Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Me and Irene

My grandma Irene is 94 years old. She was a war bride, raised her kids as a single mom, and is a breast cancer survivor. She still lives in her own apartment, was driving until just a couple of years ago, listens to an iPod, and uses email. She is very special and we have always been close. Last year, she had a health issue that limited her ability to take care of herself completely on her own so we hired a caregiver to be with her 4 days a week a few hours each day. 

We were on the phone last weekend getting caught up and she mentioned how difficult it has been to have a caregiver. I asked if there was a problem and she said no, she has just been alone a long time and always took care of herself just fine. Adjusting to someone helping out was more challenging than she expected.  

She said, "The lady is great, she asks me all the time what she can do for me, how she can help me and I never know what to say." 

I said, "I understand. I recently broke down and hired a personal assistant. It feels very extravagant, and the first week she was doing my grocery shopping and laundry it made me feel like I must be a total slacker or something." She laughed. Even though I am a single mom, who works full time and travels 50%, hiring help makes a lot of sense, but it still feels weird.  

"It's hard to ask for help," she said.

And there we sat, 2500 miles and 48 years apart, but in the exact same place: both struggling with the uncomfortable feeling of dependency.


Us in 1970


Us in 2014


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Penumbra's Month in a Minute



April took us to Portland ME, Pittsburgh PA, Westborough MA, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington DC. We had some great programs and client meetings.

Highlights of this month included:
  • Delivering an EQ Workshop as part of the management development program at Williams Energy. What a great group of young future leaders, they were very engaged and asked some great questions. 
  • Being the keynote speaker at the Clark Lavey HR Bootcamp VI on Ego vs EQ. Thank you to everyone who bought a book and introduced yourself!

One event I am not sure I will call a highlight was my book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Manchester, NH. It was my first event like it, sitting in a retail store and meeting customers and signing books they purchase. I had great hopes for the event, imagining in my mind the thrill of meeting a few fans and expecting in the 2 hour event I would have a pretty easy time selling the case of 22 books they ordered. Angela and I spent extra time marketing it and donating books to appropriate businesses to build awareness, so I was hopeful and expected it to be a successful event. 

Well, I managed to sell exactly 2 books…not quite the lively event I had pictured in my mind! So, it was my own personal ego check. If anyone has had a similar experience, it's good to stay grounded in reality. Painful, but good.