- Photo by Keith Borgmeyer
Socket’s manager of employee satisfaction talks about her family and how loss has shaped her.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married for 20 years to my best friend. My husband, Waldon, is the answer to my prayers and so much more. I’m consistently amazed by the depth of his heart and the reach of his kindness. When he walks in the room, I know I’m good — that’s my dude!
I grew up with both of my parents and three sisters, one of which is my twin. My family is all about joy! We laugh until our sides ache, play games, and celebrate anything we can so that we can be in the room together. We show up for one another, cheer for one another, cry with one another, pray with one another, and challenge one another.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I have learned in life is to focus on my character, not my reputation. Character is who you are and reputation is who people think you are. I focus on who I am with the knowledge that how I’m perceived will vary based on perspective and degree of relationship. If I place too much attention on what others think of me, I will be in constant flux. That way of life can be exhausting and unproductive. I choose to focus on building my character rather than to chase the ever-moving targets of popularity and other people’s approval.
What is a moment in your life that defined you personally or professionally?
Personally, it was more of a season than a moment. In July 2017, my oldest sister passed unexpectedly. During the same year, on September 1, my uncle passed, and on October 25, my dear mother passed. A little less than four months later, on February 9, 2018, my beloved mother-in-law, who lived with us, passed. My recent experience with loss has defined me in ways that I could not have predicted. It has reshaped my perspective of relationships and the value of time. I have found strengths and vulnerabilities that I didn’t know I had, and I have grown as a result of it.
Professionally, after graduating from Columbia College with a degree in business administration, I had not determined what specific career trajectory I would take. “Business” is a pretty vast category. My venture into HR came as the result of a promotion, and when I committed to joining the Society for Human Resource Management, it represented my commitment to my career pathway.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Sweets! Ice cream and macadamia nut cookies are at the top of the list. I also make great peanut brittle during the holidays and must admit to sampling a piece or two (or more).
What does it mean to be a strong woman?
I believe being a strong woman means loving and embracing yourself. It’s knowing what you bring to the table, having confidence in your abilities, and understanding your intrinsic value. It is being able to both ask for forgiveness and extend forgiveness, and it’s being able to love others, even when it’s not returned. A strong woman acknowledges she is imperfect, but challenges herself to grow. Being a strong woman is to be perfectly flawed, bravely insecure, and focused on the care of others without neglecting self-care.