Acceptable reasons to not respond to a text/phone call/email

There are a few things that drive me absolutely crazy and people not responding to texts, emails, phone calls are at the top of my list this week.  Telemarketers and people on your do not call list not included – it is always okay to hang up on or not respond to their messages. Today in 2018, there are so many modes of communication, yet some people either don’t or won’t respond.  I actually think its rude and absolutely bad manners. I know our parents taught us better.

This is my list of acceptable reasons to not respond to a message

1- You just lost all your fingers in a fourth of July fireworks explosion. Random? This actually happens a lot- ask any trauma surgeon.

2- Your cell phone, computer and land line phone have all been lost or confiscated by the FBI, CIA, ISIS, KGB? Or distroyed in above explosion. Could happen I guess

3- You are the leader of the free world and in the middle of a state of the union address or press conference or threat of war with North Korea. This is a weak excuse as even The Donald finds time to tweet at night

4- You are a cardiac or brain surgeon and literally holding these important organs in your hands. Okay I will accept any type of doctor so long as you are in the middle of saving a life.

5- You are on a plane with no wifi. Kinda rare today. But I expect a call back as soon as you land

6- You are anywhere with no wifi or reception. A cave. Mars. Under a rock. Yet I just saw a Facebook and/or instagram post from you – ummm?

7- You are in the hospital. Acceptable only if you are there as a patient and only if you are in a coma or hooked up to a ventilator

8- You are dead. This is the only real acceptable reason. Caution- don’t do this to prove a point!!!

Any other reason is totally frivolous, unacceptable and just plain rude!

And just so you know, I’m not a total Diva.  I do not need an immediate response.  If I send a message during normal business hours, then I expect a response that day- within 3-6 hours I think is acceptable. If I send a message after 9pm, then it is reasonable to expect a response the next day as some people go to sleep early. And I do not need a long drawn out response. A response could be a simple “sorry can’t talk now, catch up later” or “I’m fine talk later” or just a simple answer to a question that was posed in the message. Apple makes it so easy where you can send a thumbs up/down, love, laugh, exclaim or question response to a text message- you just press the icon- 2 seconds tops.

When you don’t respond, my assumption is that you either have no respect for me or you could care less why I called or you believe you are so much more important than I am. It all boils down to simple etiquette which will lead to your  loosing friends or if in business situation, you could definitely loose clients.

Imagine someone standing in front of you talking and you just stare at them without saying anything – wierd and rude right?

So next time, a message comes in, please do look at it and respond. Consider the feelings of the person on the other side.

Does this bother you as much as it bothers me?

Do you agree with my list?

Do you have other acceptable reasons that I missed?

Please leave your comments below.


I have lists for my lists





Please tell me that I am not alone in this.

Do you make lists for everything?

I do!


Everyone I know tells me that I am the most organized person they know. And I pride myself in my ability to be organized and multitask and get more done in a day than most people can in a week. I am pretty obsessed with getting things done, so much so that some may consider it pathologic. I just call it a way of life. Okay fine, I’m a little bit anal retentive- Type A if you will.

For me, the biggest stress in life is being disorganized, not having a plan or having gaps of time when nothing is happening. I hate that feeling and I never want to feel stressed out. This is not to say that I don’t like free time lounging like the next person. It’s just that most of my lounging time is scheduled unless I’m on vacation then the lists go out the window.

First I have a master list where I write down my long term goals. Be a better person, loose some weight, career goals, run a marathon etc

Then I start each day with a daily list.

What do I need to accomplish for the day? This list basically takes me through hour by hour from waking to sleeping, what I need to get done for the day. So this list may look something like this and will change from day to day.

This is a sample daily list for the purpose of this blog only.

Then within the main daily list there will be sublists

For instance within my work day I may need to call and schedule an appointment with the dentist or return a phone call or email. If grocery shopping is on my list for the day, then I need a list for the items to buy from the grocery store. If I have a dinner party, I have a list of guests and a list for the menu and one for all the things I need to do to prepare for it, like get hair done, nails, clean house etc.

I have a birthday gift list for family and friends

I have a vacation travel list

I have a list for books I want to read

I start my Christmas gift list in the summer

I have a calender list for major upcoming events

I have a list for my lists- no joke. I make my lists on paper, on my phone, my laptop, wherever I can write something down. I have about 4 different list making apps on my phone. I know it all sounds crazy, but trust me it works. This list making is certainly not for the faint of heart. But the more you do it, the more it becomes second nature. They say it takes about 2 weeks of doing something repetitively (every day) for it to become a habit.

The last thing I do before I go to sleep, is look at my list one last time and see what I was able to get done for that day.

To me, there is no greater sense of accomplishment than to cross items off the to do list. If you find that you could not complete all your tasks for the day, there is nothing wrong with moving it on the next day’s list.

This I find is the best way to get things done and not procrastinate.

Who’s with me?

What lists do you make?

I would love to see your comments below.

Weekly photo challenge

One of my favorite sunsets…

Photo taken in the Dubai Desert

Multitasking – how I incorporate reading and exercise

There is so much to do and so little time. Do you feel like you are constantly trying to catch up. Trying to squeeze way too much into 24 hours. That’s how I feel. This is so much worse when you are a mom, a wife or have to work.

When you have to balance getting kids to and from school, their various after school sporting and social activities, making a nutritious dinner, making time for your spouse and still handling your business at work, there is very little time left over for things like reading and exercise. I’ve learned over the years the art of squeezing in these things without making it look like I am. Essentially I have mastered the art of multitasking.

I will share how I incorporate reading and exercise into my daily schedule.

I am a lover of all things books. A few years ago I found that I was not reading like I used to. How can I manage all the aspects of my life and still find time to read. I found out about audiobooks back then but really resisted the idea of them. As a self proclaimed bibliophile I turned up my nose at people who listened to books on tape. What? No actual paper? No turning the pages? No curling up in a corner with a good book?

Well I finally had to give in and go to the dark side and you know what? It’s been the best thing ever.

I can now listen to my books while cooking, cleaning, walking or driving.

Try it. It will change your life.

The second trick I will share is that of making time to exercise. As we know exercise is important for heath maintenance and disease prevention not to mention help us look good in those swimsuits- summer’s coming folks!

With all I have going on making time to exercise is the last thing to make it on the list. But let me ask you this. Do you have a favorite show that you DVR and try to catch up with every night? What about the evening news? One of the late night talk shows? Well if you have an hour to spare watching TV you definitely have time to exercise.

All you need to do is park your treadmill or stationary bike in front of the TV. You would be surprised how many miles you get through by the end of your show.

And if you have spare time you can listen to your audiobook while exercising.

This my friends is multitasking or killing two birds with one stone.

How do you incorporate reading and exercise into your daily life?

Please share your thoughts and suggestions.

Quality over Quantity 10 ways to improve your quality of life.

A patient said to me today as we were discussing her cancer diagnosis – “I can only control the quality of my life not the quantity…”

Wow! How true! How profound!

This got me thinking. We all live on borrowed time and no one knows what’s coming. We could get hit by a bus on the way home. We could be diagnosed with a fatal illness. Our lives are so fragile and tenuous yet a lot of us take it for granted. We spend so much time obsessing over things that are not important.

If you died right now, what would your legacy be? What would be said about you? Have you lead your best life? Have you led a quality life?

What are the ways we could improve the quality of our life right now. These are 10 of my suggestions

1-Take care of your body. Remember this body will last you for as long as you are here, so take care of it.

*eat healthy


2-Be friendly and Love unconditionally. It takes so much energy to hate and to frown. Smile and spread the joy.

*hug your kids/spouse

*tell your family you love them often

*smile and say hi to the neighbors, co workers

3-Be a good friend. Call and catch up with friends from time to time

4-Do something nice for someone less fortunate. We are all in this together. You may be the one who needs help some day.


*make a donation

5-Don’t over commit. It’s okay to say no from time to time. Stress does not look good on anyone

6-Don’t leave things half done. You are better off not starting than doing it half assed

7-Don’t procrastinate. You may not get another chance

8-Do something nice for yourself. When you feel good, it’s so much easier to make everyone else feel good.

*get a massage


*take a trip

*watch a movie

*read a book

9- Believe in something. I really don’t want to talk religion but a belief in something, someone will get us through the darkest times.

10-Be an overall good person. I don’t care what God you believe in but the 10 commandments pretty much cover the basics of being a good person.

If you can do these things, I believe that you are well on the way to having a great quality of life and it may even help with the quantity.

What did I miss?

Please let me know other ways to improve the quality of our lives in the comments.

The big 5-0. (Happy international Womens day)

It seems appropriate that I blog about how I celebrated my 50th on international women’s day since I couldn’t have done it without the help of some incredible women. When I turned 49, last year, I wanted the journey into 50 to be significant. So I started that birthday with gathering together some of the best girl friends I had. Of course they couldn’t all make it but I had quite a showing. That evening was all about womanhood and sisterhood and sharing advice and enjoying each other without judgement.

As a wife and mother I enjoy the company of my husband and children but I find that some of the most authentic time is that spent with other women. My sister friends.

That night the idea of how I wanted to spend my 50th was born. I knew I wanted to travel out of the country. I toyed with the idea of Fiji but in the end decided with the help of a friend on Turks and Caicos- for many reasons. I mentioned my plan to celebrate on an island with some friends and had such interest that I decided to open it up to a lot of my girl friends. The open invitation was sent via email and to my surprise 15 girls decided to travel with me.

This was a trip we started planning 8 months prior. The anticipation built as we got closer. We set up a group text with initially monthly then weekly teasers. I don’t think any of us had ever travelled with that number of women before. I can’t speak for the other ladies but I had some hesitation and nervousness about this many women together. There is bound to be drama. And I so wanted this to be drama free. I knew each of the women but they did not all know each other- yeah- that’s why I was worried.

The trip date finally arrived and 13 of us flew out together on the same flight. I knew from then that I had nothing to worry about. The party and the bonding started on the flight.

Once we arrived on the most gorgeous resort in paradise and met up with the other 3 women, I have to say and at this point I think I can speak for the others that we had one of the best time of our lives.

The scenery was amazing

The food was delicious

We went boating, some went sailing, diving, parasailing.

We sunbathe, had spa treatments, exercised.

We ate at world class restaurants and went dancing.

We stayed up late and talked and played games.

Time spent here was incredibly carefree and easy.

Yes that’s a rainbow- can’t make this s**t up!

In reliving and reviewing and recounting the story of my big 50th celebration to people, the most common response is “wow how did you get that many women to travel with you?” Well the answer simply is that I didn’t have 15 women travel with me to celebrate my birthday because I am special. No these women came out because we were all in need of this trip. This is all part of the living while we balance that is at the center of my blog. These are women who have spouses, children and jobs. They all saw the value of getting away for a few days to recharge. These were 4 days where we could get back to be who we were before spouses and kids and jobs. We could be carefree for a few days.

I encourage all women to do this from time to time. It will make you a much better wife, mother, and better at your job as well. Remember you cannot care for others if you are broken down.

My fantastic posse of sister friends.

I hope this gives you an idea about how you can celebrate an upcoming big birthday. Please share other great ways you celebrated.


I turned 50 in February 2018 and started thinking about my life thus far. I have lead a relatively good life and have achieved quite a bit in the time I have been on earth. I have been married for 22 years to my best friend and have 2 amazing children- a 21 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. I am the oldest of 7 children to immigrant overachieving parents who pushed us all to be the very best at whatever we did. I have an incredible network of friends, family and colleagues and a job that I love. I’m now starting to think about my second act. As I sit here contemplating, two words continue to jump out at me- LIVE! and BALANCE! Well thats it! I can start a lifestyle blog about life balance. We as women work hard daily to balance and juggle all the different roles we play in life. But as I was told recently by a dear sister “… juggling is okay, but balance is so much better.”  I hope to share with you in this blog how I live and balance.  It will seem difficult in the beginning but with time, I promise, it gets easier. The important thing is to realize that you don’t have to be perfect and to get rid of that guilt associated with the X chromosome.

You see, I am a breast cancer surgeon. I have been in practice since 2000. I have witnessed daily first hand women dealt with a devastating diagnosis. Some are diagnosed early and have a good prognosis and many are diagnosed late. These are women like you and me who are wives, mothers, sisters, friends and some with high power jobs. These are for the most part women who have taken care of everyone else ahead of themselves for years. No one ever thinks they are going to get sick or die. We like to think we are immortal, but alas we are not.

I want us to journey together to LIVE! while we can and it is all in the way we balance. Let us go back to the time before spouses, children and jobs. Let us rediscover ourselves. We are by nature caretakers. But we cannot care for others if we don’t take care of ourselves. I have a good friend who is fond of saying, “… if you die, he will remarry and your kids will be raised by someone else”. Ouch!

I want us to not live in regret. Always thinking about the what ifs. Live life to the fullest while you can. You can order dinner in instead of cooking tonight. You can hire a cleaner instead of spending precious hours cleaning the house. Your kids will be okay with a sitter from time to time so you can go get a pedicure or get your hair done.

Happy hour with some girl friends could be what the doctor ordered.

Have you had your yearly pap smear or mammogram?

When was the last time you saw a movie?

Read a good book.

Travelled for fun.

Come with me. Lets balance while we LIVE!



LIVE!- balancing life with jovita

pexels-photo-317157.jpegThanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


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