We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia McMahon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance has definitely changed for me over the years, but most dramatically I would say in the last 10 years. My younger self equated my personal value or sense of accomplishment more with how much money I had or whether or not I would own a home someday, etc. I was under the impression that if I worked hard enough or long enough, I would be able to grab the proverbial “brass ring” for myself. As I began to approach middle age, inflation & cost of living made this dream seem further & further out of reach. Watching my pay scale top out in my profession made me feel like a failure to myself & my family. Then I had a series of life changing health problems, including a stroke from which I nearly died. The hospitalizations and long slow recovery made me realize that I hadn’t been living in the moment, but merely going thru the motions trying to attain the impossible. It took me almost dying to figure out how to finally start living. I have spent the past few years nurturing my creative side, including writing and performing music, singing in local bands (Babydoll Warriors & The Jule-Tones) dancing, photography, and championing the performing arts scene in San Diego. I like to say now that I “moonlight as a Dental Hygienist”. As mother, I remain devoted to family and my parenting duties, however my family understands & supports my need to be creative. Currently I working 3 “on” 4 “off” so I have more time for what feeds my soul
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well, my father was a dentist so I was raised in a dental family. He always had the children helping out in the family practice from and early age. I worked for my father doing assistant duties all through high school. When I was doing career planning, it seemed like a natural fit for me to go into Dental Hygiene. It took me about 6 years to get through college including prerequisites, working multiple jobs and my Dental Hygiene program. It was long and at times arduous, but I received my degree and license in 1995, and I’ve been practicing ever since. I enjoyed working with my father until his retirement 15 years ago, and continue to work in his same original practice for the dentist who bought the business. Working with my father and watching his ways of relating to patients and really listening to them made a huge impression on me. Dentistry can be very intimidating for the patients, so I learned how to listen and earn their trust. One of the things that sets me apart is that I have such a vast knowledge of the patient base. Having been in the same practice for nearly 40 years, everyone knows me, and I know three or sometimes four generations of families that still come to the practice. People love seeing a familiar face every time, and to have someone ask about their family. True caring that developed over time, not a canned sincerety.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, pre-Covid, it would include dining in at Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Cafe. A good walk through Balboa Park & the adjacent canyon trails. I have a fascination with the bridges of San Diego, so those are always on my list. Live music shows at the Casbah, Panama 66 or numerous other local clubs. The local music scene was extremely vibrant, one of the best in the nation, if not worldwide (pre-Covid) Beach walks on Coronado or Ocean Beach/Sunset Cliffs. I also adore La Playa Trail, and often take visitors to Fathom Bistro before or after. Drinks at any number or local breweries for the hop-heads. We live walking distance from Little Italy, so you won’t want to miss out on tiki inspired creations at the speakeasy “False Idol”
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shout out to my family, my husband & son, my parents, and all my music family brothers & sisters
Facebook: Julia Hall McMahon
Yelp: Pablo Liciaga, DDS
Youtube: Julia McMahon, Babydoll Warriors, The Jule-Tones
Other: Spotify: Babydoll Warriors – Love Bite, Baby
Stephanie Van de Wetering Shirley Ordway Ron Bocian