A few days ago, I listed some of the movies that I enjoyed watching in 2012. I'm still reading On The Brink, and won't finish it by tomorrow, so it will spill into the New Year. It's a fascinating book! Far more interesting than you might think and not just a dry financial piece.
Henry Paulson is an interesting writer and unexpectedly will toss in random details of his personal life. Like that he enjoys bird watching with his wife Wendy. He also wrote about finding time to spend with his family, which I found rather insightful. Here's an excerpt below.
"Long hours at the office can cause problems at home, and this was a period of great stress in my marriage. ... I began a pattern where I'd leave the office at 4:30 p.m. ... and be home at 5:25 p.m. After supper, I'd read to the kids. I had them trained so I could zip through a bedtime story very quickly. One night Wendy came in and urged, "Slow down and read with expression." I tried, but as soon as I did, both kids started crying: "No, no! Read like a daddy, not like a mommy." Once they were asleep, I'd get on the phone and start talking to clients, who'd say, "Good Lord, you're still in the office working?"While it may not be quite as easy as just saying no, because you could wind up fired, it is definitely something to think about when deciding how you really want to spend your time and if you're in the right job.
When I tell this story about work-life balance, people say: "Paulson, you SOB, you worked people harder than anybody at Goldman Sachs." Fair enough. But I always told folks at Goldman: It's not your boss's job to figure out your life. You spend so much time planning your work schedule and your career, you need to make that kind of effort to manage your private life, too. Learn how to say no."
I find the whole work-life balance discussion so interesting, because it usually only arises around the idea of parenthood. After you reach a certain age, however strange and unfair it can sometimes seem, people automatically categorize you as being a parent or not. Especially if you're a woman.
As a non-mom, I think work-life balance is an issue for everyone. Parents or not, we all have things that we want to do in this life and have limited time to do it. Plus many of us have different types of family obligations, with parents, siblings or close friends and we all need time to focus on what's most important to us as individuals.
Anyway, I digressed big time here, so let's get back on track. Here's a list of some of the books that I enjoyed reading this year.
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Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the BestYears of Your Life – through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond, by Sarah Brokaw
Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen, by Alyssa Shelasky
The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives, by Cheryl Jarvis
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
Bingsop's Fables: Little Morals for Big Business, by Stanley Bing
Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood, by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand
On The Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System, by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
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