As I am writing this, I have just spent the WHOLE weekend cleaning and organizing my house. My brother-in-law couldn't tell that I had done anything, and that is okay. I can see what I have accomplished, but some days, it is hard to admit I can't do it all. I read blogs about other women who work, are great wives, great moms, AND have time to manage a blog about their awesome lives! It makes me feel pretty inadequate. I sit on my couch on Sunday night and plan out my blogging week so that when I get home from work, I don't have to really write any posts. I don't cook, and I only make time to clean on the weekends. But that is all part of the balance.
At Enterprise, we call it a work/life balance. Balance your job at work and your life a home. Sounds easy right? Not exactly. The Mount Airy branch is open from 8:00 to 5:00, but, unlike my naive expectations, those are not the hours I work. My mornings start at 6:20 AM with my alarm and it is not unusual for me to still be at the branch at 6:00 PM. Some days involve a quick drive-thru grab lunch and some days involve leftovers in the office. Most of my time spent away from the branch involves delivering and moving cars, and when those rare moments come, I am normally super thrilled. It's the little things. Most days I bring home stories of bizarre rental experiences or I have dreams of Tahoes or minivans all night. Turning it off sometimes feels impossible.
Joshua told me when I first started working that I would be "living for the weekends," but what he didn't say is that when they get here, I am normally too tired from the week to really want to do anything. I clean, go out for dinner and decorate, but my activity level is pretty low. Still though, the work/life balance is improving. With the change in the time, I feel like I am getting more done during the week, and I have started (finally) to have more energy when I get off work. I have picked up reading before bed again, and my blog is finally starting to take shape again. All of these are good things, and I am getting better (slowly). I feel like most working people struggle with work/life balances, so if this post speaks to you, here are some tips that I feel are helping.
This sounds so simple, and it is. You just have to sit down and do it! Pick what is important to you, and make sure that goes on your list. When Joshua and I had our pre-marital counseling session, our preacher told us about how he and his wife have a date night every Friday night. At the time, that sounded cute but unnecessary for me again Joshua. As the time has gone on though, meals with Josh have become a focal point of my excitement, and I enjoy eating dinner out with him. While we do not have a set schedule yet, we do prioritize time with each other. I have found that making a "To-do" list is very beneficial. If I have something written down, I can't forget to do it. Plus, scratching that item off the list is one of the best feelings.
REALIZE YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL
I struggle with this so much. I want to do it all, but I just physically can't, and that is okay. Joshua does not expect me to cook or clean, which is great. This doesn't mean I abandon all attempts at cooking or cleaning, but I realize on Tuesday night when I am worn out that I don't have to cook dinner and Josh won't expect me to clean anything. Still, some weekends, like this weekend, it is worth putting in the effort to getting a lot of stuff done. I made my list, and it was HUGE, so I knew going in, it would be a long shot to complete that bad boy. I didn't complete it, but I knocked some big tasks off that list, and that is the best I can do. Do your best, and realize that the rest will (eventually) fall into place.
TURN IT OFF
Part of a work/life balance is to be able to turn off work. I work hard when I am at work, so I should be home when I am at home. Find ways to turn off work, and de-stress. My coworkers love to work out, so they go to the gym or go for runs with their dogs. This sounds life pure torture to me, so this is NOT how I de-stress! lol Right now, I like to go home and work in my "garden." I also read before bed every night so I can turn my mind off. Joshua and I like to watch Netflix and Hulu together and just spend the evening on the couch cuddling. All of these things are ways that you can turn work off when you are at home, and whatever works for you, that is what is important!
Work/life balance is a process, not a competition. It is something you will work for every day, and I don't think we will ever get it perfect, and that is okay. Perfection is overrated and the journey is what is important. So learn to live with work and life and learn to balance the two in a way that works for you! Good luck!
What tips do you have for a good work/life balance?
Like I said, let me know!