Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I am struggling to find balance.

Who isn't? If you're out there, and you're all perfectly balanced, I would like to talk to you and find out your secrets. Actually, pretty much everyone I know might be interested in talking to you and learning your secrets, because I think that most of us are struggling.

I'm struggling to balance:
- Alone time vs. family time vs. friend time
- Work vs. life
- Structure with Tessa vs. free play
- Healthy, delicious meals without a life spent in the kitchen
- Being frugal without being a skinflint
- Working out without making it the only thing I do for myself
- Having a clean house vs spending all my time cleaning

You get the picture. It is a constant struggle to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that makes sense.

I'm working on the Hunts Point book, and I am way, way behind on the project. It is important to me to do this project, and to do it well, but then I have volunteering, and friends in need of support, and grocery shopping, and yard work, and visitors, and fatigue, and physical therapy, and spending quality time with Tessa, and laundry and......well, let's just say it's a long, long list.

My friend Lori tells me that the secret of successful writers is butt glue. (I owe Tessa a quarter every time I say "butt." "Mommy, we say 'bottom' because it's more polite!" Yes, we do. Except when we're talking about butt glue. That's fifty cents now.) It's just a matter of carving out time and DOING IT.

That's what I'm doing now. I am going to make this happen.

First step: consistent schedule. So, I'm announcing that I am no longer available to do anything between 9am and 3pm on Mondays or Wednesdays, as those are my Hunts Point days. (The only exception will be for Tessa's early dismissal on some Wednesdays....can't have the six year old waiting on a bench for Mom for two hours.) I am making this a priority, announcing it to the world, and changing my calendar around to accommodate it. It's a priority because I'm making writing a priority, because I have a commitment to my employer, and because the money I earn will benefit my family greatly.

On Mondays and Wednesdays I will not do laundry, return calls, meet friends for lunch, go grocery shopping, etc. I am pretending that I'm locked away in an office building somewhere, unavailable because I'm in meetings. I'm still available to do other work on the other days of the week, of course, so hopefully this will be the balance I seek. I volunteer in Tessa's class on Thursdays, I have covenant group on Tuesdays and sometimes lunch with Grandma and Mom on Tuesdays. There will be enough hours for laundry etc. I will make this work.

I'm still trying to balance all of the other stuff. I will make it work. Working on it is the only way, and I won't reach instant solutions but I will find solutions.


PS Ryan and I did a project to get our office in shape to make working more palatable. The book has a lot of paperwork, so I don't want to haul it all to coffee shops etc., and need to work from home. We moved things around, painted a wall, set up our bill paying etc. in the secretary upstairs, so that I can take over the downstairs office. It's got great light, a decent desk, etc., so now that it's all decluttered I don't have any excuses about having nowhere to work.

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