Christmas carols are playing everywhere you go. 

Traffic is a nightmare. 

The kiddos are more excited than usual.

Boxes are stacking up instead of presents.

We are relocating.

I feel like my head is so filled with to-do’s related to closing this chapter of our lives and opening a new one, all while balancing the end of year duties, that I don’t seem to have the headspace I need to be in “the zone” for writing. I know that if I write only out of “duty” and commitment, then it won’t be quality stuff and of service to you.

So, what are my choices? 

Maybe I should roll up my sleeves and approach my next piece as if it’s a craft or duty, and hope for the best. Or, maybe I should wait a day or two … maybe I’ll have a mental shift when the first boxes are out of the house.

As I contemplate my options while packing, my 5-year-old pulls on my sleeve: “Mom, let’s go out!”

I look outside. I see same clouds as I saw on my way home.

On my way home

Right. We are still in Ohio and December is drizzly, cold, and grey. 

NO ONE goes outside.

Instead of arguing about the not-conducive conditions for outdoor play, I get dressed, help my 2-year old into her warm clothes, too, and out we go. 

I expect a short walk followed by a quick request to go back home. 

But something else happens.

Take a look.


My kiddos ran up and down that hill, nose-diving when they could not handle the speed. Instead of crying, they jumped up faster than ever, laughed themselves into tears, and ran back up the hill again. 

I so enjoyed watching them. And in that mood, that spirit, I realized that something had changed.

It wasn’t the weather. The air was still enough to make me drowsy, and the moon peeked through thick clouds that were as grey as before.

Something was different as we walked back and stepped inside after a good hour of “hill-falling,” as my son calls this new activity.

I reflected, on my children’s spontaneity, on their lack of assumptions about what “should” be, and on their innocence in matters related to which weather conditions are better or worse for play. This reflection, in turn, brought me back to this work, my writing.

I realize now that I believed my ability to write and to be creative and of service to others depended on my circumstances.

Doesn’t that feel limiting?

How many times have you limited yourself because circumstances were not what you had imagined? 

It’s true that something as large as an international relocation can make you feel as if you’re going downhill, trying to keep yourself, to keep everything, from falling. (If you find yourself relocating and need some support, call me!)

But it’s just as easy to hill-fall when your climb up a professional path isn’t moving you upwards as fast as you’d like. Or when your business bumps up against an obstacle that causes a scary moment of hill-falling. Sometimes it’s the relationships in your life that send you spinning into summersaults.  

The good news is that circumstances don’t have to define what will be. You can choose to have a good laugh when the slope gets steep and down you go. You can get back up and make your way towards the top again. You can also ENJOY that process.

Considering the unpredictable future and the challenges humankind is facing, I think my children, your children, and the generations to come will need our help. They’ll need us to help them develop the inner flexibility they need to let go of circumstances, fulfill their potential, and still HAVE FUN. 

Let’s not limit ourselves and others just because the weather is “bad.” Let’s root for people when they’re falling down the hill. And let’s learn alongside them, strengthening our own inner resolve.

Hmmm… I think I just did that by writing this piece.

Have your children ever taught you a lesson you could apply in your business? 

Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

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  1. I was wondering what hill-falling would mean when I read the headline. After reading this article, it has not only become clear to me what is means but also started a reflection. Even if we fall it is about standing up again; and it is UP TO US if we laugh ourselves into tears and try again or if we cry. It is all about the choices we make in our lifes. Thx Dana for sharing this post and I am looking forward to meet you in Europe.

    1. Thank you, Tanja for sharing your thoughts. It is not easy to realize that we have choice also in challenging situations. But once we have this awareness it is the best first step towards making a conscious choice of what we do next . I too am much looking forward to seeing you soon!

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