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Summer reading

By June 20, 2017July 26th, 2022Blog, Life Balance

Summer is here and this brings some well-deserved break. The kids are not in school and for most, the hectic routine slows down a bit. Thank goodness for vacation, right? We take time off and spend it with family and friends or even go on a trip. During the summer people are more willing to read books since they are able to slow down. For a minute one can stop and smell the roses.

If you are looking to read books for personal and professional growth, I will share with you some that I have enjoyed and also helped me when making important life and work-related decisions in the past.

Lean In 

This is Sheryl Sandberg’s well-known bestseller. In it, she shares her own experiences as a student and then as she climbed the ladder (she refers to it as “monkey bars”) all the way to her present position at Facebook. She empowers women by inviting them to “Sit at the table” and to “not leave until you leave”. I took her advice to heart and started seating at the table at department meetings. You see, cardiology has traditionally been a male-dominated field and I am still working at the same hospital where I trained. This means I am working with people who may still see me as their junior and I have to confess I may see some of them as my mentors. Talking about pressure!

The first time I decided to sit at the table was not easy but I was determined to sit there and only if I was asked to move then I would. Well, I sat there and to my surprise, no one asked me to move. Not only that, in future meetings I was expected to sit at the table and contribute. Wow! I had just been accepted! Not really…I had been accepted a long time ago, I just didn’t believe I deserved it. Now I know I do.

Getting a Grip

The second book is Getting a Grip by Monica Seles. She was the #1 tennis player until a fan of her opponent entered the court and stabbed her in the back. She not only had to deal with the emotional and physical damage from her wound, but her ranking dropped quickly afterward. In a second she went from being the #1 woman in the world to losing it all. This was not some error she made that she would fix with practice for her next game. To top it all, her father got sick with cancer.

In her book she passionately describes her struggles to get back on the court and trying to lose weight, as well as coping with her father’s disease and his eventual death. You can feel her powerlessness among the tragedy. I love how she describes the way she finds herself and gets a grip. As an athlete in my younger age who had to stop doing sports due to lesions and the demands of medical school, residency, then dealing with my own father’s disease and eventual death to cancer, I totally identify with her life story.

It really opened my eyes to the curve balls that life throws at you.  It implies that you cannot force yourself to get out of certain situations. You have to be mentally ready otherwise you continue slipping and falling no matter how hard you try. You need to have the right mindset.

How Remarkable Women Lead

More recently I started How Remarkable Women Lead, by Johanna Barsh and Susie Cranston. This one caught my eye while scanning through the aisles of the bookstore. I can’t remember what I was looking for, but when I saw the title I started reading it right then and there and couldn’t stop. The author starts by describing experiences lived since her daughter’s childhood years all the way to adulthood and how she helped her child respond to challenges and fears. Needless to say, this is on my nightstand and I have to read at least a few pages every night.

I invite you to read these books if you haven’t yet or other books that you find interesting. The summer is here and while the days are longer the season goes by quickly. Take advantage of the break to find ways to help yourself get to where you want to be in life. Before you know it we will be back to packing lunches, hectic mornings, and running out the door to make it on time to carpool before the bell rings.

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