I’m excited to introduce you to today’s guest. I spent eight years working for Beth DaLonzo in the Admission Office at my alma mater. Beth is positive, self-aware, and fun, and I can testify that she builds exactly the kind of workplace that she describes below.
Beth DaLonzo has worked in higher education for 36 years, 29 of those years in a management position. After working at three different universities, she now works as an Account Executive for ACT, the college entrance exam administrator.
Work & Management
Beth says, “I have always hoped to create a workplace where people love to come to work, where they care about each other, where everyone on the team feels valued and cared for.” Every job has responsibility and occasional times of stress, but Beth sets a positive and nurturing tone as a leader, while still challenging her team to grow and learn.
In addition to building a strong office culture, Beth finds value in her work because of the impact of higher education on students’ lives.
“I believe I have some small role in changing people’s lives for the better. A college education affects not just the person who has it, but their whole community. In some cases it can change the entire trajectory of their lives,” Beth explains.
Beth has a gift for keeping things in perspective; she is able to quickly accept the reality of a situation and then move towards problem solving. This skill set proved very valuable in July of 2018, when her husband was unexpectedly diagnosed with kidney failure. Almost overnight, Beth became a caregiver, a dialysis nurse and, ultimately, an organ donor. (Yes, she donated a kidney to her husband!)
Of that season in their lives, Beth said, “Asking ‘Why us?’ didn’t do much good. It was us, so [we did] what we had to do and [got] through it.” Although her husband was very sick for two years, Beth was able to maintain the perspective that it was a season of their lives – one that would pass.
How She Stays Healthy
Although perspective comes naturally for Beth, there are other practices she works to cultivate: Balance, spirituality, and relationships.
Beth has learned how to compartmentalize her life in order to maintain balance and stay fully present wherever she is. “When I’m at work,” Beth says, “I leave all the other stresses of my life where they belong so I can be present with my staff.” She does the same thing when she is with her husband or her friends. “When the stresses of either [work or home] start to overflow into my other compartments, then I know…I need to figure out how to get back to being balanced,” Beth says.
She restores her balance with quiet time spent reading, knitting, praying, “or just sitting quietly by myself doing nothing.”
During her husband’s illness, Beth also underwent a challenging job transition and the death of her father. Through that difficult season, her girlfriends were a lifeline. “I have a circle of friends who are fiercely faithful to me. They allow me to be vulnerable, to vent, and often just provide a listening ear. I always know they love me and stand beside me in every situation. My girlfriends nourish my soul.”
Prayer is another way that Beth thrives in her daily life. Throughout her days, she finds herself in a running conversation with God, and she experiences his presence in that connection.
How do you restore balance in your own life? Comment below to share your practices!