Juggling like a clown at the circus

You know that when you have kids, life gets busier. It’s just a fact, especially true I think in a modern era where we juggle jobs and careers (not the same thing) as well as family expectations: extracurricular activities, school, extended families.

Since embarking on my sobriety journey almost six months ago I’ve been working really hard on mindfulness and awareness of emotions and situations. So I’ve been feeling pretty stressed out and life just felt like “a lot”.  Not individually unmanageable, but overall just starting to crunch a little as the year got underway.

To lighten the load I did an exercise where I wrote all the areas of my life onto A4 sheets of paper. These areas were:

  • Family and Friends
  • Work
  • Volunteer
  • School gala
  • Housework
  • Me

I then got a stack of post it notes and started to write all the things that were on my to do list, or over all areas that I needed to keep on top of. I ended up with a spread of 6 pages covered in little purple boxes. I spread them all out and had one of those epiphany moments – “holy heck, I have a lot on my plate“.

post its

I then blu-tacked them to the wall and added two more pages: “Today” and “Done”. The “Done” page gets a smiley face too.

It was really good to do. It won’t change the amount of things I am juggling but it has given me some perspective.

1: It explains why I feel like I never achieve 100% at everything – you literally can’t do three things at once, or be three places at once, there has to be a priority list.

2: I have learnt why my days off are stressful: today I pulled in all the things I have put off onto the “Today” page and there’s not enough room for all those post its. There isn’t enough room for all those jobs in one day.

3: Now I know I can stop beating myself up over not getting to the gym. It’s going to have to merge with the “Walk dog” post it, and become a Me and Ziggy activity.

4: I’m getting cleaner. I am not a super woman and not a super home maker and I hate housework, and now I have a post it to prove that I don’t have like it. Life is too busy.

5: My “Me” page was the least full. That’s clearly missing some balance.

6: There are some extras in some categories that I will fight tooth and nail to keep – that helps recognise the things I love to do, and conversely, those I don’t. Like my volunteering at Citizen’s Advice – it’s the most worthwhile thing I do in my week and I refuse to budge on it’s inclusion, even though it fills the best part of one of my non-work days.

7: The school gala is a page too far! Looking forward for that to be done and dusted on Saturday!

I am no more than your very average busy Mum, daughter, wife, colleague, employee but I was genuinely suprised when I stepped back and looked at all my responsibilities and commitments that I tried to pack into the week. This has really worked for me, and so I am sharing it – in the hope that maybe it could help someone else too.

xx

Anna

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2 thoughts on “Juggling like a clown at the circus

  1. I’m going to give this a go I think. We did a similar thing at our SMART meeting and guess what all the ‘fun’ stuff was sorely missing, but like you say there’s only so much time. My husband suggested a cleaner the other day, as I’ve got up to 4 days work a week. Whilst I think we can’t really afford it, the breathing space it would give is priceless.

    Thanks for posting this, I might give it a try.

    Almost six months alcohol free – wowser!! x

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