Reflections after meeting my brother

Photo by author

Gathered around the island
Food laid out with love.
Bubbly drinks
Cheesy dips.


The buzz of family.
Getting to know each other.

New brother. New sister, new nieces
In law.

Tentative smiles turn into belly laughs.

Warmth. Love.

Strangers yesterday
Siblings today
Family tomorrow

Two years ago, I discovered I had a biological brother. Within days of finding out about his existence, I started my search to find him. It took me six months to connect with him. I’ll never forget the day I got the email, “Greetings from Alaska!”

He’s ten years older than me. His…

How a 15-minute post-mortem helps you continually improve in work (and life)

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

For five years I commuted over two hours a day to and from work. I loved my job, so it was worth it.

One of my after-work commute rituals included a “daily post-mortem.”

Sounds ominous right? I learned about post-mortem meetings when I worked for a global management consulting company. When I received my first “Project X Post-Mortem Meeting” invite, the image of cold corpses flashed through my mind — I wanted no part of it.

But, I quickly learned that post-mortems are brilliant. They’re one of the best performance improvement techniques I learned during my corporate career.

The beauty…

Sometimes the easy path for us makes life harder for others.

Image by author

I almost killed a turtle today. Luckily, I saw him crossing our street and swerved.

I hit the brakes and yelled, “Cade! A turtle!” I flipped on the hazards and we exited the SUV.

“Where’s he going Mommy?”

“I think he’s headed over there.” I pointed to a pond about 100 yards away.

“He can’t make it that far, something will eat him! There’s too many doggies around here!” my 6-year-old son cried.

“I think he can. Let’s follow him and make sure he gets there safely.”

We creeped through the tall grass behind the little reptile. He moved faster…

When you have a child with ADHD, it’s a daily struggle

Photo by author’s friend and photographer Sarah Pointer

“You suck! My life is horrible because you’re in it!” This is what my son yelled at his 2nd-grade teacher a couple of months ago.

Not a proud mom moment, to say the least. But, I don’t feel shame anymore when I get this kind of feedback.

He’s never been an easy child. He’s a fighter — fights norms, expectations, and authority. Rules are a starting point for him, not an ending point. These characteristics will serve him well as an adult. But, as a child, they lead to stress and exhaustion — for him and us, his parents.


They appeal to my need to achieve

Photo by Catherine Hammond on Unsplash

Have a book challenge? Sign me up. I love to earn shiny gold stars.

It brings back memories of plotting my school year so I could win as many academic awards as possible. I eventually learned that trophies weren’t the answer to true happiness.

Yet, I still succumb to reading challenges. Every year. I love them! They give my brain a dash of dopamine when I log a book as “finished.”

Am I stroking my academic ego with these challenges? Probably. Should I be reading for the pure joy of it? Yep. Am I a mere pawn in a capitalistic…

Here’s a list of the 20 winners and my initial thoughts — good and bad

Photo by Sid Saxena on Unsplash

My kids joined their school’s summer reading program and it inspired me to create my own. My inner nerd and the not-so-small ego love to rock a good reading challenge.

I wanted to create a challenge that forces me outside my comfort zone. I tend to read similar authors, topics, and genres. That’s where comes in! They run an annual “best books” contest and it includes 20 categories that cover a wide range of genres.

My goal is to read the winner from each of their categories by the end of 2021 (six months). Some of these books were…

Adrienne Parkhurst

I’m passionate about personal and professional leadership. I write about lessons learned from managing teams (and myself) for 20+ years.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store