Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Maintaining balance as an overacheiver

Another legacy post from my Goodreads blog...

People often ask me how I manage to wrangle family time, errands and writing books.  Here's what I do to preserve my sanity.

December 24, 2012

I'm on holiday this week and so I'd like to take this opportunity to write about balance, something overacheivers like me tend to forget sometimes.

Balance, in this case, is a way of keeping yourself fresh, keeping your family ties strong, and enriching yourself. It's easy to go out of balance when you're working towards a deadline (either self-imposed or otherwise) and especially if you tend towards perfection. Having finished two books and one draft and started a fourth, finding balance this year has been a challenge for me. However, I do have some tips that have worked well for me.

First of all, don't set aside your hobbies. Creative and physical outlets should never be set aside to acheive a goal. These are what provide quality, happiness and satisfaction to life. In addition to writing, which until this year has been a casual passtime, I enjoy crochet, loom knitting, reading (like a machine!), gaming (Everquest is my favorite), and going on outings with my son.

Of course, most of my hobbies are sedentary activities so I try to ensure that physical activity makes it into the mix on a regular basis, whether or not I'm in the mood for it. Currently, my activities of choice are dance (Zumba in particular) and Isshinryu Karate. Both of these can be done at home in the space I've cleared in the living room. Karate is probably the one I devote most of my active time towards because it is an excellent full body workout that can be scaled up or down in time or intensity and uses a ton of calories. Also, it's low impact, something important to me since I ran way too much in the Navy to the dismay of my knees.

A third thing I do to maintain balance is to realize I can't (and shouldn't) do everything around the house. I started my son on chores early on and simply build them into his routine. He does his own laundry and folding, cleans his bedroom and bathroom and assists with the floors and dusting around the house. My husband cooks during the week, and is quite good at it too, and he and I switch off on tackling the dishes. One of the best compromises we've come up with in recent years is the agreement that if neither of us feels like cooking, we'll cook together.

Finally, if you're like me and like to fill up your schedule with an abundance of VITs (very important tasks), don't hesitate to add hobbies and family time to your list. Even when I'd rather be writing, I always make time for me and for my family, even if I have to plan it into my busy schedule.

This week, I've been pretty good at keeping balance in my life, finding time to cheer my husband and son along on their video games, cook some delicious dinners, read two books, loom knit a sparkly scarf, and of course go shopping. Now, I must sign off and get to wrapping presents and cooking pumpkin pies.

So what do you like to do to maintain balance?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments.
Published on December 24, 2012 09:29Tags: balance, exercise, family, hobbies