We had the good fortune of connecting with Isabel Benson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Isabel, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance for me as a working parent, mom and wife is the ability to handle each in a way where everyone gets their needs met. Being a mom is such a wonderful blessing yet it requires a flexibility of knowing how to handle my 7 and 11 year olds emotional development differently. I’ve had to learn to make time for each one in different ways. As a runner I’ve bonded with my oldest supporting her in cross country, which has meant very early mornings! And enjoying nails and fashion with my youngest who’s a total social butterfly. It’s always a good time with my girls. Even though my husband is his own person, making time for him has meant taking on each others interests. I watch F1 races with him and take an active interest in his mountain biking while he has always pushed me in my running and even began working out because of my active lifestyle. We always plan to go out together every other weekend. With the kids, sports, work etc that means that we have to actually pencil in those date nights because there’s so many other things that get in the way. But life isn’t always entirely predictable so my best advice is to really plan to be flexible. Other things can get in the way whether it’s family events, babysitter cancels etc, be flexible and enjoy your spouse no matter if it was the dinner reservations as planned or just something quick at home because your spouse is a high priority. And lastly but most importantly, make good health a priority in life in order to make these puzzle pieces fit. When you are taken care of physically and mentally, everything else can flow better in life. I’m a huge advocate for working out and making time for health. That means being outside in nature which is true healing, I promise you! It’s just such a blessing for me to get up early before everyone is awake and have that time to be alone in my thoughts while I’m running. And having a sport hobby like running has been another way I maintain great friendships in my adult life! I meet up with a running group made up of my girlfriends and that has always been super therapeutic for me. Family, friends and good health, this is what life is all about. Life will have its highs and lows. But we can’t always be at the top, it’s important to remember that growth isn’t always comfortable. My husband always tells my oldest daughter that doing the easy things will only make life harder, but doing the hard things will serve to make life easier.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart from most people is the fact that I have travelled all over states and have been able to make my mark wherever I go. The friendships and memories I have created around the states mean so much to me. I was a sahm for 9 years and that is a huge job That some people don’t take seriously sometimes. Being a mom has taken me way out of my comfort zone in ways I cannot describe. I wasn’t a social butterfly, in fact I was pretty anti social growing up. It wasn’t till I was in my mis twenties when I started to flourish. Being a mom brought the extrovert I knew I had out of me. I’m so grateful to have digged deep into what my soul craved and that was social connections. I want the world to know that it’s okay to get out of your comfort zone and it’s so important to put yourself In difficult situations. That’s where you grow! That’s when you flourish. Embrace the suck. Life isn’t easy but it’s beautiful. Get out there, put yourself out there and watch yourself grow.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my girlfriends from the East coast where visiting I would first take them out on a beautiful hike in October because it’s so dang hot out any other month of the year here lol. Then we would head out to brunch at Hash Kitchen for some delicious bloody Mary’s and food. Lunch at wild flower kitchen and dinner at Virtu one of my favorite places. Then we would head up to Sedona for a couple days, go hiking, hang out by the strip and have dinner at Mariposa grill. Anything that involves hiking and outdoors with my girlfriends is everything. We’d probably book a night at the fair mount princess too in Scottsdale. I want to do it all.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shout out to my husband for being my biggest cheerleader. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t get the chance to always make time for myself. He really does support me in all ways.