Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One more day!

One more day and my mom will be here! I'm just a little bit excited that she's coming to Chicago for a visit. I'm taking Thursday afternoon and Friday off work so we can play until Sunday when she heads back home to Utah.

Lately, I've really been missing my family and having a hard time being so far away from everyone. Don't get me wrong, Chicago is great, but sometimes I wish I was just a little bit closer to the ones I love. I need a mom visit. Bad.

While my mom's here we plan on going to her favorite Chicago pie shop, Hoosier Mama, taking a trip up north to the Chicago Botanic Garden, and doing a little crafting. I'm also super excited for her to see my new apartment and get her decorating advice. My loveseat and chair arrived over the weekend and I'm at a complete loss as to how to arrange my place. Mom to the rescue.

Aren't moms the greatest?!

Friday, October 11, 2013

diet coke insomnia

I really should be sleeping but I have a lot on my mind and I think I drank a little too much diet coke close to bedtime.

Do you ever just feel like a total fraud? Like you're not even good at liking the things you like? Take reading for example. I love to read---books, magazines, newspapers etc. I'm a journalism grad student who doesn't read enough. I get the Wall Street Journal but admit I don't always make it past the headlines and front page. Time magazine comes in my mailbox every week but I don't always get around to reading it. I haven't read a novel in months.

Reading is just one, albeit very small, area I'm feeling inadequate in right now. Bigger ticket items include working out, eating healthy, my spirituality, and managing my finances. The list goes on.

My favorite journalism professor keeps encouraging and urging me to get my pieces published. What good is my work if no one ever sees it? You need clips to have credibility. Working full-time pulls my attention away from being a grad student. Combine that with the fact that my career goals don't necessarily match my journalism studies and the struggle to put forth the extra effort to get my pieces out there increases.

Time is such a precious commodity and yet it is so easy to waste. It's so much easier to consume episode upon episode of Friends in the background and pin things on Pinterest. Those activities require small ounces of engagement in the big picture. The big picture can be a lot to choke down every day.

So how do you balance goals, leisure time, and responsibilities? I don't think there is a solid answer but rather approaches and methods to try out. There are definitely times when I'm better at managing life than others.

Maybe the curse of living during this time is the constant competition for our attention. I keep thinking if I just had one day where I could get organized and find my center then I could change my everyday less than desirable habits. I think I may be wishing for a "day" that doesn't exist. Tomorrow always comes whether I'm ready or not.

Right now I just feel tired and inadequate. Where's the flipping reset button? It's a really, really good thing my mom is coming to visit in a few weeks because I need a hug. Like right now.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

stop the glorification of busy
image by A Pair of Pears

True confession time--balancing everything life has to offer is hard. Grad school is hard. Eating healthy and exercising is hard. Keeping my studio apartment clean is hard. Waking up on time is hard. You get the idea.

I detest the glorification of busy that consumes our society. Like somehow busyness equates worth. I used to buy into that idea, in fact I whole-heartedly believed it to be true. Then I had a complete mental, emotional, and physical breakdown my freshman year of college. I've been on the path to rebuilding myself and my expectations ever since.

Lately I've found myself falling victim to the catchall phrase: "I'm so busy..." The combination of grad school staring again and my efforts to be more social have sometimes left me feeling like I'm on a merry-go-round I can't get off.

So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed? It's easy to tell yourself to just suck it up and that other people do so much more than you do--you should be able to handle this. Don't listen to those lies. If you're feeling overwhelmed, acknolwedge those feelings and figure out the different choices you can make so you feel more centered.

For me this past week, those different choices included saying no to an event I wanted to attend so I could get caught up on homework and clean my apartment. I also went to yoga Friday night with a friend.

Too often being "busy" means feeling out of control and frazzled. I want to be actively engaged in my life and the the activities I enjoy. Part of that process is figuring out when to push yourself and say yes and when to allow yourself to say no.

Finding life balance is a life long endeavor. I'd love to know how all of you manage the stresses of life. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? How do keep yourself from falling into the "busy" trap?