Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coming Home: Thank you

Dear friends,
When I asked Color Online staff to take the lead in my absence, I had no idea I’d be gone so long. I’d checked in a few times and I was flooded with gratitude.

There wasn’t a major crisis that occurred in my life rather there was a series of incidents pushing me in a direction I had refused to go. Like many people I think I’m open to change and I wholeheartedly believe we have to be willing to embrace change but when it’s actually time to change I resist.

Let me explain. Not long ago a friend gave a speech about work/life balance. Josh is a young man not long married and he has a toddler son. He quoted a speaker who said there is no work/life balance. The writer said life gives us choices and we have to be prepared to live with the consequences of our choices. Every day we have to choose our priorities. I believe my friend said that ultimately our goal is to have acceptance with our decisions.

The idea of acceptance versus balance struck a chord for me because my family and professional life had changed in major ways in the fall but I didn’t want to change, and I've never had balance. I struggled to define my priorities. I didn’t want to choose and consequently I didn’t have balance or acceptance.

I didn’t know how to evolve in my role as a mom and partner. I didn’t want to accept that I needed to be more in involved in my daughter’s activities and less involved in my own. I couldn’t make a real shift. Looking back on my teen years, my twenties and thirties, I could see changes in my interests and priorities were natural shifts so why was I resistant to another change when my daughter entered high school and was living with us full-time?

Failing to voluntarily change resulted in hitting a wall emotionally and mentally. Crashing forced me to to change how I parented and that meant making different choices. Parenting differently also meant rethinking how my relationship with my guy was changing. I'm in my mid-forties; I've been through a lot. I think it's time to trust that I can parent and love and pursue my passions, make mistakes and still remain whole.

My daughter rarely reads here and I wasn’t sure if you the community would be comfortable with me sharing something so intimate about my life or if I’d be comfortable sharing it but here it is.

I don’t know if my daughter recognized the stress and discomfort I was feeling, but I know spending more time with her has positively affected us. I think I’m headed in the right direction, and now I am able to come back to my second home, the space that is for me a space where I gain strength and joy and support. This space is evolving and I can’t thank the Color Online team enough for it.

Thank you all for the kind replies to Doret’s post. I had feared I was asking too much. I shouldn’t have worried. You’ve demonstrated the power of community and love women can give one another.

Change is inevitable and I know these changes are good. I am grateful to you, the women of Color Online.


Helen's Book Blog said...

I think our blogs naturally become a place where we talk about the personal as well as the book-related stuff. I creeps in slowly and soon we find that we really know "stuff" about one another. As someone in her mid-forties I get it: balance doesn't really exist. At any one time something/someone always dominates. For now, for you (and for me), our daughters come first. Blogging will always be there. We will be here as well. It's great that you are spending time with your teenager. Remember, she might not always want that (even if she needs it)! Hope you are doing alright.

Rasco from RIF said...

I am so proud of you for recognizing you needed this time and space; too many of us don't go that route often enough. My love is with you, welcome back and take those breaks when you need them!

Zetta said...

It's good to hear your voice again, Susan, and to see you evolving in this way...ever the role model!

Tarie said...

Welcome back, Susan!! We all missed you. * hug *

Vasilly said...

I'm so glad to see you back, Susan. Your friend raise a good point and I think I need to think about acceptance versus balance.

Gavin said...

Welcome back. You were missed. I am glad for you and your daughter.

"You’ve demonstrated the power of community and love women can give one another." Pretty amazing, isn't it?

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Welcome back. I received the book today: Page from a Tennessee Journal by Francine Thomas Howard. When I write about it, I'll come back and share the link. On Sunday or Monday, I'll mention it in my "New Crayons" post, as one of the books added to my bookshelves this week. Thanks very much.

~~~ Bonnie Jacobs

TheEnglishist said...

Glad to hear there's no major crisis! Priority shifting and change can be hard. Best to you and your family as you continue to find what works best for you.

Karen L. Simpson said...

Yes change is hard some times. Glad to hear that you are doing well. It's good to see you back.

Color Online said...

There is no place like here, is there, Gavin?

Glad you have your book, Bonnie. Look forward to your review.

Life is good.

Anonymous said...


it's so good to hear your voice again! :) Welcome home (second home for you and thank you for opening the door so generously for the rest of us).

Not too intimate, but honest and inspiring. Everything, well, except for having a second half *smile* struck a chord with me. I can totally relate.

I admire how you came to term with change in your life. I have struggled with that, too, this year.

I relate to all the points you raised, trust me. :)

I'm so confident in what is ahead for you. Your journey is beautiful, maybe stressful or exhausting at times, but certainly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oops, *Slapping my forehead* The message was meant for you, Susan. Sorry for the mistake... :$ I don't know why I type Doret's name instead.

Ali said...

Glad to see your update, Susan, and to hear that after taking the time to connect more fully with your daughter, you're already seeing the pay-off. I don't think we ever find balance because things are always shifting on us, so the proper balance is going to have to readjust accordingly, again and again.

I'm in the same boat as you are, in that my kids have got to take priority right now and it doesn't leave time for blogging (as evidenced by the fact that I'm commenting on this post weeks after it was written).