So the balance theme continues to permeate my posts, and sometimes, I gotta say, I find it so redundant. I mean EVERY mom deals with this, right? Meanwhile, maybe that's why it gets so much attention--because we all deal with it. As an older mom, I had a lifetime of experience before I had kids. When your life changes so dramatically, and you keep trying to have parts of the old life peppered into the new one, there's going to be some roadblocks. I'm getting more creative in navigating roadblocks and finding detours that I didn't even know existed.
I took some actions last week to try to get past my roadblocks and find fulfillment in my varied life. (I know--this is a quality problem--sometimes I feel like I don't even have a right to complain because my life is so blessed, but here goes anyway.)
First, I wanted to try going offline for a while. No reading and commenting on blogs, no Twitter (okay--that one's easy to fit in, so I only stayed away from that for 3 days), no Facebook. I found I was focused and productive in my job and present with my children. I was in mono-tasking mode. Felt very old school, but strangely rewarding--for a time.
I assessed things that are important to me. Is it important that my kids get to every single soccer practice or dance class in the week? Not really. What is important to me is taking care of myself physically, emotionally, and creatively. I have one of those unfortunate, narcissistic personality traits of wanting other people to see me as a vibrant and valuable participant in all I do. In all the roles of my life--wife, mother, professor, blogger, crafter, writer, cook, and volunteer--I want people to see that I'm doing a good job. And while this has always been important to me, I am starting to shift toward seeing what I do as good enough for me regardless of what anyone else thinks.
I made a schedule. In order to fit in everything I want to do in my day, I had to come to the realization that I can't do everything everyday. It's got to be compartmentalized. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday-- work out. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday--writing. Like that. Scheduling is what I hound down my students' throats on a daily basis. It's about time I tried it myself.
I forgave myself. I can't be all things to all people. I'm a perfectionist, and trying to stay the perfect everything is exhausting and demoralizing. I downsizing my big personality.
I don't know how long this new "c'est la vie" attitude will last, but I'm going to keep working on it.