When it comes to July — it can be a beautiful and sad thing based on your perspective. You can look at it as the apex of summer or a sign that summer is quickly advancing and coming closer to an end. Someone’s perspective is based on his or her thoughts, experiences and interactions with others. I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective lately. Do you ever get surprised by the way others perceive situations? I do. Don’t get me wrong — I am a firm believer that the way people in your life handle situations is what makes our individual worlds interesting. Have you considered this? I find it fascinating on so many levels. Maybe it’s because I’m getting a little wiser in my old age and I’m taking time to think deeper about such things. I’m curious about the decisions that people make but also why they make them. What’s the source driving our views? Obviously, there are some decisions that people make that are in no way understandable. I don’t spend a ton of time getting caught up there, but as it relates to individuals I connect with all the time, it’s fun to process. From employees who are closer to my age to those who are part of Generation Y, I find it fascinating to see the differences in viewpoint. Each generation is sure they have the answer and convinced the other is wrong or misguided. I’ve always been one to try and empathize or see another side of the coin. It isn’t always easy. Have you ever heard someone’s personal story and had that aha moment? It’s when you learn about the places and experiences people have that you truly understand their sometimes-complicated viewpoint. I’ve always been super nosy and am constantly searching for the “story.” I guess it’s the journalist in me. That’s why I believe that perspective is so interesting. Two people raised in the same house by the same parents can be totally different. What other factors drive our ideals? Take our cover story for instance — Susan “Susie” Hengesbach. She’s a sophisticated lady who is into fashion, friends and fun. She has a career and has her finger on the pulse of Lansing. From the outsider’s perspective, someone would think that Susie wouldn’t know the slightest about farming and crops. But believe it or not she looks completely comfortable hanging out on a John Deere tractor. It’s fun to get a peek inside Susie’s life and gain perspective on what’s important to her. I’ve known Susie for a while, and it’s hard for me to believe she lives on a farm. It’s true though. We took photos for evidence. As we continue to gain perspective about what our community wants to read in the pages of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine, we launched a new recurring feature called Careers for Consideration. I’m excited to have my good friend Tricia Foster and her role as a senior managing director and chief operating officer as our first career review. I have always had a special place in my heart for career planning and preparation. It’s so vital for our young people to know what exists out there. Obviously, when it comes to experiences, what we learn from the educational system will give us a perspective toward our future. It’s my view that we don’t give our children enough information about the careers that are available to them. There are so many new types of careers … who can keep up? So, we’re going to search for women doing interesting jobs and tell readers all about them. Sound like fun? I’m also a huge proponent for spending time not only with family, but with your friends. It’s so important in my relationship with my family that I find balance. I didn’t have any sisters and because I’m such a people person, finding time to hang out with the girls is something that I crave. In fact, since I was just out of high school, I’ve taken a trip with girlfriends each year. I’m excited that we are featuring some trips for you to consider in this month’s issue. Although the summer may be waning, I would definitely consider myself a “seize the day” kind of gal. So, on any given day I can’t wait to hang out with friends on restaurant patios all over town, watch my son in a golf tournament or two and spend time on my deck with my family. Each day is a gift. Enjoy yours.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.