Life Transitions – A Shift in Perspective
Have you ever tried to read in a room occupied by 3 elementary school aged children? I have, and I’m convinced it’s impossible. Until recently, however, this was never even a consideration in my life. You see, in January of last year, my sister and law and her three small children moved across the country to live near me and my husband. Talk about a life transition! She was the one that moved 3,000 miles, but all of our lives changed. I became absorbed in family activities and spending time with the kids getting to know them and finding activities in the area for them. Dinner became an event, not simply a meal and even the grocery store seemed like a huge outing with three kids in tow. And while all of these changes were wonderful, I found it beyond difficult to move forward on my personal goals. I want to learn sign language, to read a book a week, and write short stories. How do I balance that with spending all waking hours around family? Turns out, I didn’t. But as time has gone on, I’ve realized an important lesson – my goals don’t have to change, but my approach to them does. My life isn’t the same now; I have to embrace that and plan accordingly. Here’s how I adjusted some of my approaches to getting things done.
Time Management – When my family consisted of my husband and myself, I had little difficulty finding time to sit quietly and read. Now my family has grown to 6 people and 5 pets. Goodbye alone time, hello Audible.com. I now download the majority of books I’m interested in and listen to them while I do chores or on my commute. For me, it’s the best way to make time I’m away from family do double duty and it’s worked out well so far.
Task Management – My paper planner has once again become my constant companion. I can’t keep track of everything in my head like I used to. Maybe my memory isn’t as strong as it was, but I’m going to blame the change on the increase in people I’m trying to keep track of. My family and I also used a shared online calendar to track kids’ performances, doctor appointment, etc between the adults responsible for the logistics.
Long Term Goals – I had to switch my perspective on these. My goals don’t really have to be mine and mine alone. I got the kids interested in learning sign language as well and now we can all do it as a family. Family time plus working towards a long term goal equals a happy Stephanie.
I hope that you, too, can find a shift in your perspective that will allow you to balance all that life throws at you while keeping true to the people and projects most important to you.