The Life of Bon: Unbalance.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Unbalance.

Puppies and babies.  They're the only guys that have got it all figured out.

Tonight I am overwhelmed.

It is 10:13 and I am just starting this blog post.  I haven't got any of my sponsor stuff ready for November and November is in approximately 107 minutes.  Sometimes I just feel like I can't keep up with it all.  And I don't even have any kids yet.  How do moms fit it all in?

I am in a bit of a weird place with blogging- a very difficult middle ground.  The blog sits at an in between stage- I put way more time and effort into it than certainly any hobby would require, but not enough time and energy to really push the blog to the point it would need to be to be a "job."  So basically if I want it to be a hobby I need to devote less time to it, and if I want it to be a job I need to devote more time to it.  But this stagnant, right in the middle thing that I've been doing the past few months isn't working.  And yet there really isn't a solution in sight.

The truth is I want to be a full time writer.  I want this blog to turn into a living for me.  But then I don't want to quit teaching.  I absolutely love teaching English and the day I leave the classroom will be a day of endless tears.  Add to those two things that I want to be a mom and give my kids all the time and love that they need to grow into loving, independent children.  It's not that I feel pressured or like I have to do all of that, it's that I genuinely want to do it all.  But then I also want long, lazy week nights of watching tv and baking cookies.  I want to read a book a week and I want to keep up with all of my close friends and family.  I want to have time to relax and enjoy life- to have time for things like taking the dog for a walk, puzzles, and Saturday morning cuddles.

I WANT IT ALL DANG IT!

(TANGENT:  Also, womanly duties.  How does any one keep up with that crap?  You know... the laundry, the grocery shopping, the cleaning, it seems like it never ends.  Sometimes when I am doing a very mundane task like emptying the dishwasher I think to myself "I will do this probably 10,000 more times before I die."  And then I get horribly, wildly depressed.  Of course, Greg helps out with all the house stuff, but it still feels like in almost any relationship, it falls primarily on the woman.  Why is that?  That is something that really bothers me about this world.  Maybe men just don't care as much or don't notice?  Who's to say?  I know that if I never did house stuff it would still get done... ish.  It wouldn't get done all the way and it wouldn't get done as often as it should, and now I just sound like a crazy control freak.  All I mean to say is that I feel like a lot of men would be happy living in squalor, and maybe the solution to all my difficulties is to be more like a man?

I wouldn't mind doing the house stuff if I actually enjoyed at least some of it, but I don't.  Not at all.  I am no good at decorating- it took me two months to just get pictures up at our new apartment.  I have nothing close to an eye for interior design which is why my house is primarily decorated with two $10 couches and big black couch covers.  I cook only because if I didn't Greg and I would either starve to death or gain 100 pounds from a diet of only fast food.  Cleaning is a bore (and so fleeting!  You clean and it's messy the next day and I DON'T EVEN HAVE KIDS!) and don't even get me started on the dreaded task of grocery shopping.  There is no chore I hate more than grocery shopping, yet it is the one chore that you absolutely cannot ignore.  Sigh.)

Today during lunch some of the other English teachers were talking about hobbies they have outside of school.  One teacher was telling us about the play she is in that is wrapping up tonight and the dance lessons she teaches on the side.  Another teacher sews like a fiend.  Another teacher has seven (count em, seven!) kids and still manages to be a fantastic teacher.  I can't help but feel a bit overwhelmed by all of this.  How do women do it all?

I follow the Instagram of Susan Peterson- the girl who started the Freshly Picked business- and she made a comment once that "balance is bullshit."  She stated that "balance for me is a mystical creature that lives where unicorns live."  She even came outright to say that we need to throw away the idea of balance and just embrace having an unbalanced life.  I have thought a lot about that comment and whether or not I agree with her.  I still don't have answers, but I have to admit that it gives me an odd sense of peace to tell myself that I can be unbalanced.  That I don't have to have it all.  That one month I can neglect my blog a bit and spend way more time cuddling and watching Netflix with Greg.  And one month I can focus hard on teaching and come up with brilliant ideas while my house goes to pot.  And one month I can do nothing but lay around and read books. (It's called July!)

Tell me this.  Have any of you at any point in your life ever felt like you had balance?  If you tell me you have maybe I will continue to seek for it.  But if you all say no then I'm throwing balance to the curb and fully embracing this zany, crazy wild life that I am currently living.

Here's to unbalance?

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Oh, and while we're being unbalanced today, why not do a giveaway?  Who can say no to over 500 bones to Nordstrom?  NO ONE!
nordstromstitle_edited-1 In case you haven't heard........the Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sale starts on the 6th! It's a perfect chance to shop and stock up on staples, plus a few fun wardrobe extras.  No one does style and wardrobe extras like these amazing ladies, and we've teamed up to give one lucky reader a $525 Nordstrom's gift card.....just in time for the Half Yearly Sale. Looking for a little what to wear inspiration? Stop by their blogs, and let the virtual shopping begin!

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44 comments:

  1. Ha, I love that, "balance is a mystical creature that lives where unicorns live" because I think it is SO TRUE! I realized that I will never have all of the hours in the day that I want/need, so some days, some things get 86'd and other days, other things don't make the cut. I haven't gotten to the point where I'm not beating myself for not getting to (insert activity here) but I'm trying. I love, perhaps NEED, to have a full plate of things to do and people to see and goals to accomplish, but the flip side of that is that on any given day, one of them is getting the back burner. I think trying to chase this elusive "balance" would make me crazier than I am just kind of embracing the chaos. So.. in my opinion, it doesn't exist, and if someone tells you otherwise, they're lying (and I seriously want whatever drugs they're taking).

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  2. I like this! I just wrote a post on balance and my feelings on being unbalanced. I know I'm not balanced day to day (and I don't think it's possible to be balanced every day!) but for me, I feel like things even out a little over the week, and even more over the month, and even more over the year. I think in some ways, your personal desire to throw yourself into teaching or read for a month might be a way in which you're accounting subconsciously for balance. Kind of a "you focused so much on A last month, now it's time to focus on B".
    I think we need to be mindful of not letting certain things in our life slip for long periods of time, because that's dangerous and can lead to breakdown. But I also don't know that we need to be worried so much about whether we can pin balance down precisely!

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  3. i really enjoyed reading your post, and i think its hard to find the correct balance. I mean, i'm still yet to learn how to get it right too :)

    Leyla xx
    Leyla Writes...

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  4. This is the one thing I struggle with most in my life. How do I earn a living, take care of my kids, take care of the house, get everyone fed and still have fun? I'd much rather spend time with my kids than clean the house so that usually wins out, my poor house.

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  5. As a wife, mom of 3, and big blogger want-to-be -- I've found that every day something's gotta give, it's up to you to decide what that is.

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  6. I don't have kids either and yet I still feel unbalanced. Maybe it's just something that we have to learn to live with. My house is messy but my husband and I both work full time jobs. As long as the bills are paid, our pets are taken care of, and we still love each other I consider that a win :)

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  7. I don't know if I've ever had balance either. Not completely. I think I go through phases where I'm outrageously focused on one thing and everything else gets left behind, then I'll focus on something else. There are times when I'm crazy busy and never have time for anything, and then I'll have times when I feel like everything is wide open. Personally, I think you should keep up with blogging since writing is part of what you want to do. But if you feel like the best thing is to step back, that's okay too. But I agree with "Paint Those Piggies!" As along as the important things stay important (relationships, pets, bills, etc.) then you're good.

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  8. You honestly couldn't have posted this at a better time. I had a full on anixety attack last night about this very thing! I've been working so much lately, which already feels hard to balance and then add the millions of other home things that need to get done to the list and I am feeling overwhelmed! The laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, all things I actually don't mind doing and would be happy to dedicate more time to it, if I had that time. After a looooong week though, the last thing I feel like doing is scrubbing a bathroom, I just want to crash on the couch with some pizza, my hubby and endless seasons of whatever on netflix! How do people do it all?! I guess you just put one foot in front of the other and check things off the to do list as you can. Simplicity is what I am all about these days and being in the exact same place as you, in terms of being on the verge of having kiddo's, there feels like a lot of decisions need to be made now to ensure that I do have that time to spend with them when they arrive. That's a lot for us gals to think about while commuting, cooking dinner, mopping the floor etc. I didn't even have time to carve my pumpkin (that's what started the cry fest!) Sorry for the endless post here, I just can't believe you posted it when you did. So I will end with this, I hear you, I definately understand you and I'm looking for same answer too. For now, I'm just going to try to be productive and remind myself it doesn't all have to get done today :)

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  9. In May, I blogged every single day. Some of those posts were short, easy posts, but I also wrote some of my best blog posts. But I also didn't get enough sleep the entire month, and I didn't spend nearly enough quality time with my boyfriend. I only read two books, and technically one of them was just finishing a long book I'd mostly read in April.

    In June, I blogged six times, and four of those posts were quick and/or impersonal. But it was also my birthday month, and I did tons of fun exciting things with my boyfriend and friends. And I read six books!

    This past month, I quit my second job, so for the last two weeks, I've only had to work one job, and it's been glorious. I published two articles under my real name, celebrated my two-year anniversary with my boyfriend, volunteered for the first time since before I started working two jobs, celebrated some exciting stuff that I'm not discussing in the blog world, got sick, and hung out a bunch of times with friends. It was a good month. But I only read one book, and not a single one of my seven blog posts was all that deep or difficult to write.

    You can do it all. You can have it all. But you have to figure out what "all" means for YOU, regardless of what the world says. Over the course of a year, yeah, I have it all. But that doesn't mean that every single month is the perfect balance of everything important to me. Each month brings different sacrifices to my life, and that's okay. Quitting my second job has given me a lot more free time, which is great, but for now I'm devoting that time to people, not to my blog or to books.

    Also, housework is not "womanly" work. It's human work. It's what adults have to do to live. When I was working two jobs and stressed out all the time, I managed to do my dishes once a week, and that was about it. My boyfriend routinely surprised me by cleaning my entire apartment on the weekends he visited when I still had to work at JCP. On Saturday mornings when I'm sleeping in, he walks to the nearby grocery store and picks up groceries for the weekend. Then he makes me breakfast, and I wake up to the smell of bacon. Depending on what he cooked, we eat at my table, or he brings me breakfast in bed. Yes, he and I have different priorities on housework. When I visit him, his room usually has stacks of clean laundry that he has yet to put away, but his bathroom is always clean, and he always has fresh sheets on the bed when I visit. When we're married and living together, we'll have to figure out as a team who does what chores and when. I'm really picky about how my laundry is done, so I'll probably do the laundry. I'm also allergic to grass, so he'll have to mow the lawn. We'll take turns cooking and cleaning the kitchen, and we'll go grocery shopping together.

    If housework is really stressing you out, figure out your own priorities, and find out what Greg's priorities are. Just because you're "supposed to" always have a sparkling kitchen or the bed made or whatever doesn't mean you actually have to have all that stuff done all the time. My bed is almost never made. I have a rotating pile of clothes at the foot of my bed. I've embraced it rather than stressing out over it.

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  10. This is definitely something that a lot of women struggle with- I become stressed out and axiety-ridden so often because of it!! I think it's good to realize that there will never be complete balance in our lives becuase there are so many things that we WANT to do, and as women we feel like we have to satisfy those wants all at the same time.
    One thing I must say is that having kids makes you feel a little more obligated to have some balance. For instance, I get home from work and don't even THINK about blogging/designing/cleaning/sleeping/lounging until I've spent time with my little guy and maybe even visited a family member for dinner. Once baby's in bed, then I start all my other tasks. Having a kid is sort of good because you will prioritize them and your time with them over everything else. It's the one (and sometimes only) balanced part of your life.

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  11. Clothes, clothes and more clothes!

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  12. Ooh I like this. I agree. My life is totally unbalanced, but it works. I never can seem to spend equal or fair amounts of my time on each aspect of my life that needs attention.

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  13. Home stuff - maybe a nice blanket to cuddle under in the coming cold months!

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  14. Very unbalanced life and I kind of love it that way. Keeps things interesting.
    I would finally buy that dang green military jacket I always see in the corner of my screen.

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  15. When you started into your 'tangent' I was just like yes. yes. yes! I have been thinking the same thing lately. And I agree it's not like the hubs is lazy or wont do something if I ask him to help but it does seem to fall on us. We just need an extra day in the week or something where we stay in sweats, turn on good music and make the house look less 'lived in' as I've heard it called haha And as for the unbalance I think it all comes in ebbs and flows, it'll all even out :)

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  16. So much to think about! I'll have to go back and read all the comments. I'm trying to get rid of as much of my stuff as possible, I feel like cleaning is MUCH harder when there is just so much stuff. Then I'm going work on getting a good routine going, when to blog and when to work on my "job" (now I do freelance sewing and have an etsy shop) and when to spend time with my kids (anytime they are awake they should be my only thing).

    I loved teaching. Towards the end I was getting sick of the politics, but after taking a year off I miss it. I think I'll go back once my kids are in school. I can do it all, I just don't have to do it all right now.

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  17. I never really feel like I have balance. There are so many things I want to do too. I just have to take it one at a time!

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  18. Here's to unbalance! One thing I've noticed taking on more and more as time goes by, what's "crazy busy" now, will likely become your normal and won't seem so crazy, and then you'll add something else and it starts over. But in the end, only you know the amount you can handle, and I've noticed that I can handle a lot more than I ever though I could, once I adjust to the crazy that is. Good luck!

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  19. I would buy some new work clothes!

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  20. Once you have kids your priorities will change, I'm sure. You won't care about a clean house as much as you do now, your standards will change completely! You likely won't see family and friends as often as you want, but the time you do spend with them will mean so much more. No woman knows the trick, you just figure out what works for you once those rascals come along.

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  21. Balance is never constant, it's always something that changes depending on the day, week, or year. My mom imparted this wisdom to me a while ago, and it is seriously a life saver. I can't do everything all the time, I just got to find my best balance for that day or week. So today my balance is school, exercising by walking to and from school, do some laundry, and spend time with the husband. :)

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  22. Pretty much I feel like this all the time! And the womanly duties, yeah, they just disappear. I was proud of myself last night when I got home, didn't turn on my computer at all, did the dishes, picked up some clutter and cleaned half of the kitchen. The goal is for my apartment to be completely clean by the time my family comes to dinner on Sunday (that's the only reason my apartment gets clean) and keep it that way, one room, one day at a time, don't let it gets disgustingly dirty again. yep... I say that all the time and it never happens :P

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  23. I feel the exact same way! Love this, and you, Bonnie!

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  24. We all need to find balance in our lives. I have a hard time with finding the right balance with my life now. I stay home and clean, fix our home, cook dinner, and all the chores of a housewife, which is great at times. However I feel guilty staying home and not working right now. I do miss teaching and being with teenagers and my friends at work. I miss the routine of getting up and working. I do have the opportunity to start sewing more, and doing the things I love. It is different kind of busy. I have so many plans and things I want to do, it is hard to actually do them. I find myself wasting a lot of time, when I know I can be accomplishing more. I have had the great opportunity to help others in my ward, to serve the missionaries, and to help families in need. It has been a good change, as I get used to things.

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  25. I needed this post today Bonnie - felt like you were speaking to me. Thank you.

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  26. "Balance for me is a mystical creature that lives where unicorns live."

    I can totally relate to feeling unbalanced and that works for me.

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  27. Excellent post! I'm currently ignoring my kids to devote all my attention to reading blogs. Balance, scmalamce

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  28. I completely agree that finding balance is sorta bull. It just won't happen. Life if more full and exciting when the scale tips a little every now and then.

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  29. Why are you so darn hard on yourself? You have a great job, a great husband, and a great blog, you must be doing something right.

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  30. What is this "balance" of which you speak?

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  31. I've never felt this whole "balance" thing either lol. I keep telling myself once I do x or finish y then I'll feel "balanced," but I'm not actually sure that will ever happen... We shall see. Good luck with your journey to find balance!! And in the meantime I hope you are able to embrace the chaos a little :)

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  32. I would love some leather boots. And then I would put them on and never take them off again...until July.

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  33. What a fantastic post. I love your blog because you're so REAL.

    Balance is what you make it. No one in the house starved or had to be taken to the ER today. I think that constitutes a well-balanced day! :)

    Love your posts...thanks for sharing!

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  34. Balanced life? um, no! With 3 kids, blogging, being a wife, paying bills, cleaning house, etc there is no way to balance it all. Like you said, you just need to focus on one thing at a time. Home, teaching, husband, kids. That's the only true balance, to even it out in the end. :)

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  35. awesome giveaway and thank you for being honest with us tonight about how your feeling. <3

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  36. This!!! I was literally just having a big heart to heart the other night with Rich about this. I was upset because since we moved in together I never seem to have the time to do everything I want to. I want to spend more time on my blog, but I can't do that and clean my house, and sleep and spend time with my boyfriend. I do wonder how in earth some women do it!
    Rachel
    theinelegantwench.blogspot.com

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  37. I would buy some clothes for my upcoming parent-teacher conferences!

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  38. I feel exactly the same way! I want it all but its so overwhelming!
    blonderblogger.blogspot.com

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  39. Bonnie, this is a really good post. As far as "having it all" this is what I think. As far as being a woman goes, you can have it all, but just not all at once. There's a time and a season for all things. I loved teaching too, but I'm happy to be raising my family for the time being. Hopefully I'll be able to go back into the work field later in life. And I hate the drudgery of housework too. But I do like to listen to podcasts… either conference talks or Dr. Laura while I fold laundry or do dishes. Music makes everything more fun too. And if I were you I would sit Greg down and MAKE him help you come up with a system where the household chores are split evenly since you guys are dual income! You shouldn't have to do all the "womanly duties" as you put it. lol.

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  40. Also, as to your question as to why it seems like "womanly duties" fall on the women, I think it's completely cultural and how the men have been raised. Ben was raised in a family where the gender roles were clearly defined. His mom did all the cooking and cleaning. But his dad did the dishes every night, so Ben is happy to do the dishes, but he seriously doesn't' know how to clean a bathroom. Anyway, I do think that it's more biological when it comes to the raising the children part. Women are more the nurturers whereas dads are more the providers/protectors. Watch any Discovery Channel episode about animals and you'll see the same thing. It's clear in the Proclamation to the Family. HOWEVER, that being said, I am going to teach James to cook, clean, change the sheets, and do all sorts of domestic chores so his wife will throw roses at my feet some day. Love you!

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  41. I love this post. I've been thinking about the womanly duties we all do lately and about my mother-in-law who I also adore. I am really lucky to have such a great one who treats me like a daughter. If I won the giveaway I would buy something girly for her bc she waited 25 years or so for a woman in the family and her sons and husband just don't get that girls need to enjoy girly stuff sometimes!

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  42. I need that $500 with Christmas just around the corner. I may also buy myself a present. New shoes anyone?

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  43. Thank you for your post Bonnie! I love your honesty and I know how you feel. I only wish I could say I have the answer on how to find balance but I think the reality is that we will always be a bit stressed about balance because we feel we have to do it all every day which of course unless we are superhuman is likely physically impossible! So it must bet about priorities. I have learned that to feel good about my life balance I have to do what I choose to do for the day rather than what ends up happening by chance when I go aimlessly through my day just getting "things done" but not really doing anything important. So I try to set my goals for the day to meet some of my priorities (not all of them) - some days it is to spend more time with my family and friends, other days it is to focus on work, and others it is to focus on me and simply relax and enjoy life even if that means staying in my PJs enjoying a full day of DVR shows on TV with a big bowl of ice cream. If I do what I choose to do then hopefully I won't feel guilty about it (I keep telling myself that!). I think we need to cut ourselves some slack and realize that doing it all doesn't mean doing it in only 24 hours. Small steps each day lead to big accomplishments. Good luck Bonnie! Hang in there.

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  44. I think I have had balance in my life for mmmm.... 5 minutes? :) I thought now that I am a mom and a photographer I would be able to do EVERYTHING perfectly... HAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I think balance is a minute by minute thing. :)

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