The Answer Is…Both

fun in the snowYesterday was one of those days.

No, not one of those days – the kind where you sigh and roll your eyes and wait for the storm to pass.

One of those other kind of days, where you see that those things that were once just a glimmer in your mind, still only a desire, actually did come to fruition.

It was a great frickin day. =)

It was President’s Day, which meant a school holiday. And yet, with all the snow days and sick days, I had some work that my heart and my to-do list both really wanted to get done.

In my old life, I would have asked, “Should I blow off my work? Or should I outsource the care of my kids so I can kick out the jams?” I used to be very in to the either/or. It felt so clear, like a relief.

Except it wasn’t. Whenever I was doing one option, I felt bad about neglecting the other. I wrote some about this in my post on de-compartmentalizing.

Nowadays, my mantra is “Both.” Now, trust me, I am a firm believer in making decisions from your gut, so you can move forward, take action, and get feedback. So you can then make another, more informed decision. But the choice doesn’t have to be one or the other, on or off, this or that.

For example, yesterday. Yesterday my choice was to spend some great time with my family, and then to dive down a wormhole into work land. Here’s how I did it:

My hubs and I packed up the kids in the morning and drove 30 minutes to our local bump of a ski area. The kids had been expressing interest in skiing, thanks to the Olympics and thanks in part to ALL THE EVERLOVING SNOW we’ve been getting. They got an hour lesson together and my husband and I got an hour to ski (me) and snowboard (him) on our own. The sun was shining. We could watch the kids’ progress on each of our chairlift rides up the hill. They were laughing and falling down and getting back up. We were chatting on our rides up together and then each taking our own way down the mountain, only to do it all over again.

Then we ate a brownbag lunch together in front of the fireplace in the lodge, got back in the car, and got home just in time for the mother’s helper I had set up to arrive. She played with the kids for three hours while I kicked out some jams and my husband went to his workshop to tend to some jams of his own. Then we had dinner and all went to bed.

I’m sharing it with you because I want you to know what’s possible – having quality time with the kids and getting work done. Doing work you love so much that you actually look forward to doing it, even on a national holiday. Being in the mom zone in one breath and exercising dominion over your career in the other.

There were some practical strategies involved – having the mother’s helper in my phone, taking the time to think about how I wanted things to go in advance. But just as important was the mindset of knowing what I wanted, trusting myself to take the steps I needed to take to have it go off without a hitch, asking for the help I needed, and believing that it could all work out so nicely.

If you’re reading this and some part of you is thinking, how could it be possible that I could have both (whatever that means to you right now), where do you get hung up? Is it the brasstacks; the tools? Or is it the softer stuff—the vision, the belief, the trust?

Here’s my take: When you’re clear on what you want, and why you want it, the how falls into place. (Click to Tweet!)

Here’s to knowing what you want, and believing you can actually have it!

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One thought on “The Answer Is…Both

  1. Kate, this is so great. I had been faced with some big decisions and just couldn’t make up my mind what to do next. One day I realized, the answer (for now) was to do them all and see what fits. The exploration is taking much longer than I expected AND it’s much harder work than I originally realized but it is so fulfilling. Just wanted you to know that I think this approach can function both in terms of a single day (although some people are better at it than others, my husband for one) but also over the short term.

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