Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking For Balance

I was a different person yesterday morning than I was in the afternoon. Than I am this morning, for that matter. Yesterday was the final day of our annual writer's retreat. It was, of course, fantastic. Three days of all things writing. Meals are taken care of, you just have to show up at the right time. No work or chores. Just you and the computer screen.

The retreat couldn't have come at a better time for me. I'd been struggling with my writing, and even the idea of writing. Carla Kempert, a smart lady I know, told me something that really stuck with me. Lots of times, you're so busy being what everybody else needs you to be, that you don't take time to be yourself and do what needs to be done for you.

So with that in mind, I drove home from Retreat yesterday telling myself that I would try for some balance. Most of that idea crashed and burned as soon as I walked through the door. In less than twenty four hours I've dealt with seven cases of bodily functions that were not my own. There are some days I wish I could just hit an intercom switch and say, "Earl, clean up in aisle four." And a guy with a mop in a rolling bucket would come take care of it.

Maybe if I didn't have as many long distance polka interventions and minion interviews to conduct, there'd be a better balance of me versus them. I thought I'd be done with the blue hairs at the end of last year, but here they are, pulling me back in.

So I need to make some changes and seek that balance. A friend at the retreat offered me a way to start, and I really want to take her up on it. So if I don't drown in the craziness that is my everyday, I plan to call and make arrangements with her this very week.

Maybe there's a secret I don't know. How do you find balance between what you need to do and what you really want to do for yourself? I'm open to any and all suggestions. And if anyone happens to know if Earl is looking for work, let me know. STAT.


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I'm very happy for your new mindset, and sad for the reality that hit you when you came home. :(

Balance is the driving force in my life, and my advice would be to always remember:

1. It's an average. Some days it falls one way, some days another.

2. It will never be fully achieved, not for more than short stretches of time. It's the striving that's important and that gets you progress.

3. YOU are just as important as everyone else around you, including your kids.

Victoria said...

I second what Natalie said. And I'm with you on the reality that is home. Chaos!
But, she's right. YOU are just as important!!

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Natalie. They're very good.

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks, V. It's good to hear from a second source. Sorry about your chaos too!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It is so difficult to find for yourself when you have children scooting about the premises. Putting yourself first often results in feelings of guilt.
I usually try to find time for myself by skipping sleep. It makes for a very grumpy morning but it goes away after I yell at a few students.
You need to forget about the polka problem and put on your superhero suit again.

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