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Making Time To Live Your Dream

Work + Money

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Kathy Korman Frey, Founder, Hot Mommas Project

By Kathy Korman Frey

Kathy Korman Frey, entrepreneur in residence at the George Washington University School of Business and founder of www.HotMommasProject.org, writes the second in a series of posts on work-life balance issues: Who has mastered this balancing act and how?

Read her first post in the series, Declutter Your Life: Secrets of a Prioritizer.
 

When Lydia was a girl, she had a dream. That dream was to dance. At the age of eleven, that dream was postponed as the you-know-what hit the fan with Lydia’s family. Now, Lydia is almost 40. She’s living her dream of dancing, once again. She elaborates:

We’re going to be a dancing family. In September I am taking my first dance class. My girls dance, and I am going to take ballet.


So what does her passion for dance have to do with balance? Lydia’s approach is to find the common threads and meaning in BOTH spheres so that she can connect them and create one continuous thread. She explains:

I laid my passions, skills and strengths out on the table.  I realized my creative energy was being stifled at my 9 to 5 job and figured being an entrepreneur would solve that problem.  It felt much better!  That was step one. Then, I wrote my case study for the Hot Mommas Project and got to know myself all over again.  That was how I discovered that I needed to reconnect with my childhood love for dance.  All I know is this: I need to do something that energizes me.  And I’m doing it.

Meet Lydia, The Dancing Balancer.

We examine Lydia’s schedule not only because she has a high work-life balance score (using a quantitative scale developed by the Hot Mommas Project), but also because she has figured out how to thread her passion (dance) through her day.  One thing that helps is her entrepreneurial day job. She is a personal branding strategist and founder of MotivMode.

Lydia is married to Jeff. Together they have three young girls ages nine, seven, and five.

Here is her daily schedule:

Time

Business (B)
Personal (P)

Activity

 6:30 am

(P)

Wake up, exercise, shower, have coffee.

 7:30 am

(P)

Get three girls ready for school. Walk them to the bus.

 9:15 am

(B)

Work focus. Client calls.

11:30 AM

(B)

Stop working. 15 minute break. Pick up 5-year-old from bus stop. Lunch and playtime. 

2:00 PM

(B)

5-year-old watches TV. Do admin work.

 3:30 pm

(P)

Begin to prepare supper. Pick up two older girls from bus.

 5:30 pm

(P)

Supper and family “dance talk.”

 6:30 pm

(P)

Work with girls on homework while husband cleans up.

 7:30 pm

(P/B)

Plan dance class schedule and maybe get on email ONE last time. Jeff gets girls ready for bed.

 9:30 pm

(P)

Watch TV with hubby and catch up.

 11:00 pm

(P)

Bed


Lydia’s Mantra: Know Thyself: Self-awareness is stability.
 
Lydia’s secrets:

1. Stopping. Lydia knows how to operate at the top of her game: “I do not function well in a fly by the seat of your pants environment.” When Lydia has to walk out the door to pick up her five year-old at noon, she stops working at 11:30 am.

2. Being in-tune. One doesn’t get a high balance score and tap shoes without having some keen personal insights. As Lydia says, “After a great deal of introspective work, I realized a big problem for me was not the quantity of hours I spent here and there, but that I was simply going through the motions at work.  I felt ‘blah,’ and no matter how much I traded working hours for more home time, I still felt blah.” This realization drove her toward entrepreneurship, MotivMode, and dancing. 

3. A supportive spouse. That’s right people! We LOVE Jeff. Not in a “Big Love” kind of way, but, in a “Wow, does this guy get it” kind of way. Lydia comments, “I have his emotional support. I don’t have to convince him when it comes to how things impact my life. He gets it.” Jeff also works from about 7.30 am to 4.30 pm which allows for flexibility. Oh, and P.S., Jeff is taking hip-hop.

Having a stable life - and a markedly better understanding of who she is and what she wants - has enabled Lydia to dream. She even threads her dream through her everyday life. Lydia teaches us that balance is only part of the equation. If you can achieve reasonable balance, what are you going to do with that new-found power?  “You go girl” is a term pretty much invented for Lydia. You too? What is your big dream?

Lydia as an eleven-year-old:



Lydia now, with her daughter:





Lydia's dancing family:





To keep track of Lydia, follow her on Twitter and read her Hot Mommas Project teachable story, which – Lydia says – is what re-ignited her dream for her.

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Comments

  • Great story Kathy! Like Lydia I am living my dream as well...quit the corporate world and am doing what I love - writing! I am going to look into the tools you have on the Hot Mommas Project site as well.

    Posted by MariaMedia.net, 17 June 2010.

  • Very happy that you shared my story, Kathy. I am chronicling my adventure back into dance and spreading the joy of following your dreams in my new blog: www.passionliveshere.wordpress.com.

    Posted by Lydia Fernandes, 25 September 2009.