I love country music. It’s fine if you close your browser and don’t want to read my blog anymore. I’m still going to love it and sing really loudly to every country song that comes on the radio. One of the reasons that I think it’s so good is that almost every country song tells a story. On top of that, almost all of those stories have a moral. For a girl who regularly gleans life lessons from running, eating, and just about everything else, country music is a gold mine for me.
One of my favorite country songs tells the story two men who strike up a conversation on a plane. The young man is busy working on a project, and the older man begins to talk to him. He shares with the young man that thirty years ago, he was just like him. He tells him how he moved up the ladder and he made so many achievements, but he missed the birth of his son, and he couldn’t be with his wife for many anniversaries. The old man apologizes for intruding but he simply has to share this story with the younger man, and in the song he urges him – don’t miss your life.
So many times, life gives us ultimatums. We like to think that we can do and have it all. I want it to be possible to go to school, have a wonderful career, and give all that I want to my family. But I have learned that it’s not about being able to have it ALL. It’s about being able to have it all AT ONCE. I believe having it all at once happens once in a blue moon. Most of the times, we have to make decisions.
I was talking to a law student at a barbecue yesterday, and we were discussing what we wanted to do once we finished school. We’re suddenly too old to ask each other what we want to do “when we grow up” but in many ways I think we still look at it that way. He told me that he hears so many people talk about how they will slow down and make time for life “once they” – and then they fill in the blank. Once they are done with the crazy hours of law school. Once they make it through the first few years of a crazy first job. Of course then they are on the fast track to a promotion, so they swear they’ll do it once they get that promotion. The reality is, it’s easy to look up and “once” is gone, and so is most of your life.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in hard work. I believe in climbing the ladder and being the best at what you do. I even believe in putting in the time that it takes to get where you want to be. But for me, I also believe in rest. I believe in creating a life where I am able to sit at home and share a meal with people I love. I WANT to be there for my children’s birthdays, and even if I can’t make it to every play or every single recital, I want to make it to as many as I possibly can. What’s more, I want to take a step back to fall in love and allow myself the time to start a family in the first place. I guess what I’m saying is, I want my life to be more than just what I do for a living and what letters go after my name.
Life is short. You blink and it’s gone. When I close my eyes, I don’t want to see a life that I barely lived flash before my eyes. Regardless of how many accolades I got. I want to see faces and I want to remember love.
That’s my priority.
What do you think? Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance? Having it all vs. having it all at once?