Act of Balance

“Proceed and be bold” — a postcard quote I got from the Paris Facebook office stares from its frame perched on my desk, daring me to do.

“Proceed and be bold” — Samuel Mockbee

I chose this card over “Done is better than perfect” or “The foolish wait”.

The ‘Minimal Viable Product’ took a stitch to sit right with me, especially with my MVD (minimum viable design) launching before fine-tuning the copy, kerning, color, etc. But if there’s one thing I learned at Internet Week (#iwny2015) it’s that it is actually good to be embarrassed about the first version of everything as long as you get it out there and then make it better later. It means you’re ‘doing’ something, and that is everything.

I am the newly welcomed third full-time employee of our startup company, as the Chief Creative Officer and partner. Score. But I’m a mom, a wife and a woman too. It’s a struggle to find my fulcrum.

Starting a business — or more broadly, pursuing a passion — takes a lot of energy. And love. You need to be all in. I am. It’s deep. This is where the act of balance comes in. All my chips are on the table from 8am to 3:45pm when my baby is at daycare. But then when I go pick her up, I’m all hers. Until she rubs her eyes and wants to take a nap. Then I’m in again, but not all the way, because if she cries I have to be able to leave the table to rub her back, or pick her up and change her diaper.

My husband helps me achieve this balance. In more ways than by bathing her and doing his daily daddy duties, he helps me realize when I’m in too deep, obsessed to oblivion and not hearing or feeling my baby pulling at my leg. Oops. I don’t want to be in that place when I’m with them.

My company also makes all of this possible by allowing me to work remotely. This is a huge trend that makes it possible for women in tech to stay influential in the industry while providing a surge of talent back into the workforce by eliminating the barrier for so many people juggling life. I am so grateful to focus so deeply and efficiently while I’m ‘at work’.

‘At work’ is a state-of-mind.

I have found that there are certain pillars I need to have in place in order to stabilize my chaos and make time for myself within all of my roles, including myself — something I cannot afford to take for granted.

The theory of my foundation is simple:
1. A balanced life-plate* of good, clean foods. *Maybe one meal isn’t the ideal variety but over the course of the day and week, I achieve an overall balance. I am well. When I am well, I can make good decisions and act upon them.

2. Sleep. I need my sleep. If I can’t get enough during the week, my husband lets me sleep in on the weekend. (Love you, babe.) If I don’t sleep, I get sick. And nothing throws a wrench into my productive life-balance like being sick and juggling the non-negotiable. It’s hard though. Though I prefer a solid 9, I’ve been running on a deep 5 and it seems to be sustainable.

3. Love. When all is well on the home-front, all can be well with the world, and vice versa. “Happy wife, happy life.” It’s so true. (I think that comes from Rio 2.) In order to be a happy wife I have to tend to that role, putting everything down to take a moment to live in the present, with my husband.

4. Passion. The pursuit of passion is a driver. I need to love what I do every day and to feel appreciated for the work that I contribute to every passion. It’s symbiotic and if one of them are off, something needs to change. ASAP.

Big pictures look different depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

As an avid collector of experiences and perspectives, taking the time to look at something from multiple vantage points is essential to balance the life I want to live.

The act of balancing my exciting life is a constant challenge but I wouldn’t change it —only learn from it and evolve accordingly. I am living the life I want to live today and creating the one I want to live in tomorrow. I don’t always have the answers but I will always ‘proceed and be bold’.

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