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Maintaining work, family and self a balancing act

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Over the course of my life, I've had the privilege of wearing many hats, or serving in many different roles. I've been blessed to have served as an Airman in our U.S. Air Force for almost 23 years and another four in the Reserve Officers Training Corps.  During this time, I've had the honor to serve as a commander, a leader, a mentor, a wingman, a follower, and a friend.  But those aren't all the hats I wear.  Equally critical are my roles as a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother.  I am grateful and humbled to wear all of these hats at the same time. 

There are those who feel that some of those roles cannot peacefully coexist and particularly as we celebrate Women's History Month, some believe that being a good mother or being a good wife conflict with what it takes to be a good and strong Airman.  I beg to differ - I believe that these roles cannot just coexist, but they are mutually enhancing if you can strike the right balance.

When I was a captain, I had a wise boss who used to emphasize the criticality of maintaining balance in your life. He saw life as a three-legged stool with each leg representing your work, your family and yourself.  He considered each leg to be equally important because if you don't make investments in each leg of your stool, your life will fall out of balance.

If you're anything like me, and I'd venture a guess that more of you are than are not, then you will pour your heart and soul into your work and your family. It is always toughest to make investments in the leg of the stool that represents yourself. Whatever you have that is left to give after work and family, is what you can invest in the leg of the stool that represents yourself. I didn't say that keeping the stool in balance was easy, and I admit that am not very good at it, but it is important and we have to keep working at it. 

Your "self" investment can be to exercise, to read a book or listen to music. Whatever activity it is for you, do it unapologetically. You will be stronger and more resilient, as well as a better contributor for the other legs of the stool for having done it.

I know most of you have the same challenge and privilege of having many roles and wearing many hats and as a result, have to work hard at the balancing act, but what you and those around you will gain for your efforts is immeasurable.
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