Is This The Life You Want to Lead?

by Joanna Pineda Posted on November 20, 2009

A harried mom friend of mind sometimes complains that between work and the kids, she doesn’t have a life. Another friend tells me he’ll quit smoking soon. Yet another friend is too busy to take care of his health, he says.  Somehow, it’s as if we’re all waiting to exhale, waiting for the rest of our life to happen, waiting until conditions are just right to lead the life we really want.

I realized about 12 years ago that my life was not a dress rehearsal, that this was my life and I better start leading it the way I wanted to.  I also realized that I better get serious about my health because I wasn’t going to stay invincible forever.  That’s when I quit smoking, started going on at least one international vacation each year, and stopped missing important events in the lives of those near and dear to me.

A few years ago, friends invited me, my husband and my then 2 year old son to their wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  The wedding date fell during a busy time at Matrix Group and I was tentative about going to Mexico with a toddler.  Could we spare the time?  How would my son handle the flight, the water in Mexico, the wedding?  Yup, you guessed it.  We went on the trip and had an amazing time.  The trip emboldened us and now we jump at the opportunity to travel to neat places.  I want a life that will be fun to describe to my future grandchildren, a life full of stories and adventure.

How about you?  Are you leading the life you want to lead?  Do you have the right work-life balance so you can enjoy work, play and family?  What are you putting off doing?

5 replies on “Is This The Life You Want to Lead?”

Spot on, Joanna. I am seeing a number of executive women in my coaching practice who experience frustration and overwhelm with their frenetic, reactive lifestyle and feel they have no time to breathe – with no end in sight. Men, while they may have some of this going on, rarely experience it as severely.

One solution is to sit down for one hour and quietly ponder the questions: “What kind of life do I want at this point in my life and career?” And, “Why do I want it?” That is, “What do I want to feel like?” Write it all down. One common result of the inquiry is they notice they too easily say “yes” to others’ requests for help, to the detriment of their own well being. Immediate relief comes from deciding to quit some of that ASAP.

It took me awhile to find that balance between work and life balance, but now I think I have found it. I know that I need down time-whether its doing something that I’ve never done before like taking a dance class, going to yoga or taking my dog for a walk or simply taking some time for me. I feel that finding that balance is very important or you will find yourself completely run down.

What an inspirational post. I love the line about how life is not a “dress rehearsal,” this is it. I think we all get caught up sometimes in the rush of our routines, task lists, running errands, work, etc. that we forget sometimes to pause and enjoy the people, and things we love.

Even if it isn’t an international trip, I think it’s the little everyday things, like racing down the aisle of Harris Teeter during a routine grocery shopping trip, enjoying a nice fall run outside, or calling mom on the way home to chat about our latest recipe triumphs (or disasters)…I think often times, living the life you want is looking forward to the big things, like trips and grandchildren, but also seizing the little moments of every day that help us maintain a sense of balance.

Can’t go wrong with introspection. I feel like work/life balance is a thing that ebbs and flows. Sometimes, it’s out of control, sometimes firmly within my grasp.

I believe the most important part of achieving balance is having work that you LOVE. When you love your job, it simply makes everything else that much better. While I wouldn’t go so far to say I love my job enough that I’d do it for free, working with great people and friends makes my day every day. And the rest is the icing on the cake.


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