Despite my best intentions to establish better patterns, life happens. In my case, last weekend I had to pick up my husband early from a conference (luckily it was in Baltimore, not cross-country) when he came down with a fever, chills. Turns out he had the flu. My next concern was how to keep my daughter and myself well, given she is in a high-risk age group for complications and any cold I have gotten in the last two years has blown up to an acute upper respiratory infection, so wasted was my immune system from stress. My body was exhausted (like pregnancy tired) the whole week. I felt my immune system fighting off the flu (yes!) and then my daughter came down with a high fever that, thankfully, was not the flu. The whole week I was caretaker, mom, nurse, maid, cook – all at the same time. In a previous life, like before February 28, I would have pushed myself to keep up with the workouts, the writing, all of it and TOTALLY BURNED MYSELF OUT.
“I accepted that tension that I will not get everything done that I want to get done; I will get done what needs to be done.”
The takeaway here is, yes, establish new habits and don’t tolerate excuses from yourself to put forward your best effort. However, there is that thing called work-life balance that so many of us struggle with in the real world. It was the number one scourge on my team, and it is WITHIN OUR CONTROL. So, in using what I learned from my corporate life, I cut myself some slack last week. I accepted that tension that I will not get everything done that I want to get done; I will get done what needs to be done. Yes, I am a writer. But, my most important role is a mother and wife. Relationships are our nourishment, and our actions will always communicate our intentions more than our words. My best effort last week was to be love and security and safety to my daughter and husband when they were physically down and needed support. I am back in the saddle writing this week, and I do not have regrets that I withheld anything from my family.