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7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 64): girl power, leadership, and keeping it real

  • May 22, 2015
  • By Happy
7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 64): girl power, leadership, and keeping it real


— 1 —

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  Mine was – well… deep.  I’ve had a number of very intense conversations this week about everything from re-defining forgiveness to the abuse of power in the church, and I also had the privilege of participating in a synchroblog about anger.  One of the things I appreciate about the synchroblog conversations of which I’ve been a part are the diversity of perspectives represented; these conversations really make you think.  If you missed it, you can catch my post for this month’s conversation here, along with a link list of other posts in the conversation.

— 2 —

On to curating the rest of the internet:

Some of my absolute favorite moments on television (which I usually tend to catch on the internet instead of on tv, lol) are those in which Melissa McCarthy makes an appearance on The Ellen Show.  (Seriously, it’s been four years and I am still laughing because of the spanx story.)  But her appearance this week might just have included one of my favorite girl-power moments of all time.  She called out a reporter on the way he (and many of us) chip away at women and their self-esteem with our preconceived ideas of beauty as rooted in unhealthy gender constructs, but she did it in such kindness.  Sometimes just slowing down enough to think can make all the difference. The Huffington Post took notice; I hope the rest of the media world does, too.

— 3 —

Speaking of girl power…

I have always been a night-owl (as in: the complete opposite of a morning person), but when I was in elementary school, there was one thing guaranteed to get me out of bed in the morning.  Well, no – two things.  The first was fried Cheerios.  Best. Breakfast. Ever.  (I still love them.)

But the other was the promise that if I was ready for school by 7:30am, I could watch Jem and the Holograms before leaving for school.  Jerrica Benton was my hero; I mean, who wouldn’t want a secret life as a rock star?  Successful business woman by day, rock star by night, and secretive advanced technology as empowerment: Jerrica had it all.  I adored her, and I loved her music.  My sister and I would stall, coats and backpacks hastily thrown on during the last commercial break, hats and mittens in place, so we could watch the music video at the end of the show, and then we would literally sprint all the way to school to make it to class on time.

Ah, memories…

All of which is to say, I cannot wait to see this:


 — 4 —

One of our family traditions is watching the Triple Crown races every year.  Two more weeks, and we’ll find out if American Pharaoh has what it takes to be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978; it’s exciting stuff.  But a couple hours before the Preakness, I suddenly realized that someone was missing from the spotlight this year.  “Whatever happened to Rosie?” I asked my mom as we were texting back and forth about the race.

Rosie Nepravnik is one of my favorite jockeys, and she’s had a brilliant career.  I loved the interview she did with NBC last year before the Derby, talking about her life and her hopes and dreams for the future.  Well – the future is here.  Rosie Napravnik is going to be a mom, and is happily working as an assistant to her husband, trainer Joe Sharp.

There’s only one thing in the article I read about it that drove me crazy.  Trying to be all race-track-analogy-like, the author played it off like Rosie’s happily taking second place.  Baloney.  (Only, you know, the stronger version of that.)  She’s still doing things she loves doing.

I hope she comes back next year and wins the Triple Crown.  I remember her reflecting last year on what a story it would be to tell her daughter.  They’re having a son – but what a story to tell him, too.  Horse racing has always been a male-dominated field.  It would be amazing if she became the first female jockey to win the Crown.

Just sayin’…

— 5 —

There are about 18+ million things I could curate from the internet for you this week – but this post is probably the most hear-wrenching thing I’ve read in ages, ever.  Read it.  Weep.  And then, please… DO something.  It truly doesn’t matter how small/large your gift is.  EVERY GIFT MATTERS. Maybe more than you think.

— 6 —

Again – there really are about 18+ million things I could curate from the internet that truly matter… but here’e one: 7 Examples of Shallow Leadership. I would love to say that I have never seen these IRL – but in truth, I have.

Sure ways to go deeper into health as a leader?

  • photo courtesy of © / Wavebreakmedia

    photo courtesy of © / Wavebreakmedia

    Re-evaluate everything (especially from the perspective of people whose personalities are polar opposite from yours)

  • Assume that there is possibly a way to do things that is a dozen times better than “your way”
  • Understand that you couldn’t possibly know everything
  • CARE.  For realz.  And triple-check that you: a) actually do; and b) come across like it
  • Lean into conflict. Don’t be afraid of people who disagree with you.  Instead: seek to understand why they do, and – rather than feeling threatened by their perspectives – allow for the fact that there is likely truth to be found in their opinions, and listen.
  • Be decisive.  You will probably make some massive mistakes – and the higher up in leadership you go, the more extensive the consequences will be.  So the left hand to the right hand of decisiveness?  Humility.  Own it – out loud, and as publicly as appropriate – when you screw up.  It might feel counter-intuitive – but you will gain so much respect for your ability to admit your humanity.
  • Recognize a lack of momentum for what it is.  Never try to justify “seasons” of set-backs; if you are losing people and/or progress at a steady rate, there is probably an unhealthy dynamic in your organization at the root.  Fix that, and the momentum you want will gain natural ground.

And apparently I could have written an entire 7QT just about that. 😉

— 7 —

I had a text from one of my very best friends a couple of weeks ago, in reference to my last 7QT post.  He said (and I quote): “The boring stuff in the 7 QT shows vulnerability and transparency.  Don’t feel like you can’t include some.”

I defended myself: “Lol. I don’t feel like I can’t – I just try not to whine too much online. And since 2015 has pretty much sucked thus far… yeah.”

But nonetheless – point taken.

So here’s some of the “real stuff” from my gratitude list this week:

  • housemates who have been insanely understanding and supportive about the sharp turns in my circumstances this year
  • friends who volunteered to underwrite another year of Simple Felicity’s existence
  • a friend who personally ensured that I was able to afford groceries for the month
  • friends who have opened up their home to me twice a week for the summer as a quiet place to work
  • a job that I absolutely love getting up for in the morning

For more about that: subscribe to my weekly newsletter, and catch the inside scoop tomorrow.  (And as a holiday weekend bonus, I will even forward this week’s Saturday morning update to you if you subscribe at any time over the weekend.)

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And on that note: have an amazing weekend, friends!

Grace and peace,



For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Have a great weekend!


By Happy, May 22, 2015
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Meet Happy

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Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and feminism.

A bit about me: My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.

Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.

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