Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finding Contentment in Two Worlds

As I continue to work through my decisions regarding medicine, residency and what is best for our family, this recent piece in my alma mater's Alumni Weekly caught my eye.  The writer is a graduate of Princeton, Harvard Business School and mom of two.  While choosing to keep a foot in the professional world, she has passed up attractive jobs that would require longer hours and more time away from her kids, instead opting for positions that aren't as stimulating but allow her flexibility or part-time commitment so she can spend more time with her kids.  She reflects honestly and openly in her piece about her discontent and struggles with this, wondering if, "in being unwilling to give up either world, did I end up doing a poor job in both?"

Canyons: alluring beauty, beasts to straddle
Like the author, I realize that it is a privilege to have the opportunity to wrestle with the problems of how/whether to straddle the mother/professional divide. Sometimes, though, the privilege feels more burdensome than uplifting.  The divide can feel like a canyon, and while canyons are alluringly beautiful in their mystique, they are a beast to straddle.

I realized, as my heart resonated with her struggles, that I have a real problem with contentment.  I am not content to have others determine my path, nor am I satisfied by having the opportunity to choose for myself.  What gives, Queen B? 

This weekend I attended a Christian Women In Medicine conference for a few hours in Providence, RI.  As I described my current position and decisions to others in a small group, one woman encouraged me with Proverbs 16:9:

"A man devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

It is my prayer today that the Lord would be the one to direct my steps in the next year as I make hard decisions about my work/home life balance.  I pray for all other mothers who are privileged enough to have to face similar questions, but find them burdensome rather than freeing.  And I pray that my contentment would not lie in a hope of a "perfect balance," (because really, IS there even such a thing?) but in the Lord who is my Savior and Creator, who created me to love Him, love others, and do His good work in the world.

Happily Ever,
Queen B

p.s. The piece is called "A Foot in Two Worlds."  It is available online and was printed in the September 22nd issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly.


SnoWhite said...

Praying for you, friend. He will direct your path -- that is for sure. It might look different than you'd try to plan, but He has you right in His hand.

Anonymous said...

Be careful of the "perfect balance" myth. We aren't perfect; you will always find yourself falling short of some objective. You are wise to be content even in times of questioning and rest in the knowledge that God loves you and is with you in every moment. You are in my prayers, Bets!
Love, Bette

Kat said...

Queen B, I thought of you immediately when I read this article in the PAW! Whatever path you choose, I know that you will walk it with grace and with a smile on your face...Praying for you, my friend!