Many bloggers have feature days each month. I think my feature for the 2011 Blogathon will be “Short Post Mondays”. My posts average about 800 words. That’s a lot to write each day. So, welcome to Short Post Mondays.
Friend or Foe?
Recently, I had a discussion with a friend about whether it is easier or more challenging to work for friends.
The man who I was speaking to is a dear friend and I am consulting with him to help create his WordPress blog, which will end up being a lynch pin is his business. Our professional dealing are going very well and the friendship allows for humor and forgiveness when one of us forgets a detail. My friendships are usually based on a good flow of communication and a good portion of mutual respect. I have worked for several friends over the years and it has been a positive experience about 95% of the time.
This particular friend said that he believes that when one hires a friend to do work it can be touchy because if that person does not deliver you feel empathy towards them and may not be as demanding as you would with a stranger. I think this is true, for the most part. But, I am a bit unique in that I want the truth from people. If things are not working out it is of no use to either party to drag it out, friend or not. I think the friendship, if strong, can help individuals navigate professional challenges in a much more constructive way.
Where I have run into problems is a) doing work for a family member of a friend. If it goes sour it can be challenging for your friendship is say, that person does not pay you. b) doing work for folks who have a track record of having people “fall off” a project. If you end up working for someone who seems to have a lot of folks who commit to a job and then suddenly quit, this can be a red flag.
As an independent consultant, no matter the client, friend or stranger, it is most important to be flexible, honest, clear in all communications and get things in writing. These basic tenants help create a mutually respectful and beneficial professional relationship.
Mothers and Daughters
The relationship between mothers and daughters can be a difficult one. When I talk to friends and acquaintances about our mothers I am often reminded about how blessed I am to have the special relationship I have with my mother, Eileen. On this Mother’s Day 2011 I want to state this plainly.
Now, I am not saying it has always been butterflies and unicorns. We went through the classic difficult pre-teen and teen years. I am a Cancer, so I was quite the emotional young woman and my mom, the Capricorn, had little tolerance for it. But, as I became and adult and she regained her independence from daily child rearing, our friendship as women has blossomed into something that I find daily reasons to be grateful for.
I would like to introduce you to my mother, Eileen Wilkinson. My mother is 6-ish. She is a Capricorn, born Jan. 14. Eileen graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in English.
An activist in the 60s and 70s, my mother has always been an inspiration to me when it comes to being aware of how I can contribute to the community locally and globally. A few of the things she has done:
- VISTA volunteer for a community health center project which, after being shut down by Reagan’s “no more community health centers” politics, I became a Board Member of as a VISTA Volunteer myself ,25 yrs. later. It ended up being the defining moment of my professional life leading me into non-profit work.
- Executive at Women in Construction, a one hundred percent women run and staffed construction company in Northampton Massachusetts. I went to the office with her quite a bit and recall her interactions with the other women. Respectful kindness without the competition women are always caused of. This was the foundation for my work with Girl’s Inc., The Morningstar Foundation and other women’s organizations.
- Survived Lymphatic cancer. When she was diagnosed with cancer in a lymph node, she was understandably scared yet brave. I knew my mother, the woman whom I had watched overcome so much, would be OK. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. She did not lose any hair and 7(8?) years later she is still cancer free.
Things My Mother Taught Me
My mother has taught me to seek my personal spiritual path, give my whole heart to my work in the community(which is my calling), always look to enrich myself and expand my learning, survive chaos and struggle with calm surrender, constantly examine my impact on others and the world, learn from and make amends for my own mistakes, forgive others fully and love unconditionally.
My Message to Mom
Mom, I feel blessed to have been carried in your womb. I feel blessed to have been raised by such a strong and compassionate woman. I feel blessed to have developed the friendship that we have. I feel blessed to still be able to call you when I need guidance and support. I wish this kind of mother daughter relationship on others. The world would be a better place for it.
I love you.
We watch a bit too much television. Soon, we will take a TV fast, but for now we really enjoy cooking type reality shows. We watch Hells Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and enjoyed this season’s new addition, America’s Next Great Restaurant. It was typical cooking contest fair. If you are interested in the show itself, feel free to go to the website and see how the season unfolded. I am not going to go into the whole thing. I just want to tell you about my experience at the winning restaurant, Soul Daddy’s Los Angeles location.
The TFH (testosterone filled human) and I did not see the finale. I had no idea who had won. We didn’t even have a real clear favorite, although we thought the three finalists seemed like nice people who deserved a shot.
On Tuesday May 3rd I had to hop on the Metro Red Line from North Hollywood Station to Hollywood and Highland to meet with a computer client. After I met my client I decided I would look for an ATM so I could get a cream puff at Beard Papa’s, which has the best cream puff’s I have ever eaten. I wandered about the huge Hollywood and Highland complex, overwhelmed by the 100s of tourists and all the high end shops. I never did find an ATM, but found myself drawn up to the 3rd level as if I was being pulled along by a string attached to my waist. It was very odd, but as I came upon the 3rd floor landing I not only saw a gorgeous wooden front to the restaurant but I saw this tall, muscular, attractive black man standing right there in front with his apron and a smile. Read the rest of this entry »