Why I’m Committed to Making “Calling an Audible” Irrelevant
“Calling an audible" is a phrase that many of us non-football-playing individuals have adopted to describe changing plans at the last minute, a skill that moms have perfected and are challenged to put into practice on a daily basis.
When you “call an audible,” it usually means that the person, project, activity, or goal that SHOULD have been the priority from the start finally earns that top spot – because you've hit a breaking point, small or large. Why do our priorities need to be in crisis to gain our full attention?
When we look at the original definition of the word "audible," the metaphorical meaning saturated in the literal definition is incredibly powerful: capable of being heard; loud enough to be heard; actually heard. This hit home for me last week.
My firstborn, Will, has been having a tough time lately. You know...about to turn three, new baby in the house, I've been traveling for work, I cut his waffles into the wrong size. Usual toddler stuff. But it's been REALLY hard on us both. (Ask my team at Golin that sees me arrive at work every day looking like I've been through a Tough Mudder course.)
I asked Will last Thursday night if he was sad that we didn't have special time, just the two of us, anymore. He looked at the floor, then looked at me and said "yes." (Cue the ever-present mom guilt. Again.)
So, on Friday, I called an audible. On everything. Except us.
I kept him home from school, I put my “out of office” on, and we spent the morning together – just us – for the first time since his baby brother was born. Charlie turned seven months old that day.
We ate donuts and drank coffee and hot chocolate on a grassy hill by the 606; we played at the park and he swung on a big boy swing for the first time all by himself; I took him on his inaugural bus and train rides (and you would have thought we were at Disneyland). We smiled at each other and held hands and he sat on my lap with no one competing for my attention. It was a special, magical morning that I'll never forget.
And then he had a total meltdown and made me carry him for over a mile while I pushed an empty stroller, sweating profusely. But, hey. That's life with a toddler.
My point is, life isn't easy. But this one is mine. And I only get one shot.
I have a big job. At home and at work. And figuring out how to be successful at both is an everyday struggle. I'm lucky to work for a company that embraces Life Time. But, it's not perfect. We all have to get better at creating places where people feel supported to fully integrate their personal and professional lives and goals. We have to get better at acknowledging that "work" doesn't just take place in an office between 9 and 5 and "life" doesn't neatly appear as the day's bookends. We have to get better at proving that we will always #haveherback.
Who is going to be brave enough, bold enough, progressive enough, to do it? To truly change the world? To unconditionally prioritize the quest for equilibrium?
Why not me?
I'm replaceable in many aspects of my life, but I'll never be replaceable as Will and Charlie's mom. So, I damn well better get this role right the first time. Or at least keep trying every day to be better than I was the day before.
The struggle is real. The juggle is worse.
I know I'm not alone. My mom tribe tells me as much. Well, guess what? You're not alone either. We need to do a better job of listening to ourselves and the things that matter most. We deserve it. We have the power to make “calling an audible” the rule, rather than the exception. Together, we can do it differently. Because do you want to know the whole truth? I have a sneaking suspicion that the very best version of each of our lives depends on it.