A LOT of Balance

One of the biggest things I struggle with in my life is balance.

Balancing my home life, my job, and my mental and physical health.

Having three kids ranging the autism spectrum is a lot.  I could go into all kinds of explanations, but I'll simply invite you to read my previous blogs.

My job is a lot.  I run my own business.  It involves going to the office Monday through Friday.  Being on call every other weekend and every week night.  Going to other towns to fulfill my obligations, mostly in the evenings after work.  Going to educational meetings.  My meetings often involve going fun places.  Baltimore, Hershey.  But they mostly involve sitting in a conference room all day.  I get to eat out, but sightseeing is pretty limited.  But what they don't involve is being home.  My husband gets stuck with our kids for that entire time.  If I stay an extra day to have fun, it's that much more.  So I come home tired from the meeting and coping with the anxiety that comes from being in a room with lots of people, while being forced to sit still.  My sensory issues (and yes, I do see a direct lineage there to my children) made schooling a torture.  I always saw it as a personal failing that I could not sit still for lectures.  Now I have more ways of coping (I sew through the lecture) and can grant myself some excuses.  But I still feel overwhelmed and grouchy afterward.  I need personal space and quiet for some time after.  And I feel guilty because Paul is overwhelmed from taking care of the kids while I was gone.

My health is a lot.  I have early diabetes.  I have a mom and grandmother who both had breast cancer.  I don't have lots of time to exercise.  I haven't yet made time to get a mammogram.  When I'm overwhelmed (see Nathan's issues last winter in particular) I make bad food choices that I know are bad.  Like eating Nutella right from the jar.  The reward center in my brain demands to be satisfied and tells the rational part of my brain to go fuck itself.  So I gained 10 pounds last winter, when what I wanted to do was lose 10. 

I feel like those performers who spin plates on sticks.  Running from stick to stick to stick to keep them spinning. 

I got rid of some of my plates.  I had been on 2 boards-one a hospital that I was associated with, and one an organization that works at increasing employment for people with disabilities.  I loved being on these boards.  But I needed a little more space.  So I quit.

And that worked well for a while.  But now my work load has increased and I'm about to add another load of work in an area that I have a real passion.  I feel very concerned about adding this.  But when I told my husband what I was offered his eyes lit up.  "You would love this.  You must do it!" 

I'm thinking of adding an associate.  But that means our income drops.  By a lot.  Like $50,000 + benefits a lot.  I don't see that I have that much wiggle room.  Unless I add more work on for my new employee.  But then I think "what if the employee doesn't work out and suddenly I have all those new responsibilities?"

It's a lot to think about.


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