Wednesday morning around 2am, I woke up with an eye infection. When I get overly stressed out, my skin breaks out into a rash, usually around my left eye, the weakest spot on my body. Sometimes, the rash stretches into my eyelids, causing my eye to become inflamed and red, leaving me looking like Igor (thank God that didn’t happen this time around- knock on wood). I’ve been getting this infection since I was a kid and I’m pretty good about keeping it at bay. But there are certain times where it decides to pop up- mostly during my peak stress moments like finals at school, a big fight with someone I love, etc.
There has been a lot of change in my life- new job, new boyfriend, more social invites now that the weather is getting nice. With my new job, I’m determine to be the best I can be, pouring out most of my energy into my work. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted. All I want to do is sleep. I haven’t worked a full-time, 9-to-5 job in a while so I’m not used to this schedule. Add to the mix my social circles, the freelance writing I do and school. Lately, I’ve been having a hard time balancing everything. Friends call to ask if I want to hang out and I cancel- all I want to do is fall asleep to an old episode of “Buffy.” I hate to disappoint them (it’s true- I’ve been pissing a lot of people off) with my lack of company). Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been disappointing everyone – especially myself.
The thing that as been suffering the most is my school work. I tend to put my homework on the back burner. although I’m doing well this semester in my Spanish composition class, I could be doing better if I was dedicating at least an hour a day to my Spanish studies (how else will I become fluent?). Plus, I haven’t been spending enough time with me. I can’t remember the last time I worked on my sewing or read for pleasure. I have a forty personal emails that still need to be answered and I owe friends in NYC and LA some snail mail.
I’ve always admired my parents for the massive load they all carry- working full-time, raising four girls and expanding their education with taking night classes. They’ve shown me that there is a way to balance this crazy mess of a life. I’ve been researching different ways on balancing out this hustle:
1) Set attainable goals. When a goal seems big and daunting, one of the smartest places to start is to break it into the different pieces that will build toward the goal. When you break it into smaller bits, each bit is more manageable.
2) Make a schedule and set a time-table. Goodness, I love my planner (okay, I’m OBSESSED with it). If I don’t have it on me, I’m truly lost. Try sitting down with your schedule to get a handle on how much time you actually have. Look for the pockets of time between your professional and family obligations and see where you can plan in the time you need for, say, homework and dinner with your boyfriend. (And make time to schedule in sleep- that is important!). Gotta stay organized!
3) Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t expect perfection. This is something that I need to remind myself of often. Remember that as much as you may want things to go exactly according to plan, life often has a way of changing those plans for us. Perhaps you don’t cross off every single item on your daily to-do list. Do what you can do, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Tomorrow is a new day. You can’t please everyone- it’s about yourself and your happiness. At the end of the day, if people can’t accept that you’re busy and live one hell of life, maybe they shouldn’t be in it.
I hope that you, dear reader, carry a light load and stay light on your feet and light in your head and your heart. Now, if you can excuse me- I have some homework to finish before a breakfast date with an old friend.