Tag Archives: work-life balance

Hiatus Continued

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I am Italian. I cannot keep calm.

I have no goals. 

That’s what I told my husband. I’m Italian. Melodrama runs high.

“You do have goals,” he said. “You wanted to move back to North Carolina and you did.”

“Yes, but now what?”

Good question. You’d think I’d have figured out that detail in advance.

I love blogging, but my husband’s consulting business is growing. He needs me to take on a more public role in the company, at least for the next few months. Officially, I’m a Managing Partner.

So what becomes of the blog and the 50 other business and writing ideas I have rolling around in my head. Lots of women do both, work for pay and blog for free. Can I? Should I?

Blogging carries with it the urgency of social media to publish. Publish. Publish. Post something already. It reminds me of the toddler in the grocery store who must have the grossly overpriced, cartoon themed, neon colored fruit pops. NOW. How would the wise parent respond to said toddler?

In a word: no. In two words: not now. 

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frozen foods aisle

Easy advice to give, but following through feels like a huge, scary risk. It’s so stressful that I had to eat NC barbecue twice already this week as comfort food. I’ll be crowned queen of the Lexington Barbecue Festival come October.

What if you say no and the toddler throws a fit on the floor of the frozen foods aisle? What if she holds her breath until she passes out? What if she hates you?

What if she ignores you and you become irrelevant?

So be it. The wise parent remains in control. The smart mom thinks to herself, “That child’s not the boss of me!

The adult in the situation is able to say no, not now. Everyone survives and is usually better off for it.

What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 NLT

The Zombies Tell Her No.

Have you mastered the art of saying no?

in His time

in His time

FYI: I plan to continue blogging as a monthly contributor for Project Underblog. Please read my August post The What’s Next? Crisis of Blogging.

I also hope to continue to blog here, but I’m not telling you when because I don’t know when. The best way to see the stories I don’t know when I’ll publish is to subscribe for free updates on email. Follow the prompts in the top right sidebar to subscribe. Just do it.

photo credit: Storm Crypt via photopin cc
photo credit: shiilo75 via photopin cc

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Filed under blogging, humor, life, writing & reading

Instead of Hot Dogs

I used to be a good cook before I started blogging.

better homes gingham cook books

trinity of gingham

My cookbook collection is outfitted with three shades of Better Homes gingham and Seduced by Bacon. I’m of Italian heritage, and I married into a Midwestern farm family. My stockpile of recipes is hearty. Well-loved. Often made. Until I started blogging.

When I write, my time flies out the window.

Some of you think my mind goes with it, but that’s just the blood sugar plummeting. I’m hypoglycemic; it’s not pretty when I don’t eat.

A couple weeks ago, I realized I’d had hot dogs for lunch three days in a row. I don’t have anything against hot dogs. I like hot dogs. Eating hot dogs once in a while should be a requirement for all good Americans. Right up there with voting. By the way, have you registered yet?

corn dogs

how about corn dogs?

I digress. Back to lunch. It’s time to get off the hamster wheel of writing all morning, stopping to lunch too late only to discover there’s nothing in the house to eat except hot dogs. On Facebook, I joked that grocery shopping had moved to the top of the to-do list. But I know my problem is bigger than that.

I like to write. I like to cook. I need to eat. I can pick two of the three.

Wait a second. I know a lot of women who blog about cooking. They write, cook, and eat. But how?

I asked some of them for help. What sweet salvation they delivered. During the next few weeks, my family will be cooking and eating seven eight of their best recipes. These recipes are easy to make with ingredients that are easy to find.

Explore their sites, preview the recipes, then come back to see the results of a good cooking revival at my house. This promises to be one delicious series!

the way to cook

the way to cook

Tex Mex Lasagna by Nancy at The Wife of a Dairyman 

Southern Greens with a Kick by Justine at A Half-Baked Life

King’s Hawaiian Roll Ham Sandwiches by Leah at Beyer Beware

Spinach and Chick Peas by Simona at Fuel the Body Well

Cheeseburger Pie by Chef Nusy at And Cuisine For All

Mac and Cheese Bites by Dana at Mastering Mommy Brain

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff by Tiffany at She Cooks!

Potato Gratin by Carrie from The Adventures of Dairy Carrie*

For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15 NLT

The Hot Dog Song by Mickey Mouse and the Clubhouse.

What’s your favorite toppings on a hot dog?

*This post was revised at 1 p.m., 10.8.12, to include the Potato Gratin. It has bacon in it. Need I say more?

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Filed under blogging, family & friends, food & farm, recipes, women's studies

The Lie of Having It All

It’s morning. The entire day is ahead of me. Already I know there won’t be enough time to accomplish all I want. I bet many of you can relate.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t have it all.

power mom sign

power mom, as seen at Brookstone

This idea that we can excel at work, be happily married, parent effectively, exercise strenuously, volunteer wholeheartedly, entertain, invest, maintain an orderly house, grow our own food, cook gourmet meals, train as concert pianists, and blog on the side is unrealistic, wouldn’t you agree?

Work-life balance is a human condition, not a women’s issue. 

Men struggle with this, too. I don’t mean to leave them out of this discussion, nor do I mean to ignore single people or those who aren’t parents. However, the debate over work-life balance for moms gathered new steam with Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent article in the Atlantic Magazine.

Slaughter’s post, combined with the July 16th announcement naming the pregnant Marissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo!, sparked a flurry of commentaries in The Huffington PostHarvard Business Review, Christianity TodayThe Christian Science MonitorForbes, and the like.

Our time, strength, and resources are limited. We have to pick and choose. There are opportunity costs.

Years ago when Rosie O’Donnell was adopting another child to add to her brood, I was struck by the honesty of what she told her audience one day on her show. She said although we may see her as having it all—as a celebrity, businesswoman, author, activist, philanthropist, fundraiser, and parent—what we see belies what happens behind the scenes.

Rosie said she has help. Lots of help. And money. Lots of money. Her situation is different from that of her viewers.

First Lady Michelle Obama Official Portrait

First Lady Michelle Obama official portrait

Today the same could be said of Marissa, Angelina, Gisele, Giada, First Lady Michelle Obama, and other high-profile moms. That’s not to criticize or suggest they don’t work hard. It’s simply to state a fact; their situations are vastly different than most women’s.

What are you called to do? Pick and choose that. Pursue it with passion. Kick the rest to the curb without guilt. Resist judging when others do the same in their lives.

Comparing ourselves to the unrealistic and untrue standard of having it all is unfair and self-destructive. It kills our motivation and contentment.

In the end, all any of us really have is what God gives us today. Will we trust it’s enough?

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 NIV

Today by Newworldson. Sweet song. So God, what You wanna do today?

What do you think about work-life balance?
Can we have it all?

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Filed under faith, life, women's studies