{ a day in the life of ME }

Today's {day in the life of ME} guest post is from a dear friend Sarah. I met Sarah years ago when she was my yoga teacher. She & her darling family have since moved from Durango but we still keep in touch and she is my uber-talented graphic designer for a lot of the LobotoME line. Be sure to check out her great blog here. Welcome Sarah!

I’m a thirty-one-year-old, work-from-home, happily married mother to a 2-year-old girl. When my husband and I met my sophomore year of college, everyone thought we were a good fit because we were both ‘old fashioned.’ I’d say that’s still pretty much the case. We live relatively simply. I’m a graphic designer with my own business, based out of the extra room in our home. My husband quit his career as an airline pilot after our daughter was born, so I ramped up my business while he’s watched our daughter and gone through the rigors of changing a career. Since we’re all home together, we eat three meals together a day. We hang clothes on the line. We have a garden. We don’t watch TV. We drive old cars. We’re relatively frugal. All of our furniture is from a garage sale, family member, or the occasional dumpster!

My typical day goes something like this:
6:30 am: Wake up, have black tea (with milk and honey) and toast with peanut butter, feed my daughter, chat and catch up with my husband, get ready for the day
8 am: Walk downstairs to my office, check email and blogs (~15 mins, sometimes more), start working*
9 am: Kiss my daughter bye (who goes next door to our neighbor’s house, with whom we share a part-time nanny). She spends about 10 hours a week over there so my husband can get some work done.
10-12: Work, sneak in a workout**, have lunch with the family when my daughter comes back.
1-5 pm: Work at my desk
5-6 pm: Prepare or help with dinner***, play with my daughter outside, water the garden
6-7pm: Eat dinner
7-9pm: Play with my daughter, bathtime, hang out with my husband, bedtime for my daughter
9-10 pm: Read and/or hang out with my husband
10-11pm: Bed
*Work consists of everything from logo and print design to packaging and websites. I do a lot of work for non-profits in Colorado, and for the past year have been involved with emagineGreen, a women-run eco direct sales company based in Arizona.
** Exercise happens either early, before breakfast (usually a run, bike ride, or yoga), at lunch (yoga), or afternoon (a Zumba dance class). It is best accomplished when I have it planned out ahead of time. I also teach a yoga class once a week – with moms and babies, and I’m training to do a marathon in September (run/walk).

Feed ME
***I’m mostly vegetarian, so meals this summer often consist of a variation of greens or squash from the garden, tofu or beans or fish, and rice or other grain or pasta. (Unless my husband prepares the meal! – then it’s more likely to include chicken, and a vegetable other than greens!) We’re on a pretty tight budget, so we’ve eaten a lot of beans and grilled tofu (really quite good!) this summer. I also can’t say enough about having my own garden. I am in no way an expert gardener – I have found that if you water anything enough it grows!

Free time
I don’t have a lot of free time these days (sound familiar?). It’s crazy – after you have a child you realize how little ‘extra’ time you have – once all of the ‘must-do’s’ are off the list, when I do have a moment, I love snuggling up with a good magazine or book, doing yoga, making something, baking, meditating (very rare these days). I used to be a prolific journaler, but that hasn’t happened much since my daughter was born. I probably don’t make enough time to do the things that are really important to me, and instead spend too much time screensucking (blogs are a blessing and a curse). We don’t have watch TV in our house (although the Olympics was an exception, and the rabbit ear antenna above our TV worked quite well, thank you.)

Chocolate saves the day
My goal right now is to declutter and simplify my life. I’m thinking that might help me feel less scattered and overwhelmed. There’s always too much to read/too many recipes to make/crafts to try/ideas and theories to explore/self improvement goals to attain. Often I just get so overwhelmed that I don’t do any of it! So I’m wondering if paring down first the physical stuff, around me, then setting goals to simplify my life will help? Just physically reducing the number of things vying for my attention (unread magazines and books, unfinished craft and art projects (can anyone say wedding album?), then online blogs and resources, clothes I never wear, etc etc.) It seems on any given day my attention is diverted in so many directions that I get so bogged down, I get nothing done (except my work deadlines!). What if I, simply put, had less stuff to focus my attention on? I already don’t watch TV, read a paper, and rarely listen to the news (sometimes to my embarrassment), but I often feel so info-glutted it’s as if I’m in a vortex and don’t even feel tuned in to the basic inner-workings of me, my life, and how I’m feeling at any given time. When it gets really intense (and I’m triggered by the stress of work), I head to the kitchen to look for something sugary (ideally chocolate).

Being aware
Although I have crazed days that result in that vortex-like feeling, for the most part, I am aware of how I’m feeling at any given time. I’m tuned in to my body. I do pay attention to those things. Being aware is a constant challenge, but a goal that I work towards. Vipassana meditation, from the Buddhist tradition, is my spirituality. And it helps with the whole awareness thing. My awareness is prioritized: 1. Paying attention to ME – taking care of myself so that I can 2. Be there for my daughter and husband – fully present, engaged, not resentful, and happy. I also need to remember to practice compassion, and send lovingkindness to myself when I get frazzled, and accept things as they are (of course, I need to slow down long enough to have a chance to recognize that I’m frazzled, and then to send those compassionate thoughts my way!) I’m also planning on having another child, so it’s about to get more interesting!

ME time
The best way I can take care of myself amidst the busyness of my life is to schedule time for ME (and if you’re reading Jenny’s blog, you know all about this!). And I’ve found that that ME-time is best utilized when it involves moving my body. I sit all day at a computer, so exercise or yoga is the best and most valuable use of my ‘free’ time, then say, a craft project (although I’d love to have time to do that, too!) Exercise affects me in other ways: it reduces my stress level, inspires me to eat healthy, and keeps me feeling good about myself. It is a home run. Now if I can just remember that and not slack off … (oh, and my mantra after becoming a mama in regards to exercise? ‘Something’s better than nothing’!)

I feel really blessed to have a job I love (most days!), an incredibly supportive husband, a beautiful child, good health, and a home. I have so much to be grateful for. Here’s a good quote on that front, which I’ll end with. Pretty much sums things up for me right now:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” --Melodie Beattie

Have a wonderful day everyone!


workout mommy said...

I totally understand when you say blogs are a blessing and a curse!

It was nice to "meet" you Sarah! :)

Sarah said...

Thanks workout mommy! Yes, I definitely have to limit my blog time. Yikes!

debbiem said...

great post! you seem like a great MOM!

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie - thank you for your comment! Being a good mom is definitely a work in progress! We learn as we go ...