Inspirational Woman: Andrea
Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women.
This month I sat down with Andrea, my dear friend from Emerson College.
She is a full-time working mom and as genuine as they get. She has great sense of humor and one of the kindest people I know.
I hope you enjoy our interview.
18th Style: Where are you originally from and where do you live now?
Andrea: I was born in Wareham, Massachusetts, but spent my teenage years in Spring Hill, Florida. Portland, Oregon has been home for more than twenty years now.
18th Style: What do love most about living on the West Coast?
Andrea: While I joke that I’m proud to maintain my east coast “pace,” I’ve always appreciated the spirit of progress that exists out west.
Whether it’s in the arts, food or politics, there’s a tangible feeling of being able to make an impact on the world around you. There’s also a strong connection to the wilderness that is incredibly inspiring.
18th Style: What’s your day job?
Andrea: I’m Manager of Training and Support at a small database development company. I’ve worked here for 18 years, so I tend to wear many hats.
18th Style: Being a single mom is not easy. How do you balance work, life, kids and finding time for yourself?
Andrea: Finding that balance is a process that continually evolves for me. All parents struggle with the guilt of not being there for every event or providing everything our kids want, and I feel that’s compounded for me as a single parent–especially with multiple kids dividing my attention.
I’ve tried to make peace with the reality of the structure of our life, and to appreciate the things we do accomplish every day. Because my children always come first, I’ve set boundaries with the demands of work so when I walk out the door, I’m on my time—period.
Making time for myself can be a struggle, but I’ve learned to embrace the times my kids are with their father and spend it with in the comforts of my incredibly supportive boyfriend and my inspiring group of friends.
I’ve learned to find joy in the quiet of everyday things like laundry and errands, as sometime that’s the only alone time that can be found! As a routine-oriented, structured person, learning to roll with the extremes it is something I strive to do.
18th Style: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Andrea: Duplication! If I could give each of my kids quality, one-on-one attention at the same time, that would solve so many of our daily hiccups!
18th Style: What’s the last great book you read that left an impact?
Andrea: My daughter has dyslexia, and I spend evenings reading with her. We recently reread “The Wind in the Willows.” It was my daughter’s choice, because we first read it when she was old enough to sit still on my lap. It’s a timeless classic filled with adventure, but has so many lessons about friendship, responsibility and appreciating what we have.
Whenever I read classic children’s books, it makes me feel like it should be required reading for adults for refresher material!
18th Style: What’s your go to podcast? Do you have one?
Andrea: I love Hidden Brain (NPR) and Stuff You Missed in History Class. I load up episodes to listen on airplanes, at work and in the car.
18th Style: Best thing you bought on Amazon within the last 3 months?
Andrea: I “treated myself” to a new phone charger and bought an obnoxious hot pink with gold trim super fast charger that was a “Deal of the Day” at $7.99. I don’t think of myself as a hot pink with gold trim person, but I was desperate to replace my charger and I didn’t feel guilty buying one at that price. Now I’m totally owning that hot pink awesomeness.
18th Style: What are your favorite three apps OR what are your favorite top three Instagram accounts?
Andrea: It’s so not exciting! It really highlights what dork I am.
1) I’m all about the Reminders app for everything from appointments and phone calls to kid stuff. I’m not sure I’d get it all done if it reminders weren’t constantly popping up for me throughout the day.
2) I frequently consult Dark Sky for weather.
3) Being a Disneyland nerd, I have an app called “Lines” with wait times, crowd levels, news and updates. It provides me with a little escape every time I use it.
18th Style: Who would you want to narrate your life?
Andrea: Kate Winslet! She’d use the proper inflection, and do it with a British accent.
18th Style: If you could be a cartoon character, who would it be?
Andrea: The RoadRunner! He’s always on the go, outsmarting that coyote around every turn!
18th Style: What’s your favorite quote?
Edmund Spenser, “For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.”