Am I Really Out of Touch?

I recently decided to add 2 “women’s issues” on-line magazines to my phone –
Smart News. I had expectations of seeing articles about women’s health,
welfare (not the entitlement kind) and education. Boy was I surprised.

Here’s a sample of the articles titles from two magazines:
• “Wraps are Bullshit, Eat a Sandwich Instead”
• “The Dumbest Thing In Your Kitchen”
• “The First Agency For Transgender Models is Opening in L.A.”
• Is Office Air Conditioning a Sexist Conspiracy?”
• “Guys Shave Their Legs For The First Time and Vow To Never Do It Again”.
Really?

This is the best you can do?: And those article help women how? And
more, do today’s women really find those articles interesting?
What happened to writing about what we know not opinion? Where are the
articles on improving our financial positions, How to have pocket money,
or other financial articles to help educate women to improve their
position?

Women have been the social conscious for many generations. Many of the best
laws have been written and promoted by women. Yet “womens’ issues”
magazines don’t seem to touch on those aspects of our lives. Where are
the articles about life planning and when you should start? Where’s the
health related articles?

Life is about choices and these should be made without peer pressure way
back in High School, not when we’re 35 with three kids. Today’s world is
about making choices on lifestyle, financial position and a host of other
issues. I saw none of those articles. But I will hold off on my decision
on whether to continue having them on my phone based on their articles
for the next month. At that point, I’ll have to decide if I’m too old or
not. But you never get a second chance to change a first impression.

Until next time . . . . .

Her First and Always Mentor – Part I

Everyone in the world needs a mentor at every stage of their life. She never really thought about who her first (and always) mentor was until much later in life. She had so many over the years, it seemed. There was always someone who helped her get to the next stage of her life. Not all were men. In fact, her first and most impactful mentor was her mother.

It wasn’t always a relationship of love and joy, in fact were there times of downright hate. But it was that love/hate relationship that allowed her to grow and recognize how important her mother had been in her life.

She didn’t feel mentored when her older sister basically raised her while mom played in the bridge club. She didn’t feel mentored when her mother divorced her father and she was cast to the four winds (or at least that’s how she felt) when her “Pal and Buddy” left the house. She didn’t feel mentored when she became an outcast wearing thrift store clothing and had no friends while mom wore expensive suits and gadded about on weekends.
What she didn’t see was that regardless of all the emotional pain, she was so much better off than so many others. What she did’t know is she had #enough. She didn’t know that the musical talents she was given were her anchor to sanity. She could hide behind her flute and play to soothe her soul. She didn’t appreciate her warm bed and three squares. All she could see was the dysfunction of her family and her life and hate her mother for it.

It would be years before she realized that she would not have gotten to the employment levels she did without the example set by her mother. She would not know how to dress, behave or work in a professional environment without her guidance. She remembers at 14 having to “go to work” with Mom during Christmas break. There was no way this “creative child” could be left home alone. She was given the task of addressing the Law Firms Christmas Cards by hand (that’s where Mom worked). The addresses had to be lined up just so; the penmanship impeccable; the envelope perfect, while dress was skirt and nylons, voice was quiet, and comments were kept to one’s self. She hated it. But it was such good training for other mentors to send her forward.

Wishing You “Enough”

Family Circle Magazine of November 2013 published an article entitled “Attitudes of Gratitude” by Janet Taylor, MD. It was short, sweet and to the point – “the simplest way to experience more happiness in your life is by deciding you can have it.” She suggested creating a “bliss list” and checking off the good times one by one ( a much better bucket list).

So what’s on your “bliss list”? Mine is centered around my gratitude for “enough”. I have enough yarn that I can knit hats, scarves and baby sweaters and give them away. I’m blessed with wonderful children and the best spouse and business partner I could ever have imagined. And I’m grateful for a loving relationship with my mother after many years of discord. I’m blessed that my best friend from High School is back in my life. And I’m grateful for my health being adequate to see me through the end of my journey.

I didn’t come upon all these blessings by chance. I sat down and decided what was enough. Enough money, enough time, enough yarn, enough travel, enough love. I listed what was enough for me, not my neighbors, my peers, or my friends – just me. Otherwise life becomes about guilt and envy. Every ad on television, radio, or in print seeks an emotional response to motivate you to buy something based on envy or guilt. One of Mo’s columns dealt with this subject and I am sharing his list of countdown to Christmas words (written in this order):

“Guilt; gift-giving; gift receiving; re-gifting; more guilt; stuff; more stuff; a little more stuff; guilt about having stuff; drinking; guilt about drinking; eating; guilt about eating; envy; jealousy; insecurity; overcompensation; guilt; additional guilt; and fear that the neighbors/relatives/friends will have a better Christmas.”
Yes, we pile on emotional calories as well as literal ones. Do you stop eating when you’re full? Do you overcome the emotional/impulsive response by knowing how much is “enough”. Do you need more? Do you want more? Now is the time to decide. Decide what is enough and take the extra and give someone something they need who doesn’t have enough. Make it about being turely grateful for the blessings you have in your life and the people you love and who love you back, not because it’s expected.

We don’t “do Christmas” anymore. We tell our friends and family how much we love them at Thanksgiving. We count our blessings and share what we have over the “enough” level. And we leave the guilt and gift-giving routine to others because the meaning of the season is deep and abiding love for each other.

I urge you to determine your level of “enough”. The freedom from guilt and envy and the joy of sharing the extras are blessings beyond any reward of tangible receipts.

When was the last time you told everyone in your life how blessed you are to have them? Never? Maybe this is the time! If not now – when? Is it time for you to help them determine what is “enough” in their lives?

From our house to yours – We wish you enough!

Mothers of Missouri – take back your sons.

Missouri Riots –

As I watch the news of events in Missouri, I can’t help but associate with the business owners that have been negatively impacted by the mob mentality of the black community.  What have they done to them that they deserve loosing their livelihood?  What have they done to the black community to deserve the damage to their property?  And what right do the blacks have to take their anger and frustration out on the innocent business owners?

None!

I’m ashamed for them and I’m ashamed that “their” president hasn’t stepped in and asked them to calm down – that violence is not the answer.  That education, improving their lot and encouraging the increase in black police officers is the way to answer the problem, not more violence.  And, of course, here comes Jessie Jackson.

My question to the black community is – do you really want to live like Syria?  Do you really want your mothers to live like those in Iran, Iraq and the Gaza Strip? Do you really want another race war with all the hate and death?  If you don’t have any respect for “whitey” can’t you respect they too are people with families, and their businesses are their livelihood?  They didn’t shoot your son, taking it out on them is not okay.

How does this stop?  Mothers!  Mothers of those rioting, call in your sons.  Call down your husbands, re-establish yourself as the moral compass for your family and do not allow these men to take more of your children into cemeteries.  Call them down and out of jails and into the workforce.  Call them down and out of drugs and back into families.  Women are the key to world peace.  They are the key to orderliness and they need to take back their role as the matriarch of the family.

We cannot abdicate our responsibility for having brought them into this world.  We bore them and we are responsible for them until our deaths.  Call them home!

Women In Charge

Could we please stop pretending women are beyond the glass ceiling and acknowledge we’re allowed to play in a man’s world?

Women of Achievement are at the top and stay there because of male mentors. Whether it’s a promotion from Switchboard operator to Library Clerk or Administrative Assistant to Congressional Aide, promotions for women at all levels are mostly due to male mentors. They identify women they respect, see opportunities for their advancement and suggest to the higher powers they be promoted. When they get a favorable response they then suggest to the woman she apply for the job. Let’s face it, men are better networkers and do it all the time. They share what they are doing, when, where, etc. with their friends and get suggestions for their own advancements as well.

So the highest ranking woman editor in newspaper land in America got laid off. Where was her mentor? Did she go against his wishes or were there too many enemies to overcome? From the interviews on Charlie Rose’s show it sounded like she got sideways with the true decision makers. They usually get what they want . If Hillary Clinton goes for President it’ll be because Bill has it all lined up. It’s too early to tell on that one. Personally, other than the hallmark of being the first woman President of the United States, I have no idea why she would wish herself that much grief at this stage in her life. But that’s another story.

When trouble begins, the woman in charge is the last to know. Either her network has failed to support her or she knows but doesn’t believe it. I’ve seen both and both were fatal. Men are better about bringing their support group with them when they go from job to job. Whether it’s a secretary, administrative assistant, or press secretary (either gender for any of those jobs) the decision maker is sure their gate-keeper is loyal. Much like the characters on the TV show “Blue Bloods”, they respect the man who signs their check and makes sure he’s protected at all times.
Unfortunately, women are mostly too emotional when it comes to business decisions. There are some that have “ice in their blood”, but for the most part we’re just hard-wired differently. Men at the lower levels will pass along tidbits they hear in order to be loyal to their mentors. Women tend to be too afraid of losing their jobs if they get involved and may gossip about the subject with other workers, but rarely take it to their mentor. Those that do share their information understand that most decisions are usually made on the golf course, at the gym, or in the mens locker room. For their loyalty to their mentor they are protected in turn.

If you really look at the careers of some of the most successful women in America today, you’ll find at least one male mentor. Members of Congress, corporate CEO’s, and small business owners all share one common thread – male mentors. I’ve had several in my life, and I appreciate every one of them. They opened doors for me that I would have never even knocked on. And yes, I’ve gotten crosswise of one or two over the years and suffered the consequences, but it was a learning experience I wouldn’t replace. As for the previous highest ranking woman in the newspaper industry, I’m sorry your network failed you. I have no doubt there is some other male who is interested in making you a Woman in Charge.

Until next time –