Last weekend, I returned home from New York City after a whirlwind week of 20 TV appearances, eight interviews with magazine editors at Glamour, Woman’s Day, Health magazine, Shape and other hot-shot publications, a Get Out Of Your Own Way workshop, and meetings with agents. Sunday, I was busy packing with my family to go to Lake Tahoe for my daughter’s spring break and to Big Sur to celebrate Easter (which happens to land on my birthday this year). Then the phone rang, and I found out that a major national television show you’ve all heard of (and that I’ve dreamed of appearing on) wanted me to hop back on a plane and fly out to New York to appear on their show.
I had been away from my hubby and 5-year-old daughter for a whole week, and we had been planning to spend this special week together for months. And I felt the familiar tearing between my ambition and my family.
Career Family Career Family Career…
Every time I get on a plane to fly to New York for some golden professional opportunity, my daughter and I both cry. Last week, I asked Siena, “Do you ever get mad that Mommy has to fly to New York so much?” (I’ve been there ten times this year.) And Siena said, “Mommy, I get sad. But I know people in New York need you just like I do. So I don’t get mad. Actually, I’m proud of you.”
So suffice it to say I’m raising a little Buddha — and she’s the most awesome, understanding, zen kid in the world.
Which is why, when I found out I had the opportunity to appear on this show to talk about how parents need to talk to their daughters young because they’re developing so fast and we want to empower them to love and appreciate their bodies, I felt torn.
On one level, it’s national television and great exposure. It would look great on my résumé and likely open up other national television opportunities. And it would give me a chance to demonstrate that I can shine, even when the pressure is on. Plus, I’m passionate about the message I would be delivering. You could argue that the ends justifies the means when it comes to fulfilling your life purpose and delivering your mission.
But what if it means missing a ski vacation with your family? What if it means jetting off — again — after you just got home, when you promised your daughter it would be at least three weeks before you had to race off again? What if it means she stops trusting your word and pulls her heart away just the teensiest bit because she’s tired of having her heart broken?
No way. I couldn’t do it.
So I made a request to the producers. Could they wait a week? Could I spend Siena’s spring break skiing, hunt for Easter eggs with her, cut my birthday cake with my husband and daughter, and then fly to New York to appear on the show? It seemed like a good compromise to me.