My husband Matt has understood my need to push forward in my career while staying home with the girls. He has pushed me to start my business and is constantly reminding me of my talents. With big changes confidence can be an issue. He has put up with my late nights and weekends working and researching and my constant series of self-inflicted projects. Even with all of my support I still struggle with finding the time to run, workout, make art and every once in awhile have a bit of fun. I am hoping this year I will find the balance.
When I was thinking about to my year of 2013 prior to reading back on my few first entries, I was feeling pretty good about the year. When I found this quote from January, I realized I may have missed the mark completely. Balance with an undertone of consistency, is what I wanted to achieve from this year. In many ways I started this making-it-daily project by myself in 2012. Obviously, not the brilliant, supported and enjoyable blog aspect with awesome friends and incredible encouragement with the huge fringe benefit of staying abreast of each others busy lives but I was making a good effort to bring art and health back into my life. Balance was an issue, I did not sleep enough, I did not stay consistent enough, I felt scattered all the time and I felt overwhelmed a lot. I craved for weekends where all I needed to do was house chores and running with my family rather than piles of work from school and freelance. I did not want to feel like going for a run would make or brake whether I got my pile of papers graded or a freelance job completed on time. So as I began this process I wanted to make time for myself in a way that felt less stressful. Did I do it? I really don’t think so.
Today, is a perfect example. I got up at 4:30 to write the blog, so I could finish editing a few pictures so I could drop them off at a clients house later on today, I have to finish writing my final exam for tomorrow, and I have 2,000 race photos to edit, tag and publish to a website before going to the end of the year soccer party. Where does family and health fit in to all of this? Will I figure it out throughout the day? Yes. Will my husband want to strangle me at some point? Yes. Will Matt and I both end up running or working out? Yes. Will I blow off half of it to play with the kids? Yes. I am praying for this winter storm to shutdown campus and travel so the soccer party will be rescheduled even though I miss the girls like crazy? Yes. Is that balance? I am not sure.
A few positive things. Did I come home from the race and download race pictures immediately? No, I went to print group for 2 hours and carved. Then, Matt and I took the girls to see Frozen and then we went home to hang out and play games. Then I feel asleep at 9 o’clock putting them to bed. I am starting to stress a little less, I am starting to realize I am only one person and I need help. I realize that 4-5 hours of broken sleep is bad for everyone especially after doing it for 5 years straight. I realize my constant push to do more, to be more, to please everyone is not helpful and can be destructive.
What I know about myself is when I feel insecure or out of step my response is to work harder than anybody else on the planet to make it happen. Make what happen? I don’t know? What is my end goal? To teach full time, to work in a corporate setting, to own a business? My approach is putting my eggs in three baskets and trying to juggle all the eggs in each basket together. Eggs are dropped and eggs are demolished with this approach. Survival of the fittest being a motto. Recently, a basket has been temporarily or permanently put to the side. I will not be teaching at HACC in the spring. Two of my classes did not fill, the third class which filled in two days was given to a tenured professor as some of his classes did not fill. The economy is getting better and all community colleges are struggling with their enrollment. So the full-time job track that I spoke about before is near on the horizon. It is the top priority now. It will most likely be a corporate or design job. I don’t care at this point. I just want a regular pay check and a little pressure off. Perhaps a little more balance.
I will continue with KHP but focus mainly on Chambersburg Road Runner’s Club and working with local race directors on race photography. I had my first real try as the race photographer at the Christmas Cash Dash this weekend and we will see how it goes finically. I hope this year will be an interim step to my full-time career whether it be a full-time faculty position at a private school or college or working in the corporate world. Perhaps KHP will build enough that it can be my only focus. Right now my main goal is finding a job. It is a clear cut task. I need an income, so here I go!
Will this bring the balance I am looking for? Yes, I believe it will. My constant push, is to take care of my family and a full-time job will allow me the luxury of picking projects rather than feeling like I have to take every single one. I just hope my job search is not long or too stressful. I have a lot of specialized skills, an excellent resume, job history and education but it still can be hard to find a good fit for both parties. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
On the other hand of this, my desire for Balance, honestly I don’t think it is truly attainable when you have a career, a family, and outside interests. You do your best and prioritize; this practice I have down. Did I gain a bit more consistency this year. Absolutely! I never missed a day of art. I hope next year the quality will come with the continued consistency. My workouts have been consistent but not daily in the second half of this year. My workouts in the second half of the year have been varied, longer and more effective for my body type. My mind and body crave change and variation. My physical therapist even affirmed this, I need to mix it up. I will have fewer injuries and better results, it is just the way I am built.
Looking forward 2014, I still want the same basic things consistency and balance but I want Focus on top of that. I want to whittle down all of my activities and find the single career path, where I can make a living but not have to constantly be prioritizing one job over the other. In my art to continue working on my printmaking and photography but I really want to join them into one process this year. Digital, printmaking and photography are perfect together, I just have never been able to pull them all together. I want to focus on over all fitness and find a better balance in my body. I want fewer injuries and better results (on all fronts:).