Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doing It All

I know it's a pretty big cliche, but I think I don't know how she does it of almost everyone I know. My friends, my family, my tweeps: they all seem to do it all and to maintain a healthy balance in the process. I've heard that you can have anything you want, but you can't have it all at once, and this is something I believe and try to practice in my life. There are things I want now that I'm not even trying to try for (like freelancing full-time and owning a house), because I know some things just take time, and because they take more work than I'm ready to put in right now.

But, I do want some things now, and I want to keep some peace in myself while I get them. These include:
  • Supporting myself financially and also having health insurance (also known as: working full time and being good enough at it to keep working full time)
  • Going to grad school full time to further pursue my dreams, and taking advantage of the opportunities grad school offers to improve myself as a poet, teacher, and human (including seminars, readings, and conferences, oh my!)
  • Being a better household partner by: doing the chores I am in charge of, namely laundry, on time, namely before we run out of undergarments; taking on some other chores so that Roger isn't the only person keeping our home together
  • Taking care of my health through:basic sustainable cooking, like making bread and hummus, so we can eat well and I can feel like I contribute more than laundry to the house; going to the farmers market for most of our food, instead of the grocery store; cutting back on meals out, especially ones that don't bring real joy to my life (like lunch); exercising more, either through yoga or running or the gym; sleeping as much as I need
  • Taking appropriate advantage of living in the city with events, adventures, and outings, along with a healthy balance of moments of quiet.
It really doesn't sound all that hard when I write it out.  It sounds like, oh, I don't know.  The reality of every other adult's life. But in practice, I am floundering. I am sort of barely able to keep things together on the first two, let alone the rest.

And, I am looking for tips.  So, how do you do it all?  (When Lauren answered it over here for me, I just about died with happiness that she didn't say, "Oh! I don't get it all done at all! Tee hee hee!" which seems to be the general answer I've gotten.)


  1. That's funny, pretty lady-- I think the same thing of you. "How does she do it all??"

  2. What a great query! I would say that I use the same system as you- decide on what's important right now, and focus on them- everything else will get done if it has to, if not, oh well. A couple of strategies that work well for me are:

    1. Not owning a TV. Both Luke and I would just sit in front of it all the time and let our brains ooze out our ears. We do have Netflix, and the instant streaming can be dangerous, but i call that "knitting time", so it's a win-win as far as I'm concerned.

    2. I don't use a computer or work while I eat. Ever. Meal times, even if it's 5 minutes to scarf down a sandwich, are my time to sit and think and not be *doing* all the time.

    3. Lists. I love lists. and they help me focus what I want to do- even if I never go back to a particular list again, it helps me to be mindful of the choices I make with my time.

    4. Reevaluate. One of the biggest things I've gotten out of my and Luke's partnership is the importance of re-evaluating. 3 years ago, I thought by now I would be in law school. Now? Law school probably won't ever happen- not because i wouldn't love that experience, but it's become lear to me that that path isn't the right one for me, for now, for a lot of reasons, and I'm ok with that. Letting go of those things that aren't right anymore is still difficult, but through the process of reevaluation it's getting easier.

    I hope this conversation continues! I'd love to hear about other people's experiences (and more than "oh, of course I don't do it all" or "it gets easier with age")