Road trips and “In-laws” and traffic,… oh my!

The joys of life can only be fully savored when there is a degree of “balance” in our lives. 

How do you choose to manage the duties, responsibilities, relationships and professional commitments that are yours to grow and maintain?

My “first” life’s focus was nearly exclusively on family.  I was raised to be my mother.  She personified the consummate homemaker, mother, charitable volunteer, wife, neighbor, church goer and coordinator extraordinaire!  It was clear to me and each of my 4 other sisters that she was the goal, or at least the role she played and how she played it.

I tried that dance, for the most part rather successfully, always placing my husband and children first in every equation, avidly studying in my holistic profession and applying its benefits directly and almost exclusively to my family first.  My years of education, travelling abroad in pursuit of knowledge and growing my career came to a standstill.  I had my priorities and I was expected to fulfill them.  I even found that I wanted to.

But as all life’s roads diverge and challenge us with new opportunities, I too found myself in new territory as a single mother and provider of my 4 children and was genuinely lambasted by the demands each of my new vocations required of me.  Where were the hours to be a full-time mother?  I still have children requiring homeschooling, which I provided up until that point, how to address my children’s’ educational needs?  Who will make the meals, read the endless school papers and put the children to bed?  How on earth are all these other single, professional mothers doing this?  Who, for heaven’s sake has time to volunteer in the school or show up for the dreaded parent-teacher conferences?

I was completely displaced.  I had many, many anxious questions and eventually I realized that I simply wasn’t going to be stellar in every single one of my endeavors!  Really?  OH YES!

So what was most important to me, personally?  What were my emerging values and where was my precious time going to be the most meaningful?

I decided immediately that my previous values and heartfelt devotion to family was still primary and unshakable.  My children would only BE children for a short time and those years could never be recalled and lived fully once gone.

At that time and today, I find my balance in the day-to-day while holding my anchored notion that they, my children and now, my new husband, came first.  Now that doesn’t mean that I drop a client to take the family for ice cream.  What that means is I haven’t shifted the drive to grow and serve through my practice at the expense of my dearest ones.

So, this summer we took several, scattered weeks off to attend my family reunion in Colorado and my husbands reunion in upstate New York.  We had an impromptu weekend with dear friends in Myrtle Beach. We turned these trips into memory building extravaganzas!  We filled each juicy moment with adventures and thrills, to include ziplining through the majestic Rocky Mountains, packing ourselves en mass into an overfull Rockies baseball game and enduring the waves of rainstorms unshaken, singing and cursing through the gridlock and traffic of the New Jersey turnpike, insatiably playing rounds of canasta with the in-laws, storming through New York City with the aunts and uncles conquering one city block at a time, and being lulled into slumber under a full moon over the water, on a blow up mattress off the balcony of our friends overfull condo!  

Did I lose business?  Did my income diminish somewhat?  Was I as rested as I could have been if I had chosen to stay home and serve more clients, teach more workshops or write more blogs?  Perhaps.  Was it totally and completely worth it?  YOU BET!

You see, the Universe is unending abundance,… the ultimate giver.  There was more clients to be met, more business to be made and many more dollars to show up in my life.

The point is, I am finding my balance.  I am living fully, loving completely and holding time in precious now that it is.  And enjoying it too!

Have you found yours?  Carpe Diem!!!