In that order.
That is one aspect of my brand, if you will. For me, it clearly shows the world the priorities that I must manage day-in and day-out.
Imagine my surprise when watching the ABC News Nightline Face-Off from this week entitled "Why Can't a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?" and one of the audience members said this and I quote:
"You cannot be a great wife, a great mother AND have a powerful career all at the same time. You cannot. It is not possible. I believe that anybody that thinks that 'oh I can balance that all together' is not being realistic about what it takes to do two or even one of those things well and correctly"
Go see the whole series here - You can watch this woman in segment 10, entitled "Love Will Never Go Out of Style"
This took me by surprise for a number of reasons but most of all because of all the applause of the audience at the conclusion of the statement. Generally speaking, it seemed that everyone in that audience (and some of the panelists Sherri Shepherd and Jacque Reid) all agreed with this one single mom's assessment of the situation. As a collective society, we have lost hope. We don't believe that it is possible to be married, raise a family and have a successful career.
Perhaps, I am one of those delusional souls.
Or is it possible that I have found a way to make all of the above work in a healthy way for me, my family and my employer (s). For example... Let's take a closer look at my priorities in reverse order:
I enjoy a healthy political career as an elected official for the village I live in - speaking in Central Illinois at a Parks and Recreation conference just last Thursday. I had a fantastic meeting with a community member yesterday to look at how we can work together to motivate qualified women to get involved in municipal government.
Earlier last week - I got a stellar review (in 2 out of the five ratings criteria I received 5 out of a possible 5 in scoring) and promotion in my corporate job. Meanwhile in my SPARE TIME, I am building a movement to revolutionize relationships on this planet - if you are not aware - see more here
Both my children are well-behaved and adjusted (this can be documented through their schools if you don't believe me) with my oldest getting straight As in all subjects since she's been on the letter grading system this past fall. They are also music whizzes both playing piano and my 4 year old playing guitar as well. We hang out cuddling every chance we get and they both declare that I will be their "bestest friend forever." (here is where I am delusional but leave me alone - I'll take it as long as they dish it)
My husband and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage on Tuesday and we are enjoying and appreciating one another more and more each day. We continue to build traditions and fun into our lives as a couple but also as a family. We had a catastrophic (I use this word because many people break up for much less) event in our relationship in 2008 but were gracious to one another in the eye of the storm and did not damage the relationship further with drama - we buckled down, dug our heels in, LEANED INTO EACH OTHER and worked it out. We're still working it out. We are not perfect but we get stronger with each passing day.
I am not saying all of this to brag but I am puzzled that someone out there thinks that it is "not possible" or that I am not "being realistic" to think I can be the:
Wife. Mother. Marketer. Public Servant.
In that order. And do it well.
Ultimately - it all boils down to my favorite topic: Relationships.
Self-awareness is at the core plus a clear and healthy relationship with oneself.
Hang with me, everyone. I am not saying that my Relationship Revolution (I love the sound of this) is going to solve this. However, I am certain that we will restore hope in the dream of "Having it All".
We are starting the conversation. We will raise the questions and work on the answers.
We are going to find and raise the visibility on families that are "making it work."
We are going to help people with healing and repairing broken intimate relationships. When we succeed, we are going publicize and celebrate these victories and show people that as Steve Harvey said "Love is not going out of style." Nor are thriving healthy business and social relationships extinct.
We will find companies who are progressive in their relationships with their employees (Zappos - I'm callin' your name) and enable them to raise their level of service to those employees by further equipping them to build and maintain vibrant working and personal relationships.
We are going to equip everyday people with the basic tools to pro-actively care for all relationships in their lives - starting with their relationship with themselves.
We are going to show the world that with a little consistent work and effort -you, too, can have healthy relationships, which are at the core of "Having it All."
And doing it well.