Real Moms: The 5 Golden Platypus Rings of Christmas


We were created for a reason. 

Christmas is upon us, and you might feel overwhelmed with things these days.

Gifts? Finances?  Decorating?  Parties…?

Listen, it can all be too much if you let it.  But fear not!  For you are a Platypus!

Of course you are going to dominate the season and come out the victor.

Here are 5 Golden Platypus Rings of Christmas to help you get there.


1. Kick That Negativity In The Teeth…”Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.


Normally, I would say this kind of hippy, lovey-dovey, positive thinking is hogwash.


But the truth of the matter is, it does have a spark of truth to it.

Christmas is always tough for me, because…and this is being completely honest… this is what I want:

I want a house full to the brim with family.

15 Aunts, 15 uncles, 50 cousins, old as dirt grandparents making inappropriate jokes, one person with too much old perfume, a kitchen busy with pots and pans, the football game in the living room and the 4th pot of coffee brewing.

Christmas-Vacation-GriswoldDo none of them have any personal boundaries?? So much touching…goodness gracious.

But if you are a Gen X’er, you don’t have this.

You have a few divorced and remarried blended families, your family lives hundreds/thousands of miles apart, and you don’t hear from the couple of older cousins you do have.

              “Gen Xers spent less time with their parents than previous generations of children had. First                                 recognized as latchkey kids, this generation found themselves home alone and taking care of                               themselves and their siblings, while their parents worked. Divorce was common. They were not                         coddled for every emotional need and want. Gen Xers learned that their parents were human and                     fallible and often found themselves treating their parents like older friends. Autonomy and self-                           reliance, rather than respect for authority, was a natural byproduct of the Generation X childhood.

There might be the negative thoughts that start clutching at your hems and dragging you down around Christmas, and you have to find the positive thoughts to give you the strength…to kick those negative thoughts in the teeth.

Because that’s what a positive, Gen X person does.

janeane_garofalo_7h3c9Guess who my inspiration was when I was a lass?


2. Appreciation Goes A Lot Farther Than You’d Think

The Harvard Business Review is awesome.


Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up. At the most basic level, it makes us feel safe, which is           what frees us to do our best work. It’s also energizing. When our value feels at risk, as it so often does,               that worry becomes preoccupying, which drains and diverts our energy from creating value.

Quick summary of their breakdown:

So what are the practical steps you can take, especially as a manager, to use appreciation in the service of building a higher-performing (and more sustainable) team?

1. As the Hippocratic oath prescribes to physicians, “Above all else, do no harm.” The costs of devaluing others are so great that we need to spend far more time thinking than we do now about how to hold people’s value, even in situations where they’ve fallen short and our goal is get them to change their behavior for the better.

2. Practice appreciation by starting with yourself. If you have difficulty openly appreciating others, it’s likely you also find it difficult to appreciate yourself.

3. Make it a priority to notice what others are doing right. For example, start by thinking about what positive qualities, behaviors and contributions you currently take for granted among the members of your team. Then ask yourself, what is it that each of them uniquely brings to the table?

4. Be appreciative. The more specific you can be about what you value — and the more you notice what’s most meaningful to that person — the more positive your impact on that person is likely to be. A handwritten note makes a bigger impression than an email or a passing comment, but better any one of them than nothing at all.”

And finally,

We’re all more vulnerable and needy than we like to imagine. Authentically appreciating others will make you feel better about yourself, and it will also increase the likelihood they’ll invest more in their work, and in you. The human instinct for reciprocity runs deep.


3. Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma,Comma Charisma….

I love being around people who make me feel better when I see them.

I don’t know if I have this charm…maybe sometimes. But genuinely charismatic people are inspiring to me, and the best I can do is learn from them.

karmacyberAnother Gen X role model.


When you think of charisma, you might think of trying to make yourself seem super awesome to others. But the paradoxical secret of charisma is that it’s not about trumpeting your good qualities, but making the other person feel good about himself. Real charisma makes the other person feel important; when they finish an interaction with you, they feel better about themselves than they did before.”


          The truth is, we like ourselves and we like talking about ourselves. The people in your life that you find             likable and charismatic, though, let you be yourself and let you talk about yourself. Be positive, shut                down your ego, and give your full attention. It really is that simple.


4. But, You Might Want To Start With Yourself, Cowboy.




Be nice to others this season.

Also, be nice to yourself.





…Maybe buy it a latte, too?  Might as well make friends with joy, while you’re at it.

Why not?


I am not a martyr-type person, so it is either going to be a sucky situation…that I change…or it is a situation of joy.

There is no qualms on my part changing things if they aren’t working.  Change is a good thing!

And that will bring joy, in itself.  Go ahead and demand joy.

For you, for me, and definitely for Colbert.



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