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I LOVE YOU MOM

I Love you MomOn this Mother’s Day, let us all honor those women who gave us life. Thank you for making the decision to do so. It is the most incredible and powerful gift that God could have given to us – the amazing miracle allowing us to create, carry, protect and give life to another human being.  And, today let’s honor all the Mothers – the truest friend we will ever have.

I am very fortunate to have been raised by a great Mom. And I’m sure many of you feel the same way about yours. I think it is THE most important job in the world and it carries a huge responsibility with it.

When I think about my own Mom, I realize the most important thing she gave to me was always being “present” in my life — as a baby, a toddler, a teen and an adult.  She has always been a constant in my life.

I could rattle off 9 million things she did for me while I was growing up. Kissed the boo boos, put me in time-out, drove me to and attended every extracurricular event and sporting event she could still while working one, and sometimes two jobs. Yeah, she made it happen somehow.

Cooking dinner every single night. Teaching me how to drive. Helping me with school projects. Chaperoning field trips. Showing up for all my school performances. Making my prom dresses. Giving me boy advice when I was crushed over some knucklehead. Disciplining me when I pulled some stunt.

And……telling me how proud she was of me when I accomplished something and it didn’t matter what it was. I could have won the annual pumpkin growing contest and she would have made me feel like I just climbed Mt. Everest.

I knew every day that my Mom honestly cared about me. She worried about me. She sacrificed for me. She was “interested” in me. She always knew where I was. She supported me, promoted me and encouraged me. She always let me know she was proud of me and she “showed” me how much she loved me. Daily.

She was “present” in every way. All the time. And she is today. It never stops.

Even today as a grown adult, she’s does the same things from thousands of miles away. She is a timeless teacher. How does she know exactly what to say at every important moment? How?

But not everyone is as fortunate in this world because of certain circumstances. So I consider myself to be very lucky. I have always believed that “there are mothers and there are women who have children.” There’s a big difference between the two. Being a mother is so much more than giving birth. It’s everything that happens after that extraordinary day when you experience that miracle.

I am blessed to be a mother to one son and also to be a stepmother to two amazing kids.  Step parenting can be the hardest job in the world sometimes. I got some great advice many years ago. “Just know that you are and will always be the extra adult in their lives.” I embraced that role. I’m always there when they need me. They know and I know the very special relationship we have.  I am always present in all 3 of their lives. Daily.  

The greatest compliment I ever got was when my mother told me what a great mom I had become. Those were some big shoes to fill Mom….I wonder who I learned that from?

Mothers have shaped our world from the cradle by rocking, nurturing and teaching us.  Then we grow up to make life-changing and history making accomplishments. For every preacher, president, volunteer worker, employee, entrepreneur, technician, musician, community worker, doctor, and caregiver among so many others —- there is a “mother” behind them all who encouraged her child to reach his/her full potential.

Cheers to all the mothers and the stepmothers out there and thank you for the role you have in our lives. It’s a pretty important one. I hope you all realize it. Have an amazing Mother’s Day!  We are truly blessed to be one.  God is a genius.

Motherhood will always be my single greatest achievement.  Love, Gina.

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” — Robert Browning

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Distrust and Verify

message and red pencil

We know that the journey of life teaches you many things and many lessons. The key is to learn from them and try not to repeat them. Isn’t that what every adult always preached to you when you were younger?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Remember that.

Over my many years in life and business, I have had the pleasure of being around and working with some really amazing people but I have also encountered the opposite… the disingenuous ones who seem to have an ulterior motive. Being the trusting person I am, and one who lives openly and honestly, I would begin all relationships with the assumption that the person I’m dealing with is a good person with good intentions. So naive!   Especially a few decades ago!

Today I think differently.  I’m not saying that I walk around like a pessimist or people hater, BUT I do rely on two things to assist me with my decision making. One is my second brain also known as the all powerful female intuition and 6th sense that guides us ladies!

I’m talking about that sixth sense that’s telling you something might not be right about the person or situation.  In medical terms it’s know as the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) which resides in your gut!  Evidently the ENS has more neurons than the spinal cord and covers a surface area 100x greater than that of our skin and has 30 neurotransmitters!  And studies show that the ENS actually sends input to our brains in regards to stress, sadness, memory, learning, and even decision-making.  That fascinates me! I’m no doctor but I know when I am getting that funny feeling.  So why ignore it? … your second brain that is…

You know when you get that “feeling” that something doesn’t quite feel right but you don’t know why and can’t explain it.  If you listen to it and you are wrong, you didn’t lose anything. But if you ignore it and you’re right, things could turn out badly. More often than not, your gut is right, so you should listen to it. Better to be safe than sorry.

I learned to trust it and rely on it.  I rely on the “Gina Gut Check.”  I certainly pay more attention than I used to so I can avoid inviting “crazy into the building.” That’s just a “Gina” phrase I use, but you get it.  Don’t invite crazy into the building…aka, your life.

The other thing I rely on is some advice given to me from a retired, 75 year old successful entrepreneur.  He told me to always “distrust and verify” before making decisions.

It’s true.  Everyone is selling something and has a story whether you are dating someone new, meeting your child’s new friend, hiring a new employee, entering a new business venture or voting for the next President of the United States. Don’t believe everything they tell you until you verify it to be true.

It applies to anything.  It’s just a piece of advice I wished I had been given a lot earlier in life. 

So unless you are highly intuitive, just remember these words and apply it.

Distrust and Verify.

Love, Gina.

 

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I’m 50 Bitches!

IMG_3378Today marks my milestone birthday – the one you know that will eventually arrive but most of us are conditioned to believe it will be the end of the world as we know it! Not me. I plan on wearing this shirt all day to let everyone know I have arrived.

YES. YES. YES. I’m Fifty and Fabulous. Today. March 23. Born in 1966. 5:41 p.m. ET, Cardinal Aries Fire Sun and Moon Sign (that explains a lot if you know anything about astrology like I do). My birthday is also known as the Day of Curiosity. My Chinese Zodiac sign is the Horse – characterized as active, energetic, kind, rational, optimistic sentimental and straightforward.

My Numerology Life Path is the Number 3. (this one is a little too ironic)

If your life path number is 3, creativity and superior communication skills are your strong suits. You are a true innovator in areas of writing, acting, and public speaking. You aren’t afraid to address a crowd. You are confident in your words, your appearance and your ability to convey a message in the most effective way. Your attitude is very positive, even effervescent, and you are the forever optimist. You enjoy connecting with people and your friendliness is completely genuine. You make it easy for people to trust you.

The world is not ending for me because today I turned the big 5-0. I expect it to be a great decade!!

Why?

I spent my twenties grinding- always climbing the corporate ladder, working hard to impress people I didn’t even like or respect. My only focus was to launch my career, make my mark, be recognized and respected, make as much money as humanly possible, chase success and travel the world. I will say it was a very exciting, adventurous and interesting decade and by the way, the mission was accomplished.

In my thirties, I started my own company and then God gave me the “greatest gift of all” – the blessing of motherhood and being able to feel and experience the “deepest” love imaginable. After grinding for 13 years as a full–time career girl, it suddenly became a much lower priority. I spent my thirties still working of course, but my #1 priority was raising my son. I was a single mom from Day 1 and it wasn’t always easy, but I never do anything the easy way. It was a very, very special decade for me.

In my forties, my prince charming arrived. It took a little while but God really did an amazing job this time and orchestrated a happenstance meeting. That would prove to be the beginning of a new chapter with the true love of my life. My husband and I are best friends, business partners, lovers and soul mates. Most couples could not stand to be with each other all the time, but that’s what we prefer. Work hard and play hard 24/7.  I married him 30 days after my 40th birthday and we will celebrate 10 years of marriage next month. I loved my 40’s and I am closing this decade out feeling very happy, loved, appreciated and grateful.

Now I enter this new unknown abyss. Bahahahahaha!

What is next for this 50 year old?

Well, I have been noticing some signs that have been put in front of me. First, it was 3 random phone calls from 3 different people last summer all asking me to get back on stage and do some speaking again after a 4 year hiatus.

Then, someone walked up to me one day in October and said I needed to meet someone he knew. He set up an introductory meeting. It turns out she advises billionaires, celebrities, and people you see on the news everyday- and I mean every single day. I could not for the life of me understand why she wanted to meet with me, much less work with me?

Over 3 months, she told me things that I couldn’t recognize about myself — telling me “Gina, you can’t read the label when you are inside the bottle.” She got me to understand what my true life purpose is.

And then, I got a unique birthday card from my dear friends Michelle and Rick this past weekend.  Another sign! When I started reading it, I was freaking out because it was everything the other person told me for the past 6 months!

Call me crazy —but all these arrows are pointing to the same damn thing. I’m starting to get a clue. This is the card in the deck of 52 that is assigned to my birthday.

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So there you have it! Mental Mastery. Five different people have given me signs over the past year. I imagine that now that I have acquired and earned the wisdom of 50 years on planet earth, I am being encouraged to share what I know through my writing and speaking.

Today is the beginning of a new chapter. Not only have I joined a very exclusive club of very wise “50 some things” but I am excited about the next 10 years.

It’s empowering! I don’t care about impressing people like I did when I was in my 20’s. I am proud of the way I sacrificed to be the best mom I could be when I was in my 30’s. I achieved true love, happiness and success in my 40’s. I know who my real friends are now. I don’t feel bad saying no to the people and the things I have no interest in. I don’t care what people think. I’m fine not being a size 4 anymore. I don’t obsess about what I eat and drink. I get a tan and don’t care that I get another wrinkle. I listen to 70’s and 80’s songs every day and belt out every word. I buy what I want. I say what I think. I don’t worry about being politically correct. I help people who inspire me. I love inspiring people.

I’m ready to go. Got lots to say. Got lots to share.

And, I really like the fact I represent the King of Clubs in a deck of cards! That’s just funny to me… especially if you just attended my EPIC birthday bash in Las Vegas with 25 of my Peeps last weekend. We were definitely the king of clubs—–night clubs, that is.

So between my advisors, my Sun and Moon signs, my Numerology number, my Chinese zodiac sign and my King of Clubs card, I pretty much know what I’m supposed to be doing this decade! Looking forward to sharing some wisdom!

Cheers to being 50 and Fabulous! Happy Birthday to me!

Love, Gina.

 

 

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I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR

Lion roaring, sitting, Panthera Leo, 10 years old, isolated on white

Did it really start for me in 1972? My mindset, that is?

I was just 6 years old and in the second grade at Nayatt Elementary School in Barrington, RI and I just loved to sing. This is going to freak some of you out, but I knew every word to Neil Sedaka’s “Laughter in the Rain” and “Sad Eyes” and Diana Ross’s “Baby Love” and “You Can’t Hurry Love” and I had all the dance moves just like the Supremes.   In fact, my earliest childhood dream that I can recall was my absolute desire “to be” DIANA ROSS.

I dreamt about being on stage, with a microphone, singing, wearing a long sparkly gown, a feather boa, with diamonds everywhere, with big hair and lots of glamour. I loved her.

I would take my parent’s record albums to school, go outside for recess and practice singing songs and learning the lyrics. I would do that instead of playing on the swing sets or playing marbles in the dirt (yes we played that back then). There was one particular singer that I became totally obsessed with. It was Helen Reddy, considered the Queen of 70’s POP.   Her new pop song, “I Am Woman” was the hottest song on the radio, and I knew every single word by heart.

When I learned Mrs. Collins, who was my second grade teacher, would allow the class to have “show and tell” on Friday’s, I decided that I would share my melodious voice with my classmates. I sang “I am Woman” with no fear, because I was completely competent and that gave me the confidence to do it. Why? Because I practiced singing the song a million times privately before I felt ready to sing it publicly. Back then I am not sure I really understood the meaning of the song, but I knew it by heart.  My husband always tells me I am the most prepared person he has ever met. I am. It has served me well. I never wing it. #preparation #confidence #competence

Recently I spoke at an event about this concept – Competence before Confidence.   Whatever you decide to tackle in life or business, preparation and practice is the key. Confidence will come with repetition. Do it bad enough times to get good at it. Repeat. Refine. Replicate. 

Fall, Get up. Fall no more.

But back to the song….  What really impacted me was recently reviewing the lyrics to the song, which I belted out at the top of my lungs in the second grade in front of all my friends and classmates.

Was I making a statement back then?  Did this song empower me at age 6? Would this become my unspoken mantra throughout the rest of my life? I can tell you this, I do represent every single word in this song.

For those of you who are my age….you will remember the song and you probably know all the words too!

I AM WOMAN

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend

’cause I’ve heard it all before

And I’ve been down there on the floor

No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Chorus

Oh yes I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to, I can do anything

I am strong (strong)

I am invincible (invincible)

I am woman

You can bend but never break me

’cause it only serves to make me

More determined to achieve my final goal

And I come back even stronger

Not a novice any longer

’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

Chorus

I am woman watch me grow

See me standing toe to toe

As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land

But I’m still an embryo

With a long long way to go

Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to I can face anything

I am strong (strong)

I am invincible (invincible)

I am woman

Oh, I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

Fade

I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

I am woman

For all my young fabulous female followers, you should all Watch the Performance! There is nothing you can’t do.   #girlpower #ladyboss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZMZ7_w4RDM

Love Gina

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Time Will Either Promote You Or Expose You.

Exposed stampI’ve been slacking! I have been distracted for a couple of weeks taking care of business!

But today I woke up and said, I need to write so I can get away from all the political news! GOOD GRIEF!

I need to hide all TV remotes and avoid all news websites to stay away from the constant and repetitive reporting and analysis on every little move the presidential candidates make and every sentence they utter. Do we really have to endure this for the next 9 ½ months?

Yes, unless you live under a rock.

These 24 hour news channels regurgitate the same information every hour on the hour! Now the stakes are getting higher so the negative attacks and accusations are in full swing –and it’s quite entertaining watching grown adults wrestle in the mud. And to think…. one of them will be the new leader of the free world in a few months!

Now the reason I start my day with the news is because of my mother. She told me that I should always know about current events so I could be a sparkling and interesting conversationalist. LOL

Every morning while I’m having coffee, I read the headlines online for about 10-15 minutes. It’s just my routine. I get up to speed about what’s happening in the world so I can be a prepared and informed citizen. 🙂  Oh yeah, and a sparking conversationalist.  Thanks Mom.

But she also warned me that there’s 3 things I should never discuss or get tricked into discussing with anyone.

They are 1) Religion 2) Politics and 3) Other People’s Children.  Not necessarily in that order.

She said those subjects should be off limits in social situations. “They are polarizing topics and it never goes well. People are too emotional and passionate about them. It won’t go well. So zip it.”

So I heeded this advice. I don’t participate even if the bait is fresh! Trust me, it doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. I have an opinion about everything but I exercise restraint and sometimes it’s not easy!

When I look at the political news today and I watch all the shenanigans and the self-promotion, I just think about this one concept.

                           Time will either promote you or expose you.

So it will be interesting to see who is standing tall at the end of the current political race. Someone will be promoted and someone will be exposed for who they really are. It shall be very interesting.

This also applies to your own life, not just a politician’s. You are 100% responsible for your own life and only you determine your outcomes. Only you are responsible for how you feel, the actions you take, the choices you make and the results you create. Everything starts with a decision. And those decisions, whether big or small are the reason you are at the place your at! Your life, at this moment, is an accumulation of all the choices you have made or didn’t make up until now. So take responsibility for your own life and circumstances. Own it. Own the decisions you have made so far and if you need to change something, change it.

Speaking of the news, decisions and exposure!  Let’s review some recent headlines…..

Musical Artist Beyonce performed at the SuperBowl and made a decision to tackle a very sensitive “black lives matter” subject and is now dealing with boycotts and backlash from police officers in Miami who refuse to work for her upcoming concert.   She’s in quite a firestorm at the moment.

Kanye West’s decision to take to social media and announce to the world that he’s $53 Million in debt along with his decision to have a “recorded” backstage SNL meltdown have sparked concern for the rapper’s mental health.

NFL Player Johnny Manziel is under a media microscope and criticized for his decisions which caused a series of run ins with the law, which could adversely affect his career as a professional football player.

Everything in life starts with a decision (big or small) and over time, you will either be promoted or exposed.  It makes you think about the important choices you make doesn’t it?

Only YOU are responsible for how you feel, the actions you take, the choices you make and the results you create. That’s how it works. Give some thought to yours!

Love,

Gina.

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“You Can’t Get In There”

Perseverance Word Circle Concept

Hey Moms out there.   I know you may have a similar story.

I have to write about it because I want the world to know how proud I am of my son at this moment, on this day, right now.

I used to worry about raising my son in Scottsdale, AZ because it is quite different from the blue collar east coast upbringing I had and the small town (population 1600) Midwest upbringing my husband had.

Most parents have the tendency to want to give their children more than what they had growing up.  It’s sort of a “given” in this town. Yes, I am one of those parents, but not at the expense of the core values I believe in and the things that I needed to learn and experience to prepare myself for life.

I didn’t want the extra things that I can provide financially take the place of work ethic, tenacity, dedication, commitment, hunger, success, failure, drive and ambition.  These are the important things that will shape the real man I want my son to become.  They are the most important things to me.  I knew I would support my son in many ways if I saw signs that those things lived inside him. I figured there was a good chance given the fact he has some of my genes.

And boy, are they in there!

They are showing up in the sport he loves and everything he has achieved and endured learning to play it.  It has been rewarding to watch the transformation, but it hasn’t been without some hard times and disappointments too.

He tried every sport since age 3. I encouraged him in everything, but it wasn’t until the 7th grade that I observed something very different happening.

It was the day he picked up a basketball, in my driveway.  

Now at that time, he couldn’t dribble or shoot like he can now, but with a little encouragement from a close friend and the rest of us, he joined the Boys and Girls Club recreational league and he started learning the game. He had great coaches who gave him confidence and that was key because he was brand new to the game.  Then, I watched him grow 11 inches over the next 3 years. Let me tell you that is the best thing that could ever happen to a baller.

Now, he’s 6’ 1”, with a few more inches to go, and he has been playing on his high school team. That was a great accomplishment and a testament to his hard work.  But it’s what he has been through on and off the court that inspires me beyond any words that I could possibly say or write.

Aside from school and hanging with friends, he plays basketball relentlessly.  His has enormous passion for the sport and I believe that it will take him wherever he wants to go. For him, the skill development he needed to acquire had to come on fast and furious. He had to catch up to compete at a higher level and the only way to do that was to have 100% commitment and to train and practice harder than any one else. Period.

I told him if he wanted it that bad, I would find him the right people and support him but he would have to work his butt off.  He had work to do.  I knew I needed to find basketball mentors that could train and guide him in several ways. My friend, an NBA Champion with the 93 Chicago Bulls, Joe Courtney, stepped up and mentally coached him up all summer.  Joe didn’t pick up a basketball until 10th grade and ended up playing with Michael Jordan — A good guy to talk too when you need a pep talk.

Then I found 3 great trainers, all specializing in different areas. Every single one of them love my kid. There’s just something about him. They tell me that teaching a player with that much passion and drive and ambition is rare. Coaches want to find those kids. And all of them spend more time, over and above, training and coaching him.  They come to his games and sit in the stands to see what his competition looks like. They don’t have to do that, but they do. They tell me he has extraordinary potential because of his work ethic.  They want him to succeed and they have so much belief in him. They are invested.

As an observer, the year over year improvement in his skills has been nothing short of remarkable. I told him to keep working hard and one day your basketball skills will do all the talking. Patience. He has done that. He’s persevered and he has earned the respect and admiration of his teammates. Now they are always at my house. They are always together. He has come a long way.

Now the season is coming to an end. He hasn’t seen as much playing time as he would like.  I tell him to stay positive and be patient but I’m not going to lie.  It’s probably one of the most difficult things to watch, as a mom, hoping the coach taps him to get up and get in the game, and it doesn’t happen.  I often think about how he feels. He knows how hard he works. He sits there, a total team player, game ready, anticipating that moment.  He may get to contribute. He may not. He takes it. He deals with it. He processes it and moves on.  He’s proud to be on the squad.  It just makes him want to work harder. After his 2 hour team practices end, he goes to work with his trainers at night. He trains all weekend. He never stops. Basketball never stops.

As his mother, I’m more concerned with his mental toughness and intestinal fortitude: defined as the courage and endurance to go on.   I tell him no one and nothing can stop him. No one and nothing can hold him back.  No one and nothing can define him. No one and nothing can get in his head.  “You can’t get in there.”  Your time will come.

He has a dream to play college basketball one day.  And, he’s got plenty of time.  I tell him to stick with his plan.

The bigger lesson here is he knows what hard work, commitment, never quitting, never giving up, belief in one self, dedication, tenacity, patience, mental toughness and intestinal fortitude are all about. Not only is he a good basketball player, but I believe he will become an authentic, morally sound leader in whatever he choses to do in this life. He now has invaluable life skills which he learned from playing the sport he loves.  I am so damn proud of him.

If you have a child in the same boat, keep on encouraging them!

Intestinal Fortitude will win!

Love,

Gina.

 

 

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“I GET TO, I DON’T HAVE TO”

Woman done cleaning being very excited and happy. Beautiful mixed race asian / caucasian model isolated on white background.

“I get to, I don’t have to”

Every day people say I have to go to work, I have to pay bills, I have to go grocery shopping, I have to take my kid to practice, I have to cook dinner, I have to go on a business trip, I have to clean my house, I have to go to dinner with clients. And, we say it like it’s the end of the world and a major inconvenience. I get it. Who the heck likes grocery shopping or cleaning their house? It’s not exactly the way most of us would choose to spend our free time.

But…

…what if we made a minor tweak in the language we use and instead said, ‘‘I get to”, before everything we do. I get to play tennis today, I get to go watch football on Sunday, I get to do laundry, I get to cook dinner.  Do you see my point?

We really are on this earth for a short time and shouldn’t we feel lucky and blessed to even be here? I mean, every single one of us is a miracle with a higher purpose, whether or not you have discovered it yet. Many of the things we get to do every day is for basic survival and other things are little luxuries and gifts that we take for granted.

We don’t have to do anything. We get to do everything.

Recently, I found myself saying the same things. I have to take down my Christmas decorations, I have to plan a birthday dinner, I have to go to the gym, I have to go to Cabo. (I know, slap me).

The truth is I am lucky to get to do all of those things, but when I started hearing myself, I sounded like a spoiled little brat. I was mad at myself. Then I started hearing everyone else around me say the same thing.  I have to, I have to, I have to.

Now, I say “I get to” and it sounds and feels so much better. All I did was change one word! I get to load the dishwasher! #truth.  I’m telling you if you start saying it this way, it won’t feel like such a nuisance.

This may help put my point in perspective. On Christmas Eve, my really close friend drove himself to the hospital after work because he could not breathe. They told him he had pneumonia and admitted him, but I didn’t know it.

About a week later, I texted him to see how the holidays went because he was on my mind. His name is Joe and not only is he my jeweler :), but he’s the only person I trust to take care of my house and my dog when I travel.  He is a close friend, always coming over my house for BBQ’s, dinners, or whatever other social event I create at Casa Weber. He has become an extension of my family.

He called me right after I texted him. It was 9 p.m. at night and he told me he was in the hospital. He proceeded to tell me why he went there on Christmas Eve. Then he said, “it’s really bad Gina; what looked like pneumonia is full blown leukemia.”

Of course, I was stunned, shocked, and immediately saddened. After a long conversation, I told him I’d be there tomorrow and then I went in my office and started researching the type of leukemia he was diagnosed with.

I went to the hospital the next day to see him. My timing was not ideal. I showed up 10 minutes after the doctor who was giving him a second opinion had left. That doctor had just told him (in his opinion) he had 2-6 months to live, maybe a year.  Then I walk in. He looks at me and said “oh no, why did you have to be the one that shows up now?” I couldn’t hug him, so he gave me knuckles and said Gina, WTF! FK!  His mind went straight to the 2 month option.  I tried to be as positive as possible and told him there must be other options, but then the tears started as a few family members and other friends arrived and he shared the news.

I left that evening knowing he needed to sleep and process everything.  I went home and did more research.

The next day, he got his fight on. Hell yeah! He decided to get the hell out of that hospital which was not a place that had the resources to fight the good fight. He also chose a team of doctors and experts who were positive about beating it.  He is now coming home this weekend after enduring 21 days of aggressive chemo and his team has a plan for a bone marrow transplant.  He’s on the right track and I can’t wait to see him out of that hospital room and back home.

I guarantee you he would love to say “I get to” wake up tomorrow. “I get to” make dinner, “I get to” see my dogs, “I get to” sleep in my own bed, and so on.

It makes you think doesn’t it? Let’s all just change one little word and be grateful we “get to” go grocery shopping and “we get” to clean our houses.

Love,

Gina.

 

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New England Fans Were Born This Way

Depositphotos_69305895_s-2015

Why are all New England sports fans so fiercely loyal?  If you even think about bad mouthing our teams, players, coaches, management or fans, it may come down to fisticuffs! I’m not kidding.

For all the New England haters who do not understand, here’s the deal.

It starts at birth. If you are born in New England, it’s over. It’s in the DNA. You are automatically initiated into this exclusive club. You leave the hospital in a team beanie and every relative takes a thousand pictures and posts them all over the internet and you are only 2 days old. You are now officially a New England Fan and are expected to live, eat and breathe the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox or Patriots!

You grow up wearing every possible hat, visor, t-shirt, jersey and jacket, and you own every folding chair, cooler, koozie cup, backpack, grill, and tent with our team logos on it, and you showcase all the team decals on all your cars, boats, motorcycles, golf carts and anything else that the public will see. You are a proud and loyal fan and you want everyone to know it.

Your parents start planning your first trip to Fenway or the Boston Garden (can’t even call it the Wells Fargo Center, because it’s the Garden) or Foxboro Stadium (ok, Gillette Stadium). You anticipate opening day and the start of the season. It’s a big deal. You grow up learning every player on every team and you revolve your entire social life around watching or attending games. Here’s a few of my own memories and I’m sure there are more but my memory isn’t as good as it once was.

I remember as a kid watching the Boston Bruins. When they won the Stanley Cup in 1970 after 29 years with Bobby Orr’s game winning goal my entire family was going crazy screaming like raving lunatics in the family room! And more specifically I recall how we use to watch the games on Channel 38, a UHF Channel with really bad reception. We had aluminum foil wrapped around the antenna to improved reception and we moved it around constantly to get a better signal! Ah, the good ol’ days.

I still get chills watching that moment on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOIlfV-XtBg

I knew all the main players and their numbers: Sanderson (16), Cashman (12), Cheevers (30), Esposito (7), Bucyk (The Chief, 9) and Orr (4). My Dad had “the most wanted” Rhode Island license plate on his car for years. BRUIN4. It is now is securely hung up in his garage as a tribute to the great #4.

Later in my sports marketing career, I had the honor to meet the great Bobby Orr at the Garden with Harry Sinden when I was working with the Bruins. I brought an 8 x 10 photo of his gaming winning goal with him suspended in mid-air and he autographed it for my Dad.

Bobby Orr wrote, “John, Great License Plate, Bobby Orr #4”

And we were patient and loyal Bruins fans. After a 39 year drought, the Bruins win the Cup again in 2011.

I remember waitressing in 1986 at the Crossroad Pub in Warren, RI. People were in the dining room (why they were even there and not home watching the game still disturbs me) and I was in the kitchen ignoring them and watching the final minutes of Game 6 of the World Series on a tiny little white television. I was stunned and in disbelief after we lost to the Mets, just 1 out away, with a 5-4 lead in the 10th inning. Poor Bill Buckner. I definitely went to the bar that night and I bet he did too.

In 1991, I flew out of Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA with the Boston Celtics on their team jet. I was a sports marketing executive on the plane and the only other females were two flight attendants. Story of my life.  Everyone else was a player or coach or trainer or executive. I got to sit next to Dennis Johnson on the outbound flight and Rick Fox on the team bus. Fox was a rookie and so cool and I distinctly remember the remarkable color of his eyes. I will detail the rest of this amazing day in my book. It was a once in a lifetime experience and one that I will never forget. I will be a Celtics fan for life.

October 2004. Every fan will tell you where they were when the Red Sox executed the 4-game, 4-straight win comeback after a 3-0 deficit to the NY Yankees to win the ALCS! OMG. It was EPIC!!!

Then, the Red Sox go on to win the 2004 World Series for first time in 86 years. I think the world stopped. Generations were finally rewarded for the endless disappointments they endured as a Boston Red Sox fan. My Dad taped the victory parade in Boston and cried watching the celebration after we finally broke the curse of the Bambino. That’s how emotional we are in New England.

And then we prevailed in 2007 versus the Rockies when Papelbon closed out the sweep to win again! And then again in 2013. What a run over the last 9 years for the Sox! Redemption!

Now on to the Patriots.

Where do I even begin? We are the most dominant combination of human weapons to ever grace the football field under the brains of Coach Belichick.  I hear the haters getting restless as I write this. Don’t care. I don’t need you to agree with me.

My Pats have been through the 4 Stages of Success with the NFL and the media.

  • Attention
  • Criticism
  • Haters
  • Admiration

And if you are personally stuck at #3, you will soon be at #4. You cannot deny it. The New England Patriots will be in their 10th AFC Championship game with Belichick and Brady. We are marching toward a 5th Super Bowl Championship.

We just have to get by another epic match up with the Denver Broncos and watch one more Brady-Manning showdown. I can’t wait.

My dog Diva, who is a 3 lb. yorkie, has been sporting her Pats jersey all week. I will be dressed in my Patriots attire (because that’s what we do) and hosting my AFC Championship Party at 1 p.m. AZ time. It doesn’t matter that I live in AZ. It wouldn’t matter if I were on the moon. Patriots fans are loyal wherever they are.

By the way, it’s not like we have always been on the winning end of things. Granted we have been on quite a run recently. We earned our bragging rights. So for those of you who don’t understand us and are annoyed by us, we were born this way. Now you know.

Good luck today boys!!  Representing Patriots Nation from the desert!

Love,

Gina

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I BET ON GINA

successful-at-whatever

 

One of my famous lines…

“Why draw when you can trace? Why trace when you can copy?”

And ironically enough, I have “copied” that saying from someone else and I repeat it often. The minute I heard it, I was like… that’s brilliant and it’s true. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as an original idea. There are extensions, improvements and new iterations of ideas, but other than the creation of the universe, what is truly original?

I listed “some” of the major things that I have experienced so far in my life, and there’s a lot more- many I can’t write about lol.   Every one of them were pretty big “things” but hardly original; and in every case someone else learned to do it before I did.

Growing up, Graduating School, Playing Sports, Leaving for College, Getting a Job, Dating, Planning a Wedding, Marriage, Divorce, Having a Baby, Being a Single Mom, Step Parenting, Buying a house, Buying a car, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Investing, Starting a Business, Building a Business, Selling a Business, Public Speaking, Traveling …

Is there really anything that you are going to hear or see or experience in your lifetime that someone hasn’t already thought about or done or experienced? And isn’t it true that if you just paid attention and sought out the people who have preceded you in any these areas, couldn’t you figure out and learn how to do it for yourself?

My list above looks sort of boring, but I promise you, the details surrounding all of those things, which I already survived, could be a reality TV show and NY Times best seller. I can’t tell you how many people over the years have begged me to film one or write one. I may just do both. Just keep reading my blog and you will be thoroughly entertained with stories. I just have to figure out how to keep all the characters anonymous to protect the guilty, the innocent and the stupid!

Trust me, I am just warming up.

I had someone recently say to me, why are you successful at whatever? I mean, how are you successful at whatever you do? I didn’t really think about it until she asked me. But the truth is, I have been successful at whatever I put my mind to and my energy behind. I do not set out to fail. I don’t even consider it. Once I make a decision to do something, it’s like a lion just got released from its cage. I don’t mess around. It’s game on. I work tirelessly to ensure I won’t fail. It’s like I have an extra gear or something.

In many cases, I had zero experience. ZERO. Whether it was running a multi-million dollar sports marketing and motorsports program for a Fortune 30 or learning how to step parent, I figured it out along the way. (Both were equally challenging by the way).

I had to learn to be resourceful and that’s one of my greatest skills. I always rely on that. I stay resourceful and seek the information and of course, with knowledge comes power. Hardly a new concept people!

That’s why we have the internet. It’s all out there. So many endless resources at the click of the mouse.

That’s why we have teachers. So we can learn from subject matter experts who have spent years and decades learning so they can share their knowledge perspective.

That’s why we have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. So we can get endless advice and wisdom from the ones who have gone before us and have the stories to prove it.

That’s why we have coaches. So we can become better at the one thing they have already learned and mastered and that’s why they are qualified to teach it.

That’s why we have mentors. So we can be guided down a career path and reach the level of success they already have.

Now in full disclosure, I’m not saying I haven’t failed before because I have been in situations where it was impossible to succeed, and I have really learned from those experiences. Interestingly though, it was always when I was not in full control of the situation.

So here’s what I know after earning all this infinite wisdom. I bet on Gina. I invest in Gina. I trust Gina. I listen to Gina.

I know my level of intuition is extraordinary and as long as I put myself in control of the ship, the intentions will be in the right place and the execution will follow.

Be resourceful and seek out all the necessary information and trust your gut.

Love,

Gina

 

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The Ocean Totally Creeps Me Out

Beautiful and dangerous underwater world

The ocean totally creeps me out.

There is something so mysterious about it — the darkness, the coldness, and the unpredictability of it. One minute it’s calm and peaceful, the next minute it’s violent and angry. The ocean is so damn moody. They always blame it on mother nature but I think it has a mind of its own. How can it be so beautiful and inviting one minute and then take out an entire resort town the next?

(all you marine scientists and oceanographers, this is metaphoric so I don’t need the science behind Tsunamis lol.)

Not mention the scary things in it. It seems like a new creature is discovered every week with new, never been seen before pictures to prove it. They find a new species after a gazillion years?

What about the things on the bottom that were swallowed up by it… and the divers that find pleasure going in to find it! Who are these people anyway?

I mean, how can fishermen and sailors go out in that crazy unknown place every day and not wonder what’s underneath them. Every time I go in the ocean and tread water, I kick my feet to create enough racket so nothing comes close to my toes. Are you with me? Why is that? I always think something is going to try to take a nibble. Who is the knucklehead that made the JAWS movie in 1975!

Now the world does a great job disguising the ocean to be heavenly…with big giant cruise ships, yachts, jet skis, sailboats, catamarans, private islands, white sandy beaches, coconuts…

I know. I have been on all of those things and to those places. I love the beach. Looking at it. Listening to it. I may swim in it, if I can see the bottom and the water is warm and turquoise…just sayin.

Hey, I’ve “snuba” dived (wimpy version of scuba) and snorkeled in Hawaii, The Bahamas, Mexico, and the Caribbean and I’ve even passed by a shark, stingrays and barracudas while doing it.  I survived it all, but it wasn’t exactly ideal.  I even chartered a small private sailboat once and sailed the around the eastern Caribbean islands for 10 days. I love adventure. Hell, I am an Aries.

BUT STILL, the ocean creeps me out.

I mean, does anyone really like the look of a lobster? A crab?  With those little beady eyes and claws crawling around so fast?  I know they taste good, but please find me one human who thinks they are cute. Jelly fish? Horseshoe Fish? Seaweed?  Come on people…. these are just the creepy little things that wash up on the beach.  Imagine what really lives down in the deep, deep dark, cold, scary ocean?  Hell, they still can’t find a 777 airplane and it’s been almost 2 years.

It also seems like it’s an “all for one, one for all” kind of place. I wonder about those poor little fish always looking over their shoulder wondering if they are on the breakfast, lunch, or dinner menu. I know there’s some sort of pecking order down there and I would imagine if you are a great white, you can do as you please. But for the rest, it cannot be fun and relaxing. I mean, they can never sleep. Everything just keeps moving. It’s sounds so exhausting doesn’t it?

Even though the ocean is creepy, it doesn’t stop me from…

Flying over it.

Cruising on it.

Sailing on it.

Fishing in it.

Swimming in it.

The damn earth is 71% ocean. I’ve learned to co-exist with it and pretend it’s a lovely little place. I don’t let the creepiness control me.

I really was just thinking about the ocean because I am going to be looking at it in a few days, but I started thinking about how the ocean is a lot like life.

It’s always unpredictable and mysterious. Sometimes it’s calm and peaceful and sometimes it causes a crazy storm and you just have to ride it out. Sometimes you will encounter powerful sharks who try to push you around and sometimes a shifty lobster with beady eyes shows up to try to create havoc in your life. (Just boil that sucker and eat him!)  Sometimes a new species shows up out of nowhere like today’s terrorists and we just need to find new ways to deal with them. Sometimes you finally make a decision in life to try something new, like going for a little swim, but once you get in the water, you start worrying about who or what could start biting your toes. And, then there are times when you are just minding your own business like a normal fish, just constantly moving, always swimming, never sleeping, just trying to survive.

I have experienced all of it and learned many lessons from it. Just when you think your life is looking perfect, with white sandy beaches and endless coconuts, the island is about to be taken out by a Tsunami!

I believe every person in your life shows up for a reason, whether they stay permanently or just a little while. But there is a reason they showed up.

Embrace the scary sharks, the poisonous stingrays, the shifty lobsters, the ugly horse fish, and all the other creatures just moving about you because they are teaching you something.

Make sure you always seek adventure! Be like me and pretend the ocean is a lovely little place so you can go yachting and sailing and fishing and swimming and fly over it!

Life is meant to be lived fearlessly and passionately.   Don’t let the creepy ocean stop you.

Love Gina.

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