Yesterday, I got to play at The Player’s Championship. I did not “play” in the way that Phil Mickelson plays, and thank goodness for that. I have not swung a golf club in a decade. I would hurt someone. Myself.
Instead, I spent the better part of my Monday hearing from a few amazing women, and visiting with and meeting several more. I attended the Executive Women’s Day at The Players. It was the second year of the event and it has become a prototype for Executive Women’s Day events that are popping up all over the country at other major golf tournaments. My lovely and talented friend Elizabeth from Junior Achievement in North Florida graciously extended the offer of a ticket for me to join her. (Many thanks, Elizabeth!)
The speakers were terrific. The marvelous Jacksonville entrepreneur Jennifer Marko, owner and CEO of Bottle Snugglers, rocked it on the panel along side three other dynamos including hometown girl Carla Harris, author of Expect to Win (and we got a copy of the book as a favor to boot!)
The highlight for me was the luncheon keynote speaker Michelle Peluso, former CEO of Travelocity, whose own path took her from the White House to internet start-up stardom. She is now successfully balancing a family and a life with her newest role at Citi.
I smiled and wept with the rest of the audience as she read a letter she wrote to her daughter, who is now 3 1/2 years old, right after her daughter’s birth. It focused on grace; grace and strength, grace and integrity, grace and success and failure. It may have been written for a child, but it resonated with me. In the last few months, more than once, I have felt awkward and clumsy in my role as mother to three boys (when I grew up with sisters), a newly ordained entrepreneur, an executive board member alongside amazingly successful professionals and so on. Try as I may to prepare for each of these roles, I still occasionally feel like someone is going to find me out. And while I know I am in each of these roles for a reason and I am capable and blah, blah blah…grace is not something I feel radiating from my out-spoken and forward-propelled body. Today, Michelle made me realize that a little grace can go along way in balancing those occasional icky feelings of insecurity and fear. Like that expression says, “Be like a duck…calm and serene on the surface of the water and paddling like hell underneath.”
I was equally impressed with her approach and steadfast commitment to work/life balance. She said she works until 5 pm each day…and not one minute later. She goes home, spends time with her kids and hubby, and then, after everyone is in bed, starts her second shift from 8 to 11 pm. That is basically what I have been doing since January, and knowing that it works for her, and that I should not feel bad about not sitting at my desk in my office each night until 5:30 or 6:00 pm brought a smidge of relief to me.
So, I left today feeling pretty good about things. Things may not be perfect…there are broken windows that need repairing…friends I miss seeing for coffee, dinner or drinks more than once every other month…a Pinterest to-do list a mile long…and
3, err…5… 7 new lbs. that have finally caught up with me (as if I can eat Combos for dinner and get away with it.)
But, all in all, things are good. And good is good.