Differences Don’t Make Much Difference

Today I finished editing our women’s issue of BusinessQ. We gathered some of the valley’s most outspoken and inspoken (that SHOULD be a word) females to talk about glass ceilings, choices and balance schmalance.I’m always curious about what makes each woman unique in her approach to work and family, but when I close my laptop after each chat I come to the same conclusion:  all women are somewhat un-unique (another made-up word) because we all yearn for our families to be happy and to find our own version of peace in our roles. You’ll read more when this winter issue makes its way to mailboxes and waiting rooms in early December. (Big shout out to Briana, Dave, Greg, Roxanne, Alison, Kenneth and MaryLyn for their hard work on this issue!) In between girly editing sessions today, I spent time with three different — but same — women. First, I interviewed Stephanie Nielson of nienidialogues.com fame. I wanted to find out more about the plane crash that nearly took her life and the blog that has chronicled her journey for millions of readers. I can’t say I understand what she’s been through — every plane I’ve flown in has taken off and landed with nary a bump. True, Stephanie and I may have different pasts and skin tones, but we both have four children — two girls, two boys — and we are both living lives we didn’t envision when we were on student council in different states. Sure, she’s been on Oprah. But I’ve WATCHED Oprah, so we’re pretty much two peas in this Utah Valley pod. After the fascinating and inspirational interview (which will appear in our January issue of Utah Valley Magazine), I met Matt and our staff for lunch at Costa Vida in Provo. Matt was eager to use a new iPhone app, so he told me and Kate (one of our talented editors) to pose for our “vintage pic.”Again, we’re two women with insignificant differences. Kate (left) is an active single twentysomething who can pull off a French accent flawlessly. I’m a married mother who goes to bed at 10 p.m. and can barely speak Pig Latin. But we both care about creating quality magazines, and we like to swap stories of natural curls and the effort it takes to maintain our blonde status. Sameness all around. Tonight I spent time with my third “woman” of the day when we celebrated my sister Rachelle’s birthday over pizza. Can you tell how old she is? (My husband wanted the Purple Pig Pizza-ites to sing with sombreros, but they chose to say happy birthday with pepperoni instead.)Rachelle and I were born 22 months apart, but we got married 13 years apart. She speaks fluent Spanish — and I’ve already revealed my lack of language. She teaches fifth grade, yet I would pull my curly hair out if I had to spend my days reminding 35 kids to wash their hands and use a Kleenex. But Rachelle and I are the same in that we share a love for Idaho, texting, eating out and planning a girls outing (we need a little less talk and a lot more action on that one). My three female companions today (Stephanie, Kate and Rachelle) were the perfect start to my Thanksgiving week. I’m grateful for the women in my life who teach me that differences don’t make much difference.