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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Dancing and Leaning In


Last weeks 4th BBQ involved some impromptu dancing and recently I was thinking about how fun it is to do intergenerational dancing. The group included 5 girlfriends along with about 5 kids, including two of the neighbor girls.

You could tell the younger girls had a blast. Their excitement and smiles were so raw and genuine!!  I brought the stereo out on the outside deck and we all grooved along, jumping up and down together.  There was a very occasional light rain drop or two which came down from the grey clouds and cooled us off.

The younger girls would squeal with excitment when songs they recognized came on and they would jump  up and down with even more enthusiasm. Dancing is becoming  a lost part of culture, seems as though more people are inhibited and intimidated to dance in front of others. I'm thankful for friends who are willing to throw these inhibitions aside and dance together.

 Its fun to turn up the tunes, push the furniture aside and go to town. Dancing is so good for the spirit, soul. To feel the beat, get the exercise and share in that time with others. In a digital age where so much social time can be spent in front of screens, dancing is a far step away from that.
A real, true connection with others.

I am glad Nora is growing up seeing people all dancing our house, at weddings, our halloween party, any chance we have.

(and as I write this I listen to the song Pompeii, by Bastille.)


This past week I read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

The description of the book from Amazon is
"Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.
In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home." 

I had resisted reading it for quite some time--I thought it was going to push a "don't-stay-at-home" agenda.  A few weeks ago my sister Anne sent me an e-mail about some quotes from it and I was dying to read more so I could respond to her e-mail.

The book was fabulous on so many levels. Sheryl gives so many examples of how women step back, away from opportunities instead of leaning in and sitting at the meeting table (instead of off in the corner). She talks about how to be a savvy business person, negotiate, acknowledge wrongdoing, set goals and navigate the world of raising kids and working. After reading it I watched the TEDtalk she did in 2010 which ended up being a short recap of the main points in her book.

When reading it, I thought about raising my daughter in todays world-and how can I show her that she too can lean in, step up and be a leader in whatever she so desires.

Sheryl is a hard core business woman. Seriously hard core. I have absolutely no desire to ever work my way up the type of ladder she has. I'm happy being a small local business woman. That said, her advice is pertinent to any type of job-big or small.


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