We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Prather Stafford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Having children forced me to be more intentional with how I spend my time. I still can’t believe streaming took off after I became a mother (maybe one day I’ll treat myself to a day of binging an entire show nonstop). Because of family and work, it’s difficult to carve out time for myself. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that
1) I must maintain my health and
2) I must make time to nourish the important relationships in my life. On the health side it means keeping check-up appointments, doing whatever I can to be active, and getting enough sleep.
For relationships, it means being truly present, reaching out to those I care about and showing up when someone is in need. I feel we’re all so bombarded with responsibilities that it’s difficult to remember a phone call or even a handwritten card can go a long way. The flip side of that is making sure love and friendship is reciprocated. Any relationships that are just one-sided need to be reevaluated ASAP. Also, never be afraid to take a pause from something (if possible) when more time for yourself and family is needed. Because if you burn out, you’re not going to be the only person that’s harmed. And always listen to your instincts, especially when they’re saying it’s time to take a breath. Even a quiet 15 minutes a day can be a game changer.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I had not planned to become a writer, but I entered the workforce right when the dot-com bubble popped. Jobs were scarce, but I was able to find a position at a small city magazine. I also worked part-time as a writing tutor to make ends meet. I was then hired by the Travis County Medical Society, which steered me towards the Texas Medical Association, and eventually UT Southwestern Medical Center. Over the years I’ve done extensive work for UT Southwestern, which includes researching and writing the historical book “Vision 60: Sixty Years of the Science and Art of Radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.” Medicine is fascinating and I’m drawn to the field because there is that simple goal of helping people. At the same time, I am very passionate about women’s issues, especially representation. Several years ago I became Executive Producer for the award-winning documentary WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES. The film had its national broadcast on Independent Lens | PBS and traces the fascinating evolution of Wonder Woman. It also examines the portrayal of powerful women in mass media. I am a big believer in the tagline used by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media: If She Can See It, She Can Be It. In 2019, I launched Girls That Create for parents and caregivers of creative girls. The online platform exists to nourish future creators and encourage greater female representation across the arts, especially leadership roles.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first thing I would do is check what is playing at The Kessler, Granada Theater, Bomb Factory and other local live music venues during their visit. I love live shows. For the daytime I’d likely take them museum hopping around the Arts District and also over to Bishop Arts for dining and hanging out. If the weather turned, we might see a film at one of the city’s independent theaters and also kill time at a local bookstore (love ya Half Price Books and Interabang Books). If they’re meat eaters, BBQ would definitely happen.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Kyla Martin (http://voyagedallas.com/interview/life-work-kyla-martin/) for always encouraging my ideas and reminding me fear should not be in control of a decision.
1) Annie Vovan, 2) Laura Castillo 3) Unknown 4) Glenn Katz