Archive | Balance

How to Have Room Of Your Own

How To Have Room Of Your Own ::

original photo credit: nerissa’s ring via photopin cc

Of the things I crave most about my pre-baby life, stretches of time alone ranks high. Before my partner and his teenaged son moved in with me when I was eight months pregnant, I lived alone for three years. A month later I gave birth to a baby who hated to be anywhere but in my arms.

I wasn’t alone again for more than a few minutes for nearly nine months.

I love my family. I do. But it wasn’t until I learned how to carve out small amounts of time alone that I started to feel like myself again after all of those changes. That was too long to go feeling like a stranger in my own skin.

Are you also someone who craves alone time? Maybe you are an introvert, a writer, or an artist. You need stretches of silence to process your inner world, to make sense of your thoughts. Maybe you just like to read books without people interrupting you. Maybe you have a meditation practice, or would like to have one. Maybe you just crave some time where you aren’t at someone else’s beck and call and can truly sink into rest.…

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5 Tips To Keep Email From Ruling Your Life

Email doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here are some tips from a professional project manager about how to manage it better - even if your inbox is out of control! ::

photo credit: slackorama via photopin cc

It amazes me that I used to manage hundreds of new email messages a day when I was working as a project manager, while now I get quickly overwhelmed by just a handful. I find myself with my nose to my phone, checking, checking, and still I have a backlog of unanswered and flagged messages that I need to deal with. It is crazy making.

I know how to manage email. I just haven’t been. So here I am in public, getting back on this horse.  Are you struggling with email, like me? Here are the ways I’ve managed my email in the past that I’m going to start using again.

Limit how many times you check your email each day.

I admit this is the hardest rule for me to follow, but I’m so very much happier when I do it. I really don’t need to know what is coming into my inbox every few minutes. Nothing is so urgent in my life that I need to check more than twice a day, really.

Turn off all audio and visual email alerts and set aside email time when you can actually sort and respond to everything at once.…

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Zen of Instagram

The Zen of Instagram

Last week, while scrolling through Facebook’s news feed on my iPhone while my toddler was momentarily occupied with something, I followed a link to an article on Relevant Magazine titled “Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life.” The article is about the idea that everyone’s life is prettier on the internet, which both makes us individually feel bad and makes the building of true community – based on real lives, real voices and shared experiences – difficult or impossible to build. The author calls the internet a “partial truth.” This line, in particular, has stuck with me: “…we rarely check Facebook when we’re having our own peak experiences. We check it when we’re bored and when we’re lonely, and it intensifies that boredom and loneliness.”

It is true.

I’m well aware of how easy it is to fall into comparison mode on the internet. It is hard, as a blogger, to look at other blogs with large engaged communities and not feel like a lame beginner (while overlooking the hard work and time that blogger put in to get there).  It is hard as a writer to see polished essays go viral (without remembering how many rounds of edits and rewrites that essay probably took to polish). …

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The Practice of Receiving

asking for and receiving help

Early spring tulips, taken with VSCO on an iPhone 5.

When I was six months pregnant, I had sciatica so bad that I couldn’t walk for almost a week.  I was still living alone at the time and the pain came on fast.  In the evening I was a bit stiff and achey and by morning I couldn’t hold the weight of my body on my left leg. It hurt too much even to stand. I couldn’t get dressed, feed myself or even get to the bathroom. My partner still lived too far away to offer the level of help I needed so my mom moved in until I improved enough to fend for myself again. She continued to bring me food for another week until I could drive. It was incredibly hard to accept her love and care, even when it was being freely offered.

During this time, someone told me something wise that I have thought of often in the years since that painful week.  She said, “This is practice for when you become a mother.  You won’t be able to do everything and you will need to ask for help.  This is the universe teaching you how to ask for help.”

This last week I have been laid low with a cold that attacked both my lungs and my sinuses. …

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