Friday, August 25, 2017

No longer necessary, not ...

At age 17, I actually thought all the important fights had been fought: that advocacy for causes on the side of good and right was no longer necessary. Eighteen-year-olds could now vote and there was an end in sight for Vietnam War. The Civil Rights struggles would now be history lessons. Even at 32, while a community leader by title, I was still in the shallows. Iran Contra seemed 'nothing' compared to Vietnam.  

I was a victim of my shallows, of my education and media choices. I think I measured the value of the revolts by the numbers of participants I saw involved. What I saw was limited to broadcast news. True, the Vietnam war was piped into our homes daily but I did nothing to deepen my understanding of the world in any kind of context.

It takes energy to stay informed. The world seems smaller or at least closer now and my younger self-was so wrong about the need to advocate soon to be unnecessary. 

Today I can stand with those saluting the American flag and taking a knee during the anthem. While I enable free speech in my daily pursuits, I can not stand with anyone who condemns civil protests.
Much in the world will continue to need advocacy, including Mother Earth herself. Symbols and words have power.  Choose wisely. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CLP: More than serendipity and improv

Update: I received a CLP invitation to participate 7/14/17; engagement begins this Fall. Grateful.

My paid work-life is bookended by full-time volunteering. I am in more than full-time service mode now. Graduate studies, in research, then in e-media, preceded these opportunities to serve my community; initially as a VISTA Volunteer in New Haven and now operating a nonprofit Community TV station in Wallingford, CT.  

I recently applied to Community Leadership Program offered by a Foundation serving New Haven. Its mission is to equip, support and inspire community leaders. I did this to help moderate, and enhance, the next leg of my journey. If diversity includes a middle-aged white suburban woman, I may get selected. Chances are said to be less than fifty-fifty in this year's aspiring and deserving applicant pool.

My Journey
My personal life is peppered with name alterations and course corrections. The bulk of my career was with one corporation that had many transformations of its own thus providing for no opportunity for my stagnation. 

I have had many common labels like foster mom, analyst, team lead, poet, president, adviser, chairman, a victim and maven with not so ordinary stories to accompany them. 

At age 10, I decided my home would have a window above the kitchen sink with a view of a bustling bird feeder. I have this. At 21, I wanted to be a writer and thought my day job would be a social worker; neither truly came to pass. At 32, I became a mom giving birth to a son and a pen name ~Adele Houston. Both would become my sanctuary. At 40, I had a moment of independence. At 50, I decided to face my technology anxiety which derailed training in Library Sciences in 1975. I returned to school for a second advanced degree which put me into an ever changing e-media landscape and an abundance of life-long learning opportunities. Currently, I aspire to a full-filling mid-life with my sights set to double infinity (88). I still do not know what I want to be when I grow-up. I firmly believe that serendipity makes the most of choices and fate. 

To equip, support and inspire can describe my day job with storytelling at its core. Some days I wish my toolkit was less improvisational. My leadership style is situational as it should be, however, it is not as informed as it could be. Every experience provides a new or revived life lesson. I seem to be acquiring fewer scars along the way.

At the moment my life is substantially driven by whatever walks in the door of the TV station. As such, I change lives including my own in unexpected ways, daily. 

In spite of successful strategic outcomes, sustainability remains elusive for the organization I serve. For this to change, I need to not only help build organizational capacity but be willing to personally be less anonymous. Some peculiar constraints are also tied to local politics with a mayor of 34 years who dare I say is not a fan. Many stories herein. 

I remain uncertain as to whether I should be a bit more take-charge of my life. Ironically, I am perceived as someone in-charge.

Next: Will authenticity grow wrinkles? or Over today's Rainbow