Monday, July 31, 2006

The Perfect Balance

Balance. It is something that I have forever longed for. Growing up I was taught to overachieve. I had a grueling schedule. It started with my parents enrolling me into activities: figure skating, music lessons, dance lessons, swimming lessons, the list goes on. I was lucky to be exposed to many activities. I was encouraged to bring home a report card filled with A's and B's. I participated in numerous after school activities: school newspaper, drama, social committee, cheerleading. (Oh God, did I just admit that?) I had a part time job to bring in some extra money. All the while, I maintained a social life.

By the time I graduated from high school I was burnt out. Even with my scholarship, I just couldn't bring myself to start more education for a career I wasn't completely sure about. I escaped to a bigger city and threw myself into music retail. I was headhunted by the competitor's chain and given huge responsibility in setting up and running a store. I loved it! I hired the best staff and it felt like my moment as a female version of High Fidelity. The store was my life. I often worked seven days a week sometimes covering both opening and closing shifts. The perks included free tickets to concerts. One particularly hectic week I fell asleep at a bar. The lead singer of the band was so offended that she decided to stand on my table to perform a little wake up routine. Good times.

Once that challenge wore off, I longed to move to a city that never sleeps. I sold my belongings and hopped on a plane for Toronto with my silverware in my carry on luggage. Can you imagine? A twenty year old girl with butter knives allowed on an airplane! I was moving to a city where I knew a grand total of two people.

I thrust myself into finding living arrangements, every necessary household item, a job that gave me the connections to quickly land into a career, as well as making new friends. I was cementing the building blocks of my life. Establishing myself. Working hard to get promotion after promotion. Networking. This was during my twenties and it goes without saying that I was having buckets of fun along the way. Big buckets!

My thirties arrived and I felt the desire to bring my lifestyle down a notch. I wanted to stay home a couple more nights a week. I valued time spent alone with my significant other. I longed for a family. Like everything else in my life, I set about on a mission to achieve my desires. Being damn lucky, a month after we were married we were expecting our first daughter. Our second daughter arrived twenty six months later.

I somehow expected that I could continue on overachieving, pushing the limits of my life so that I could have it all. I've been met with opposition that says my role now is strictly to be a mother. I don't limit myself so how dare they decide what is right for me! Who are they to know? I want to be a super version of myself. I want to do everything right, not just for me but also for my family. I have been given the opportunity to step back and reevaluate. I found that personally I need my career to be a better mother but now I'm left searching for the ultimate balance.

Balance is a trait that I know very little about. How can I start this quest successfully when I'm this far in?

Reading the words over at
The Silent K stopped me in my tracks. Krista's philosophy is striking. I knew that she deserved to be awarded A Perfect Post. Her thoughts are expressed beautifully and the image that she shares is stunning. This post is the conclusion of her previous post so you may wish to start there.

A Perfect Post

There were many others worthy of such praise. You can find them listed at Petroville and Suburban Turmoil.

12 Singing the blues:

Mrs. Chicky said...

I love hearing about your life. You are one ballsy lady, leaving town and moving to a big city to follow your dreams like that. Know that you will succeed just as much if not more at motherhood. Was that convincing? :)

Now I am off to read your nomination!

Her Bad Mother said...

What a beautiful tribute to Krista! And such a beautiful refelction on your own life, and balance, and bravery...

Mom101 said...

This is a pretty damn perfect post yourself there, Blue. I'm heading right to Krista's. Thanks.

Jana B said...

Hey, I saw you mentioned on the Silent K blog and thought I'd say hi! Always great to meet another Jana! :)

mamatulip said...

I've been grappling with balance too...it's oddly refreshing to read someone else talk about maintaining balance within their life. Great post about yourself, your life and where you are now, and such a great tribute to Krista's post.

krista said...

Thanks Jana. Your post here is beautifully written.

chelle said...

Sounds like you have the balance that works for you!

The life you chose sounds AWESOME! hehe!

I have a crush on Krista, so I totally get the link.

Pattie the Domesticator said...

Ah yes, balance...this is something I struggle with as well. I must say though, Jana, you sound like you have done pretty well so far! I will go over and check out that post. Thanks for the link.

Lena said...

I've finally realized that balance is INDIVIDUAL. Take everyone's advice and then filter it through what YOU know you and your family need.

If anyone can do it, you can. You already have the cape. ;)

Sunshine Scribe said...

Balance. Ahhh. Balance. If you figure out the magic formula then please do share. You are one strong amazing woman and I just know you'll find it.

Great pick with Krista's post. Absolutely.

I hope you had a great trip out west. I missed ya like crazy. And now to come home to learn you were both a cheerleader and the female version of high fidelity ... well I can't stop grinning :)

See ya soon my friend.

crabbykate said...

I hear ya, lady, I really hear ya on this one.

lildb said...

you sound like a movie. a movie I would totally watch, and be enchanted by.

I'm in awe of people like you, J.