I’ve been trying something new this year that’s really working for me. I’m scheduling into my week periods of time in which I have no plans at all. When the time arrives, I think about what I really want to do and I do it. Sounds simple, right? But it’s not. The rest of the time I’m working through my endless to-do list balancing home life, our business, getting exercise, maintaining a home, being a good friend, etc. I will never get through the list and it makes me feel like an exhausted hamster running on the same wheel over and over and over.
Scheduling calm, a few hours in the week when there’s no pressure to finish anything so I can cross it off the list has resulted in a surprising amount of creativity and ironically, productivity. Usually I end up making something new (last night I made a coat for our foster dog) or copying a poem on a nice card for a friend or outlining some ideas for the issue of our next magazine. And sometimes I just sit with a cup of hot tea and one of our foster pets next to the fire and listen to it crackle for an hour. I think taking a break from the reactive list of “what needs to be done?” and doing something that is fun or restorative is helping me find balance in an odd way. There’s a lot of focus on the work/life balances but I’m starting to wonder if the real issue isn’t finding balance between who we have to be and who we want to be.