Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Both of my girls are home now. Katie arrived, safe and sound, last night. I snapped this picture of the two of them, holding hands, at the airport. If I have done nothing else in this world right, I have raised two amazing young women.

I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Balancing Act

Last week's assignment in "The Artist's Way" was about balance. Actuall, it was about "Recovering the Sense of Possibility". For me, I found encouragement to focus on finding time for yourself and others - without turning into a pansy. I walked away from the chapter pondering on the question, "Am I running my life or is my life running me"? The timing of this chapter, along with all of the other things going on in my life, was not lost on me.

After the meltdown of a few weeks ago, I have tried to be very intentional about balance. I've been intentional about how I spent my time, where I spend it and with whom. I've also tried to focus on priorities: my family, my friends, my work, myself. And that has meant drawing some lines and putting up some boundaries.

I thought through some requests on my time from "needy" friends. I set boundaries on how much of my time and energy I would give them. And, I stuck to it. I thought through other requests for my time. In some instances, I plunged in. In others, I said No. Most importantly, in every instance, I didn't feel guilty. MY time was just that - mine. I owned it. I was focused on how to spend it. And it felt good.

I've also been spending more time focused on Helen's academics. Unlike her sister, she does not have a tremendous amount of self-discipline. As a result, she has been struggling at school. Not because she isn't bright or intelligent, but because she doesn't have strong study skills and the discipline to actually study rather than watch television after school. I've been racing to pick her up and bring her back to the office. It has made me feel like a contestant on "The Amazing Race" - but without the hope of $1,000,000 at the last pit stop.

I got my prize today --- or the realization that all of this extra effort has been worth it. She got 100 on some extra credit she worked on last week. She sat down and did her homework this afternoon with minimal nagging from me. She has only watched the 6:30 news since we got home. She seems calmer about her school work. And, more confident. I am thrilled. I'm also realistic. I'm enjoying today because who knows what tomorrow will bring. But for today, the racing around has accomplished a goal. Time and attention for my daughter. There is plenty of work to be done, at the office and here at home. But I made an intentional decision about how to spend my time. And, today, it has paid off.