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New pace of life

August 6th, 2013 at 09:24 am

Now that I'm entering the "slow down" phase in my freelancing life, I'm thinking about what kind of life I want to live, and what kind of things I do and don't want to do everyday.

Obviously, parenting the kids and making a productive life for them is no. 1, but there will be a few brief hours (less than 3) every weekday when they are in school, and with my new freelance schedule, only one or two of those will need to be dedicated to work.

It'll will be a nice change from the three years of break-neck parenting and full steam ahead freelancing. All the constant deadlines and stress wore me down.

So, now what?

I've been thinking.

I'm happier and more balanced when each day has a range of activities. As in, not just sitting in front of the computer. Working. I like days where I get to work for a little bit, work in the garden doing something physical, do something creative like work on the house or some piece of art, and get to exercise, whether it's a run around the park or quiet yoga.

The question is, can I do all of those things each day? Maybe. Or at least I hope so.

For instance, yesterday. I wrote an article while the kids were in a two hour literacy class. Then we went swimming, DH and I shoveled gravel for the patio we are attempting to build, I made dinner, cleaned up, got the kids to bed, then diced, steamed, and canned some fresh tomatoes.

It was a tiring but very productive day, and I wasn't bored because the activities were varied.

Today, I took the kids to preschool, finished and filed yesterday's article, made two loaves of zucchini bread, then took a 40 minute walk in the sunshine.

I also want to do more scratch cooking and try to grow and harvest salad greens farther into the winter. But that is another story.

I was thinking the ideal structure to my day would involve little bits of these things every day or as the pace ebbs and flows

1.Paid work
2.Creative work and projects (novels, painting, etc.)
3.Exercise of some sort
4.Creation work, by which I mean cooking, gardening, baking, etc.

What do you guys think? Is balance possible? How do you manage to do what you need to do and make a nice life for your family even with competing demands?

3 Responses to “New pace of life”

  1. snafu Says:

    It takes a bit of planning keeping in mind your personal preferences + flexibility to keep all the 'plates spinning.' I find doing 30 minutes of exercise 1st thing energizes the day, is it endomorphs? It's been my experience that it helps to block all those external things like school events, medical appointments, birthdays, celebrations, holiday plans [Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving], end of daylight savings to change out batteries, test fire alarms & evacuation etc. on the family calendar.

    Whatever day the grocery store flyers come out works to plan menus. Knowing what you're making for dinner takes out so much stress. I do 'Desk Day' every Tues, about 15 minutes to review finances, pay bills, take care of paperwork and filing.

    ...just ideas

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Sounds like you're off to a great start! I find that I'll get subtly imbalanced over time and will need to rejigger my priorities and attentions so that everything is getting as much attention as it needs (or at least some attention). The biggest challenge is giving the kids quality time AND doing home-cooked meals, since that all has to occur within the same two-hour window. If I'm cooking, I just try to gently reminded the spouses that they should be playing with the kids, not doing chores. We all get focused on cooking and cleaning and don't get as much bonding time with the kids unless we make a conscious effort. Weekends are better; it's just weeknights where this tends to happen.

    My other challenge is not just collapsing on the couch to watch TV and putz around on the computer from the time the kids are in bed until bedtime. Way too often this is all I want to do, so I need to come up with activities that are a bit more productive/fulfilling/stimulating but don't require too much effort (since I am at my lowest energy level of the day from about 8:30 to 11:30 pm).

    So I'd say the things I succeed at are locked in, scheduled or completely routine: exercise (walking to daycare; 5 min of weight training mornings and nights); paid work (I'm in a 9 to 5 so that's an easy one); "creative" (presently, just maintaining my other personal finance group/blog/Facebook page); and what you call (and I like the term) "creation work": cooking, menu planning, budget planning.

  3. PNW Mom Says:

    I think you can do it. It just might take a bit of time for you to get into a comfortable routine. My life has changed drastically in the past year. I have 1 who will be a senior in college and the other one will be starting college. For about 15 years, life was a whirlwind...I worked part-time (until early afternoon), did errands, appointments, housework, and dinner in the afternoons. Most evenings were spent taking the kids to soccer and/or basketball practice or attending games. Weekends off were rare, due to sporting events and the girls were also on travelling soccer and basketball teams. We were BUSY! As they got older and started to drive, it eased up a bit since we didn't have to drive and carpool all the time. Now, I am a soon to be empty nester and "finding" myself again. DH and I almost don't know what to do with ourselves! lol..... We are just entering a different phase in life, as you will be too as your kids get older. It certainly helps to have a supportive spouse (I did/do). I think routine was probably the biggest key. Good luck! Smile

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