Today, let’s remember to give thanks for all that we have. In many cases, we should also be thankful for what we don’t have, as it gives us something to aspire to, achieve, grow, learn or to remember.
I am thankful for so much. This year, some of my family is able to join us for the holiday, so my son is experiencing a blended Thanksgiving for the first time. I am so happy to be able to have them all nearby, to host and provide for them and experience the joy and laughter that comes from being together.
I am thankful for my health and that of my family, for where I am in my life and what is still ahead. While I had a lot to do with where I am, I also know that a different decision, fate or turn of the dice could have resulted in a much different life. I hope I never take any of it for granted.
I am thankful to those of you who have taken a moment or two to read my articles and provide feedback. As long as my musings are beneficial to at least one person, I’ll keep going.
I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving, wherever you may be in the moment and in your life.
I spent my formative years as part of a Marine Corps family. Later, I worked for the Marine Corps as a civil servant. Just before I turned 27, I woke up one morning convinced I had to do something different.
My whole life was planned out as far as my mind’s eye could see. It was time to branch out into the <gasp> scary world of civilian life.
A few months later, I was happily working as a consultant for a large corporation. I quickly came to realize that people were not any different in civilian life than military life, though there were a few expressions I had to learn or purge.
I still felt comfortable, and that made me nervous. Rightly so.
Anyone that has heard me speak (or soapbox) about mentoring knows that I am not a fan of the label. I have spoken to too many people who say “I have never had a mentor” simply because they do not call anyone by that title. But I have no doubt they have benefitted from mentoring.
I refuse to get hung up on a word. I focus on finding and developing relationships with people I trust, that I can call on in good times and bad, who can count on me for the same. Such individuals may very well mentor me, and often do, but they are so much more than that.
And that is why I would rather develop trusted relationships – friendships – than focus on being or obtaining a mentor.
This morning, I woke up and reminded my son that we have to wish Poppa (my father) a happy birthday. “But I thought his birthday was over the summer.” It is. My father has two birthdays.
Today is the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Every year for 40 years (or at least as long as I can remember), I have told Marines I know and love Happy Birthday on November 10th.
Where I come from, today is a time for celebration and memories. We have dancing and parties. The oldest and youngest Marines have the first pieces of birthday cake. We have traditions we recognize year to year.
The Marine Corps is my extended family. They helped raise me, as much as my direct family. Taught me life and love lessons, as much as any friend. Presented me with challenges and opportunity like no other occupation could.
For all of those things, and more than I can ever share, I say thank you to all Marines far and wide. Thank you for the security you provide me and my family every night. That you have provided for as long as I can remember and will provide long after I am gone. Thank you for the sacrifices you and your families make to provide it.
Happy Birthday Marine Corps. Semper Fidelis.
This week, I had the privilege of speaking to a large group of women (and a few men) about mentoring at the Women In insurance Leadership Forum in Chicago.
On the way to WIIL, I was online and received a request for help from a protege of mine. Given that I was on my way to talk about mentoring, I felt the timing was perfect and asked what was going on.
By the time our conversation was done and he was on his way with a fresh perspective, I realized how frequently I’m asked to validate someone’s perception of another individual’s action or remark. I am not sure about other mentors, but for me, this is a pretty common occurrence.
I thought I’d share my approach when I’m presented with these sorts of dilemmas. For those of you who are mentors, maybe these will come in handy the next time someone comes to you with a similar challenge. For anyone who finds themselves in a situation they are getting bent about and wonder if they have the right of it, read on. Maybe this will help.