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The Social Distancing Experiment Continues: St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Scavenger Hunt

Ok, all – we are mid-way through our first week of social distancing.  Full disclosure – this eLearning experiment is painful when both parents are also trying to work full time from home at the same time.  I feel more torn at times now that they are home with me, rather than less.

Yet, there are so many bright spots. Social media has many faults, but when you are isolating in your home, the connections through FB messenger, Messenger Kids, etc. allow us to laugh, cry, scream, and make wonderfully sarcastic comments about everything that is happening.

The beauty with yesterday – St. Patrick’s Day – is that the creative genius of other parents made the rounds, and my kids were able to have some bright moments in a time that they are trying to find stability in an unbalanced world. It started with a shared post on Facebook:

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A stranger started it, possibly from another stranger, and over the course of 48 hours thanks to social media, 1000s of families,  maybe more created Shamrocks and “hid” them in their windows. On a sunny but cold day, families isolated while walking together trying to find the shamrocks in windows for “recess.”

As I shared the story with a someone on my team, who is 23 and single, he started getting excited, sharing that he kept seeing families in his neighborhood walking around looking at windows.  He looked out (15 miles away from me) and saw shamrocks and laughed. We hung up as he started desperately looking for some type of coloring device in his apartment with the intent of making a shamrock.

The beauty of all of this: A small simple act unified people even while separation was key.  Social media can be a curse, but in the coming weeks, it can also be a blessing. And while we separate to protect ourselves from “the virus,” going “viral” may actually help us stay together.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and try something fun or new today.  Maybe your small, simple act can change the world tomorrow…

Balance doesn’t exist

I have never been very balanced in my approach to things. I’ve been all or nothing for everything. Sports. Work. School. Love….  You get the idea!

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I jump into what I’m doing head first because it is the only way that I know how to do things. When I’m working, I’ve been an 80-hour-a-week girl or I’m not successful. I told my husband that I loved him after three weeks of dating. Granted, my hubby isn’t the most balanced individual either, but I love him for it. This approach has worked well for me throughout the first 28 years of my life, and then, it just didn’t.

My oldest son was born with a bang! He was a month early via emergency c-section as I was in the midst of severe pre-eclampsia. I had worked 70-hours trying to finish up some major projects while also trying to prep for my in-laws holiday celebration. Probably not my wisest moment. My little man spent two weeks in the hospital, and I spent 10 days there.  My husband was terrified, my mom had to fly in three weeks early after the doctors finally realized my horrible headache was a brain hemorrhage. To say the least, it was an adventure.

Since that crazy day, I’ve continued to struggle to find that perfect balance. Less work, more work. Less TV, more TV. Less wine, more wine. For eight years, no matter what I try, I constantly feel unbalanced. Is it me? Is it everyone? What can I do better?

My hypothesis – BALANCE IS AN ILLUSION. Single or married. Kids or no kids. We all constantly struggle with finding balance. It’s why there are is a booming business in self-help books and programs. I am fairly confident that 90% of personal bloggers touch on it at some point in time.

We all want balance. The perfect balance. But life changes on us. It evolves from week to week and day-to-day. Today, we live our lives from meeting to meeting and event to event. Half of us rely on our digital calendars, others use their day planners, and most of the rest have a calendar hung up somewhere in the home.

How do you find true balance when the structure that helps you navigate your life is rigid and inflexible? I am not convinced you can. Instead, I think you have to look at yourself and understand where you can adapt and evolve. Drop something that you are comfortable with – either short-term or long-term. Recognize that true balance is fluid. One week, work might need more, and one week,our family may need more. Hell, one week you need to focus on you more. Allow yourself to be flexible and you might find that real balance is actually coming from embracing an evenly unbalanced life.