Sunday, 14 November 2010

living it all

At the end of last week, I had lost track of how many people had actually said to me: Heather, you look tired…

Why do people say that? To seem compassionate? Concerned? Or is it just a polite way of saying: you look like crap!? After such remarks I found myself catching my reflection in passing windows scrutinizing the darkness of the circles under my eyes or even tracking people’s eyes as they scanned my face when talking to me asking myself: are they wondering about the puffiness of my eyes? Trust me, NOT a good feeling.

I am a designing mom. With two kids, I decided that agency life would be hard to keep up and so I opted to pursue my own design business letting me control my workload and attempt to manage my ever-so-precious time (as my last blog entry proves, it is not easy trying to balance fulfilling projects with two dynamo daughters and an entrepreneurial husband).

But I keep on trying.

Sometimes that involves a late-night-shift. Sometimes an intense day with no lunch break. Sometimes that even requires missing that critical hot-morning-wake-up shower and going through the day sporting a chic beanie, but really looking like a left-over Seattle grunger (albeit a cool look, at 44, it’s one I could do without). Although the post-bedtime hours can prove productive, the mature face obviously pays for it in the morning.

Not being a morning person certainly doesn’t help having to get 2 kids to 2 separate schools by 8:30 a.m., and that implies clothed AND fed beforehand. Once I reach the studio, I relish the Holy silence and the ensuing 7,5 hours as selfish, professional “me” time where it seems an almost luxury to be able to work out details unimpeded by little voices requiring an adoring maternal audience. My studio mates mistake this for a devout, concentrated, adopted-German work-ethic – why disappoint them?

Who says we can have it all? At times, it feels like both sides are short-changed. At times it’s frustrating remembering the endless sense of time one used to have. But then it happens – you hear the excitement to your design proposal in a client's voice or your husband turns to you at the dinner table and unexpectedly says: “you look great!” – and you know he really means it.

So I carry on with my full load. Trying to get to bed early enough to make a difference (does each pre-midnight hour really count for two?) and fortunate to have such a beautiful family and a profession, worth enough – to in fact try – to have AND live it all.

So, the next time you see a “tired” friend, keep in mind that they're giving it their all… and zip it.

1 comment:

  1. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.I have always hated it when people comment that I look tired. They mean to show concern, but it is a downer.