Posts Tagged ‘professional development

05
Jan
09

thirtysomething… and Why I’m Writing Here

“This must be why the show ‘thirtysomething‘ was a hit,” I said to Suzanne over coffee a few weeks back.

I never watched “thirtysomething.” I was nine when it started in 1987, so at the time the subject matter (which I can only guess hovered around the lives of those who were in their thirties) didn’t exactly grab me in the same way that “Degrassi Junior High,” which also started in 1987, did.

And yet, suddenly I feel like I get it. The thirties carry a certain gravity that the twenties never did–at least for me. There is opportunity for greater reward along with opportunity for greater failure. Like falling, it hurts more when you’re older.

I imagine the show to basically be about my life now (though, like with most things, chances are I am completely wrong). There are significant career moves, changing priorities, money problems and competing interests. Only when I run into problems or choices, they don’t all get wrapped up at the end of 60 minutes–or, for the really serious issues, at the end of the season.

But sometimes I can work through them at brunch. Sunday brunch.

Just over two years ago, I started meeting with a couple of women (my co-authors on this blog) on Sunday mornings. These women, like myself, did not have all the answers. Together, we get just a little bit closer. Through these relationships, I have discovered the value of surrounding yourself with trusted advisers–both within the brunch circle and beyond. I may not have a scriptwriter to wrap everything up in an episode, but I have many people I rely on to help me write my own script.

I don’t know what I expect from this blog. I know I plan to share resources and thoughts on professional development, building a circle of advisers and, importantly, being a valuable adviser (still not sure “adviser” is the word I’m looking for, but it will do for now–maybe I’ll work that out online, too).

My own little selfish wish is that we’ll be able to build a community from which I will learn much, much more than I could ever hope to on my own.

Thanks for reading.

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04
Jan
09

An Introduction: Suzanne Leff

Welcome to Sunday Brunch! I’m one of your hosts, and I look forward to sharing some stories with you on this blog. To give you a little background, here’s a snapshot of who I am and how I came to Sunday Brunch.

My name is Suzanne Leff. I am a thirty-something (Gen X?) mother of two children and wife of a community college professor. I work as a real estate attorney representing homeowners associations in Colorado and am a trained mediator. I volunteer with my daughter’s public elementary school and live in a cohousing community. In my recreational time, I cross-country ski, walk my part-time standard poodle to the dog park while listening to This American Life podcasts and Santogold, read graphic novels by Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi and others, and watch classic movies with my family. My future posts will add dimension to each of these aspects of my life, while also documenting my search for professional opportunities that allow me to focus on policy, legislative drafting, and more direct involvement with services that benefit underserved populations.

Sunday Brunch serves as a next step for Alli, Maria, and myself. For over two years, the three of us have met regularly, and on an as-needed basis, to set and discuss our career goals, challenge one another to follow through on commitments to ourselves, and celebrate success. We have come to know each other’s strengths, fears, and personal factors that drive decision-making. Originally, we recognized the benefit of providing a structured and supportive environment for defining our professional development goals. But I have come to look forward to my meetings with Alli and Maria because of a deeper friendship that they offer. I trust their feedback and know that, with their help, I will learn more about myself and, consequently, will find more fulfillment in my personal and professional endeavors.

We meet on Sunday mornings and rotate hosting responsibilities. Our sessions routinely cover personal relationships, family, health, exercise, entertainment, travel, and, of course, compliments for the always delicious food that the host serves. Through this blog, I hope that more people will join us for Sunday Brunch (any day of the week) and all the topics that we dish up.