My first impression of the book was...what type of feminist manifesto-stuff did I pick up. In the opening pages it mentions the idea, but it clear that is not the case. I quickly discovered Lean In encourages all readers to become better leaders, employees, and parents.
Here are my Top 10 + 1 Takeaways:
Takeaway 1: Sandberg discusses gender equality…and the concept of imposter syndrome. Early in the book, she acknowledges the things that could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better. The promise of equality is not the same as true equality.
Takeaway 2: I love this concept…. Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder. A survey in 2010 found that the average American had 11 jobs from the time they were 18-46.
Takeaway 3: Success is making the best choices we can…and accepting them. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
Takeaway 4: Done is better than PERFECT.
Takeaway 5: It is impossible to control all the variables when it comes to parenting. Set obtainable goals.
Takeaway 6: Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it seems like a long shot. Every job will demand a sacrifice. The key is to avoid unnecessary sacrifice. This is extremely hard because our society values complete dedication.
Takeaway 7: In the current business model, we are told to fit in versus disrupting the status quo.
Takeaway 8: The simple act of talking openly about behavioral patterns makes the subconscious conscious.
Takeaway 9: All of us---men and women alike---have to understand and acknowledge how stereotypes and biases cloud our beliefs and perpetuate the status quo. Instead of ignoring our differences, we need to accept and transcend them.
Takeaway 10: Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential.
PLUS 1--- Fear often paralyzes us... What would you like to do if you weren’t afraid? And then go do it.
Listen to the Books Travel Life Podcast discussion the book:
This week’s Family Fun Friday focuses on my family’s top travel destinations in Omaha, Nebraska. The Children’s Museum of Omaha was our original destination. We left home at 4:00 a.m. hoping to visit the museum the same afternoon. We arrived and discovered that the museum was closed on Mondays. It was sad seeing the frowns on my kid’s faces. I almost had a “Clark Griswold” moment! It was okay because there was much more to do and explore in Omaha. Continue reading for my family’s top travel destinations in Omaha.
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is the largest pedestrian bridge connecting two states. The pedestrian bridge crosses the Missouri River and connects Nebraska with Iowa. One of my favorite moments was when my son and oldest daughter discovered they could be a state away from their parents. Another comment they made was “I can stand in two states”. The view of the skyline in Omaha is beautiful at sunset and I recommend viewing it from the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
I could see the Omaha Zoo from our hotel room and decided it would be a neat zoo to explore. We decided to drive the short distance to the Omaha Zoo, which is known as the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. The Omaha Zoo has the largest desert biome in the world. It is also known for having one of the world’s largest indoor rain forests.
Our kid’s favorite attraction in Omaha was the slides in the Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall. This 10 acre riverside park is a short walk from Old Market Place. The riverside park has walking trails, historic and modern architecture, and you guessed it…SLIDES. This is a great way to have some family fun. The slides in the riverside park are steep and fast. My son found out that if you use wax paper you’ll go even faster and fly off the end of the slide. Another riverside park you might want to visit is Heartland of America. This park connects with the Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall. Don’t miss the Heartland of America Fountain water and light show. The park is also full of military sculptures.
Our family had a great time visiting Omaha. The Omaha Zoo, riverside parks, and the pedestrian bridge were a total hit for my family.
(REVISITED THIS POST from LAST YEAR. I need to read this book again. )
I’ve spent the month of August studying the yama of Ahimsa. The yamas are the guiding principles of yoga. Yoga is designed to bring your awareness to your body and your thoughts. The first of these principles or yamas is Ahimsa which translates to nonviolence.
The first thing I found with Ahimsa is that everyone is at different levels. What Ahimsa is to one person is totally different for another person...and that’s OK. Some may still eat meat, some might still kill certain animals and insects, but each person is striving to be non-violent in their own way.
“Love lies at the core of nonviolence and begins with our love of self” (31).
What I love about Ahimsa is what I learned about myself. It’s part of human nature to put down ourselves. I discovered I’m violent to myself and went years without recognizing it. Negative self-talk brought and sometimes brings me down. I then would pass the negative energies to all those I came in contact.
When we are violent to ourselves it is hard to share love and peace to others. But, if we are loving to ourselves and at peace...our love and peace energy will pass on to others. The positive loving and peaceful thoughts will transform our environment and those around us.
“Nonviolence asks us to trust the other’s journey and love and support others to find their highest image of themselves, not our highest image of them” (33).
I’ve learned that nonviolence doesn’t just mean physical violence, but focuses inward to your thoughts and motivations.
Throughout the month, at times I would be angry at a particular circumstance and sometimes a particular person. Someone would cut me off in traffic or I’d receive an unexpected bill in the mail. I found myself thinking violently or wishing ill for person. As I reflected on what I was learning, I realized these negative and violent thoughts are not Ahimsa.
Adele, Deborah. The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice. Duluth, MN: On-Word Bound, 2009. Print.
I loved my first cruise experience and hope to go on another soon. As a first time cruiser, I had no idea what to expect, whether I would get sick, or what surprises would await me.
Below are a few tips for cruisers to the Bahamas on Carnival Elation:
First of all, I'm prone to motion sickness, so I used the Transderm-Scop 1.5 MG/3 Day patch. I was fine, although I felt like I was still on the ship two days after disembarking. My children used Dramamine a few times when they didn't feel well.
Ocean View Room
Pay the extra money for ocean view. The window is about 3'x4' and we enjoyed looking out at the open ocean as well as when we arrived to port. If you are budget conscious and you won't spend much time in your stateroom, I'm sure an interior room would be sufficient.
Get a travel package that offers the free dining option and buffet. Every evening we dressed up and ate in the Imagination Dining Room. We ate during the early dining (6 p.m.) time slot. I found this to be difficult to get ready for after excursions at the ports, but we made it work. For our children, the (8:15 p.m.) time slot probably would have been a little late for us. The food was great. I tried things I normally don't have the option to eat at home like duck, rabbit, and lamb. I also have a new favorite appetizer, calamari (squid). The desserts are heavenly. Our favorite was the Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake.
Wear slides or flip flops versus going barefoot. The decks are HOT!
Ports and Excursions
When booking shore excursions, research options before you leave. Booking through Carnival does cost more, but they GUARANTEE you will be back in time to reboard the ship before it leaves port. The cabs and tour groups on the island cannot 100 percent guarantee the same. Our experience with a local group was wonderful. Our guide, "Dr. Phil", took great care of us and drove us around in a 12 passenger van. He took us around the city of Nassau located on the island of New Providence. He also took us to Paradise Island and to Atlantis. I was $15 at the casino there so I was pumped.
We also enjoyed our excursion at Freeport. While I felt Freeport was more impoverished, Carnival took us to a private beach. As we docked, Carnival announced they had an additional excursion to offer. This excursion was a 12-mile bus ride through Freeport to a private Carnival beach for $19.95/person. It also included beach chairs and umbrella. We were at the beach a total of two hours.
I enjoyed both ports (Nassau and Freeport), but liked Nassau more. I think I liked Nassau more due to the proximity of the port. In Nassau, we docked in the downtown area where there was plenty of shopping, food and a public beach. Where in Freeport, we docked near an industrial area with little shopping and eating.
At every port, I felt safe due to the safe guards put into place for accurate identification as well as Coast Guard escorts as we entered and excited the ports. Locals couldn't gain access to the tourists without a permit within a secure area around the ship. The locals at the ports in the Bahamas will bargain with you. Caution: they will start with a high price, but will often come down.
There was plenty to do on the ship. The entertainment ranged from game shows, comedy shows, 80s rock sing-a-longs, Karaoke and a piano bar. Carnival provided options for our children to attend programs throughout the day and into the night.
No Cash Needed
While on the boat, no cash is needed. Everything you purchase is billed to your room via you Sail and Ship card. Lemonade, Water, Tea and Coffee are free, but alcohol and soda cost extra. You can buy a daily drink car for $49.99, but are limited to 15 alcoholic drinks a day. NOTE: It is my understanding you had to buy two cards one for each person over 21 so you couldn't cheat the system. I never verified this from a Carnival employee, but heard several people talking about it.
I was impressed by the great and helpful staff on the Carnival Elation. If I had any complaints it would be they expected a tip for EVERYTHING. For example, I bought a beer for $5.95 and the total bill was $6.48. It had a 15 percent gratuity already added to the bill. They also added gratuity for the water we had ordered to our room since we couldn't bring any aboard. NOTE: Carnival adds a per person rate for gratuity on your room bill. We were surprised by a $51.80 charge per person. We were tipping waiters, etc throughout our trip and only found this out the day before we got off the ship. We were told this is a charge we wouldn't have to pay. We paid some of the charge, but guest services were happy to reduce it for us.
The ocean is a beautiful place and I feel Carnival does have a responsibility and genuine care for the environment. General reminders through the loud speaker reminded guests not to litter into the ocean and the recommended the reuse of towels in the staterooms.
I will cruise again with Carnival, hopefully sooner than later. It was an enjoyable experience and a lot of fun. Bon Voyage!
is an English Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher, writer, journalist, former Scholastic Inc. Blogger, aspiring entrepreneur, and founder of The Writers App.