I met Mary when were college students. At Tulane University there weren’t many African-American students so regardless of the classes we took, the dorms where we lived or the places we were from, we were all familiar with each other. Mary was friends with a few of my friends and wherever I saw her, be it in the University Center, walking across one of the quads or at an event off campus, she always had a friendly smile with a kind demeanor. A married mother of two and a lawyer, Mary is committed to serving her community. Consistently setting and reaching goals, Mary recently started a new job and completed her first 5k race. Keep reading to see what she has to say about building and balancing.
1. What are you building?
I’m in the midst of a career change in my 40’s. I transitioned out of my twelve year career in higher education back into law practice at a firm last year. What I realized in the last year while practicing law is that I need to work in a position that is meaningful and has an impact in my local community. I recently began a new position with the local school district in the general counsel’s office as the Title IX Officer. I am thrilled that I get to work in a school system and that I will have a direct impact on the future of Memphis and Shelby County!
2. How do you balance all that’s required of you?
Finding balance is a challenge for me. What helps is for me to take one day at a time. I find that I am calmer and feel more in control when I can write in my planner weekly, and visualize each week as it comes in terms of family responsibilities, personal time, and work. I’ve also learned the importance of self care. I need time weekly to exercise (preferably yoga and Orangetheory), have quiet time with my husband, and have good sleep hygiene.
3. What’s your superpower?
I enjoy entertaining at my home. I’m happy to host large and small groups, but I think I’m at my best when our house is full with a large gathering. I grew up in a large family, and my parents’ home was filled with the comings and goings of family members and friends. My father was a general contractor and carpenter, and his work crew would assemble at our house in early mornings before heading to the worksite. No later than 5 am, there would be coffee brewing and the sounds of morning chatter and laughter (sometimes a little cussin’ too, if you knew my father :). My mother was one of five, and my father one of twelve. Family gatherings were always a boisterous occasion. I enjoy being surrounded by family and friends, and was taught from an early age how to feed and entertain large groups of people. I love nothing more than to have my home filled with family, friends, food, and laughter! We hosted 48 people in our home for my daughter’s First Communion in May. At the end of the day, my heart was so full!