You Learn What You Live
Growing up, I do not recall one time watching my parents sit down and just watch television. They were not idle people. My energy and drive come from them. At the age of 10, I got my first summer job: mowing at a putt putt golf course for free Cokes and games. I have held a job in some capacity ever since. My first "real job" came when I was fresh out of college, teaching senior English to students who looked older than I did. That same year I also coached cheer, went back to school to get my Master's degree, and I found out I was pregnant. I commuted about 60 miles to work each day and brought home a whopping $800 a month. I also brought home every illness the students shared. Since I needed days for my maternity leave, I never missed work. I taught through passing out and through getting shingles in my eighth month of pregnancy.
For the next 25 years, I continued to teach school, to be a wife, to have babies (just 2 more), and to coach some, too: cheer, cross country, and track. Just when I started looking to retire from teaching and to simplifying my life, I was given the opportunity to work as a designer at Urban Farmhouse Designs. When faced with the decision to walk away from teaching, I realized I wasn't ready to give up that part of my life. So, that led to my decision to juggle. Now I teach four classes every day from 8 to noon, and I design three days a week!
Like me, my husband cannot be idle. He understands my drive. Without his support, I couldn't do everything I love. He takes care of the grocery shopping, cooks the meals, assists with the laundry and dishes, and handles all the bills. I know many people have to juggle it all by themselves, and I truly admire them. Without my husband's support, I could never keep up with everything because for me, it's about balance. If all my ducks aren't in a row...if I don't feel as though I'm on top of it at school or at home or at Urban or with my fitness, then something has to give. I need to be in control in all aspects of my life, and my husband affords me this balance by picking up the slack when I am unable to do so.
For Mother's Day one year, my family bought me a relaxing spa day. I lasted through a facial and a foot massage before I bolted. For me, constantly moving, constantly juggling feels natural. Someone once told me they felt sad for me that I can't relax. It's not that I can't relax; I've just got things to do! So for now, I will keep doing what I love. I will set my alarm for 4:22 A.M. a few weekday mornings to get my butt out of bed to run. Running has been part of my balance for over 40 years. I will still teach part-time. Teaching has been part of my balance for 27 years now. And I will keep designing three days a week because I enjoy it. Unless my husband and I buy a home on a beach somewhere, I don't see myself slowing down anytime soon. Juggling two jobs is hectic, chaotic, time-consuming, and exhausting. It's also a choice. It's my normal. So, for now, I will keep on keepin' on because it's what I've learned, it's what I've lived, and it's what I've always done.