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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Balance…what’s that? by guest blogger Angie Mizzell

I used to work in TV news, and during that time, I developed an ear for “sound bites.” I could instantly detect when the person I was interviewing said something meaningful in 15 seconds or less. It didn’t matter what they said before and after that; if I got the sound bite, I was good to go. So today, when someone asks me, “What do you do?” I feel the pressure to answer in a simple sentence, before their eyes glaze over and they start searching for a stiff drink and someone more interesting to talk to.

The short story is I’m a mom of the 3-year-old and 3-month-old, and I’ve finally figured out I want to be a writer when I grow up. The whole story is so much bigger than that, but I want you to stick around, so I’ll spare you the gory details. I guess this is my payback for cutting out huge chunks of other people’s stories to fit the allotted segment time.

In my late 20’s, I left my TV news job in the pursuit of happiness. I didn’t have kids yet, but I knew I didn’t want to be married to my pager and forced to work nights, weekends and holidays after I started my family. At the time I was clueless that having kids was also a round the clock job.

I’ve been self-employed ever since. This is the part where I leave out a lot of details. Come to think of it… it looks like I’ve had a few stiff drinks when I wrote my resume. As I’ve tried to find balance between living the dream and paying the bills, I’ve changed my mind, and my direction, a lot.

Life teaches me something every day. One thing I’ve learned, balance is overrated. The older I get, the more I realize life is messy. It’s one thing to say I want it all, and it’s another to determine what that really is. Each day I must choose what’s really important and let go of the things that are not. To me, it’s like a dance. Feeling the rhythm, not controlling the steps.
The occasional cocktail helps, too.

You can follow my journey and join the conversation at my blog, Under the MAC.
(Thanks, Angie!)