Planning the Passion… and the Breaks

Last week I had scheduled myself to write a post about work life balance, but work was insane so I pushed it off. I am trying not to see it as irony, and instead see it as a strategic choice of which parts of my home-life I chose to honor by utilizing my passion planner to the max. I am heavily invested in following a passion planner this year.

Have you heard of the Passion Planner? It is an amazing tool to get people like me, the dreamers  of the world who wish they had a few extra hours a day to accomplish their life visions to focus and get sh*t done. I love it, recommend it fully and feel like my first month with it has changed my life completely. ‘m not paid to say this, by the way, or paid for that link up there, I just really love this product with all my heart. I use it to keep track of my goals for the year, break them into bite size chunks, monitor my progress, answer reflective questions on my progress and learn about myself as I go – and it is amazing.

Last week, as I was trying not to struggle against the quagmire of my life, because we all know that to struggle against the quick sand makes you sink that much faster, I realized that I was still in charge of my life. I could move around some of my items and still hit my goals, I could take my planner to a whole ‘notha level with a new friend called eraser. It was magical.

The truth of my family’s lives this calendar year has been a bit of upheaval, matched by new peace, surrounded by love, sprinkled with relief and dabbed with seriously, more drama again? Twinkle is down to only needing to spend two afternoons a month at Children’s hospital, compared to eight afternoons a month in November (blessing). Through a mix of needs that are too private to discuss here we also found ourselves in need of a new school for the kids in January. It was Kismet, really, because Twinkle was feeling amazing and well and social and strong, so strong that when she walked into her new classroom last week she took to it like a fish returning to open waters after a lovely and important sabbatical in a beautifully protected and secure estuary.

Ninja’s first moments at his new school were like coming home again. In a neighborhood school for the first time in his life, his personality shines through. The high fives in the hallway, the people calling his name, the neighbors all wanting to grab a hug before he gets away, it was a peaceful moment of belonging. He is thrilled we can redirect the tuition funds to get him enrolled in baseball this summer and return him to gymnastics in the fall. The boy needs team sports, and we have the means again (blessing) to get him involved.

But even with all this goodness, all this positive energy circling their transition, it was still a transition full of loss and change.  And it was a transition happening in the same moments I could barely keep my head above water at work, during a two-week interval where my morning meditation ritual was shortened to 10 minutes for times sake when I should have been lengthening my sessions for the sake of sanity.

Every story has a hero, though, and this story’s hero was the Passion Planner. I lovingly looked at it and realized that I could still reach my three goals, and each of their five sub-goals, and even each of the sub-goals monthly success markers, even when I give myself the grace to back off and rearrange. So I did it in writing. I scratched off my plan to write a blog post about work life balance in January and I moved it to June. I will still write 24 blog posts this year, my goal for the year, and life will still move on as planned. I continued my goal to exercise daily, but I gave myself the grace of blocking off an hour on my schedule, but not writing a specific number of minutes. I erased the numbers, friends, and decided that if my goal is to never be a sloth then I can just do that, I don’t have to be the overachiever that over-achieves even the goals I set for myself.

My goals for the year are to engage my family in clean living (with charts! and graphs! and rewards!), to give myself 30 minutes a day, be it in exercise, meditation, stretching or silence, that the only sound I listen to is my own breathing, and to reignite my passion for writing. Months like January happen, where carefully laid plans meet erasers, penciled for later dates with promises of closure. I am confident this year will be better, though, because I am not counting the eraser as a failure, but as a tool and a friend to make my goals possible.

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About TT&NB

Wife, Mother, grant writer, professional do-gooder and friend
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