Sunday, April 23, 2017

My grandmother was the first entrepreneur I knew. I never knew her to work. As far back as I can remember she was home while my grandfather worked. She lived in a three-story house with a basement. The second and third floors were for the tenants - there was a full kitchen and bathroom on the second floor. Before I was around my grandmother owned multiple properties in the neighborhood, including the house adjacent to the one she lived in. She also owned and ran a restaurant at the end of her block. She was my introduction to strong, independent womanhood. At the time, I didn't realize that her life was not the norm for black women. Growing up with my mother I saw her go to work every day. She worked for the government of Canada. While working there she started a side business where she did typesetting for a local printer. Her partnership with the printer grew and she eventually expanded her services to include typing, data entry, and teaching computers. She eventually left her day job and opened an office downtown Toronto, starting in a small room, moving to a larger one, and then to a much larger one. I worked for her part-time and she also had other instructors teaching for her. She eventually moved to the United States permanently and was a real estate agent and then broker. These women were my role models. I am so grateful for them. Because they made these things seem like everyday occurrences, like they were not a big deal, it takes no effort for me, now, to believe I can do the same. Our experiences shape us. If I didn't have those examples, what would I have done? What direction would I have gone in? My mother worked with computers for as long as I've known her. It seemed to come easy to me. Was it really easy or did I just have one less barrier of intimidation, of naivete, of the unknown, or any other possible obstacle, to overcome than most other girls? I have strong emotions towards women who are independent thinkers, successful, impactful. Another "aha" moment for me this week was realizing and consciously recognizing my grandmother and mother as role models, and the parts they played in shaping me and subconsciously affecting my psyche. Have to give credit where credit is due.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I'm stalling again. I hate that I do that. I'll know the time is coming for me to do something I'm not particularly fond of doing, but I will do everything else before it. And I know that procrastinating only makes it worse because it then it always involves frustration, anxiety, my bad attitude, and sleepless nights as I fret the closer the due date gets, or have to work through the night to complete the task. But yet still. Here I am. Not everything can be handed off or delegated or dropped completely. Some things have to actually get done. That, or there is a price that will be paid. I have no tips on how to get out of this cycle. I know the rules: start earlier, do the necessary research, block time and complete the task. I just need to follow them.

Monday, April 17, 2017

I had lunch with some ladies on Saturday afternoon. The weather was balmy and beautiful. We sat outside on the balcony, in the light breeze, and chatted over tiramisu, banana cream bunt cake and ice cream, seltzer water and diet iced tea. Conversation went as conversations normally do with no predictable flow. As I listened and considered their words I found myself thinking further, bigger, outward. One woman recalled that another woman at church approached her and said she had always thought she was "mean." I, along with the other ladies at the table, could relate to being pre-judged. I thought, imagine, that we go to church every week, see the people there every week, see how we and others interact on a regular basis, and yet still we pre-judge and and are pre-judged. We come to conclusions without ever getting to know each other. And we are supposedly like-minded people of similar cultures and backgrounds. We already have much in common. How much more should we expect of those around us in the world with whom we don't interact on a regular basis and with whom with have no idea if we have anything in common?

I shared my thoughts with the group and we went on like that. We would talk, everyone contributing, and I would take it one step further, bringing attention to the connection of what we spoke about to the world at large. By the time we were wrapping up I had an aha moment that my gallup poll "strength" of "connectedness" was a surprising possible truth. I had never noticed that pattern about myself before.

Over the weekend I spoke to a couple of close friends about what we can do to change how minorities, any minority, are viewed. When you consider the negative images of us being portrayed it's no wonder that negative stereotypes persist. We, meaning all people, have to sit and eat with each other, and be willing to give each other a chance. And we, the ones who want to change the stereotypes, have to be proactive in making that change. We must create - create art, inventions, products, services. Create, overrun the negatives, and support each others work.

Ideas? Suggestions? I would love to read your thoughts on his.

Monday, April 03, 2017

If you spend time with me, it tells me that you care. That is the number one thing you could do to convey any feelings for me. Time is precious. That's not just a cliche. Especially as I get older I feel that more and more, as time gets ever limited and I am constantly reminded of mortality. If you're doing x then you're not doing y. Giving of time requires a sacrifice of something. Time that you can never get back. If you willingly share your TIME with me, that means the world to me. More than words.