Make time every day to laugh and smile. That is Christina Anton Garcia’s motto, and she describes herself as “extremely passionate and energetic, loves life and lives it to the fullest.”
She is married and a soon-to-be mother of two, with a 2 year old son and baby girl on the way. The family also includes 3 alpacas, 6 chickens, a bunny and a schnauzer.
The divorce lawyer’s positive outlook translates well to her. “I love what I do for a living even though people find that hard to believe. There could not be a better job for me because I love advocating for my clients and their children. It is a very consuming job but also rewarding.” Garcia enjoys being her own boss and is proud of all she has achieved at home and at work.
What do you think is the secret to your family’s success?
Spontaneity, fun, laughter, organization, and always making time for each other. With my husband and I both having demanding work schedules, it takes a lot of organization to make things work. We are both flexible and understanding with each other’s work commitments. We both make our family a priority and have had to reduce our “outside of work” activities. Our values are in line with one another. We eat dinner together every night and spend as much time as possible with each other. Zander loves to make us laugh and keeps us on our toes. The constant joy and smiles he brings make it easy to be a successful family. Thankfully we have a lot of help from my mother, father and other family members. Being a divorce attorney, I often have a front row seat to mistakes others made, which caused their family to fall apart. This helps to avoid falling into those pitfalls.
What is your biggest fear?
I used to fear failure. Instead I have realized that if/when failure occurs that should be looked at as a learning opportunity. Failure is often a part of the process on the road to success. I believe fear often paralyzes and holds individuals back from achieving their full potential. The fear of failure is often worse than the failure so I have learned to let go of any fears. I still do freak out at the sight of large snakes though.
What advice would you give to other women?
Don’t ever make excuses. Excuses only hinder success. Instead work harder. There is no substitute for hard work. Every individual you know that accomplished something great worked hard to accomplish it and continues to work hard to maintain it. Dreams can become a reality with enough dedication and effort. Follow your heart. If your heart is behind what you are doing than it will seem much more effortless. I truly enjoy my work so when I have to work on vacations it does not bother me. Lastly, but very importantly, the world is no longer dominated by men. Woman are valued and recognized for the unique perspective they bring to business. Others generally embrace that. If they don’t embrace it, then show them why they should.
What is your proudest moment?
I am the most proud of being Zander’s mom. It is such an honor to have a child. He brings so much joy and laughter into our lives! Every day is different with our sweet little 2 year old. Right now, I am proud when he cleans up or uses his manners, but I know in time there will be other things he will do to make me proud. We are expecting a baby girl and are honored to be so blessed.
What is your biggest achievement?
Opening my own law firm, Anton Castro Law, 3½ years ago is my biggest accomplishment. Every day in law school, I dreamed of one day having my own firm. It’s been a tireless amount of work but so rewarding and exciting. Having your own business allows you creativity in every dimension and brings about constant challenges, which I enjoy. I practice family law, which brings about a great deal of personal reward in that I am working in a position to further the best interests of a child, whether it be in a divorce, paternity, custody or domestic violence situation. We have expanded the firm practice areas to now include family law, estate and trust law, criminal defense and personal injury. We currently have five attorneys and growing!
What makes you happy?
My husband. As cheesy as it sounds, I am a total romantic despite being a divorce attorney. There is just something about him that drives me crazy in a good way. He’s incredibly fun, sexy, smart, successful and supportive! He provides the true definition of the word partner. He has been incredibly supportive and helped me to grow and better Anton Castro Law on so many levels. Most importantly, he is a wonderful father.
How do you relax and take time for yourself?
I enjoy a good long run to clear my head. I used to run a lot of distance races, but lately I haven’t had enough time to train so I just run a few miles outside and enjoy the time away from my phone! Everyone needs alone time and a break from technology every day! I also enjoy relaxing on Pass a Grille beach with my family or a trip to visit our alpacas in Odessa at Golden Spirits Alpaca Ranch. Alpacas are a lot like big dogs that can be very affectionate. It’s very peaceful in the country to just hang out and walk around the beautiful green grounds with our girls! I also always enjoy a good spa with my mom!
What kind of message would you like to give women in the area or in this community?
Surround yourself with people that make you better and inspire you. There is no room for negativity or those that bring you down when you are on the road to success. Happiness creates success. Other happy and successful people will gravitate to you. Positive energy goes a long way. Always remember to give back. You don’t get where you are going without help. Usually there were a lot of people that helped mentor you along the way. Always make time in your busy schedule to help mentor others and give to those in need.
What else would you like to share with our readers? About being a mom, about your work?
You can have it all, just not usually the way you imagined it. It’s all about balance. While difficult to have a career and young children, it’s not impossible. There are times I’m either feeling work guilt or mommy guilt. It’s learning to let go of the guilt and just give your all to every component of your life. Flexibility is the key to the balance for me. I take Thursday mornings off to enjoy my son so I end up working many nights after he goes to bed. Keep your priorities straight and boundaries clear.
How do you enjoy or draw information from the magazine?
The magazine always contains so many awesome and pertinent articles, whether it’s a private school guide or what’s happening in Tampa this month. I feel like it keeps me connected with other parents and in the know. I always find the articles useful and interesting!
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids in the Tampa Bay area?
We love Lowry Park Zoo. My son loves animals and is really good at making animal sounds so it’s a blast to watch him “talk” to the animals in their language. It’s such a large zoo with so many great animals! We are so lucky to have one of the nation’s top zoos in our backyard.
Who is your biggest inspiration or role model?
My best girlfriends are my inspiration. They are comprised of business owners, an engineer, a doctor, a teacher, and, of course, several attorneys. Being around other successful women creates a cloud of good energy and an amazing think tank. We all inspire and encourage each other. Now that we are getting older, we no longer spend girl’s night out talking (just) about men, but instead talk about our careers, businesses and families. I am always inspired when I hear the things my girlfriends are accomplishing. Many of them I have known for years and remember when they had dreams of accomplishing many of the things they currently are. It’s awesome to watch their dreams come true.