My key word for 2014, at least so far, is balance.
Admittedly, it was last year's key word too. In 2013, I finally forced myself to learn how to find a healthy balance between work and enjoying life. For the first time in the many, many years since I became a small business owner, I took weekends off. And what a difference it made. I can't believe it took me so long to allow myself to do this and feel okay about it. Ironically, my businesses did better than they had in years.
And here I am now, attempting to allow for a new kind of balance this year. Three days before the start of 2014, Essley was born, and everything about my world changed in an instant. I've never been a morning person until now, when I know I get to look over and see my baby girl's face, so sweet and sleepy. Suddenly three hours of broken sleep feels worth it, and all I want to do is smother her with love and be her mommy. But after a diaper change and feeding and some cuddle time, my work day begins. When Robbie is home, I'm almost able to fit in a regular work day (albeit one that ends much later than in the past). When he is on the road, which is more often than not this time of year, my work day is much different. It's divided into unpredictable chunks and I very rarely finish my daily 'to do' list. When baby is sleeping and hanging out in her swing or bouncy chair, I'm working - but I feel a little guilty for not giving her my undivided attention, which she deserves. When baby is crying or eating or wide awake and alert, I am with her - but I feel a little guilty for not giving enough of myself to my jobs, which we rely on to pay bills. Sometimes, if I'm feeling extra coordinated (physically and mentally), I can do both at the same time - but I feel a little guilty for multitasking, which I've come to learn usually works against you in the end.
I mentioned in a recent post that I've felt helplessly overwhelmed at times over this past month, but over the past week, I've begun to feel the slightest shift. I'm starting to adjust - even if just a tiny bit. Things haven't slowed down either. It's actually a pretty crazy time for me work wise, between taxes and Valentine orders and the sudden news that my clothing line's website needs to be completely redesigned from scratch by mid-month in order to be compatible with my shopping cart provider's newest upgrade (anyone proficient in Miva Merchant 5.x want to do some last-minute work for a clothing or blog ad trade?). And blah blah blah (we're all busy at work, right?). Obviously it is also a crazy time for me away from work too (I have a newborn baby, duh!). But I keep repeating the word 'balance' in my head, and reminding myself how much better everything became last year when I finally allowed for balance between work and play without feeling guilty. And so it begins again, as I slowly start to surrender to allowing for a similar balance, this time with the role of mom to a tiny little human incorporated into the mix.
It's funny how focusing on one powerful word can be all the motivation you need to find your way, or create positive change, or even simply to adjust to a new experience. Balance, you're that word for me, for the second year in a row. I know you won't let me down.
FILED UNDER: random thoughts/life