December 2018 Newsletter + Track Meetings
What Does Family Mean to You?
During the holiday season, there is no way to avoid being bombarded with sentiment and encouragement to gather with loved ones, celebrate traditions and create family experiences. It really doesn’t matter what religion, nationality or customs you come from and adhere to: we seem to get non-stop messages that we either participate or we are left out.
This brings me to look at what it means to be part of a family. The common assumption about family is when you are related by blood, you are supposed to relate to each other often — if not daily or weekly, at least a few times a year. I say common assumption because that is how I grew up, and I took that notion for granted. Because my father was Jewish and my mother was raised by Baptists, we went to both kinds of family gatherings. I’m thankful for that, because I was exposed early on to more than one belief system and set of traditions.
Now that I live alone, in my most independent and free stage of life, I find it completely unnecessary to stick to a predetermined set of standards. Even what constitutes family has morphed into something decidedly different from what I assumed was “the way it is” as a child, even in early adulthood.
I am so grateful to be able to count a very large number of people in my true family, which is my family of choice. These are people who, to varying degrees, know the most about me, and are actually as glad as I am when we have a chance to spend time with each other. My very closest friend, Lida, whom I have know over 43 years, really _does_ know the most about me, and we both have found solace in the soul sister relationship we have grown through all the ups and downs of those years. We both spring into action when asked for help from the other one, and we celebrate each others little moments of joy whenever possible. She lives in Houston and I live in Dallas, which is also a blessing, because we never have quite enough time together, and it keeps us wanting more.
I got to spend Thanksgiving with two different families. One on Wednesday night before the big day with a wonderful blended set of parents and kids, all of whom refer to me as Auntie Margery, even though there is no actual blood relation. I have participated in these kids’ upbringing and as they are now fully adults, celebrate their lives with them. I can’t imagine life without them! And on Thanksgiving day, I was thrilled to be with two couples who also aren’t related to each other or to me, but the five of us had a wonderful family experience of cooking, eating, wine tasting and movie/football watching. That’s about as traditional as you can get!
So my questions to you are:
- As you approach the demanding, sometimes stressful holiday time, how much time are you giving to obligations and how much time are you giving to doing what you truly love to do?
- Are you exercising your right to share your precious moments with people with whom you truly resonate?
- Are you following traditions out of habit?
- Are you asking yourself questions or are you walking well-worn paths from a sense of duty?
Whatever your answers, I hope you have a delightful, energizing and rewarding holiday experience this year!
Nancy Hong is a new member of the Great Girls Network and she is one you will want to meet.
Nancy was born in Cambodia and arrived in New Orleans, in 1989, as a 16 year old refugee. “I came with only two words of English”, Nancy explained, “hello and thank you!”
Nancy’s older brother and sister went to college in New Orleans and as soon as they graduated were hired by EDS (Electronic Data Systems) and transferred to Texas. Nancy’s older sister encouraged her to come to Texas with them and attend college here; and that is just what she did-graduating from SMU in 1995.
Nancy has been involved in the start up community for over ten years and describes herself as a entrepreneur practitioner. She started by working in higher education (UT-Dallas, UNT and TWU) and has worked with hundreds of students. She recalls one in particular who was 16 years old and brilliant in computer science. His father had recently had a heart scan and complained to his son about how long it took to get the results. His son developed software that reduced the time it took from one hour to 11 minutes! Nancy connected him with the Heart Hospital in Plano and the Cooper Institute so that he could understand the business side of his invention.
Today Nancy is the Executive Director of the Addison TreeHouse, which is part of The DEC (Dallas Entrepreneur Center). This is both a co-working space and a 501c3 non-profit created as a joint venture between the Town of Addison and the DEC to help entrepreneurs start, build, and grow companies through education, mentorship, and community. Currently 42 entrepreneurs are working there, spending all of their time and their life’s savings to make their dreams come true.
“Entrepreneurship is truly a mindset,” Nancy says.
Nancy joined GGN when she saw that she already knew and respected many of our members. “I am anxious to start attending Track meetings and sharing and learning from other women!”
Thank you to Lynne Sipiora for contributing this profile interview.
Workshops, information, and opportunities to share from our members….
Margery’s Big News! I adapted the series of blogs I wrote into an actual book. And it is launching on Amazon on December 12th!!
This book includes a 12 Step Program for Recovering Helpaholics…. AND if you want a FREE download, find it on Amazon on December 12 or 13 and order it. If you don’t have a Kindle, just download the free App from your App Store (iPhone or Android) and you can read the book there.
From Brass Tacks Collective join us on December 13th from 6-8pm at WeWork Thanksgiving Tower for a workshop on the basics of Experience Design, led by Stacey Guillen and hosted by Brass Tacks Collective and WeWork Labs!
To register for a Track meeting, log onto our website as a Member.
NOTE: due to the holiday madness, we are holding only 2 Track meetings this month….
To take advantage of these amazing Track meetings, you must join GGN! Each one is an event or happening in itself. Some members come frequently, some come only once in a while. Whenever you attend one, you will find out things you didn’t know, connect with women who will challenge and inspire you, and you will leave with some new perspectives.
- December 5, 2018
- 6:30pm – 8:30pm
- Those of you who have been “regulars” at this Track meeting know that any topic is fair game for a conversation about growth. This time may be particularly helpful since many of us plan out goals and possibilities for the upcoming New Year in December. Come grow yourself with us!!!
Click here to join us at our next Growth Track meeting
- December 12, 2018
- 6:30pm – 8:30pm
- Ready to make some changes in 2019? Have questions, doubts, concerns over the direction(s) you are thinking about? Want some valuable input/feedback from some amazing women? Come to this Track meeting!
Click here to join us at our next Transitions Track meeting
Join Us on Facebook
We have an open Great Girls Network page which we would love for you to go to and “like” us and “follow us first” to keep up with our events and also perhaps spread the word about our group.
Click here to go directly to our Facebook page and follow us first!
If you join GGN, you will have access to our closed Great Girls Network Group which serves as a forum to ask questions, think about new ideas, and share updates with our members. We have such a talented group of women this gives you access to whatever they have to offer that might help you grow.
The private group on Facebook can’t be accessed by anyone not in the group, so you will be in a safe environment with women who are committed to our values and our pledge to end the comparing and competing that gets in our way out in the big world.
Become a Member
Great Girls Network is our way of being the opposite of the Good Ol’ Boys Network (which is still very much alive and well!). Even if you don’t go to Track meetings, your membership gives you a way to support our existence and be a part of a growing group of women who really appreciate each other. And the Semi-Annual Gatherings are unlike any other “networking” event! We know women don’t network like men. We want to build relationships, we want deeper, more meaningful connections. That is exactly what GGN provides.
We created a digital card that helps people understand what they can get from joining GGN so click here to see the card.
Your membership helps give us that foundation, the strength to grow and have an impact on the lives of so many more women.
Great Girls Are Amazing Women!!! Thank You!!!
Margery Miller, co-founder Great Girls Network