Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious—and maybe a little obsessed—about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”
BY THE WAY…
- Looking for THE BALANCE PROJECT, the novel that was inspired by these interviews? It’s here.
- The Balance Project interview series recently celebrated its first birthday!
- Fortune ran a feature about The Balance Project.
- Want to be a part of The Balance Project? Complete the interview.
No. 68: Adina Grigore, Founder of S.W. Basics
Where I live: Brooklyn, NY
Job: Founder of S.W. Basics
Have you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
I make my own hours, which is nice. I make some days shorter to make up for super super long days or working through the weekend, which I do a lot. I take time to work out even if I have to stop working early, because it keeps me sane. I try to treat all trips, even business trips, as mini vacations. Even if that’s just in my mind.
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
I’m sure I’ll be doing this when I have kids, but I plan on adding an office playpen! And anyone who works for us will have to babysit.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I guess I just don’t really get what it means. Does it mean a job and children? Because in that case that’s most women in America, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t feel like having it all. If it means a job and children and lots of money, then I don’t think it’s necessarily overrated because who wouldn’t want that, I just think it’s a pointless endeavor. I spend each day just trying to learn to be happy with my life as it is.
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
I overindulge in food and bad television.
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
Learning not to let the success of my business get linked to my personal confidence.
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker? “You’re not making a mistake by waiting to have children.”
From your mother? To prioritize friendships.
From your spouse? To not feel guilty when I indulge, especially in relaxation.
If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
I want to say meditating but let’s be honest… I’d sleep.
What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
Nothing you’re doing right now matters, at all.
What do you hope to know by the time you’re 60?
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Whose job do you wish you had?
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
What are you reading right now?
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.
Food? All things bread and cheese.
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
A lot. At least 8, often 9-10.
What do you read every morning?
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: really suck at these types of questions.
I wish I: was more articulate and had better ideas/interests!
My kids: will be way more interesting than me, I bet.
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
Don’t do fake work.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m so normal and weird all at the same time!