So, here we are. Three months since my initial post on this work/life journey. Life has been a game of catch up. Thoughts of “did I start this too late?” came up. I also discovered consequences popping up from my struggles with work/life balance, and I’m trying my hardest to take the “slow and easy wins the race” path, because my super speedy thoughts got me into this mess in the first place. Here are a few things I have begun implementing to try to maintain, if not, improve my rut.
Get a Planner
I stood in front of Target’s agenda book section for a good 45 minutes before settling on the right one. I flipped through each and every planner until I found one that suited my needs. Did it have the times outlined so I could designate and dedicate time to specific events? Was there too much fluff like unnecessary list space that would just clutter my focus? Take the time to find something that will suit your needs and not waste space.
Say Good-Bye to the phone from 8 AM-4PM
If your job allows you to do this, do it. I began wearing my smartwatch so it could alert me when someone is calling or texting me. Rather than reach for my phone every time it dings, I can just look at my wrist and see if it is the daycare calling me to pick up my sick child or if it’s a telemarketer. I’ve also started a 2 call code with my family. If they call once and I am in the middle of something, I will decline the call. If they call again, I will know it is an emergency and step out to take the call. Text messages, we have understood, are discussions we can pick up later.
Let Go and Let Grace
This is the hardest one, one where I feared I would lose myself as an individual. If I solely want work/life balance, I need to prioritize what is my life and what is my job. I had to think about what made me the happiest when I had a hard day at work. What gave me an instant smile? It’s my kids. It’s being at home with them and seeing their little giggly faces.
How about the other things that make me happy? Volunteering, writing, making crafts? Yes, those too. Those opportunities and hobbies will still be there. Right now, minimalizing my life is what I need to get better. It stinks. It makes me feel like I’m giving up. But the thing is, I’m not. I’m just putting things back on the shelf right now and will come back to it later. I’m going to accomplish everything I want to, but I’m going to do it at a slower pace. If I don’t let go of it now, I will lose myself.
I’m not going to be able to give those up cold turkey. I’ll be honest about that. My mentality of being on the go and anticipating the next move or execution is not going to magically disappear. This is a journey, a long one that can’t be solved in three months.
If minimalizing my life means stepping away from certain roles to make time to go to counseling, I’m going to do it. If I get the itch to volunteer, maybe I’ll volunteer a day here or there packing meals or step up to be a lay assistant at church once in a while. It’s making room in my schedule to step back and breath but still try to grow as a decent human being.
Moms, thank you for all the input these past few months on work/life balance.
If you have any tips on how you’ve minimalized your life or decluttered the fog, please share below.
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