What does a pizza parlor have to do with parenting, anyway?! Well … let me tell you.

Several years ago, when I was just beginning to do life coaching, I attended a seminar for life coaches. I met many of my heroes there and found myself up to my neck in information. Naturally, I was curious about these people and how their lives stacked up now that they were living what I considered the “dream life” — an intersection of self-directed employment and a beautiful vocation of helping other people, all rolled into one. I found a pattern among the people I talked to: they experienced 50/50 just like I did, good times and bad times.

I had a good talk over lunch with one coach who is now one of my very good friends, and she beat herself up over how badly she thought her life was going in comparison to how it should be. In that moment, a flash of inspiration washed over me. I said to her that it seemed to me like she had an excellent pizza parlor, complete with great food, great service, and an ever-growing clientele, but was hurting herself by focusing on her flaws and comparing her pizza parlor to those of her neighbors.

The pizza parlor is, of course, a metaphor for your life, your home, your career, your family — whatever it needs to mean to you. You are allowed (more than being allowed, you need) to take a break now and again to chill and get some fresh air. If you are looking at other people’s pizza parlors to compare and critique yourself as you’re likely in the habit of doing, you’re missing out on the life experience that is uniquely yours. Only you get to have YOUR life. Cherish your life, even though it’s a 50/50 experience, and some days feels worse than that.

And if you do choose to look at other people’s metaphorical pizza parlors, use that experience to get ideas for tweaking your own setup. You don’t need to copy other pizza parlors’ methodologies to the letter. Figure out what works for YOU and YOUR family and do that. You’ve got this!

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