Soccer mom feelings

I am a soccer mom!

The status of a soccer mom is the one who has a child playing soccer and attend almost of all the games and some practices, and during game actively cheer to their team and their kids.

I have realized that the cheering part sometimes is a bit overcheering, as it happened already being told by the referee or the team coach to be quite.

Well, I wasn’t really a soccer fan and didn’t understand what a good player looked like, but now I know everything about good foots kills, being tactical, physical, speed! You name it!

Also there are these long conversations about soccer and our children in soccer and of course the coach. This is all new for me, as in Europe it wasn’t like this at all. But here the competition is much visible and present, where the feeling of the opportunity to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo only depends if you are a hard worker and play with passion and dedication.

With these values I need to confess, I passed very quicly from the mom who was there to have her son having fun to a mom who wants their kids to be the best, the one who knows the goals, and give 100% everytime…

I love this drive… I am not sure if they are the right ones for a child 10-12 years old, though…

He is now in the Elite league, which means is already an academy level, and the commitment expected from the players and from the parents are quite high. This means a lot of weekends we are out of the town and sometimes out of state for tournmaents. This commitment starts from the point where you decide that your son will do the tryouts. As it is quite difficult to make the team, so when you make it, the kids and the parents get another status and it starts to be new priority of the family.

I am being learning this new environment, and after 2 years that my son is in this Elite team, I am questioning if it is worth it. What are the learnings that my son is having to live this experience?  I am not anymore in the level of, “I am here and I just want my son to have fun”. I know, I am not!! And I am not sure if it is good or not, but I have seen my son growing so much that I believe in it. And I believe that he can transfer these learnings for other things in his future. But be happy is also important…means he needs to have fun also, and lately he is being struggling.

I am always trying to play the devil of advocate and give him the perspective of the failure as an opportunity to learn and make the next game/practice even better. And encourage him to practice even more, at home in the park as hard work will pay off, I normally say to him.

But this week I had the feedback from his performance and one comments from the coach is that he uses the “Prove me that I am wrong” strategy to fire up my son. In the moment I actually got happy, and said “Now I understand why he spends so much time in the bench”…I felt in that moment there were a belief that my son has the right potential so he needs to be the best when he is in the field, and like Tom Brady once said, be prepared to give the 5 min game the best of the 60 min.

Then he had a game during the weekend. Again the awareness of this and his tears at the end as they lost all the games of the tournament, and his fear and disappointment of failure, not because they lost the game, but because the coach told them they were crap, made me think!!!

Should I stay in the bleaches watching this as a passive soccer mom? I know in the organizations negative feedback, manage with fear and tension is not applicable for high perfomance. In sports after reading some sources, it is used sometimes for some teams and specific moments, but as a constant is not the right leadership.

Soccer_mom_feelings

I know for sure I want to have my son to live a good experience in his life, it doesn’t need to be all stars and sunshine, but learn from there…if it is becoming more time of anxiety, stress and disappointment rather than joy and focus in the results, what should I do?

This is an elite team, I am a lucky soccer mom which actually have the best team in my town, so it is so convenient!…but man!!!, the parents need to stand up for their children, and the coach and the club need to receive the feedback what is going on. And me as a soccer mom, can’t be afraid to I speak up.

So yeah! The fun activity of being a soccer mom, it is becoming a very emotional situation… but there is one thing: my son needs me.

Thank you

AnnaJo

Stop saying “It is a great question!!”

Have you ever been in an open Q&A in a certain event full of people, where the host says, now please make sure you make your questions handing over the microphone…

What happen in that time, normally?!…Silence, right?

I am being reflecting on this, and I got the conclusion that what I feel is shame if it is a bad question and the fear of judgement!

I am trying to beat this feeling, to free up myself as I normally want to ask something, but then I get so nrevous and I think :”Damn, this is not so important…why am I putting myself in this situation”, then I give up!

When I comment to people about this, normally I got the comment back! “Girl just ask! What are you waiting for?”…

Hmmm, it doesn’t help! And now that I am attending to events, to some authors and speakers that I really like, I am trying to reflect on this topic as I want to interact more and take advantage my time attending these events.

My reflection:

  • Microphone, I freeze, and I am an extrovert! But the microphone effect is well known. So what I do is to ignore the microphone and use it with confidence! (kind of…) “Don’t drop the mic!…the mic is yours now!” Feels good if you think like that!
  • Standing…uff, need to stand?! Why? Ok…again, just make sure you have your button shirt tied and again “the world is yours!” Just saying that I am stating this sentences inpsired in a book from Amy Cuddy, Presence! It really helps to get confidence in these situations.
  • Status. If the person I am making the question, is higher than me, like the CEO of my company in townhalls, or the speaker very popular that I follow are the ones presenting and making the Q&A, I also freeze. Here the status is the reason, I am feeling blocked, I am feeling I am not in their level! The goal of the question is not anymore the content of the question but the desire to impress and be noticed! So after being thinking…I need to focus in the question, and really what I can get out of the answer. This helps…focus in the it rather than the person.
  • Be prepared…going to an event needs to make sense to me, I can’t only expect I am attending to receive, and take whatever I am listening! NO…be prepared really help to be in the context beforehand and the questions naturally will come, as the curiosity will grow.

What could help in all these situations, and what I am thinking when I am going to be a speaker is: there are no bad or good questions! I know the hosts have good intentions to be inclusive, and after coming the first one, the first comment they have is “That is a really good question!”…Stop saying that! If it is to be inclusive use other way, and if it is to gain time to think also get another comment instead!

Stop_saying_it_is_a_good_question

Lesson learned: Challenge yourself in the environment and try to be the first one making the question… don’t overthink, just do it…you will feel much better!

Thanks

AnnaJo

Fearless Girl – Part II

During holiday break we went to the City and walking around downtown we were looking for the Bull and the Fearless Girl in front of the bull! We got surprised as we learned there the Fearless Girl had moved to the NY Stock Exchange.

We took some pictures, we were happy anyway with the concept that statue brings and letting my son know the importance of it. After that visit we arrived home and while I was researching and doing a post I learned the follow:

A plaque with two footsteps marks the girl’s former spot in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. “Fearless Girl is on the move to The New York Stock Exchange,” the plaque reads. “Until she’s there, stand for her.”

Wow!! We havent seen it! So we decided we needed to come back to look after the plaque in front of the bull and take a proper picture. Done! Lets do it me and my family decided!

Let’s do a Fearless Girl- Part II visit!

FearlessGirlplaque

Today we did it!

But where is the plaque?

We didnt see the plaque there in front of the bull!!

Noplaquehere

Uff…I did a bit more research but couldn’t find anything…was the plaque only there while the statue was moving? There was a lot of people taking pictures, to the bull and the balls of the bull!! Imagine, there was a line! We got disappointed…

Still experiencing this moment with my children is the most important message, as the way I truly stand for the Fearless Girl is teaching my son the proper values of gender equity so he can become a man helping other women!

Loved the picture he asked to take with my daughter! She already has one ally!

FearlessGirlKids

Thanks

AnnaJo

 

 

Reinventing yourself

Last week I went to Portugal with my children and I spent time with family and also friends. It is a good time to get inspired!

When I visit home I always have the feeling there is something different, sometimes is good or sometimes doesn’t match my expectations, but the mindset is “wow it is different!” And the realization is when the new music hit in Portugal I never heard before, and everybody’s singing!

In the area of creativity and leadership there is the critical concept of the capacity of reinventing yourself, which means the capacity to adapt, starting of being self aware first and then drive the change.

This looks a pretty easy job, but it is not! It is needed a tremendous amount of courage, determination and hard work! People function naturally avoiding the critics, so the change needed to be provoked.

I got inspired this time when I was in Portugal with my sister… it was good to see on her the power to reinvent herself and the environment around her! Let me tell you a little bite of the story…

Nadia, my sister, bought a new apartment, a bigger one but quite old. Everybody were telling her that apartment was not worth the money and the effort she would make wouldn’t match the benefit.

She trusted in her gut, and herself with her husband are doing a fixer upper by themselves. That is so interesting the vision and the energy of learning construction work! My sister never put a frame in the wall!! But YouTube, HGTV were the coaches… funny hear the stories, about the details of every corner of the wall, which mistakes they did and redo it and learn from it! Moreover she decided to take all the dinnerware from our grandma when she moved to a senior care center this summer…hahaha!! Looks normal right? No!!,… All of it, was perceived old-fashioned, ugly and ready for trash!

She got it, and the last family reunion everybody was impressed!!

The best dinning room with the most trendy dinnerware!

Inspiring sis! Great lesson: put your hands on and start to do it!

ReinventYourselfThank you

AnnaJo

Visiting family with a GIVER mindset

Last week I came to Portugal with my children and I spent time with family and also some friends.

When I visit home I always have the feeling there is something different, my 5 senses get very sensitive, and everything become a place of a sort of story…even the less good ones.

This time was the time I spent longer without going home, I didn’t see my family about more than a year, as living in US and having a newborn was a blocker to go earlier.

I got a bit nervous, and normally I was coming home with the feeling that I am here to get back what I am losing while I am away, so I used to behave as a Taker. This time, and because I thought about it as one of my year’s resolution, I wanted to go home with the Giver mindset. I was not sure what does this mean, but my plan was to support my mom and my dad, giving a priority to my family as the meeting schedules, and be a real auntie…

I honestly didn’t have time for nothing, not even to keep up with the blog, but I was so glad that I did this decision, taking as my mantra “I am a GIVER”…I want to see my family happy, so I need to make it happen while I am there.

If I do this within my team at work, why shouldn’t I do this at home, especially if they need me, and sometimes it was only a positive talk or the dinner I cooked to my mom, or the day I spent with my children and nephews, and see their smiles in their faces, or babysitting my nephews, so my sister and brother in law can have a dinner out.

This people are the ones who really know me, sometimes it is a bit scary when there are stories I would prefer not remember. But accepting our history is one of the first steps of self growth to embrace the future. In this case also to enjoy the present, and make sure this present will be a good history in the future.

Be a Giver, it is good for your personal fulfillment, as Tony Robbins states it is one of the 6 Human Needs, “Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others”.

Visiting Family as a GiverThank you

AnnaJo

Being late!

If someone asks me: “are you the kind of person who arrives ahead on time or arrives late?”, I would say: “Always on time!”.

For the last 5 years I am having the feedback from my team, that I should improve my time management and arriving to the meetings on time! The first 2 or 3 years I ignored, as I didn’t see myself doing it, and they were telling me that it was only a detail… Then the feedback was about the same with different teams…so this has to mean something!

I don’t mean to be late! Actually I hate people who don’t respect other’s time, and have this constant in their life’s. I have an example, my husband…my best friend…so I am the one who is always stressed about being on time at home.

But this end of the year, with a new boss and a new team, and here comes again: “To improve, please try to manage better your time and arrive on time to the meetings!” Again!!!, please I have the intentions to not be late, I text when I am 2 min late… i feel it is out of my control!!

This week I read one of the Seth Godin’s post which fully resonate with me, “Good intentions (how to be on time)”:

“You probably know people who are late. They don’t want to be late. In fact, their good intentions are probably the reason that they are late. They might try one technique or another, and even apologize for being late, and yet it happens again.

And the reason?

The reason is that in every interaction, they want to connect a bit more, respect the other person’s ideas and contribute in that moment. They do that by spending their most precious resource on their behalf. What’s happening is that they are looking for a magical way to get more minutes in the day.”

I find rude when people cut the conversation because they don’t want to arrive late to the next meeting. So when it is my turn, I have a real difficulty in doing it. It is also true my calendar is very busy, sometimes I have like 10 meetings in day! I used to think it was a good busy, but now I feel ashamed and I am trying to take time everyday to manage my calendar. And I am finding a great exercise, asking myself, is this really a necessary meeting?, should I be there?, questioning about the productivity of the meetings…i have to admit it is a journey, and won’t change immediately.

I like what Seth is saying at the end of his post, and as my boss is one of the person who actually does it, and it is seen as a quality: “Say it without rushing and without stress. “I’m sorry, our time is up.””

being late

The first time I read about the constant of being late, was in a post in the popular blog Cup of Jo, “Are You Chronically Late?”, which states the 7 reason of being late. It is worth reading it as it helps to understand what possible reasons makes us being late at work or in the personal life.

Thank you

AnnaJo

 

First day @work after holidays

This Monday was my first day at work after a long Christmas. It was like 2 full weeks, but with Christmas, New Year’s festivities and a full house of guests with family and friends, I really turned off work, and tuned in about the schedule of the special meals at home, and heading to NYC hosting the family.

It was a very busy holidays, and I thought it was good actually to come back to work… but on Sunday I was not at all excited to come back!

I love to go to work normally!

So if I am not affected by the Monday Blues, why was I having this feeling?

I decided Google about it and found this article @Forbes, 12 ways to beat the Monday Blues, that helped me to reflect and actually plan my Monday…my first Monday in 2019!

I thought about what was happening at work that I was not enjoying. And I found a feeling very clear to me: I am so busy, that I don’t have time to connect with people. I was lately working from home to hide myself to have work done, or even avoiding people at the office so I wouldn’t waste time…

I am not happy like that! So I thought about a plan… stop by to everybody I know and ask about the holidays, and say Happy New Year! But not only saying it and bye-bye… saying it, make a real stop and with the intention to have a little chat. Of course there is the possibility to stay there standing alone, not having an answer back… I tried to picture it before to be prepared and don’t be frustrated.

I did it!

Hahaha!! very funny, how people got surprised, and how people actually talked to me with some other details…and even the ones who don’t deviate their look from the laptop when I stopped by to say Happy New Year, I was getting a smile and the attention.

I learned  that the Christmas Orthodox was happening from Jan 6th to Jan 7th, not the December 25th. Also I learned that it is not Happy New Year yet for the colleagues from China, and I learned that the next Chinese year is the Pig Year, and it happens on the February 5th.  This is the beauty working in a multinational and big company where diversity actually exists.

It was a very social day. Some members from my team after were inviting me to have some coffee, and we sat down for 15 minutes, and I got to know so many news like promotions, and moving roles from people, that I wouldn’t know if I wouldn’t stop by.

After this Monday, I felt energized, and ready to start the year, doing something that I like which is connecting with people.

Sometimes we forget who we are, but this reflection made me feel we need to drive what we are good at, and make it happen!

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Thanks

AnnaJo

 

 

Fearless Girl – first day of the year

The new year is a good moment to bring new opportunities and live new experiences! So on the first day of the year, we all went for a walk to lower Manhattan to the Financial District to look after the Fearless Girl statue! It was a beautiful day! The city was crowded, and like the subject of Diversity and gender equality is so important for me, I wanted to go there for my first time, and with my family.

I set that goal to the family. Let’s look at that statue and take a picture, and then we can leave.

First question from my son, “What is that?”, and “Why should we be all looking for that?”

Answer: “Because that little girl is so brave and don’t have afraid to be herself and look after the rights of all girls in the world, to be who they want to be, without any restrictions. She represents Diversity!”

My son…”What about the boys? Is there a statue of a Fearless Boy too?”

Hahahaha!! He has a good point!

Then we reviewed what is really the meaning of Fearless Girl, using the Wikipedia!

Fearless Girl was commissioned to advertise for an index fund that comprises gender-diverse companies that have a relatively high percentage of women among their senior leadership. The plaque below the statue states: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference,” with “SHE” being both a descriptive pronoun and the fund’s NASDAQticker symbol.

After this I got the full attention of my son, and my family, who really wanted to look after the statue, and living this value of Diversity, of gender equality.

But first we were searching the statue in front of the “Charging Bull”. But we found first the a Fearless Girl statue  in front of the New York Stock Market so we took a picture, and we were thinking…”hmmm, is there 2 Fearless Girls ??”… ok we were not at all well informed! The statue was moved from the original place in front of the “Charging Bull” to be in front of the New York Stock Market…and this happen just less than 2 months ago…why we didn’t know about that!

fearlessgirl_henrique

Well definitely we need to come back, as being so crowded we didn’t see the sign that was left on the place…

 

“Fearless Girl,” is on the move to the New York Stock Exchange. Until she’s there stand for her. #FearlessGirl.

chargingbull_henrique

I thought this is so interesting! And thinking about that is a great way to grow the impact!

Women empowerment is what this simple statue is doing! And we all need to embrace it! Love it!

fearlessgirl_ana

Thank you

AnnaJo

2019 – A Family Round Table

It’s time to be reflecting about 2019… I am not sure how many articles and posts I read about it.

What are your resolutions for 2019?

Tim Ferriss posted something about “Don’t look at the resolutions for the new year, but look what happen to the current year”. It is a good point! As I believe we need reflection in what we do and who we are to be thinking in tangible resolutions for the new year.

For the last 2 years I started to do with my family a round table with a reflection and wishes for the New Year. I thought it would be fun, sitting in the table, with good food and good wine, would flow easily! But… it was not like that…as I found comments like,  “I want what everyone wants, be healthy and my family be happy!”, “I don’t have time for your things”, “Yeah, yeah, good health and money”…

I was surprised!

As it is my family…but have your tried?

Well, I started and I can say it is uncomfortable, but it is interesting and we started to make questions and engage…it took like 2 hours, as we were 10 people.

I think after 2 years, they think it is “My Thing”, but I hope I can keep doing and make them reflect in something so important which is our lives.

This year I will handover a New Year Eve Template which they can write or think about:

  • Good things about  2018
  • Bad Things about 2018
  • Things I want for 2019

Sorry about the “Bad” but it is better to think in that way, meaning what are the things we didn’t feel good about.

And we need to list at least 3 things for each point!

Done!

Let’s see how it flows!

Happy New Year! And make it happen please!

Cheers!

2019_Family RoundTable

AnnaJo

 

Keep Calm It’s Christmas!

This year we are staying at home, means that we don’t go to Portugal, to spend the Christmas with all the family.

Last year it was the first year it happened, not going to spend Christmas with all the family and living that Christmas frenzy. I was pregnant of 8 months, so there was no way that any airline would allow me to travel!

We were feeling that there were no option, so we made it happened here following all our Portuguese traditions of food, and Santa coming at 12 am, distributing the presents! We actually bought a Santa costume, and my son pretended he was the Santa, he was 10 years old last year!

We invited friends and people we know to come, and even the relationship wasn’t very close, we would have some Port wine to offer! It became busy but filled the empty space of the Christmas gathering.

This year we are staying but is a different story. We feel more comfortable not going home, it’s already in the box of it’s fine. We have my dad coming over with my step mother, and on top of that just after Christmas will have some friends arriving also! Full house!

This is the first time we are having family coming to visit us after 2 years in US, so we are very excited and happy and we wanted so much to please them that we are having an action plan for more than 2 months.

We painted the house, fix the basement to have an extra nice living room, which my son says it’s his game room, bought some furniture, and wanted to have everything shinny!

Until Sunday night after the cleaner had finished the work and had done a deep cleaning to the house, we were sitting down relaxing in the couch, and started to rain in our head!

What!!

We have the house ready for our guests, and now we have a leaking!

Freaking out moment!

We didn’t know what to do, and we didn’t know nobody to give a call and fix it!

I couldn’t handle the situation, everything was ready, I had a week ahead of full work, and had the plan to start thinking in cooking and Christmas presents, and I had to be concerned with a leaking in  my house!

Now it is fixed, and again coming back to my week it was unnecessary that stress. It is what it is! We want everything perfect in our lives, but there will be always things that we can’t control, and using my grandma talk, if we are healthy people, please be grateful as everything else is fixable!

So today is arriving my family!

We haven’t done yet the grocery shopping for Christmas, as we need to go to Newark, here in New Jersey, to the Portuguese stores to buy the salted cod fish and the Port wine.

Keep Calm It’s Christmas!

And everything will be fine!

Kepp calm its christmas

I wish to everybody a great Holiday time, with love, health and happiness!

Thank you

AnnaJo