Are You Taking Life Too Seriously?
You don't have to have a baby to reconnect with life's simpler pleasures--but that's what it took for Mary Ellen Ynes, 41, of Foster City, Calif. For this high-powered public relations professional in Silicon Valley, life had become all about the job. But that ended when she and her husband adopted a little girl from Russia.
"It was a big turning point," she says. Not only did the couple cut back on work to allow for more family fun, they also made it a priority to get some rest and recreation for themselves. Ynes started reserving an hour of "me time" most nights to read, as well as scheduling a couple of outings a month with girlfriends. She also began taking an annual vacation with her "Irish twin" (they're 10 months apart), Bridget Ann Serchak, who lives in Arlington, Va.
Inspired by her sister, Serchak took steps to get a life outside her own hectic P.R. job. Now, she too makes more time for recreation, as well as connecting with others and volunteering. Once a month, she plays tourist in her own backyard by visiting a local museum or other attraction she's rushed by many times before. Last year, the siblings spent a few days at a hot-air balloon festival in Albuquerque, N.M., and they can't wait for this year's "sister vacation" in Lake Tahoe. Both women say that their new lives have paid off immensely. "Even when life gets hectic I don't let it get to me," Ynes says, "because my priorities are in the right place now and I've never been happier."