Sometimes balance is so hard. I’ve gotten much better about blog-balance in the last few years, but every time I have a major life change, I struggle to get my life back into balance. And 2015 has brought along some major changes.
I’ve begun studying for a paralegal course through UT Austin. It’s a self-paced certification course, one of the best in the country, and I have a year to complete it. I would like to complete it in half that time, however, by the time my kids leave school at the end of June. I need to put in 360 hours of studying, so that takes a lot more of the time I used to have for other interests.
In addition, I’ve begun studying Spanish. I’ve always been interested in languages, and spent much of high school and college in intensive French courses (including some study abroad). I’ve tried to keep up with French in the years since, especially reading books in French, though I admit that I’m not nearly as proficient as I used to be. I also have some basic knowledge of Italian and German. Most useful to me is Spanish – especially given that my youngest son is pretty much fluent after five years in a dual-language elementary school, my two older sons are both in intensive Spanish courses in middle school, and my husband knows a little Spanish as well. I got a great Groupon deal on five volumes of Rosetta Stone for Latin American Spanish this past fall, and I’m enjoying the learning process. But again, it takes up time.
I’m cooking more, because I’m trying to eat paleo-style most of the time. My body reacts well to this way of eating, and I feel better, sleep better, and have more energy when I’m eating properly. But it does take a lot of prep work and cooking. Jason does most of the cooking in our house, but no one else here eats this way, so I have separate meals and can’t just expect him to cook additional food for me all the time!
Plus, I’m still a stay at home mom, taking care of the kids, taking care of the household, which takes a lot of time and energy. Plus, I’m still trying to exercise. Plus, I’m trying to write and submit manuscripts. Plus, I’m trying to spend some time to myself, reserved for reading and relaxing, for my sanity’s sake. These things – kids, household, fitness, writing, submitting, me-time – were already enough to take up my full 24/7 schedule. With the extra cooking and all that studying taking up an additional 5-6 hours every day…well, let’s just say that some parts of my life are getting the shaft, and I haven’t yet found a good balance for everything.
I’ve tried simply eating what everyone else is eating, and forget eating the way I need to eat to be healthy. That’s resulted in a lot of depression, fatigue, and general unhealthiness. I’ve skipped exercise for weeks now. Not good. I’ve barely written a thing all year, or started submitting my work. The housework and spending time with the boys is getting skimped on as well. Sigh. At least I still have audiobooks as I clean, cook, and exercise (when I manage to clean, cook, or exercise…).
I’m sure I’ll get that balance back soon. I spent a few hours last week making a healthy food and fitness plan for February, which has helped. I’ve tried to better organize my day in time blocks. I’m trying to rely more on audiobooks for my reading pleasures. And I’m finding ways to push myself to write. In particular, I have two very good beta-reader friends who are going to be reading my current manuscript chapter by chapter as I go along, so push me into self-imposed weekly deadlines. Hopefully soon, after a month of floundering, I’ll get myself back on track!