This fall has been really hectic at work. For the most part it’s been good, but there were a few touch-and-go days where tensions rose and we questioned our ability to keep up the pace. Luckily we did — but the past few weeks got me thinking about stress-management and the “How’s Your Oxygen?” series we occasionally post here. What great timing that an old friend, Laurie Mobley, stepped in with some positive thoughts to share on how she survives the crazy times. I first met Laurie just after Adrian was born and I was returning from maternity leave. Her sweet laugh is what I remember most — it was the first thing I heard before we even shook hands — and I can still hear her laughter in my head these many years later. Today, Laurie’s a busy working mom who lives in Virginia with her husband and two young boys. She’s had an impressive career so far, and I’m happy to have been a small part of it in the early years. But mostly I’m just happy to call her my friend. Read on to learn a little bit more about what makes this great lady tick.
Some Time with Laurie Mobley
Vice President, BRG Communications
Two young boys – how do you keep up?
Once James (now 2) came along, I realized I was along for the ride! I’ve learned to let a lot go– my boys make big messes, climb and tumble + fall. Depending on the day, our house and cars can be in a state of chaos that I would not have imagined pre-kids. Our kids thrive with a predictable routine – time outside (they need to run off energy!), bedtime and morning rituals keep the family going. My favorite time is reading to each of them before bed…trucks, dinosaurs, Where the Wild Things Are, we cover it all.
What are some tips for juggling a pressure-cooker career and parenting?
Since becoming a mom, I have a new appreciation for the saying “this too will pass.” While it’s true for tough times even if you don’t believe it in the moment, it’s also true for those incredibly happy moments and milestones. It all goes by so fast.
Most of us live with a certain level of multi-tasking. When I’m able to be in the moment at work and at home, I’m more focused all around. I think that you have to accept the juggle, lose the comparisons (Super Woman doesn’t exist), find work that really gets you excited and an environment where you can thrive. With BRG, I was lucky to join a firm that realizes that the lives we live outside the office matter too.
Name five things that inspire you.
A Beautiful View: My office overlooks the Potomac. Taking a little time to enjoy the view matters more than I ever would have thought. This goes double for beaches, mountains, sunrises.
Trying Something New: It takes more planning now, but trying a new restaurant, a weekend getaway or even something different at the farmer’s market gives me a boost.
Quiet: I love the time before the rest of my household wakes up – quiet is rare and inspiring.
Serendipity: I’m inspired by those times when you run into a person you were thinking about or you happen to be in the right place at the right time. I like to be open to those moments because everything happens for a reason.
My Boys’ Laughter: Simply no better sound in the world.
Who’s had the most influence on your life?
My stepfather, George, was an incredibly positive influence on me growing up – he was larger than life, a natural story-teller with a big heart. He worked as a political consultant, loved government and making a difference. From the time I was 7 years old, we would talk about current events over Sunday breakfast and watch “Meet The Press.” He taught me to always be curious and have a point of view. George encouraged me to take my liberal arts degree to work in NYC right after college. When I told him that the agency openings were in healthcare or technology, he said try healthcare. You’ll like it and healthcare is always going to be a part of the national conversation. Nearly 20 years later, he’s still right!
He passed away when I was 28. I still think of him every time I face a big decision. His advice was always the same: “Get out your pad, weigh the pros and cons, decide and move on.” It’s advice I still follow today.
What gets you through the craziest times?
October was one of those full-throttle months with work travel, family commitments and back-to-back house guests. While I’m always tempted to drop any extras when life gets crazy, this time I planned ahead (not always possible) and got myself to yoga classes both in town and while traveling. It made such a difference on my outlook and my energy level. It doesn’t have to be yoga – it’s finding some quiet for yourself amid the crazy that always comes. I’ve already booked more classes, looking ahead to the holiday frenzy!
Of course, I should say my family and friends in Atlanta (and that’s certainly true) but what came to mind immediately is the food. Some people consider Virginia “Southern,” but true Southern food is missing from the area. From BBQ, homemade pimento cheese, sausage cheese balls or red velvet cake and chocolate ice box pie…food from the “deep South” means comfort and home to me. We have an annual chili party and I order the best ham biscuits and Bloody Mary mix from Charleston (calliesbiscuits.com); now everyone requests them! That’s one of the reasons I love this blog – you have great Southern recipes (that are simple enough for me to try!).
What do you love most about living near Washington, D.C.?
It’s really the best of all worlds, especially for families looking for distractions – in D.C., you have free museums (Air and Space and Natural History are our go-tos at the moment) and monuments. If you take a short drive, you’re in the Virginia countryside or hiking along Great Falls.
Last question. What advice would you give your younger self?
I could write a laundry list on this one and would say much of what you talk about here on Our Green Acres – that is, let go of the expectations and you’ll enjoy life a lot more. Lighten up, say yes to every chance to travel and live in the moment more. Everything will come in time.
To read more How’s Your Oxygen profiles, just search “Oxygen” on this blog.