giving back

Passions and Dreams: Jenny Eckton is Formerly Phread and Finally Fine

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Me Time—Jenny Eckton grew up in southwestern New York. At age 19, she moved eight states west to Provo, Utah, to create a band with a friend. She played bass guitar and sang. They named themselves, "Garage Sale." She intended to stay in Provo only temporarily, but fell in love, married, had six children, grieved the loss of one of them, started blogging, and found herself still there 13 years later. Doing well.

Yes, well she is, amidst loads of laundry, chauffeuring, helping with homework, cooking, and doing floors. How? Is it possible to be well on days when she finds herself covering 120 miles of road in a town many miles less wide than that? She chooses to make time for her own interests. She enjoys preparing for and participating in triathlons; singing, playing, dancing, and listening to music; hiking; watching comedy; writing; working with letterpress; laughing; going to farmers' markets, Trader Joes, and IKEA;  planning her dream house, and getting mail. She makes time for herself.

This is not something that all moms are good at doing, and it isn't necessarily something that's easy to do, no matter how many children you have. Yet it is an absolutely necessary part of successful motherhood, as Jenny's life shows. Indeed, when she was recently invited last-minute to go to Hawaii for just the price of airfare, she rescheduled two childrens' braces installation appointments and another's birthday party to go. "It was hard to be away from my family, but now I know I'll be able to educate them about Hawaii, and be more engaged with them when I'm home," she says.

"The things that I choose to do outside of being a mom and a wife are things that, in the end, help my family." She enjoys triathlons, for example, partly because she knows she's creating memories in her daughters' minds of cheering her across the finish line. It's a net gain for the whole family. "There is a nobility in motherhood," says Jenny, "but when it's your only thing, that can be a scary place."

So she advises those for whom motherhood is their "only thing" to choose to find something they enjoy or rekindle what dreams they may have had, what passions once drove them. Inevitably, those dreams and passions tend to change or be eclipsed by the children you love, but that doesn't mean you can't redefine the dreams. Don't be afraid to amend or alter them, she says. Just choose to do something with them, something that makes you happy. Jenny used to dream of being a dancer. That dream has changed over the years. Now she teaches Beyonce's Single Lady Dance to other bloggers at BlogHer.

 What are your life's biggest dreams? What are you passionate about? How will you rekindle your dreams and passions?

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