Overall, balance is something that doesn't come easily to me. I have no problems working myself into the ground, and I rarely have a work week that totals 40 hours or less. I have to work every day at putting away my laptop and my phone to be present with my husband, or just let my brain rest after a long day of work.
When my newest niece and nephew were added to the mix this fall, though, I had a decision to make. With most of my weekends booked between weddings and other trips, I could either take a few days off during the week to visit those two or not see them or wait until things slow down a little in November. The choice was easy - I left work behind and drove to visit my siblings and help as much as I could.
I'm not writing this blog because I've found some magical secret that will enable you to balance your life in five easy steps. I'm writing this blog because I have learned to a certain extent how I can make decisions for myself. When my niece and nephew were born and I debated over how to manage what I had to do versus what I wanted to do, I landed on one simple question: What would I regret and what would I never regret?
The answer isn't always so clear cut, but this I knew - if I visited and lost a little sleep before and after trying to catch up on work, but in the meantime got to steal some sweet newborn snuggles and visit family, I would never regret that choice. But if I sat at my computer pounding out blogs and patting myself on the back for meeting deadlines while these two babies grew older, I could never be satisfied with that decision. It might feel productive and business-like to always say no, but that doesn't mean it was the right thing to do.
I don't want to live my life so tied to a computer screen that I forget to look up. I don't want to look back on my 20s and want to shake myself for missing huge family moments and the first few moments of my niece's and nephew's lives. I may not be a photographer forever (though right now I'd be happy to!) but I will always be a daughter, sister, wife, and aunt. I want to live my life rejoicing over the moments I was able to choose family over everything else. I hope you can do the same.