Hello to all the beautiful moms reading this! I’m Lee and I’m delighted to share a little about myself. I am relatively new to Rochester. My son and I joined the community 26 months ago. I am originally from Chicago but prior to Rochester, lived in LaCrosse/Onalaska Wisconsin for 10 years. Like several other community transplants, I moved here for a great career opportunity. We were greeted with such a warm and inviting welcome! It was unbelievable (remember I’m from Chicago)! I’ve found Rochester to be a unique city with tons of character. Living here has been mostly great.
The light of my life is Boston, who just turned nine years old and is in the 3rd grade. It’s just the two of us and three goldfish. Boston is funny, intelligent, and compassionate. He’ll talk your ear off about war history!! Yours….not mine…..just saying! He is playing soccer for the first time this year and really enjoying the experience. He loves to snuggle and tell funny stories and jokes. Such a loving little guy.
I am an artistic soul. I enjoy creating, building, and developing. As much as possible I must be unique so making things gives me the freedom to be an individual. Opportunities to be creative are very exciting to me along with learning something new. I love the challenge of giving life to something new or putting a different take on something that already exists. It’s the same for me both personally and professionally. I do so many things creatively it’s hard to identify them all. My primary focuses are yarn and paper crafting. I have a scarf collection like none other! I prefer oversized or “super” scarves. Fall is my most favorite season because I get to showcase all of them. I usually make one or two every winter when taking a break from larger projects. I love DIY!! My other interests are music, movies, photography, and a little sewing.
Being a mom is my full-time job. We’re never off, right?! I also have a part-time (i.e. full-time) job at Mayo Clinic. I refer to myself as a true single mother meaning I don’t have a network of support locally. What helps us day to day is being very organized and regimented. It can’t be any other way if I want to stay even the least bit sane. I’m really surprised I only have a couple of gray hairs! Because it’s just the two of us, I run my home with a team mentality. My parenting style is primarily centered around building independence and resilience.
What people find most surprising about me is my high level of introversion. I am very outgoing and personable but my energy is quickly drained by that. I get re-energized by being alone. Becoming a mother was more drastic than a normal adjustment because I had to grow into being ok with having this little person under me and needing me all the time. That’s why I’m so strong on independence! LOL Counting down the days to when he’s mostly self-reliant!
What is something everyone should experience at least once in their life?
A job in customer service. These jobs are some of the hardest and most thankless jobs ever. You’re not paid even remotely comparable to the level of work you’re asked to do, and often treated poorly. I believe if everyone had insight into just how hard it is to serve and please people, we’d be more respectful, compassionate, kind, and patient with one another.
What song do I know all the words to?
I am a vocalist and absolutely love music so the number of songs I know all the words could easily be over a thousand. I tried to count them once and left off in the upper 900s. That was about 4 or 5 years ago.
Something I never feel bad splurging on?
A cellphone. Once upon a time, we had to carry a phone, a camera, an MP3 player, or iPod, and information was not so easily accessible. Being born with one hand, it was often a chore to have to carry all those devices around. I need to have my hand free. I left or lost things often.
I can almost recall how excited I’d become every time a new evolution of the cell phone emerged. What? I can take pictures with this thing and ditch the camera??! Are you kidding me? I discovered a love of photography due to how nice the cameras on cell phones have become. I can communicate with people without having to talk to them?! Shut up!!! I can load all my music on here and leave the MP3 behind?! This is unbelievable! Oh my gosh! I can access the internet and get driving directions right from my phone??! No more printing out MapQuest directions??! Does it get any better?! Whooaaa….I can see the person I’m talking to??! You get where I’m going with this… So yes, I must have the latest and greatest device and make no apologies for it.
Favorite day of the year?
Thanksgiving- It is the only American holiday that is celebrated for its original intent. It is simply about being thankful for who and what you have in your life. Family and friends gathering to enjoy one another over a great meal. It’s beautiful. There aren’t any “Hallmark” characters associated with it. There’s no commercialism with a strong focus on consumerism trying to squeeze every dime out of people.
What book had a profound impact on you and how old were you when I read it?
“Peace from the Broken Pieces” – Iyanla Vanzant 2010©. I was 36 years old. I can’t even remember what it was that drew my attention to this book because it’s not my normal read. The author is a very famous transformational coach and at the time I was looking for something. I was pregnant and found myself identifying with a lot of what she wrote about in the book regarding the trickle-down effect of her decisions on her daughter’s life. I had an extremely difficult childhood and understand quite well how the decisions my parents made impacted my life well into adulthood. Iyanla’s story inspired me to unpack and deal with troubling memories of my childhood so I could begin my parenting journey unburdened.
Who has been the biggest influence in my life?
I feel blessed to say that there are a number of people who have had a significant impact on my life. Being born in the 70s with the birth defect of an underdeveloped right hand I was automatically labeled as handicapped. It is because of the love and support of many wonderful people that I didn’t become that label. I had to really reflect back to identify the person who had the largest impact on my life. That person is my older maternal cousin affectionately named O.B. She’s eleven years older than me but we were very close growing up. She is also a unique individual with an artistic soul. Anything I wanted to try growing up she was my biggest cheerleader. No idea seemed too outlandish with her. I discovered so many of my talents because she provided opportunities and resources. It is because of her that the word “can’t” doesn’t exist in regards to physical ability. Thanks so much, Cuz!