going back to your wonderful questions, several of you asked what i do for a living (specifically why i'm always getting on or off an airplane!) and how i try to strike balance between work & life. well, i can't promise answers, but i can promise honest ramblings.
i'm a military wife. that means we move every couple of years, ryan can deploy at a moment's notice, and there' are a lot of other responsibilities that come with this enormous blessing in our lives. i'm so gosh darn proud of my husband. i don't mind stop, dropping and rolling when paperwork is needed or we have some new challenge ("ok, now you're moving with one week notice of where that will be!"). i'm far from perfect at it, but my mom has been looking my whole life to find a way to teach me patience -- and i've finally met my match: the u.s. navy. we're currently stationed in virginia, which we love.
i also work for a nonprofit that works with wounded & disabled veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan to help them find, through volunteering, meaning & purpose in their lives again. this generation of veterans is amazing -- and they have a lot left to give. it's an incredible, rapidly growing organization. it's far from a 9-5 (unless you mean 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. too), and, get this, it's based in st. louis. so a lot of my travel is going half way across the country & back again, but we work nationally, so i also do a fair amount of other travel. it's a privelege to work on something with so much meaning. it's deeply personal too. i want an organization like this to exist, if, God forbid, ryan were to get wounded, i would want him to come home to an opportunity like the ones we create -- we're doing good work.
so, now let's throw in everything you see on t&f. i love to cook, have dear friends over to share in those meals, do yoga, read, and put together a home where everything has meaning and is in its' place. i love hanging out with my family. it's really important to us that we're connected to a church. i have dear friends who are scattered to the wind & i love visiting them. we're in that stage of life where every time we blink a friend is getting married or having a baby -- those moments deserve pause & celebration. i aspire to garden. we love going to movies, even if they aren't blockbuster hits. i have some blogs i just love reading. i can't get enough time with my husband -- whether he's just saying funny things or we're going on an adventure. i love writing letters especially with my grandmother & godmother. & every now and then, i'd like to just sit around and contemplate my naval (this is an expression, my editor, ryan, doesn't think it is, but it is) or read a magazine.
so, did i mention i'm human? & i get tired. and worn out. and things take way longer than they should. and i screw them up. or i just don't feel motivated. or really just wish it was already done (ever have those moments? when you think you might walk in the kitchen & a healthy, delicious dinner will magically be sitting there? or you look at your credit card bill & honestly think, "this might go down!" ?!?)
all this to say, i think about this question ALL the time. i mull it over with dear friends. i come up with new game plans. my plans fall apart completely. i reach a new brick wall. i ask big questions. i come to ryan in tears. i think for 2 seconds i might have figured it out (ha!) and then remember why that's impossible.
i am increasingly trying to live a present life. when i'm working -- to really work, to give it everything i have, it deserves it. when i'm with ryan, i kick my blackberry to the curb & am present. when i need rest, and my body is so abundantly clear about that, i try to take it. i try to reflect, when i put my head down at night -- was this a day well lived? what stopped it from being one? i pray. and i look to those far wiser than i am. i lean on my husband. and i try to make new mistakes (not, for the millionth time, think i can continue to not make time for exercise & be happy). i'm trying to pay attention & be honest with myself.
there are days i don't get the emails out i want to, we do frozen pizza (again), we give up on a project or i disappoint a friend. there are days i lose my patience, say something to ryan i wish i could take back or know my third cold this winter is my body's way of telling me i need to slow down.
this is the plight for our generation (especially, i'd say, for women) -- never before have we lived in such a connected, demanding world. the funny thing when i step back and think about why i really love the blogs i do -- is because they illuminate simplicity -- camping. cooking a good meal. getting outside. making something. living simply so others can simply live. those things were much more of a given a few generations ago, now it's almost rebellious to make them a regular part of your life. ("you're going to go off the grid every weekend?!")
i don't know about you, but we're taking it one day at a time. ok readers, would love to know your thoughts! (p.s. love this quote)