Derby Life Balance

My Life

Not long ago I did a post about Work Life Balance and with the start-up a new team and the commitments I have made to Roller Derby, it occurred to me that I needed to think about my derby life balance as well.  Learning to balance all the things in my life that I enjoy doing with those obligations that I need to do is always a very big challenge.  Family time is very important, and doing things that we love to do is necessary.  Roller Derby is time-consuming and very demanding.  Just like we have vacation days given to us from work, we need a vacation from our hobbies at times also.  For me this may or may not mean a break from skating, but more likely a break from business side as well.  I have  a hard time thinking about not skating for any length of time but if you are struggling with the idea of practice every time and finding that you are not rejuvenated after said practice, it might be time to take a break.

Some times those breaks are forced upon us by circumstances, obligations, or injury but even healthy skaters need some time off to regroup, recharge and evaluate their personal goals and how it is affecting other aspects of their lives.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a recreational skater and being satisfied with that is all good too.  Having been a recreational skater that supported a very large league for several years and volunteering for that league, burn out can occur here as well.  We always need to set realistic expectations of our team members, volunteers and everyone else that works to support our league.

All that being said, everyone that is part of the league should be sure to support their league with volunteer time, serving on committees actively because the more people who do that, the easier the jobs are and a handful of members are not going to burn out so fast.  It takes lots of work, planning and dedication to run a league and we are not just the athletes, we are management too.  So get involved and do you part, find something you like and take it on.  Give your team-mate a break if needed and work together for the benefit of the team!

The picture above is my heart and soul, my grand-daughter and my husband.  I breath and live to be a part of their lives and the other members of my family doing things together and without their support, derby would not be a an option for me.  Because of them I am here doing what I love.

Derby Love!

Kool

Work Life Balance whhhaaaat??

This amazingly isn’t just about Derby, these are personal reflections.

I have been working at my company for 32 years wow that’s a long time!!  I can remember when I first started and how ambitious and anxious to learn and do a good job and spend every chance I had working to get ahead, (whatever that means).  I probably had an idea of what that was way back then.  I was young, worked hard, played harder and then came the family.

I remember still wanting to work, feeling guilty for that but doing it anyway for multiple reasons.  Mostly because of divorce and debt and twin girls to raise but also because at that time, just raising a family was not all I wanted to do.  I have enormous respect and admiration for mother’s who take on their families as their full-time job just as much as I do the ones who work and help provide for their family that way.  But it took a long time to feel good about my choice.

Now, I am happy with that choice and most of my other choices in life.  I did learn how to spend quality time with family and how to instill the importance of family to my girls and my son.  Our reward for this is the grown children finding family traditions just as important as we do. It was my husband was who helped me to grow up and appreciate everything about me, and us.

The corporate world during most of my work life had no time for balancing work and life, it was all about working yourself ragged and proving how valuable you are to the company.  Which even then meant nothing, really.  I have seen this gradual change to flexible hours, work weeks and multitude of other ways to have a life outside of just working.  I love that I have lived during this change!

I really can’t pinpoint when I personally changed from being all about the company to realizing that I was working in order to do the things I enjoy, and have the means to do them.  In other words, I work to Live, I do not live to work.  I take my vacation days and holidays and random other days because those are the things I am working for all year to be able to do!  And believe it or not I do like my job, however, I see that light at the end of this tunnel, retirement coming right upon me. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a good many years to work but I can see myself retiring now and that used to scare the daylights out of me when I was younger.

I have a hobby (Roller Derby, DUH) that is expensive and time-consuming and the third best thing to ever happen to me.  First being my husband, second our kids.  I can honestly say I love this life and even though I will never be a CEO of anything, I am rich with all the things that matter most to me.

This journey of life is all about choices, and accepting the ones we have made and striving to make better ones along the way.  My priorities today are nothing like there were 31 years ago, or even 15 years ago.  They change, they evolve, we change and we evolve and grow with experiences all the time.  I have had to learn to embrace this instead of carrying around a load of baggage that did nothing for me but bring me down!

I have learned so much about myself, my capabilities and passions just from Roller Derby. I am so thankful to have found it and for a family and husband who supports this craziness that I absolutely love! I hope to one day pass this passion on to my beautiful Grand Daughter Katelynn! (and the grand children to come)!

Derby Love to all and remember to LIVE life everyday! Choose to be HAPPY and you will be!

Melody Kool