When I met my husband I was enjoying the life of a single 30 year-old workaholic. My schedule revolved around working, working out, working, going out, working, golfing, and…oh yeah…working. The night we met I remember, drunkenly, telling him I worked all the time, loved it, but was damn ready for someone to take care of me (it’s amazing this man called me the next day…and the day after that).
The first few months of dating were fantastic but tricky. I did my job exceedingly well but part of that was my willingness to drop everything for my clients. If that meant emailing them at midnight on a Wednesday, so be it. If it meant getting them reports and checking-in on a Saturday morning, fine. Customer service was my biggest priority and I made time in my personal life to make that happen in spades. Suddenly, however, I was seeing my husband every day. It meant later nights working, more weekend hours, and the beginning to the illusive search for “life balance” everyone talks about.
But then, my friends, I met the little girls. And sweet Jesus everything else was just shot to hell. Because let’s be honest…pulling reports, and sending emails? They pale in comparison to the fun, the fulfillment, and the love-bathed satisfaction I get from being a mom to my little girls.
I didn’t recognize the changes that had to be made in my professional life when my personal life began to take priority. Instead I juggled. Poorly. I talked a big game about the hours I was willing to put in, the work I was willing to take-on, and then I failed. Time and time again. At which point my talk became just that…talk. And what I was producing became less and less in line with the words that were coming out of my mouth.
It created a real discrepancy in what I know I’m capable of, what I say I’m capable of, what I WANT to be capable of, and what actually happens in any given day. And I’ve struggled with that for…well to be honest…a couple of years now.
My husband recently said, “I’m so tired of everyone TALKING about what they are going to do…just f-cking do it.” He was talking about me as much as he was about anyone else. And this has been ringing in my ears. At first I felt defensive because, obviously, there are always a million reasons not to do something. I can actually think of a trillion reasons right this second why I can’t do a variety of things that I’d like to.
Lately, however, I’ve been listening to others talk. Talk about why they can’t do something. Why they have to do something else. Why it’s “bad timing.” Why it’s “too much.” And I’m starting to get on-board with my husband’s line of thinking. So many of us, me included, are all talk. Whether it’s because of fear, or laziness, or uncertainty of how to proceed, I talk a great game, but that’s about it.
In the past few days I realized something. I AM willing to work hard. I AM willing to give more of myself. I AM willing to volunteer. But I need to love it, at least a little, for there to be any reason in the world to leave my little girls to do it. I’ve been grasping at straws, trying to figure out how to find life balance, but I’ve been following my old talk of being a workaholic instead of following my new knowledge about what I actually WANT in my life.
Old talk does nothing for me right now.
It’s time to open my eyes wide, look at my actual situation, review my actual passions and priorities, and then dive the f-ck in. Without talking a big game. It’s time to lead with my heart and my head and not my yakkity-yak mouth.
TODAY: What if instead of talking a big game, I dive in and play a big game? What if I throw my head, heart, and vulnerability out there and hope that something amazing comes back my way? And then what if I find something I LOVE, certainly not as much as my little girls, but something I LOVE nonetheless?