Friday, June 29, 2007

New Attitudes - Part Two

I think sometimes that we women are our own worst enemies. Again, it goes back to the internalization thing. It’s hard, if not all but impossible for us to just ‘Let It Be’, as a good friend of mine often tells me I need to do.

No, I lie in bed at night endlessly thinking of my day and trying to figure out how I could have done it better or different. I think about the phone calls I need to return or the e-mails; I think of the bills I need to pay. You know what I’m talking about because you probably do it too. Not to say that men don’t as well, but I’ve yet to meet a man who obsesses nocturnally as much as we women do. Most of them seem to have some internal switch they can flip which enables them to just move on.

I try, I really do and sometimes I almost, just barely succeed. I’m so close to the secret of letting it all go that I can feel it and then poof!, its gone. Back to lying there in bed, tossing and turning and trying to shut my furiously clicking brain off. Ticking items off that I didn’t do, items that I have the best intentions of doing the next day, all the time beating myself up for what I perceive as my serious shortcomings.

Why does everything seem so much more ‘vivid’ at night? You can sort of push it all aside during the day and yet at night, there it is, dancing emphatically before your tired and weary brain, demanding attention.

Another attention getter for me at night is my work. I love my job and the people I work with for the most part. No one could be more fortunate than I am in that I don’t think. I work with mostly women, a situation that can sometimes be problematic in many situations but which goes pretty smoothly at my job.

Our Associate Director is an amazing woman, especially in a business world that often does not often appreciate women. No, she isn’t paid near her worth or recognized either, but she still gives her best and makes this an amazing place for other women to work. She is a mentor of the highest caliber and shares her knowledge freely and enthusiastically. I have learned the most important of things from her – how to help others succeed.

As I watch and read about the business world around me I am constantly amazed to find women who submarine other women. They’ve managed to climb the ladder in the business world and many of them are kicking at the people below them, afraid to share any of the ways that got them there. Truly, they may not be methods we would want to embody anyway, but still, the women have made it and are there and undoubtedly they could help others.

Why are we so territorial in the business world? Where is our sense of solidarity? How many women climb the ladder, traipsing through murky and treacherous waters only to bang their heads against a glass ceiling? We see the other side and it is so close we can practically taste it and yet there we are, unable to touch it for real. There is not only safety in numbers, but strength as well ladies. What may be an impossible task for only a few will surely easily fall for many.

Take a stand. Reach out and help another woman, whether it’s at work or home or school or anywhere else in the world. Let her know she isn’t alone, that there is someone else there who knows her struggles and appreciates them and the road that has been followed to get there.

I promise you it won’t hurt a bit. Success isn’t better when experienced alone; it is much sweeter when shared.

1 comment:

Kate's Blog said...

Wow, Hope...beautifully written! You truly have an amazing talent.

Did we have the same night last night? I got very strong deja vu reading your entry...tossed and turned all night, turning over my should've, could've, would've lists...obsessing over what I did wrong or could have done better in my job, ending up feeling absolutely miserable about my success as a teacher (which then of course impacted my general sense of worth...not the makings of a restful night).

What you said about mentoring really touched me. I have been struggling in my profession for some years now. I haven't quite had the time/money to complete my credentialing, but have done tons of reading and OJT and have looked to more experienced people for guidance. There are those who share, but sometimes I am horrified by the way so many people will not share knowledge -- as if they're afraid of giving someone an advantage that might put them at a disadvantage. I don't know why it has to be win/lose -- surely we can all benefit from supporting each other? I can imagine that, as you say, this is particularly the case among women in the business world, where you have to be particularly cutthroat to succeed. It may be, for the moment, the sad reality that women get to the top via competition rather than cooperation, but as you say -- surely once at the top they can do their part with mentoring, etc. to help others and change the prevailing office culture.

I really enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks for sharing your curious mind! :-)