Monday, February 27, 2012

How a bum thumb became a symbol of work/life balance

If you regularly check in to see what's new in the Lyons Den, you probably noticed that I've been MIA for over a week.  It struck me that I should have said good-bye; I should have let you know that I was taking a week off to be with my family.  To really be with my family. Last week, we went to Vermont and my computer stayed home. This is an all-time first.  My trusty laptop has accompanied us on adventures far and wide; it's been to Cape Cod, Ireland, Washington D.C, San Francisco, you name it -- if we've been there, it has too.  But not this time.  This time I was officially burned out and needed a break.  A real break.  A chance to recharge.  An opportunity to take the short-tempered, over-tired, over-committed Mom that I'd become and leave her behind... in the hopes of rediscovering the even-keeled, level-headed Mom I aspire to be.

Did it work? I'm not sure.  As I prepare to head back to work today, I can honestly say that I do feel better.  Less wired, less tired.  Less stressed and better prepared to tackle what the day, the week, the months ahead have in store. I have great memories of my unplugged week -- just the thought of it makes me smile.  It was a wonderful week, filled with many firsts.  Our seven year old skied his first "blue" trail, followed by his first black diamond.  This very thought fills me with fear but, he did it and he is so proud.  And that is awesome.  Our five year old daughter faced fears of her own in ski school and ended the week with her first ride up the chairlift with yours truly.  And that was pretty awesome too.  The triplets took their first trip without bringing along the three pack & plays which have been standard cargo in our minivan for the past three years; they slept in sleeping bags for the very first time.  And, they actually slept!  ALL NIGHT LONG.  It was amazing.  And, I was reminded once again, so are they.  So are all five our incredible kids, who are really very tolerant of their often too tired, too wired, manic Mom.

As for me, well, for the first time in a long time, I finished the book I was reading!  I love to read and last week, I read for at least an hour every night.  It was bliss.  I was in bed in every night hours earlier than usual, allowing me to really catch up on some much-needed shut-eye.  Last but not least, I also took my first major fall skiing since about 1996.  Not surprisingly, it was on the last run of the day; it was a slick black diamond that I'd done numerous times before but this time, it got the best of me.  Before I knew what hit me, I was ass over teakettle (whatever does that mean?!  I'm not sure the origin of that expression but it seems to accurately describe my fall!), sliding down the mountain face-first.  That downward slide seemed to last forever but was really just a few seconds.  A few seconds that thankfully resulted in nothing more serious than a bruised leg and a jammed thumb.  

The thumb is slightly troublesome in that it can't really grip a pen, open a child-proof bottle of anything or zipper a kid's coat... or pants... or, for that matter, my own!  But, I am thinking of this thumb as a good reminder.  A good reminder of the downward slide I was on before our rejuvenating week away.  A good reminder to pause, to take a break, to put away the computer and really really be with my family.  A good reminder to stop and recharge when the pendulum of work/life balance gets too swings too far toward work.  A good reminder of what really matters -- life.  Family. Friends. 

So, I hope you'll forgive me for taking off for a week without saying good-bye and also forgive me if you don't see quite as much of me here.  I'm sure I'll still post at least once, and probably twice a week, but if I should disappear again for a short while, you will know why.  It will be because that pendulum has once again swung out of balance and I need to swing it back where it belongs.  Either that or this bum thumb has interfered with my typing!  Either way, I'll eventually be back and hope you will too.

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