Keeping the balance…

(Here I am with my sisters Jane and Erica, the birthday girl)

It took awhile to dawn on me, but I just discovered that the issue of work/life balance continues even after your children have left the nest. While I no longer have to balance press conferences with soccer matches, or editorial deadlines with school concerts, I realize that this transition might not mean going full tilt to the “all work” mode…a place where I have been for quite some time, and thought that’s where I was meant to stay.

What caused me to reconsider?  A family weekend for my sister’s surprise birthday put more than 1,500 miles between me and my laptop — something that hasn’t happened for more than two years. It’s amazing what you can see when you look up from the computer screen — did you know that the people who have shaped you and been a part of your life forever, have been growing and thinking and becoming more amazing and wonderful while you weren’t watching? It’s true.

In less than 48 hours, here’s what I experienced:

*A joyful airport reunion with one of my sisters;

*Meeting more than 100 of our youngest sister’s friends, work associates and the people that make up her universe today;

*The unbelievable look of shock and surprise when she first saw us — that was worth the whole trip;

*The chance to get better acquainted with my niece and nephews and wonderful brother-in-law;

*The lovely realization that you can enjoy your parents and the adult versions of your siblings even more than during the earlier stages;

*The knowledge that none of this could have occurred by phone, email or social media.

The result?  Chances are the 60+ hour work week will continue for quite some time — mostly because I am passionate about what I do and enjoy almost every minute of it.  However, I know that I don’t want  that to come between me and the life experiences that make a life — so next time it will be much harder to say, “I can’t” and much more important to try to find a way to say, “I can.” It won’t happen overnight — but hopefully I can begin to find my balance.

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