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Life and Writing: The Never-ending Balancing Act

I recently read an article about how "busy-ness" is a disease. That by always being busy, we are making ourselves not only physically sick but mentally exhausted. Wow. I mean, really... wow! It's so true. At the beginning of February, with 4 events to plan and pull off in 3 weekends, I remember telling myself, "Just get to March. If you can get to March, it will all be okay." Well, it's March. And you know what. I'm still busy this month, too. I would like to say that, if I can get to April, everything will be fine, but let's be honest. I will most likely start filling up that calendar before the snow on the sidewalk has been shoveled. (Actually, given our tendency to put that off, that could take an extra day or two, but you get the picture.) So how does a writer, who still works outside of the home, and has family responsibility keep up with the rat race? We K.I.S.S.

CONFESSION TIME: I don't actually know how to do this! I don't know where in the world I can simplify my life. I guess I could pull my kidlets out of their activities, but then again, they are thriving in their chosen events. I could quit a job. But it's not like I'm rolling in royalties or anything. So what do I do?

And then it hit me. It's not about cutting out the things that I have in my life. The commitments, the obligations, the events I enjoy. It's about guarding the time when I don't have anything going on. It's about being mindful of how I spend my free time and, if I must, shifting my schedule to get up earlier than the rest of my family, even if it's by one hour, and spending that time on the next book. (I should mention that I can only hope my muse is willing to get up earlier, too.)

But even doing that, even guarding my time is going to take restraint. I'm going to have to say no when I normally would say yes. It means marking days on my calendar with the phrase “PLAN NOTHING” and then actually plan nothing.

I think that’s the key to having it all. Realizing that you don’t have to do it all. It’s okay not to be the room parent for your kid’s classroom. The world will not end if you decide not to take on another project. And I’m going to leave my day jobs at work. While I love both my library gigs, the truth is, writing is my passion and my family is my soul. If I don’t nurture them… well, there won’t be a lot of people asking me to do things because they might be a little afraid. Muwahahaha!

Today’s lesson: BE FEARLESS when it comes to your time.

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