Finding the Balance

Hello cysters and misters!

I am so happy to be able to take some time to write today. It has been about a month since I have posted, and after realizing that last night while talking to the BF, Sam, I decided I have to reevaluate the balance in my life.

Today is my Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!!!) and she is one of the main reasons why I have had success in my life. When I was in high school and was navigating through getting a handle on my creative energy that felt out of control inside of me, my mom said to me... "I am so proud of you, you are going to be the next Oprah." Since that day I have had a drive inside of me that makes me truly believe I can accomplish what ever I set my mind to. And not only accomplish, but do it in a way that is like no other... because going above an beyond is an understatement in my life.

With all that said, how the hell and I supposed to (in no particular order of importance) work 50 hours a week ramping up a brand new animated series, write regularly on my blog, submit regular articles to PCOSAA.org, draw my Marion Ovarion toons, submit submissions for painting murals on electrical boxes in my town, continue working on a top secret writing project, continue to develop the children's cartoon I created to pitch to networks, continue my painting series for possible gallery shows, crochet the throw pillows for our living room, put together an outfit for a themed wedding in September, then shop for another dress for a fancy wedding in September, meal plan for the week, grocery shop for the week, do the dishes, clean my bathroom, walk my dog, clip my dogs nails, bathe my dog, go to the pharmacy, cook dinner, spend time with Sam, spend more time with Sam, spend time with friends, volunteer for a political campaign, call my Mom, and my Dad, photoshop something for my brother so he and his buddies can get a good laugh, meet with students, review resumes, get a hair cut, dye my hair, do some laundry, do my nails, clean my car, take my car in to get a repair, pay bills, watch Big Brother, start my evil crafting and cooking empire AND take over the world? Something has got to give!!!

The greatest thing is that through all of this, I know I am not alone. I have great support from loved ones and co-workers, and I LOVE every minute of it. I would not trade a single thing, and that's the problem, I love it all too much and there is no time to do it all. So that just means prioritizing is going to be a big factor in my life... and yours too if any of this is relate-able. (Just imagine if we had KIDS right now! OMG! Mom's & Dad's out there are true heroes in time management. Happy Birthday Mom!)

Okay so priorities... where do we start... WITH HEALTH!!!! Always with health. If we are not healthy, all the things we want to do become more difficult to accomplish. Even worse, if we are not here on this earth at all, then we REALLY can't get all of it done. So health comes first... great. That is much easier said than done. I can think of numerous times where I just grabbed some chips from the kitchen at work because I was hungry and "too busy" to find something healthier to eat. Therefore, meal planning and prepping needs to be a top priority. It will allow you the chance to run around like a chicken with your head cut off with papers flying everywhere while someone is kicking and cursing at the printer and phones are ringing and you have a famous person arriving in 10 minutes (dramatic reenactment of a Tuesday at my office), all while being able to grab a healthy trail mix out of your lunch box when your tummy starts to grumble.

The next thing I want to make a priority is my home life... spending time with Sam as we care for our dog and home together. This is my foundation and it is so important to me. Sometimes it is easy to give less attention to the ones that are closest to you when you are consumed with work and personal projects, because you know they will always be there for you when you are not working or done with your projects. Trying to incorporate your partner into your work or projects a little more builds a stronger relationship. Well "Duh!" you say, but try to be a little more creative with it. Sam is a super smart IT specialist (beep-boop-bop wizard) and I am in animation production, so we are going to learn a new animation application together. I also like to bounce ideas off of him when customizing our databases. And I do the same for him in return, I have learned so much about technology, Magic the Gathering, Star Wars, and so on, and it has made me a smarter and more creative person.

My home with Sam and Layla in it is my happy place. Caring for my happy place needs to be high on my list so that it remains my happy place. Putting care into my house hold brings me so much joy, but when I get "too busy", chores fall off the radar until it gets too messy to handle, and then it gets overwhelming to have to deal with so much with so little time. I worked with a woman who woke up at 6 am every Saturday morning and did her weekend chores. Then after that was done she could go back to sleep, read a book, basically what ever she wanted because her responsibilities were all taken care of. It made for a much more enjoyable weekend. Now I can't even get up at 6am during the week, so that may be pushing it for me, but the concept of getting all the adulting out of the way so you can act like a kid all weekend sounds like a nice way to live.

Next is of course work... we all have bills to pay so work must be a priority. If I was to maintain the lifestyle I have, it is going to require some hard work in there. Thankfully for me, I love what I do. It is not a drag to go to work everyday. Yes it can be stressful at times, but I'm incredibly fortunate to be able get the opportunities that I get. If you can make money at doing something you love, you have figured out one large fraction of living a happy life.

So those are some pretty big priorities and that is just scratching the surface into what makes us live balanced yet full filled lives. But what about fun!?! The things that make you experience joy, and laughter, and excitement. The things that you were born to love and no one can take it away from you. For me, those things are art and creative writing.  My own expression of what is inside of me. That is something that makes me who I am. Your passion in life is just as important as everything listed above and including it in your top priorities is crucial for your own personal well being. It keeps us grounded and gives us a sense of identity. Whatever your fun thing is... fishing, singing, video games, working on cars... make time in your life for it and it will bring you happiness.

Last but absolutely not least is family. I touched on home life earlier, but this is more that just the family that lives with you, it is about your aunt in Michigan, or your cousin in Texas, and your dear old (haha) parents back home (Happy Birthday Mom!). I have missed a lot of milestones in my family's lives and the only way I can feel better about it is by reminding myself that the hard work that has pulled me away from them is all because and for them in the long run. It's not this year, but damn it would feel nice to be able to be rich enough to buy my mom her own little house for her birthday and be able to keep it up for her so all she has to do is garden and decorate and adopt dogs and live a happy, wonderful, stress-free life. There are a lot of family and friends that I would spoil rotten and bug the hell out of them if I has the financial means to buy them all cars and visit them on a monthly basis. In the mean time keeping in touch on the phone and online is the next best thing.

Finding balance in my life has always been one of my biggest struggles. I get so obsessive about one thing that nothing else matters at the moment and then 3 weeks later I emerge from the depths of my current project to find that I have not posted on my blog in a month, I am behind on laundry, my hair is out grown, there are no groceries in the fridge, and Layla's nails are so long she sounds like a tap dancing deer. So off I go, a creative release of 10 doog doodles and this exact post you are reading right now, lunch with Sam, a load of laundry, and a date with Amazon fresh to get groceries in the house... tomorrow Layla is in for a real treat! And of course a Happy Birthday phone call to my Mom, and all of the sudden I feel like I am on my way to balancing out the long hours I put in at work this week. Reminding myself more often that balance is so important will combat all the potential things that can tip my balance out of whack. At the end of the day, being able to step back from something and say, "This is the best I could do with the amount of time I was given and I am still proud of it" is a big accomplishment, and that's all I try to do... my best. And if I keep looking forward, and keep learning, and keep growing, then maybe my best will lead me to being the next Oprah after all. 

With 1/3rd love, 1/3rd comfort, and 1/3rd happiness,
 đź’—Jennifer