I know how hard it can be to be a single, working mother. Not because I am one, but because I was raised by one. My parents divorced when I was very young, and I grew up with my mother, a rebellious older sister and an autistic younger brother. I am not sure how she did it, but my mom managed to raise the three of us, work, and keep food on the table when things got painfully tough. She wasn’t perfect, but in the end she shaped me into who I am today. She’s shown me how strong a woman can be. She’s shown me that if it feels the odds are against you, still try your hardest, and things just may work in your favor. Most importantly, she’s shown me that I could go after what I want in life and not be afraid of having to do it all on my own.
This past Friday, we discussed "work-life balance" as part of our monthly #memocareerchats on Twitter. This month, we were joined by Kateri Broussard, Respiratory Speciality Representative at Astrazenica. She is also the District Director of College Chapters for Kappa Alpha Theta, a wife, a mentor, and a mother of two young boys. We discussed a number of topics, including work-life balance, self-care, coming back from maternity leave, and having the right support system. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork.
Recently, I was having a conversation about birthdays and life in general. As the dialogue continued, I was asked a simple, yet loaded, question, “Are you living your best life?”
Man down! Hold the phone! Until then, I'd never really thought about "my best life." I scrolled through my mental Twitter feed, and thought of things that made me smile: trips I had taken with family and friends, closing a deal, love, my dog, and a number of things that will go down as epic moments in my memoirs. BUT does this list of things equate to living my BEST LIFE?
The older I get, the easier it becomes to distinguish the true supporters of my endeavors (a.k.a. my "Who") from the others. Not long ago, I had the opportunity to go back to my hometown for four talks, including a storytime with my godson's second grade class. (May I add, they thought I was in high school - smile). It made me feel good that so many people - friends from high school, local friends and neighbors, and my family, of course - showed up to support, and that people left feeling inspired. This was my first time doing something like this in my hometown, and I could not have done it without the support of those who came (including those praying or cheering me on from afar). It was clear to me that having a good support system was crucial.