In Search of Balance

My brain is all over the place lately.  I’ve got a zillion things I’m interested in outside of writing and fitness and necessary life and job stuff, and I’ve been dipping in to read here and there about all kinds of things.

  • sustainability
  • organics
  • gardening
  • composting
  • frugality
  • mindfulness
  • simplification
  • neural plasticity
  • zen

Which doesn’t even begin to cover plot bunnies or current WIPs.  This week I’ve started watching TED talks during breakfast.  I always love these.  They’re so interesting and thought provoking.  And it’s been really nice to kind of have my brain think about…OTHER stuff for once.

I am, generally, an incredibly focused person.  I’ve got my goals and my necessary stuff, and I tend to cut out all the irrelevant things and focus on those.  I’ve been doing it for years, and while it’s incredibly efficient, it can also be very…draining.  As a goal-oriented person on a time clock (albeit a personally set one), I’ve been busting chops to try to accomplish certain things in a specific time span (i.e. Doing as much as humanly possible to get my writing career off the ground before we have a kid).

It’s not gonna happen.

Not that it won’t happen ever, but it won’t happen in the time frame I set for myself.  I’ll be 33 next month.  Can’t keep putting the kid off forever (though I think my husband would be totally okay never having to change diapers).  DOTH isn’t where it needs to be to do for me what I think it ultimately CAN do and will take months of revision.  I’m writing a new class this year for Evil Day Job 2 for fall semester.  I’m developing a class on ebook formatting for WANA International.  I just (as always) have a lot on my plate that precludes me from having made as much progress toward my goal as I’d like.

When I initially realized this, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth (this would be totally in conjunction with getting my crit of DOTH back from The Pink Hammer, which always puts me in wailing/gnashing territory before motivating me to action).  I’m not sure WHY exactly I have this feeling that a kid will ruin everything and suck up all my time and not let me write (well, except for the fact that kids take up a lot of time and I don’t have that much to spare without giving up other things).  My MIL is already planning on lots of babysitting to give me time to do exactly that (which makes her the Number 1 MIL of the Universe IMO).  But there’s absolutely this inner sense that if it doesn’t happen now, it’ll never happen.  Which is an absolute cognitive fallacy.  And doesn’t change the fact that kids scare the pooey out of me.

I’m working on adjusting to the idea.  Because here’s the thing: I have not been living a balanced life.  Drive and ambition and focus are great things–but like anything, they can be overdone.  I tend to operate at 110% all the time and only stop when I’ve made myself absolutely sick from exhaustion and/or stress.  This is not healthy.  It was never MEANT to be a sustained thing, but I’ve been doing it for…9 years now?  And it shows.

So I am slowing down.  Well, sort of.  I’m taking some time to look into other things that interest me.  Do some more non fiction reading.  Dare to actually DO SOME THINGS without a career goal in mind.  And generally find some BALANCE in my life.  With the idea that when I write, what I write will be better and more on target.  See, you knew I couldn’t actually do something that didn’t ultimately come back to efficiency, didn’t you.  It’s, like, etched into my DNA.  But whatever.  The point is, there’s no telling what might be popping up here on the blog in coming months.

Stay tuned.

 

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18 comments

  1. A Zillion things, gosh, I know that feeling. It’s in our nature, but it’s also in our nature to change when we WANT to. It sounds like you’ve come to the point where WANT is going to win out which can only mean exciting things are about to happen and with it will come inner peace and efficiency. Music to my ears and yours I’m sure. Also, I had my first DS when I was 33, great age to start the family. :)

  2. Hi Kait, about time I visited your blog ;) I started my blog half a year ago when my son was two-and-a-half… It might have been easier to start when he was a baby! We put wheels on the play pen and I’d work with our little one sleeping 3 feet away…

      1. You should! I still feel my memory fell to pieces during pregnancy… I’ve been told no one noticed a thing. But you do change during pregnancy. And you become a ‘parent’ which IS a big deal. However waiting till well past 35 (which I did) is not something I would recommend ;)

  3. I find that I’m much happier when I slow down and enjoy life. Yes, I know going full speed ahead has probably been what YOU enjoy, but a person’s mind and body can only take so much, especially as we get older. Friends used to call me Tigger because they said I bounced off the walls. Now I’m happier adorning those walls with soothing pictures. LOL.

    I think the word “balance” is appropriate in what you’re trying to do. There are SO many things in life to enjoy, and if you just focus on two or three things, you can really miss a lot of joy. Good luck in finding the balance you need to be happy and fulfilled. And I know kids can be scary, and aren’t for everyone, but having kids was the most satisfying and happy thing I’ve ever done. :)

    1. God, it’s so true. My brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be (which is what has me thinking about neural plasticity and brain training). But I am hoping that spending some time focusing on other stuff will have what Claire calls The Shower Effect (you know that thing where when you’re in the shower and can’t do anything about it, you suddenly get the answer to a pressing plot problem?).

  4. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us as you experiment with new things. All those topics are things I think about myself…well maybe not neural plasticity…but I know where you’re coming from :D I think having kids is supposed to be a little scary. I always wonder how on earth people who seem as busy as I am ALSO have kids?! I always thought I would totally fail just based on time alone, but as I talk to more of my friends that are parents, I think things naturally evolve. Priorities shift and stretch, and if others can do it, so can you!!

    1. There’s this thing about time where whatever it is you have to do will usually expand or contract to fit what time you have. Not always. But a lot of times if you find yourself with lots of time that you aren’t used to, your empty days will still somehow fill up.I’m hoping to find the reverse will also be true.

  5. I look back and wish I had started writing when I had little ones in the house. Yes, it would have been a challenge, but it also would have been a nice balance to my days to have that creative outlet in between childcare tasks and cooing at my babies.

    But I think we’re all trying to achieve balance in our lives, and it’s an elusive thing. We look for perfect times to take a vacation, write a book, buy a house, have a kid, change careers, etc., and perfect times don’t exist. You just do it anyway and perform your juggling act as best you can.

    Best wishes to you figuring it all out. (Personally, I think you’re a veritable tornado of productive activity. I still can’t believe you manage to COOK with all you do.)

    1. Ha! The cooking is the easy part. It’s usually the mindful/present part of my day. So many people think cooking is hard. It’s not. But it takes PLANNING, and THAT is something that a lot of people find hard. I just happen to be genetically wired to plan the crap out of everything :D

  6. I just want to run and hug you! I’m trying desperately to figure out some kind of balance in my life as well. I can’t seem to figure out how one is supposed to a 60 hour job, a relationship, a writing career, and everything else like you know: exercise, diet, sleep… I certainly haven’t figured it out. But I’m in thinking mode…does that count? We’re trying to figure out when we might get married, but that’s become a muddled issue since I put in for a transfer at work, which would leave us in different cities about 3 hours apart. It’s the smart thing career wise, but I don’t know what it’ll mean for us. One would hope 6 1/2 years together will be strong enough to make it work while its necessary, but it won’t be easy. And truthfully, it has me freaking out a bit.

    Whatever you decide, Kait, you have the right to change your mind, adjust your plans. Remember that! You and your goals are adaptable. So give yourself some wiggle room while you hunt for balance!

  7. I’m right there with you, Kait, searching for balance. I don’t know how you do as much as you do. but know that we’re here pulling for you. You have to do what is best for you. Good luck!

  8. I’m trying to figure this all out too. My weekly schedule has helped A LOT – factoring in guilt-free reading time has made me feel better about both writing and blogging, and blogging on a schedule is less nerve-wracking too.
    On the other hand, I never feel as though I’m writing/editing quickly enough. And I don’t have kids yet either! But I do have a day job, and it’s so full of editing and other stuff that sometimes I come home too tired to return to the computer *again* for my own stuff. Not fair!

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