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Keep Your Heart Where Your Feet Are


A few years ago, I was on a plane with nothing to read but an old Good Housekeeping left behind by a previous traveler. It was poor planning on my part, but I believe it was serendipitous. I learned a lesson from two celebrities that had nothing to do with how to look slimmer or rock the current fashions.

There was an article about how actress Angie Harmon seemed to make her busy career and family work. She was filming her television show in L.A., but her family lived in North Carolina. When they asked how she kept it all together, she credited fellow actress Kyra Sedgwick’s advice.

"Kyra told me to keep my heart where my feet are. So when I'm at work, my heart stays at work, and when I'm at home, my heart stays at home."

This philosophy really struck a chord with me. I thought of all the times I am tending to work from home. And of course all the times I am tending to home matters from work. I realized I was robbing Peter to pay Paul every day.

I was always running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and I couldn’t seem to find a way to be less busy or less distracted by the 25 different tings flying at me every hour.

Keep your heart where your feet are.

That advice kept rolling through my mind. Could I divorce my home life every day at 7:30 AM and be sure everyone would be alive, healthy and happy come 5 PM? Could I really walk away from work at 5 and know that the Internet would be waiting for me the next morning?

I’m not perfect at this – not even close – but it is something I strive be better at. I (like many of you, I’m sure) am a people pleasure who has found an odd comfort level in juggling too many things. When was the last time you were at work taking a phone call from your mother 700 miles away? Did you bring your laptop to Dad’s house that week and sneak away to finish up a report?

Do we have to multi-task to be successful, or is this a trend (like being busy) that isn’t so much a marker of success, but of a lack of control?

We miss out on so much when we try to do too much. I remember making a doctor appointment while I was writing an email only to hang up and realize I had no idea when the appointment was. And there was the time I grabbed hairspray instead of deodorant because I was looking at the calendar full of meetings that day. Or the time I sat in an empty (and wrong) meeting room wondering where everyone was as I feverishly emailed my daughter’s teacher.

If we ever hope to give our best, and feel as though we have some room to breathe, we have to at least try to keep our hearts where our feet are.

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