by watching my youngest daughter, although 18, acting like a little kid
again. She couldn't wait to go out in
the snow (although I told her it was more like icy sleet with an inch or two of
dusty snow on top) and take photos (for social media, of course). And build what I think was the world's
smallest (and cutest) snowman. Her pure
joy and excitement made me realize how important it is to see the best in any
given situation. (At that point, we
still had power although it was heartbreaking to see how many people were
already without power, and I knew we might be next.)
The next day, in the middle of the night, we joined the growing number of people (millions!) without power. And although we had done our best to prepare for this possibility, it's still a shock, especially when temperatures are well below freezing. But the funny thing is when I now look back, I don't remember the difficult parts. I remember sitting around a table, dressed as if we were Bernie Sanders at the inauguration, initially playing Trouble and then what became a game of Monopoly that lasted days. (I didn't mention it to Black, figuring I'd get a business analysis of board games.)
|I live in a Houston high-rise that whenever the wind blows, we seem to lose power. So, I was not surprised to find we had lost power at 2 a.m. Monday morning, but I was shocked to see all the snow. And, although I briefly enjoyed the beauty and peacefulness of the blanket of white, knew the fact my condo has huge windows (and no window coverings) meant the temperature would start dropping very quickly. There is a hotel down the street and I was able to get a room, so I counted my blessings. Not because I was able to get a room (by lunchtime, there were none left), but because I had the luxury of being able to escape to a hotel when I knew most people were not as fortunate and had limited, if any, other options.|
FULL QUESTION: I keep hearing about shortages in healthcare workers; how will that impact me?
|Great question. And,
if it weren't for the fact I'm the daughter that gets "into the weeds" of finding
caretakers for our almost 94-year-old mom, I probably wouldn't have even
thought about it. But I can say the shortage of healthcare workers
in hospitals and other health facilities is having a ripple effect as I'm
personally feeling the repercussions in terms of shortages for in-home caregivers.
I know Black always plans for the future by working backward, and for a long time, we tried to get our mom to have in-home caretakers. But even though she has sight and hearing issues, she's still fiercely independent and mentally "with it" and has resisted. However, we're now at a point of it not being optional, so we're struggling to find caregivers.
So, my only words of wisdom are … recognize there are shortages of healthcare workers and, when possible, plan accordingly. Plus, it's always a good time to thank healthcare workers whenever your paths cross to let them know how important they are … to all of us.
I am guessing you are not asking whether this is a good
field in terms of employment opportunities (it is), as the shortage of healthcare
workers is almost epidemic (pun intended).
It is important to acknowledge the shortages and plan accordingly. When it comes to health matters, that is not always possible. However, the need to take a proactive approach to being healthy is as critical as it has ever been, as is the importance of preventative medicine and early detection. So, make sure you take care of any annual or routine exams (many of us deferred them due to COVID-19). We may not be able to do anything about the healthcare shortages, but we can do a better job of minimizing health risks and being prepared to address them if they occur.
We thought this would be the perfect question to run on National Boss's Day.
|Oh yes, definitely! Without question, that would be Black.
In fact, on more than one occasion, I've been known to refer to her as
The Boss (and I'm not talking about Bruce Springsteen). It's
usually me kidding around and saying something along the lines of "I'll have to
check with The Boss." (Even my daughters
have heard me refer to their aunt that way, and they've never questioned me, so
there must be some agreement, at least in my family, about who's the
To a great extent, it may be because if you were to compare our bios, I don't think my background as a mom prepared me to be a businesswoman, although Black has tried to convince me otherwise. On the other hand, Black's bio makes it painfully obvious she's "all business" so better suited to be "the boss."
on how you define "boss." If you are referring to who owns more of the
company, I hold 1% more than Red, which technically means I have more
"authority". And, I will admit that as
the older sister, I have more practice being bossy (especially as she has
always tried to avoid conflict), but when it comes to business, I value
teamwork. Red has a perspective and background very different than
mine (that is an understatement!), but the key is acknowledging that – and
learning from one another in order to make the best business decisions. |
The bottom line is there would be no Red & Black … without Red or without Black. It is truly a partnership.
FULL QUESTION: It's not even Halloween, but is it too early to start shopping for the holidays?
|Of course not! It's
never too early to start, although there's a huge difference between knowing
that, planning to do it, and actually doing it. I've always considered Halloween the start of what I call the "silly season," but if you go
into any store, it looks like it's already begun. Regardless, I think it's a good idea to get a
jumpstart (oh my, am I using a car analogy?) on holiday shopping, but also holiday survival techniques.
These days my holiday shopping list isn't nearly as long as it used to be because my girls are older and now prefer one or two carefully selected items (although figuring those out isn't always easy) vs. lots of "stuff" to unwrap. Although I still get them a few small "fun" things. But your question reminds me of the stress that comes with leaving things to the last minute and has inspired me to try to get my holiday shopping done early.
|Except for business gifts, which I traditionally order from Zabar's on Cyber Monday, I tend to buy
(and give) the gifts for the handful of people on my personal gift list during
the year when I find the perfect item.
But, to answer the question, and try not to sound like Scrooge, it will be a challenge to find things this holiday season – not just the latest "it" gift, but even Thanksgiving Day turkey and fixings. Between the global shipping crisis and labor shortages, stores are already struggling to stock their shelves (virtual and brick-and-mortar), plus many items will be significantly more expensive. And, probably fewer "real deals" on Black Friday.
In other words, shop early or risk disappointment.