Oh, and I run a business.
My work time is pretty tight.
- My husband Kurt has a fixed (if generous) number of vacation/personal time off days.
- I do not.
- Theoretically, I can work “anytime.”
But it will suck time and energy away from your business. A lot.
I do not want you to beat yourself up as a result of:
- Thinking you should get more done than you do, even though you get pulled away by your family's other priorities
- Comparing yourself and your achievements to others who may devote several-fold more hours to work than you do, because they have a partner who absorbs these kinds of frequent contingencies, because they delegate many of these tasks to staff, or because they do not divide their loyalties between business and other things they care about.
- Neglecting, as I did for several years after my daughter was born (ahem.. 3 years ago) to understand that new commitments outside work must either be matched with a commensurate reduction in your work commitments OR exert a toll that will be deducted from your own well-being in concrete and measurable ways. Like unintended weight gained or lost. Aches, pains, fatigue. Irritability. ...I don't want you to wonder why you're grumpy and feeling unhealthy and ungrateful for a life you actually love in a lot of ways.
I did all that. And I've walked it through. What's sweetest now is feeling the right-size-ness of my business. The way She fits into my life among my other priorities. The way I've designed (and refined, and redesigned again!) Her to be ready for the vagaries of my beautiful, wild, kid-filled, my-own-mom-visiting life.
I scaled my expectations of myself down.
I cut expenses I didn't need (even some that I felt like I SHOULD have, if I was a bona fide business owner or fabulous woman) as much as I need the flexibility to love my business AND love my family. And I've -- my dearest business confidantes would say, FINALLY -- settled down into this phase of life I'm in, this fleeting magnificent chapter where my babes need so much of me and I get to do the things with them I know I'll miss for all the years I live after they're gone.
This period has so many challenges, so many demands, so many draining moments where I have to be the prevailing limbic system even though the urge is so strong to throw my OWN tantrum... But it is MY chapter.
It is my NOW. And I am NOT a failure because the other things I value conscribe my business into a smaller circle than it would, in its abstract theoretical potential, occupy.
I am a success because I am working every day to fit and re-fit the pieces of my life into one whole in which I can live and thrive - not without struggle, but turned on by every stroke that comes my way.