A day in my new life

View from front porch

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a day in the life kind of post. Typically, I open a document somewhere on my laptop and actually record, live as it’s happening, my day including all its interruptions and such. Then the next day, I post it. Well, today I’m going to do something different. My days change a bit each day, so this will instead by a general day in the life.

As I mentioned at the end of last year, this new year has already brought a lot of changes (including the fact that there will be a bit more of general life stuff in this blog). I’ve now mostly moved and settling in to my new routine. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I thrive on routines. So having them in the state of flux that they were in the last four months has been making me crazy. It’s nice to finally settle in.

I’m not completely moved, and most of my work related stuff is still at my parents’ house. We don’t have the office set up yet and I’m currently working in the living room (in front of an incredible lake view) and any crochet stuff resides in the room that will become our new bedroom so the cats don’t attack it in the middle of the night (only took once for me to relearn that little lesson). But, I’m making do. One of the benefits of working in tech editing and not designing is there was a lot less stuff to bring over.

So, what are my days like now? Well, here’s the general schedule:

6:00am: G’s alarm begins to go off. Apparently, I’m the only one who can hear this so I end up waking him up. Over and over again as he hits snooze. I can’t say much, I used to have three staggered alarms for the same reason.

6:30am: G finally gets up and wakes up Mr. B (his son). I stay in bed. It’s just easier. G starts getting ready for work and Mr. B works through his morning checklist (get dressed, let the dog out, feed the dog and cats, eat breakfast, clean up after breakfast). He tries to do this quietly, but that doesn’t always work. So I end up snoozing and slowly waking up in bed. Which is for the best as I am so not a morning person and he is an instant on kind of kid. And those two things don’t mix well. lol.

7:00am: G comes back in the bedroom and makes sure I’m awake. We chat for a few minutes as I get up. Then I prepare everyone’s coffee for the morning, help G make Mr. B’s lunch, and then get them both out the door by 7:30am.

7:30am: Take a nice deep breath enjoying the sudden quiet in the house. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy my cup of coffee. Play catch with the dog. Start my bath. Get ready for my day.

8:00am: Dressed and usually at the desk. I use this time to check my email and such and then settle in to work. This changes every day, but lately there’s been a lot of tech editing and I love that. Glance up every few minutes to stare over the lake (the picture at the top of this entry is that view, so if you’re reading this through a reader feed, go ahead and click on through to my site. It’s worth it).

9:00am: Whenever I get up to move around, I do some of my housework. See, I’m in love with the fact that I’m finally a housewife (of sorts). So I intersperse some of my cleaning throughout the morning. This is when I’ll start a load of laundry, or maybe wash the dishes real quick, etc. A lot depends on what work I have going on. If I’m really busy, then housework gets pushed off until the afternoon. If I don’t, or I need more frequent breaks, then I do a little throughout the day.

11:30am: This is when I start my lunch/exercise break. Most of the time, I walk the 0.8 miles up to meet G at work and go to lunch. Sometimes we hit one of the local places near his work, sometimes if I’m unable to walk up there then he comes home and we have sandwiches here. Sometimes we use this time to run errands. I also hit the post office at this time to check mail. I usually walk back when we’re done, unless I need his car that afternoon and then I drive home.

1:15pm: Usually home by now and I either settle in to get a little bit more work done, or I start some of the housework that’s easier to do without Mr. B underfoot (sweeping and mopping the living room, for example).

3:15pm: Leave to go get Mr. B from after school care (he goes for an hour, he gets to hang out with friends and it’s a lot less chaotic than picking him up at school). Bring him home, get him his snack and start him on his homework. I have learned very quickly that there is little work I can do while this is happening. So, I tend to take care of the housework while he’s doing that. Which works out for me anyway, since I’m more alert first thing in the morning than I am in the afternoon.

4:30pm: Mr. B gets his playtime in and I start working on dinner prep, usually.

5:15pm: G gets home from work and he helps me with finishing up dinner.

5:30/6:00pm: Dinner time and cleanup.

7:00pm: This is when our quiet time starts. We have quiet music playing and during the week there is no more screen time happening. We either settle in on the sofa to read, do crafts, or we play a board game. It’s nice. And I think it’s helping all of us sleep better.

8:00pm: Bedtime prep starts for Mr. B. Bath, sleepytime tea, phone call to Mommy, story time in bed before lights out at 9pm. The quiet time above is making this go so much smoother than it used to.

9:00pm: This is when, theoretically, G and I would watch a movie or something. But often, we tend to just sit on the sofa and either keep reading or work on things online for a bit.

11:00pm: We go to bed. I usually read for a bit more before falling asleep, but for the most part I’m asleep by midnight.

I really do love this new routine. I find I have a wonderful work/life balance, something I was struggling to find for a few years now. Some days I will sit out on the front porch to work, and that usually leads to days where I’m chatting with some of our neighbors over the fence as they walk their dogs. Some days I take a longer walk back home from lunch and enjoy the quiet time to be with my thoughts. I enjoy working to keep the house looking nice and welcoming to family and friends. I love having time to cook a real meal, mostly from scratch (working hard to cut out processed foods here). I love the quiet time we have in the evenings together as a family.

To say I’m happy right now would be an understatement. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ah, Cama

The view

Oh, where to begin about Cama?

The flight was pretty easy, although long. The longest flight I’d ever taken (JFK to SEA). Seriously, 5.5 hours. Ugh. At least I got a lot of crochet time in.

I was amazed at how beautiful it was. We could see mountain tops from the window in the plane. And the whole way driving to Camano Island I kept staring out window, amazed at the beauty surrounding me. I have a ton of photos I could bombard you with, but instead, I think I shall give you the link to my Flickr set (that includes both Cama and Downtown Seattle where we spent a couple of days before heading back).

I taught two classes to some great people, hung out with a lot of awesome crocheters, tasted tea, pet alpacas, hiked all over Cama Beach with the guys, and all in all recovered my soul while I was there.

That last part? That’s the main reason I was there. Yes, I wanted to do the other things, too, but those who are close to me know that by the time we left for Cama, I needed the soul recovery more than anything else.

And it worked. Walking down the beach the first full day, listening to the sound of the surf coming in, finally learning to skip stones…all that worked like a balm to the soul. Being handed a pink heart shaped stone that G found nearly brought me to tears (and it’s carried in my purse still). Tuesday night I sat out on the porch after everything quieted down, gazed at the stars (more than I’d ever seen before), listened to the waves lap the shore, and sipped some wine. And in that moment, I felt myself find peace again.

I came home from the entire trip refreshed. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going to happen with the designing. I haven’t quite got that spark flamed again yet, but I know it’s still there. Right now I don’t want to push or force anything because that’s not fair to anyone.

I am crocheting again, a lot, and that’s a great sign. I’m getting my teaching stuff organized so I can hopefully teach a few more classes locally. And I’ve started doing some pattern testing and tech editing. I’m not ready to put myself completely out there yet, although I will let you know as soon as I do. My attention to detail has to work in my favor on this. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve also revamped the website. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks all parts of my website will be over here and better than ever. I really like using WordPress now and am thankful to be dating a web developer (because I’d be silently freaking out in the corner right now if I was doing this alone). Feel free to poke around as I get things set up.

I’m hoping to post more, too. I have a lot of things to post about this month, and I think this will make things a lot easier to do. Thanks for sticking with me through this. It’s all up from here!

Avoiding burnout

The topic of today’s post is something that not a lot of people like to talk about, but unfortunately is something that many of us deal with. I think of it as the dirty little secret of designers everywhere.

Burnout isn’t fun for anyone. Not for the person going through it, not for those around that person (trust me on that). And when your career is also your hobby, you want to make sure that you don’t take both out in one fell swoop.

As we’re starting to really get into this new year, I hope everyone can take these tips to heart and avoid burnout. This year, I have a “magic word” that I’m working to manifest in my life. That word is BALANCE. And balance means avoiding burnout by finding time for my career, myself, my loved ones, and my friends.

This past weekend (when I decided on this week’s topic), I was struggling hard with burnout. For me, it tends to creep up on me somewhat slowly. I start by working too many hours a day, not eating much (or the wrong things), not getting enough sleep, not taking time to do things that help reset my soul, and becoming somewhat irritable. By this weekend I was in full blown anxiety mode. Now, this may not affect everyone the same, but this is how it manifests for me. Anyway, anytime I thought about the work I needed to do, my heart would race, my hands would sweat, and I just wanted to curl up in a corner and hide. I was taking everything too personally, being very pessimistic, and constantly on the verge of tears.

So, what did I do? I scheduled a day off. Not like when I take the weekend off from working but still think about work the whole time. This is a day completely away from everything. I haven’t had it yet, but it’s there on the calendar (next week actually). Unfortunately, I had to wait until I knew I’d have the current project out the door. But in scheduling that day off, I started making plans for what to do. My goal for that day is something I haven’t done in forever. I plan on taking myself out for the day. I’m not going to work on anything related to my business. The current plan is to go to the coffee house for some coffee and quiet crochet time (for a gift I’m working on), maybe take myself to lunch, and then find a quiet place to just sit and read. Just the thought that this is coming has helped immensely. Whenever I feel stressed out now, I just look at my calendar and can see the big “DAY OFF” written on it. Sure, it’d be better to have it right away, but sometimes our deadlines don’t allow for that.

That’s not all I’ve done. I sat down and wrote out my “master list of projects”. This is a big picture to do list that helps me see just what I’ve got scheduled. Sometimes, especially when I’m anxious, I worry that there is so much going on and too much to do and I’ll never get it done. Being able to see, in black and white, exactly what I have to get done helps me a lot. It gives me a plan of attack, and I’ve already made progress on it.

I’ve also gotten back into the gym and while there will be the obvious benefits of better health and weight loss and such, the best part for me? Thirty minutes or more of quiet time by myself on the treadmill. No one calling me (you can if you want, I leave my phone in the car), no one emailing me, no staring at the piles of projects on my work table. Just me and the morning news or music. It’s a great time for me to disconnect and tune out for a bit.

Probably the most frivolous thing I’ve done (in my opinion), is to go get manicures. Now, for many women, this is fine. But I’m so hard on my nails that my manicurist jokes about how long I’ll be able to keep my polished nails looking pretty (the quickest I’ve ruined them, by the way, was many years ago when I managed to chip it on the way out of the nail salon). Our local clinic opened a spa and it’s very reasonably priced. So I’ve been a couple of times now and my manicurist is a great gal who takes great care of me. She spends a bit of extra time massaging my hands and wrists because she knows what I do. It’s fun to just sit for the thirty minutes and let someone pamper me a bit. Also, it forces me to sit and read afterward because I can’t crochet right after this (the spa is in the same building as my father’s doctor appointments, so I plan accordingly).

There are other tips and tricks I utilize as well: stopping and taking some deep breaths, listening to a guided meditation, taking Bach’s Rescue Remedy (I swear by this stuff), going outside for a walk, etc.

The trick is to find what works for you. And to do those things when you first feel the burnout approaching. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in everything going on and everything that has to be done and forget to take care of yourself. Doing that, I think, is what saves many from the burnout stage.

Good luck!

ยฉ Copyright Fibers By Tracie - Theme by Pexeto