What the Hell is Balance, and How do I Get There?

Usually, I frame my articles as a ‘how to’, so I can share some of the mistakes I’ve made and how I’ve learned to avoid them.

If I’m feeling frustrated, I write a commiserate article in second person to release some of the tension I’m feeling. Because hey, sometimes it feels good to complain and realize that you’re not the only one out there who feels that way.

But today, I’m at a little bit of a loss.

One of my major goals this year is to find balance in every area of my life. When I explain my goals to people, it’s the first thing everyone tells me I need. It’s at the point where, if I still lived with my parents, I would be afraid they would try and carve the word ‘balance’ in my skin while I sleep.

Even Facebook told me I need balance this year when I played one of those “stop the video to find out __________ about yourself” posts.

 

Proof:

screenshot_20180104-165738.png

The problem is, finding balance has never been a strength of mine, and it’s starting to feel like this is a futile goal, nothing more than an endless game of what-a-mole.

Figuring out how to work better and creating the ideal career is no problem. Getting into better eating habits is no sweat. Building stronger relationships with others is a breeze. Self-improvement is a cakewalk…

BUT, doing all of these things in conjunction feels damn near impossible!

When I focus on one area of my life, something else inevitably starts to slip, and when I switch my focus back to that thing, it feels like I’m starting at ground zero. Then, something else begins to fall.

I know that I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but I look at other women I admire, and I can’t help but feeling like I’m coming up short.

I have this one client who is a respected lawyer for 60-70 hours a week, has a tech start-up on the side, and still finds time to prioritize spending time with her young daughter.

When does she sleep?!?!?!

Meanwhile, I’m just here trying to figure out how I can find a daily routine that doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot (read: obsessing) about the things that are important to me. My key takeaways are:

  1. I cannot sit at a desk for 40h a week, no matter how much I like the work.
  2. Physical creativity (building things, painting, drawing, sewing, etc.) are the things that make me the most excited.
  3. I cannot do all of my cooking in one day anymore.
  4. Work all week and chores all weekend makes Jenn a dull girl.

Here’s How I’m Going (Try) to Fix It:

I’m going to reserve one day a week to avoid writing and clients. Instead, I’m going to use the time to learn new things and spend time on hobbies that I love. Specifically, I want to throw myself into the world of DIY!

I haven’t done much since I made this shelf a few months ago:

20180207_132638

I think this will give me something to look forward to, and help me avoid procrastination since I’ll want to make sure I can keep that day free. It’s also just a nice break from client demands and the demands I put on myself.

FYI, I’m stealing this concept from this article. It’s number 6 if you’re curious.

As for the food problem…if you haven’t gleaned it from reading this blog yet, I’m a bit of a control freak. And when I lived alone, I had groceries and cooking down to a science.

Now, I have another person to consider when making a plan.

My fiance is a wonderful human with all kinds of talents, but he absolutely sucks at the whole food thing. I mean, he would happily eat popcorn for dinner every night given the opportunity. I know this because when he lived alone, that’s pretty much what he did.

So, I tend to do the grocery planning and all of the cooking.

Meal prepping for one person in a day is easy. Meal prepping enough food for two people for an entire week in one day is insanely hard, stressful, and time consuming.

It takes up half of my weekend and turns me into a miserable grump. Instead, I’m going to try and cook one bulk meal three days a week on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

But, meal prep is just one thing that seems to take over my weekend. I still have all the other chores and errands.

To take the pressure off, I plan on doing 30 minutes of cleaning every evening. I already have a chore list, so maybe I can get my fiance on board with this plan, and we can both aim to tick one thing off per day.

Whatever happens, I’ll let you know how this plan of action pans out.


I would appreciate any input about how you’re achieving balance (or at least how you’re trying to). I can’t be the only one feeling the horrifying whack-a-mole feeling!

 

– Jenn

 

Title photo by: Cindy Tang (caption by me)

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