I miss hearing cheers in our living room now that the Rio Olympics have ended. I can only imagine how the athletes must feel after years of training for two weeks of glory that are now history. Fortunatley for athletes like Kerri Walsh, many are returning to spend quality time with their families after intense months away training.
Kerri is not only a decorated Olympian in beach volleyball but also a mother of 3! In fact, she was pregnant with baby #3 during the last summer Olympics in London where she won her third gold medal while starting her first trimester! Having just gone through a first trimester, I am amazed at her stamina and agility amidst so many changes happening in her body. Her example of grit is nothing less than bump, set, striking!
So striking in fact, I had to research Kerri further which lead me to "A Day in the Life" clip where Kerri discusses balancing her career and family goals (check it out in the Mompreneurs in the Media section of this site - under Resources).
What strikes me most about Kerri is her ability to weigh decisions based on what is best for her family including making the committment to pursue her gift in volleyball so she can stay inspired.
"Any time away from my family needs to be something that betters me and betters my life for my family." - Kerri Walsh
This single quote shows she knows her values and refuses to settle for anything less than best for her dreams and her family. She understands the sacrifices and the reward of pursuing her gifts. Fortunatley she has not let the sacrifices hold her back and has reaped both personal and professional rewards as a result of her diligent dedication to her sport.
Like any mom, I'm sure there are days where she wonders how she will juggle her training schedule while keeping up with 3 kids. Yet somehow, like any mom, she makes it happen day after day because she has established a routine and her routine includes carving out time to develop her gift so she can continue to be bump, set, striking!
Ladies, we may not be Olympians like Kerri, but we are all invited to play in the game of life. We have 3 choices. We can continue rushing busily through our days and miss the opportunity completely, sit on the sidelines and wish we were gifted enough to play, or recognize our gifts and carve out time to develop these gifts so when it's time to play, we can bring our "A" game!
Choose option 3 and the next cheers you hear in your living room may just be from your family because let's face it, when you develop your gifts, everybody wins!
If you want help carving out time to discover and develop your gifts, DOWNLOAD a FREE:
"Mom's Guide to Developing Creative Habits"
"Mompreneurs Guide to Uplevel Success"
Blog photo from fiercelyfitenterprises.com
"Diving board", "Vault", and "Medal" are all among a slew of new words I've been teaching my son while streaming the Rio games this week. "Perseverance" and "Grit" are on the list to learn, but those will come with time, sweat, and energy in the future. Life alone will teach him. No Sesame Street episode or "Word of the Day" can convey the courage and endurance needed to persever under pressure, however the Olympics provide many examples of those who embody this spirit of grit!
In fact, every Olympian athlete embodies this tenacious spirit, yet, there is one who stands out to me during these games. Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist, Dana Vollmer is a 28 year old swimmer and 6 time world record holder as well as a "Momma on a Mission" as she proudly refers to herself.
So what makes Dana Vollmer stand out? Perhaps it's her humble spirit, down to earth demeanor or the fact she gave birth 17 months ago and is still competing in the Olympics, nevermind winning medals!
This means she started training months after birth, probably while still nursing and I'm assuming on very little sleep. I mean WOW! I'm truly in awe of her capacity and dedication to carve out time to swim! She embodies not only perseverance and grit, but the very mission I have been trying to convey with this blog encouraging busy moms to carve out creative time and space to refuel in daily living by retreating to their Creative Habitat (a protected environment promoting growth and well being)!
Dana's example is proof it is ok and healthy for moms, even brand-spankin new moms to retreat to our Creative Habitats to refuel. She swims laps at the pool and wins medals while I write blog posts and enjoy the simple pleasure of penning a few thoughts. Different outcome, same renewing effect!
Mommas out there, if you are exhausted, stretched to your limit, depleated of energy or perhaps you just feel like you have let an important piece of you go, I implore you...for the sake of your health and your family, please allow yourself creative time and space to refuel on a regular basis (if not daily). If Dana can return to the Olympics as a #Mommaonamission, we certainly can carve out a little mom"me" time to enjoy the creative gifts we embody!
This article describes Dana Vollmer's daily routine and "creative habits" that have allowed her to carve out some mom"me" time to refuel before spending the rest of the day enjoying mommy time with her son, Arlen.
"Time management is key," she told TODAY. "I kind of retired in 2013 and had my son. And my whole goal with this comeback was that I would always feel like my son came first. I have tons of super supportive moms I talk to all the time, and they always said you need some alone time for yourself. And that's what swimming became for me."
Did you like this post and want more encouraging and helpful resources to help you carve out creative time and space to refuel in daily living? If so, please "like" the Creative Habitat Facebook page HERE.
7 years ago today I married my best friend. August 7th will always remind me of the committment I made to love and support him through thick and thin. We started our marriage in the thick of his second year of medical school and have lived on a thin budget of time and money ever since.
Now, as he begins his final year of residency, I can't help but reflect on God's faithfulness in our marriage from our days as newly weds to becoming new parents amidst the many challenges and transitions of medical training.
Serving in marriage has been the single most precious and challenging creative habit I've worked to develop. Many may not see serving a spouse as a creative habit, yet, after 7 years of marriage, I can attest to the many ways creativity has helped our marriage through some challenging times.
Take for example the time both our cars broke down simultaneously in medical school when we were living on my single paycheck and did not have enough saved for one car down payment, nevermind two. We started a side business together using his medical know-how and my background in design. He got us in the market and I did the marketing! We got a working car and a golden doodle puppy named Carley as a result of our collaboration.
Carving out time for dates is another example of creativity in a medical marriage where both time and money are sparse. Given his constant need to study and strenuous schedule over the course of his medical training, we have made an effort to meet up and share a meal at lunch since we have been fortunate enough to work close to eachother in both medical school and residency. These midday breaks make his long nights of focused study/work much more bearable.
Anyway, you get the picture. Marriage, like any committment, takes work but creative habits turn challenges into opportunities to work together!
I was reminded of this truth while visiting the chapel we were married at during my recent visit to Colorado a few weeks ago. I felt lead to go back to the place it all started and reflect on what I've learned over the past 7 years while praying for creativity to help our marriage thrive over the next 7 years and beyond.
If you are married, I strongly encourage taking some time to reflect on the many ways you and your spouse have collaborated in creativity. You may be surprised how many creative habits you have already cultivated as a result.
I dedicate this post to my husband, my lifelong partner in creative problem solving!