Monday, February 22, 2010

My Time Inventory

After my blog post last week I cried to Mr. Wonderful about everything. We had a great talk and came up with some solutions, really looked at my schedule. He even asked me to make him a list of all the things he could help with (there's a reason why he has his nickname)

Right now my number 1 priority is getting caught back up on work and getting some marketing going. I actually started to think about getting a part time job, not because I need one yet, but because I was so tired of having all the responsibility on my head, not just emotional but financial. And running a business means not always knowing when the $$ is coming in. It also means twice as much federal taxes and never, ever truly leaving your work anywhere else. In that moment of desperation, it sounded so much better than what I do now. But Mr. Wonderful (and I knew it deep down) reminded me of why I quit that world in the first place 6 years ago to start this business, and how many people dream of doing it. I do need that reminder sometimes.

So I have set work hours again, and am thinking about finding a mother's helper for after school like someone suggested in the comments. I'm running my neighborhood instead of the gym, which cuts my gym time down to just 3 days a week instead of 6. I've increased the kids' chores to include a lot of the things I was doing myself after they went to bed, like putting away their own laundry and clearing the dishes/table. (who knew they could do that and do it well!) My 7 year old has even been helping me cook.

But the thing is, not much is going to change. I'm a single mom. I have three kids. I own a business. I'm in a relationship. It's gonna be tough. I have to keep my eye on the prize, and with the help of good friends and a supportive partner, I can get through these OMG HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS moments (because there are going to be many).

Monday, February 15, 2010

You Can Have It All (Just not all at once)

One time I sat down and added up all the things I needed to do in one day and how long they took, before ever sleeping, as a working mother to 3 kids. It added up to 28 hours per day BEFORE sleep, and that was when I was still MARRIED.

Which is why I'm not surprised on nights like tonight when I absolutely crash and burn and throw that Reeses in with the groceries at checkout, to be enjoyed in the front seat of my car, parked in the garage, the only place it's quiet and I can think.

It's good to be needed. I would never want the opposite. I love my kids. I love being there for my 7 year old as she holds back sobs and tries to be brave through a dentist appointment where she gets fillings with no nitrous. I love that my baby still wants me to carry her everywhere, even though she's 3, because someday she'll be older and be embarrassed to be seen with me. I love that my 11 year old loves telling me about the music he loves and stories about friends and really needs me to pay attention.

They all need me. The kids need my attention in so many different ways. My clients need me, and are wondering why I haven't worked in a month and don't know or care that I am so tired at the end of the day that I just can't make myself open up their files, yet if I don't I won't have the money to pay the mortgage next month.

My friends need me. My father needs me. My boyfriend needs me. My dog needs me. My house needs me. The kids' schools need me. The bills need me. The laundry needs me. The car needs me.

Other single moms will relate. Our lives are a very delicate balance, a juggling act. Each child you have is an extra ball and with each of those, 10 extras between school, homework, personal needs, financial needs, etc. Throw in a relationship, a business or work, a needy or dramatic ex husband, and the juggling becomes more difficult. Each time something goes wrong, something as simple as say a child gets sick, you miss buying groceries, etc, or worse a medical emergency or emotional crisis, and all the balls come crashing to the floor. And then we must pick up all the balls again and start all over, you and only you. It's exhausting.

My current time inventory says I can't keep this up. There are too many balls. Not enough hands. The children are suffering, I am suffering, my business is suffering. I can't afford to drop a hundred balls every few weeks and start over from scratch.

The thing is...I want it all...everything I do I make "cuts" to the things I love...even the things that seem annoying and extra are related to things that I need or love.

For now, here I stand again, looking around the floor at all the balls that need to be picked up and put back into motion, and I just don't see where I will get the energy from. I don't know that I have it in me this time.

But what choice do I have. Why has my life become this struggle again, this "just survive this day" mode again. What is it all for???

I sense a change on the horizon. I can't pinpoint what or how or details of that nature. I just know that something has to change, and I have to be the one to change it. I have to be greater than this situation. I want to live, not survive. I refuse to let the cards that have been dealt to me destroy me or steal my joy one day longer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Flipped Side

So I know my posts of late have been all serious and heavy. I promise I'm not all serious and heavy all the time, it's just those feelings that always prompt me to write.

So here's what's making me happy these days (because I am very, very happy!)

Working Out. I am fully recovered from my holiday gluttony and hitting new highs in my workouts that I never imagined I could hit in my wildest dreams. I have been running and keep reaching and surpassing my goals (I can run 9.3 mph for a full 2 minutes. When I first started running I was lucky to make it past 5mph). I lift weights and enjoy the strength I get from it, both mentally and physically. I am totally addicted to the endorphins. I challenge anyone to come up with a better feeling in life than a hard core workout followed by a hot shower. I'm looking at running another 5K soon. I am so so happy that my body has somehow allowed me to run again after years of battling tendonitis.

Work. To be quite honest, I'm not working much. It is a very slow time of year for my business, and the work I do have I am having a really hard time getting motivated for. But being in a creative field, I'm finding my creative spark start to return (it always seems to die during the busy holiday rush) and I'm producing work that I am really proud of.

Music. Mr. Wonderful and I have been hitting the local music scene as much as possible, and I can't even tell you how much I have enjoyed this. The week before I met him, I wrote about wanting to get into the local music scene (which is, as you may recall, how I met a music festival). We now have countless concerts on our upcoming schedules, and it just makes me giddy. Last week we saw a band I'd never heard of in a tiny little lounge. I probably would never listen to their music otherwise, but I just love watching musicians perform their own music live. It's fascinating, invigorating, inspirational. Then there are the concerts of the bands I am absolutely in love with, where the music they play sends me into absolute euphoria.

Food. Another one of my passions. I've made it my goal to try new foods as much as I can. This weekend, I tried octopus. Before that, tuna tartare (we're on an asian cuisine kick). The tartare?? heaven, the octopus, notsomuch. On our list of things to do also is to attend a wine class/tasting. I also have a list of our city's top rated restaurants that I'm trying to check off one at a time.

Movies. I'm still hitting the theater when I can and watching my indie flicks. Because I've had less time to get out of the house, I signed up for netflix too and have been watching those when I can. Actually, right now as I type this, I'm streaming a movie onto my laptop that I've never seen. I do this while I work and it makes working so much more fun :) I'm also hoping to hit the local independent film festival too in just a couple of months.

Kids. My kids are amazing. My son is developing this witty sense of humor. He is so on the verge of teen-hood (he's 11) and while I thought I would hate that, I really enjoy relating to him on this level. My middle daughter is just excelling at everything she puts her mind to, from soccer to school to friends. My youngest daughter is growing up so fast and just makes me laugh hysterically every single day. She loves to snuggle like her Mommy, so we spend lots of time doing just that. All of them have been making strides towards independence, whether it be getting themselves ready in the mornings or sleeping in their own big girl bed, and it has helped me as a single mom so very much.

Here's to making life what you want it to be and enjoying something that makes you happy every single day.