We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Lawson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
For a long time, “work-life balance” was more a term that represented the amount of time I spent working versus the time I spent on myself. The “life” portion was everything from dinners out to girls trips, recreational athletic pursuits, spiritual study, activities that very much centered around things I wanted to be doing. When I became a mom three years ago, the “life” portion changed dramatically, obviously. Not only was there less room for error in the ratio of work and life when it came to my own prioritization; the “life” portion became much less about me and much more about the people who made up my life. And honestly, more so than the actual definition of my “life” now, the biggest change in my balance has been how the balance itself occurs throughout the day. Especially with COVID-19, which put our entire family at home, work and life could both be covered in a span of 15 minutes or in one Zoom call – it just depended on the day. Overall I’d say as a part-time communications creative and full-time mom, the pendulum between work and life now swings much more freely. And, truth be told, I don’t mind. Although we could probably all stand for a few more girls trips.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a military spouse and a creative, I’ve had a number of different jobs working with clients in a number of different sectors – health and fitness, retail, food, manufacturing, tourism, even oil. The common thread has always been that I’ve served as a storyteller, even though sometimes the stories I was asked to tell wouldn’t do much to stir my personal passion. Now, as both a freelancer and a champion for a leading veteran service organization, I feel like I’ve finally found my space. I have carved a niche for myself where I can pair my talent as a story teller with the unique perspectives my professional and personal experiences have afforded me. If you’re looking for a talented writer, interviewer, strategic communications expert, blogger, brand builder, speech writer, and researcher all in one, I promise, we actually do exist.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I always group my recommendations for San Diego into attractions/points of interest (*cough* free or cheap), and food. I’m not really a “shopper” per say unless you’re talking about spending a couple of hours digging through Buffalo Exchange in Hillcrest or making a trip to Nordstrom Rack. My Top 10 for SD (in my preferred categories and in no particular order) may go something like – Balboa Park with a visit to the Botanical Garden near dusk (but before it closes), the sea lions at La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines early in the morning or just before sunset, the secret swing near Birch Aquarium (if you know, you know), happy hour at Lost Cause Meadery in Bay Park (make sure to grab some pizza), Sunset Cliffs + OB Noodle House, San Diego Zoo (not on a Tuesday aka “field trip day”), a bike ride on the Silver Strand and around the Hotel Del in Coronado with ice cream at MooTime Creamery, happy hour at URBN Pizza in North Park and then eventually meander to Seven Grand whiskey lounge, and Old Town (you just have to). For extra credit, here’s a few add-ons: happy hour at C Level, Little Italy Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, a sunset Bird ride on the Mission Beach boardwalk, and Gliderport in La Jolla on a Saturday morning so you can watch the cliff jumpers.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a soft spot for working moms, but especially those who also fall into the category of “military spouses.” So many times I see my close friends not only shoulder the burden of their family while their spouses are away for training or deployment; but do it with a grace you’re hard pressed to find elsewhere. Military spouses are also often challenged with adapting their careers with every military move (sometimes with very little notice), but I think overall many of us have turned that into motivation to be skilled at building relationships and improving our sense of resilience. And who doesn’t want someone with those two qualities on their team?
Taylor Haas Photography