Choose Wisely

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

When my firstborn was in grade school, I was constantly searching for work-life balance. I quickly learned that if I waited for it to happen, it would never happen; therefore, I needed a plan to make it happen. For me, it was scheduling it on my calendar and being committed to the schedule. I planned long weekends for “me” time, girlfriend time, or family time by asking to be off on a Friday or Monday way in advance. I marked time for exercise, house cleaning, date night, and time to be with my kids one at a time, all while still working a 50+ hour week.

One of my favorite commitments was being the parent reader in my son’s classroom once a month.

Both my son and I looked forward to choosing a book each month, together, that supported the character traits promoted by his school, such as kindness, responsibility, honesty, self-esteem, and cooperation.

One day, just before leaving my office, a last-minute work meeting was scheduled, and I was expected to attend. I knew I would have to make a choice. I was either going to disappoint my son or disappoint my boss. I considered both choices, so I spoke with my boss to get more information.

What I remember most was he thought there was no comparison between the two options. One was important and the other was “just reading at your son’s school.” Then in a teasing, yet sarcastic tone, he said, “I hope you have your priorities in order. Choose wisely.”

So, I did.

That was more than 20 years ago. I don’t remember what the work meeting was about, but I do remember the book I read to my son and his classmates that day.

Of course, “choosing wisely” doesn’t change your life overnight, but it can trigger that change.

For me, I chose to read to my son’s class, and that prompted me to ask, “What’s next?”

Here’s what happened:

  1. I continued to do my best at work. While I had quietly “quit in my head,” that didn’t mean I quit doing my best. I wasn’t bitter. If anything, I was excited. I knew I wanted to be a working mom and that I would need the freedom and flexibility to do it. This gave me the motivation and clarity I needed to take the next step.


  1. With “a credit card and a signature,” I hired a coach to help me with the “how.” I set my exit date for a year later and quietly went to work, while I kept working.


  1. This allowed me to do it the right way, while still doing it my way. In other words, I kept learning and contributing to the company where I worked while also helping others and ultimately increasing my own value. On my exit date, I had successfully retained my employer as my first client and retained my second one just a few weeks later.

What is the one thing that changed your life? I would love to hear your story! Email me at


NOTE: Susan Hite is the president of Hite Resources, Inc. and CEO of PsychoGeometrics. Susan enjoys sharing stories and strategies to live a more peaceful, balanced, and productive life. The key starts with self-awareness by taking the Shapes Assessment and then creating the right plan for you. Check it out here and use ShapeTalk for 20% off.