Monday, March 28, 2011

Hi mom

The last few days have been full of upheavals and revelations.
We learned that a lovely relative of my husband's has terminal cancer. It's often said that cancer strikes the nicest people. I don't believe that (exclusively), but it's true in this case. S is warm and caring, and quick with a joke. I've only had the pleasure of her company a handful of times, at weddings, showers, and funerals, but she immediately made me feel welcome. I am filled with sadness.
On a rather different note, I finished the Egyptian dance class that I started in January. Yes. Thank goodness it's over, because I can't dance and it kept me out until 10:30 p.m. every Wednesday night. Unfortunately I had invested a pretty penny in a silk veil and a hip scarf covered in jingly coins, in the misguided belief that the right outfit can motivate me to do anything. I did attend faithfully, but as mentioned I can't dance.
While I should probably try to sell the veil and scarf, I'm inspired by a memory of my own mother dancing, a few short years ago. In those beautiful moments, before she realized that anyone was watching, she was breathtaking femininity and grace. Beautiful moments before cancer attacked and took her away. Could I ever be as graceful?
There's so much more I could write after the past few days... Among other things, my mother-in-law went into the ER, and came home the following night. She is recovering slowly. I miss my own mother terribly. I am angry.
Thankfully spring is coming. Yesterday a late afternoon walk in the park with my dear husband, son, and dog, lifted my spirits. There's joy in ice, snow, mud, and sunshine. I'll take son and dog out for more of the same this afternoon. And smile up at mom.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Earlier this year, alone in a hotel room on my last business trip, I read a rather discouraging article about work-life balance. The article described a successful partner in a big law firm who balanced the demands of her work and family, and assured others that, "it can be done." And how did she do it?
She proudly carved out 2.5 hours of time each day to spend with her two small children, and told her clients that she was available the other 21.5 hours each day. 
So that's how it's done -- forego sleep, exercise, sex, and personal hygiene, and delegate everything else! 
Admittedly, although the lawyer advised clients that she was available 21.5 hours per day, she only allocated about 13 hours to actual legal work per day. But after the 2.5 hours with her kids and another 2 hours commuting, that leaves just 6.5 hours to sleep, shower, dress, and anything else. Which may be par for the course in her profession, but is this exemplary work-life balance?
My immediate reaction was that the legal profession could scrap its ongoing studies about why women leave law, and just read that article.  
However, upon reflection, perhaps long hours aren’t so bad if you love your work. That’s part of the equation too.
I am reminded of my successful friend Q who loves her career and recently delegated the purchase of her new car... and is always radiant. 
Of course, she also makes time for abundant yoga, shopping, and entertaining. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Old Dog

Recently, I was telling some former colleagues about our dear dog's tendency to lunge at everyone else in the 'hood. I had just left my job, and I commented that perhaps I would finally train our mature dog and write a blog about it -- the old dog blog!
However, when the cucumber saketinis wore off, I realized that the old dog most in need of new tricks is me. Teaching an eleven-year-old dog to walk calmly might not be the best use of my time, when I have so much to learn myself.
So this is the story of my own hopeful transformation from a hard-working, stressed-out, and unfulfilled professional, to the new me, whoever she may be.
Can I find satisfaction in the suburbs, on a shoestring? Will I discover my true calling?