Earlier this spring I was invited to offer a TedX style talk for the Tampa Working Women’s Conference taking place this fall. The theme of that Conference was “Bloom Where You Are,” and I had every intention of sharing the story of the entrepreneurial journey that we are undertaking at MomSource and how we decided to start exactly where we were and begin trying to make a difference even though we are still learning more about where that journey is taking us. That conference just happened to be scheduled for this past week— September 14-15, 2017. Little did anyone know that less than a week before this inspiring conference that the entire state of Florida would be battered, flooded and evacuated because of a nasty bitch named Irma.
This morning I expected to be in Tampa, Florida after having the chance to talk with hundreds of women yesterday and Thursday in Florida about Irma, about being a working mom and about trying to find any kind of righteous balance in nature or in life. Irma was easier on Tampa than originally expected but her wrath was still very evident as I sat in an airport in Tennessee for hours on Thursday trying to get there. Many people were trying to return home as refugees of Irma’s evacuation order and were sharing extraordinary tales about their neighbors who stayed experiencing power outages or worse. No doubt that there is plenty of clean up to be done and the businesses that count on September tourists to make their rent payments are equally worried about the effects of the coming weeks.
Did you know that at one time there was a well accepted theory that there is balance in nature, called “the Gaia hypothesis? This idea is a nature-based theory that suggests that the Earth and its ecology may act as coordinated systems in who work in tandem to create the balance of nature.” Now, I’m not a scientist or a meteorologist but as an afar purveyor (more on that later) of the destruction caused by Irma, I must suggest that maybe the Gaia hypothesis and the theory of Balance in Nature is bologna. It felt more like a beating than balance to most of the folks that I’ve talked with from Florida.
Then again, how many working women do you know that are beating themselves up this weekend because they don’t feel like they have “work-life balance?” Our lives don’t come together in a perfect recipe of equal parts business and family to create a dream-like, rainbow-laden combination of everything we’ve ever wanted. Chasing that type of work-life balance is as likely to set you up for success as is ignoring the hurricane warnings and going swimming. What if we heed those warnings and look for an alternative to balance? I vote we give up on balance all together and look for a new solution.
My wish for you is to vigorously and relentlessly pursue a work-life blend that is right for you, and for you, and for you. Everyone of us reading this has a special blend that is the right parts of career ambition and family focus. It’s never a one-size fits all and I promise you that you won’t likely ever experience the harmony of perfect balance. At the end of a lifetime, your goal can be to say that you experienced both the professional success of which you were uniquely capable and had the meaningful personal relationships that let you share love, feel whole and know that you mattered.
Here are the three things that I dare you to do if you want work-life blend:
- Eliminate any preconceived barriers and write in vivid detail what work-life blend would feel like for you. You won’t know if you’ve found it unless you know what you are looking to find.
- Skip judgement. Don’t judge or second guess yourself and be better than those people who are always judging others.
- Bloom right where you are. You are never in a better place to start or change than you are today.
I have devoted the last several years of my life to working with women and companies who believe that personal happiness and professional fulfillment can work in tandem to create a better life.
In news that won’t surprise you, I’m not in Florida today because of airplanes and airports and broken things and budget airlines that only fly every other day anyway but I can’t help but think that Floridians might find their work-life blend sooner than the rest of us. They clearly know that balance in nature (and maybe in life) is BS.
And get ready Florida because next time—be it by plane, train or automobile, I’m coming to be a witness to your success!