Work/Life Balance and Other Myths by Jill Blake – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jill Blake will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Work/life balance and other myths…

As a physician with a busy medical practice, and a mom of three very active children, one of my biggest challenges is work/life balance. Some say that the concept of balance is nothing more than a chimera—something we all struggle to attain, and then just as we think it’s within our grasp, something happens, and the entire structure collapses into a pile of toothpicks and dust.

In medicine, we hear the term “burnout” bandied about. According to the latest statistics, burnout among physicians and other medical personnel is at an all-time high. Media outlets have dubbed it a national epidemic. I won’t go into all the factors that contributed to this crisis (you can read more about it on my website, and in my book The Burnout Cure), but I hope that shining light on the issue will lead to a solution.

In the meantime, we need to practice self-care and set boundaries. The key is learning how to say NO. And that’s what I try to do. Do I want to join yet another hospital committee? NO. Can I volunteer at XYZ event next Tuesday? NO. Can I bake cookies for the school fundraiser? No, but I’d be happy to pick up store-bought cookies on my way home from work. Can I drive each child to and from every extracurricular activity? No, but we have a perfectly good bus system, and here’s a TAP card for each of you, my darlings. (Okay, I haven’t quite implemented that last one, but the kids are still young…) Anyway, you get the idea.

An adjunct to saying No is learning to delegate. I’ve started doing that, both at home and at work. I also cut back my work hours. I am now officially working 80% time, which translates to about 50-55 hours per week, not including night call (about once every other week), and an evening or weekend urgent care shift (also about twice a month).

I exercise, though less than I should, and try to get enough sleep, though that doesn’t always happen.

At home, I’ve become good at consolidating activities (aka multi-tasking) for the sake of efficiency. Like last week, hubs and I went on a “shopping date”: we dropped off the kids at Taekwondo, then headed for the local Smart & Final to do our weekly grocery shop. Picked the kids up on the way home, then opened a bottle of wine to toast a successful outing, and retired to bed for the rest of the date.

Last, but not least, I write. This is my therapy. While in real life I can’t always control what happens, when it comes to writing, I’m in charge. I get to have fun and exorcise my demons at the same time (multi-tasking!).

The characters I write about face some of the same challenges I do. They aren’t perfect and they don’t have unlimited resources. Sometimes they need to make tough choices and hope for the best. Ultimately, though, I write contemporary romance—which means that one thing I can absolutely guarantee: a happily-ever-after.

Lena Shapiro. Successful surgeon. Dutiful daughter. She sacrificed her personal life to build her career and take care of her mother and sister. Now thirty-nine and single, she watches her peers pairing off and having kids, and wonders if she missed out on her own chance at happiness.

Assigned to mentor a visiting colleague, Lena finds herself falling for the man instead. But Adam Sterling is all wrong for her: he’s too young, too arrogant, and too willing to push personal and professional boundaries. And he’s leaving L.A. for a job on the opposite coast.

With the date of Adam’s departure looming ever nearer, will Lena retreat to the safety of her familiar solitary life, or will she take a chance on an uncertain future with the man who might make her dreams come true?

(Please note: This is a steamy contemporary romance that contains mature themes and explicit content, meant for adults 18 and over. It is a stand-alone novel, with no cliff-hangers, and a guaranteed HEA.)

Enjoy an Excerpt

Copyright © 2019 by Jill Blake

“The thing about Westport,” Adam said, “is that no one outside of Connecticut’s ever heard of it. And people from outside the U.S. are like, Connecti-what? So in the end I usually say I’m from just outside New York, because everyone knows New York, right?”

She paused, chopsticks halfway to her mouth. “I’ve never actually been to New York.”

“You’re kidding,” he said. “Never?”

“We didn’t have the money growing up. And once there was money, I didn’t have the time.”

“But…what about vacations?”

“Welcome to my world. It’s called private practice. You eat what you kill—or rather, don’t kill.” She smiled and shrugged. “I’ve taken a few weekends here and there. Santa Barbara, San Diego. Local stuff.”

If his brows climbed any higher, they’d disappear from his face. “Damn,” he said. “We’ve got to broaden your horizons.”

Lena didn’t answer. Travel was something that other people did. Classmates who didn’t need full scholarships to Harvard-Westlake, who skied every winter in Aspen and Telluride, and split their summers between Europe and Hawaii. College roommates who could spare a gap year to explore Indonesia or climb Kilimanjaro.

In school, and later in residency, she’d promised herself: someday she would see the world. Or at least some small portion of it beyond California.

And now, here she was, a decade later, on the cusp of a major life change that would make travel next to impossible.

About the Author: A native of Philadelphia, Jill Blake now lives in southern California with her husband and three children. During the day, she works as a physician in a busy medical practice. At night, once the charts are all done and the kids are asleep, Jill writes steamy romances with smart heroines, sexy heroes, and guaranteed happy endings.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. James Robert says

    Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

  3. Rita Wray says

    I liked the excerpt, sounds like a good read.

  4. Bea LaRocca says

    I love the excerpt! This sounds like a must read for me.

  5. bernie wallace says

    Do you think that there will be a sequel to the book?

    • Hi Bernie, thanks for asking! Yes, I am planning a (sort of) sequel. There will be at least one more book in the “Prescription: Romance!” series. While all of my books can be read as stand-alones, some of the characters and locations do overlap. For example, Wolf Knox, who plays a small role in “Oh, Baby!” is the hero of “The Burnout Cure.”

  6. Thanks, Robert! Work/life balance is a huge topic for discussion in medicine these days (as I’m sure it is in many fields). One thing I didn’t mention in this post is “three good things.” This is a concrete and very easy way of practicing gratitude, and something that studies show reduces stress and burnout. Here’s what I do: every day, I write down three good things that happened. That’s it. Within just a few weeks, I noticed that I was actively looking for the positive, no matter the situation. Simple, effective, and a it goes a long way toward helping with work/life balance. Writing a guest post for Long and Short Reviews definitely counts as one of my “three good things” and I had great fun doing it! ?

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