Mentors – Mellody Hobson

Do you love having mentors?  Do you love learning from others? I always have.  Lately I’ve been curious about what life is like from a black person’s perspective. Actually, I always have been interested in multiculturalism and learning from others. I have lots of mentors and have been wanting to make friends with people who are different from me – in my beliefs and from the way I look and live. I am curious about everyone and want to learn from others, and lately I’ve been wishing for a close, black friend with whom to share conversations and ideas.

Today I happened to be on Facebook after work, and was alerted to a live presentation by Sheryl Sandberg, featuring a brief Lean In interview with Mellody Hobson.  I fell in love and found my virtual friend.  Isn’t she beautiful?  Smart too!!

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Mellody Hobson photo by Joi Ito from 2007

Photo By Joi Ito – http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/1075661871/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22374568

After all the crazy talk at the Oscars about race and lack of diversity and racial tensions, seeing and “meeting” and hearing from and about Mellody Hobson today was refreshing. HER story is actionable and real and dynamic and beautiful. And yet, have I been living under a rock? How come I have never heard of her before? I wish her story and those like hers were celebrated and in the news more often.

Part of why I write HERE I AM is to change our collective story and to share examples of positive living, just now, in the daily moments of life.

Mellody knows how to live it up and her story is remarkable, from what I know after just less than an hour of reading and research.  I want to meet more women like her.

From the brief interview I listened to with Sheryl this afternoon, here is what I learned about Mellody and what I wish to share with my daughter and others:

  • Be Authentic.
  • Speak your truth.
  • Work hard.
  • Be BRAVE!
  • Be comfortable as you are. Accept who you are and unapologetically BE what you are.
  • Be rooted in extreme confidence, yet be humble and stand up for yourself.
  • Build your team and trust them to stand up for you.
  • Be curious about others.
  • Actively work together.
  • Be a magnet and draw others in by being wonderful.

Mellody worked hard to become the President of Ariel, a money management company in Chicago. She was raised by a single mother who taught her to help herself. She is married to George Lucas, and has a 2 year old daughter, named Everest.

To read more about her, check out this link to a Vanity Fair article about my new girl crush, Mellody:  Vanity Fair Article about Mellody Hobson.

nAMaste

 

 

 

Lean In?

I met the coolest women today playing tennis. One was an architect and the other ran non-profit organizations. They both recently gave up their careers to be with their kids full time and were adapting to this new life stage. I was fascinated by their stories and could have spent hours listening to how they made their choices and whether they were happy.

They described how they were still recovering from post traumatic stress. It sounds like they were working so hard to do it all and to be all they could be to their employers, clients, partners and kids and they were now in recovery. They had long commutes and clients that demanded their attention when they were home with their kids. They had nannies they relied on who did things differently than they would have done. They would make it home for a few hours with the kids in the evening, put them to bed and then work again from 10 – 2 am. Is this what they meant by lean in? They must have burned out.

I’m so happy that they have chosen to lean out and catch their breathes again, and were out playing tennis. I’m sure it’s an adjustment period and I’m sure they will find their groove, if they haven’t already. These are smart, strong, beautiful women.

There is a lot of pressure on women to do it all. I’m sure there is a lot of pressure on everyone who works hard, but as a mama, we have double duty and the work doesn’t end.

So my point in writing this, is to acknowledge women and the choices they make and to support one another along our different journeys. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them to give up their careers, nor is it easy to stay home with kids either. I think it’s important for us to talk about this and that when we choose to work or quit, that it’s ok. I hope they feel supported and give themselves some slack as they figure out their new roles and daily responsibilities and make time for themselves. We are always adapting and changing and the good news is this is just a stage. If we don’t like it, we can change it. Or the kids will grow out of it and we’ll learn something new.

Namaste.

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These trees are in bloom all over town right now and catch my eye.

The MOM Title

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There was a post today on the Momastery Facebook page that asked friends for help. She was looking for a better and truer title than “stay at home mom” and was hoping for suggestions.

There were over 1,155 comments as of 5 hours ago and 364 people who liked this question.

I have to say that I sat there and pondered the question for awhile and couldn’t really come up with something good.  There were several suggestions, and some of them resonated and are ones I’ve used before to describe my role. But when I thought of the work-outside-the-home moms, the titles really reflect both groups.

Some of my favorites were:

ChIef Operating Officer of the [insert family last name] Corporation

Super Woman

Wonder Woman

President of Child Development

Domestic Goddess

Commander In Chief

We’re all moms. We’re all working full time and juggling the needs of those we love, including ourselves. We’re all dedicated to our families. Some of us are paid and some of us are not. Some of us get to choose whether or not to work and some of us don’t. We all love our kids equally, and so I think we should just stick with Mom as our shared title and support our sisters however we choose to spend our days without judgment. Let’s lean in to sisterhood and lift each other up and drop the divisions.

The next time someone asks me what I do, or a form asks me my job occupation, I’m going to say I am:  Mom.

Hear me Roar!!  😉

Do you have any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

Community Relations Manager

I’ve given myself a new job title.

Jeff asked me what I did today. I told him I was busy building community relations and I didn’t quite get to the car search I was supposed to because I was working. It sounded so much better than saying I arranged a play date for Charlie, and went to Suzsi’s house for coffee with the neighbors, and lunch with Val to catch up and celebrate my belated birthday. This is important work, you know!

I told him about my new job title and he asked where he could get a job like this, and I told him it was unfortunately already taken and that he’d have to continue with his job to provide for our family with benefits and money!  😉

We laughed. But I think it’s a pretty good gig. I love the work, love the people, love the hours and the benefits are priceless, and I’m good at it!  I think the payoff is great – even if it’s not a financial gain. The joys of living in the moment and making connections and taking care of each other is a beautiful thing. I think every town should have several community relation managers, don’t you?

Thank you Suszi for hosting us this morning and for your delicious baked french toast. Thank you Val for spoiling me and taking me out to lunch and sharing a wonderful conversation. Thank you to Gina and Ken for stopping by to chat in the street and catch up. I love this neighborhood. Thank you honey, for letting me lean in to my chosen profession and supporting our family!  And thanks to my other family for coming over for a shared dinner tonight! It’s so nice to be home again.

Namaste.

Day 261: Still in My Pajamas

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ssshhh… don’t tell anyone, but I never really got dressed today and loved it. My headaches are still lingering, and it was raining and hailing out. I just wanted to nest and loved the stillness of my house. Good things come when you rest. I enjoyed a lazy morning and went to get a facial before lunch. I’m not one to spend a lot of time pampering myself, and its been years since I’ve had a skin treatment. Today was good.

I went to see a lady who works from her house. Not only did I love that she worked from her home and her charming personality, but the facial treatment she gave me was amazing and relaxing too. She shared stories about how she became a beautician and always wanted to be one since she was probably 3 years old. Her parents thought she should be something more. So she went to law school, but then decided to became a flight attendant for several years. When she started to tire from the travel, she ran into someone who worked in real estate and offered her a job. She then became a realtor for several years, got married and then had the opportunity to redefine herself again. She chose to go back to school and follow her life long dream. And here she was today, providing a service to me, in her gorgeous home office, happy as could be. Her eyes were smiling and her passion was quietly oozing out of her. I just loved her story and that she found her way.

While sitting in her chair alone while my mask was drying, I began thinking of what I wanted to be when I grew up. My dream was simple. I always wanted to be a full time, stay at home mom. I knew I wanted to be independent and have my own money first and be able to survive on my own, but my true dream was to be home one day. I had a successful career, made great money, got married, had my first baby, kept working, had a second baby, stayed home, and had a third baby to solidify my role as a full time, stay at home mama. We chose for me to stay home. So for the past 12 years, I’ve been living my dream, thankfully because I have a supportive life partner. I am content. I’m not searching for something more and I don’t feel like I’m missing out. There is this whole discussion about women leaning into their careers and taking positions of leadership. I love my decision and it works for our family. I believe every woman has to chose what is right for her, and what makes her happy should make her family happy. I know some women do not get to choose, and I hope they find peace in their situation and doing what might not be easy, but what is right for them and their family.

“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already I am.”
-Thomas Merton

Here I Am. Namaste.

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