Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Magic In the Number 4

What other magic qualities can you think of for the number 4?

If I'm honest, I've always liked the number 4. It's easy and even. My mom died when I was four and my life change forever and is marked by all that happened my 4th year on this earth. Before I was married - 4 was one of the numbers of kids I wanted to have - 2 or 4. Four is the number of seasons we have in the calendar year if you are lucky enough to live in a place where you experience them all as we do in Chicago. 4 is the number of quarters in the fiscal business year that we build our activity around. It's the number of time zones to keep up with if you run a nationwide company in the United States. Four is the number of project types we specialize in at Relationships Matter Now. We recognize 4 directions on a map. There are so many significant milestones the number four illustrates. But last week, I got a whole new appreciation for the number as I approached my 44th birthday.

At my birthday massage, my masseuse casually mentioned that she missed her "4 year old" kids. She waxed on about why 4 is such a magical age and the more I listened, the more I agreed.

Four year olds dress the way they like and no one questions them.

Four year olds walk away in the middle of your sentence if they lose interest with no shame or obligation.

Four year olds question every "should."

Four year olds are invincible.

Four years still get amazed when they learn something new.

It got me thinking, with only a few days until I would be 44 - why can't I bring the magic of 4 to 44? Think about it, 44 should be 11 times the magic of 4!

44, a few years into the the decade where I fully accept and love the way I look.

44 was ushered in with amazing possibilities for my business that just completed it's 4th full year of operations.

44 will be the year I abolish "should" from my vocabulary completely.

44 feels invincible as it marks 20 more years I'm on the planet than my mom was when she passed.

44 will be the year I return to seeing the world in amazement. 

There is magic in the number 4 and it is multiplied at 44.

What other magic qualities does the number 4 bring to mind for you?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Why PC is a Bunch of BS: 3 Reasons Political Correctness Needs To Go Away Forever

While I have no intention of mentioning by name the GOP presidential candidate who has raised the conversation, I am most certainly shutting it down here in this post, once and for all.

Allow me to break down for you, why PC or political correctness is a bunch of BS.

1. The term itself is a perjorative.

Does anyone know what perjorative means? Here, I'll define it for you:

Perjorative (n)  is a word expressing contempt or disapproval.

From it's very origin, the term PC is negative. Political correctness never existed with any intent to soothe or bring folks together.  So the fact that many Americans are in a uproar over PC speech, or being PC as "outdated" or s"omething we should rid ourselves of" is ignorant and misguided.

A perjorative is something none of us should have ever prescribed to in the first place. Who even made that term up? I'm guessing someone who got slapped down for being an insensitive brute with no emotional intelligence.

2.  The definition is bunk.

Political correctness (a)  is agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people

What the hell?

Who ever prescribed to this any way? Ever? If you are a chauvinist, by all means be a chauvinist. If you are a racist, have at it. In fact - I welcome it. It's the United States of America. We have free speech, right? Now there may be consequences for your behavior but hey, if you are committed - go for it. It is not illegal to feel those things but it is illegal to act on them in a way that marginalizes someone else.

3.  PC helps no one.

First, it is a negative term. Doomed out of the gate. Why it was ever taken seriously shows us how lazy and apathetic most Americans are to have ever allowed that word to be adopted and used regularly. It must have been a slow linguistic year.

Second, why agree to something you don't believe? If there are people out there who still believe that women are not as capable and qualified as men to do certain things - leave them in the their ignorance. And let them watch women pass them by on their way to doing great things. If there are people who still believe and push ugly narratives about Black Americans - let them. I'll be sure to smile extra hard as I am blowing past limits and driving change in my community and the world. Asking or pushing PC on bigots and chauvinists is a lost cause

No sensible person ever subscribed to being PC. You say what you have to say. You believe what you believe. We live in a constantly evolving world and surely, if you we try, we learn every day. In theory, we grow and bust open biases we have to do better by those we do life with. The more you learn and the more you are exposed, the hope is that you will learn how your language affects others and your own effectiveness in life.  Or you don't. You do not grow at all.  You stay where you are and the world moves forward without you and eventually, you are no longer relevant. Your choice.
But we can all agree that it's time to drop this term (PC)  from our vernacular as it helps no one.

Who's with me?

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Summer That Changed Me Forever: An Ode to My WHQAD team

About 1/2 of the 2001 WHQAD team who seared their way into my heart forever

63 work days.

12 weeks

1 historic tragedy experienced together.

And we are bonded for life.

That pretty much sums up my time spent at United Airlines with a team of people who will always have a special place in my heart space.

We recently got together with a larger group of United Alum as this group does ever so often. Regardless of what's going on in life, this group stops to fellowship and celebrate our time together.

I often feel like an imposter in this group. After all, you see the stats. I was not among them very long. Yet they mean a ton to me. Here's a few reasons why....

United was the first corporate job I ever got after almost 8 years in nonprofit or entertainment entities. It was my first job that I truly loved. Every second of it. It was the first place, I used my entrepreneurial skills to push the boundaries of what they hired me to do and moved my talents to solve challenges my company faced.

I was 26 weeks pregnant with my first child when I was hired at United. Yeah. That interviewing process was a scary, balancing act. I wanted to show what I had to offer while not giving away the fact that I was with child and soon to be out for a few weeks. When I got the offer and started, the balancing act continued. I wanted to demonstrate my value in a way that would make my departure to have my baby felt. I took on projects and opportunities for big visibility even as my tummy grew and grew. 

When I came "out," I'll never forget the reactions, the love, the support. Hell, these are the ONLY people in my life who have ever loved me enough AND been smart enough to pull a surprise party over my head. I'll never forget the day they convinced me to do this presentation for the new big boss Larry DeShon, only to have me walk into a baby shower with my husband in tow.

Weeks after 9/11, we gathered in the suburban home with our leader to celebrate each other, even though I was no longer with them having been part of the massive company-wide furlough after the tragedies.  It was hard to feel sad for being unemployed when other United Airlines folks lost their lives that day. Yet, I was comforted and not judged by a group of people who cared and understood even if they'd all kept their jobs. There was a camaraderie in this group that still escapes me to this day but I cherish being a small part of it.

That is just a glimpse of how powerful authentic human connections that transcend everything and make a lasting imprint on our lives, if we allow it.

"Less than 90 freaking days" I shouted many times at the event while everyone shrugged it off, laughed or questioned - "was that all the time we had with you?"

That's right. Time doesn't matter when there is a true bond with a real person.

Thanks WHQAD for being those people to me and showing me how special I am to those around me.

Friends forever.

For real.