Me time: restoring balance

This morning I went to the Y. I put the wee girl into the crèche (after our initial separation issues, she now runs in and doesn’t even say goodbye!). We had swim class an hour later and, really, I should have made the most of the hour to go for a run, but I sat with a cup of tea and did some catching up instead.

Because, in all honesty, I’m tired and an hour of just sitting is what I needed most.

I thought about balance.

In theory, having removed ‘working’ from my list of things to do (not that looking after the kids full time isn’t work, but you know what I mean), I should have more balance in my life. But, being the person I am, I have simply replaced ‘work’ with other things!

You know the phrase ask a busy person, because they will be able to fit it in? Well, I am that busy person.

But, there is a fine line between busy and overwhelmed.

As usual, I want to be able to do everything.

The classes and activities with the kids; the coffees with friends; the #50Books2014 challenge; the blog; the new linky; home cooked meals; homemade lunch box snacks; fun crafts; amazing school projects; tidy house…

And that’s before I try and fit in a bit of me-time or husband-time.

Something has to give, and currently that’s been mainly sleep!

I’ve slipped from busy into overwhelmed.

I am not a big one for resolutions, I don’t think they work, and I certainly never keep to them.

But, I do need a plan! I’m a Project Manager, I like to have a plan :)

I can’t solve this all in one go. The fact is, I don’t want to stop doing any of these things, so I have to find away to make it work: to achieve a better balance.

And get more sleep!

Last year I was introduced to the Fly Lady by a friend (thanks J!). For those who haven’t come across this lady/brand – it’s all about keeping your home lovely and organised… It’s actually all very sensible and notwithstanding the slight issue I have with the presumption that as the ‘woman of the house’ these responsibilities all fall to me, following the routines does lessen the load over all (or at least it can, if you follow them, which I’m not just at the moment…)

Anyway, I digress slightly.

The main reason that I mention the Fly Lady is her mantra ‘you can do anything for 15 mins’ (in her case, clean/tidy…). But, this advice can apply to a lot of things. And, when overwhelmed by a task, breaking it up into 15 minutes blasts is a very good way to make it feel more manageable and actually do it.

So, rather than try and solve how I can…

do the school run, go to swimming and music classes, cook, bake, keep on top of the laundry (how many clothes can children wear in a day?!), get homework done, craft and have fun with kids; while also seeing friends, having some quiet time, going for a run, reading the odd book (or twenty), having the occasional conversation with my husband; while also writing my blog, reading other people’s blogs, commenting and responding to comments, starting my own linky

…all in one go, I’m going to:

Plan – I am an obsessive list writer, but I currently just have a very long list and it needs some structure.
Prioritise – really, not everything has to be done today, or even this week, and some things probably not even at all :)
Action – a list is all very well, but instead of being overwhelmed by it I need to actually tick some things off it!

Because, while I’ve been redefining my role and reinventing myself, I seem to have forgotten that I made a career out of organising other people, managing multiple teams and multiple tasks; and I used to apply those skills to managing my life as well.

I need to start doing that again, regain a bit of control – but also a bit of perspective. I don’t have to do everything all the time. Some things can wait, I won’t be letting anyone (including myself) down if I focus on one thing at a time. It is better to do one thing well than lots of things badly!

So, my resolutions, if I made resolutions, would be:
To be practical (not unrealistic)
To be controlled (not controlling);
To be focused (not scattergun)
To be relaxed (not critical)
To be kind to myself.

2013 was a good year; it was a year of change and adventure. 2014 has the potential to be a great year. Now, I just have to make it happen.

Motivational Monday

14 thoughts on “Me time: restoring balance”

  1. Oh my goodness, what a GREAT post. I have to be honest I was typing a similar post about what my NON-resolutions are this year because I don’t do them. But BALANCE was my key word. And after reading this it was like reading all about me. You probably by now think I am a stalker from across the pond hahahaha But I cant say it enough about how much we have in common sometimes. I use to manage people for a living too and it’s hilarious how overwhelmed I have been lately trying to balance everything, DO everything. Why can’t I manage myself. Lovely post. Good luck with balance. May we both stop running around with our heads cut off at the speed of lightening. lol ;)

  2. I feel you. I really do. I’ve been feeling that I’ve moved into overwhelmed for a while now and just couldn’t decide how to do everything I want without constantly failing myself and everyone else because I am constantly failing…
    I have no answers for now, and I just took on another project so I guess I’m just digging an even bigger hole for myself here…
    If I were the resolution type (which I’m not, because I can’t stand the thought of having something or someone dictate my life) I would say I should try more relaxation and moderation and realistic expectation. Since I am not the resolution type I guess none of those will happen! Good luck with your non-resolutoions :)

  3. It sounds like you’ve got a great plan in place, I hope it works for you. I know all about being overwhelmed and how much it can make you feel like doing nothing! My resolution this year is to get more sleep too :)

  4. Hello, thanks so much for linking up to #AllAboutYou Link&Pin Party, I spied this post before I even realised you’d linked up – just been over at your #SilentSunday photo! Some useful tips in here for me, having focus, being relaxed and being kind to yourself are all so important for wellbeing.

  5. You are so right, life can get overwhelming, and we do need to Project Manage ourselves and break tasks and even days up to get in control again, be kinder to ourselves and not let life get on top of us. Thanks for linking a brilliant post to #AllAboutYou xxx

  6. It’s good to be aware of the areas you feel you’re struggling with hon, and identify solutions. None of us are super human, and I personally don’t think it’s possible to sustain a lifestyle that you feel is so overwhelming. I really hope you manage to strike the balance you’re after lovely lady. Try not to sacrifice your rest time, it’s too important xx

  7. I need to do this – I’m usually too busy to plan and that just loses me more time. Best of luck with it all. Thank you for the inspiration and linking to Motivational Monday

  8. This is fab! I completely believe in the 10/15 minute rule – I know that when I imagine I will need a big chunk of time to do something, it just won’t happen – but if I keep chipping away at little tasks, I feel so much more positive, and it really does slowly make a big difference to whatever I thought that big task was at the beginning. Here’s to an amazing 2014 for you! (I wish you could come to our retreat…!) xx

  9. I definitely need to remember to take things in smaller increments. Everything I ever want to do, I talk myself out of by saying it will take too long. But the truth is that I have the time – just not the energy or motivation!! ;)

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