HAP member Linda Seatts could do it all. At least that’s
what she told herself as she rushed off to her high-pressure
job, attended classes after work, volunteered at church, hit
the gym, and did her best to be a dutiful mother and aunt.
“I was a high-energy individual and a perfectionist,” Linda
reflects. “I’d put so much into work and volunteering – it
was too much.”
Linda’s perfectionism extended to making sure she got a
mammogram every year. Despite that, in 2007 she was
diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. “In 2006, I had a
clean mammogram. How do I have two 3.5-centimeter
tumors a year later? I believe everything that was going on,
stress at work, in my personal life, school, had something
to do with it.”
“We try to do everything and help everyone, but at the
end of the day we don’t,” agrees Cheranissa Roach, M.S.A.,
certified life coach. “That can manifest in headaches,
migraines, colds or the flu. Some of us have heart attacks.
We were put on earth to help each other, but we have to
take care of ourselves, too.”
That’s what Linda set out to do.
She identified duties that were stressing her out and
worked to step back from them.
She became selective about invitations she
accepted. With a large extended family, she realized
she couldn’t go to every birthday and graduation
party without wearing herself out. So she accepted
the fact that with or without her, life … and the
party … would go on.
She put self-care on her schedule, including going to
the gym twice a week.
“As women we feel the need to prove ourselves. We don’t
want people to think we can’t handle it,” Linda notes. “It
took that life-changing moment for me to understand the
need for balance. Life is short. We’re trying to live up to an
ideal that doesn’t exist. There is no superwoman. Those
who try to be one are sacrificing family and their health. Is
it worth it?”
Five years after her diagnosis, Linda is healthy, vibrant and
relaxed. “I feel great. I’ve gone down two dress sizes and
my motto is live, love and laugh. That’s it. I’m going to have
fun and balance in my life.”
What Really Matters?
A Search for Balance
“Life is short.
We’re trying to live up to an ideal
that doesn’t exist.
There is no superwoman.”
— Linda Seatts