The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Archive for August 2015

Intentional Parenting

It’s no secret that I love this time of year. There’s something about it… It’s like a rebirth, or call it a do over.

There’s a lot I want to do with and for my children, but once summer rolls around I start feeling like there’s not enough time to get it all done. That art class or community service project just goes by the wayside. Then I think,  maybe we can squeeze it in during summer. Ha!

Maybe it’s because of counting school years that take us from August to June vs. the calendar year, but Back to School feels more like a New Year’s to me. There’s the shopping, new teachers, new friends, new schools (in our case) and the excitement of what’s to come. What IS to come?

Well, the strategist in me wants to hunker down and create a  plan for the school year. What are the top goals and priorities. If we accomplish those, then everything else is gravy.

Sometimes I forget that the plan should be inclusive and I  set about it on my own. Willing it all to happen and dragging everyone along by their scruffs. That’s always a recipe for disaster.

Sometimes I try to get others to take ownership of said “family plan” and when it doesn’t happen, I get salty. Yes, I admit it! I’ve been known to give a stink-eye or two.

So at age 40, here I am still trying to find the right blend of leadership, initiative, influence, inclusion and motivation to get our family plan created and implemented this school year. At 40, I’m hopeful that THIS will be the year we strike the right balance.

I wish it came naturally to me — to us. My husband and I both came from broken homes, so we have no model from which to work. We start with and always come back to our foundation of love and respect for one another. Everything else has to build around that.

But, the struggle is real folks.

Maybe there shouldn’t be a plan at all. Maybe we should live and let live — just let the chips fall where they may. Free range parenting. I contemplate this often.

I’m just a believer in intentional parenting. Nothing major, yet, but if I want my children to have an appreciation for the Arts, then I have to make the time to introduce them to art at various times in their lives and in various forms. This year, it’s piano. So we’ll all suffer through the practice rounds of  “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with our eye on the bigger prize — a deeper understanding of the music we love and listen to everyday.

I’m genuinely curious about other parents though. Do you create a family plan for the year? Why? Why not?


Written by Shara

August 30, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Marriage, Parenting

Tagged with

PR in Politics

It’s election season and that means my hiatus from the news is officially over.

So, I started my venture back to “newsie-land” by watching the Republican debate the other night on Fox News. Well, I started listening in my car on the ride home, then watched the rest from my computer at home — we’ve decided to opt out of cable TV, but that’s for another post.

I’m not going to rehash the comedy of that night, but I just wanted to share some observations.

Donald Trump, the front-runner. I probably don’t need to say more than that and you know where I’m going, but my observation from a PR standpoint is very different than from my personal views. Personally, I think, what an a$$hole. See, this is why decent, honest, hard-working women in business can’t get ahead because the system is stacked in favor of the slimy-back-office, golf-course-wheeling-and-dealing, buying-political-favors, misogynistic businessmen like him.

Professionally though, we can all learn something from The Donald. He’s found his voice, I’m sure all of his money helped, but in finding his voice, he’s found his tribe. The people who follow him are willing to support his business ventures, his entertainment brands, and vote his crazy ass into the White House. His special brand of crazy resonates with so many people because it’s authentic and consistent.

When I’m working with clients, I try to capture their authenticity and build that consistently into their communications and marketing campaigns. Your authentic voice and message won’t resonate with everyone, but those who get it will become a part of your tribe — the folks who will follow you to the ends of the earth because they believe in what you’re saying and doing.

There is a caution here though… Not everyone can go full-tilt crazy because you just want to “keep it real.” Understand that you might not have the Benjamins, the right connections, the dominant racial identity, or the gender influence to back you up. Donald Trump can afford to lose a few friends, customers and sponsors on his journey to the Oval, but not all of us can, so yes be authentic, but also be sensible.

Another observation that I wanted to share has to do with Ben Carson. I remember going to see a play about his life at a dinner theater in my old town, Columbia, Maryland. I was fascinated by his story and very inspired. He’s an impressive man, obviously a brilliant surgeon and very charming as well.

That said, is anyone else scratching their head about why he’s running for the highest elected office in the land. I mean I’m all for aiming high, but shouldn’t he serve first in his community, county council or even in the state senate? If you are really serious about running the executive branch of government for the United States of America, then shouldn’t you at least hold an elected position on your HOA? I mean something.

The only professional experience he highlighted in his closing speech was his surgical experience, and again, while it was impressive — and humorously put together — I was baffled. His press team needs to come up with something better and more compelling.

Look, I love telling my children and others that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. I don’t want to put limitations on what they might achieve, but there are very real obstacles that you can and should prepare for (see my itemized list above as an example).

Well, I’m excited. News is back in my life, I’m writing for me again and other than that, I’m looking forward to the next sideshow in September.

Written by Shara

August 10, 2015 at 11:59 am