This blog, that is.
It came to me this morning as I was getting ready to go for a run before leaving for breakfast with my sponsor, followed by an “open” AA meeting (a meeting open to anyone, regardless of whether or not you’re an alcoholic), followed by a blogging seminar, with a quick trip home in-between to make something that Emma could throw in the oven for dinner. I was just about to put on my running clothes, and David said the magic words, “Mommy, will you snuggle on the couch with me”? And in about 5 seconds, I evaluated the situation, and decided to snuggle instead of going for a run. I could say it was a gut decision. But I know that I actually spent about 5 seconds quickly evaluating the options. On the “pro-run” side, I was going to be sitting in a hotel conference room for two hours in the afternoon, and it would have been good to get some exercise. On the “pro-snuggle” side, I went for a run yesterday, I wasn’t feeling particularly sluggish, and I wasn’t going to get to spend much time with the kids today. Easy decision.
It’s cliche to say that life with kids and a career is a balancing act. I would bet that you could read thousands of blog posts about it every day from moms who are always feeling guilty. Do I really have anything new and fresh to add to that conversation?
But here’s the thing: I don’t feel guilty. I’m not sure what you call a person like me, but for some reason, the word “satisficer” comes to mind. I don’t know if that’s the correct use of the term (I think I’ve heard it before in the context of purchsing decisions), but whatever, I’m going to make it my own. The fact is that I have friends who work longer hours. And friends who take their kids to the park more. And friends who run marathons. And friends who are more active in Al-Anon. But I prioritize my life, I make choices, and I do a good job (not a perfect job) at all of the things I do. And I let go of the things I can’t do, or that I do at less than 100%. The bottom line is that my kids are happy, healthy, bright, and well-behaved (well, Margaret’s not so well-behaved, but it’s not really my fault – she was born that way). I’m well-respected at work, and I do work that I’m proud of. I have wonderful friends. I have so many blessing in my life. Why feel guilty about it?
This blog is about my observations and experiences as a wife, mom, higher ed marketer, daughter, sister, runner, cook, Al-Anon member, friend, singer, pianist, Episcopalian book-lover, and how I manage to do a good enough job at all of them without feeling guilty.
That wasn’t a randomly-ordered list, by the way, but a prioritized order. Things change – the priorities will probably change order at some point. And if something gets out of whack, I’ll have to adjust things. I may have to let things go. I may want to add other things. I’ve already made choices in my career based on that element being really out-of-whack (not so much that I worked too many hours, but that I HATED MY JOB and that threw everything out of whack.)
So that’s what this blog is about. Whew – I’m so glad that’s settled. I guess I have to change the name of it at some point, because “Laughter is the Best Medicine” doesn’t really fit. But that will be a decision for another day…