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Life Rambles and Recent Little Things: How to Balance Time, Work and Life Goals

 

Hi friends,

 

I miss writing.

I miss navigating my life and unraveling my thoughts through words and pictures that relate comfort. 

 

Life rambles 

 

I’ve been busy and feel like I don’t have time for a lot of the little things I like/want to do. 

On one hand this is positive because I’m busy – or trying to be busy – putting more time into my career. I feel like I’m getting myself back to putting my “real life” at the forefront: using my mornings to send out submissions, writing scary emails, putting potential projects and auditions in front of and above anything else. This takes a lot of time. It’s constant. It’s also very scary. I feel like I let it slip for the latter half of the summer – a mix of burn out perhaps (giving giving giving with not much in return) and too much work. So I’m happy to feel like I’m starting to get myself back to this place. 

Though, I still very much feel like I’m not doing enough. 

I need to dedicate myself better 

I need to better focus on my goals

Why is everyone else getting work and I am not?

Am I just “half way” trying and not actually giving it my all?

Is something blocking me?

I need to start making scarier decisions

I need to start choosing career moves over money

I need to think about how I can open up more time

Or use time more efficiently

To balance out all the things in my life

And get everything I want to do done. 

Or…

I just need to figure out how I can get away without sleeping.

….anyone figured that one out yet???

These are a lot of the thoughts I have. Of course, I’m really not being as hard on myself as these thoughts make it sound. I’m just still very much trying to figure it all out. 

Early mornings at home. Trying to make for more time to get things done. 

So on one hand, I hope I’m busy in a positive way. But on the other hand, I know work is taking up more time in my life than I feel proud of. 

My inability to say no to taking shifts and my fear of not making enough money still manages to be a major contender in my life. I know one shift won’t make any visible difference in my ability to live, and yet I find it scary and guilt inducing to not make as much money as I “could.” Anyone else get this? I keep saying I need to stop taking shifts and work less – even if I don’t have any actual commitment  – just to give myself that open time to catch up on the little bits of life. But when the offer comes, there’s this voice that comes up and says “well it’s not like you had anything to do anyways.” It makes me scared of open time. “What if I don’t do anything and feel lonely and uncomfortable and just end up wasting away the afternoon?” It’s like I immediately forget about all those little things I feel a longing to do: bake, make art, do crafts, write back logged blog posts, visit friends, start packing etc. My little bank account of “time users” is there! I just seem to continually neglect it. 

So I need to work on this, continue re-assessing my priorities, and make some new choices. 

Balancing life with a freelance/arts/acting career is practically an impossible feat. 

Just sayin’.

 

Other Recent Things:

 

I’m in the thick of apartment hunting. It’s a lot and it’s potentially very stressful. Potentially……

I want to start packing. I’ve got a lot of clothing to go through and organize and get rid of. 

Actually – I said a very sad goodbye the other day. My blue babies have been with me for ten years! They’ve been through Asia, Scotland, and all over Canada. They could write a book: “Places I’ve been.” Alas… their collection of holes combined with our rainy summer called for their time of rest. Thank you blue shoes. You did a very, very good job. 

Goodbye my beautiful blue friends 

Connecting these last few points – I’ve been reading the book: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is absolutely darling! For such a potentially dry and uninteresting topic, somehow I am completely smitten. Marie Kondo, the creator of this “tidying revolution” makes you really excited to make a home for yourself where you can thrive and truly live the life you want. She kind of compares the act of tidying as a metaphor for life? I think particularly of Jen, Juli and Meg – and any others who appreciate the act of organizing as therapy, Hygge (thank you Jen), and making a happy home for yourself.

Perfect timing as I prepare to create a new home for myself and get rid of the old

I’ve now had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. At first I was all like, “Oooo. McDonalds. Caramel pumpkin?… Why would you do that.”

Butttt…. turns out it’s delicious. Yum.

Still finding time to appreciate the lasting beautiful weather. Enjoying a few moments in the sun with my first PSL. 

I’d really love to get in some baking soon. It’s pumpkin season!! Another thing for that blessed day off.  

But I did make this wonderful Blueberry Breakfast Bake from thehungrycaterpillarblog and brought it over to a friend for brunch one morning. Its’ gluten free, vegan, low-FODMAP and mega nutritious. I added frozen whole cranberries and a topping of hemp seeds. The friend-brunch was lovely as well. 

I’ve been craving sandwiches like a fiieennddd lately. Just thought I’d put that out there. 

Ham + Monterey Jack + Mayo + Dijon + Tomato on Sourdough Sunflower Flax Bread. Sooooo gooooooood. 

You know that “no sleep” idea I threw out? I’m currently giving it a try. Sigh. But I supppoooose I should be getting myself to bed. As much as I’d love to continue chucking life rambles at you as I continue to grow more and more non-sensical overtired. 

Life Rambles: How To Balance Time, Work and Life Goals. #thinkingoutloud #minddump #goals #work Click To Tweet

So tell me,

Any strategies for how to do all the things you want to do in life? 

Words of wisdom for balancing making money vs life goals?

Do you have a hard time saying “no” to work?

Do you find getting rid of things therapeutic, or hard?

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 COMMENTS

  1. Juli@1000lovelythings | 15th Sep 17

    I feel you on everything you’re saying here!
    And obviously a big YES to organizing as a form of therapy. I have just spent the whole morning organizing some mess and going through various kinds of documents I need next week. It makes me feel really energized and gives me a sense of having my shit together. And so funny but I just said to Stefan the other day that the thing I am looking forward to the most when I am all done with the PhD is throwing out all the thesis related stuff. Getting rid of those huge piles of papers and articles and cleaning out the office completely. It will be awesome 🙂
    Juli@1000lovelythings recently posted…Week in Review – Catching upMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th Sep 17

      Juli, I can only imagine the amount of refreshing/organizing you will be doing once you fully hand in and finish up with your thesis. Slews of papers and documents for one, but more so just mentally… you are going to be craving a whole new start. Even the thought of it makes me excited!!

  2. Gail | 15th Sep 17

    I too enjoyed the order and logic of the Kondo process Cora and discovered that a lot of the structure, I was already following. I also like Peter Walsh’s teachings about letting go of sentimental items. He suggests choosing one or two items which represents the lived one and honoring the person by using the item or placing it in a prominent spot.
    I too struggle w saying no to work/clients whether it is the financial part or the being needed inticement. What helped me was budgeting how much I needed to work that month to pay the bills and how much to be able to have a cushion of funds so I don’t stress. Then I can make commitments to myself on my monthly calendar blocking off full days or multiple days that I won’t easily give up. My response to extra work can then be “Sorry, I have a previous commitment.”

    • Cora | 16th Sep 17

      I think part of what I’m enjoying about the Kondo book is that I’m also realizing I already do a lot of what she tells us! Aha. Who knew I was already intuitively a good tidier? I love her instruction to thank everything for its job well done before throwing it away. This is just so lovely 🙂

      As we were talking about, I think doing some actual pre-budgeting could really help me fight away those thoughts of “I should take this shift because I *need* money.” If its on paper then maybe that can attack my anxieties. Thank you for the recommendations <3

  3. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 15th Sep 17

    Ok, so I’m going to focus on the first part. I totally understand where you are coming from, feeling like you are never doing enough.
    STOP IT. (I’m saying this to both of us, because I live this often).
    Stop everything. Think of your yoga practice. The key in yoga is not to do the most or the best poses in the class, it is to meet yourself on the mat, in the present, and to do the best you can that day. Some days? That means barely holding standing bow. Some days that means you are the star and can do all the inversions. Meet yourself where you are RIGHT NOW. In that moment. Stop thinking about all the other moments, the other poses that you “should” be doing.
    Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it is wanting what you’ve got (thank you Sheryl Crow, but she is right). You are in a turbulent transitional phase of your life. You are a perfectionist who expects the world and more, and we are surrounded by social media and “proof” of all of these people who have and do EVERYTHING. The hardest thing ever (and this comes from someone who has an Ivy League graduate degree and works at a restaurant) is finding the strength to be yourself. Start with one moment at a time. One breath at a time.
    I hope that helps.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Sing to Shoes (Friday Catch Up 9/14)My Profile

    • Cora | 16th Sep 17

      Ugh Suz… its so hard!! Because what if you feel like you aren’t actually doing your best? That you are continually blocked and just kind of “lying” to yourself? Then it is soooo easy to chastise yourself and it feels like there’s so much justification behind it.

      “…it is wanting what you’ve got.” Wow. That’s powerful. I think maybe this is the goal I/we need to continually work towards. Alongside “How do I want to feel?” backing up each of our choices.

      I am a perfectionist who expects the world and more. You nailed it. Which means it can feel impossible to want anything less because to you that feels like you’ve just gone lazy and given up ALL ambition.

      This is a therapy session – aha – sorry Suz! But thank you. You are a continual motivation and inspiration for me – sincerely.

  4. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 15th Sep 17

    I’ve heard SO Much about that book! Glad to hear it’s as good as people say. And those shoes – omg, I love them! I feel you about trying to balance between money and time..it’s a pull between what you really want vs. what you should be doing, and I still feel that struggle. Sometimes I feel like if I have too much free time I can waste it, so it’s a hard struggle. I hope you have a great weekend!
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Recent Eats and Friday Favorites #23My Profile

    • Cora | 16th Sep 17

      Funny apparently many people have heard of it but it was completely new to me!

      I think that struggle will ALWAYS be there with us. Its a part of life. So I guess its about managing it so we recognize it but don’t let it take over our happiness. And accepting that we will continually be learning and that life is about trial and error.

  5. Jamie@TheMomGene | 15th Sep 17

    When you work for yourself and you are trying to self-promote ANY downtime feels like a guilty pleasure. I know. But it is so so so so necessary to reset your creative juices. Think of it as a healthy dose of fermentation…you’re just getting everything nice and fizzy so that it can turn out magical. I’m telling mys of this too. I l Be you so much. You’ve got a lot going on right now with the move and the kickstart of the career. Walk gently.

    • Cora | 16th Sep 17

      NAILED IT.

      Gosh. Its so true. ANY downtime makes you feel guilty when your future/career/goals are 100% in your hands. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT.

      I love the kombucha analogy. You know me well 🙂 Thank you.

  6. Marina @ Happy Healing | 15th Sep 17

    I am with you on so many of these points! It’s so hard to balance everything. Thank you for sharing in such a beautiful, honest way!

    I find getting rid of things therapeutic. At first it’s difficult, but after I feel better and lighter!

    • Cora | 16th Sep 17

      It can be so hard! But if it isn’t meant to be in your life, then it can make you feel SO light and refreshed afterward.

  7. danielle | 15th Sep 17

    Any strategies for how to do all the things you want to do in life?
    yes! i pray. hard.
    and i guess i meditate – walking meditation – and imagine what i really want… and imagine what it feels like. how will i get there? then comes the work. putting it out there. saying out loud what i want. taking action. going for it all. then juggling. then planning. juggling juggling juggling.
    figuring out what do i need each and every day to feel like ME. what can i do to feel centered???? giving myself enough space to be flexible and conquer goals, but also have those things that i need for ME. simple things these days of course. like drinking my warm water.. taking my supplements. they help me reconnect and feel like i’m taking care of me.
    Words of wisdom for balancing making money vs life goals?
    figure out how much money you need to be your happiest self and what will be the path of least stress. what can bring joy and money? that’s the answer everyone’s looking for:)
    Do you have a hard time saying “no” to work?
    i have a job that i actually love and do go out of my way to take care of everything and be there for everyone. having that sense of purpose has never struck me more than recently.
    Do you find getting rid of things therapeutic, or hard?
    i love the kondo method and absolutely LOVE getting rid of things. i used to binge and purge, and found a way to feel that euphoria – donate all my shit. i love de-cluttering more than bingeing and purging so i’d say i’m a lifetime advocate for getting rid of stuff that you don’t need or use. let it go! yes frozen!!!

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      I think… since there really is no such thing as “control” in this world – especially in regards to our own lives and doing “what we want” – prayer and meditation are our best go-tos, aren’t they. Thank you for the reminder to use visualization. I think really taking the time to quiet down and hone into myself and VISUALIZE what I truly want will enable me to figure out the right steps to get there. As well as really separate my most deep desires. I think I need to find a quiet place to do this.

      Letting go of stuff. Glegh! Anxiety producing and euphoria producing all in one!

  8. Emily Swanson | 16th Sep 17

    I’d have to say that i find getting rid of things therapeutic; maybe sometimes too therapeutic? I’m a little too quick to get rid of things.

    And that work/life balance? Oh boy. I’m not sure I can offer a lot of wisdom there; I’ve found that if I don’t have enough time for people I love and care about; I’m probably doing too much work. However I don’t want to just … lay around, so I like to have a solid day of work/exploration (like on this trip we’re doing), and spend some solid time with family too? However I wouldn’t say I’m that good at it.

    Caramel Pumpkin spice sounds really good, but I don’t think pumpkin spice is as much a thing here in Europe as it is in America/Canada, so I think I’ll have to wait and try one when we get back!

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      Hahaha – then we need to share some of each others’ attributes! I could use a little more quickness in getting rid of things.

      It always looks to me like you strike an amazing balance between work, fun and family time, Em! Something I’ve always noticed (though of course blogs only tell us so much). I love that you work HARD – two jobs! – but you always put family time and things you enjoy into every day. I think it is a life time of work to try and achieve this balance.

  9. Alyssa | 16th Sep 17

    aw no sorry to see those converse rip :(( converse are my fav shoes!! lately I’ve been getting rid of things to try and live a more minimalistic life. you should watch that documentary on netflix. that has been helpful for me! hope you have a good weekend girl <3
    Alyssa recently posted…Highlights From The WeekMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      I need to find myself another pair of converse. They won’t be the same but, they are the best. I should watch that documentary thank you for the reminder!

  10. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 16th Sep 17

    I want you to do me a favor. The very next extra shift you get asked to work or can sign up for voluntarily, I want you to say No. Just the one and see how it goes with the free time.

    Also taking care of you is a huge priority. Keep doing it and the guilt will get less and less. Oh and one more thing: tackle some packing and purging stuff for just an hour or so one day in the next week. I’m sure it will feel sooooo good and possibly even motivating.

    Never give up on sleep. It makes everything else worse.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Leaving on a Jet PlaneMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      *takes big breathe in….. and breathe out*

      Thanks Meg. I am going to do this. I’ll let you know how it goes…

      And I did, soon after writing this post, take an hour to start my clothe organizing/purging. It did feel SO good and now I just want to keep going.

  11. Miss Polkadot | 16th Sep 17

    Lady, I dearly hope you’re not as hard on yourself as it sounds. Can you please write this down and place it somewhere you’ll see it every day?: I’m doing enough and am enough with how much I’m doing. Because heck, you are. This isn’t asking for sympathies but every time I read your posts, I find myself wishing I was half as organised and productive as you. Notoriously bad at timing? That’d be me. Working on it …
    Speaking of work: I feel you. Not making enough money is a constant worry for me and why I so badly need to find a new job. Yet I think it’s even more difficult in your situation because finding a job takes a lot more – obviously unpaid – preparation time that you need to squeeze into your life. Whew. I really wish I had any suggestions on how to make this work or knew somebody in your industry to ask.
    Funnily, getting rid of things is both hard and therapeutic for me. Getting started and deciding on what has to go is tough but once it’s tossed, I feel a weight lifted from my shoulders. I’ve held that book in my hands before at a bookstore but ultimately was too …scared? The promise of a fresh start is intriguing but I’m worried it wouldn’t work for me and as such leave me feeling worse than before. If that makes sense.

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      I often think my posts make me appear a lot more productive/hard working than I am. I sometimes feel like a fraud. Or maybe that is just a glitch in my mental operating system. I’m not sure. I have to work on this… in whatever way that may be.

      We are the exact same with getting rid of stuff. Hard at first, but then makes me feel SO light.

      That fear is a perfectionist fear my dear. I think you should pick the book up. Don’t force yourself, or expect, to follow her lessons or do what she says (maybe further in the future but not necessarily anytime soon). Simply see it as a nice little read that sparks a little refreshment. If nothing else it is giving me these nice little smiles in my day. I think you’d like that 🙂

  12. Evangeline | 17th Sep 17

    You ramble well. When I try to ramble, it ends up being a stream of consciousness that starts with a reasonable topic and ends with a comment on pockets or ocean acidification. You should enjoy a proud moment for rambling through what you needed to sort out. Apartment hunting sounds stressful but potentially exciting? Organizing is wonderfully therapeutic, especially when life things I can’t control are in disarray. At least I can keep my physical living space somewhat organized.

    You hit the nail on the head with the work feelings. Free time makes me feel lazy, but I also know that no free time leaves me exhausted and unproductive. I wish I had some wisdom to offer, like you always seem to have for me, but I’m coming up empty. I can remind you of a few things you probably already know, like that you’re talented and strong and patient and that this is probably a season that will eventually pass <3
    Evangeline recently posted…Lessons from a mug + Life updatesMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      Haha, do I? Is “rambling well” even a real thing? Regardless – I’m glad I made at least *some* sense. Though ending with ocean acidification would at least have made me look reeeeeal smart.

      Its such a hard balance eh. Working too much = no time to do things I want to do. But not working enough makes me stagnant and unmotivated.

      You’re the best. Thank you for the reminders love <3

  13. Runwright | 17th Sep 17

    I loved Kondo’s books, particularly the message in the second one called Spark Joy which focuses less on the tidying and more on surrounding yourself only with things that bring joy. All the best with the move.
    Runwright recently posted…Using Media For InspirationMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      Oh I didn’t know she had another book! I think this is my favorite aspect about this book – so I should definitely be reading the other one. Thank you!

  14. Casey the College Celiac | 17th Sep 17

    I don’t have any wise words of wisdom…mainly because I’m actually struggling with ALL of these same issues of balance right now. Just know you aren’t alone in trying to figure everything out! <3
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…A Letter to Every College Kid or Grad Student Living With Chronic IllnessMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      Knowing I’m not along is always a solace. Thank you Casey. I hope you are finding time to breathe and find grounding!

  15. Little Things In a Fall Week: Feeling Good (Week In Review) | 17th Sep 17

    […] I gave myself a “day of blogging” where I organized a couple upcoming posts and spontaneously put out some messy life rambles […]

  16. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 18th Sep 17

    I’ve been a while reading blogs, Cora. I’ve also been struggling with work taking over life lately, *and* I was at a big swing dance event this weekend, which was amazing but took over my every waking moment. Glad you made my breakfast bake and that it turned out well! I totally want to try it with the cranberries and hemp seeds now. 🙂
    That “not doing enough” feeling–sometimes I wonder if the only people who don’t get that feeling are the people who legitimately don’t get enough. Honestly, just from reading your blog, it *seems* like you’re actually pretty good at the motivation-but-not-too-much-guilt/action-but-also-rest balance thing. Still, it must be so hard waiting for the fish to bite, so to speak. You work so incredibly hard, gal, and I know you’ve been taking time for important friend and family stuff too.
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…10-Minute Low-FODMAP Olive Tomato SauceMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      Thanks, Joyce. I know it can be hard to take those weekends away – and put aside your other “but I need to do all these things!” thoughts – but I’m SO glad you took the weekend to go to that swing event. We need these other things in our lives and times away to keep going and keep energized. I will take my own medicine and tell myself this, too.

  17. chasetheredgrape | 18th Sep 17

    First off my lovely, keep making sleep a priority in your life. It’s amazing how much clarity and energy you will gain from making that your number one aim. And clarity means more focus and getting more into your time – which is what we all want!
    Hooray for apartment hunting! It is a scary time and I know just having been through it all how stressful it can be. But I just kept saying whatever home is meant for us we will get… And now I am super happy in the treehouse and it feels more hygge than I have ever felt! I love it!
    When I start to stress out about money, I sit down and write a list of all my expenses and needs each week. I take this total cost, round it up and then I have what I need (plus extra) for the week. Then work out what shifts you need to cover that. If you are empowered with this knowledge then maybe that can give you the confidence to turn down shifts because you know what you need and therfore don’t need to say yes and feel guilty for not? Might be worth a try! But I know how complicated and annoying those little voices in our head can be!

    • Cora | 19th Sep 17

      I will keep faith that whatever home is meant for us we will get. I know it will work out. It has to! But it sure can be nail-biting before it happens!

      I had another friend suggest to me writing down/budgeting my money stuff. I think this would be really good for me. It would enable me to fight back on those thoughts that say “I need to work” because I’ll have documented proof that I’ve made what I need to etc. Thank you. I’ll let you know how it goes. Perhaps “how to budget” could be a topic for a future 5TTT???

  18. Kaylee | 28th Sep 17

    Accckk, I miss you writing too. But I glad to hear it’s a good kind of busy.
    And as usual, yes I can relate to your fear of open time. I find that it’s during the weekends where I have less homework or less things going on in general where my mind catches up with me. And yes feel lonely, uncomfortable and waste afternoons away 😣
    I’ve been reading to read Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up but I’m worried I’ll start throwing my entire closet out afterwards, which I’m not ready to do. 🙈 I’m holding on to hole-y Keds that have been EVERYWHERE with me. Definitely struggle with getting rid of stuff.
    Lastly, sourdough sunflower flax bread?!! Holy cow that sounds like my kind of brad.

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