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keeping it all together



even under the best circumstances, maintaining a work/life balance is complicated. i’d like to say that slipping back into work-mode has been smooth, that dylan cooperates every day, and that i’ve never been more productive. i’d like to say that. but the reality is, it’s crazy hard to focus.

when your job takes you out of the house, you aren’t faced with the myriad minutiae of your home life. dust, dirty floors, heaps of laundry and piles of dirty dishes. how can two people (plus one) create so many dirty dishes, for the love of god, will someone tell me?! when you sit at a desk that has a clear view of your kitchen, it’s those  little (big) things that become ridiculously distracting. because washing a dish results in tangible gratification. it’s also a lot easier to get started. turn on water, squirt soap. simple. being creative requires a little more brain power. and coffee.

what else? the one year old. she’s more likely to entertain herself in the morning. but for some reason that is probably directly connected to the length (or lack) of naps, it seems she’s reverting back to her baby state. this little walking, screaming whirlwind of disaster. she whines, constantly tries to get between my legs (whether i’m sitting at the desk or cutting up vegetables in the kitchen or simply attempting to use the restroom), she pulls on my clothes and bursts into screaming tears. has the tantruming begun already, you ask? why, yes! yes it has! and the worst part, how do you discipline a one year old? say no. take it away. ignore the complaining. this is tough.

oh, yeah. we also recently introduced a new cat into our home. he’s a wonderfully sweet thing, but anyone who has owned cats knows how complicated a new addition can be, especially when the two existing felines only recently just got over dealing with a brand new bundle of screaming, spitting, grabbing human baby. it’s bad enough when the ones i’m used to start howling in the middle of the night, the new guy isn’t used to being cooped up and howls during the day. there’s a lot going on over here.

so. outside of downing a bottle of red every night in an attempt to stay sane, how on earth are you supposed to keep it all together, literally and figuratively?

take a break. i skimmed a huff po article about busyness recently and the author was right, busyness is a sickness. we’re all so damn busy all the time, and stress really wreaks havoc with your body, mind, and spirit. every now and then step away from the chores, or computer and take a break. an actual break, where you don’t think about what you were doing on the computer or with your chores. i get on the floor and play.

deep breaths. center yourself. over this past year i’ve learned a lot about mindfulness and the importance of living in the moment. i’ve said no about 25 times since 12 pm, for various reasons. but calm, deep breaths, because i’m going to say no another 25 times more before 6.

organize as you go. i already feel like i spend all day cleaning and doing dishes, so this might seem a little counter-intuitive. but if i do a few dishes here, and toss a few toys in a bin there, at the end of the night (or first thing in the morning) i don’t feel so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that has to be done. and i can sleep.

indulge a little. after all you’ve done for others, do something for yourself. have a chocolate bar. take a nap. go for a walk. we reward others for good behaviour, reward your own.

make a list. this literally helps you keep track of all your things on the go, but there’s something so satisfying about ticking items off a list. there’s that gratification i was talking about earlier.

remember it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t get done. this concept has been the hardest for me to wrap my brain around. i have a tendency to get caught up in the smallest details, and when cup starts filling up, my patience starts wearing thinner and thinner. the smallest thing can set me off, and i hate the idea that i’m wasting time and energy on being pissed off at the inconsequential parts of life.

hey, i know. easier said than done. but practice makes perfect, and no better time than the present. i think it’s time for a little play…


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