In case you haven’t yet figured it out, I try to be all things to all people in my life.
It’s an impossible goal really. I know that no one is Wonder Woman, and I most definitely am not, despite how much I try.
Here’s how I view the priorities in my life, in what I deem is their proper order:
- Parent Advocate
- Employee / Career
- Developing and running my non-profit
- Serving others as an Advocate, helping my friends with their questions
- Everything else
Naturally I blog when the idea strikes. I cannot wait until “it’s convenient” otherwise the idea is completely gone, but I digress from my order of things.
Being a wife comes first. Despite the ebb and flow of life, I have a partner in this journey whom I love and respect. Through our childless years, through raising a child, to the time when that child will leave home and we are empty nester’s again, fostering the relationship we have so that our love and companionship remain for the remainder of our lives together is the number one priority.
Naturally though my child comes as an immediate second. He is the part of my heart walking around in the world. I want to see him thrive, be who he dreams he can be, be honest, respectful, and do all the things he wants to do, as well as all the things he needs to do to contribute to society.
But to do that last part, contribute to society, he needs me to be his advocate; so I march into battle for him, stay abreast of the latest intel, do my reading, research and homework, attend conferences, meet people, and do whatever else is needed so I can show up and be the force I need to be to fight for his right to an education, even if it is just in the school setting. This is not me charging forth into the world to help everyone. This focus is 100% on what my child needs to thrive in education. Yes, this need also comes immediately after being a mother, and before anything else.
Employee comes next because I do have a career I’ve worked hard for and do have to contribute to my family’s financial well being with silly things like keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table. Note that I say “silly things” very tongue in cheek.
Next comes my passion. With two very dear friends we created The Dyslexia Initiative, a non-profit focused on dyslexia and empowering parents to be informed and be the best advocates they can possibly be. There is so much to do, so much that is needed, and I’m hungry to do it all. I wish I had more time to spend here, but juggling the priorities that rank higher interfere with the ability to do more. I do the best I can and hope to find the balance to do more. I want to pour my heart and soul into this and help as many people as we possibly can. While I feel enormously blessed to be a part of this, it’s also a lesson in balance as I try to do all, be all, at all times.
Hand in hand with that comes my next passion, serving as an advocate for others, and helping my growing list of friends with their questions and needs. I keep having conversations with COPAA because while I know the law very well, I want to give myself more credibility with the law and get certified, but their required classes are smack dab in the middle of the 9 to 5 work day and that’s a problem. I may need to seek out other certification programs if COPAA can’t adjust their schedule. It’s a challenge for full time working people to take trainings that are not conducive to the time tables of life.
Then comes blogging. I grew up wanting to be a writer and this is where I get to pursue just a teensy little bit of that dream. No one edits me and once written I tend to be blind to mistakes for a few days, then it’s common to hear me say, “Oh my gosh! What a horrible typo!! I can’t believe I did that!” I like writing about our journey, the things I learn, the ins and outs of fighting for my son’s right to an education. Sometimes I write about things that inspire a certain thought process, tangent, or raise a question that I think should be answered. My blog has evolved as I’ve learned more. I hope it will continue to evolve.
Last comes everything else. This is why I am a terrible friend, why I rarely see my parents or siblings, travel, go to the beach, or much else. It’s easy to shut down in the evenings and be with my family, cook, watch movies, play games, swim, etc. It’s just the three of us in our home and doing these things is part of being a family. All other things need attention too, but as I frequently say, life gets in the way. For example, I’ve never had a close knit group of girlfriends who frequently went out for a happy hour. Girl’s Night Out requires a lot of planning and someone usually bails due to their list of priorities and balance. Families grow, people move, change, or other things happen that creates flux.
There’s a saying that has been said to me a lot in my life in order to minimize who and what I am, but if you remove the power play and contemplate the words, there is a powerful meaning that describes the journey that is life quite profoundly – Age & Stage.
None of us move at the same speed, along the same path, have the same outcomes, desires, dreams, etc. Two people standing at the same spot on the same road will almost inevitably never end up in the same place. Challenges, diversions, and life has a different plan for each of us.
What this means is that I have a handful of friends who I love and adore. We VERY rarely see each other, but we understand the dynamics of life and that it impacts our ability to get together. This ever changing dynamic does not lessen our love for each other at all. When we see each other nothing about our relationships have changed. Physically we are a little more gray, our kids are a little bit (or a lot) older, we might be more well rounded in the middle, but we come together as the same people we’ve always been, with a remarkable friendship, and love and respect for each other.
And now more than that, I have a circle of dyslexia friends and acquaintances who come and go in life, who challenge and inspire me, and I love it. I’ve met people I never would have met otherwise, and it is so refreshing and uplifting.
The funny thing is I set out to write this to say that I have a lot of dreams, and fulfilling them is definitely challenging when you have to squeeze those dreams into how life already exists, but that’s true for everyone. My life is what it is, and there’s not much I would change about it. My dreams will come if that is God’s will, and I work hard enough for them. Until then, I’ll keep on going on the road that I’m on, wearing all the hats I wear, reminding myself I’m not Wonder Woman, and that I’m doing the best I can.
Grace always needs to be at the forefront of that reminder to myself. Grace to be who I am, grace for what I am able to achieve, grace to forgive myself when I cannot be all things at all times to all people.
Until then, balancing the priorities will continue on….