There is the common saying that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” It’s true, and I guess it wouldn’t really be a common saying if it was untrue. Being a stay at home mother, there are days I dream of going into the office, having adult conversations and doing fulfilling work. On rough days, I’ll think of my life before I had kids and marvel at all the free time I had. I could have written my novel! We so often get caught up in the negative, and it makes it easy to focus on what we don’t have or what could have been.
But the truth of the matter is, I’ve been on the other side of those fences. And if I really look back and remember, I was wishing I was on the side I am now. My job wasn’t really that fulfilling, and I often locked myself in my office in order to avoid conversations with certain adults. I squandered my free time even worse before I had kids! I had more of it, and I’m pretty sure I got less done.
It doesn’t take much reflection to realize I love my life. Sure, there are times that I think about the grass on the other side, but the grass is pretty damn green over here, too. I have a supportive husband who is also my best friend. He works his ass off to give me the opportunity to raise our two amazing boys without having to put them in daycare. We just moved to a really great area, the Research Triangle in North Carolina, where we just bought a house with a gorgeous backyard. Heck, my four-year-old and four-month-old both go to bed at the same time and sleep through the night, so I even get evenings to myself (and my husband). Sure, there are bad or hectic days, but we have a wonderful life.
I know in the past, my life has taken me away from this blog. It wasn’t hard to do, life is life, and this blog was never a paying job. But, I enjoy talking with others about books, and I feel a bit incomplete when I’m not writing. I journal every day, but it’s not the same. About once a year, or however often, I come back here talking about schedules and how I’m going to stick with it this time, and I usually fall short. I have to stop comparing myself to everyone else, but I’m going to stop making excuses.
I need a bit more structure for my free time. It’s the only way to hit my goals. I am enjoying that wonderful life, but it sure is exhausting, and come the evening (my only free time), I’m checked out. If I don’t set aside blocks of time, my mind will wander and my fingers will instinctively move to the dark reaches of the internet, and before I know it, the night is gone.
I’ve decided to allow a set amount of time to this vacuum, just to get it out of the way, maybe right after I put the kids to bed. Get all that dirty social media out of my system. Another block for journaling, something I usually dally around doing, rather than succinctly getting it written. Then a huge chunk of time to writing, whether it’s this blog or my novel. And before bed, another block for reading. All great writers are readers. I should probably throw in some exercise, but there aren’t enough free hours!
But I did say no excuses! I’ll figure it out, and I’ll get it done because I’m determined now more than ever. This move has inspired me to make a new “me.” A “me” focused on me, as it were. It’s about time I did that.
What are your tips and tricks for managing your time and getting your projects done? Maybe we can make a change together.