Hi guys! I took a break from blogging and I’m here to say I’m sorry, but not sorry. At first it was unintentional, but then I decided to take a deliberate break. Sorry that I didn’t warn you, although I’m sure you didn’t notice I was MIA. So anyway, here’s why I decided to do it.
– As many of you know, I’m a mom of 2 little ones (2.5 years and 10 months old). I’m also working full-time (for the most part) as an occupational therapist at a hospital. On top of that there are all the regular day-to-day duties of mom-ing, wife-ing and housekeeping that need to be done. And then on top of THAT, I’ve taken on a huge new life-changing project (which I will reveal to y’all in due time), which takes up every other free moment I have. I’m squeezing every single minute out of my 18 waking hours…yes I only typically sleep 6 hours a night, yes I know it’s not healthy. Naturally, my blogging has somewhat fallen to the wayside simply because there was no time.
Focus and Mindfulness
– So now that you know what I do with most of my day, let’s talk about where my mind has been. I’m a very multi-tasking-oriented person: my brain is like an internet browser with 10 active tabs open at once. Sometimes I’ll sit down to start writing a post, and then realize the kids’ laundry needs to be done and then see the vacuum and decide that the floors need to be cleaned, and then forget to send of that email to a brand partner, and then realize I need to buy more diapers and formula on amazon…and there goes my productivity. I know I’m not the only one that thinks like this, but it’s exhausting.
I recently read in Oprah’s The Wisdom of Sundays a conversation that she had with Shonda Rhimes. Now we all know Shonda…super successful drama genius, creator, writer and director of Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Private Practice, Station19 etc. She talks about how her focus was more on work than it was her family. Then she started saying yes to her kids in a way she hadn’t. “There were so many times I’ve said, “Well I can’t right now, I’m doing this. I can’t right now”. I decided every single time she said “wanna play?”, I would say yes. even if I was in an evening gown going to an awards show or on my way to work. I would get down and play”. Shonda realized where her true focus should be, and made that adjustment.
I realized I needed to make that adjustment as well. Carter had just started walking. Chase was identifying letters and using phonetic skills to list out new words. I didn’t want to miss these critical moments because my mind was somewhere else. When I’m with my kids and hubby, I want to be physically and mentally present. When I’m at work or writing for my blog, the same applies. I don’t want to half-@$$ or half-mind anything anymore. Being mindful of what is important and a priority in life can really change how and with whom you spend those precious waking hours.
Again a quote from wise and mighty Oprah, “The number one principle that rules my life is intention. Thought by thought, choice by choice, we are co-creating our lives based on the energy of our intention”. When I started this blogging journey, my intention was to use it as a creative outlet. It then became a means for family and friend to keep tabs on our growing family. Then picked up some popularity became my way to share experiences, knowledge and advice with anyone in the world who may relate to the topics I share.
The past month I felt myself thinking, “I haven’t blogged in awhile, I should think of something to write”. That’s when I knew my intention had shifted. I now may not try to punch out two posts a week anymore, because I would rather put my energy into one quality-written post that gives more than what two mediocre articles could offer. …however, I would rather say nothing than to force a topic that I’m not invested in or passionate about. I told myself I would never force my words into this creative space, and whatever I produced would be authentic, organic and well-written from my heart.
You may have read my new year’s resolution post about wanting to achieve more balance in my life. Eight months later and I’m getting there, but not exactly where I’d like to be. Well, in this month-long unintentional/intentional break from the blog I’ve created a new system of sorts. I’ve read and heard about a technique that people utilize at work to be more productive and efficient called time-blocking and batch-work. Basically, you compartmentalize all of the different tasks that need to be done, assign them into blocks of time and when that time is over, you are done and move onto the next task. Well I started to apply that to my daily routine, to keep my on track and make sure everything was done before the night was over. Here’s an example of how most days go:
7-7:45: get ready for work/boys ready for school
8:00-9:00 school drop-off, arrive at work
4:00-4:30 work on my project at coffee shop
4:45-5:15 school pickup, arrive home and start dinner
6-7 Dinner, playtime
7-8 bedtime routines
8-9 cleanup house, prepare lunches
9-10 work on project/to-do list/spend time with hubby watching netflix
10-10:30 shower, read in bed, meditate
Is it ridiculous that I plan my day out almost down to the minute and always checking the clock to make sure we’re on schedule? Maybe. Some might joke that I haven’t penciled in time to go to the bathroom. I mean, time-blocking your personal life is somewhat crazy, and it isn’t for everyone. As a mom, your schedule is usually dominated by your kids. Any free time that you have to yourself is either so limited that it barely counts or doesn’t exist at all. By taking control of how the day goes hour by hour, I feel like I can finally squeeze in that time to do what I want or have been trying to do, like reading before bed. Now that I have a better system, I feel I can dedicate time to blogging (when organically inspired), and feel that it is getting the undivided attention it deserves. The cliche saying “Carpe Diem” or seize that day has never made more sense to me than now.
How do you organize your day? Do you plan it out or live spontaneously? Do you crave structure or love to go with the flow? I’m always curious to know how other people live.