We are all trying to find time to take care of the important things in life: Relationships, Kids, Home, Fitness, Health, Family, Fun, Work…How do you manage it? I know that I was not doing a great job of maintaining that balance and it was eating me up inside. Devoting myself to a new life trajectory is the BEST and most empowering decision I’ve ever made. On the outside, most of us make it look like we’re holding it together. But what’s being compromised? I’m grateful every. single. day. for the opportunity to think outside of the box and do things differently!
I’ve been a huge slave to time. As a Type “A” personality, I’m super sensitive to wasted time, time that could be better spent and not having enough time. I fill my time and spend my time but I rarely WASTE my time. Time is precious.
Today for example, I was up at 4:45 am, fed the dogs and the cat, kissed the husband & the kiddo goodbye and headed out for a morning swim before I spent the day teaching high school science to a bunch of awesome teenagers. I raced to my son’s school, picked him up, figured out dinner, conducted a business call, helped with homework, answered business questions on a forum I’m a part of and checked in with my Mom and Dad. Then I cleaned up the yard (dog poop) so that the landscapers wouldn’t step in any landmines, read to my son before bed, worked on my business plan, completed a module for my Holistic Health Coaching Program and brushed my teeth before heading to bed. Tomorrow I start over…but instead of a swim, I am running. I’m training for a triathlon.
It’s non-stop around here! And I have ONE child. And he’s only in a few activities! And I have someone in to clean my house once a week. I have help. I’m married…and my husband does his share around here too—“Oh, hi HONEY!”.
When things are running smoothly, It’s like a well-oiled machine…things get done, we have a good time and I feel pretty efficient and successful. But guess what? Sometimes things go wrong or they take a fraction of a second longer than they’re supposed to and our plan derails…and things come to a SCREEEEEEEECHING. HALT.
Neither my husband nor I have super flexible careers at the moment (My work life changes in less than 4 weeks however!!!). We are both entrenched in our careers and are basically on very set schedules ON LOCATION at our job-sites. This means that emergency kinds of things don’t really work for us: Plumbing issues (been there, done that), home projects and repairs, sick child care, sick pet care, GROCERY SHOPPING, planned meals that make sense…and are nutritious. These are the kinds of things that literally stop us in our tracks and cause full on disagreements about who needs to handle it and when…and HOW?!
I’ve been in transition for a few months now and just today I read an article in the Washington Post about balancing life and work and it struck me that there are more of us out there who are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and without shaving down that peg and really making some major compromises, the “fit” is going to remain stressful and even painful for so many people. The current “work” model isn’t so adaptable to a healthy, thriving family. This “balance” problem is bigger than “time management” and prioritizing
Yes, it took me some time to discover I’m not alone. I learned that there’s another way but it’s not the lifestyle I was told about. I went to college and worked for my degree in Biology and a Graduate degree in teaching so I could get a “no fail, uber secure” career all in place. But it turns out that it doesn’t lend itself very well to actually fulfilling my needs and my family’s needs.
I struggled and survived but it was only recently that I got clear about a career solution that will work for me. I used to beat myself up thinking I could be more efficient or make better choices about what was important. But now, there’s a full-on revolution in the way I use time to achieve fulfillment and self-actualization. It took some major reflection for me to get brave enough to make changes in my life.
Don’t beat yourself up. Your “time management” problem might just be the push you need to open up to some new possibilities. How has your “work” or “career” been an obstacle in your life? If your work was adaptable to your needs…how could it change? What would you look for in an ideal career? What does your day look like now and how would you like it to change? Do you want to “survive” or does the hope of something more light you up inside?
What if I told you, that change is just a choice away? And what if I told you that you can start now…and not jeopardize your current security? You can build slowly and steadily and get yourself poised to make a change on your timeline.
What if…the solution really is “bigger than balance”…and you can choose for yourself?