Monday, May 4, 2015



The Balance Project is a story of loyalty, choices, and balance that will resonate deeply with all women who struggle with this hot-button issue.

Loyal assistant Lucy Cooper works for Katherine Whitney, who seems to have it all: a high-powered job at a multibillion-dollar health and wellness lifestyle company, a successful husband, and two adorable daughters. Now, with the release of her book on work-life balance, Katherine has become a media darling and a hero to working women everywhere. In reality, though, Katherine’s life is starting to fall apart, and Lucy is the one holding it all together, causing her own life—and relationship with her boyfriend Nick—to suffer. When Katherine does something unthinkable to Lucy, Lucy must decide whether to change Katherine’s life forever or continue being her main champion. Her choice will affect the trajectory of both of their lives and lead to opportunities neither one could have imagined.


Katherine adjusts her earpiece and returns to a phone call that she had put on hold while we were in the elevator.

I am happy to have a moment to breathe. Between handling the incessant calls that came in for Katherine today and managing her social media accounts (tweet, retweet, favorite, post, share, like, comment, begin again), and every other little thing that I do to keep her life—personal, professional, and otherwise—in order, I realize I’m praying at the altar of busy and lighting incense to cover the stench.
I’ve been thinking about what I want a lot lately. Both as it relates to my future with Nick and my career. The Nick part seems simple. We’re happy being Nick and Lucy. Sure he’s frustrated that I’ve been so busy lately, but he’s building his career, too, so he understands why I have to do what I do. Lately, though, when I think about my career, I get a nervous stomach. This running around, putting out fires, existing only so that Katherine’s life runs smoothly is not what I picture when I envision a perfect day in the life of Lucy’s career. But I’m paying my dues. Head down, hard work, no complaints.

“Okay. So,” Katherine says, shifting her position so she can look me in the eye. “How is everything going?”
Well, my boyfriend is upset with me because not only am I missing the dinner celebrating the biggest thing that’s ever happened in his career, but I’ve also been terribly neglectful of our relationship. Taking proper care of your balanced life is preventing me from having any semblance of balance in my own. I haven’t gone for a run in months. I have been going to bed way too late and getting up way too early to keep up with everything at work. My face is a swarming mess of angry, stress-related zits. I haven’t had time to do laundry, so this is the fifth time in the last two weeks that I’ve worn this whitish blouse, if you haven’t noticed. I’ve been eating spicy Cheetos for dinner. And things are so busy at work that I never feel like I’ll ever catch up. 

“Fine,” I say cheerfully. This is my job after all and I can’t afford to lose it. Rent. Cable. Spicy Cheetos. 

“I know I ask a lot of you, Lucy, and I hope you know that I appreciate you more than I can even say.”

“I know. It’s all good, Katherine. Don’t worry about me.”

“Okay, but if things start really getting out of hand and you need me to bring in reinforcements, I can do that. My life might be out of control, but your life doesn’t have to be.”

“Got it. Work-life balance and all. Thanks, I’ll make sure to let you know if I start taking up the bottle due to my high stress levels and lack of time to eat.” I smirk. She knows my act by now.


Barnes & Noble 


Originally from Los Angeles, Susie Orman Schnall graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Schnall has written for national and local publications about parenting and health. She lives in New York with her husband and their three young boys.


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