I Like Hot Coffee

Lessons Learned.
May 8, 2023
Mary Shankster, Chief Development Officer
I Like Hot Coffee

Since this publication is focused on women in business, and given that I work for a hospice organization, I thought I’d share some lessons and insights learned over the last several years. Although not all of these will resonate with you, I hope that you’ll find a takeaway or two that will either give you an opportunity for reflection or a good laugh.

1. If I’m not good at home, I’m not excelling at work. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that a flexible work environment can work for different positions, organizations and industries. The flexibility allowed for something magical to happen to some organizations; they allowed their employees to have greater autonomy and the ability to make time for “life things” while flexing their time to still get the job done. If you don’t already work for a business that is putting this into practice, consider creating that environment. Put yourself in the shoes of the employee who is raising young children or caring for a parent who is sick, all while trying to be a rockstar at work. Be the leader you would want for yourself — set expectations, clearly define goals and give grace when your team members need it the most.

2. I am a mother, not a martyr. I’m grateful to be a mother to three wonderful little boys. For the first eight or so years of this motherhood journey, I trudged on in a sleep-deprived state where I poured every ounce of energy into making sure I was excelling at work and caring for my children to a perfectionistic degree. I realize now that I want to set the example of I’m not just a mom. I’m a person who has friends, volunteering commitments, wants to run (let’s get real, it’s more like a slow and uncoordinated jog) and likes to read books that aren’t just by Dr. Seuss. I’m far from being perfect at this new trajectory, but I’m sure trying my hardest to set the example that mom needs to have fun and she should be able to drink her coffee while its still hot.

3. Each day is a gift, not a promise. Working at a hospice organization, we hear stories every day from patients and families. Each one is unique and special in its own way. Although we all know this, nothing can ensure that tomorrow will look the same as today. Make sure you are doing what you love, doing things that make you happy, finding ways to give back to others and trying to make the most out of each and every day. I have never met a hospice patient that said, “I wish I would have spent more time at the office.”

Stillwater Hospice

Phone: (260) 435-3211

Website: stillwater-hospice.org

Email: maryshankster@stillwater-hospice.org

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