Breathing, finding balance

Since our return on Monday I have been slammed with work. With my tiny little fledgling business, new business is good business. Mostly. I have been simply overwhelmed with the response I have been receiving thus far, which tends to make me think I might be under valuing myself? It’s been barely a month; I want to see where I am after the first of the year before I contemplate any larger changes.

From the week before our departure and a few phone calls/emails last week, I have acquired three new projects. All are relatively small, one-time job set-ups that have potential for future follow-on work. I did invoicing for my first month as a part-time employee (for the benefits) and my own little business and am very happy with the resulting income invoiced, work-in-progress (WIP) to be billed later this month, and with the backlog I am building for future months. Honestly, I am booked as fully as I wish to be through the balance of the year. It creates an issue for me with my former full-time job, because it consumes more time than I wish to devote to it yet I really need the health insurance right now. We are currently in open enrollment, and I am reeling from the sticker shock that comes with changing to Obamacare-compliant plans. Anthem prices have gone up an average of 48.8% for all employees within the firm, and some of our employees are seeing increases approaching 90% of prior year premiums for comparable insurance. It’s insane.

For M and I, we will be switching providers, moving over to Kaiser. I am the primary consumer of health insurance in our family, and while I would love to stay with Anthem, the cost is absolutely prohibitive for us. Once we are absorbed into the Kaiser system, I will likely tender notice and utilize COBRA to stay within the same plan.

In way too many words, I am very busy with work this week. My daughter C was working several days last week while we were gone and I have had her hopping this week as well. Tomorrow and Friday she has to cover shifts at her primary job, but our arrangement thus far is working out well. She does a lot of the data entry that presently needs to be done, freeing me to review the work and pursue other tasks that I need to perform myself. My workload overfloweth, and I have been putting in 12 to 14 hours daily with no end in sight. Thank goodness it’s a holiday weekend; I need a breather from client phone calls and emails to simply make some productive headway.

Balance eludes me right now, and I must regain my footing with it. I have not exercised since Sunday. I have not been in a yoga class since last Monday or Tuesday. I am eating terrible, poisonous crap. I am stressing over work, over not exercising, thinking 20 times daily that I need to cancel my appointment with J tomorrow and/or quit training completely. I feel breathless in the most unhealthy and negative ways imaginable. I am sleeping better since we got home (my bed is on the block for replacement, but after sleeping on a bed that felt like a piece of plywood, I am so happy to be home and sleeping in it). I am stressing over deadlines, disappointing my clients, and my imperfections and failings, both real and imagined. I am uncharacteristically irritable and cranky to M.

And I have only been home a few days. Finding my way back must begin NOW.

My plans are relatively simple: get back on track with my own priorities. To that end, I’m finishing this post, taking a shower, and will be in bed by 11 this evening. I will be up at 5 a.m. to row, eat a light breakfast, and leave for the gym at 7:30 for my 8:30 appointment with J (I get there early to get into the proper mindset). I will set my alarms to eat and follow my meal plan. I will go to yoga tomorrow evening. I will be in bed by 11 each evening.

It disturbs me that we leave again for 6 days on 9/15. Perhaps my discipline while on vacation will continue after I return home rather than crumble in the face of the sheer volume of work I must process.

But right now I need to shower and get to bed on time. The best laid plans must be put into action, one small step at a time.

2 thoughts on “Breathing, finding balance

  1. i”m still on vacation but i wanted to respond. first – breathe. deeply. vacation screws everything up – eating, exercise, work – all routines. and when your health requires a pretty consistent routine it is tough. second thing – get thee to the gym and yoga – you must take care of yourself first – skipping exercise will not make you less stressed or let you accomplish more – it will do the opposite. third (this can wait till the weekend – but start thinking about this before you take on a lot more work)- step back from work and evaluate the jobs you are taking on – make sure they are consistent with what you want to be doing. and your pricing. your time is a scarce/limited resource – as you get busier – say no/increase your rates. look for work that is interesting and pathway to more work (either more referrals from a good source or continuing work for a new client). fourth – for your upcoming trip – acknowledge you won’t be perfect on food – but you will consciously try your best (example – i am eating more calories than i do at home – but still being low carb, avoiding desserts, etc) AND pick a simple exercise routine – 15 minutes max – you can do anywhere. a series of crunches, a couple of yoga poses, some squats – right now the important thing is to get in the habit of exercising when traveling.

    i travel tons – work and pleasure – and i have to learn things the hard way – so this comes from lots of years of doing it wrong. hopefully some of this will help. remember – keep breathing!!!!!

    • You should be doing vacay things, not coaching me on my life. But I greatly appreciate and respect your insight, and getting it sooner than I anticipated is a huge bonus!
      Yes, my massive ass will be hitting the gym at it’s normal 45-minutes-before-J-appointment time. When I looked up today and it was 8 p.m. – junk lunch, no dinner, no exercise – I realized that I’m deteriorating quickly. I spent a couple of hours tonight mapping out my meal plan, scheduling my alarms, and planning my entire day tomorrow. It will be easier tomorrow when I’m planning for Friday, and so it goes. While we are away this month, I already have plans on how I will handle work, exercise, life, etc. I was very good while we were gone – with the exception of all the caffinated coffee I consumed each day; then nuked the bandwagon containing my discipline and resolve once I arrived home. Meeting with J tomorrow will help get me back on track, and I am also going to broach the subject of meeting twice a week starting next month. I really do appreciate his availability to me during non-training days/hours, but I also feel like I would stay more focused and on track if I had a “booster” appointment each week. Hopefully he will be receptive to the idea.
      No go back to enjoying yourself! Me and my issues will still be here in this blog when you get home. I do hope you’re having a fabulous time, though.

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