I recently read a book called For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. And, by “read” – I mean, I listened to it while I ran. I cannot recommend it enough. I am 100% sure that it changed my outlook on a few aspects of my life. It brought to my attention – glaringly so – that I don’t give enough grace out loud. Because I have such high expectations of myself and everyone around me, it must seem like I never allow anyone (much less myself) a moment of human-ness. And in a world with up-to-the-second facebooking, news cycling, chatter, tweeting, insta-storying and NOISE…couldn’t we all use a little human-ness…a little grace? It also made me realize that – while I try to live a transparent social media life – I want to make sure we clear up a few things.
There’s a difference between “doing it all” and “getting it all done.”
There’s also this concept of “I’m ok with letting some things go.” J
I don't do it all. I mean, I technically I didn’t even read this book. I listened to it while I was doing something else important to me.
In her book, Jen talks about things that delicately balance on the “beam” of life and things that fall to the mat.
All of life doesn't make it on to my balance beam.
I don't do laundry.
I don't clean my house.
I don't go to my sons' schools to volunteer every day / week / month.
I don't cook.
I am not the school mom that you’ll see in pick up line every day. Some days I wish I were. We call those days Mondays and Fridays.
I am not the school mom that you’ll see at any event scheduled on a Wednesday. Come on, people. I’m not asking for things to be scheduled around me – just like you aren’t asking me to attend Every. Single. Event. Right?
I’m probably not going to go on a weekend girls trip.
I don’t join book clubs or junior league or other “optional” activities (maybe they just seem optional to me?).
I no longer scrapbook for lack of time and, quite frankly, other options to document my life and kids’ lives.
I have a convenience fee. If I can make something easier for me, my family, etc. – I will likely pay to do so. If I can outsource, I will. Example: house cleaning …. OFF THE BEAM! (Unless Matt is with me, and then sometimes he won’t let me. Example: valet parking)
Sidebar: It is NOT lost on me how blessed I am to be able to operate this way in terms of outsourcing, convenience fee concepts and how we spend time with our children. My point is more about making sure what is important to YOU stays on the beam...and it's OK to let the rest fall to the mat.
Balancing my life: My travel fills up my tank for my extroverted kids. My 3 days/2 nights on the road is where I become a better mom. Other people do that through junior league or book clubs or girls weekends or whatever. I hear your whispers about “being away from my kids” – you are too, just in different ways – so, show me a little grace, please.
It is important to me to spend my nights home and my weekends with my kids… Disney, Busch Gardens, library visits, toddler sports, pool time, park time, breakfast at our favorite restaurant…all ON THE BEAM. All of them.
|Florida State Football Game|
|All in on the Noles, y'all!|
|We are a Yankees family, but we love Raymond!|
|The boys LIVE for swimming!|
The opinion of the toddler sports moms about my “bought” (vs homemade) snack is not important to me. OFF THE BEAM, every time.
I parent. Teachers teach. It’s a delicate partnership (and we have been SO LUCKY in this space!), but I won’t be at school doing their jobs just like they aren’t home with us while I do mine. Teaching is OFF the beam for me.
Your beam looks different than my beam. I’m SO thankful for that because you mommas that bring in homemade treats and spend time in the class room are my HEROES. I don’t mean to come across as critical of you, I mean to come across as APPLAUDING you. (What I don’t applaud is when I get the #SideEye for store bought snacks, though, so grace goes both ways – am I right? J) In fact, that goes for people who cook, go on girls trips, join book clubs, participate in community groups – all my HEROES. I’m thankful for what you bring to the world.
My husband is a priority. We are partnership of epic proportion. We are equals in this marriage thing and we split tasks to make it all work. Except the laundry. He’s a laundry lunatic and I can’t keep up. Matt is always ON THE BEAM. Always.
|Yes, he's grabbing my breast. #ItsFine|
My kids are a priority.
My faith is a priority. (along with my family’s faith)
My career is a priority.
My health is a priority.
My family is a priority.
My friends, specifically my GIRLS, are a priority to me. You know who you are. I needn’t name names.
My priorities get juggled daily, but they’re always ON THE BEAM in some way. Sometimes I juggle hourly because ALL OF THESE cannot be priority #1 all the time.
Humility is absolutely necessary, however, in a world where we tear each other down more than we build each other up – we must be able to speak highly of ourselves, our skills, our trajectories in life and careers. If we don’t – who will?
I’m good at a few things…
I’m a hard worker. If I committed to something, I will see it through to completion.
I can operate on 4-5 hours of sleep.
I get my second wind at 10:30pm and have been known to rearrange cabinets, pantries and drawers until 1am. It calms my brain.
I’m a leader…of people, teams, projects, business transformations, initiatives.
I'm an organizer....of vacations, dinners, cabinets, closets.
I’m a utility customer service expert.
I’m an SAP expert.
I’m a kick ass program manager and strategic planner.
I'm transparent. I don't play poker. The truth flies out of my mouth sometimes without filter. This is a blessing and a curse. I’ve gotten better over the years.
Aligned with that transparency is integrity. If I didn’t do it right or didn’t do something justice, you’ll hear it from me first. The same goes for my team or my family. If I give you my word, I will die trying to keep it.
I hold myself accountable for what is my responsibility, my teams’ responsibility or my family’s responsibility. Need I remind you that I picked up toddler poop off the Atlanta airport floor because THAT WAS MY RESPONSIBILITY as Beau’s mother….?
I hold people accountable for their work, their commitments, their responsibilities.
I care about other people's careers...and if you ask for my help, you're going to get it. If you want to succeed and do great things -- I want those things for you too!
I'm a fiercely loyal friend. I've lost two real friends in my life. One I got back. One may be gone forever.
I don't go a mile wide and an inch deep on friendships. If I'm your friend, I'm your friend in ALL seasons - good or bad.....in times of celebration and despair. I'm here.
Integrity, loyalty, accountability, responsibility and owning your strengths – ON THE BEAM!
|This isn't all of them, but you get the idea about my #WorkFam.|
I am funny and mostly I don't realize it. My friend Martin Palma tells me that all the time. He may be mostly laughing AT me rather than WITH me, but I’ll take it. Laughter will always be ON THE BEAM for me….it helps in all situations.
My children keep my humility in check by treating me like their butler, waitress, driver, personal assistant and maid. Do not fret about my level of importance at home…I’m low on the totem pole
Women can do the hard things. We can be anyone and do anything. You don’t have to do ALL the hard things or be everything to everyone. Breathe in this world of opportunity, go get what is important to you, ask for help when you need it, show the grace you expect for yourself to others and TELL THE WORLD all the things YOU’RE good at.
Having a healthy awareness of your strengths is great. Having a healthy awareness of your weaknesses takes an extremely mature person open to ongoing personal and professional growth. I have growth opportunities at work and in my personal life….in my marriage, in my family interactions, in my friend interactions. ON THE BEAM, folks…I try to pay attention!
With that said, I'm not good at these things:
I don’t have empathy for all situations.
I am not good with messes, clutter and “excess.” These things cause me IMMENSE mental stress. Everything needs to have a place….and if we haven’t used it, worn it or discussed it in a year’s time – OFF THE BEAM.
I’m a fixer…and a problem solver – and that’s not a good thing all the time. I always have to ask – “Am I in listening mode or fixing mode?”
I don’t embrace change well, but I expect my clients do. (ironic, isn’t it?)
I'm not good at the benefit of the doubt. I'm terrible at it and need to be reminded of it.
I have a short fuse.
I have a zero-tolerance policy on laziness, incompetence, and lack of integrity.
Listening to a chapter in Jen’s book (“Jen” – like we are girlfriends and on a first name basis now?) helped me learn that I “exercise compassion without enabling misconduct,” laziness or giving an "out" to hard work. I have empathy for people who want to do the work to improve their situation, but need some help/advice/a boost to get where they are going. I can relate to that. I do and can enable success. I do not believe in victims of circumstance. I do not relate to complaining without action. I do not do hand-outs. Ever. You want something? Work hard(er). Per Jen Hatmaker – “Young MC said it best: "Don't just stand there, bust a move."”
I question every parenting decision we make.
I'm terrified of heights.
New places make me anxious because I don't want to miss the good stuff a new place has to offer.
I over plan.
I over pack for vacations (but never for the work week).
I over think family dynamics.
I'm incredibly more sensitive than you know or that I portray. Many people think I don’t have feelings because of how “cut and dry” I can be at work. There are times when that is true. There are times when that is necessary. There are plenty of times when that approach is not necessary and not used. Don’t assume. The tough exterior that I’ve built to protect myself has created a reputation that isn’t always warranted. I am human.
My communication style can be perceived as harsh, mean or short-sighted. Know that nearly every move I make is a calculated one.
I am not politically correct.
I often use money to replace the time I can’t spend on something when TIME is what was really needed. (See “sidebar” above)
I’m not worldly nor culturally savvy. My real friends and colleagues know this about me and lend me grace and help me learn.
I’m not good at being bored. I shop on my Nordstrom app when I’m bored in airports. This is bad.
I’m addicted to my phone…. news, shopping, social media, games, emails, texts. #PutYourPhoneDown
I don't understand the concept of privilege and I'm not convinced it's the reason for all the problems in the world. I’m a work-in-progress on this topic.
I can be hard on the people I care about the most and the people I think have more potential than they are realizing.
On common ground…
The good news is that we have a common ground. We are all human first…. before we ever categorize ourselves with gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. There’s nothing wrong with being confident in your skills – both personally and professionally. In fact, I applaud it. If you don’t know what you’re doing well – you likely don’t know about the areas available for improvement. Self-reflection (like this blog, I guess) is a good way to find grace and humility. Assume positive intent – even when it feels unnatural. Tell the truth. Be kind. Be human. Be Brave. Be YOU. It won't look like my day (or one of the 1 billion other days you see on Instagram) and that is OK.
|We Love America.|