Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Things we don't talk about

There are moments in a woman's life that come to us a great surprise. In the past the thought was that there was no Internet and a serious lack of blogs and so we just didn't have a chance to share this information as much as we do now.

Growing up, the only thing that came close to an open discussion of female type issues was the book "Are you there God it's me Margaret". I read this book because, well, I basically read every book I could get my hands on and my middle name is Margaret. So, that worked for me. The school nurse did come talk to all the girls in 6th grade but we mostly giggled our way through the conversation.

So, the big first female mystery of life came into my life as a bit of a surprise.

But then that happened and it became less mysterious except for the part where I had a really good cry about once a month as a teenager but I just thought that was all a part of growing up.

After we* go through that it seems like we begin to expect that things are not going to be exactly as they have been spelled out for us. We are all unique. Different events in our life affect us differently. This is certainly the case in pregnancy. We can read books, go to classes, talk to other women, and yet the personal experience of it all still catches us a little bit by surprise.

I thought that after childbirth the only other thing that we really don't talk about would be menopause. We sort of talk about it and there are resources out there but we don't really talk about workable solutions. It is sort of another mysterious curtain that we will all pass through and then what?


There is another moment in our life that no one had ever warned me about.

It happened to me this last weekend. Which, I suppose, is pretty good because it is the beginning of spring and for some women this has been going on since the fall.


For some reason this past weekend I uncharacteristically snapped at my youngest child in a particularly mean way. Words just came flying out of my mouth and as I heard them reaching maximum velocity there didn't seem like anything that could be done to stop them. This happened the evening after we drove through the campus where he will be attending college and he was going on and on about all of the things he is looking forward to doing when he gets there.

I am a mom of not only 2 graduating High School kids but they are our youngest and they both have suitcases in their rooms packing up getting ready to move on to their next adventure.

We hear stories of "empty nesters" but the dirty little secret that we don't talk about is the Senior Year experience. For many moms this is a roller coaster of a year. We are excited for our kids because this is definitely the most fun year of their entire High School experience. We want them to have the best year of their lives and we want them to go on to bigger and better things from here. We want this. But it is still painful because it means that these amazing people who have blessed our lives for the past 17 - 18 years will be moving on to a world that we can only hope they are fully prepared for.

I was talking with my soon to be graduates and apologizing for flying off my broomstick when my daughter said something amazing. Very casually, like it was not a really big deal, she told me that she had heard about alot of moms being uncharacteristically mean to their high school seniors.

This, apparently, is a thing.

We love our kids. No doubt. But there is a painful internal battle we are having with letting them go. And so, instead of talking about it with other moms we snap at our kids. If we don't keep this in check we send them off into the world thinking "wow! I am glad to get out of there".

But, I may be wrong. This may not be a thing. We don't really talk about it. In conversations last year with friends who had graduating seniors, they mentioned the pain but it was almost an aside. We don't want to dwell on it because this is supposed to be a joyful time. We are proud of our kids and we don't want to add any stress to them thinking they have anything to do with the reason we are becoming big balls of emotion. That's the mom in us. We want to take care of everyone else first. And surely, this is only happening to me and it would be embarrassing to share such a weakness with other moms.

So, I am here to tell you that I love this year and I hate this year. I am happy and I am sad.

But now that I recognize what is going on it is easier to deal with.

On to what's behind curtains #1, 2, and 3: Empty Nesting, grey hair and Menopause....

I hope there isn't anything else out there that we aren't talking about.

* I use the word We in this post instead of I in hopeful optimism that I am not alone.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I took my love, I took it down 
Climbed a mountain and I turned around 
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills '
Til the landslide brought it down 

Oh, mirror in the sky 
What is love? 
Can the child within my heart rise above? 
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides? 
Can I handle the seasons 
of my life? 

Well, I've been afraid of changin' 
'Cause I've built my life around you 
But time makes you bolder 
Even children get older 
And I'm getting older too 

Oh, take my love, take it down 
Climb a mountain and turn around 
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills 
Well the landslide will bring it down 
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills 
Well the landslide will bring it down 

Lyrics by Fleetwood Mac

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Going (and Getting) Green with EcoATM

I have a gadget drawer. That drawer filled with old cell phones and gadgets that have been upgraded. But up until now I wasn't exactly sure what to do with them. So, there they sit.

CES (the Consumer Electonics Show) is all about the latest and greatest gadget. At this year's CES I didn't expect to learn about what to do with all of my old stuff.

The EcoATM is the solution to that dilemma of what to do with all those old gadgets in the drawer. I was going to add a picture of my drawer with this post but then I found this video from EcoAtm that made me smile. Their video features a drawer that looks just like my drawer.

I know that recycling my old phones is the right thing to do but in the past I have always sort of worried about whether or not I had actually cleared everything off my old phone or was I sending off my phone with personal information on it. So, instead I would just throw the old phone in the drawer.

Meeting the team from EcoATM was fantastic because they were able to answer all of my questions and concerns about the process.

One concern was about thugs stealing phones and trying to get money back through the EcoATM thereby encouraging more stealing. Of course, EcoATM has already thought about that scenario and as they put it at CES "EcoATM is the last place a thief wants to bring a stolen device." They have all kinds of safe guards that include built in cameras that create a video of the person making the transaction. They also connect with police records of stolen property and several other safe guards that make trying to unload stolen gadgets at the EcoATM a problem for the thief.

Here are some of the statistics about our old cell phones:

  • For every 1million cellphone recycled (stats from EPA):
  • 35,000 pounds of copper recovered
  • 772 pounds of silver recovered
  • 75 pounds of gold recovered
  • Enough energy to run 185 U.S. households for a year
  • 3 million cellphones were recycled in California alone in 2012
  • Only 17% of cellphones are recycled every year


There is a simple site locator on the EcoATM website. CLICK HERE to find the EcoATM closest to you.

This is just an example of the locations in Washington and Oregon

I was surprised to find that there were so many outlets. I hadn't really heard of it before CES. But I found out they are already in more than 1,500 kiosks across the country, ecoATM is located in the malls and retailers. EcoATM is from the same company that has brought us Coinstar and RedBox. So you know that if the experience of returning a phone is as simple as renting a movie (and returning it to ANY redbox anywhere) then this process will be EASY. I have been an avid Redbox user since 2009 and now, knowing this, feel even more confident with the consumer experience of EcoATM.

With a drawful of old phones I am looking forward to cleaning out my office and putting a little more cash in my pocket.

**** This post is part of a series of posts from CES where I attended as a guest ofTechlicious. All opinions and experiences are my own. The Techlicious Cocktail Party at CES was sponsored by Ion + Radarworks, (@Radarworksan integrated marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.  From creative, brand building to social, PR and influence marketing and experiential events and promotions, Ion + Radarworks is adept at creating smart integrated campaigns that help clients tell their story with impact across every consumer touch point.