Hello – J here. I’m a firm believer that a happy life is a balanced one and I’ve been trying to achieve that harmonious balance between my many roles. What roles, you ask? Let me show you my hat collection.
First and foremost, I’m a Mom. Tied for second, I’m an Author, Small Business Owner and Wife. Third, I’m a Housekeeper. Then all clumped together, I’m a Chauffeur, Accountant, Chef, Teacher, Volunteer, Personal Shopper, Landscaper, Nurse, Cheerleader, Referee, Laundress, Hostess and Daughter. Way down the bottom, I’m a Woman. Occasionally, these roles switch priority order.
During the month of November, I typically add Marathon Writer and this year I took on one more role: Nanowrimo Municipal Liaison. Due to our historic October Nor’easter, you can add Pioneer to the list.
Last month, one of those roles was the hat that started an avalanche. It wasn’t just one hat that fell off, no. All the hats plummeted from my head at the same time. For a week and a bit, the only hats I could wear were Mom and Pioneer, because well…really I caught the Mom hat before it hit the ground (as I always will) and the Pioneer hat was forced on me by that witch, Mother Nature.
Circumstances made me grab the Nurse hat and pile it on just when it was time to throw the Pioneer hat away (hopefully never to be seen again!). Everybody was sick, in November, including me. Bronchitis, the stomach bug, strep throat, tonsilitis, medication that turned otherwise pleasant children into raging maniacs; it was a crazy 30 days.
The calendar prompted me to add the Hostess hat, since a dozen people expected to eat on Thanksgiving. The day before that, my hubby spent 5 hours replacing the toilet. Did you know a particle board fire truck would turn to an unremoveable cork when flushed? Me neither, but he wasn’t available to help much.
Then the Small Business Owner hat reared its head. Guess what? Ages ago, way back in September, I pushed the release date for my next novel (The Peacock Tale) to November 29th because it wasn’t done in time to meet the first deadline. Sigh. So I put my big girl panties on (as we used to say when I was a working mom – HA! as if I don’t work now…) and forced aside all other responsibilities (except Chef…somehow I never get to drop that one either) to get all the edits input into the manuscript. Ten more hours of formatting and the book was up on Createspace and Smashwords.
Here it is, the beginning of December and all of those other hats are still laying on the floor – what an epic fail. I have Volunteer responsibilities waiting to be completed. I wrote all of 10,000 words for Nano and was probably the worst Municipal Liaison, ever. My house is a wreck and I have a mountain of laundry to do. The leaves finally fell off the trees and need to be raked before it snows. Sigh.
But you know what? Maybe I should take a moment to think about all the things that I did accomplish this year rather than focusing on the failures. The children are happy and healthy (ish). I’ve published 2 novels, several versions of 2 picture books, launched a webpage and a blog (with lots of help). The house is still standing – even after a Tornado, an Earthquake, a Nor’easter and a Hurricane (did I mention that I live in Connecticut?! What the heck, Mother Nature!) My husband is content to remain married to me, so I’m doing a better job there than 50% of the married world.
Today’s Secret: You can have it all, but you probably can’t have it all at once. If you pile too many hats on, they come crashing down, maybe to remind of what’s important. That hat that you refuse to let fall – that’s what is most important to you. But beyond that, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments, even in the face of epic failure. As long as the most important things are as they should be, sometimes you have to let the rest of the hats lay on the floor until you can pick them up again. And that’s OK.
Today’s Question: How do you handle your myriad of responsibilities? What’s your secret to success?