To be happy, one has to be fulfilled in different capacities. When everything is fine in your family life and you feel professionally fulfilled, you are more likely to be physically fit, healthy and full of energy. Maintaining this balance, however, is not easy and requires a clear set of priorities.
My personal choice was to put my family first, my career second and my fitness third. This was a rather intuitive decision. I had just started my career as an associate consultant with Bain in Chicago, and in the US, it is customary to be focused on one's career. There is a clear recipe for success: a good college, a prestigious job, a promotion, business school, then back to the office where you prove yourself in a different capacity; the thought of a family only comes afterwards.
However, I got married two weeks after I got the job. Everyone in the office was so surprised when I asked for a week off to go on a honeymoon trip. My husband was also from the Soviet Union, although we met each other in the United States: he had also come to embark on postgraduate studies, but I was an economist and he was a physicist. It must be said that the company only benefited from my marriage: my maiden name, Zdobnova, had been too difficult for English-speaking clients.