The Forest from the Trees

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's been a year.

A year since the path I was on wasn't clear and I felt lost without a compass to guide me and tell me which way to go.

A year since I was exhausted. I would go to bed and have my sleep interrupted by the littles. When my sleep wasn't interrupted by them, it was broken by constant worry and lists of things that I needed to do or had forgotten to do. My panic attacks came suddenly and unexpectedly. I couldn't breath and the mere thought of certain things immediately overwhelmed me and caused me to be physically ill. "What's for dinner?" shouldn't cause a grown woman to have a full blown panic attack. Every aspect of life blurred together and I couldn't separate perception and reality.

All my professional career I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be an Executive and I was earning my chops to get me there. I was a top performer, I worked hard, long hours and I had a reputation of responsibility and dedication. I earned that.

And then I found myself in some of my darkest days thanks to PPD. I never thought it would happen to me. I knew motherhood would change me but I wasn't prepared for the blues.

I rebounded. Found my way through the weeds to the meadow and enjoyed the sunshine and joy with my family. I found balance and support and was coming through. And then...

I made a mistake.

I thought I wanted to continue on the same path. I thought that I wasn't changed to my core and that being a high level professional was still what I wanted. And I tried to make it happen. I worked hard and long days but I wasn't the same. I denied the anxiety was back and tried to push through. I ignored it and kept along the path, but I had gone off course. I was unhappy and felt unfulfilled. I was lost and only when I could see no light nor a path forward did I admit I needed to look for a map.

I had to change my life. I had to admit I wasn't the person I used to be. I had to be okay with that and accept who I had become. I needed to find what I truly wanted and be authentic to myself. I wanted to be able to focus on being a mom. I needed to focus on being a mom. And I had good friends and family to be my compass and  help me find my path.

My life is not at all what I thought it would be. But then whose is? We never reach our full potential by going back to how we think things should be. Those thoughts and standards keep us from being in the moment, from enjoying the life that is right in front of us, from accepting what is and making the most of it.

My life is better than I ever thought it could be. I have two beautiful children who bring more joy and happiness to my heart than I ever thought it could hold. A husband who stands by me, holds me up and loves me. Family and friends who don't waiver, who let me lean on them, pour more wine, celebrate small victories and share in the happiness.

The journey continues, the path still being discovered, but what is clear is what is important. What lessons I have learned and what I have chosen to do with that knowledge. I don't need a fancy title next to my name to be successful. I am enough without that. I am a work in progress. I treat others how I would hope they would treat me and try to find the positive in every day. I work 8-4 and leave it at the office. I run my own children's clothing design business and am part of an amazing network of creative mompreneurs. I spend my nights and weekends living a life with my family and friends.

My children will learn from my example. I want them to learn to be happy and responsible. To push themselves to succeed but not at the cost of their health or relationships. I'm okay with the plot twist the movie of my life has given's taken a year to be okay with it, and I'm not all that sure I'm there yet, but it has lead me to where I am today and I am grateful for that.

It's not that I took a path that no one else has's that I chose a different path. And to me, that has made all the difference.


  1. Sometimes our panic attacks can show us the path through the trees... It forces us to slow down or stop...and reassess what it is that gives us true happiness and fulfilment. And whatever that is, we need to give ourselves permission to either 'be' or do that. Sadly, society has so many people brainwashed into thinking that you are defined by your credentials and your career. Workaholics are revered as pinnacles of success and of what we should all aspire to be. But, I think that ultimately, in order to be happy...we need to just 'be' - whatever that is and not feel ashamed or less than. Finding your bliss is what's important.

  2. Well said Lisa. Things seem to be much better when we are able to listen to our internal compass. Perhaps panic attacks and depression are our brain telling us to slow down to listen and reassess. You're a great Mom and a terrific person, both things that are more valuable than credentials as far as I'm concerned.


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