Thursday, October 27, 2011

The List Maker: I Don't Know How She Does It

Have you seen the new movie, “I Don’t Know How She Does It?” It is a wonderful movie, situationally realistic, in which Sarah Jessica Parker's character is frantically trying to balance her career and her personal life of being a wife and mom. During the movie we nod in agreement, laugh with her, see ourselves, and feel the guilt of being MIA with our own family.

During the movie she lives by “the list.” Later in the plot her husband tries the list concept. Hey, I felt that was downright gallant!

Okay, interruption: let’s talk about the list. I have lived by “the list” for years and may I say – it works! It is not a bad thing. It does not make me – or any of you – bad. It is not about being obsessed, but ORGANIZED. 

So back to the movie... at the end she gives up the list in an effort to “free” herself. I wanted to cry out, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” We’ll never know if giving up the list worked – but if it were real life, I doubt it. The lack of a list likely would have made her life more stressful. I just have to walk away knowing it is only a movie . . .

That said, try the list, okay? It’s a great tool to help reduce stress and achieve balance in real life and work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Balance of Life and Work: Friends

In a past blog, we addressed corporate spouses as friends. We pointed out that it is possible and usual, but within certain boundaries.

In trying to achieve good work-life balance, we need personal friends outside our work place to create a better balance.

Usually those friends are from our past, our childhood, teen or youth where we shared that huge learning curve together having no judgment placed on us at the time. Sometimes we gain good friends as adults by going through tough circumstances. Some ask: do we still need those friends as we have moved on, as in corporate moves? And if so, where does the value lie in continuing the relationships?

True friends keep us balanced by offering us the variety and spice of life. Good friends expand our horizons, foster our strengths and support us when times get tough. What is so important to me is that real friends provide that extended safe place to exist – that comfort zone of home.

So how do we know who our real friends are? Trust. True friends are those you can pick up a conversation with as if no time has passed.

I love and appreciate my friends, those who I am privileged to have in my life today, and those who I have been blessed with who have moved on. I keep their words of advice and comfort close at hand as tools to use when I need to keep my life in better balance.

Friends are an important tool in balancing life and work.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Balancing Life by Giving Back: Win-Win!

Larry and I were recently honorary chairs for the Cattle Baron's Ball in our hometown of Springfield, Missouri. For those of you not familiar with this event, it’s a cowboy-themed fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS), started in Dallas. Larry and I have been involved in ACS for all our married life. The Cattle Baron's venue was new to us (yea, cowboy attire! – not the usual formal black tie). Regardless, we love it all.

Giving back is so important. In this economy, it’s tougher than ever – but it also means there are more people than ever before who are in need.

Larry and I grew up in families that taught us that giving back was absolutely necessary to balance life. Minimum 10 percent to be exact, off the top of gross salary. If I had a $5 allowance, I donated $.50. When I made $670 a month as a first year teacher in 1977, that 10 percent felt significant. However, due to my mental set and the giving philosophy my parents instilled, I lived to my remaining means monthly. Participating was important, too. Actions spoke volumes and our parents certainly led by example. Life was balanced.

There is a circle in life beyond “The Lion King.” It is the circle of the more you give, the more you receive. If you don't believe it, I challenge you to find the courage and discipline to try it.

You might ask, where do I give? Find a charity that has touched your life. Identify your passion and the giving will follow. There are also many tools and tips available online to help you
select a charity.

Winning is giving back. Winning is looking in the mirror and knowing you are doing the right thing.

Charity giving – it’s a win-win in balancing life!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Balance of Life & Work: Not Just a Movie Plot

"I Don't Know How She Does It" is an interesting movie addressing a very hot and popular topic these days. We have all become aware that we are reaching for a magic bullet, the answer of how to find balance in our lives. So there we are, intently watching a fictional plot hoping to find a hidden message. Well, as you might have guessed, there are no real answers, but just a movie set of movie circumstances. The good news is that it does create super heightened awareness!

While “
I Don’t Know How She Does It” is a great movie, at ExecuMate, we understand the real issues in finding balance between work and life. Ready to address real life situations, we provide hands-on tools and guidance to help you achieve balance and meet your personal goals.