Friday Round-Up: Unshorn

Every week is interesting in its own cute way. Sometimes the cuteness is wee, a charm from a cereal box. Sometimes the cuteness is epic like Mt. Rushmore. This one is more like the latter than the former.

  • I got an email last Friday that told me I had been selected as a 2018 Woman of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal. There are 29 of us, influential women, and we are an impressive lot. Well, they are an impressive lot, I am uncertain about myself.
  • I don’t have impostor syndrome. I’ve never been one of those self-effacing women who wave away credit, thinking that others have been duped somehow into thinking I know what I’m doing. They may have been duped but assuming so is not my reflex.
  • To get this recognition, I had to have been nominated, which I was by a younger colleague with whom I recently had something of a heart-rending conflict and have people supporting the nomination, which several other younger colleagues did, five of them in total. I learned about this, piece by piece, and I couldn’t find original and authentic ways to thank them except to say thank you, thank you, thank you for thinking these kind things about me.
  • Right away, I started worrying about what to wear at the big award event. There is some comfort in knowing that no matter how old one gets, the fundamental question of what to wear remains. My daughter sent photos of classy pantsuits, the most vivid of which was a yellow number that I could only wear if I became another person. I responded with a draping outfit that would have me looking like I was hosting a neighborhood “be-in” but she protested loudly. I rifled through the racks at Nordstrom, a 70-year old woman in jeans and old, worn boots, the young saleswomen asking if I needed help. Yes.
  • There is a photo shoot and a video. The deep ridges on my face will be six feet tall when they’re projected on the screen at the big luncheon. So I worry about that as if there is anything I can do now about decades of poor face management, sun and soap, and then remember that one of last year’s Women of Influence was 104 years old and I decide to be her kid sister. I didn’t get this far by being dewy.
  • This whole business has elevated me in my own head. I’m not an award-winning kind of gal; that is stuff that happens to other people. It’s like there are girls who are cheerleaders and girls who aren’t. It never occurred to me to be a cheerleader, to even try out, to think I could wear the pleated skirt and the letter sweater and do the cheers without hiding under the bleachers. Being a cheerleader, like getting awards, was the territory of a different species, not of my kind. Yet here I am deciding what to wear. What goes on in our heads is a marvel, in my opinion, how we see ourselves, how we believe other people see us.
  • Today, I got this message from a very young colleague: “I’m so stinking happy for you. I love when I see people that fly below the radar get recognized for being awesome.” 

So yeah, my week. It’s been sweet.


7 Comments on “Friday Round-Up: Unshorn

  1. How wonderful and exciting, Jan. I have never been given an award, but also know that I am always working under the radar. With always too much to do at work, I always chose to do the work in my office that kept the program running and accredited – not attending the meetings where networking took place and people shared what was happening at their institutions. I have never been a joiner – including joining the cheerleading squad. I wish I had had that gene – but it still hasn’t surfaced so I don’t waste time worrying about it. But I find myself sitting here smiling broadly for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Jan! That is wonderful and exciting news. Be sure to savor every moment and allow the event (and its anticipation) to be wildly enjoyable as you live it, and as you remember it later. So often, we stress and then realize we’ve missed half the fun. You’ve earned this!

    Liked by 1 person

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