I haven’t posted in a while and there is a very good reason for that. At the start of 2017, I was heading into my final year of my PhD, running my own businesses (yes plural haha) and being mom to my special little monkey. The funny thing is that I still felt like something was missing. Not wanting to take on too much, I thought I would look around and find my dream job. I gave myself the year to look and in the meantime, I thought that I could check my PhD off my list. Being passionate about cloth diapering and baby wearing, I started working for my awesome friend that makes the most amazing baby carriers. This challenged me to no end and I loved every second.
After spending so many years of my life studying towards a career in animal physiology and falling in love with birds, I still really wanted to work in my field. I absolutely love research, conservation, and environmental education. A few jobs caught my attention but in April… THE job was advertised. It incorporated everything I love, was right on my doorstep and would be a huge opportunity. I wrote, what I thought was “an epic cover letter” and waited. I really thought this was out of my league. Like most moms, I really struggle not to talk myself down. We are the most critical of ourselves.
Time passed and I applied for a few other opportunities that I thought were interesting. In the back of my mind wondering who they ended up appointing for my dream job and thinking I must go visit sometime. Then to my utter disbelief I got THE email, asking for a skype interview. I could not believe it, I think my hubby could hear my screaming on the moon if he was not in the same house as me. Trying to stay calm for that interview was so hard, I could feel myself bouncing. Afterwards, I thought it went well and waited patiently to hear.
A week later the email arrived, I could not believe what I was reading. In a period of two weeks I went from the interview, to hired and then started work. Since I found work in 6 months instead of a year like I thought, there were still a lot of other things on my plate. Work has been more of a challenge than I ever thought it would be but in a good way. What has challenged me the most has been trying to find balance. The work has been demanding for a variety of reasons, and I still had my businesses, PhD and family needing attention.
After a lot of soul searching, I realised there is no way any normal person could handle all the balls I was trying to juggle. There were some hard life decisions to make, I needed to declutter my life.
- I rated the “things” in my life by order of importance: family, completing my PhD, my work, my businesses, and the variety of social media and online blogging platforms I was working on.
- With each item, I asked myself “can I live with myself if I part with this?”: The first thing to go was some of the social media pages and groups I was helping with, which really helped to give me back some time after hours with my family. I advertised my cloth diaper business for sale and told myself that for me to let go, it needed to be the right person. I was so happy when the perfect person walked in the door, it was so obviously meant to be and I know she will take it to new heights. Although, saying goodbye to it was very hard after all the effort that was put in, it was time to move on.
- For all the remaining items I asked myself “is the juice worth the squeeze”, is all the effort I am putting in worth what I get out of it: As a result, there are opportunities that I have not let go of yet, simply because they do not require much effort on my part to maintain.
Now, at the start of 2018 I can focus on finishing my PhD, a job I love and time with my family. Here is hoping 2018 will bring more balance to our lives.
Do you struggle with balance? Have you had to declutter your life? What steps did you take to decide?