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the balancing act

Last January I spoke on a panel at Alt Design Summit about Work/Life Balance. And I've spent the last 9 month trying to follow my own advice.

I spoke at Alt about how I see the Work/Life Balance as a juggle. We have these balls in the air: jobs, kids, freelance work, family responsibilities, volunteering, husbands, hobbies, church obligations, housekeeping, blogging.. I could go on and on. 

But not all our balls weigh the same. Some are heavier than others, some are more fragile. There are some balls we can drop and then pick up a little while later. Some require more energy (and might not be worth juggling at all) and some balls we don't ever want to put down.

I think the most important part of living a balanced life is deciding which balls you need to keep in the air, and which you can set aside for a bit (or get rid of altogether). It's hard work to keep all those balls in the air at once, but we often feel that we need to. That we can somehow go on juggling and juggling forever.

In fact, when we are most busy, we often take on even more balls.. like that juggler at the circus who is already juggling three pins, a chainsaw, two flaming torches, and a bowling ball.. and then has a little girl toss in one more ball just to show he can manage. And usually he does. But every once in a while, that one extra ball is just too much and everything comes crashing down.

There are certain balls I just can't drop. And others I don't need to be juggling at all. And so I've stepped away from this blog for a bit. It's been nice to have one less thing to juggle. This blog was starting to feel like a job of its own, and I never intended it to be that. I've enjoyed just being with my family and not worrying about documenting every little thing. 

We had a lovely summer. Mid-July we had our fourth baby, a sweet little boy I'll call Lee. He is a doll with big blue eyes and long eyelashes, and universally adored by all. 

Before each new baby, I try to put a few balls down. I take a little break from freelance work, I try to keep the older kids schedules loose, and I volunteer for less. Then I can add that newborn into my busy juggle without losing my balance too much. It always takes me a few months and then I start to ease into my new balancing act, reevaluating each ball as I go. 

I'm already starting to feel like I can pick up a few of those balls I set aside. I've signed up for a few new book projects, though I won't get started on them for a few months. And I'm feeling like I can give a little love to this blog again.

We'll see how the juggling act goes. 

Image from one of our favorite alphabet books, Bruno Munari's ABC.

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Reader Comments (40)

Yay!! Congratulations on sweet new baby-dom! I knew you must be enjoying it, but I missed your posts. Thanks to DALS, who informed me that you were back. We all juggle, glad to see you are adding the blog ball back into the mix. Take a break when you need to.

10.25.2012 | Unregistered Commentermeanders

I read your blog because I so appreciate it's sincerity and wisdom. Good for you for staying focused! I've done the same thing and am ready to pick it up again, slowly. Even though you don't post very often, I still check back because your blog is so refreshing and different. In the meantime, sometimes I get information overload from blogs with banners, ads and lots of (fantastic) information. I'd really appreciate hearing of other blogs you love that are a bit more simple and balanced. If you have time, could you share? thanks! messynightstand@gmail.com.

10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDani

thanks for sharing
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