What Will You Say Yes To?

Book Review For The Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in The Sun & be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

I loved this book. It’s a survival guide for ambitious women. It’s also a masterclass on how to overcome limiting beliefs. Shonda makes sharp observations about everything from working motherhood and nurturing creativity, to career growth and feminism’s next act, intersectionality. She applies the Shonda-Rhimes-story-telling-magic to her own life. Even though she highlights (and challenges) many of the social norms that limit women’s progress, it’s a fast, engaging read.

Learning to Say Yes

“’You Never Say Yes to Anything.” The truth of her sister’s casual comment unsettled her. In response, Shonda decided to say ‘yes’ to what scared her… for an entire year! The book takes us, from her struggle to honor this commitment, to the resulting personal Continue reading “What Will You Say Yes To?”

Is There Room For Self-Care in The Sandwich?

“My migraines were getting worse and I went to see a doctor. He asked about my life…I told him I worked full-time, had 3 kids and helped care for my dad who had dementia and was living with me while my mother recovered from surgery. The doctor said disapprovingly, ‘that’s too much.’” Jody Gastfriend, my friend and former colleague admitted, “The doctor was right.” I nodded and sighed. We met for breakfast to discuss self-care and lessons learned from her years in social work, building Care.com’s Senior Care services, and tending to her aging parents. In her new book, My Parent’s Keeper The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving, Jody shares how she ultimately had to prioritize self-care and pay attention to what her body was telling her.

Watch For Signs

We lamented how Mom-martyrdom is universally accepted and reinforces patterns of self-neglect. Making changes feels even worse than the to-do list treadmill. Envisioning a better way requires energy and creativity…inaccessible to most when overloaded. Jody shared what was happening in her life before the migraines worsened. “There were other signs from the universe… before I realized how worn out I was.” Jody eventually hired a home health aide to help with her father’s care and temporarily reduced her work hours.

Caring for adults is unpredictable. Whereas healthy children follow similar developmental paths, seniors defy patterns as they age. At 90, some remain very active while others at age 70 can’t live alone. An estimated 75% of family caregivers are female. Absorb that for a moment. The likelihood that your parents will need your help as they age is high! Few think of themselves as ‘family caregivers’ and just doing what ‘is Continue reading “Is There Room For Self-Care in The Sandwich?”

When Do You Keep Your Boundaries?

I reconnected with a friend and team-mate at the gym recently while running on neighboring treadmills. She had just returned from a work trip and shared she felt “happy to run” after a two-day absence.  Why the absence I asked?  She stayed with her in-laws and enjoyed the family visit, but missed the opportunity to workout.

That sparked a fascinating discussion about our bodies and our willingness to ‘cross’ boundaries we set for ourselves, mostly to adhere to other people’s expectations of us or comfort.

Moms often feel at the whim of everyone else’s claims to our bodies, time, attention, and energy. Why are we so willing to give up the precious little control we do have?

Where are your personal boundaries?

  • When do you stop pleasing and start protecting?
  • What are those times when to be ‘polite’ you have that piece of cake, cancel that workout, take that Friday meeting when you work Monday -Thursday …?
  • Why fill time with draining people or tasks when time is so limited?
  • When is it hard to make the best choices for ourselves? When is it easy?  What are your rules for this and why?

I would love your help putting context around how boundary setting (or lack thereof) is shaping our day to day lives.

Please take the survey, it will take less than 10 minutes of your time.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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