Bae, bae, bae…

I am getting old. I kept seeing this word show up on social media #bae and yes, I had no idea what it meant. So of course I googled it:

“Bae,” Urban Dictionary says, is an acronym that stands for “before anyone else,” or a shortened version of baby or babe, another word for sweetie, and, mostly unrelated, poop in Danish. Jul 25, 2014

Okay. I get the “before anyone else” and I also actually love that it is also “poop” in Danish. How do these urban words start? This one is also in the name of a Pharrell Williams song: “Come Get It Bae.” I guess I missed that one when it came out. I tried to listen to it as I wrote this blog post and it did nothing for me. In the last year there have been articles from Esquire and Time, and many other online magazines asking the same question I am, only I am a year too late.

I am definitely getting old. I am not one to call Chris my baby or babe anyways, so maybe that is another reason it does not strike me, and yes I am no longer in my twenties. Over time I have come to the realization that I am a: “say-what-you-mean-in-a-direct-way” kind of woman. Just say it. Just like you mean it. No fluff. No shortened social media acronym. Why should I try to guess what you mean? Am I making myself any younger?

Maybe I will just resort to using it when I tell Chris “I need to bae, bae” aka: “I need to poop, babe.” Let him figure out what I mean. Ha.

Are you a nitpick?

Are you a nitpick? I am.

This article from The Washington Post titled: “Carolyn Hax: A wife who gets things done is judged by a nitpicking husband.” I am the nitpick wife. Is it my dad’s fault? He ingrained in me to do it right the first time.

Why am I a nitpick? I make quick decisions often based on my intuition, but also based on the facts I have. I completely relate to the very first line of this article, the only difference is 9 times out of 10 Chris and I both believe that if it is worth doing it is worth doing right. A house project, a work initiative, a trip, whatever it might be, we focus on the plan, and put time into selecting the right options.

“My wife and I live by two different schools of thought. I believe that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and put lots of time, energy and resources into things I plan.”

We like to make sure we are both on the same page. If one of us researches, then we show the other our findings, sharing pricing, timing, likes/dislikes, and what we think the next steps are for the project. Yes, in essence we project manage our life, but it means there is no miscommunication. Take a weekend. Yes, this might sound sterile, but often I will coordinate all the different errands we need to do (and the list is usually long) and orchestrate where we need to go and when. It feels slightly militaristic, and yet what it actually does is allow for us to get shit done and the rest of the time is for relaxing. If we did not coordinate, we would probably not get what we needed done, and potentially never find any downtime.

I love the ending of the article too:

“As a person on the receiving end of this constant oversight, I can tell you the drip drip drip of disapproval is eroding your wife’s affection for you. I can appreciate my husband’s careful ways (we got a great mortgage rate!), but he has no appreciation for someone like me who knows when it’s just time to pull the trigger and buy some damn sheets instead of endlessly researching thread count. You’ve been warned, husband. Find a way to appreciate her ability to get things done or someday she will leave you.”

I agree with the author. I would never leave Chris and often I want him to decide on the damn sheets, but that is just a little conversation we have to move the decision along. We need someone in the marriage that reads the fine print, watches out for where we might be screwed, and keeps us on our toes. Maybe we are both nitpicks. Either way, I like us just the way we are.

Say no to 1,000 things

Everything in the universe at this moment is telling me that my biggest lesson in life is about saying “NO.” Each day I find an article, read a book, have a conversation that reiterates the ongoing dilemma I have with life. What can I truly handle? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Yes, and no. It really depends. I do know that I need to figure out a way to scale back. Part of that means that I have to say “No” more and more and more. How does one do that when your modus operandi is to help others, solve problems, and to try to make the world a better place one day at a time?

I wanted to share a few of the ideas that have been bombarding my thoughts these last few days. I came across this Steve Jobs quote:

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

If I could truly do what Jobs said, maybe I could have a fraction of the success he had in life. It has become a common theme for me these past few weeks and months to figure out how to scale back at work and at home and yet life feels like it is a treadmill on the highest speed, and sometimes at the highest incline. At times it feels like the buttons are inoperable and I am not able to adjust to the appropriate speed, so it means running crazy fast and then wondering how long I can sustain the speed.

There was this Fast Company article called: “The Exact Amount of Time You Should Work Every Day” that shared this idea:

Make Realistic To-Do Lists: “We often bog down our to-do lists and make them not feasible for us to accomplish [plus] we underestimate how long it’s going to take us to do something,” says Sexton.

Prioritize tasks. Choose three major tasks to focus on for the day and add other tasks as they pop up throughout the day to a separate list, readjusting your priorities throughout the day if required. It’s a lot easier to look at a list of three tasks than 30. Once you knock off the first three items, choose your next three priorities from your lengthier list.

I do not feel like I have a problem with To-Do Lists, tracking what I need to do, or prioritizing my tasks. I feel it is having too much happening at once. Too many projects to track on, too many deliverables, and not enough time or bandwidth to execute or strategize on how to make it all happen.

How have you learned to say, “No?” Teach me. I want to learn. I want to know what has worked for you.

Letter to Sheryl Sandberg

I have not really followed Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) or her new book that was just released. Last week on Facebook I saw this quote and had to share it. Maybe I like it because I was a bossy little girl. Go Sheryl.

Then I found this letter to Sheryl Sandberg from Daily Worth founder, Amanda Steinberg, and I had to share as I agree with the letter. In it, she mentions a TIME magazine cover story, where Sandberg says of her husband: “He manages our money,” she says. “I have essentially no interest.” (page 5 of the TIME article). This comment is what Steinberg is reacting to in her letter.

Each and every woman should have a stake in and understanding of their personal finances. It does not mean that we always understand everything 100%, but we should try. I know too many women, that make a good living and would willingly turn over their hard-earned income to the man in their life, because they do not understand how to manage their finances. Please stop.

I know that it might be the easy way out, but you are not doing yourself any service by giving your money over to the man in your life. You are giving away your power. I would be the first to say that I do not always understand each and every part of our finances or retirement accounts. There are often little details that confuse the crap out of me, but the key is that I try to make sense of it. I want to know. I do not give up my power to my husband. We share the responsibility of our finances and make each and every decision together.

So in light of Sheryl Sandberg, and her great success as a woman, I encourage all women out there regardless of income level to care about their finances. It does not mean that you have to manage your finances day-to-day, just care about understanding them. You might pay someone to manage your finances, your husband might handle them, but set up a time each week or month to review your finances with whoever is handling them. Make a point to understand how much you are spending, and how you are saving. If you do not, to me it is like having someone take care of your children, yet you do not know their style. Which means you do not really know what is happening, right? I agree with Steinberg, all women should feel confident managing their money so that they are able to live life on their own terms.

What do you think?