Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious—and maybe a little obsessed—about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us feel a little better. Every Friday I’ll feature a new interview. Here’s what Elizabeth Moyer had to say…
No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger
Age: 46… that still shocks me to write!
Where I live: Rye, NY
Job: Lifestyle blogger, Pretty Pink Tulips
Ages/genders of kids: 2 boys ages 9 and 12
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
Not at all! After I graduated college, I went into a management training program with Bank of America and began a 14-year career with that company. I started out in retail bank management (think running a McDonald’s without the hamburgers, while dressed in a suit and heels), then managing trusts, estates, and investments for high net worth individuals and families and then, finally, marketing. I learned SO much during those years and I think it helped me forge a lot of organization and leadership skills. Creativity, however, was sorely lacking. I “retired” from banking after my first son was born. When my sons were 5 & 8, I felt ready to embark upon some type of work that would connect me with like-minded people and help fill a creativity void. Blogging seemed to be the perfect answer, as I could be my own boss, structure my own work day and set the tone and direction. Pretty Pink Tulips was born in April of 2010, and I’ve been blogging away ever since about living, giving, and entertaining with style and grace.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I am of the belief that you can have it all, just not all at the same time. I think a happy life is about priorities, which are always shifting. The key is to be willing to shift our time and attention when those priorities shift.
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Honestly, I think I’m a pretty balanced person, living a pretty balanced life. But, I think that is born out of an acknowledgement that I’m not going to give 100% to everything in my life, at all times. Sometimes I may give 80% to health and fitness and 50% to friends. Other times, that is reversed. I think being balanced means being true to yourself and what you value and then letting some other things go.
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I think I’m getting better at balancing my own expectations. I no longer value multi-tasking, for example. I used to pride myself on that trait. However, that is also when you are not giving anything your full attention and if you’re not doing that….how can you truly do it well? So….tackling things one at a time is something I’ve gotten better at. I may get things done slower, but they are usually done better.
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker? When I worked at the bank in marketing, I felt that I had some really solid role models for balancing things. We worked hard during the day (and whenever needed, at home), but the happiest people always had interests outside of their work.
From your mother? My mother is a living, breathing example of how to live a balanced life. She does not hurry. She savors things. She keeps things tidy and clean, so there is a place for everything and thus “everything in its place.” She puts people first, yet takes care of her health. I could go on and on, but I realize I have had a really good role model.
From your kids? My kids are so perceptive. They often mirror back to me my frustration about something that I might “need” to do. They help me recognize that I sometimes get wound up over things that aren’t really that important. It goes back to priorities.
If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
I would listen to music or exercise. Both of those things really ground me and calm me.
What would you have told yourself…
20 years ago? Take more risks. Go into a creative field. Have fun!
20 years from now? Good for you for taking more risks and living a creative life. (Here’s hoping!)
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Loading the dishwasher. I really don’t like dirty dishes.
Whose job do you wish you had?
I wish I could paint and do illustrations like my friends Patricia and Jeanne. I would love to be editor of House Beautiful, as I love interior design. I would love to have Linda Fargo’s job as head buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, as I love fashion and fashion shows. I would also love to be on a morning talk show, as I just think it would be fun to meet so many interesting people. Clearly, I went for the “fantasy” realm here.
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
Accountants… just would bore me to bits. Emergency room physician or nurses… I think the stress and blood would kill me.
What are you reading right now?
Masterminds and Wingmen, by Rosalind Wiseman, a non-fiction book about the real-life struggles of boys.
Activity? Probably too much time in front of my computer.
Food? I like tortilla chips—it’s all about the Tex-Mex for me.
Website? I regularly like to “browse” women’s fashion websites.
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
I usually am in bed for 8 hours, but it’s not always a great sleep.
What do you read every morning?
My blog, my email, a quick news scan, and other blogs.
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: am doing all right.
I wish I: could figure out what project I should work on next.
My kids: are a joy!
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
I have a few favorites: “Bloom where you are planted,” (I made four major moves during my 30s: Dallas to San Francisco to New York City to Charlotte to Rye, NY) “When the student is ready, the teacher appears,” and “Each of us is as happy as we make up our mind to be.”
Elizabeth was born and raised in Texas and to this point has spent more time there than any other place, so its influence is still felt profoundly on all she does. She likes friendly people, Tex-Mex, seeing the sun dip beneath the horizon, lipstick, and high heels. She always loved to write and take photos, so becoming a blogger was a natural fit. Married 15 years to her Midwestern, hardworking yet fun-loving husband, she is doing her best to raise two young boys, making sure they learn their manners as well as their math.
Please share your own tips on balance below and check back every Friday for another interview from THE BALANCE PROJECT. Better yet, subscribe in the box to the right and I’ll let you know when a new one posts…
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 1: Jessica Mindich, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 2: Veronica Beard, Fashion Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 4: Lyss Stern, Mom-trepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 5: Lauren Slayton, Nutritionist