It’s Not About You

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Career Management

A favorite coaching client recently received a troubling performance review. He feels paranoid: his colleagues seem to be distancing themselves, as if they somehow know. He described a coworker who used to be friendly. Now she never stops to chat. “Does she know something I don’t?” he wondered. I challenged him to ask her. That way he’d know. The next time he saw her, he smiled at her. And she smiled back at him in relief. He found out that …

Name Neurosis

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Self Care

I never remember names. I can know people for years and not have a clue what their name is. This has developed into a pretty rich neurosis, where I won’t say someone’s name even if I’m sure what it is, because what if it’s wrong? This is ridiculous. It inhibits my ability to connect with people. I’m distracted by an internal dialogue worrying about their name. So I decided to do something about it. A little Internet research says you …

Coffee Breath

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Self Care

I was kissing awake my 5-year-old daughter the other morning, my heart filled with love for that sweet, sleepy, warm body. From under the pillows, the most offended little voice said, “Your breath stinks.” And then, with utter disgust, “Gross.” Z keeps it real. I could feel myself flipping through the available emotions. I picked up “hurt.” I picked up “amused.” I picked up “distance.” They were all there, but they weren’t what I wanted out of that moment. I …

Museum Happiness

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Self Care

I have a new favorite, quiet place in Seattle. Stuck downtown by a three-hour break between coaching clients, I headed to the downtown library. On the way there, I happened to see a sign for the Frye Museum. On a whim, I changed my plan and drove to the Frye. I’d always meant to go. Opening the doors to the museum, I had a sense I was in a foreign city. I felt thrown back to my twenties, when I wandered …

Being Zilly

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Career Management

We went camping and forgot the dog. We were 30 minutes on our way when I realized. “Any other children you’ve forgotten?” my partner asked as we turned around and drove back to the house. And there was Zilly curled up quietly in his crate. Zilly is a very polite, appreciative, quiet little dog. He’s well behaved, does what he’s supposed to do, doesn’t make any demands, is pleasant to have around. In fact, he’s a lot like how some …

Barefoot Resolution

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Self Care

I just completed a New Year’s Resolution. Back in January, I resolved to run my 2 ½ mile loop barefoot. No Vibrams. Just barefoot.  Six months later, I did it. And you’d think I was running topless. The askance looks and comments I get. Even a toddler loudly asked his mom as I ran past, “Why is that lady running with no shoes?” A good friend asked me the same question: why are you running in an urban park where …


Kathryn Crawford Saxer Self Care

I flinched. I went blonde again. It all started when I was talking to a nice couple at the playground. The guy looked vaguely familiar. We eventually figured out that we’d gone to business school together. Graduated in the same class. He didn’t recognize me. That’s a bit of a hit: I like to think I make more of an impression than that. And when he finally placed me, I could just see him thinking behind his nice, warm smile: …

I Want That

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Career Management

I had lunch with a colleague recently. He asked me what kind of issues I’m working on with my coaching clients. I told him* about a favorite client who emails me at 5 a.m. every morning. This particular client’s life flows better if he gets up early, goes to the gym, and then heads to work. He beats himself up if he doesn’t follow this schedule. And heads down a spiral of self loathing. So it’s important he gets up …

The Best Thing About Mommy

Kathryn Crawford Saxer A Little Kindness

I found a treasure as I was sorting through my kids’ school work. Tucked among a pile of papers was a note from my daughter. In her careful handwriting, my 5-year-old had written, “The best thing about Mommy is that she quit her job.” That’s a keeper.

It Was Never Locked

Kathryn Crawford Saxer Career Transition

A friend recently sought my help as a coach. She was feeling trapped and miserable in her job and her life. We talked through her options. I asked questions. I listened for the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” and “have tos.” That was all. She told me later that she had a vision as she was falling asleep that night. She saw herself in a jail cell, surrounded by iron bars. I came into her vision and opened the door. “It was …