Trying to Thrive with Arianna Huffington

"Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder." (Courtesy Harmony Books/The Crown Publishing Group)
“Thrive.” (Courtesy Harmony Books/The Crown Publishing Group)

Arianna Huffington has a point. Or maybe several.

Maybe we are a tad too connected. And we’d do well to get more sleep. In fact, I told a friend recently that I’d love to go back to my kids’ babyhoods, but as a well rested person. I bet they were pretty awesome when I wasn’t seeing double. And like Huffington suggests, a meeting during a hike sure would beat a meeting in one of our conference rooms. Not to mention stopping midday to meditate would be swell.

So here I am in New York City, ready to attend the Thrive: A Third Metric Event conference. 

What’s a Third Metric, you ask? And how does one conference about it? Well, just look at the rundown of events. It’s kind of … weird. So from what I can tell from Huffington’s newest book “Thrive,” we all are too busy, too overtired, too focused on parts of our lives that matter, but that don’t matter when it comes time for our eulogy. So she wrote a book and seems to be starting a movement of sorts to get people to focus on what she calls this “Third Metric” or the other way to be successful beyond power or money.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. This Huffington woman has power and money. Of course she can tackle the next thing.

And I hear you. Because here’s the reality: I don’t have staff to check my emails or answer phones or respond to texts. That’s all me. Letting go of the phone, therefore, is tough. And finding time to meditate when I work and have two small kids and a husband with a pretty tough work schedule? Not happening. (Though I did make it to 6 a.m. boot camp, folks! Told you.) I could argue that I could schedule my life better, but I try. The phone is put away when I get home from work so I can focus on cooking dinner, nagging the first grader to do his homework, explaining to the 4-year old why there’s no television at night. Then it’s on to making sure people are clean after their baths and teeth are brushed before bed. It’s refereeing the fights over one child wanting the Superman book, again, and the other screaming that he doesn’t want to hear it one.more.time. And then when they are finally asleep, it’s time for me. I don’t want to go to bed. I want to talk to my husband, maybe cook something for tomorrow. I want to read or watch some stupid TV. I need to do laundry or the 6-year-old will try to wear his dirty basketball shorts again. I want to call a friend whose schedule is like mine and we haven’t been able to connect. I’d like to have a relaxed meal with my dad. And have bookshelves that don’t still have Christmas decorations on them (yep, just saw that yesterday).

Maybe I’ll be able to lean in to the good stuff when they are grown, these boys. But here’s the thing — you let go of one thing, and you’ll wish you had it. Let go of another, and maybe you shouldn’t have. It’s that whole “can’t have it all” phenomenon so many of us are so familiar with.

I’ve changed my life to try to find ways to embrace what Huffington would consider a third metric. I work “part-time” — meaning I have one day a week off so I can spend it with my youngest before he heads to school in the fall, and so I can keep the life part of our lives together. But as a neighbor said to me recently: Oh, come on. You can’t consider that part-time. That stung.

But I love what I do. I need to do something like this. I just need to do it with this other stuff too, and I’m not sure about this Third Metric stuff.

And so here I am, in the big city to hear about how we can all embrace more down time, sleep more and not worry so much about climbing the ladder or logging back on after kids are asleep. And so I will try not to gasp so hard at some of the suggestions about living a fuller life that my coffee I so depend upon comes out my nose. Oh, did I mention tickets for this event cost $299-$999 (if you want to have lunch with Huffington)?

Maybe the third metric isn’t meant for me. We shall see.

Follow me @OnParenting as I tweet this event.

 

 

Amy Joyce is the editor and a writer for On Parenting.
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