Work-Life Balance vs. Dreams

Tomorrow, I will go back to the day job for the first time in sixty-four days.  Summer is over for me in less than twelve hours.   Nearly half that time traveling and writing; it has been wonderful.  Next Spring if the editing gods are kind I will have two new pieces ready for publication.

But, my wonderful summer is not what this post is about. It is about balancing work, life and the pursue of my writing dreams or as I like to call them goals.

Education does allow me to have time off even if it doesn’t pay well.  It does allow me to have that sweet, sweet health insurance and believe it or not, a lot of job satisfaction.  I love my daily interactions with students and staff.  There is, however, no denying that it is a hard job and balancing it with a healthy home life is hard.  Trying to figure out how to balance all three is more than a little challenge.

This past year, I have gotten much better at it than I have since I started teaching thirteen years ago.  The biggest thing I did was move away from a life that wasn’t working for me.

The life that I have built in the last year contains a lot more boundaries than the one I had.  I don’t let things bleed into one another.  Work, even as a teacher, stays in the building with a few rare exceptions.  I can do this because I get to work early and organize myself.  I keep a calendar that has both writing and work commitments on it so I know ahead of time when things are going to get tight.

This also includes scheduling time to write, date nights and chore days. Chore days are days that I set aside to work with my godfathers on big household tasks like fixing the barn roof or putting the pool together.  Come to think of it, I schedule a lot of things.

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One of three calendars, I use to keep me on track. 

 

And it works for me.

Why? Because as much as I schedule myself, I also forgive myself if writing doesn’t happen or if the dust bunnies start creeping out from the corners.

I forgive myself if having dinner with my family means that I don’t have time to write before bed. I forgive myself if I get into the flow of writing and three or four other things on the to-do list don’t get done or I stay up a little too late. Or when I get sick and the only thing I can do is take care of myself.

Balancing things can at times mean letting some things have more time as they need.  img_10851-1The beginning of the school year means that for the next month, I am going to be more tired than usual.  It happens to me every year.  I will write about half as much as I normally do.  Any writing deadlines that I have must be adjusted.

Balance isn’t giving equal time to everything, but giving things the time they need and letting go of things you can’t tend to.

What works for you to maintain work-life-dream balance?

 

 

 

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All By Myself

Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home

Sitting alone in my house for the first time in months with no roommate expected back and I don’t know what do with myself.

My roomie is moving out by the first of the month.   It seems strange being alone in the house knowing that in a few short days my home will be all mine  again. I am happy and a little melancholy since I had just gotten used to sharing my space.  So, I am on my own again. It isn’t a bad thing, it is just a thing to adjust to and move with; not against.

Life is full changes. Some are handled better than others.

The time between Halloween (Samhain or the Celtic New Year) and New Year’s Day has become the time when I test drive my resolutions.  One of the resolutions is become a more discipline writer.  Another one is to become a better money manager.  The latter takes on a greater importance now that I will once again be the person solely responsible for the paying household bills. ( The kitty boys refuse to get jobs and Luke is still just a puppy, albeit a fifty pound one; still he isn’t capable of really holding down steady employment.)

Unemployed Puppy
Unemployed Puppy

Resolutions are goals that need to be planned for in order to achieve success.  Today’s events present an opportunity for such planning.

Blessings come in all forms.