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9 June 2012

Desperately Seeking Balance

Finding balance is complicated, as I’ve discovered over the last few months. I don’t blog as often as I want to simply because I have no time; trying to find time for all of the important things and people in my life is a weekly task. Days pass without a switching my laptop on. I have 8 unopened issues of my favourite magazine – The Economist – sitting here waiting to be read but no time. When you don’t even have a spare 22 minutes to spend ogling Dr Sheldon Cooper on E4, something is wrong with your life. Fact.

Yesterday, I returned home from work after 22h00. Too tired and too late to eat a proper meal, I made some nettle tea and ate a few pieces of fudge. Followed by a hot shower, I found myself in bed with the lights out a few minutes later. I’d be lying if this was a one-off. How do you balance life? I miss writing and connecting with readers as often as I used to. Some of my favourite bloggers have 2-3 children, husbands and jobs. How do they do it? I still have things to blog about from last year whilst I was still a Parisienne and countless afternoon teas enjoyed here in London. I’m exhausted but I’m happy. There isn’t one thing in my life I’m unhappy with. I don’t recall ever being able to say that. My personal life makes me happy. I worry a little about lack of free time affecting that aspect of my life but so far, so good. The reality is that I’ve evolved. I’ve had a hell of a year and been through so much. Somehow I managed to get through it all and still have a smile on my face. I feel differently, I see things differently and I’m trying to figure out how to express that on my wee blog.

I’m not very good at just sitting doing nothing. I can sit and read, sit and watch television but the idea of just sitting meditating makes me anxious. This morning I woke up at my customary 06h30 with a plan – sign up for yoga classes. I haven’t been to yoga for a while and I need a few sessions per week just to mellow out and have some me time. I’ve been so troubled with trying to balance everything and everyone, that I forgot about my own balanced state of mind. This weekend is the perfect start to attempting life balance: visit loved ones today and tomorrow, go shopping for some summer dresses (highly optimist), cook, plan Paris (three weeks to go…) and catch up with my favourite series. Relax and breathe… 

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? How do you balance love, work, exercise, friends, sleep, travel: life? 

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 June 2012 14:48

    Blogging has to be a pleasure, not a chore. Blog when you can, when it makes you happy. You’re living a life and that is exciting. That is what you share. Few journalists turn out a hefty column with pictures and links everyday.

    Strangely I returned to yoga three months ago and it is the best thing. Smoothing out rough edges and getting me out of me.

    I’m on a blogging lapse because I don’t like this moment in fashion, the silliness, the shrieks, the adulation, the saturation. I read a few blogs, yours often. I have two books I do want to read on my iPhone kindle and barely turn a page before my eyes shut.

    Do yoga. It’s all about you.

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 June 2012 09:38

      Thanks so much for this comment Madeleine, I really appreciate it.

      I always appreciate your insight and wisdom. Every time I see a tweet from you, I smile. We’re both so interested (and troubled) by our world and it’s great to see someone else sharing that info. The reality is that with the exception of friends’ blogs, most of the blogs I read a year ago, I no longer read. I couldn’t care less about fashion if I tried. I like nice shoes and love sharing a stunning editorial but who cares about label X or Y. Not me, that’s for sure. Most of the blogs I read are ‘lifestyle’ types and very read and honest.

      I’m reading a memoir of a war correspondent right now and every page is so heart-breaking because of what she sees & experienced but also because she later moves to Paris, and I resonate with all of the emotions she feels. I think you’d like it. I’ll feature it on the blog soon.

      I’ll let you know how yoga works out.

  2. 9 June 2012 15:48

    I agree with Madeleine blogging should be a pleasure and not a chore. I take regular breaks from my blog and I don’t pressurise myself to post if I don’t feel like it or if I do not have time. I think readers also like to connect with ‘real’ people who have ‘real’ lives rather than a constant stream of posts anyway… I have found that I miss some of the earlier interactions with readers to my blog, like yourself, but I think your blog shows the way that you are developing and you are happy…. for balance in life it is all about prioritizing needs I think – if you need play, need social life, need rest – listen to what your body is telling you. Yoga sounds good, you know I love pilates :-)

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 June 2012 09:43

      Yes, it should definitely be a pleasure. I think I put too much pressure on myself to write too much. I will try to take more breaks but that’s not really my nature when I have an outstanding to do list.

      I know, we used to comment with each other every day! I just stopped visiting other blog – no time, evolving interests etc. I make a point to visit friends blog every few weeks but time is so limited.

      Yes, pilates and yoga are great. Again, it comes down to balance and time. Something I really need to think about.

      x

  3. 10 June 2012 02:51

    Oh, Milla! I’m in the same boat! Work has been crazy (working 10-12 hours a day is the norm now), and I’m just too exhausted to blog when I get home.

    I also insist on only natural light for my photos, and my working hours don’t really help as I barely see the sun whenever I’m home, so that leaves the weekends. Sometimes I just want to catch up on some sleep, run some errands etc. I have about 10 new books which I haven’t even read yet!

    And yes, yoga is my ‘me’ time. It keeps me sane ;) Twice a week!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 June 2012 09:48

      Welcome to the 10-day club! Exhausting, non?

      I too prefer natural light but I’m working so it doesn’t help. I don’t even have time to go grocery shopping and use a (wonderful) online delivery service. The worst part is that at the weekends, you also want some down time otherwise come Sunday night, you’re as exhausted as you were on Friday night. Something has to give…

  4. 10 June 2012 06:19

    As long as you’re happy, you’ll get through. You’ll find the time to get in the things you want to do, because you love them. I think yoga is a great idea, with a good instructor. I can’t do the sit and meditate thing either but I can definitely do the sit and drink tea thing. When you get busy like this, I think how you make it through is by prioritizing and learning to say no. I don’t have kids and I don’t know how mums do it (maybe consult with mine!) but I imagine it’s more done out of necessity than anything else. My guess: prioritize, learn to say no and do only what gives you something back for yourself, not for others. But I firmly believe is that you’ll push through if you’re happy with everything.

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 June 2012 09:52

      I’m definitely going to have a word with your mum! I have no problem saying no to other people, I just need to prioritise what I want to do, which is everything! I’ve been wearing my hair curly all week because I haven’t had the 45 minutes it takes to straighten it, that’s how tight my schedule is, and I wake up at 6h30 already.

      Yoga is it! How are the pilates classes going?

      I need a holiday and some time out. That should help…

      • 11 June 2012 05:29

        Handy that you have Paris coming up! That will be a lovely break for you! Pilates is good but I’m not going tomorrow because I’m still sick. If I’m not well enough to go to work, I shouldn’t be at pilates. Mum had 2 kids under 2 on her own and then 3 kids under 4-no idea how she did it! Straightening does take forever haha. I don’t even bother with mine anymore. Good luck with your prioritizing! Deep breaths!

  5. 10 June 2012 12:10

    Dear Milla,

    I hear ya.. in that matter! have been feeling on and off with my Blog as well..but with the issue that I do not have the time to write as much as would love to and my Blog is more picture then text heavy and that always worries me a lot … as I would love to say more but it’s just not in it for me .. with my time issues as well.. but I guess I have to go with the flow and make the best out of what I have to give at the moment. Although, I would love to keep a balance with text and visual content and photography and vitality being a bigger part of my Blog and live, I hope my readers understand!

    And I think so too, we all need our breaks of our “Online lives” to spend time in the “real” worlds of ours with family, friends and do things outside more to gain back our strengths and inspirations. And do things we love like, reading magazine, going to movies, restaurants on vacation etc.. and don’t feel guilty about any of it.. as it’s Life!!

    So, go with your own pace and do things the way and when you like to do them and not feel pressured or guilty..

    It’s always a pleasure to chitchat tweet with you lovely and read your beautiful Blog Posts! xo

    Cam

  6. 11 June 2012 02:23

    Oh Milla, I do totally understand what you’re saying. We miss you when you don’t post, but blogging should be about pleasure for you and not about the pressure of squeezing it in to an already packed day. I work pretty long hours so I relate but I’ve had a bit of a health crisis over the last few months which have made me pull back a little bit. I’m working a bit less and instead of blogging every day, I give myself a day or two off every now and then. But overall, I blog because it gives me pleasure, not because I feel like I have to. I hope you find the balance you are looking for.

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      27 June 2012 10:04

      You’re so right Lissy. What’s the point if there’s no pleasure?

      I hope your health situation is back on track and your able to focus on blogging, your career and being happy.

  7. 11 June 2012 11:49

    Yup. I hear you loud and clear, Milla! I have to say that reading Madeleine’s response was like a dose of therapy for me, just what I needed to hear. Although I won’t be practicing yoga, I do find that daily exercise helps to balance me out a bit, helps take the edge off so to speak. Gotta get back into that.
    I do have this mentality of feeling bad about not writing as much, feeling bad that I’m not this super-human churning it out. The irony is that I’d probably do more of what I love if I could remember to relax!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      27 June 2012 10:29

      I swear Madeleine is the life guru we all need.

      Exactly Kate, you’re not a superhuman! You have to take care of yourself and I thoroughly admire how you make exercise a part of your daily life. I need to do more of that. I suppose it is all about finding a personal balance and that’s just so different for all of us.

  8. 11 June 2012 14:02

    So happy to know you are feeling well and happy in all aspects of your life. (Not easy to attain!) It’s so important to ‘take time for yourself’ which I don’t do often enough, as this constant list of ‘to dos’ continues to pile up.

    I agree with Sarah too about how blogging should be done with a soul. Readers will appreciate that more when it’s from the heart.

    As for balance, I am a huge fan of yoga and certain this will bring greater balance into your mind and body. Will think of you during Ohm….. :)

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      27 June 2012 10:57

      Yoga and doing things with passion are currently very important in my life. Instead of trying so hard t0 make everything perfect, I’m trying to let go and let them be whatever they will be.

  9. 13 June 2012 06:32

    Very insightful, honest, and relatable post Milla. I totally know where you are coming from. I seriously don’t know how other bloggers manage to juggle a gazillion things either. I too, have felt the stress of trying to blog more frequently but i’ve realized it’s more important to enjoy life and not surpress it by staying home so i can blog,lol. So yeah, like you, i’ve blogged less too and i do feel a tiny annoyed but hey, real life and spending time with loved ones is just as important. After all, like your post title, it’s about balance!

    I’ve had one hell of a year too and finding all the balance in my life that i can get a hold of. As for yoga, i think that is a perfect start for you=) Just do what your body and mind tells you to do.

    I’m happy to hear your changes and how you have evolved over the year. Humans are constantly changing and i’m pretty sure your change is for the better so keep it up!!!!

    Now as to how i manage my hectic life? Normally what i do is just think in advance what i wanna blog about and write it up just before i go to bed. Most of the time i make sure i do a bit of exercise, watched a bit of TV, or whatever it is i feel like doing, such as doing my nails or reading a novel (even if its just 20 mins), and blogging goes last! I also find it helpful by thinking in advance which days i’ll do which chores or plan my lunch/dinner dates so i can pre-organize my schedule.

    Hope you find a peace of mind and balance dear:)

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

  10. 13 June 2012 06:33

    Very insightful, honest, and relatable post Milla. I totally know where you are coming from. I seriously don’t know how other bloggers manage to juggle a gazillion things either. I too, have felt the stress of trying to blog more frequently but i’ve realized it’s more important to enjoy life and not surpress it by staying home so i can blog,lol. So yeah, like you, i’ve blogged less too and i do feel a tiny bit annoyed but hey, real life and spending time with loved ones is just as important. After all, like your post title, it’s about balance!

    I’ve had one hell of a year too and finding all the balance in my life that i can get a hold of. As for yoga, i think that is a perfect start for you=) Just do what your body and mind tells you to do.

    I’m happy to hear your changes and how you have evolved over the year. Humans are constantly changing and i’m pretty sure your change is for the better so keep it up!!!!

    Now as to how i manage my hectic life? Normally what i do is just think in advance what i wanna blog about and write it up just before i go to bed. Most of the time i make sure i do a bit of exercise, watched a bit of TV, or whatever it is i feel like doing, such as doing my nails or reading a novel (even if its just 20 mins), and blogging goes last! I also find it helpful by thinking in advance which days i’ll do which chores or plan my lunch/dinner dates so i can pre-organize my schedule.

    Hope you find a peace of mind and balance dear:)

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

  11. 14 June 2012 09:49

    Overwhelmed too often than not- there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. But when blogging becomes a chore for me – I skip it- just skip it, no guilt, no niggling that I need to do something… just accept that there are other things that need to take priority for a while. Like a 3 year old that wants to play, like the dinner that needs to be started, like a million other things that I would like to do to tick off my list of ‘something I would like to finish’. There is so much going on these days, so much that we take on that perhaps we don’t need to – I have a mental list of things that I’d like to get through but hey, if I don’t start one thing this week.. there’s always next week right, or the next or the next?..

    Great ideas here.:)

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