Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Life Lesson #10: Flow in the Hustle
"Good things happen to those who hustle." - Anais Nin
When Taylor trudged down the stairs this morning at 7:45 AM I'd already been awake for nearly three hours. I was typing at my computer, black coffee and the remains of my egg white omelet next to me on a plate. I was researching release work techniques for an upcoming Pilates class.
"What are you doing, mom?" she asked me.
"Research." I told her looking up. "What do you want for breakfast?"
"Eggs." She said... and sitting next to me face in her hands she asked with a sigh, "Is today going to be as busy as yesterday?" Rising to head over to the stove, I laughed. Since being home from school, she had come to see how my days unfold in an organized chaos and today would be no different. Our plates are always full.
The last thing I see when I got to bed is the moon, it's also the first thing I see in the morning. There are a lot of things I give up to live this way - late night partying and sleeping in to name two. The girls deserve as much quality "mom" time as I can give them so I work hard to split up my time with them together and individually. With Taylor, it's soccer and dance - we've spent a lot of time in the back yard lately getting her ready for tryouts. Stealing 10 minutes here and there, to coach her and give her drills to practice or sewing parts of her costume and juggling her practice/class schedule my cell phone dinging in warning of the next upcoming activity.
Cate just graduated from preschool and like her sister participates in soccer and dance. This week, they both have their dance recital, Taylor is in two shows, so tonight I'll spend most of the evening at a local high school gymnasium helping them change, re-applying lip gloss, spraying curls, and trying to keep crumbs and sparkling water from the carefully planned (no stains) snacks from covering the front of their intricately designed costumes.
The summer will offer some nightly relief of their busy activities but will usher in camps, play dates, and time at the pool. There will be a greater need for me to manage my daylight hours and keep them busy and occupied so that they don't end up bouncing off the walls and tearing each other apart out of boredom, however boredom isn't likely in my house. There is almost always something happening.
It's simple to me. There are 24 hours in a day. Those hours are my 24 hours. I work seven days a week, by choice. I start my day at 4:15AM Sunday - Sunday. By 5:30AM I'm in the Pilates studio 5/7 of those days teaching. I juggle my time between parenting full time, teaching Pilates, and managing my growing business. That includes managing five email addresses, hundreds of contacts and dozens of clients. I create new programming for three levels of Pilates classes from the floor to the Reformer machine. I am constantly researching new release work and mobility exercises and reading about physiology and case studies/articles/studies on the body, movement, contrology, and limitations and cautions due to injury or condition to ensure I'm always learning and informed when I stand in front of my students and instruct.
In my business I am constantly creating content and managing large projects that are constantly changing and evolving. The company I work for, Spartan Race, is a HUGE operation but a very small shop. The work is heavy, but rewarding. The hours are erratic but the interaction with the runners and the other employees is always rewarding and I get to work on some fantastic projects.
I'm taking CrossFit classes five to six days a week now and working hard on my form and efficiency while simultaneously training for a marathon. In addition to my CF gym, I have a set-up at home and like to train with my friends at night often after the sun has gone down. I have to be efficient with my training time but for my own sanity, I can't neglect that aspect of my life when things get busy. Like my friend Kristina says, "It's cheaper than therapy!"
Watching Taylor at the stove easily cook her eggs, empty the dishwasher, all while reading her new library book, I can see that she doesn't realize how much she's already doing it - finding her balance. It's about finding a flow in the hustle, not just moving at breakneck speed to check things off a list, but prioritizing what we want with what needs to be done. And it's okay to step out of the speed lane when we need to recharge and knowing when to say "no" or "enough" is as important as knowing when to surge ahead.
In the complexity of life, it's a skill to simplify and a necessity to balance.
We get 24 hours each and every day. The way I see it, those 24 hours are mine to own... It's our choice what we do with our time. Choose wisely.