Trying to make the World of Performance fit into the busy schedule of Family Life is no easy task. I sat down at my computer this morning to start plugging our summer schedule into my calendar. I thought to myself “How exciting! I’m only teaching two days a week. That leaves 3 ENTIRE DAYS for ‘regular’ life after work.” I often long for the days when I can take my kids to the park, or clean up the house, or sit outside and read a book, or go to the fruit market, or…. Have some FREE TIME. Having plugged in my work schedule, I thought for sure this summer would be my time. Sike! After adding my daughter’s dance schedule and my rehearsal schedule, I slowly but surely saw all that beautiful free Time go down the toilet.
This, for me, causes mixed emotions. On one end, I’m ecstatic to be starting some new projects this summer and working with some great choreographers. I’m getting ready for the big Ballet Edge Detroit concert in July, and a few other pretty dope performances that are lined up. My body and spirit are definitely telling me it’s time to hit the stage again. On the other end, I really, REALLY would love some Time to spend with my family. I need to get the kids on some kind of schedule. Chores need to be implemented, like, YESTERDAY, but it gets difficult when we’re running, running, running from the moment we open our eyes until literally bed time. We typically leave the house first thing in the morning and come back just in time to eat, bathe, and go to bed. So when do the kids clean their room? Wash the dishes? Clean the bathroom? Read a book? Journal? Set intentions? Learn to meditate? Play outside? Help cook dinner? Watch a family movie? POTTY TRAIN?!
Where is the balance?
My fear is that I’m raising a beautiful dancer who won’t know which way is up when it comes to keeping a clean home, organizing her Time, cooking her meals, or managing her money (and my son is not too far behind her). As of right now, she’s turning 11 and has no real responsibilities outside of school (where she doesn’t get nearly enough homework, in my opinion) and dance (where everything comes naturally to her). Where is the strategy? Where is the hard work? Where is the Time management? WHERE IS THE 8TH DAY OF THE WEEK?!?
I believe this is a huge reason moms quit dancing (or doing whatever it is that made us uniquely ourselves BEFORE having babies). It’s hard to meet the demands of home WHILE continuing to feed our passions. Too many times, when faced with these kinds of dilemmas, moms automatically start giving away piece after piece of ourselves until the woman who’s left looking back at us in the mirror is almost unrecognizable. Years go by and we’re left with the stories of the past. “Where did I go?” “Am I still in there?”
So honestly, I guess I’m just writing this just to write it. I really have no answers or hacks or solutions lol. What I can start doing, however, is utilizing the Time I do have. I tend to want to just chill and listen to music/podcasts/audibles (or silence) in the car. After all, it is one of the ONLY Sit-Still Times I have in my day. But, I’m willing to sacrifice that Time in exchange for meaningful conversation with my daughter. That’s definitely Time that could be spent talking about her goals, dreams and ambitions instead of just fluff talk from the day. We often talk about the power of her words, but we can actually practice setting intentions or simply being aware of our surrounding and talking about them. We can list our gratitudes. We can share ideas and make plans that will catapult us into the lives we envision for ourselves. THESE are the lessons I want to impart to my children. Cooking and cleaning are definitely important, (and we WILL get to that) but learning to manage your LIFE…. priceless. So, in the hustle and bustle of each day I have to remind myself to take opportunities to be intentional with even the smallest pockets of Time. Because the truth is, each and every day has 24 hours. What we do with that Time is completely up to us. But I believe that those who leave the strongest legacy understand the unequivocal value of Time and use it very intentionally. That doesn’t mean filling every day to the brim (because we all know how quickly that can lead to burnout, fatigue, and resentment). To me it means being intentional with my Time, whether that’s taking some well needed Mommy-Time or sharing that Time to sow into my family, friends, community, or career. All are equally important and we shouldn’t feel shame in any of it. It’s a balancing act, right!
Until next Time,
Dancing Over 30