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September 20, 2010 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Two Worlds Apart, Yet So Close

Leah Brown with sons Christopher (left) and Clayton (right)

Only working moms can relate to this….so if you are not one, I would highly recommend last week’s People magazine – it’s quite entertaining.

As I write, this is my 5th day in China.  By the way, I had a crying fit about 24 hours before I left for my journey.  The anxiety boiled over.  Worry consumed me.  Will my religiously late 19-year-old get to class on time?  Was it a good idea to leave my youngest one to drive my car back and forth to school?  My 12-year-old mixed breed is in heart failure; how dare I leave her now?

Then the company: I have a strong management team, so, thank God, no need for worry there.  However, a former employee whom I sincerely loved like a sister came back to the office for an unannounced visit. Her exodus from the company was abrupt and unexplainable.  I didn’t have time to digest the reality of her departure nor did I purposely make the time.  See, I give my heart to my employees, just as I would my own family.  I give them unconditional acceptance – I desire so deeply to see each one succeed and be happy professionally and personally.  When one breaks the bond, the trust, the friendship that we’ve built, it hurts. 

I’m sure like you, I don’t enjoy pain; however, I do have a gift to compartmentalize it.  I make a conscious choice to cleanse the pain out of my being or store it for analysis later.  With this former-employee, I stored it.

When she arrived, it was the day before my trip to China. Remember,  I was already filled with self-doubt that my family was not going to survive without me.  She was the tipping point.  The compartment of pain was involuntarily busted open.  Ironically, during the few minutes we shared she offered me the solace to realize everything will be ok.  She helped me vacuum out that compartment and for that I will always be grateful.

I went home to gather my overstuffed suitcases; kissed the boys, gave my ailing canine an extra long pat on the head and two gourmet dog treats that I didn’t get on sale.  With passport in hand, I waved to the neighbors from my driveway and with my head lifted high, left for the airport with the confidence that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

Leah with son Christopher

While sitting in the Raleigh-Durham airport sipping my latte with a shot of caramel, I got a text from the youngest son…”send e-sign for my 4 skool field trip.”  At a click of a button on my laptop: done.  Boarded my flight, bumped into an old neighbor, chatted her up, and before I knew it I landed in Newark airport.  

Layover two hours. Ugh!  Walked to the Continental Presidential Club at the opposite end of the terminal to sift through emails and pay my mortgage online.  After an hour of doing my computer chores, I looked up and there was a political figure opposite me that I’ve been trying to track down.  BINGO!  It turned out to be a productive one-off conversation to help support one of my non-profits.  As I was boarding the flight, needed my oldest son to get to his Dad’s ASAP.  I I.M.’d him and he gave me his ETA.  Landed in Beijing and my mother needed phone number of friend’s neighbor; cell phoned her back and left number on voice mail.  Look-see’d some E-greeting cards from employees current and past – that made me smile.

Are you getting the picture?  Even though I’m so far away in another world, I’m so close by technology.  So all you working moms, feel free to enter another world guilt-free; your real world is just next door.


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