Life often gets out of hand. 2015 was a chaotic, beautiful mess. We (my husband and I) moved… twice–three times if you include the last month of 2014. We have two toddlers. We gained too much weight. We stopped doing all things we used to do to take care of us. And to top it all off, it flipping shows.
Recently, I read an article about Randi Zuckerberg’s outlook (who I will not define as Mark Zuckerberg’s sibling because she is an intelligent, successful woman who stands on her own two feet. But, on a separate note, she is also Mark Zuckerberg’s sister) discussing balance in life. She defined so many people’s dilemma with this one tweet:
The entrepreneur's dilemma:
Maintaining friendships. Building a great company. Spending time w/family. Staying fit. Getting sleep.
— Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg) December 9, 2011
Work, sleep, family, fitness or friends, and you can pick three. Which three do you pick? I find this to be an ongoing struggle. I devote more time than necessary, or probably even recognized, to work–whether that be my career, my personal blog which I also consider a part of my career or just my general image and brand, as me. I spend every other second of my awake-life taking care of my family, and I spend the other 4 to 8 hours in a day–if I’m damn lucky–sleeping. Personally, I’ve found splitting my attention between any more than three of these important items means that something has to suffer, something has to give, and I’m not really doing any of them justice.
This is truly a dilemma.
Because of this dilemma, I find I begin to let loose and lack on the little yet foundational aspects of my life, because, honestly, I’m just flat-out tired. I drink too much wine to fall asleep, because I’m stressed. I eat too much crap food, because it saves time. I yell too much at my kids, because I’m overwhelmed. And all of that aside, to ultimately not be the me that I want and strive to be is not OK. If I’m not taking care of me, I’m not giving any aspect of my life the full advantage of the real, intelligent, caring, top-of-my-game me. I’m giving it the tired, slightly hungover, out-of-shape, clouded-mind, stressed-out, short-fused version of me, and I am–literally and figuratively–sick of it.
This is why I’ve come up with the “30 Days of…” Series. Lately, I’ve been pulling pieces of things I see throughout my web browsing that used to define me and is no longer a part of my life. I vow to incorporate them back into my life and to, as a result, become a happier, more fulfilled, healthier, growing individual. And to also find the bits of me I let go because I simply got lazy and overworked and something had to give. I find it most appropriate that this falls on a day that has absolutely no meaning, because in order to change your lifestyle, it does not have to be Jan. 1 of a new year. It does not have to be “tomorrow.” It does not even have to be a Monday. The decision to make a change can start at any moment of any day.
A few things I know I want to focus on are reading more, food, exercise, organization, parenting, unplugging, spirituality and zen. The “30 Days of…” Series will take each of these items and devote 30 days to doing them each and every day–no excuses, no mercy. If that means one of my three (of the five, according to Randi Zuckerberg) suffers, that also means I get more crafty, more clever and figure out a way to take advantage of every free second available to me in a day.
The first of the series will be “30 Days of Reading” inspired by Emma Watson’s interview with Bell Hooks, who reads one book a day. My goal over these 30 days is to also read one book a day, but if a book is particularly long or a day is unusually short, I will at least read. During each 30 Days series, I’ll write one post a week.
The second of my series will focus on going clean, cutting out added sugar and prepping my meals.
The third will focus on a 30 day yoga bender, inspired by Stilettos on Sunday Morning.
And the rest will come in more specific announcements as I proceed. As of right now the “30 Days of…” Series will go just two months over half a year, but my goal is to extend it to December by adding a couple more things to devote 30 days to. I want to take this same Christmas picture in 2016–from 2015–but with so much more emotion, meaning and happiness in 2016. I remember how happy and fulfilled I felt in the moment taking that picture, despite how unhappy was and still am with so many other aspects of me, personally.
I do not expect this series to be easy, or fun all the time, but that’s not the point. The point is lifestyle change with short-term difficulties for a long-term result. As St. Catherine of Siena once said, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” It’s so true.
If you had to choose between work, sleep, family, fitness or friends, which three would you choose? What do you feel you need to start focusing on more–perhaps for 30 days in a row?