CrispyM&MsKyleBuschIt’s the second weekend in the 2015 Nascar season and while I’m excited that we’re racing again, I’m very bummed still that Kyle Busch is out for a few months due to his accident in Daytona. He suffered a compound fracture in his right leg and a compound fracture in his left foot. He’s had surgery, is back in North Carolina, and at home recovering and resting, but the races just aren’t the same without him in the #18.

This week David Ragan will be taking up the seat for Kyle and it sounds like he’ll stay there until Kyle is able to return. I hope David does well, is able to keep the #18 in contention, and above all has fun.

On the weekends, I watch the races with my son and I work, sometimes during the races, but usually after. It’s a struggle to keep it all in check, to make sure that I don’t spend too much here or there. I will say though that as a mother, that comes first. It has to come first. Should I sacrifice time with my kids for writing and working and making money? Do I want them to leave the house feeling that I was never there for them? Do I want them to ever come to me and say, ‘things were nice, but I all I remember is you working’? No, I don’t.

Since my daughter entered school and my son was an infant, I have worked from home. We needed the money and I couldn’t return to my previous job in the front office of a hotel. I got a job working from home for a dating service, doing data entry and screening singles ads (talk about INTERESTING!), but it allowed me to be what my jobs outside the house couldn’t…a hands on mom.

Being a mom has been my single greatest achievement. They are intelligent, strong kids. They know who they are. They’re brave and open minded. They don’t judge and put down and they’re both so damn sarcastic… (I have no idea where they get that trait from). I have been a hands on mom and homeschooler for years. I’m always learning and they are too. And I don’t want to lose them. Now, or later in life.

My daughter has said I was known as the cool mom… That’s the best feeling because I’ve heard how some kids talk about their parents and I’ve heard how her friends talked about me, even when they didn’t know I could hear them. Those things made me feel good and made me feel that I was doing something right. (My son’s friends were a little different.)

But it’s a delicate thing trying to balance it all out. To achieve personal success, sacrifices have to be made. To achieve professional success, sacrifices have to be made. Life is hectic and we are always racing against the clock. Racing to finish the book, racing to get more sales, racing to eat right, sleep more, work more, see friends, take a vacation, spend time with family, exercise, etc… We’re always moving at break neck speeds to get it all in…

We also wear ourselves down. We get sick, injure ourselves, stress ourselves trying to do it all. If we’re not hiring help for home and kids so we can work 100 hour weeks on our businesses, we’re working 100 hour weeks splitting time between family and work and home. There’s not much time left for leisure and play and fun and de-stressing.

I want there to be though. I want it to come through in my writing, in my time with my kids, in my relationships with my friends and family, in that I’m not sick all the time, in that I’m not stressed all the time, in that I’m happier all the time. I’ve stopped listening to ‘should’ and ‘need’ statements and I’m working to not use them myself in talking with others. What works for you may not work for me, but I bet we can learn from each other.

Will I see a NY Times best seller list? A USA best seller list? An Amazon best seller list? Probably not… Will it stop me from writing, though? From trying to find the best marketing strategies for me, from trying new things, from moving forward in my career? Nope. It’ll just mean I take a different fork in the road.

Watching races and football with my son, slowing down just a little and listening to my body, going shopping with my daughter, going to concerts, reading… I’m trying to forge my own path and my own definition of success. I have this one life, my kids have this one life with me, and I don’t want to leave it or them wishing I’d slowed down and smelled the Magnolias…

Do you slow down? How? What is your definition of success?

~lissa