Just before my son's wedding this spring, I was considering what I could share about Michael at the rehearsal dinner. As I sorted through pictures from his childhood, I came across one from 5th grade. Michael played the main character in Leo Tolstoy's Christmas story, "Papa Panov". During the performance, he stayed in character and delivered his lines flawlessly. He received many compliments from the school faculty. And, yet, Michael concluded, "I'm never going to do this again." Why? "Mom, I had to miss too many recesses for play practice."
As I reflected on our family narrative, Michael is the one member of our family who has understood and consistently lived out work/life balance. He knew when he was giving up too many recesses. I began to think about that. Why do I struggle so with making the choice to say "no" to some things in order to say "yes" to a more balanced and healthy lifestyle? Several reasons quickly came to the surface:
- I get a lot of positive strokes from folks when I am uber-productive. After all, until recently, my mantra has been, "Sure, I can handle that. I'm a two-bucket woman!"
- The idea of allowing myself to play or simply be seems to lack value/worth in my distorted economy of self.
I have been working on how to change this internal dynamic. For the past several years, I have taken a full evening every month to sit in silence and do some guided reflection. I have decided to change my image of being a "two-bucket woman". Currently, I'm playing with the idea of a new image--a member of a chorus line--which reminds me of being part of a vibrant community committed to both work and fun. 🙂 I have also included Brené Brown books in my reading. Her material reminds me to live wholeheartedly with myself and others. And, serendipitously, I have become a grandmother. You can call me Omi. When my granddaughter comes over, I stop anything and everything I am doing to simply delight in her. Our morning routine includes swinging, a morning glory muffin at Whole Foods, exploring books at The Regulator, and visiting our friendly fireman at Durham Fire Station #2.What have you done to gain more balance in your life? Click To TweetRemember to take Michael's advice and try not to miss too many recesses!