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11 posts from August 2012

August 30, 2012

President Obama talks work life balance

Art-obamareddit-620x349


Who's more of a family man, Obama or Romney, Biden or Ryan?

All of them are working hard to make sure they are portrayed as one. It's encouraging to me that being viewed as "good father" is important to voters.

Yesterday, President Obama decided to hold an Ask Me Anything online chat on Reddit, a social online bulletin board. He took questions from the public and was asked about everything from who's his favorite basketball player to the most difficult decision as president to how he handles work life balance. He took the opportunity during his online chat to further polish his image as a family man.

On work-life balance he answered with this:

“It's hard – truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I'm spending enough time with michelle and the girls,” he wrote.

“The big advantage I have is that I live above the store – so I have no commute! So we make sure that when I'm in DC I never miss dinner with them at 6:30 pm – even if I have to go back down to the Oval for work later in the evening.

“I do work out every morning as well, and try to get a basketball or golf game in on the weekends just to get out of the bubble.”


Along with work life balance, I found his comments on unemployment interesting. 

A recent graduate from a top law school who said he/she was unemployed with a large student loan debt asked Obama what he was doing to improve the economic outlook for young people. “We worked for you, we campaigned for you, and we turned out in record numbers to vote for you,” the Reddit user said. Obama said he understood how tough it was for recent graduates in the US but said the Republican Party would only cater to the interests of the wealthy.

 

“The other party has two ideas for growth – more taxs cuts for the wealthy (paid for by raising tax burdens on the middle class and gutting investments like education) and getting rid of regulations we've put in place to control the excesses on wall street and help consumers,” he wrote.

“These ideas have been tried, they didnt work, and will make the economy worse.

I want to keep promoting advanced manufacturing that will bring jobs back to America, promote all-American energy sources (including wind and solar), keep investing in education and make college more affordable, rebuild our infrastructure, invest in science, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way with prudent spending cuts and higher taxes on folks making more than $250,000/year.

I don't promise that this will solve all our immediate economic challenges, but my plans will lay the foundation for long term growth for your generation, and for generations to follow. So don't be discouraged - we didn't get into this fix overnight, and we won't get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more."


Obama had lots to say on other topics too. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

By the way, President Family Man, who had just finished an rally in Charlottesville, chose to sign off the online chat this way: "Speaking of balance, I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner."

 

August 29, 2012

Storms test workplace flexibility

The minute I heard that South Florida schools were closed on Monday, my kids cheered and I groaned. If I listened hard enough, I could hear other working parents groan, too. Up north, parents have to contend with snow days. Here we have to deal with storm days. Regardless, all of us have to contend with bosses who may or may not understand the predicament parents face when kids are off school and we are expected to come to work. To me, that's when companies who call themselves family-friendly are put to the test. Talking to crazed parents on Monday inspired me to write the article below: 

 

The Miami Herald

Storms, school closings provide ultimate workplace flexibility test

By Cindy Krischer Goodman
balancegal@gmail.com

 
Daniella Aronsky, left, 9, takes more folders from her mom, Emira, who works at the office, while her sister, Sofia, center, 7, and cousin, Shayna Soffer, right, keep inserting papers into brochures, at the Soffer Health Institute in Aventura. With school being closed, from Isaac, the office finds duties to keep the kids busy and helping out.
 
As Floridians set out frantically buying storm supplies this past weekend, one announcement created almost as much panic as the threat of high winds: public schools would close on Monday.

For working parents, the news triggered a mad scramble for child-care solutions, particularly when most businesses chose to stay open. Trapped, some parents were forced to take a vacation or sick day, others showed up at work with kids in tow, while the desperate begged relatives or babysitters to step in at the last minute.

Across the country, hundreds of companies boast of being family-friendly workplaces. But to me, days like Monday speak volumes about the reality of that label. For parents, it’s not only how our employers react to our need for accommodation during weather related events; it’s also how well they’ve planned for it.

As news of Tropical Storm Isaac circulated, top managers at C3/CustomerContactChannels in Plantation held meetings to prepare for various scenarios. Supervisors were told to allow employees to work from home when possible and encourage staff to download documents to their laptop hard drives to be able to work on them even without an Internet connection. Even more, the company, which operates call centers around the world, began brainstorming ways that hourly workers could make up time off for weather-related office closures.

On Monday, when downpours flooded the streets, Alicia Laszewski, vice president of communications at C3, asked to work from home. Pregnant, Laszewski says she felt uncomfortable making the commute to the office and had two young children out of school. She got the green light to work from home. “It builds loyalty that they have respect for me and my health and my family,” Laszewski said.

Read more....

 

August 28, 2012

A working parent's nightmare: When the school bus doesn't show up

 

This morning, I was out walking my dog when I saw a school bus approach the bus stop in my neighborhood. It was 15 minutes after the time school had started. A father waiting at the bus stop was livid. He was late to work and his kid was late to school.

The bus driver told him that her route had been changed and she had five stops in the morning for high school. She informed the father she likely would never make it to the elementary school bus stop in our neighborhood before the school bell rang.

Of course, the bus was now completely empty and was about to make a trip to school without any students. Parents in the the neighborhood had given up on the morning bus showing up. What a waste of gas!

For working parents who rely on school buses, the situation is unacceptable. It's a week after school has started and some buses still have never made it on time to the bus stops to get kids to school or home from school. And, it looks like they never will because the current bus routes don't make sense. 

For the last week, what's gone on in Broward County with school bus transportation has been disgusting. Many students never received bus information before the start of school, creating chaos on the first day when the school bell rang and students had no idea which bus to ride home. Even worse, buses were late or didn't show up at all, forcing working parents to leave their offices and pick kids up at school, hours after buses were supposed to arrive. Now, it's a week later and the situation hasn't improved.

Even worse, some parents are still complaining about children having to get on a bus during pre-dawn hours (4:30 a.m.) and then arriving an hour or more before school starts. That's a downright safety concern.

Whoever is in charge, know this: you are putting kids and jobs in jeopardy. I feel for parents struggling with work life balance who now are at work worrying about whether their kids have made it to school and home safely. Some parents are on standby every day, waiting to see if the bus shows up to take their kid home from school or whether they need to leave work early to pick there kid up from school, hours after the school day ended. My son's bus home has been at least an hour late every day since school started.

Bus drivers apparently are fed up too. Linda Lewis, who represents bus drivers through the Federation of Public Employees union, said some bus drivers quit after they were involuntarily given bus assignments far from home or with too few hours to make ends meet.

Someone must be held responsible for this mess!

Broward Schools Superindent Robert Runcie has said the the district made changes to bus routes in an effort to make them more efficient. Do you see any efficiency in having buses make so many morning stops that they can't possibly get kids to school on time? I have spoken with principals who are completely frustrated by the school bus mess as students still try to figure out what bus they're supposed to be riding home on.

Michael Mayo, a columnist at the Sun-Sentinel, says tomorrow could be a watershed day for Runcie as he faces concerned school board members at a workshop that was supposed to be about school boundaries. I sure hope my livid neighbor shows up.

 

August 24, 2012

Does shifting a career path mean failure?

Yesterday, I interviewed artist Romero Britto for a profile I'm writing. I love his work and I would guess that many others do too based on his success. He told me he loved to paint as a kid, but he thought he wanted to be a diplomat when he grew up. His friend's father was a diplomat and made the career look glamorous with the potential to be affluent. But Britto didn't have an easy time following that path and became frustrated. So, he returned to painting and kept at it until he got a break and had his work shown in a gallery.

His story made me think about conversations I've been having over the last few days about career paths. Many of my friends are trying to guide their teens on what careers to pursue. Those paths aren't always the ones their parents want them to take because of the job opportunities in some fields.

But the truth is, how many people know their career path as a young adult and stay on that path? It brings up the question: Does success require you stay focused?

I'd like to say that success comes from trying different paths and finding the right one for you.  For some people, that has worked. But not for everyone.

Last night, I moderated a panel called Women of Influence. The four women leaders -- from HR, law and finance - areas of their company were asked if they always knew what they wanted to do and whether they set their sights on ascending to the top throughout their careers.

Catherine Smith, general counsel of Brightstar Corp., answered the question by painting a career as a series of experiences.

"When I was growing up, I wanted to be lawyer or doctor. I met physics and became a lawyer. I think you pivot in the zone of you want. I was focused on what I wanted to do but I know I needed experiences so I would have the knowledge to face different situations. It's important to get different experiences and mold it into what ever it is you decide you want your career to be."

It seems like the key is if you diverge from your original path, focus hard on your new direction. To me, success is about being happy, passionate and smart in the career path you're on, even if it's not the one you orginally set out on.

Anne Bramman, CFO of Carnival, says whatever path you choose, remember, talent management is a two-way process "no one is going to manage your career except you."

 

CINDYBRITTO
Me and Romero Britto

 

 

August 22, 2012

Teachers offer back-to-school advice for working parents

A friend of mine met her daughter's teacher for the first time a few months before school started -- at Walmart. In the check out line, she learned about reading resources that could have helped her daughter had she known about them earlier in the year. She has vowed to meet her daughter's teacher this year within the first few months of school.

Regardless of what grade your child is in, "contact your child's teacher or schedule a conference early in the school year to establish an open line of communication," says Joan O'Brien, a middle school math teacher in Davie, Florida.

In today's Miami Herald column, I asked additional teachers for their best advice for how working parents struggling with work life balance can stay involved in their child's education.

The Miami Herald

Back-to-school basics for working parents

By Cindy Krischer Goodman
balancegal@gmail.com

 
Families scramble on the first day of school at Devon Aire K-8 Elementary School in South Days on the first day of school for Miami-Dade County on August 20, 2012.
C.M. GUERRERO / EL NUEVO HERALD
  Families scramble on the first day of school at Devon Aire K-8 Elementary School in South Days on the first day of school for Miami-Dade County on August 20, 2012.
This school year, some working parents are changing their game plan.

Felicia Alvaro, vice president of finance at Ultimate Software, is one of them. Last year, her teenage daughter was secretive about grades and attendance. But a phone call changed that: Alvaro was called in to meet with her daughter’s guidance counselor and a concerned teacher and learned her daughter’s grades had slipped and she had skipped classes numerous times. “If I’d met with them after the first time, it wouldn’t have happened again. I was busy with work and it was easier to naively trust my teenage daughter,” she said.

In the new school year, Alvaro plans to meet with teachers proactively, every few months, and she will drive her daughter to school every morning “just to open the door to communication.”

Clearly, most of us know parent involvement can make a difference in a child’s education. But at a time when the literacy rate has plummeted and the SAT reading scores were the lowest on record, are working parents too busy earning a paycheck to take an active role in their children’s learning?

With that in mind, I turned to teachers for advice on how working parents with heavy job demands can best stay involved in their children’s education. Their suggestions are aimed at parents of all income levels and all grade levels. The consensus among teachers is that parents don’t need to spend hours volunteering in the classroom or sitting on the PTA board. Involvement, they say, starts with a simple gesture: finding out a teacher’s email address and using it to communicate — from your desk, business hotel, home or nearby library.

In elementary school, where a teacher can be the reason a child looks forward to waking up, meeting that person should be considered a parent’s priority.

Kim Milov, a fourth-grade teacher at Hawks Bluff Elementary in Southwest Ranches, believes parents should try extra hard to attend open house/meet-the-teacher night. “That way, even if you’re at work you have a visual connection with your child at school. You can imagine him sitting in his chair.”

Milov also suggest parents consider taking one day or night during the school year to show involvement. “Maybe you could come for field day, or chaperone a field trip or participate in an evening program like family night.”

Donna Rabinowitz, a first-grade teacher at Central Park Elementary in Plantation, says three key moves will make a difference when your child is in the first few years of grade school. First, look through your child’s work folder on a regular basis to see what he or she is doing in school. If you see your child is struggling with something and you don’t have time during the week, put it to the side. Then, take a half hour out of your weekend to go over that skill. Second, read with your child, even if it’s just 10 minutes a night. Lastly, review your child’s homework every night. If the child did poorly on something, know the reason. Showing your child you care about what they do in school is important: “We only have one short year to mold them. You have many years to mold them.”

For young children, parent-teacher conferences are critical, teachers say. Carolina Garcia, a kindergarten teacher at Coral Park Elementary in Miami, says teachers realize that parents, sometimes, can’t afford to miss work for a conference. But most teachers are willing to set up a phone conference. “Just having that one-to-one conversation with your child’s teacher is important.” In between conferences, she advises parents to read the weekly newsletter teachers usually send home. “If parents are divorced, we can send each a copy.”

Abbi Stoloff, a fourth-grade teacher at Fox Trail Elementary in Davie, says talking to your kids about school, regardless of their age, shows involvement. “If you can’t be involved during the work week, be involved on the weekends.” Rather than grilling them about their day, spark a casual conversation, she advises. “Listen, guide them and be a presence. Ask questions about what they’re working on at school. Good communication makes the day-to-day easier. That’s involvement.”

Unlike grade school, teachers expect more independence from middle school students. But that doesn’t mean parents should back off, teachers say.

Lori Goldwyn, a math teacher at Tequesta Trace Middle School in Weston, suggests regularly looking over your tween’s agenda and making a routine of checking teachers’ websites. “Bookmark them and communicate with the teacher.” Goldwyn says one of the simple steps working parents can take is to spend 10 minutes on Sunday nights talking about the week — what’s due, what needs to be signed, what tests are coming up.

By high school, some parents back off completely. That’s a mistake, teachers say.

Daniel Muchnick, a U.S. history teacher at Miami Norland High School, says working parents of teens can become stay involved with a few keystrokes on a keyboard. Parents should be aware that many school districts use online grade books, he says. “Grades, attendance, assignments…everything is available online.” Parents can also establish alerts so they can be notified by e-mail or text if their child is absent, if an assignment is missing or if a grade point average drops.

Muchnick recommends checking your teen’s grades at least weekly, and if you see he isn’t doing well, email the teacher. “We welcome communication from parents. When parents are involved, grades are better. There’s definitely a connection.”

 


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/21/v-print/2961928/back-to-school-basics-for-working.html#storylink=cpy

 
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/21/v-print/2961928/back-to-school-basics-for-working.html#storylink=cpy

 

August 21, 2012

Intern Queen tells how to hire an intern this fall

These days most of us could use an extra set of hands around the office -- even better if that set of hands costs you nothing and allows you to mold the next generation of worker. Think intern! 

With school about to start, now is a great time to reach out and find an intern that can add value to your business. Today, my guest blogger is going to tell you just how to hire an intern and make the experience a good one for all. 

Berger_Lauren c. Felicity MurphyLauren Berger is known as "The Intern Queen" and author of ALL WORK NO PAY: Finding An Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience. Berger specializes in internship, career, and entrepreneurship advice for young people. She personally work with employers and help them find interns and entry-level candidates. You can contact her HERE. Another great resource is the career centers at colleges and universities in their area.

We read often about what students need to know. But what about employers? How do they know how to structure their programs and provide beneficial experiences for their interns? Here are 5 ways employers can improve their internship programs:

1. Structure Your Program. When a student starts an internship at your company they should have a clear agenda. A start date, end date, mid-way evaluation, and exit interview should be on the calendar and both parties must be aware. The intern should fully understand the time requirement and days/nights he or she is required to stay late or work events outside of typical office hours. 

 

2. What Perks Can You Add? An employer should always be thinking about value. The student is using the experience to determine if this is the right industry and company for them. How can you help them figure that out? Perhaps you can add a speakers series or a weekly lunch with executives. 

 

3. Understand the intern's goals. In the initial interview, establish an understanding of the students you hire. What do they want to do? Is your company a place where they can really figure out if their "dream job" is their "dream job"? Think about what you can do to help them learn more about themselves and their personal and professional goals. By asking the students about what they want to do (throughout the course of the internship) you will create more valuable work for them. For example, I have an intern this semester who told me during our mid-way evaluation that she was interested in sales. Since we've had that conversation, I've made sure to include her in several sales calls so that she can listen in and take notes. 

 

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate. The mid-way evaluation is a crucial part of the internship. At this point, you can sit down with your team for 30 minutes and make a list of things the interns are excelling at and a list of things they can improve upon. Just having this brainstorm session with your staff will make them more attentive to the internship program as a whole. Once you've created your lists, have a group meeting with your interns. Explain to them the purpose of the evaluation - to give them a better understanding of what they are doing well and what they can improve upon. The idea is for them to acknowledge these problem areas now rather than at their first job post-college.

 

5. Stay In Touch. I always tell students to stay in touch with their professional contacts - of course. However, we all under estimate the value these students will play in our professional lives. In a few years, these interns are going to have jobs at your company and at companies similar to yours. Some of them will work with you, some will work for you, and you might find yourself working for one of them someday. It's just as important for you to keep the relationship as it is for them to stay in touch. I've had several interns graduate, land jobs, and call me with business proposals or pitch me ideas. If these students are interning with you - its a sign they have potential - the potential to be very successful. Make sure you stay in touch. 

 

August 20, 2012

The best back-to-school organizing tips I've collected

 

 

Backtoschoolmom

 

Today, I dropped my youngest off for his first day of middle school and watched him walk excitedly into the building. It hit me that I'm moving into a new phase in my life. As I usher my son along the path of being more independent, I can pull back a little from homework supervision and packing his lunch. For most parents, the new school year involves changes in routine that require we reorganize and readjust.

From what I've discovered, ensuring life runs smoothly is a good goal but most of us have made mistakes and forgotten an orthodontist appointment or to sign a permission slip for a class field trip.  

Over the years, I've had lots of experts weigh in and I've decided today I'm  going to share some of the best back to school organizing tips that I've collected:

* Calendar everything. Get the school calendar for the year with days off and early release. Incorporate that into your work calendar so you can plan ahead. Write down the date of the meet-the-teacher night and the schedule for tryouts for school sports teams. Do it now!

* Schedule vacations or time off. If you are entitled to days off at work, find out now when there are school holidays, awards ceremonies, field trips and put in your time off requests. If you wait until the last minute, other working parents may already have requested those days off.

* Stock up. At the beginning of the school year, buy extra report covers, poster boards, glue sticks and markers. It will save you from making a mad dash to Wal-Mart after a long day at work.

* Hold Sunday night planning sessions. As the week approaches, sit down as family and discuss plans for the week. Who has late night business meetings? Who has SAT prep class or soccer practice? A ten minute discussion on Sunday night can save unnecessary meal preparation, and schedule clashes.

*  Provide back up lunch money. Has your child ever had to eat bread and butter at school because he forgot his lunchbox? Mine has and  it made me feel like a horrible mother. A good mother (or parent) sticks money in the kids' backpacks or school lunch accounts at the beginning of the school year to ensure they have the option of buying lunch if needed.

* Clear the clutter as it arrives. I don't check my kids' backpacks every night. I never have, but I know I should. However, I do try to check them at least every  few days purge school papers as often as possible. I use the advice organizer Diane Hatcher of TimesaversUSA.com shared with me: If something that comes home from school has meaning to you or your child, save it; Otherwise toss it.

* Remember not to forget. I got this tip from Simplify101.com and I love it because I'm kind of forgetful. Create a simple system by the door to help you remember your new routine or special items you need to take with you each day: gym shoes on gym day, violin on music day, and snacks on snack day. Hang a bin or basket by your door to corral the items you need to remember.

If you have any back-to-school tips that have worked for you, I'd love to hear them. Good luck all of you in the new school year!

August 16, 2012

Working Parents get back-to-school anxiety too

 

Backtoschool5

This week I have a knot in my stomach. I get it every year around this time as I prepare the kids for back to school. Like most parents, I want the school year to go smoothly. I want their school schedules to blend well with my work schedule and work life balance to be possible. For parents, back to school can be just as stressful as it is for our kids.

As I scurry around, setting up carpools, buying school supplies and stocking up on lunch box snacks, I worry about what's to come and I mourn the end of summer.  I want my kids to have great teachers, good class schedules, friends in their classes and trouble-free ride on the school bus. Isn't that what all parents want for their kids?

But like some parents, I struggle with being involved in my kids lives and being "too" involved. Should I help them find out clubs to get involved in or tryout schedules for school sports teams? Should I let them do that on their own?  

This morning I read an interview with California psychologist Madeline Levine  in The Huffington Post that made me think about how I will conduct myself as the new school starts. In Levine’s new book, "Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success," she says: "Life is difficult. And the idea of keeping your child happy all the time -- that’s about overparenting."

Levine explains, "We understand some of this better with really young kids. If your toddler walks and falls on her butt, you say, “Come on, honey, get up and walk again” You don’t run in and pick her up every time she stumbles or falls because if you did, she’d never learn how to walk. I’m talking about the same ability, not just to tolerate but actually to take pleasure in a child’s backwards and forwards development, his or her successes and failures."

My oldest child will be a junior in high school this year. She doesn't want me to come to her orientation tonight where students get their schedules and walk from class to class. It's killing me.

When I read what Levine had to say, it hit home. She writes: "The tough part of being a parent is tolerating our own anxiety as our kids grow up and separate and become confident."

So, how do we know if we're overparenting?

Levine writes: "The research says that family life works best if as a parent you are reliable, available, consistent and noninterfering. That does not mean oblivious or not paying attention; it means you are not taking over for the kid." 

She does think it's okay to step in if parents see symptoms that would suggest that their kid has too much stress. 

This year, I vow to walk that fine line, to do my part in setting my kids up to learn, and finding my boundaries so that they can learn life's lessons too.

But for now, that knot in my stomach remains. Do you find yourself anxious as the school year approaches?

 

August 07, 2012

Are business cards still worthwhile?

 

Here's a statement from Workforce.com that recently caught my attention: Business cards don't carry the same weight today as they did in the past, unless you're referring to how they weigh down the fishbowl at your local bistro from folks fishing for free lunches. True?

These days more of us are likely to connect via email or social media than by taking someone's business card and calling them. Yet, I have a stack of business cards sitting on my desk. I know I should do something with them, but that's just another to-do on my list.

For many of us, even in the digital age, meet-and-greets are important and getting someone's business card just seems like the logical result of a successful connection.

So, what's the next step?

I know there are scanners out there to put the cards into an electronic database but I find even that step to be time-consuming. A friend of mine recently hired someone to digitize all the business cards she accumulated at a recent conference. She said she did the time/cost equation and it made sense for her to outsource the job.

Recently,I read about a trend of people trading contact data by text. Even more, I've heard there's a new app that's coming out that will allow you to bump your smart phone against another person's and instantly swap electronic business cards. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I'd love to hear whether you think printed business cards are outdated and time consuming to organize. Do you prefer to get someone's name and friending them on Linked In or Facebook to communicate? Do you see a time in the near future when digital business cards are the only way to go?

 

 

August 03, 2012

Taking risks to find work life balance

How gutsy are you? Do you know that men happen to be bigger risk takers than women in some areas of life? Being a risk taker can pay off -- in career success, in financial success in life accomplishments. 

I consider Julia Yarbough a risk taker.

Her life story will wow you and that's why I'm thrilled to have her as my guest blogger today. Julia is a broadcast journalist  and owner of Julia Yarbough Media Group. She had been working at a South Florida television station when she decided to take a detour in life. Not all of us have the guts to take such leaps to remodel our work life balance but I think Julia's story will inspire you. Visit her at  www.highwaytoahusband.com or contact her at info@juliayarboughmediagroup.com.

Julia_Yarbough

 

After disappearing from your television newscasts at NBC6 almost three years ago, I made a life-changing departure from the norm. Stepping away from my career I chose to let fate and destiny be my compass. I hit the road for a cross-country dream journey to explore the USA.

My best friend, CBS4 reporter Silva Harapetian, and I decided to become somewhat like Thelma and Louise and experience whatever life brought at us as we drove in my Nissan Xterra across 22 states, for ten months, canvassing more than 18-thousand miles. Being single and seemingly perpetually dateless, I had it in my head that maybe...just MAYBE by exposing myself to new places and people I might cross paths with my Mr. Right. Great plan, right?

Well, we traveled, I dated...more dates in those 10 months than in four years, and I met some great men. No serious love connection though, but my journey began to bring me so much more than I could have imagined. It brought me a greater appreciation for who I am, what I bring to the table and the understanding that it is within my own power to create the kind of life I want. In fact, we ALL have that ability!

Here are a few “tips” I would like to share:

  • Be willing to step outside of your comfort zones. Sometimes achieving our goals requires us to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. To force ourselves to do things, go places and learn concepts that we have not previously been exposed to. Leaving my career, my income, my home, my friends, and daily patterns was about as far as one could go to step outside the comfort zone. The experience has made me stronger. More confident. More trusting in my own abilities.

 

  • Make a committment to yourself to do something you’ve always dreamed of doing. Don’t just think and talk about it. DO IT! There is an incredible sense of empowerment when you realize the world won’t cave in if you put your needs and wants at the forefront once in a while. A cross-country road trip was a life-long fantasy. How incredible to see it through!

 

  • Create your own Change. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you because you’ll probably be waiting a long time and will more than likely be disappointed at the outcome. You owe it to yourself to set the wheels into motion to create EXACTLY what you want for yourself!

 

  • Make a list of what you are most afraid. Once you do this, challenge yourself to face those fears. With each step, you’ll discover you are becoming stronger, more confident, more capable of facing whatever life throws at you.

 

  • Be authentic. I’ve learned that when we’re true to ourselves, it’s amazing the people and situations we attract into our lives. During ten months on the road, I learned that quite honestly, I don’t always like wearing a lot of make-up, or high heels, or always being “on” for the camera. I like Country-line dancing, I like driving my truck and it turns out, I enjoy fishing. Who knew?? I’m more real now, than ever. You will be, too when you tap into your authentic self.

 

  • Be fearless in your approach to life. For ten months on the road, Silva and I faced fear head-on. From the simple fear of “where are we lodging for the night?” to “Are we lost and how do we get back to the interstate?” I dove into chilly waters to snorkel with Manatees in North Florida. We stepped into a Blackhawk Helicopter simulator. We camped (in tents) along the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park, Texas. We fly-fished in Montana, we river rafted in Utah, we joined Kathie Lee and Hoda on NBC’s The Today Show, we joined Caroline Manzo, of The Real Housewives of New Jersey to crash a wedding, and we worked as contributors for The Nate Berkus Show. All of that is SCARY stuff...but we embraced every single moment!

 

  • Have fun. Don’t take life so seriously. SERIOUSLY! As a dear friend often reminds me, “None of us is getting out of this alive,” so stop stressing. Things have a way of always working out. My Highway to a Husband journey has taught me to live each moment with gusto and to embrace everything that comes our way. I like to say, “Life is journey, so enjoy the ride.”

 

I’m not quite sure where my life journey is leading.  I've been remolding my life/work/balance with Highway to a Husband and carving out a new path. It's always interesting and sometimes challenging, but well worth it! I’m still single. No husband. No boyfriend. But boy oh boy is life full, exciting and satisfying. I know my Mr. Right is out there somewhere but I’m having a great time living life while he’s deciding to come find me!