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I had a work colleague recently ask me how it was possible to keep everything balanced when it comes to work and family. Her parenting phase is a difficult one right now and I did the best I could to remind her to always keep perspective, that none of us are perfect, and to find one thing she really enjoys and make a point to do it.

One day later, I was hiding in the restroom of my middle child’s basketball game wiping away tears of frustration. After having already been on the road for 50 minutes because I accidentally drove to the wrong gym on my first attempt, my actions caused my boy to miss his warm-up time (which, frankly, didn’t bother him half as much as seeing his mom so stressed out did).

I had been away from my family for three days the week prior for work. I had forgotten to RSVP for a little one’s birthday party that we wouldn’t be able to make. I’ve been neglecting a side project that I want to unveil by the holidays. And then there’s Christmas shopping and my hatred of it. Have I mentioned how much I equally love and detest this time of year?

I had my recurring dream that I only experience when I’m on edge, the one where I’m at the wheel of an automobile knowing I have to stop before I collide into something else and, no matter how hard I press my foot onto the brake pedal, I can’t stop moving forward.

I’ve reflected on my mini meltdown and came to this conclusion: I need to always keep perspective, remind myself that none of us are perfect, and find one thing I really enjoy and just do it. Or, better stated: Practice what I preach.

I saw a woman who I assume was a player’s mom approach a referee at the conclusion of my eldest son’s basketball game today. She spoke to him for no more than 30 seconds and I’m fairly confident hers weren’t words of praise directed at him. I saw another grown woman with tears welling up as I was getting ready to leave, and my gut told me her emotions had little to do with what happened on the court but maybe had more to do with stuff on the sidelines.

Then I redirected my attention on the collective group of youth athletes. My son, in particular, didn’t have his best game but his team came out on top. He wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, but instead shifted focus to what he wanted to consume to replenish the absurd amount of calories his growing body needs these days. The losing team, who has been victorious in the past, seemed to hold their heads high for the most part.

They recognized today was not their defining moment. It was but one chapter in their journey.

We adults could learn a few things from a group of preteens.

Today I won’t feel guilty for missed appointments or cancelled plans. Instead I will be grateful for all that I’ve done with the hours I’m given.

Today I won’t beat myself up for never being everything to everyone. Instead I will remember I am deeply loved by the important ones.

Today I won’t feel ashamed for taking on yet another project in my overly jammed life. Instead I will remind myself that I can’t give up on something I believe is good.

Today I won’t feel like screaming out the frustration I’ve bottled up inside. Instead I will feel like singing the passion I refuse to suppress.

Today I won’t toss my hands into the air and say “Finally, I wrote something.” Instead I will quietly close my laptop and say “Thank you for reading and relating.”

Written by Heidi Woodard