Just When You Thought No One Was Looking…
A Balanced Glass is about maintaining wellness while in the wine industry, and every week Beck or I or a guest contributor writes about efforts in that direction.
This week, between a super quick trip to wine country and a full slate of tastings, email threads and meetings IRL, I intentionally sought out efforts by colleagues and friends who prioritize wellness in their lives.
It was like putting authorship of this week’s post into the hands of the community yourselves, to show each other how it’s done.
It was also like a micro-inventory of how the wine industry balances the pleasures of our work with the demands of our lives, and the pleasures of our lives with the demands of our work.
Here are five examples that I witnessed, just in the past few days.
Senior executives respond with compassion to a colleague struggling with the grief of heartbreaking loss. The exchange had nothing to do with wine per se. It was about acting humanely on both sides, by asking for help that’s needed and by offering that help beyond the bounds of protocol.
A new empty-nester scales back on work hours, “doing less to do more.”
A young executive finally seeks help, many years later, for abuse suffered as a child.
Event organizers advocate for a diversity of voices “outside the box” to contribute fresh perspective to issues that matter, so that even the issues that matter are redefined and reframed to reflect the changing dynamics of our community. The end result might make a splash, but the initial advocacy probably happened on a regularly scheduled conference call at 2:30 pm some typical Tuesday afternoon when someone decided to take the risk and speak up for a non-traditional choice.
New parents, who both work in wine, juggle their new reality and the messy logistics of child care with time in the office and active involvement in their community.
Even as I type this list and “report” on what I noticed, I’m affected by the emotion of these examples. I’m responding to how hard it is to figure out, and to live, what “wellness” and “balance” mean for you.
We are all, each of us, doing the best we can.
When we choose to recognize that effort through the lens of wellness and balance, the “lifestyle choice” of working in wine becomes animated. It has a face and three dimensions and a heartbeat.
Do you notice them too, these examples of colleagues and friends prioritizing wellness and balance? What do they look like to you? What is your own part to play?
We’d love to hear. In the meantime, please know that we see you trying and we appreciate it more than you can know.
Meet The Tribe:
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Consumer Marketing & Customer Experience Manager aka “Chief Delighter” at Ernest Vineyards (USA)
Years In Industry:
Eight. In 2006 I moved to Boston from Lisbon, Portugal and started working in wine retail at The Wine Bottega in the North End, Boston - my weekend gig while I finished my undergrad degree in International Relations. I continued with grad school studies in business and along with it, I apprenticed under Deborah Hansen, chef/sommelier of Taberna de Haro, in Brookline, MA.
I took a hiatus to work at tech start-ups until I returned to wine when I moved to San Francisco last year and started working for Ernest Vineyards.
My Biggest Challenge to Wellness
Taking time off to rest. This is 100% on me - I’m a bit of a workaholic.
I don’t mind waking up early to knock out a bit of writing for Ernest's newsletter or staying up late to design some wine labels I’m working on. Pack that in with my 130mi/209km round trip drive to Sonoma to lead a tasting at our winery or flying across the country to meet consumers at events, and the rap about wine industry gigs being a 24/7 job starts to make sense. But this level of activity drives me which is why the next part is key to my success.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well
In my tech days, I adapted to high levels of stress by taking frequent mini breaks to meditate throughout the day. I use the app Headspace and it works wonders: from one-minute meditations that help me quickly recover from a difficult moment to longer 10-minute guided sessions on Work & Productivity, this app is my wellness sidekick.
More recently I take a walk in the Redwood forest. Walking amongst these living giants is a reality check: my problems really aren’t a big deal and I’m a part of something way bigger than myself. I know, redundant, but I’m just being honest with ya.
What We’re Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
How Our Phones Compromise Our Ability to Connect – GreaterGoodScience.com
A new study shows that when people are on their phones, they smile less, affecting their ability to connect with others.
The Mysterious Case of the Cork-Tainted Carrots – Esther Mobley for SFChronicle.com
Why do we find some smells and tastes disgusting — and how malleable is our sense of disgust?
Let's Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.
· TEXSOM International Wine Awards in Dallas, Feb 18 to 20 (Cathy)
· Presenter at Wonder Women of Wine in Austin, March 2 and 3 (Cathy)
· Presenter at the British Columbia Wine Insight Conference, March 12 (Cathy)
· Presenter at the International Institute for Analytics conference in Portland, March 13 (Cathy)
· Speaker at Women in Wine - The Bâtonnage Discussion Series, in Oakland, March 17 (Rebecca)
· Attendee at ProWein in Düsseldorf, March 17 to 19 (Cathy)
· Guest Lecturer at the University of Bologna, April 2 to 4 (Cathy)
· Attendees at Vinitaly in Verona, April 7 – 10 (Rebecca and Cathy)
· Presenter at the London Wine Fair, May 20 to 22 (Cathy)
· Attendee at MUST: Fermenting Ideas in Cascais, Portugal, June 26 to 28 (Cathy)
· Attendee at Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines in Bordeaux, July 4 to 6 (Cathy)