Sunday, March 27, 2011

A strong foundation

My mother-in-law has a crazy amount of energy. If you know her, you're shaking your head yes right now.

After a successful career in the fashion industry, she took her passion for health and well-being and became certified in Pilates and Gyrotonics training and I'm not even sure what else. She has energy beyond belief, plans fun outings for us (like traipsing around New York's Nolita neighborhood going from art gallery to art gallery) and serves up Ellen-tinis poolside in the summertime.

She taught me a basic tenet of Pilates - the foot is the foundation to a healthy body.  Extend out your toes, expand your feet and walk. Try it now. I'll wait.

Don't you feel so much more in control when you're actively thinking about your foundation? Doesn't it make you feel stronger? More in control?

I thought about this tenet a few days ago and I have been practicing it as I start my re-entry back into my working gal life.

I stood firmly on my two feet as I mingled at the Development Leadership Consortium's 15th reunion last week. At first, I wasn't sure I was ready to go, but I needed to do it for myself. This group has been the cornerstone of my professional life as a fundraiser and the founder is a dear mentor of mine (and so many others). My DLC colleagues are my friends as well, and I had a wonderful time reconnecting with them.  (Being in a room of fundraisers is hilarious - it's our job to know people's business, so the banter was lively.) Our founder gave a brief talk, encouraging us with a simple message: To leave the world a better place than we found it. How lucky I am to hear these words, be surrounded by these kind people, as I begin the journey back from maternity leave to working full-time at my nonprofit.

I stood firmly on my two feet as I ventured downtown into Chicago's Loop by myself with my two little ones to visit my office Friday. Warm co-workers welcomed us, cooed over Jossie and exclaimed how big Jack was. At one point, my daughter was hungry, and I nursed her in my own office, while checking a lone voicemail on my work phone and watching Jack bop around me. I am so thankful for a family-friendly workplace.

I stood firmly on my two feet as I attended a yoga class and bridal brunch for a relatively new - but dear - friend to Jeremy and me today. She is getting married in a few weeks, and I was honored to spend time with her and her friends (funny aside: As I was prepping for yoga, I told Jossie that maybe I would find a Mommy and me yoga class for the two of us. A little voice piped up beside me, "And big brother too!"). I spent a total of five hours away from the house for this outing - the most I've been away from Jossie since we brought her home. I survived, and, quite honestly, it felt really good to do something for myself.

Feet firmly planted, I think I'm ready for my next chapter...working-outside-of-the-home mom of two. Who's in for happy hour?

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