Gut Check Alert: When We Aren’t Enough
These past few weeks, something’s happened that Beck and I sincerely hoped would happen when A Balanced Glass got up and running two years ago.
And yet it still took us by surprise.
We hoped that our community – you, our readers – would point us in the direction of topics and themes that need to be addressed in the area of wellness within our industry, and that is exactly what happened.
You told us you’d like to hear ideas and tips for staying healthy when traveling, for example, and how to find the time to prioritize self-care, and how to survive Q4/the holidays when it’s our job to drink. We’ve tried to deliver on that content, and we know that there are many more iterations and fresh perspectives in the pipeline.
What we’ve noticed lately, though, is your desire to go deeper than that. A whole lot deeper.
We’ve heard from you about toxic work environments, for example, that frankly sound pretty nightmare-ish. We’ve heard from you about managing grief, and how people in our industry cope with utterly devastating loss. And we’ve heard about quite serious struggles with depression and loss of purpose, and how to keep our heads above water in the midst of such emotional turmoil.
For some of you, it isn’t about “just” wellness. Sometimes it’s also about keeping your job, and consoling loved ones (and yourself), and keeping our home lives intact. All while working in wine.
Not for the faint of heart. Not at all.
We wanted you to know that we hear you, all of you and all of these challenges. Sometimes our responses are better delivered in person, for the sake of privacy and to protect any vulnerable people involved.
There’s an important thing to say publicly, however, and out loud: we want very much for you to feel that A Balanced Glass is a safe space to share your range of wellness challenges, both the lighter ones and the heavier ones.
What is even more important, however, is to say that neither Beck nor I are professional counselors or legal advisors. Our goal is to compassionately take in the communications you share and respond as best we can. But sometimes it’s clear that the help that’s needed is beyond our skillsets and qualifications.
That’s when the gut check comes in. It isn’t that we “aren’t enough,” as much as it’s a different nature of response that’s needed. We would be doing you a disservice if we didn’t point that out.
So where do we go from here? We vote for crowdsourcing.
Do you have resources you know, and have personal experience with, that you can recommend to others here in the community?
Please email us directly at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org We also welcome your ideas on the FaceBook Group page. Let’s see if, together, we can build out the ABG Resources page in order to best help our community. We’ll share the list of our updated resources in an upcoming post.
Here’s what we’ve got on the ABG website so far.
We hope deeply that this helps.
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.
Strategies for Self-Care that Really Work, by Katie Fustich.
"The term “self-care,” once found mostly in the revolutionary texts of writers like Audre Lorde (who described it as “an act of political warfare”) and the reference materials for psychiatrists in training, is now ubiquitous in conversations about mental health. More than ever, people are putting a conscious, curated effort into the once simple task of maintaining their own well-being."
Alcohol May Be Less Harmful for People Over 50, by Tim Newman in Medical News Today
A recent study examines the health impact of consuming alcohol at different ages. The authors conclude that, for people over the age of 50, the health risks may be less severe.
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.
Boo Walker, Sales Manager for Hedges Family Estate and Novelist.
Years In The Industry:
Eleven. After a run playing banjo in Nashville and a few years day-trading equities, I moved west from Charleston to chase a wine dream. In 2008, I moved into a double-wide trailer on five acres of malbec vines in the Red Mountain AVA. I grew a handlebar mustache, bought a horse, and secured a job working the vines for Hedges Family Estate. After working me to the bone for a couple years, the family realized I wasn’t going anywhere and put me on an airplane for my first sales call. I’ve now spent nine years proudly slinging Red Mountain juice across the globe.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Nearly a decade of travel can wear on you, but you learn some tricks.
The biggest challenge is staying healthy emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Not only is a slow night not possible, but you need to be on your A-game. During a week-long trip, I find it easy to eat and drink mindfully the first few days, but it’s the last bit of the journey that requires the ultimate discipline.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I take control of my mornings, and I travel with my hobbies. I’m a closet introvert, so I need time to recharge. That’s what my morning routine is all about. I wake up really early, meditate, and brew a cup of fresh-ground coffee using an Aeropress and hand grinder that I never leave home without. Then I jot down some goals and thoughts in my journal, read something regarding self-development, exercise, and hammer out my work. The rest of my morning is dedicated to playing guitar and writing. I rarely travel without my guitar.
And over the years, I’ve been writing novels. Something about twiddling my thumbs in airports and airplanes doesn’t appeal to me. I find these two past times give me a connection to home (and keep me away from hotel bars). If I wake up on the final day of a trip and am able to follow my morning routine before my flight home, then I know I did it right.
You can connect with Boo on Instagram and Twitter @boowalkerbooks, on Facebook, and on his website.
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.
Judge at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles Competition in Aigle, Switzerland, May 2 to 5 (Cathy)
Presenter at Bâtonnage Forum, in Napa, May 4 (Rebecca)
Attendee at Vinventions Summit in Liège, Belgium, May 29 to June 3 (Beck)
Presenter at Chile Uncorked, NOLA Style in New Orleans, June 5 to 7 (Cathy)
Presenter at the CDO Executive Summit, in Atlanta June 26 (Cathy)
Attendee at Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines in Bordeaux, July 4 to 6 (Cathy)
Emcee at Australia Decanted in Lake Tahoe, October 6 to 9 (Cathy)