Since I’m new here at Women Network, I thought I’d introduce myself. I’m a mom, a wife, an author, a lifestyle editor, a commercial actor, and an autism advocate. In other words, I am busier than hell…and I love it! That’s because I’ve learned the art of balance. Before you think I’m one of those Miss perfect pants, let me give you my personal definition of balance. I believe balance is the art of keeping your cool and being happy within the chaos that is life. We are humans! And as such, we are imperfect (sorry to burst any bubbles, but even Oprah farts!). It stands to reason that when you have a lot of balls in the air, one may drop now and again. That’s where the balance part comes in. When you have balance, you can pick that ball up, brush it off, and keep juggling.Learning how to do that took me some time. I graduated from UCSD and married my college sweetheart. We started our family a year later and had three amazing kids in less than five years. I was so determined to be super mom that I didn’t just back burner my dreams, I pushed them off of the stove entirely. In hindsight I think I was so worried about dropping any balls that I simply refused to add any. I just did the mom thing—which is wonderful in and of itself—but for me, it wasn’t enough.
I wanted to pursue things that were just about me as an individual, too. And it took me figuring out how to get out of my own way to do that. When I was closer to 40 than 30 I had a mini midlife freak out. I made a list of things I always wanted to do, but hadn’t, and challenged myself to achieve them all before my big four-oh. The last thing on that list was “write a book” (I had a degree in writing that was collecting dust) and that book, The FabYOUList: List It, Live It, Love Your Life, is all about how I crossed off numbers 1 through 39 on that list of mine. I learned a lot along the way. Most importantly, that there is no expiration date on dreams, no such thing as too old or too late, and that the thing that had been holding me back all that time was ME; more specifically, me and my fear of everything from failure, to success, to embarrassment, to dropping balls all over the place and not being able to pick them back up again. I didn’t get rid of those fears entirely. But, I learned how to proceed in spite of them. And once I did, everything changed for me. I went from being a stay-at-home soccer mom who really wanted a career, to being a great mom who now has a great career. The list gave me permission to do the things I wanted—some silly, some scary, but all meaningful to me. Writing about the experience of living my list gave me purpose and confidence. Now I’m helping other people to rediscover their own passions, break out of their comfort zones, and start living the lives they always wanted.
Here on womennetwork.com I’ll be writing about how to fill your days with what inspires you, and how to find the balance you’ll need to make that happen. If it makes life easier, saves time, helps hold fears at bay, or motivates your mission to be the happiest, healthiest version of you that you can possibly be, I’ll be talking about it! It is my sincerest hope that you will join the conversation. Check back every Wednesday for a new post (I’m calling it “WomenNetwork.com Wednesday”!).And look for me in the pages of SHAPE, OK!, and Star magazines as well as on www.shape.com, www.thedailymuse.com and my own site, www.susancampbellcross.com. Please check out my parenting blog at secretsofasuburbansoccermom.com and follow me on Twitter @SusanCross1, and Facebook (www.facebook.com/thesusancampbellcross).