I lost my hum

There is something that happens when you say yes to everything.
There is something that happens when you think, sure, I can do that too.
There is something that happens when you keep on going and forget to eat, or breathe or think.
You lose your hum.

There is something that happens when you don't delegate.
There is something that happens when you take control of it all.
There is something that happens when you keep plugging along.
There is something that happens when you keep adding to your plate.
You take other things away.
You make your priorities out of whack.
And in the end, you lose your hum.

I first heard someone describe the hum on a Ted Talk and as soon as she opened, I immediately cried.
Tears of anguish
tears of guilt
tear of understanding
tears of being understood
tears of heartbreak
tears of wanting a different life
tears of realizing how beautiful my life is if only I stopped to look.

But, there is something that happens when you don't stop to look
you lose your hum.

I have acknowledged the hum before but in five minutes, I couldn't exactly dig deep...
So, here is how the hum goes...
I introduce myself by the number of hours I work in a week.
I wear it like a badge of honor.
I define my life by it.
Because a mom that loves her work and loves to work has to justify it, to someone and everyone.
And I do love to work.
I love working
I love the joy, the accomplishment, the tasks, the wave, the ride, the emotions, the winning.
I love to work.
It makes sense to me, I love that there is a right and wrong answer.
I love that I can get better at it.
I love that math makes the world seem real and I understand it.
I love that I get to be good at something.
I love to work.
And so, I do it all of the time.
I do it in my sleep
I do it instead of other things
I do it instead of things that I am worried I am not good at
I do it instead of sitting in quiet
I do it all of the time.

And the harder I worked, the better I got, the higher up I was promoted, the more work I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and the harder I worked
and the more I was promoted
and the more I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and so on and so on and so on.
Until, there was nowhere else to go.
And I was doing so much of the work
and I am a hard worker so she can do that too
and I won't let it fail so I work harder
and I won't give up so I keep going
and the hum got louder.

And then one day, it was gone.
The hum, the drive, the determination.
I lost my hum.
Suddenly, none of it made sense.
None of it seemed right.
Suddenly I was filled with regrets and what ifs and I should haves and what did I do and resentment and anger.
Because the hum made me think and feel
the hum was my guide.

So, I doubled down and searched everywhere for the hum.
I hear it when I am working, so I will work harder.
I hear it when the work makes sense so let me stay right here until it all makes sense.
I hear it when everything comes into focus so let me stare at the problem, I can find a solution again.
I just need to work harder.
But the hum was gone.
And I went into mourning.
I mourned a loss.
Of my work
my time
what I sacrificed
what I allowed to be sacrificed
I mourned me.

And then, I rooted to rise.
I ground down to rise up
and I found a new definition.
I found a new badge to wear.
I found other things to be proud of
and I learned to find a hum in different places.

It is still my go to
and when things get stressful and work becomes overwhelming
I still put my head down and forget to come up for air.
It is only when my depleted and exhausted and angry body climbs out of bed in the dark that I realize
I am here again.
I am in the bad place and I have to set a different plan in motion.
I have to determine a time, a limit.
I have to set a schedule of I will allow this for this amount of time and then,
I find my hum someplace else.

I cannot do it all
I cannot say yes to all
I cannot be it all
but I can still love the work
and the life.
I can say yes to my kids
I can read to them
I can train with them
I can journal with them
I can play board games
I can comb their hair
I can have quiet snuggles
I can be present when I am with them
I can make this life I asked for lovely
I can find my hum.

This Ted Talk changed me...http://www.ted.com/talks/shonda_rhimes_my_year_of_saying_yes_to_everything


A friendship, 17 years in the making

So there we are...17 years later. We met in September 1996 and that woman you see sitting in that chair was just seven years old. She was full of energy and life and she changed my world. It should have been the other way around, after all, I was her Big Sister. I was suppose to mentor her. But, in meeting her, literally our first outing, it hit me how incredible childhood is. She took over. I couldn't get over how much fun it was to be around a child. She, and her family, are the reason I believe in family. They are the reason I became a mom and as you can expect, they are the reason I believe in Big Brothers Big Sisters.
As C.E.O. of this agency, our mission is what I wake up thinking about and go to bed dreaming about. The work we accomplish each year builds stronger kids and stronger communities. We are changing the lives of our local youth. We are changing how they are growing up. We change their lives for the better, forever.


if you sit still and listen

Quote of the day "if you sit still and listen, you will find all the answers you are looking for because life is simple".

So many of us try and live by this. So many of us think that we have life all figured out and balanced. But there are so many moments that you are off balance. Moments like being at work and thinking about all that needs to be done at home, or being home and thinking about all you need to get done for work. Moments where you are your worst critic and enemy and if you could quiet the doubts in your mind, all would be well. Moments when you can't stop thinking about the little family that you have created for yourself and wondering if you're giving them enough (because you feel them giving you the world) and you just hope that they realize how much they mean to you. How much of the reason you get up everyday is for them.

I would never trade a moment of my life. I am so appreciative of all the opportunities I have been given and I love every moment of my crazy day. Cory and I have a routine that works and Anna is thriving and loving her world. The only one that feels left out is our little Mia who still struggles with all that we have thrown at her.

I'm turning 33 next week and with a job that keeps me aching and exhausted and challenged and so grateful and a family that owns my heart and is my smile, I can't help but think that life isn't simple yet because I'm not sitting still enough. I'm not listening and I'm making it too complicated.

Here's to the quiet simple joy of life.

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