I would like to introduce the SOTGC readers to my Mother.
My mom is the youngest in a family of five and an amazing mother of two. Growing up, my brother and I heard every day from our father how wonderful our mother was, and he is not mistaken. She gave up her career to raise Galen and I, drove us to endless hours of soccer, tennis, ice skating, horseback riding, piano, dancing, and signing lessons. Not once did she complain nor throw it back in our faces when we were being the horrible brats that we were at one point. No matter how stressful her day was, she made sure that there was a healthy, home cooked, well-balanced dinner on the table as soon as my father got home from work each night. When Galen and I were old enough to be slightly more self-sufficient, she joined the Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Reserve where she became a Lieutenant (volunteer basis) and was one of the main people who helped organize the animal rescues and re-locations during the past few fires that swept through much of east San Diego County. My mother has a caring for humanity and animals that knows no bounds and she asks for nothing in return. She does this with every best intention and gives with a generosity that quite often baffles me. My mother is one of the most centered, patient, kind, and positive people I have ever met. To give a little background before you read this interview, my parents have acreage out in the country and my mom has every animal from miniature donkeys, horse, doge, cats, etc. She isn’t going around yelling “Hey! You!” at my father…though that would be quite funny to observe sometime…I hope you enjoy her heartfelt answers as much as I have enjoyed getting to know how truly amazing she is now that I’m mature enough to appreciate her.
What is the one trait you admire most in others? Awareness
What is the one trait you admire most in yourself? Cheerfulness
Which quality or attitude internal to women have you observed that sets them back in the workplace? Taking things personally
Which external situation/circumstance do you believe sets women back in the workplace? The pressure we put on ourselves to “do it all” – and to be good at it all
What is the hardest lesson for working women to learn? It’s only a big deal if you make it a big deal. Choose your battles.
Which book is on your nightstand? “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao” by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
What woman do you feel is a role model in today’s working industry (could be any industry)? Michelle Obama
The quality you admire most in a successful man? Humility: the quality of not being attached to being right all the time. Attachment to outcome is one thing, but attachment to being right is egoistical and frequently takes us in the wrong direction. Maybe another word for that is flexible? Open?
The quality you admire most in a successful woman? Same. It’s something I have to work on all the time. I really like being right a lot.
A virtue you believe is underrated? Contentment.
What is your idea of happiness? Time with my horse, and/or time to read a good book, and/or enough time for a good night’s sleep. Preferably all three.
What do you value most in friends? A sense of humor
What, in your mind, would be the greatest of misfortunes? Chronic debilitating pain
What do you believe is a working woman’s greatest fear? I believe most of us really struggle with getting older, going through menopause, losing our youthful looks, and all that this entails. And our youth-centered culture does not make this easy.
In your career, what has been your greatest regret? Do you feel this is a male oriented regret or one shared by men and women alike? I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from U.C. Berkeley in Conservation of Natural Resources, at age 20; but what I also got in college was my “M.R.S.”, as we used to say. My career has been raising children while managing my husband’s law office. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I’d had a career in my field. Yet I have a pretty strong suspicion that if I had followed that path I’d be bitter about some things. It’s tough out there. Meanwhile, I have a wonderful life and I am happily married to a man who has all the qualities I aspire to. So … no regrets!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Well, if you listen to my parrot, you would think I say “Oh goodness!” and “Hey! You!” quite a lot. But to my mind, it’s “I’m sorry, but…”
Cite an example of a woman who you feel made a great achievement? Aung San Suu Kyi
List five qualities that this woman had that you feel helped her achieve her success Courage, consistency, focus, faith, patience
What do you think is the greatest difference between our mother’s generation and our own? Expectations
One piece of advice to young women in the workplace A quote from George Bernard Shaw “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”. There’s a big difference. Figure out what’s going to be important to you five years from now, and prioritize accordingly.