As we draw near the end of 2016 I cannot help but be in a reflective mood. It has been one of the most challenging years yet, though at the same time highly productive packed full of purpose, learning and growth. There is a lot for me to think about for next year.
I am a firm believer in the concept of life by design. That we are in the drivers seat of our lives. Luck is not something that just ‘happens’. You create your own luck. Does that mean taking risks. Yes. Does that mean you are going to fall over. Yes.
I am still I am still getting clear on exactly what 2017 will look like for me, for us. I have some time set aside of the next two weeks to create next year. However this post is actually about me making some changes even before next year arrives.
A few weeks ago I experienced my first earthquake. You can read this in my previous blog here. Going through this, at a time when I was deep in the throes of work and deadlines, forced me to sharply take stock of just where I was at and what was important to me. Sometimes even after such an event it can be really easy to slip back into how things were. Action is hard. So I have made a very intentional effort to make true on the promises I made on that day. Even without knowing just how it will all work out and just what next year will bring.
This was perhaps the biggest (and scariest) promise that I made. To stick to the deadline of my book which is due at the end of January. What this has meant is without fail doing 10 minutes a day minimum of writing and waking every Saturday morning at 5.30am leaving for the office before the children wake up and doing a morning of undisturbed writing. I need to keep this up (and then some!).
In true law of attraction shortly after I made this commitment a colleage at work was looking for someone to house-sit after Christmas for a week. They live close by and I saw this as a great chance to get in high quality undisturbed writing, on a full nights sleep (believe or not this is crucial to good writing!) and yet still be close by home so that I could see the boys even for a few hours every day. I go tomorrow. It is actually harder then I thought doing this. My previous blog on leaving my babies sums this up well but I guess it is the old guilt at play. The thoughts of ‘everyone else is on holiday’ thing, even though of course this is not true. I know plenty that are working through but those heart strings still tug.
I am also going on a writing retreat with some fellow business women for three days in early January. This I am really looking forward to but we really had to save hard financially to make this happen over the Christmas period – I said to my husband it would be my birthday present and I actually do see it as a total treat to go away for something like that even ‘for work’! I am sure there will be more negotiations of time to be made before this book gets done but for now….we have a plan!
Quality Children Time
Our boys have always been in daycare. It has worked for us so well and we were really lucky to find a special infant centre that they both have gone to since 12 weeks and 8 weeks respectively. However, it is really important for both of them to have quality time with me just on their own. When you work full-time or more than full time with two children this is really challenging to create on the weekend. I am also finding, as with the book and my tours/events, I am working a lot on a Saturday too. I have had a mummy morning with our big boy on a Wednesday for a year now and this works so well.
After the earthquake a made the promise that I would have this with Smushie too somehow. Without knowing my teaching schedule for next year I have chosen to have him at home with me on a Friday. I am nervous about this as it is not financially economic to do this; we only save $28 for the day off daycare, and I will need to manage my work outside of this time including fully committing to working each Saturday. Again it is that ‘but it is not normal’ thing at play. I truly believe having a day or morning with each of my children on their own, however makes it worth it. He will not be my ‘Smushie’ for ever and we have worked really hard in our businesses to be able to have this flexibility (even if it means pulling some midnight hours!).
That last major promise I made was around relationships, specifically seeing my friends and also working on the (to quote) “stupid arguments” with hubby. I now see a friend once a week. Even if it is just half an hour for coffee. One friend once a week. Does not seem like much but it had been months without me doing this. I really look forward to it now! I would like to say I am not arguing with Vijay but that is just not true married life! I do not know if it was the earthquake or us celebrating five years and realising how far we had come or just both of us really trying even harder but a lot of those tired, pointless arguments have really stopped. We also have been making an active effort to got to bed at 9.30pm each night, sometimes it becomes 10.30pm and often one of the kids wake but getting extra sleep has made a huge difference here.
So there you have it – I have so far kept my promises. I am a little bit proud I have been able to do this even before setting my goals for 2017….perhaps that is a good thing as these are the top priorities, the things that come first. Note that having a clean house does not feature at all! Nor will it for my big goals next year – you cannot do everything and that is ok. As children’s needs change and develop so to do our priorities. I never thought when I first went back working after our first son, some of what we are juggling in terms of high quality work time and high quality time with each child would be something we not only needed to factor but would be of top priority…but they are!
Guilt, fear and worrying about doing things differently seem to just be part of the process too – sometimes all you can do is what works right now and then change it when it no longer works,
Here is to a brand new year!
Xxx Dr Julie Bhosale