Why I'm Passionate About Balance
Helping You Move Forward
One of the amazing aspects of Twitter is that I'm able to talk with people from every where on the globe. Over the years I've talked with talented, creative women and men who are working to change their part of their world. Further, they're willing to take time and share with me why they're doing what they're doing. These conversations have motivated me to think very hard about why I do what I do.
I've been working as an innovator and strategist for over 25 years. For much of that I was working with large organizations. Along the way I developed a variety of ideas about software, the latest of which sits in app stores.
When my husband died in late June 2016, I was forced to stop everything (software development work, my consulting activities, my writing, and presentations) and take a pause. Taking a break, it appears in retrospect, was an excellent decision. I had no other alternative but to stop and address the emotions and logistics involved with the passing of my life partner. Out of that pause, and my subsequent phone conversations with Twitter connections, I've rediscovered why I'm so totally passionate about balance, along with the process and systems thinking required to sustain it.
It starts with a life changing event in the form of a head-on car collision while I was in college. I learned three things from being in that car accident — I was incredibly fortunate to be alive, I should always listen to my inner voice, and life was too short to spend it not doing something that you loved.
A few years later I started losing family and friends with a regularity that was terrifying. First it was my sister. Then it was a close friend. The following year it was a cousin that had been a childhood playmate. Every year, I lost another friend or family member.
All of this loss gave me a sense urgency about my loved ones. I learned it was vitally important to show my family and friends regularly how much I cared for them. Because I knew that no one was guaranteed a tomorrow. I didn't want anyone I cared about to pass out of this world without knowing how much they mattered to me. During the time that I was losing family and friends to accidents, illness, and misfortune, my husband and I were trying to start a family. That endeavor came with its own set of challenges. It was nine years and seven miscarriages later that we were finally able to welcome our daughter into our lives. We welcomed our son two years later. Both my husband and I felt that we'd been given two amazing miracles!
So there I was in 1993 and I knew I loved my:
Work. It brought me tremendous joy.
Husband and two "miracle" babies.
Friends who had supported and loved me through my journey.
This was the start of my quest for balance. I was certain in my heart that there was a way to make it happen. Along the way, I learned a ton of lessons and I stumbled more times than I could count. It was also during this journey for balance that we acquired two more children for our family and my business was steadily growing.
Still, every minute was worth it. I wouldn't trade a second of the time I spent with my family or friends for another second at work.
Last night one of my daughters gave me the greatest present a parent can ever receive. She sent me a link to an article and told me that it reminded her of me and her dad. Then she wrote, "You taught me lots of lessons, Mom, and I hope that I can teach those same lessons to my daughters."
Balance can work. You don't need to sacrifice your business to care for your family and friends. You aren't required to sacrifice your relationships with your family and friends to grow your business. It's possible (with focus and determination) to sustain both.