November 13, 2009


My Mom invited me to go to the Texas Conference for Women with her in Houston last Thursday. It was a fun day together.

My Mom arrived in Austin Wednesday evening, and Aron took us to dinner. We lingered long over conversation, soup (imagine that!) and sandwiches. Aaron even snuck away and returned with a brownie for us all to share!

We took a shuttle bus from Austin to Houston - which was fun because we watched movies and watched the sun rise as we drove through Giddings (one of my new favorite places, by the way, since Aaron and I spent some time there on a recent roadtrip) and the rest of the foggy morning along Highway 290. Then as we got into Houston, at rush hour, we had fun peering down into commuters' cars from our perch in the big shuttle bus. It's a different perspective when you're up that high. Makes me wonder what all those people are thinking about, praying about, fretting about, and thankful for as they drive to wherever it is they're going.

The conference was pretty neat. Isabel Allende was a keynote speaker, and she held a book-signing after her talk. That was special because my Mom and I have swapped Allende's books and both enjoy her writing and stories. At the conference, Momma bought Allende's most recent book, The Sum of Our Days. It's Allende's memoir and I can't wait to read it! She's had an interesting and inspiring life overcoming great hardships and tragedy, but "by no means without humor, mirth and wisdom."

Suze Orman was also among the speakers we heard.

Seeing Suze Orman live was one of those things that's just interesting to experience. She is a smart lady and has some good advice for money management.

What I find fascinating, however, is that even though she is billed as this financial guru - what she is really good at is performing. I don't mean that in a bad way - I just mean, there are tons of other people as smart or smarter than Suze Orman, who will give you the same advice as Suze Orman. But only Suze Orman will give it to you standing on a stage in a hot-pink jacket with her polished, commanding appearance, practiced words and anecdotes, and a flurry of urgency.

To me, her success came not from her ability for money management - but from her ability to be a dynamic leader. I guess that's what makes many people successful - they are so naturally influential and motivational, they can't help but share their interest in a way that eventually makes them "famous" for it.

Anyway, I enjoyed hearing and seeing her speak. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some money I need to defer to my 401K.

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