Wednesday, January 9, 2008

work/life balance

I was giving one of my friends the latest update and she gave me a great piece of advice - she said I needed to think about me, my daughter, and my husband. Anyone else does not matter. My husband's fling (what the hell do I call her??), my mother in law, anyone else.

I am successful at work because I see all sides to an issue and all the possibilities - the big picture. When presented with a problem, my brain quickly runs through every possible outcome. And make decisions accordingly. That same skill in my personal life is a disaster. Seeing all sides, all possible outcomes, sends me off on a spiral of anxiety and indecisiveness.

I worry and fret about secrets my husband has - things he did with his affair. Not sex things (ugh, I can't even think about that) - restaurants, movies, dates. Stories he shared. The "relationship" they built, based on something. I asked him once and he said shared interests. Shared interests?! WTF? (I think I replied something like, what, interest in destroying a 2 year olds sense of self and security?)

I was thinking about all this as I walked to meet my friend. And about all the advice I got throughout the fall - be strong, be confident, stand on my own two feet. And that advice still holds in this new, trying to fix things period. I'm not remotely close to ready for forgiveness. But what I can do is not worry about THEM or the past, which I can't change. Or about her now, what she's doing, how she acts, what she might try to do. I can just be me, be confident in who I am, and either my husband and I work things out or we don't. And if we don't, it's on my terms, and I will be ok.

It's the same with my mother in law. SHE'S the one with the problem. Um, problemS. Many, many problems. It doesn't help me or my life to speculate what she's doing, or how she's feeling, what her next crazy stunt might be, or what motivates her. All that helps me in my career - understanding my audience and how to reach them effectively. My mother in law is not my target audience.

Yet another reason to create a better work life balance. I never thought my work skills - ones I value so highly - are exactly the wrong skills for life. Life is about mindfulness, being in the moment, not letting outside pressures, worries, concerns intrude. My daughter, my husband, me. My priorities.

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