This time last year I was in Bali.
I was taking pictures and writing blogs about a once-in-a-life opportunity to show the world the mind-opening journey of a former client, Debbie Williamson, and the people whose lives she touches.
I was visiting a place I never thought I’d go, expanding my world view and having, frankly, the time of my life.
Two years ago this time, I was planning a wedding. Full of hope and desire and renewed belief in the possibility of relationships. Fully on board with the idea that second chances are gifts from God and embracing the change my family was about to make.
I am reminded daily that life is a journey and it’s a fast-track train hurtling forward without an itinerary. At least not one I’ve been handed. Sure, there is a path I’m on and someone up there has a clear view of where I’m going. All I can do is trust that I’m on the right path and do my best work every step of the way.
I am 41 years old. I have four children. I have already lived many lives: that of the searching twentysomething writing heart-aching poetry in the hills of Virginia; blushing Orthodox bride about to step into a world so unknown as to be momentarily exciting; maddening Orthodox wife cleaning, scrubbing, ridding my house of bread crumbs before the holiday of Passover (which begins Monday night).
The life I live now is my favorite so far. And that’s because it is fully mine. No one else’s rules guiding my daily decisions, no pre-conceived formula for success or happiness or good.
It took four decades to empower me toward my own path and personality, to embrace what was given to me at birth.
I love my work. I also love being a mother. Earlier this week, I joined Metro Parent editor Julia Elliott on WDET’s Craig Fahle Show to talk about that elusive work-life balance and the perils we face to try to have it all.
I came away from it with this nugget: if you’re ok with the balance you have, your whole family will be.
I was 100% fine with going to Bali for 10 days and my kids were fine in my absence. I am fine leaving work several days a week at 3 to pick up my kids and my kids are fine with that. I am also fine with working early in the morning or on the weekend when necessary to get everything done.
If we are ok with the choices we make, then all is good. Not everyone needs or wants to lead the board room. I don’t aspire to a career that demands a suit and neutral colors in order to have a voice of change.
I am happy exactly where I am. I believe I have it all.
An ancient Jewish quote states: who is rich? She who wants what she has.
Perhaps we are bumping up against a self-set glass ceiling. But if we’re ok with that, I guess it’s just fine, isn’t it? Yes, women CAN do anything. We just have to want to lead the free world if we are to make it happen. And I’m willing to bet that most women – and most men – don’t really want it anyway.