Balance. My goodness, I have a love/hate relationship with this idea of having enough time for everything in my life—dayjob, daughter and hubby, keeping the home in a semi-state of controlled chaos, reading, writing the next great American novel. Oh, and taking time out for myself so I don’t lose my mind.
Every now and then I’m able to get into a good juggling rhythm. By every now and then I mean about every 1-2 months. Because, Murphy’s Law, if anything can go wrong, it will. Which means one can only wonder whether balance is truly achievable or just a big ‘ole myth.
Over the last few months, I’ve thought quite a lot about my own balancing act, and that lead me to first review the definition via Webster’s online:
Balance [bal-uhns] Noun
While each of these definitions are on point, that last one is the epitome of my current life goal: creating a habit of calming behavior so I can have mental steadiness and emotional stability.
So now you may be wondering how the hell I’m going to manage that achievement, eh? I hear you. I have a job in the managed healthcare industry that I am very good at and really love (most days), a headstrong, energetic, and fast-growing two-year old daughter (read: stubborn, exhausting, and teething), a wonderful, supportive husband, a home I love but never devote enough time to its upkeep, and a novel I finished 2 years ago that needs heavy revisions so I can finally get it into the inboxes of the dozen agents/editors who’ve requested pages. Amongst all of that, I’ve got additional aspirations for furthering both my managed care and writing careers, expanding our little family (soon-ish), and getting my daughter involved in group activities. Whew! I may have been hit with a little anxiety just typing all that out.
So yeah, how the hell am I going to manage all of this? Well, luckily that wonderful husband I’ve mentioned has committed to my dreams in the same way I have, because in order for me to obtain the balance I need, his foundation of love and support will be invaluable (I’m also providing the same to him for his dreams). And because of that, I can confidently share my top five tips for balancing the writing and mom life while keeping your sanity… cause it’s not a myth. smile
Celebrate. Every. Accomplishment.
When my kid actually follows instructions and puts away all the canned food she stacked throughout the kitchen? cheers REWARD.
When she lets me drop her off at daycare without a five-star, soap-opera-worthy dramatic meltdown. cheers REWARD.
And here’s my favorite: When she actually pees in her potty vs the bathroom floor? cheers REWARD.
Seriously. The reward system works, and it’s not just for kids. Even as adults, celebrating every accomplishment, no matter how small, sends a signal somewhere in our brain that then keeps us motivated to do more. To reach higher. To push ourselves beyond our limits because we can do this!
Because I need to drink my own Kool-Aid on this one, here are the writerly accomplishments I’m going to celebrate this week, as they will push me into the next project like nothing else:
‘Scuse me a second while I fix a celebratory cocktail.
Ok, so in closing… while I’ve been cooking on the things I need to do to obtain balance in my life, trust me when I say that it wasn’t until these last few weeks that my eyes were opened WIDE. Because of that, my drive to hold fast to these tips, follow and incorporate them every day has only grown ten-fold. And if I can make someone else’s life a little easier by sharing my hard-learned balancing lessons? Well, that’s a cherry on top of the messy cake known as my life. J
Happy writing! cheers
Melinda S. Collins
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Author
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