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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

I woke up this morning at 4:30 am my time thinking about something I forgot to do yesterday. I had promised to submit a short paragraph to my colleague, on behalf of my boss, for a report. My eyes opened. Reality hit me. And once my brain kicked into conscious gear I knew I needed to get up and just take care of it. Apologize for it being forgotten and just send it in.

So… here I sit. Selfishly, I snuggle up to my laptop and find a spot for my fingers to fly in the brain dump that is this blog post.

I decided a long time ago (2-3 years maybe) that to say you are busy is a very ambiguous term. What is busy to one person is not so busy to another. That doesn’t make anyone less busy it just makes it more one of those concepts that is quantified in the eye of the beholder. One day listening to my mom describe her day and appointments and stress over busy-ness she laughed and said something about “I don’t know why I’m telling you all this, you are probably laughing at me over saying how busy I am.” At the time, I agreed with her and yet I was struck profoundly by the fact that honestly, if you feel you are busy, whether you have 10 things on your to do list, or just 1, then you are busy.

Now, excuses on the other hand? Well those can just be downright irritating when it comes to busy. I had the one item I forgot yesterday at work which I will amend today, and then I had another last night with us wanting Nina to start up again at the Bistro. She will be performing every other Friday and I picked the wrong Friday to catalog it in my brain. Nina is incredibly cool and flexible and was very kind at my forgetfulness. She’ll start next Friday.

Busy-ness when it comes to collaboration and partnerships to accomplish something big is entirely different. I can be as understanding as the next guy when it comes to needing to deal with sick relatives. But, to start laying busy-ness and lack of follow through on kid associated busy-ness starts to irritate. Again, this is a vent so forgive me. I try very hard (and do fail as I am human) to never use my kids or my husband as an excuse. I decided this very early on when I married a colleague I taught with. I decided that it was unprofessional. I decided that because we worked together, we had to be professional as a couple, and operate autonomously and yet symbiotically within the same educational environment. We were super successful at it. We went after national grants and built a very successful program together. We built that on juggling the right balls in the air at the right time, and avoiding the pitfalls that come with complaining about a spouse or blaming one thing or another on busy-ness.

So… tell me you’re busy? Tell me you can’t do such and such because of this and that? I completely will do my best to understand. Blow off a big project and then try to pull excuses that hit squarely too close to home, and I will be stretched beyond my comfort zone to be understanding.

4 kids… 2 of which sleep in my bed almost every night… a 30-45 minute commute each day, one way depending on time of day and traffic… countless loads of laundry, dishes, and adventures in clutter management and vacuuming… 2 different school schedules… 2 different bus stop runs… school meetings for kids… bill paying… dog ownership… and grocery shopping… BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

2 full time careers (mine and my husband’s)… 2 volunteer councils that are part of work but take up after work…. a presentation and travel schedule for work that varies from week to week… doctors appointments… 2 kids with severe asthma that need breathing treatments… 1 kid with ADHD and learning disabilities… 2 sets of grandparents (one aging much quicker than the other) that live within 150 miles of us…

AND that’s all in my First Life! ok… I apologize if I have launched you into a panic attack. That was far from my intent! I love every minute of the above. I love the challenge. I love the diversity of all the new things that are incorporated into them. While I really wish I could have a personal assistant, a maid, chef and trainer – I love each of my 4 babies beyond all imagination and am so thankful for the partnership I have with my husband even if his sense of humor is sick and wrong at times 🙂

I strongly believe that in this life we are only given what we can handle. And, that by meeting what we have been given to deal with through grace and laughter and all those other good things, we are simply given more. I am the first to tell you that abundance is a state of mind and I have that overflowing. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t wish secretly for a suitcase of cash filled with very large bills to make things easier. And, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I indulge in my Second Life adventures because the creativity sparks something in me that I was missing in the above list of to do’s.

I wish… honestly… that when confronted with busy-ness and the art of excuses that need to be said from time to time… that in my gracious need to attempt to understand, that someone would in return acknowledge mine. I struggle with the ability to affirm myself and remind myself I am doing a good job. I crave validation from the outside. Its simply how I am wired (just ask my mom). Next time you happen to run into someone who seems to have all hair standing on end and a glazed crazed look in his or her eye and they say they are busy, take the time to just validate who they are. Thank them for whatever it is they are doing for you, with you, alongside you. Remind them to breathe. Remind them that tomorrow the sun will come up and the day will start all over again whether that to do list get’s accomplished or not. Just “be” with them for that moment.

Sometimes, the fine art of a graceful juggle is in remembering to pause… just ever so slightly before you throw that next ball into the air. And sometimes… the juggle… includes tossing the ball to a passerby, to hold, until you are ready for them to return it in your direction.

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