The universe keeps sending me the same challenges and messages, and I’m pretty sure it’s so that one of these days, I actually get it right.

Friday night, driving home from an incredible Yoga Shelter class (thanks Bryan!), a songwriter on Canada Live shared a story about a fellow musician who, in his last concert before he died, said that he was not panicked when told his illness was incurable. I had a sense of peace because I knew I would not change a thing – I was living life the way I wanted to, the way I was meant to, the songwriter said.

Yesterday morning, I read the February issue of Vogue, where a woman wrote about how a brain aneurysm taught her to slow down and not focus on work so much. “I really believe crisis creates opportunity,” said the woman, who is one of those rare individuals who not only survives an aneurysm, returns to full function. Did she return to the office for an 80-hour week after her recovery? No. She worked less and focused on her children more.

While I love my work, I have not yet achieved work-life balance. What brings me the most satisfaction and inspiration is coaching my son’s soccer team, reading a really good book, hiking in the woods, teaching writing. How much of my time is spent with the latter activities?

Another lesson that keeps coming ’round is to choose the people I work with carefully. That’s about trusting instincts and when someone I try to work with just isn’t easy, doesn’t accomplish tasks as promised or in a timely fashion, it is time to cut them loose and move on to the next possibility. Point-blank, hands-down, no questions asked, no strings attached. It’s business, people. No feelings, no emotions, no drama. Just get the work done for the sake of doing the work.

It’s a cold Sunday in Michigan. I’ve finished two projects before 9:30 a.m. and had half a cup of Israeli coffee. Chaim Potok’s The Promise is calling to me from the bedside table. Which will I choose? Work in the quiet day or the beauty of words and meaning? A snuggle on the sunroom couch with the love of my life or pushing against the clock to do-do-do? Only time will tell.

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