Happy Friday the 13th: The Mystery of Negative Framing

I’ve always been drawn to the intrigue of mystery, thrillers, and the intersections of life when the world goes a bit dark. I love “ Silence of the Lambs, ” I’ve read most of James Patterson ’s Alex Cross series , and I can’t wait for Halloween to arrive so we can visit a haunted house or two. That makes it lots of fun when Friday the 13 th rolls around. Today, on this Friday the 13 th , I woke up thinking less about darkness we might seek out for fun, and more about the darkness that each of our minds can create with negative framing.   I recently had a few business trips for speaking engagements. During my time at the Filene Research Institute, I used to travel weekly. In my role at Canvas, I am not traveling nearly as much as I once was. While traveling can be taxing, when I traveled a lot, I had a routine that was fairly well-tuned. I packed well. My parking or Ubering was finely honed. When things went awry with flights, I had a good sense of when to respond, how to respond

If you think you might not be enough: Make more pie.

On this day after National Pi Day, I reflect on a woman in my life who really loved pie, my grandma Edith. She had a famous saying, “The dessert tube is always open.” What she meant was that no matter what time of day or how full you might be, there’s always space and a place for sweets. She loved pie. She loved Hershey’s chocolate bars with almonds. She especially loved a Frosty from Wendy’s. There weren’t a lot of desserts she didn’t love. Her love for desserts was well grounded. When my Great-great-great Aunt Edith (known as Aunt Edie all my life and yes, that’s three greats) was about to marry my Great-great-great Uncle Flemming (known as Uncle Flem), his mother let him know that marrying Aunt Edie would be a problem. My Aunt Edie was a teacher and the concern her, soon-to-be, mother-in-law had was that Edie would not provide enough pies for Flem. He loved pies and his mother wanted to be sure he would still have pie to enjoy. This incredible woman rose to the challenge

My wish for you, my sweet girl, on International Women’s Day

Dearest MacKenzie, I have a secret that I rarely share. When you were in my belly, I wished with all my might that you’d be a girl. I realize that’s not the right thing to do. Your daddy and I worked hard to conceive and I knew in my brain that the right thing was to only consider your health and not your gender. I couldn’t do it. The day we found out you were a girl, my dreams for you grew exponentially. The truth is, I love human beings. Gender has no bearing on the depth of my passion for the incredible people who make this world so complex, interesting and challenging. But, I also have a special place in my heart for the women who have stood next to me, pushed behind me, pulled me forward kicking and screaming and whispered support. Your mother hasn’t always chosen an easy path. I fell in love with credit unions and the difference they could make, the potential to change lives. Each day I push hard. I challenge myself and the people around me to create the positive im

Whatever you do, don't do what this sign says

As we are in the thick of rebranding from Public Service Credit Union to Canvas Credit Union, I’ve spent many hours over the last few months focused on signs of all kinds. The Five Man Electrical Band said it best, “Signs, signs, everywhere signs.” Even before the rebranding effort, I found signs fascinating. Signs give signals and historical context. Of course, they give direction and the story behind many signs illuminates human behavior that was dangerous or actions that if not stopped could cause someone harm. Generally, these kinds signs cause us to feel a mixture of alarm and gratitude. That was my exact feeling with both of these signs. One I saw last year in Orlando and one I came upon here in Colorado (and have subsequently learned are quite common).   Other signs tell a much different story. They tell the tale of behavior that caused someone else frustration or hassle. They also give insight into the people that placed the s

A House is a House is a Home

I have officially been on the ground in Colorado for one week. It has been a whirlwind week of finding Target and the grocery store, remembering where the restroom is, getting to know my new work family, exploring strategy with our business partners, and establishing new routines in my new home state. Already I am thrilled with so many things, not the least of which is the bright sun and warmer weather. However, my heart has a constant ache as my family is still in Madison. In order to ensure we have a home when they head this way in June once school wraps for MacKenzie, I spent yesterday with a realtor, Nicole, exploring 20 homes. Nicole kindly asked me earlier in the week if I really wanted to see that many places. She was willing to do it but wondered if we might narrow things a bit. I shared criteria including good schools for MacKenzie, a desire for an updated kitchen and bathrooms, a relatively short commute to our offices, and the possibility of more established neighborhood

I'm Back with A Love Letter to Mad City

I admit I'm a little disappointed with myself and the lag in my posting. The last few months, and especially the last few weeks have been ve ry full. I am challenging myself to get back to a more consistent cadence. Hold me to it. Yesterday I started a new adventure. It was a little surreal sitting at the Madison airport. I’ve been there a time or two over the last five years. However, that is about to change. Today I begin a new journey in Denver. I’m starting a new job at Public Service Credit Union. My time as a team member at Filene Research Institute has come to a close. The swarm of emotions I’ve been feeling over the last several weeks is a stew of joy, fear, excitement, sadness and nervousness. One of the reasons for my sadness is leaving Madison, Wisconsin. I’ve moved several times in my life, and while every place I’ve lived has been magical in one way or another, Madison will always be at the top of the list. This has been a remarkable