Libby Reynolds: Brilliance, Beauty, and Courage II
Libby tells us how she met her husband. Her boldness and confidence are pretty impressive. Libby’s husband is a producer and guitarist. She shares how he didn’t even notice her at first because he was so consumed with his music. (Any of us that has ever dated an artist, can relate.)
While some of us may have felt rejected by not being noticed, she exclaims, “Well, no I mean you can’t be rejected if somebody’s not even noticing you!” After over twenty years of marriage, and still kissing at every hello and good-bye, she must be on to something.
How did you meet your husband?
I met him in college, I met him my first semester of my freshman year. It took me quite a while, he was very absorbed in his music and wasn’t really aware of his surroundings. It took me a very long time to get him to notice me. He finally did and we started dating the second semester.
Oh, So you like him first?
Hmm,hmmm. I don’t even think he knew I existed.
Laughter, he was absorbed. Was he a Freshman also?
No he is one year older than I am.
So you were dating an upperclassmen?
Exactly and a guitar player no less. Honestly, I didn’t even know he was a musician when I met him.
That’s so funny, what was it about him that made you so into him? You sound like you were persistent about it.
Yeah, it was the way he carried himself. I can still remember, I laugh when I tell him. I remember him walking across the campus in front of the library just the way he carried himself, there was something so striking and attractive about that. The confidence, that posture, that purpose, I don’t know, but it was big. I can still see it twenty-seven years later.
It sounds like you weren’t shy about it. At first you weren’t getting his attention but it didn’t’ scare you away. You didn’t feel rejected at all.
Well, no I mean you can’t be rejected if somebody’s not even noticing you.
(Laugher) Rejection only comes if they notice you and then turn you down. He was just so absorbed in his world, it was funny I had enlisted all of my friends to be on the lookout and get him to stop somehow and talk.
That’s so funny! I love your confidence.
Yeah, he was worth going after.
LIBBY ON SPIRITUALTY AND UNWINDING – Honoring the Girl Within Us All
tCG asked Libby how she stayed grounded in the midst of her complex Life. Her faith and not carrying any burden alone is key. She also shares a way she unwinds, honoring the girl within.
In your busy life we talked about you being a wife, mother, and then being a VP. How do you find time for yourself? Do you have fitness routine or a daily centering or grounding practice?
…If I really need to just get my brain to stop working, I will read. I love to read. SO I read…a lot of times to get my brain off of work.
…I think from keeping a centered focus on life, I have a really really strong faith and that keeps me centered. And it also allows me to go through everyday knowing that I don’t carry any burdens by myself…
So what’s the name of the last book that you enjoyed?
It was the Secret Garden; this is a book that I read as a child… I (thought) “Ooh, I wonder if it’s as good as it was when I was a kid.” So I read it and it was. It is so well written; it was excellent. The next I’m going to read is Anna Green Gabel. It’s another whole series of books by this author that I read as a girl.
LIBBY ON PERSONAL FINANCES
Personal Finances is very important to all us Goddesses out there; especially those of us that love to spend. It’s important we are tracking our expenses and being fiscally responsible. tCG asked Libby to shed some light…how does a VP of Finance manage her home expenses. Libby proclaims, “If you’re not disciplined assign how much cash you’ve got for the week; that is your fun income and take the cash out of the bank and put it in your wallet. And when it’s gone it’s gone.”
One of the topics that impacts us all though and is easy topic to always talk about is Finances. I’d love to hear any financial advice you have to give from a home budgeting and personal perspective.
…I believe always have a budget and stick to it. And I believe in having a monthly budget and an annual budget. You’ve got to get a parameter around what you can and cannot spend. And the only way to do that is if you have a budget. …Write down all of your bills and how much your income is…and knowing what you can spend. Along with that I think always, always, save.
And then I think that, only go into debt, borrow money, for things that are going to provide a return. In this…the house, the car, and education, you have to invest in something that’s within your means. SO if you’re buying a house, buy a house that’s in your financial bracket.
SO that goes back to having a budget, live within your means, only borrow for things that are really worth it and pay for everything else out of your income. You only get what you can pay for. You shouldn’t go into debt for things that aren’t going to give you a good return. I think that is just dangerous.
SO a little bit more about this budget, do you have any tools that you use, like maybe an excel spreadsheet or QuickBooks, to maintain you budget at home?
It’s not something that is complicated or sophisticated, all you have to do is write down all your bills and what your income is. And as soon as you put it on paper and you can use Excel, or Quicken or any tool you have. Just put it in writing and get it down so you can look…
LIBBY AND A LIFE THREATENING EXPERIENCE: LOVE AND VULNERABILITY
Amongst everything else our featured Corporate Goddess has lived through Brain Cancer. We all know that Cancer is a very serious matter and the brain is a vital organ. The courage that Libby displays through her three-year healing program is really beyond words. She shares how she found out she had cancer and the life lessons she took from the life-transforming experience.
You mentioned this earlier briefly, in your office you shared a life transforming experience you’ve had some time ago. Will you share this with us?
One of the ladies that I worked with, who I, just, she’s very dear to me. She had said to me, would you go get yourself checked you just sound gross. And I felt bad because I was sounding like I was all stuffed up.
Well when I went in and my doctor looked back there, he could see the tip of a tumor hanging in the back of my throat area. So he sent me on to an ENT, ear, nose, and throat specialist. Who recognized the tumor and realized that it wasn’t anything to mess around with. So he had sent me on to get other tests, then from there discovered that it was a cancerous tumor and he had me scheduled the next week to get it out.
Once it was out the doctor had told me that had I not come in that day, he said I would have been dead in three or four weeks.
Had she not cared enough to fuss at me, you know, I would have never gone in because I wouldn’t have gone into the doctor for what I thought was a cold. SO you count your blessings that people make comments. (And then) from that I did, surgery to remove the tumor, then I did chemo, the traditional chemo where your hair falls out and all of that. And then I did radiation and another two and a half years of preventative maintenance chemo, so it was a three-year program all together.
On Receiving: Love and Vulnerability
And during that time, some of those phases, you get so ill from just the treatments that other people help you. And you have to let them help you because you can’t help yourself….Through that process it was very humbling to accept reality that you could…I’m always, I’m a self sufficient person and I pride myself on being self sufficient. But sometimes you aren’t. You absolutely need the help of others. And to be humble enough to accept that is hard. So that was eye opening.
And then another huge thing is that the generosity of others is genuine and people are so good, and people help other people for the sake of helping them and not wanting anything in return. Seeing that aspect of human nature was really powerful.
On Remembering: Life and Death
Just the whole event has carried forward in my life as a reinforcement to keep priorities in line. When things are life and death you realize what’s important and what’s the things you can be caught up in the day-to-day but really aren’t that important. And that has helped immensely raising the kids, when things come at home that irritate me or things at work that are frustrating it’s important to very quickly put my priorities in line and recognize that those are just day to day noises. They’re not important things in life, it helps you deal with it much easier.
Yes, that’s so huge, Libby because so many people get so upset over little things that happen at work.
Of course, yes.
Yeah, but even I showed you. I keep a picture of my baldhead when I was going through the chemo, I keep a picture of that in my office because thought it’s been ten years…sometimes you start slipping back into that natural reaction of getting worked up on things. And I keep that bald picture right in sight at my desk so that I can look at that and re-orient my thinking and go chill out, it’s not life and death.
It’s important, it’s important to the whole company some of my choices and it’s important to the employees and their families. SO I don’t take these things lightly but I also put it in perspective that it is not life or death.
STRAIGHT ADVICE FROM LIBBY
Libby has so much wisdom and life experience in all fronts. tCG asks Libby for share some key advice. The definitely drive a couple of points home: Credibility, Priorities, and Choice.
What advice would you give to other women who are building towards or managing a successful career or business, such as you are, and everything else that life has to offer.
On business: It’s my one piece of advice to any woman out there for business is to always be credible. Just be credible, in anything you do or say, be credible. And that will carry you through a lot of tough situations.
On Life: Always keep your priorities straight. Don’t forget what is the most important to you and what is just noise. Keep your priorities straight and that will help guide your choices.
And on relationships: I would say just remember that relationships are a choice like marriage. Everyday when I wake up, I know, well one that I’m blessed to wake up. SO I count my blessings from the beginning. And also, marriage is a choice. I don’t have to be married. I choose to be married. SO any little thing that may irritate (me) along the way I choose to work those out. I’m not forced into this and knowing that relationships are a choice and a blessing keeps it in line so that the little day to day irritations don’t ever grow beyond that. And you realize what is so precious about them (relationships) because you choose to have them.