Balance

expectations

I often get the question, “How do you do it all?”

I’m raising three kids, starting a retail business from scratch, involved in local community committees, and working part-time as a consultant. And those are just a few of the responsibilities on my plate. There are a lot of late nights and early mornings. Even as I write this, it’s almost midnight on a Thursday…I’ve put in a full day at the shop, had a hair appointment, made dinner and hung out with my kids, ran down to the craft room and put together a wreath for a charity auction and then put in a couple hours writing contracts and researching potential vendors. This is a pretty typical day. The tasks may change a bit, there is usually more running to kid activities in the evenings, tonight was a rare night at home. But this is a snapshot of my life and I admit, it is a lot and can be overwhelming.

So, how do I do it all? Well, I’ll tell you a little secret…I don’t. I know, I just said that I accomplished all of those items. But here’s the thing…there were so many other tasks that needed/could have been done today. I didn’t fold the two baskets of laundry that taunt me every time I walk by and I didn’t meet up with friends for dinner. I didn’t take the time for a quick workout (I really need to work on that) nor did I read that book I started over a month ago. 

I prioritized my day. My self care for the day was getting my hair cut and colored. I worked at the shop and at home. I made something I promised, to help raise money for a good cause. I spent quality time with my kids and we had a home cooked meal. Then I decided to pour a glass of wine and do a little writing for my blog. If you remember, I mentioned a bunch of other things I could have done today, but I was realistic with myself and choose a little from each category: self care, work, family, helping others. All with the knowledge that those categories change every day.

I made the choices because I know that tomorrow, I’m going to happy hour with friends. Saturday, I’m going to round up the kids and we are all going to spend two hours cleaning the house. Work will always be there and I just have to remind myself that I checked some things off the list today and tomorrow I will do even more. 

All that being said, it doesn’t mean that I take everything in stride. Ha! Far from it. I break down, I loose my temper, my stress level constantly hits new highs. So, I started doing a couple of things. First, I try to put my phone up by 10pm. That is more difficult than it sounds and it doesn’t mean I’m not on my computer, but its a start. I also began taking one day. I spend one day a week doing things that make me happy. Sometimes that is reading a book from start to finish or completing a diy project around the house. Last weekend, it was taking the kids to visit a local college campus and spending the day exploring a new town. Sundays are now considered “work free.” That doesn’t mean things won’t come up and need to be dealt with, just a promise to myself that it’s ok to slow down and do something that isn’t on the ever growing “to-do” list. I may not be relaxing by the pool, but I won’t be answering emails or writing contracts. It’s my way of finding balance. 

And now, I’m going to put everything away for the night and get some sleep. It’s snowing outside and by the looks of it, I’m going to need to be up even earlier to fire up the snow blower first thing in the morning. There’s always something…but, maybe I’ll shovel instead and that can count as a workout…right? 🙂

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