Friday, January 18, 2019

2019: Goals, Anxiety, and Finding Balance

Can you believe that we're standing here at January 18th, half way through the first month of 2019?  That first month always seems to zip right by, doesn't it?  Or is that just me?  Have you set any resolutions or goals for the new year?  If so, how are they doing? 

Mine seem to be on the back burner at the moment, but I'd like to change that, and I guess that's the reason why I'm writing today.

A new year is such a cool idea, isn't it?  Technically, there's not much difference between December 31st and January 1st.  The weather is probably the same, your house is the same, you probably are going to have pretty similar routines.  But mentally, it's a fresh start, a chance to put a book end on one part of your life and start a brand new part. 

When I look back to the year that's behind us, I see all the missed opportunities to do more in my life.  I wonder, am I working hard enough?  I probably could be taking my business to another level if I tried harder, worked longer, stopped being so lazy.  So I set a bunch of goals at the beginning of this month with that in mind, goals to design more, blog more, and to become over all more successful. 

And that's about the time when I started having anxiety attacks.  Early in the morning, my heart would start racing and my stomach would churn, thinking about all of the goals I had laid out for myself and my ever expanding to-do list.  I'm grateful that I'm a homemaker and stay home anyway, because it was debilitating.  I spent three or four days sitting on the floor of my living room, trying to chill out, doing nothing on my to-do lists whatsoever. 

Then of course I got sick, and I spent several days huddled on the couch and in bed.  My body is much wiser than I am.  It knows when I need a real rest, and makes me take it whether I want to or not. 

I'm feeling better now thank goodness, and with my better health comes all this ambition to jump back onto the wagon and start working on all of those goals and long to-do lists again.  Except, I can feel it.  In the pit of my stomach, I can feel the inner resistance.  I know that if I jump back in like I did before and try to give myself a nonstop 16 hour work day, I'm going to end up with anxiety attacks again and become completely useless.  Is it worth it? 

I have so many aspects of  my life pulling me in all different directions, and being a perfectionist at heart, I want to put all of myself into each thing.  I want to be a full time designer, I want to be the best homemaker, I want to have a big veggie garden, I want to take care of my mom full time, I want to be the best wife, I want to have a real social life and good friends, I want to be there for my niece and nephews, I want to be ultra frugal and DIY everything to save money, I want to have a sparklingly clean home.  I want to sew, I want to travel, I want to buy a home in the country and have chickens, I want to volunteer, I want to exercise more, I want to read more. 

But I'm just one person, and not even a very efficient or energetic one.  I can never do all of the things I want to do as perfectly as I'd like to do them.  Some things I'll never get to do.  I have to admit these things to myself because holding onto the false notion that I can do everything if I just try harder is clearly hurting me.

So how do you find balance in this world?  I guess it's a matter of setting priorities, but I think it's more complicated than that.  If I only do what seems like is most important, I end up feeling hollow inside because I almost always leave out the activities that make me full of joy.  I could spend my day homemaking and caring for my mom and my garden and my husband, but at the end of the day I feel like I've lost myself.  I need to include those things that make me happy, like sewing or designing. 

On the other hand, as much as I'd like to spend all day sewing or designing, if I don't include my daily routines of cleaning and cooking and taking care of my loved ones, I end up feeling disconnected from my life.  Balance is so important. I just wish I knew how to reach it. 

Now you all know where I am mentally and why I haven't been posting much on this blog lately.  The truth is, I don't know what to do with myself now.  I guess I'll keep muddling through life the best I can.  One thing I read a while back does give me hope and makes me feel better; goals don't matter nearly as much as making progress every single day.  So I guess that's my motto for 2019.

What does that mean for this blog?  I don't know, honestly.  I like blogging, and I enjoy designing small free patterns for the world.  I just need some time to figure out my life and hopefully I'll get back into it soon.  Thanks for sticking around while I work my way through!


  1. Oh boy, I'm still struggling with balance! I have a better job now that I had, until November, but it's an hour drive to work and back every day. Some weeks I don't have to go from Monday to Friday, but still... My Dad has heart disease and has times that worsens. This is one of those times!

    I feel so guilty of not being able to come home at lunch, but that's life! My post-doc scholarship ended at the end of November, and fortunately I had an offer for a contract as Research Assistant, but it's 60 km from home.

    And all the crafty things I like, just get done whenever I have some time. I haven't painted in a long long time.

    So I have no idea how people find balance in their lives, because I have been struggling with that like forever!

  2. Oh Bella, I'm so sorry you're having trouble with balance too. It's good to hear that I'm not alone though, and reading about your life has made me realize that I shouldn't complain because you souends so much busier than me. Hang in there, we can make it.

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