Archive for the ‘networking’ Category

Sweet Friend,

Lately, I thought about my son a lot. About the sheer experience of bringing up a child. About him, only a few days old, looking so beautiful. About his first night at home after his birth when suddenly I heard him hiccupping and when I looked at him. He kicked away his nappy, and he was naked. We took him out of his bed unto ours. I stared at him amazed by his beauty and his happy eyes wondering around with a sparkling twinkle and the unique calm of Caesarean born babies.

Then as always, my thoughts drifted to the time when he was two. At that age of my son, I was aware daily how much I loved him and liked him and how amazed I was every day by every little change. It was the age of what I’d call qualitative jumps.

I thought back to the last events during the previous two years before I went to work across the oceans. To the night when we had a fight, he left the kitchen and then came back and with a strangled voice told me: “I love you so much!” He stopped touching and hugging us when he turned thirteen. For the first time in six years, he approached me very timidly and hugged me.

Wise Friend,

I remember well when my son turned nineteen. He didn’t yet develop into a grown-up man. His friends did. When they visited or called on the phone, they had those bedroom looks and voices and talked in a flirty manner with me. I felt like laughing at them and ignored that. It meant nothing. They were playing their games.

When they gathered four-five of them in our little apartment, I always went out for a walk, as I didn’t want my son to notice his friends’ game.

Sweet Friend,

I’m reflecting more and more on what my son is becoming. He is maturing, and I even can seriously consider his opinions about some areas in my life.

He tells me about his decisions. I try so carefully to let him free, to let him take chances afraid he might hurt himself, so willing to let him try while he is young and with no family to support yet.

I so much don’t want to cut his wings, and so much I’d like him to be wise and measure everything.

There is nothing like this experience of bringing up children and wanting to learn from them and through them learn what dignity, life, and healthy freedom are about.

As they grow and become our friends, we forget that at their age we had our maturity and in the process of accumulating years, we might have thought arrogantly we took the wisdom with us, and we left nothing for the generations after us.

Wise Friend,

I’m also discovering that people close to my son’s age are becoming serious conversation partners, so I guess they are growing up.

Lately, when these young people (older, however, than my son) show to be wise and in their ways, mature and charming, I’m taken by surprise. Their talk shows wisdom and kindness, and I am relating to them like to equal minds and souls. I have to remind myself, and I have to remind them I could be their mum.

They enjoy talking with me, and they ask me to forget my age. I can’t and I shouldn’t and I won’t. Some things are not right if one crosses the boundaries.

Sweet Friend,

Exactly, these young men enjoy conversing with us, and I love it!

Wise Friend,

Currently, I’m at a stage when much younger men court me. I rule them out for a serious involvement.

It is much better than before when I was attracting men at least 70 years old. No way!

However, I ruled out a charming twenty-nine year old, as it feels too funny. Pity, though.

There is another man, thirty-six years old, who wouldn’t need ruling out, hadn’t he been such a bore. I’m just slightly older than he. He is reasonably well read with a so-so sense of humour.

However, when he talks he sounds like a schoolboy doing his homework and trying to impress the teacher. I tried a kiss, which was so bad that the rest wasn’t worthwhile trying further, anyway. He also has no children, and he would wake up in a few years he wants to father. By then I would close shop, and I don’t need these aggravations.

Sweet Friend,

Interesting transitions, aren’t they? How would we sense them this way without having the experience of bringing up our own children?

Wise Friend,

No way!
Meanwhile, I enjoy my dance lessons, and I’m passionate about them. It’s fun, romance in a bottle, but they do an excellent job for me.

Wise friend,

I hate networking, especially going to bars, with their sweet smell of stale beer.

Sensitive friend,

Hear me out: networking is just a job technicality – one has to treat it as work.
When I was at the Paris conference, I met a guy, around 55-60 years old, who manages the office of a competitor of ours. This guy was very nice, and we talked a lot. He explained how he planned his marketing material and even gave me a copy so I can draw ideas from there. He also told me that earlier in his career he lost ten years of his professional success by not networking enough with his colleagues.

For example, he couldn’t stand bars, and he could be incredibly bored with these types of socialising. He avoided them. Later, he decided that he had to join his colleagues, but couldn’t take it later than 19:00, and he left early. It took him 10 years to see that that was foolish, and he learned to accept that this type of socialising was a technicality of the job and that needed to be there and network. Since then, his career took off.

Doing your job very well is never enough. Networking creates an atmosphere of comfort. Therefore, one has to treat it as work. I could fully understand what he said as I felt, thought, and acted the same. So slowly, slowly I had to change. Many colleagues go to footy. This month I’ll give up my refusal to attend, and from time to time I’ll join and treat that as work.

Years ago, I befriended the head of a charity in our city. He is a typical secular guy, sent by a charity organization from abroad. I asked him how he coped with going to the weekly religious events of the community. He was calm about it. The community would not accept an ‘outsider’ who would not partake in some activities strictly related to the religious traditions, such as the main holidays, weddings of others, and religious events for his own family. His company sent him to succeed for this charity in our city – it was part of his job description. He treated attendance to religious events as technicalities and didn’t feel any burden as one is not to expect to enjoy every moment of one’s professional life.

I advise others. I failed at networking. You?