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Connecting the Dots with Optimism

By Jeannie Sanders.

For many years I have often quoted a piece of Steve Job’s Stanford commencement speech where he said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

That quote resonates deeply with me. Throughout this incredible journey, I can pinpoint specific and poignant moments along the way that led me exactly to where I am now.

My name is Jeannie Sanders. Until 2018, this native Floridian was Jeannie Parsch. I was single and living in downtown Orlando, Florida, with two Pekingese dogs who lived 12 and 14 fun-filled years. I worked in the Siemens Power Generation corporate offices, enjoyed girls’ nights out, went to the gym whenever I wanted, visited my family as often as I could, and was able to pick up and go as I pleased, and I sure did. I was happy, didn’t feel I was missing out on anything, had faith in my plan, and celebrated life as often as I could.

When the inevitable friends or family were concerned that I wasn’t married and I didn’t have kids, I didn’t let it bother me. In fact, an employee one year said to me “Jeannie, you don’t have it all (aka the kids, white picket fence or husband), but you have IT”. What a smart way to verbalize this observation. We don’t have to have it all as defined by anyone else other than you. But to have “IT”, is key!

Siemens provided a memorable 21-year career, working alongside some of the most memorable people of my career. Siemens gave me the opportunity to grow up and mature in a male-dominated company from age 20 to 41-years old, travelling many parts of the world often alone, with great responsibility and assignments throughout my career.

The career and the memories created are stitched on my heart.

Fast-forward 19 years, and I finally met and then married my husband following (I assume they did not meet and get married during the actual skydive) an unplanned skydive in Florida. At age 40, I moved from my hometown with my homegirls to Nevada where I knew 3 people in total. At age 40, three months before my wedding I was blessed to inherit my husband’s 2 amazing kids aged 9 and 13 through his previous marriage (?). Together as a new blended family we pulled off one of the most beautiful and love-detailed weddings, where we had intertwined so many special things, I had planned over a majority of my adult lifetime. My new husband, Steve, actually jumped out of a helicopter and into our cocktail hour surrounded by our most cherished friends and family!

At age 41, after 21 years with the same company, I stopped working my corporate America job and started my own business. At age 42, I started IVF treatments. At age 43, we ended the IVF treatments, saw a new doctor who gave me some new advice and I ended up pregnant on our wedding anniversary in October of 2019. Covid-19 changed the trajectory of so many people’s lives and for us it meant, at 44, it was time to give birth to our miracle baby girl and spend some time bringing our newest addition to the Sanders family home to join our college bound teenage girl and our high school freshman teenage boy.

As moms, wives, professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, activists, doctors, lawyers, athletes, authors, whatever your title, and as powerful women, it is worthwhile to practice pausing from time to time. It is during that pause that we may take a minute from the amazing balance and blend of life and career, and just look back to see how it’s all connected or connecting along the way.

Regardless of how detailed I am and how organized I think my world is, I would have never been able to plan or predict I would be living in Nevada, have 3 kids ages 19, 14, and 15 months, married to a Navy SEAL who has opened up Pandora’s Box to an adventure life for us, working some days in heels and a pencil skirt and some days in hiking boots wearing a backpack.

Our world offers a multitude of choices. Think about how empowering that is for us as humans. We can choose to be optimistic, to think differently about a person or a situation, to actively engage in positive behavior, words, and thoughts ultimately to create a more optimistic outlook and therefore connect the dots with optimism in life and career.

Connect the dots with optimism, stay amazing, and don’t forget to share your story!

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Jeannie Sanders is a mother of three and president-owner of Practice of Positivity, as well as the founder of G.R.I.T. Leadership Experiences. She is based in Henderson, Nevada.

When she isn’t writing articles for EverReady Mom or parenting her angel and fur babies, Jeannie leads women’s leadership initiatives in the corporate sector across a global platform.

To find out more about Jeannie’s work, go to www.practiceofpositivity.com
You can also follow Jeannie’s adventures on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/JeannieSanders_pop

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