Category Archives: Uncategorized

First Fatherless Father’s Day

There was no refrigerator art or misshapen ashtray found when my dad died last year. At least no one mentioned anything like that even though he was a bit of a hoarder.

Robin and PaulThis is the first Father’s Day for me without a dad in the world. My dad left the family when I was 10. He was hardly ever really in my world, but at least I knew he was in the world.

My dad stopped by once in a while when his travels brought him near. He sent letters on thin blue stationary. And he assigned book reports in the summers, which he’d edit with a red pencil. Being a child of divorce meant minimizing my expectations. Don’t ask for much and you won’t be disappointed.

In my 20s, I noticed a book in a store titled Adult Children of Divorce. It certainly wasn’t a manual, but it did seem to validate some feelings about being a teenage girl with an unhappy mom and absent dad.

Now don’t feel sorry for me. Without those book reports I may have never become a writer, editor, journalist. A life I love.

And I always dedicate Father’s Day to my Mom.

Since my dad died 8 months ago, I’ve been unclear about how to grieve. Sue’s Mom died a little more than a year ago and her grief is clear. Her Mom was very present in her life and her loss represents a big hole today. And although Sue believes her parents are now together, the loss of her Mom means Sue and her siblings are now orphans. I see them shifting and changing as they redefine family.

Sometimes sadness over my dad hits me by surprise, and it’s always a little confusing. There’s still a lot packed into my relationship with my dad. In many ways, I’m still a 10-year-old kid.

Today, on Father’s Day, is the first day I’ve cried over his death. All the Father’s Day stories on TV just hit me. Somehow, perhaps, they cut through those minimized expectations.


Lessons from Pyeongchang 2018

In our house, we become captivated by the Olympics.

There’s something about the best of the best competing on a world stage that just makes us happy. Of course, we love it when the American athletes do well. We get pulled into the medal count.  We eat dinner in the living room and stayed up really late to watch the US women defeat Canada in ice hockey. (Yay!)

In this post I wrote for my day job, I bestowed Olympic-sized medals upon the top three lessons I will take away from the 2018 Winter Games. These Gold, Silver and Bronze lessons apply whether you are a budding Olympiad or a Marketing VP.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze lessons from the 2018 Olympics

Bobsled USA team Olympics

But, most of all, we are inspired by all the stories.

  • Fun-loving Adam Rippon turning down NBC so he can stay with his teammates for the rest of the games.
  • American speed skater Maame Biney’s father whose smile is as broad as hers as he cheers from the stands holding a sign urging his daughter to “Kick some Hiney, Biney!”
  • Apparently No Gerard is Left Behind. The youngest boy in a seven-sibling family, snowboarder Red Gerard won gold. His large and boisterous family entertained us more as they introduced the phrase “to get Gerarded” into the Olympic lexicon.
  • And there may not be a winter sport more frightening than the Skeleton. Who first decided to take the luge and lie down headfirst and hurl themselves down a curving track at speeds as fast as 80 mph? We offer medals to anyone who tries that sport.

Stories. That’s why we’re captivated in my house.

Very few of us have the talent, motivation, and training to get us to the Olympics. But we can all be inspired by the athletes’ stories and learn valuable lessons from their performance-driven habits.

New book: The Marriage Battle

Our book, The Marriage Battle: A Family Tradition, is out and available from our publishers Villarosa Media.

NEW BOOK:marriagebookcovernoshadow-webpage

by Susan C. Green & Robin J. Phillips

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Thinking a lot about journalists

Plan B.  That’s what they call it.  Journalists who have been downsized, squeezed out, shown the door.  They start thinking about Plan B … that is once they get over what I call the Nancy Kerrigan stage of grief:

Plan Next

Plan B makes me think of second place, also ran, a choice you really didn’t want.  I think it’s much healthier to go through life with an open mind, planning for the next adventure, learning as much as you can and keeping a close eye on the writing on the wall.

Plan Next thinkers take control. Even if they don’t manage the whole transition, Plan Next folks manage their reactions and build on what’s gone before.  Build on their strengths.

In Arizona, people sometimes say, “I didn’t cross the border. The border crossed me.” Journalists can say, “I didn’t leave journalism. Journalism left me.”

Well, if journalism leaves you. Don’t look for Plan B. Be ready with a Plan Next.


Want to know more?  

I’m thinking about all of this as I put together a session on Personal Branding for Journalists for the Society of Professional Journalists Western Regional Conference in Phoenix in late April.  Full schedule is here.  Stop by. Make it your Plan Next.

Journalists must jump into social media: NENPA interview

Journalists are figuring out how to use social media to find and promote their stories. Editors and publishers are also seeing the value of social networking to boost viewership online.
Robin J. Phillips on ways journalists are using social media.