Wednesday, December 6, 2023

A Re-Post - Interview Styles: How I Aced A Job Interview Without Selling Myself

 I’ve been on many interviews over my career and have encountered many different interview styles - the behavioral interview, the panel format with a few people interviewing me at once, the “mean” interviewer, and so forth.  One interview “style” that caught me off guard was the NON interview style.  It was almost like going out for coffee, as it was more of a hello, meet and greet, and ZERO questions were asked about my background, skill set, or qualifications.  My resume was not even looked at.  So in an interview style without the actual interview questions to answer and sell myself, it was hard for me to figure out my competitive edge.  In the end, I passed with flying colors and here’s how.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

5 Tips to Survive a Job Hunt / Pandemic / Stress

Hello, new and returning readers!

I hope all of you are doing well and are staying safe.  The world is going through some difficulties right now and for the foreseeable future.  If you’ve been a long time reader of my blog, you know that I believe personal and professional development are closely related.  Growth in one area will certainly impact your life and be a force multiplier positively affecting every aspect of it. 

I wanted to share my tips on what works for me in times of stress, but I made it a clickbait-y title so it would seem more timely.  Stress is stress, so I’ve used these techniques for years, regardless of the source of stress. Interestingly, the last year or two is the calmest I've ever been. I've learned it's true, worrying means you suffer twice. And even right now, amongst all that is happening, I think it's truly eye opening that there is only so much one can do when a virus exists asymptomatically. Wash your hands, wear a mask, be distanced, be proactive, help others, and take good care of yourself. You can only do your part. So below are 5 tips for dealing with stress that I hope will help you in some small way.  

1) Diversify your identity.

I wish I could remember which blogger gentleman wrote at length about this concept of your self esteem coming from more than one source.  (I had read it a few years ago.)  Much like one diversifies their financial portfolio to reduce risk, the same should be done for your emotional and mental health.  When I came across this concept, it was so simple, yet so remarkable.  

Instead of viewing oneself as an accomplished, contributing breadwinner, provider, or citizen, take stock that you are also many other things.  You are most likely a few of the following - an unwavering family member, reliable friend, devoted pet owner, helpful neighbor, a curious hobbyist, loving significant other, loyal sibling, dedicated parent, generous volunteer, studious learner, skilled amateur chef or baker, a handy DIYer, a selfless stranger, and the list goes on.

Don’t stake all your self confidence on one, narrow sliver of your humanity.  When, not if, something negative happens, the other areas you’ve invested your time, energy, and emotions will still keep you afloat.  And they are very likely the very things that will get you through a tough time.  

2) Process your story frequently.

I am a big fan of Steve Jobs’ philosophy about only being able to connect the dots by looking backwards.  He illustrates this by mentioning 3 pivotal moments that spanned ten years. (Dropping out, calligraphy class, and Mac having beautiful fonts)  I’ve found myself applying that same principle in increments of months and within a couple years vs through decades.  

Taking the time to look for patterns in your life and contemplating what those decisions or events mean gives you a more cohesive perspective. It’s like data mining your own life.  What does the data say about who you are, your skill set, your values, your passion, your principles, where you’re headed, your goals, and what’s important to you?  

Doing this helped me professionally and personally.  When I sat down and wrote a list of all the tasks, projects, the people, and companies I worked with, I noticed common occurrences.  It helped write my unique selling point and summarize my career into one sentence.  I could see all the skills I used repeatedly, all the circumstances I was hired and why, that I had repeat clients, and I was able to brand myself better.  

When I look at my personal life, I can re-frame my perspective and find things to be grateful for.  Sometimes you can’t see the silver lining until you wait.  Sometimes what seems like a bad event turns out to be fine or even good, you just didn't know it at the time. There can only be new beginnings by ending old chapters. The reality is, sometimes that call is made by you, sometimes it's not. Decisions, risks, events, and information become more clear and take on a different meaning once you start moving through life and the dust settles.  I get it though, the waiting is hard. Case in point, during this pandemic, or any time you have an emergency, really, I’m sure many people have learned how valuable time and resources are, and who is very much in their inner circle.  You learn who you can count on, rely on. You’ve probably also learned what money can and can not buy.  And that the best things in life are free. Still, I know we're all waiting for life to return to normal. That day will come.

3) Theme your life.

Very often when you are stressed out, it is instinctive to want to do everything to fix the situation.  The stress is gnawing at you, you’re looking for a solution, you’re restless.  One of the best things you can do is step back and take a break, however short.  One reason is to sort through your emotions.  Another reason is to have some sort of normalcy in your life, even if only a little bit.  

One of the best ways to do this is to take whatever your necessary daily activities are and give it a theme.  By theme-ing your life, the process of accomplishing whatever activities you normally have to do anyway, now become a learning tool, a goal setting objective, and a way to gamify your life by adding an overarching theme.  

Here are 2 examples of themes I had incorporated in my life previously, John Hughes and My Existential Crisis Cooking.  

First, John Hughes...  Whenever I needed to relax and wanted to watch a movie at home, I decided I’d watch every single John Hughes movie I could because I had not seen most of them.  I chose John Hughes because at the time I worked in entertainment, there was a resurgence in teen movies, and romcoms are always a long-standing genre.  I could get in a breadth of movie history while relaxing and it would help me catch up on iconic pop culture that I was lacking.  Who said being a couch potato was laziness?  I’m expanding my MIND!  LOL (FYI - My favorite was Say Anything.  Yours?)

My existential crisis cooking project came about when I was figuring out how I wanted to pivot and gain more work life balance.  Because I had been a workaholic for so long, I rarely cooked.  So I made it a point to cook every single day, trying out new recipes, looking for ingredients I had never used, and going on a culinary adventure from my own kitchen.  I pinched and rolled homemade pot stickers and egg rolls.  I made soups from scratch and stir frys.  So while this didn’t directly enhance my career, I had more fun with life skills everyone should have.  One could argue, eating healthy and fresh foods does help my body and mind, which does help me function better! 

4) Learn the art of storytelling.

Stories are everywhere.  In how you recount your day to someone, the trajectory of your career, how you met and fell in love.  A good story is a good story, regardless of the genre.  Even in its most basic element, a story doesn’t have to be funny, or dramatic, or the best story you ever heard.  It only has to be interesting.  It has to have a beginning, middle, and end.  It has to make sense.  And aside from that, it only has to be unique.  And everyone can tell a unique story because there is only one of you.  Part of a good story is in the delivery.  Even if the story is only mildly interesting, if you’re excited to share the story, the listener will be that much happier to listen.  If you put your own spin or perspective on it, it amps up the quality of the story.  

Learning how to tell a story is very seldom discussed.  But once you get the hang of it, it’ll open more doors than you realize. Including the stories you tell yourself.

5) Focus on this hour.

We’re in strange times right now.  Even if we weren’t, life can be difficult.  Train yourself to only think about this hour when you feel like there’s not much more you can handle.  If even that seems too daunting, focus only on getting through the next 15-30 min.  Think about what you can fix now, what’s in your control immediately, or what you can do right now that will make your situation even slightly better for the long haul.  Too often we get bogged down by too many details, too much of the big picture, and we get overwhelmed.  When you are at your absolute limit, ask yourself, “What do I need right THIS second?”  Maybe it’s a snack, some water, a nap, to write a to do list so you feel less stressed, a walk outside, to pet your dog or cat, to surf the internet for 10 minutes.  Doing one small thing to help your mind, body, or future is better than doing nothing.  Do something now to get you to the next step, the next hour.  

Share your thoughts below if found these helpful or have tried these before.  (I’m also writing on Part 2 of this column as we speak.)

***New “rule” - when you ask me a question for anonymous advice and I answer it, could you write an anonymous comment so I know you're the one who ASKED and read the post? :) 

As always, I usually tweet any new posts I have. And anyone can email me questions and I respond only via this blog, not to your personal address. 

I also write over at under Hollywood Executive Assistant.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

7 Tips to Cancel with Diplomacy & Grace

Hello, new and returning readers!  

In today’s post, I wanted to talk about the issue of being on time.  The sheer number of increasingly flaky, unreliable, and blatantly rude behavior I’ve encountered in the last few years is quite astonishing.  I’m not talking about the run of the mill stuff like being a few minutes late and letting people know you’ll be late on the rare occasion. That’s understandable.

A bit eyebrow raising is the time when an executive was 30 min late to meet with my boss.  We didn’t get an update from the assistant and when the executive showed up, they didn’t acknowledge how late they were, nor that they were even late.  We learned this was the norm for the executive to show up 30 min or more late without notice every single time.

It was also strange to me when people would consistently show up at 1pm to check in with security when the meeting was at 1pm.  By the time they got their guest badge and were escorted to our floor 15 minutes had passed. This happened about 99% of the time.  

One day, I had three meetings in which HOURS of my/our time were wasted; my entire morning was shot.  They either didn’t show up at all or were an hour late.

So, here are three stories of what not to do, one example of what to do, and 7 tips.

1) We knew a vendor where we literally gave them millions of dollars in business on a previous project in the past year.  So while it wasn’t a current/active project, we did know them fairly recently. They had asked for the meeting a couple weeks out and sent an invite with a location to be determined a bit closer.  A day before the meeting, the location hadn’t been decided upon. Because we didn’t hear from them, we reached out. In confirming if the meeting would be taking place, they eagerly confirmed. They chose a location that suited us, the client.  They updated the invite and sent it to us. The next day, we arrive at the location. We text the vendor that we checked in with the front desk, but would wait in the lobby for them before getting situated inside since we were 10 minutes early. They responded they were about to pull up and park.  It’s worth noting that the location chosen (by them, since they were familiar with it) was a busy area so parking and walking to the building could take a few minutes. It would be like traversing a small community college campus. While waiting, I’m reading articles on my phones and checking in and touching base with someone in Hawaii.  The contact in Hawaii asks if the vendor has arrived yet and we realize it’s been 15 minutes, which is sort of understandable. More texting with the contact in Hawaii while we wait, discussing various quick topics to get through low-hanging fruit. I check the time and realize it’s been another 15 minutes. No word and no appearance of our vendor.  At this point, it’s ridiculous we’ve been kept waiting for a total of 40 minutes, since we arrived 10 minutes early. We text the vendor to reschedule and leave. And to this day, we have no idea what happened. They didn’t get back to us, nor their assistant. A complete no-show without explanation.

2) Later that day we also had a conference call scheduled with another vendor who wanted to earn our business.  This call was scheduled 2 weeks out. In the meantime, the vendor sent over the Google document we could both edit in the days leading up to the call.  Ten minutes before the call, I go into the document to do some quick reviews, figure out what questions I want to address first, and to prepare overall.  I can see by the notes and document changes the vendor was also in the document a few minutes earlier. A good sign. Except they never call. 4pm comes and goes with no word.  No word about being late or needing to reschedule, until we received an email 24 hours later. They had to work late on a project and by the time they finished it was too late to call.

3) I’ve also had vendors state they really wanted to work with us.  They offer to set up a meeting in advance before they get pulled away with other projects and business travel to make sure they prioritize our project.  They are very responsive to our questions and concerns, 2-3 times a day we hear back on pricing, information, etc that we’ve asked for so that we can all show up to the pivotal meeting to hash out final details.  They contact us 24 hours prior to get out of the meeting. However, when they advise us they can’t attend the meeting as planned, there is no apology of having to reschedule. There are no new specific dates and times to meet except “sometime next week toward end of day.”  And most importantly, there’s no assurances of it being a personal emergency or something out of their control. We get that bigger and better paying projects come along, but there was also no diplomatic finessing that is the mark of amazing customer service and client relations.  All of a sudden the meeting time no longer worked for them and they wanted to change it. This is a very different message they sent earlier that they wanted to build out their schedule based around us before they got too busy. This was really odd to us and left a bad taste. Two days later, they circle back and want to schedule another meeting for a week later.  We give the benefit of the doubt and agree. Again, 24 hours before the meeting, they back out, but provide no details except they’d like for us to wait until the following week again. Good vendors would still say they’d still like to work with you or refer you to another team or company that they’ve worked alongside of that can take good care of you as well. Even if they can’t work with us, they try not to burn the bridge and be helpful.  If we weren’t so good at planning, securing bids, and exploring all options and pricing, we could have been really left in a bind. The only message we got loud and clear from that vendor was they did not want our business and expected us to wait for 3 weeks until we had our very first meeting. Duly noted. Forever.

Here’s a good example of how to cancel with grace and diplomacy.  

One day I heard from a CEO who was looking for an assistant.  Instead of having me go through HR and be screened by other executives, they wanted to meet with me directly.  They ask when I’m free. Because I’m about to go on vacation, I give them a date when I’m back from vacation. They politely and kindly asks if we can meet earlier as they are interviewing other candidates and because they are about to be out of the country for a month while I’m on vacation.  So, I agree to meet the day before my vacation out of courtesy and to foster goodwill. They assure me if anything changes with their schedule because they are traveling they will reach out to me. I’m juggling getting ready for vacation among everything else in my life. I now have to prepare for this interview which will take at least 3-5 hours.  I read extensively about the company, the executive team, any news articles, and prepare many questions. I also have to think about which stories and skill sets to showcase that will best fit the role and company I’m interviewing for. This is why it takes me a few hours to prepare for one meeting, not counting the commute time in LA traffic. I show up to the interview and the CEO is not there.  No one knew about the meeting because they set it up directly with me. Thus no one knows who I am and they are not expecting me at all. So I offer to come back in a month when the CEO is back. By the time I get home they have already left me a very long voicemail profusely apologizing, explaining what happened. They admit they completely forgot as they had a personal emergency and no one has access to their calendar.  They offer to talk to me on the phone if I wish whenever I’m available at my convenience. I respond I can just wait until they get back so they can focus on their trip.

7 Tips to recover from canceling/rescheduling with grace and diplomacy:

  1. The greater the offense the more profuse the apology should be.  And the greater the offense, it must be a phone call. If rescheduling with enough notice, written communication is fine.  In more last minute cases, call/leave a voicemail AND send a written notice so you can make sure you covered all your bases and made every effort to reach them in time.  It’s harder to listen to phone messages, but people can see emails/texts via Apple Watch while in meetings.
  2. Explain what happened, just own it like the above CEO did.  Some sort of explanation based in truth is better than nothing or completely disappearing.  The greater the offense, the executive should make the call personally. If it is minor, you can.  If it’s really bad, you should do immediate damage control and then your boss should follow up personally with a call or direct written communication, whichever is appropriate.    
  3. Have ready or follow up with 3-5 alternates dates/times immediately, the sooner the new time slots are the better.
  4. Go to great lengths to make it up to them, especially if it was a great offense and if you can.  If the meeting was at your office, you go to them, or meet halfway. Perhaps make it a lunch meeting vs a regular meeting.  In the very very worst instances, you might need to buy flowers or a gift.
  5. Most importantly, be very mindful of how many times you/your exec has already cancelled or rescheduled very very last minute on a person in the last year or two.  They will most likely remember, and over an extended period of time, people will draw the conclusion that you’re not reliable or just plain flaky. They will no longer want to do business with you, because why should they bother?  
  6. Always remember that unless it is a true personal/family/business emergency, most people do what they want to do.  If you don’t hear from them after 1-3 tries, they are avoiding you. Everyone is busy. Everyone has priorities. If people can be on time to what they enjoy, love doing, important things, but are late to everything else, that speaks volumes.  When someone is late to a meeting or appointment, you not only wasted someone’s time for the duration of the commitment, but also everyone else’s time in the meeting as well, not counting all the hours it took to prepare, plan, and commute.  The most valuable resource is time; we can never get it back.
  7. One of the busiest, most well-known CEOs I worked for had the uncanny ability to keep track of time while running a meeting, while on the phone, on a vid conference, it didn’t matter.  In my entire time with them, they were MAYBE late 2 times. And those 2 times they knew they were late; they just chose to stay a little longer. They never lost track of time, got sidelined, nor distracted.  It was the first time I had met a CEO like that. They were so reliable with time, I never had to remind them to wrap up a meeting by passing them a note. If this well-respected, well-known, multi-millionaire CEO can keep track of time this well, I find it hard to believe others can’t, especially when executives have assistants and non-CEOs have a cell phone with an alarm function. For the record, they never used the alarm, and obviously I didn't need to remind them how much time they had left in a meeting. So, how did they do it? I think they would very discreetly look at the time on the video conference TV mounted to the wall or their computer monitor. There was no hanging wall clock and they did not even wear a watch. This executive timed everything to a tee, to account for traffic, packing up their belongings, etc. Being punctual starts with respecting everyone's time and showing up a few minutes early.        

Do you have any examples of good and bad ways to cancel?  Or horror stories of how late people have been or no shows? Share them in the comments section!

***New “rule” - when you ask me a question for anonymous advice and I answer it, could you write an anonymous comment so I know you're the one who ASKED and read the post? :)

As always, I usually tweet any new posts I have. And anyone can email me questions and I respond only via this blog, not to your personal address.

I also write over at under Hollywood Executive Assistant.


Friday, March 15, 2019

How I Handled A Reduction in Force

I’m old enough to have seen our country go through drastic economic upheaval and downfalls one too many times, but I’m also young enough to appreciate Nikkie De Jager of nikkietutorials.  And in this age of such uncertainty and turmoil, I wanted to talk about what’s worked for me.

Ever since college internships and being a working professional, every single environment I had been in, was enveloped by so many buyouts, mergers, acquisitions, and secret sessions of due diligence.  Granted these were all in one industry, but many of my friends of different fields had similar experiences.  Every. single. company. I’ve been at has been bought out, no longer exists, or changed management.  (None of which I can share the details about, ever.  I will take them to my grave.)  But what I can share with you is how I dealt with it all.   

In the beginning, it was really shocking to deal with, because since you were a child you’ve been led to believe that if you studied hard, applied yourself, and made good decisions, you’d go far and the universe would reward you.  And then life happens and you’re blindsided.  And even though it happens again a few years later, you’re still pretty shocked because you’re thinking, “Again?!  Already?!  Is there no such thing as stability?!”

For me, one of the hardest experiences I had to overcome was being at a company for a few years and it was the best job I ever had (at the time).  My life was working on all cylinders.  I had a boss I loved, great projects, great co-workers, a commute so short people couldn’t believe I just didn’t walk there (hello, stranger danger in LA, at night time, or early morning hours).  I was also in a long term relationship and loved my boyfriend’s family.  I was taking fun classes and learning new hobbies at night once or twice a week.  I had time to volunteer and saw all my friends constantly.  It was peak #goals, for everything.  

And then, one day, there was a re-org.  But it wasn’t even in my department, nor my boss.  It was a lateral department and a lateral management person that were affected.  In the fall out, an admin person had no one to report to.  This admin person was at least twice my age, maybe more, and a few years away from retiring.  And so I was out of a job, just like that. 

That person stayed, reported to my boss, and I was out.

And when it happened, everyone around me was upset more than I was, including my boss.  They couldn’t understand my reaction.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t upset, but I also knew the decision had been made.  The cards were dealt.  This had probably been planned for weeks, if not months.  So the only thing to do was to process and deal with it.  That was my new job, for now. 

It was really important to me to bounce back, not only for my sake, but for my colleagues who were so incensed on my behalf.  Another executive had let me know they had a short-term contract for me in the new year, working with some of the same people.  I really wanted it because it was during an economic bust when millions were out of work and I’d learn a lot of new stuff so it’d improve my resume.  I also knew that I could only get the job if there were no hard feelings.  So, I took some time and had to really process all of my feelings and thoughts about being laid off.  And this was the conclusion I came to; this is what I told my colleagues who asked how I was doing. 

I said, “I hope when I’m ______’s age and close to retirement, that whatever company I’m working for makes the same decision.  I hope they would let me stay.” 

I think one of the best ways to move forward is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  You may not agree with them.  You may not like what they did, or what happened.  But what you will gain is a different perspective.  People make decisions that are logical to them.  Very rarely does life happen in a vacuum.  It took me a long time to realize that most people operate to avoid pain and seek pleasure.  We all act in our own self interest, partly because no one will care more about your life than you.  This also means no one else can deal with the consequences of  your life so you’re apt to make decisions that favor you.

When experiencing something painful, I’ve learned to lean into it, to embrace it, and to control my reactions, thoughts, and behaviors.  Empower yourself.  I know that if I don’t deal with it now, it will just come back to haunt me later, with more force.  Is this fun?  No.  Are there days where it sometimes just absolutely sucks, for days on end?  Yes.  You might ask, what do I gain, then?  Closure. 

Process your pain and uneasiness in healthy ways.  Find what works for you.  Is it meditating, sports, exercising, reading, or cleaning?  Do something every day that makes you happy, however small. 

For anyone who is struggling, know that I am thinking of you.  I am sending the warmest of hugs.  I believe one day you will look back on this and your memories may still be bittersweet.  But you will also be proud that you’ve come so far.  That your journey wasn’t for nothing.  And most of all, take comfort in knowing you met some really great people you wouldn’t have met otherwise - shared a lot of laughs, bonded when times were tough, and created a lot of once-in-a-lifetime memories.  Cherish that. Choose to remember those moments.

***New “rule” - when you ask me a question for anonymous advice and I answer it, could you write an anonymous comment so I know you're the one who ASKED and read the post? :)

As always, I usually tweet any new posts I have. And anyone can email me questions and I respond only via this blog, not to your personal address.

I also write over at under Hollywood Executive Assistant.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Better Communication in the Workplace Starts With These 5 Tips

Better Communication in the Workplace Starts With These 5 Tips

Poor communication within organizations is often at the heart of damaged reputations and loss of revenue. From under-resourcing new ventures to product recalls, better internal communication can help businesses avoid common pitfalls and protect their futures and bottom lines.

Learning to communicate better throughout your organisation will help you avoid the damage that can be incurred by ignoring obvious and permeating interaction difficulties. The benefits, aside from avoiding trouble, include increased staff engagement, a more positive workplace culture, and a higher level of efficiency.

Read on to find out how you can reap the rewards of better communication in the workplace.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Answering Reader Mail: I Got Really Sick Before An Interview & Still Went. Did I Make The Right Choice?

Dear New & Returning Readers,

Helloooooo, everyone!  Welcome back to my blog!  As you know I only blog when I feel inspired and hopefully feel that I have some wisdom or tips to impart.  I love helping people and that will never end.  Several people have encouraged me saying I should really charge for my services and insider knowledge. Seeing that I gained all this wisdom via experience or by reading, I can’t imagine why anyone would pay for what I consider free advice…  

In the future (like 20 years from now), I may send out a survey to see if there are services you feel aren’t fitting your needs as an executive assistant, admin person, job hunter, college graduate, young professional, business owner, executive, CEO, or anything else you can imagine to see what type of help people crave.  OR if you want to EMAIL me why you would PAY to hire someone like me, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Are you looking for networking advice, job hunting advice, resume services, interview prep, career navigation, LinkedIn self branding, or getting mentored about career/life? And what sort of online content you would pay for?

In the past I had been approached for various consulting gigs, which I’ve all turned down for one reason or another, despite how lucrative they were.  In the end, I know running a small business is a lot more work than people initially realize and my interests lie in helping CEOs/Owners run and maximize their business.  Being a business owner is not the path that I wanted to take and that’s okay!

So today I’m answering a reader’s question via my love of helping others! Today's reader asks the below.

"Today I had an interview and just as I arrived, I got really sick and wasn’t feeling well at all.  I don’t know if I ate something bad or just had some sort of reaction.  I seemed okay if you saw me.  However, I could definitely tell something was really wrong.  The interview went less than ideal, it may have been my worst interview ever.  This was not my #1 dream job if that helps.  During the interview the guy asked me if I was okay as I seemed to be in visible pain and extremely agitated.  I didn’t want to bring up something negative in case it sounded like an excuse so I gave profuse apologies that it wasn’t my intention at all.  I mentioned I was having a bad day and rarely react the way he described.  I didn’t want to go into a long explanation because it’s embarrassing.  So I minimized it so he would know this was a rare occurrence and the interview continued.  We both agreed the role was not a great fit for me because it wasn’t the right type of tasks and responsibilities so we concluded the meeting after about an hour.  Afterward, I sent a thank you card and explained my behavior. I sincerely apologized.  I wrote I felt really ill from a bad reaction while stating it would not happen again.  I explained I knew I could attend the meeting or reschedule.  However, I wanted to keep our commitment because it’s important to me to overcome obstacles and stick to a promise I made and to deliver. What you would have done if you were in my situation?" 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

On Work / Life Balance and Supporting Those You Love

Dear Readers,

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm an introvert and I like routine/being consistent more often than not.  Being introverted doesn't mean I'm shy or I dislike being around people.  Rather, it means that I tend to get drained very quickly when I go out and socialize for too long of a period.  I need a lot of down time and quiet surroundings to feel re-energized and to feel like myself again.  And the routine part means that I like being mindful with how I spend my time and am methodical about it.

Like almost everyone, regardless of profession, I struggle with work / life balance.  And most often in life, my largest struggles center around knowing the sweet spot of when is something too much versus too little.  At what point is something acceptable vs unacceptable?  Where do I draw the line?  Much of the time this also might look like a struggle between head and heart, logic and desire.  This, of course, not only affects me, but also those around me, especially my loved ones.

I wrote the following post at my 3rd blog site about how I've come to view work / life balance, my needs, in relation to others, their need for it, and how I support them.  If you read all the way through, you'll see that this post is relatable to anyone regardless of the lens I filter my personal story through.  And if I'm being really honest, it means the post was written as a reminder to myself when I I'm doing too much of one thing vs what I really should be doing.

I've pasted it for you here:

This Will Convince Your Wife or Girlfriend To Let You Play More Golf — From A Woman Who Loves A Golf Addict (Men, Forward This To Your Wives or Girlfriends)

Dear Golf Addicts & Their Ladies,
Before I met my dear boyfriend, I had never dated a golfer. I was like you, completely lost to the obsession of golf that men have with the sport. As a former outsider, it seemed less of a game and more of a long leisurely stroll, mainly, for nothing. It really seemed as though they were chasing a little white ball over here and over there and in between they were really just wanting an excuse to drink, smoke cigars, and hang out with their buddies. That might be the case with casual golfers. I thought to myself, if hanging out is really the point, just go on a hike with your buddies or we should just have a bar-be-que, throw a little party so all the wives and girlfriends could come too. So you might be wondering why I encourage my boyfriend to play as much golf as he wants.
When you are in love with a golf fanatic, it’s much different. It really is about their drive and love/hate relationship of wanting to improve their swing, their score, and that addictive chase of an amazing shot. It really is about “flow” where they are so in the zone, in the moment, in that space between where something is not so easy they get bored and borderline so hard they want to give up and pull out their hair. It’s that delicate balance of finding that right mix of good technique, a good strategy, vision, and feeling just challenged enough to chase the ultimate personal record which always seems so close, within reach, yet so far away.
If they are not playing every weekend or the entire weekend, they are practicing every single day — chipping and putting on the range, working on their short game. And it’s not just them being gone half of the day, it’s the obsession with the right club or the latest equipment. It’s as though looking at, buying, and collecting all the stuff is part of the obsession too. There’s also re-living with their buddies the best shot they ever hit or that one time when such and such happened, just insert that one same story [right here]. You know, the one that you can never relate to or understand what’s so funny.
To an outsider, golf just seems so boring compared to other sports. Where’s the excitement, the cheering and the yelling, the team camaraderie? No, in golf, if you tag along you have to be quiet, and observe so many rules, and be out in the hot sun or the cold wind. There’s no Jumbotron screen so you can catch all the action, see the instant replays, conveniently placed bathrooms, or 50 different counters to buy burgers, fries and ice cream.
But here’s what I’ve learned even before I met my dear boyfriend. Everyone, and I mean everyone, you, me, we all have something we’re obsessed with — yours might be marathons, crossfit, guilty-pleasure TV, yoga, reading, or your pet. And whatever your drug of choice is, I’m sure your boyfriend or dear husband, at the very least, loves to make fun of you for it. And at the very worst, hates having to hear you drone on about it or even join you when you’ve asked them to be next to you to watch/participate. And when they do agree, that one time a year or every 5 years, you’re so happy, even if they do it begrudgingly. Secretly he is hoping you’d just call your 20 girlfriends to gab about x, y, z instead.
Here’s what’s important to remember. Just like you, your man works. While you have your own career or are putting out fires as a stay-at-home mom and homemaker, or being a philanthropist, your man is out there at the office, out in the field, busting his a** doing what he does for a living. He works 40, maybe 50, 60+ hours a week sometimes. He provides for you, takes care of you, and is there for you in every way humanly possible. Because good men THRIVE on making their women happy, knowing he can please her. This might come as a big shock to you, but they really only live to have your respect. They want to impress you, have you be proud to be with them, and to make you smile. They want to be your superhero. They may not say this or have shown this at times, but that desire to know they make a world of difference in your life is there. If anything, the silent ones need and want this the most. It’s what gives them joy, a sense of accomplishment, and makes them feel like a man. If he can go out into the world and make an honest living and put a roof over his lady’s head or buy her a burger with cheese on it, he feels like a king. If he can make you laugh or share a fear knowing you will listen or feel that the spark between you two is so electric, it makes him feel alive and invincible. It’s YOU that makes him feel that way and no one else.
It’s known that men don’t have a lot of friends, or aren’t as close to their friends as women are with their best friends. It’s known that men aren’t allowed to be as open, emotional, or cry as much as women; it’s why statistically they die at a younger age than women. So trust me when I say he does EVERYTHING for you, in your name, as a demonstration of his love, to see your face light up and your eyes sparkle. Why? Because you are his Queen. You, the love of his life, are his world, his best friend, his confidante, his everything. So you might be asking what does this have to do with golf?!
Because here’s the secret. When you let men, people really, do whatever their heart desires, they get really happy. Your loved ones, they feel valued, validated, supported, and loved. They feel as though you see them for the unique individual that they are. They feel understood, heard, seen and cared for. And when they feel that way, they love you even more. I’m not saying you should do this because of what you’ll get in return. I’m saying you should do this because it’s the right thing to do and what you believe in. Because if you do it for any other reason besides that, he will know, and see right through your act. Be a good person, not because they are a good person, but because you are.
So how do you do it and also mean it? Have your own interests, be your own person, and go out and do something while he is golfing so that you are having just as much fun as he is. In every relationship, you have to have some independence and different hobbies. Otherwise, it just gets boring. Everyone also needs “me time.” You know the saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Will the world end if he plays golf on the weekend when he’s working Monday through Friday for you? Is it so terrible that he has the day all to himself to relax and do what he wants to do? What would happen if you happily let him go play as much as he wanted instead of him fighting to get out of the house? Try it one time, see what happens. I know, because I’ve tried it, even before I met my sweet, beloved golf addict.
Let’s do a quick math problem together. To play a round of golf, 18 holes, takes about 4 hours. Let’s pad it to 5 hours in case they like to show up early to warm up and practice on the golf range or the group in front of them is playing slow or someone shows up late. If you live in Los Angeles like I do and traffic is horrendous, let’s account for 1 hour of traffic each way. So now we are at 7 hours. Let’s add in another hour in case they eat lunch after 9 holes at the club house. Or even if they play straight through and eat between the holes from something from the golf cart snack lady, let’s keep that 1 hour cause maybe they want to have a nice cold drink and shoot the sh*t with their boys at the end of the day. So now we’re up to 8 hours of your man being gone to drive, play golf, and hang out. That’s a WORST-CASE SCENARIO, that your man is gone an entire work day to play golf.
We can also be very pragmatic. You work, your man works, so Monday through Friday you are each working and contributing to the managing the household and finances. Because your man is obsessed with golf, I’m going to assume he wants to play both Saturday and Sunday. Since there are 24 hours in a day, I think about it like this.
8 hours of sleep
8 hours of working or golfing
8 hours of free time
Granted, that’s a very rough breakdown because we get ready for work and have to commute so that might really only leave about 5 hours of free time each day Monday through Friday, that’s 25 hours. There is also 16 hours of non sleep time on Saturday and another 16 hours of non sleep time Sunday, 32 hours total. That’s a lot of free time. Are you telling me that your man can’t be gone for 8 hours on Saturday and/or Sunday to play golf if it leaves you 41 hours with him? 41 hours is a lot of hours. Being gone for 8 hours is the worst-case scenario because I doubled the 4 hours it takes to play 18 holes. If you have kids, he can play and come back after 5 hour or 6 hours. If he just wants to practice his short game he will be done in half that time. There are very few situations where letting your man leave for golf should be an issue.
If you’re going to have the argument of not having enough quality time with your man, relationship books say you only need 15 hours of quality time a week to have a close, intimate relationship. Quality time is defined as being together or doing an activity together that is engaging and you interact with each other, hopefully without cell phones or disruptions. Going to the movies or co-existing in silence does not count toward the 15 hours. Talking about the movie for 30 minutes afterward does. Catching up on your day over a meal counts, spending time with the kids counts, cooking together, jogging while talking together counts, date night counts, having a cocktail together at home counts. Almost any activity where you talk, laugh, share ideas, and actively enjoy each other’s company, and become closer counts. And those 15 hours can be spread out during the week. It can be two hours each night or any other configuration. The only goal is to have fun or a meaningful time together for 15 hours a week. It’s about giving each other your undivided, focused attention. So short of having a baby or if one of you is a raging workaholic, there is enough time for golf and quality time with loved ones. There is always enough time if, as a couple and a family, you have your priorities in order and do what is meaningful to you both.
There’s also give and take, push and pull in every relationship. So the more you get angry and upset that your man is playing too much golf, the more he will want to play to get away from your negative energy. The more you encourage him to go play, the more he will look forward to coming home to a positive and happy Queen. Encourage him to go play if for nothing else than to have time for yourself to go for a special mommy/daughter or mommy/son outing, a mani/pedi, a nap, or a massage or to take a long bubble bath, and catch up on whatever you wish. Treat yourself while he is out doing his thing and do a trade off. He gets to golf during the day while you go out with your girlfriends and he cooks dinner or watches the kids or tidies up the house at night.
Your man will come home happier, less stressed, and more energized to spend quality time with you. Accept him as he is. It will be easier to love him. While you may not believe me and everything that I’ve written, just trust me and give it time. While you adjust to the idea that if you let him play as much golf as he wants and worry he may never come home, just remember this saving grace. Golf can only be played during daylight hours. Hallelujah!
P.S. Golfers, don’t forget to forward this to your wives or girlfriend. Also, you’re welcome.

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