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Finding balance

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I realized when I was writing this month's story on the decline in golf's popularity, just how many things I don't find the time for anymore. I used to be a voracious reader a book a week was the norm for me. A family walk around the neighborhood every evening was part of our routine and our way to decompress and reconnect at the end of the day. I'd check in with my two close girlfriends by phone or e-mail at least every week or so. My garden was my pride and I spent a lot of time digging in the dirt. I even started my own plants from seeds indoors in late winter. And, I used to make the time for an occasional round of golf with my husband. Well, then I became a mid- life working mom, and the reading got regulated to a little bit one morning a week. It soon took me months to finish a book. I still gardened, but I bought my plants easy-care plants the kind that came up every year. We'd sometimes get to walk on the weekends ... if we weren't running to my son's sports practice or game. It seemed I'd catch up with my girlfriends when someone has a crisis in their family, or one of our kids has a fund-raiser going on. And, the only golf I played last year was mini-golf where I got soundly beat by my six-year-old. Recently, I also became a member of the much-discussed "sandwich generation" when my Dad was diagnosed with a serious illness and my family and I found ourselves adding extra grocery shopping trips, doctor's visits, and other helping duties into our routines. Though they're things we do willingly, it throws life just that much more out of balance. Recently, I was talking about my Dad's situation and my trepidations about taking a long-planned family vacation to Florida this spring with Ann DeNucci, the owner of Make Way for Ducklings Nursery School and Kindergarten, where my son attends school. She reminded me how important it is to try and find that sense of balance in life, especially when the demands seem to overwhelm the hours. Ann pointed out that, when life gets compressed, you can't lose sight of yourself or your family you have to make time to reconnect, to decompress, to do something you love. So, we're still going to Florida. Maybe I'll call one of my friends this weekend. My son and I will try to start some cucumber plants from seed soon. And, maybe, I'll make the time to play real golf just once this year. Debbie Gardner PRIME Editor dgardner@reminderpublications.com