A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire
As Vice President of Finance at a national non-profit, I spend a lot of time thinking about balance -- journal entries, balance sheets, growth projections. One would think since I have a level of skill in those areas I must be in control of my life. Sadly, this is not the case.
I have three boys who are running in opposing directions. From the moment I walk in the door from work, I'm accosted by notices from school, paperwork that needs attention, or the question: "Mom, what’s for dinner?"
I love the structure of my job and the freedom to use my skills of analysis. But there’s a flip side to every coin, including mine.
I need the craziness of home. I need to hear the high pitched squeal of a child chased by his brother.
I love the idea of kids from the neighborhood looking through the screen door to see what I'm baking, in the hope I’ll share.
I like watching my children's faces when they understand their math homework because I could explain it.
Apparently, I'm not so much a coin as I am a dice with multiple sides. When I stopped thinking about balancing everything and just enjoying each element of life, it stopped being such a stress inducing chore, and I found I had time to pursue other interests like writing.
That's not to say I do it gracefully. I’ve snapped at my kids when they all came at me asking for something. I've overcooked dinner because I was returning e-mail and forgot to flip the chicken. I've gone to work with shoes that didn't match because I was too sleepy to notice my feet were different colors.
People ask me how I find time to write on top of everything else I do. I tell them I don't find it -- I make it. The trade off is that my house isn't spotless all the time. (Recently, when I discovered someone was about to drop-in, I hid clutter in my dishwasher.)
My office is ordered and controlled. My home is loud and crazy. I don’t prefer one over the other; I need both. Balance in life isn't about making things equal. It’s saying I'm willing to sacrifice what other people say I should do (mop my kitchen floor) in order to do what I want to do (take pictures of my children jumping in piles of leaves).
When I go to bed at night, there are days when I relax in the knowledge that my children are sleeping peacefully in their rooms. Part of a story has been captured on my hard drive. My husband is next to me, providing security no alarm company can match. My office will still be there the next morning. In those moments, I understand balance is not about getting things done so much as it is about enjoying the journey and resting in the knowledge of what has been accomplished, knowing there will be more excitement when the sun splits the sky again.
Note: This essay first appeared on Jennifer's blog. Read more here.
Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects.