As I become one of those women who really “wants it all” my need to evaluate how I spend my time is becoming more and more obvious. Putting my family first is always the priority but as I’ve taken the time to look at how I live my life, I’ve realised that for a while no matter how good my intentions were, that may not have been the case.
A few months back my wife and I were talking about all of the pressures I had accepted from external influences and the effect it was having on me, and us.
“Draw me a pie chart,” she said, giving me one of the hundreds of notebooks we have in our house. “Divide your life up.”
The reality was shocking to say the least and even as I did it, I could feel myself attempting to bend the truth to try and make myself feel better. Time for the two of us didn’t even exist – the only family time that I was really involved in was centred on meals and even time for sleep was depleted.
I took a step back and really looked at everything I was doing and I realised that I wasn’t achieving anything because I was so busy trying to do everything all at once.
So I made some changes…
Work is work and home is everywhere
While needing to do my best to leave work at work as much as possible, it is not the same for my home life. I went through a stage where I would do my best to keep my home life at home but bring my work/board stuff home and it wasn’t fair. My family is such a big part of me and I needed to learn to embrace that.
You can always find more work, but never more time
I needed to stop over-committing myself. I have so many commitments and taking on more work, whatever kind was never going to help me have more quality time with my family.
Time with my family is precious
Even if we had time together; I was tired, stressed and ratty. I needed to stop doing stuff at weekends and late at night because it was ruining every aspect of my relationship.
Good delegation skills are hard to come by and mine are slowing getting developing. I can’t do everything and if I try, I won’t get anything right. I needed to ask for help and my colleagues were there.
Just because I don’t know now, doesn’t mean I won’t soon
I am awful at getting myself worked up because I don’t know how to do something, or because I can’t do something well. I learnt that everyone has to learn some time: it’s obviously just been my turn.
Stop taking stress out on my family, it’s definitely not their fault
I’m not great at remembering who is at fault, who can help me fix things and who is an innocent bystander. 99.9% of the time, my family falls into the latter category.
I have truthfully never met anyone who struggles to relax as much as I do. It’s ridiculous, but I’m working on it. My masseuse gave me little breathing exercises to do and even though I feel like an idiot, they work. “Breathe in Let, Breathe out Go”.
Since I’ve made the effort to look at how live, I’m starting to realise that if I think about the knock on effects and make my decisions accordingly, life will be easier. I currently have “slow down” and “relax” written on the edge of my computer screens to remind me to do just that.
Trying to make your mark on the world is difficult, especially when your passion lies within an ever growing, ever competitive and ever unforgiving sector (we all know how unforgiving ‘the scene’ can be) but I reckon I’m doing ok.
While I haven’t been to uni or completed any tertiary study, I still have a fantastic job connected to the ever expanding and exciting philanthropic sector. I sit on two boards, one of which runs the LGBTI+ arts and culture festival in WA, I spend my free time at work reading articles on how to better myself and extend my knowledge base in the areas of social media, business, marketing, not for profit management and philanthropy. At home I go to soccer training to support one of our sons, I work hard with my wife to keep our household running, to make sure our family is looked after, happy and well fed (more her domain than mine as she is a fantastic cook and I am… not) and I continue to learn how to be a domestic goddess and work to be an all-round good parent.
Now while I may not have all of the boxes ticked on the domestic goddess area and even though I may struggle to keep all of my competing priorities in check, I’m starting to realise that if I take a proper look at it I may actually be getting it quite right.
Who knew all I needed was pie chart to get me on the way to having it all?