, you name it. I explore the depths of it via the Internet, blogs, and even old school books such as Fodor’s at the library. I still cannot give up how easy it is to research and learn about a city from one book, then the time it can take to explore all those different details online. It just is not the same for me.

There have been times in my life when I have been told I am an over planner, that I think things through too much, or that I need to relax and let life happen. Let me tell you, I can do both, but I find that life happens at times because of a plan. There is often so many things I want to see in one city. If I do not research or explore (and depending on the size of the city) I could wander from far east to far west only to realize later that there is a place I want to see at the far east side. Depending on how long that takes, traffic, cost, etc it might mean that I never go back to that other location. Having a list of potential exploration ideas helps to do bundles of a city at once, by neighborhood. It also helps to be able to know what to look out for in a given area.

So when I came across this Eleanor Roosevelt quote last week, it made me ponder my ways.

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

Let me tell you, when you are starving in an unknown city, and your “hangry” vibe kicks in and you find yourself in a neighborhood where the food looks less than a wee bit appetizing, and your smart phone for whatever reason is not picking up 3G, you will be grateful for the research you did at home before you left. You also might find that even with the research you find a multitude of new options and places to explore that you never would have found if you had not known to venture to that neighborhood.

I am not a wisher, I make a plan, and I make shit happen.

My Favorite Books of 2012

Last year I mentioned in this post my favorite books of 2011. It is time to look back to my favorite books of 2012. They are in no specific order (well except for Daring Greatly). That is still my favorite book of 2012, and I encourage everyone to read it. The links with the books below do not take you to Amazon to explore the book, but rather are my past blog posts sharing more about how I connected with the specific book:

Each of these books touched my heart in some way. Whether by the story line, the ideas shared, the humanity I felt, the writing, or that I felt like a different person after reading each of them. They brought me to a different place, made me grateful for all that I have in my life, and made me want more out of life. I love that you can learn more about yourself just by popping the spine of a book. A simple pleasure in such a complicated, technically charged, and intertwined world.

What are your favorite books of 2012?

Do You Listen 100%?

A few months ago I came across “You Learn by Living” by Eleanor Roosevelt. I wish I had read it many years ago. She inspired me more than any other first lady. One idea (of the many I wrote down) was about listening. I feel that over the past few years we as a society have become horrible listeners. There are too many other things happening around us. Our phone is ringing, we are getting a text message, sending an email, or in the middle of a level of Angry Birds. We multi-task. I myself am just as much to blame. I am a hard-core multi-tasker. I of course feel like I do an amazing job at it, but do I really? I feel like I do, but I often wonder if I am just trying to make myself feel better about all that I am trying to do at once. This is what she says about listening:

“If such a search is to be successful, however, you will need two qualities which you can develop by practice. One is the ability to be a good listener. The other is the imaginative ability to put yourself in the other person’s place; to try to discover what he is thinking and feeling; to understand as far as you can the background from which he came, the soil out of which his roots have grown, the customs and beliefs and ideas which have shaped his thinking.”  P. 136

Three short sentences that are jam-packed with ideas. Do you have an “imaginative ability to be a good listener?” To me that means going to extremes to make sure that the person you are engaged with knows you are listening, and that…you ACTUALLY are. What if you tried that for one week? What if you made sure that every conversation and interaction you had, you were focused 100%? I would like to try that over the next week and see if I can tell the difference in how I connect with others. Do I feel I understand them more, retained more information, and better executed on my part of the conversation? Did I tell someone I would follow through on something?

I also love where she says: “the imaginative ability to put yourself in the other person’s place; to discover what he is thinking and feeling” – it is something I try to do. See, I love learning about people. You could say people fascinate me. I always have the thought in my mind: “put yourself in their shoes.” I think it helps to relate to others who might be different from you, that might even have an opposite upbringing and life experience. I think it gives a person empathy when interacting with others.

So, are you with me? Do you want to try to listen 100% over the next week?