How good are you at juggling? Not the circus like eight balls in the air while balancing a ping pong ball on your nose sort of juggling, but all those things in everyday life which still require careful juggling too - work, children, finances, family... you get the idea. In fact our whole life can be a serious juggling act as we try to keep our eye on the ball, or indeed keep all our balls in the air, and that's not to mention our ability to keep the plates spinning. In fact maybe we should all run off to join Bill Smart's circus, we're clearly all so good at it!!
It's something I've been thinking about a great deal recently as the opportunity to readdress my own work life balance presented itself just before Christmas. As many of you will know I've been lucky enough to take voluntary redundancy from work, which has allowed me to take the plunge and write full time. That's not to say that I won't be going back to conventional employment at some point, but I have a few months to do the one thing I love more than anything else and also to use the opportunity to change certain things in my own life that were feeling very out of balance.
I've put on weight (too many biscuits and not enough exercise), and developed a few niggly health problems which are simply down to stress and it's effects. I've also had so little free time that my hobbies and interests have dwindled to nothing, and I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I've hardly picked up a book (which seeing as I have had a book in my hand from a very early age feels horrible). It's simply that all my spare time, around working full time has been spent writing, or marketing, or the myriad other stuff I've been trying to achieve. In fact I realised before Christmas that I couldn't remember the last time I read a book, or sat and watched the television, and I'd simply forgotten how to relax. I've also not given enough of my time to family, friends and the housework too...
But, and it's a very big but, I'm not moaning, because this last year has been utterly amazing and I've achieved so much that I'm proud of. It was entirely necessary to get where I wanted to be and I'm so grateful for everyone's support for helping me to achieve these things. The only thing that's changed is that now I have the opportunity to choose to do things a little differently and I'm just as determined this year to exercise that choice.
So... I've been at home, working for one week now. I have sat down at my desk every morning at eight thirty, and I have accomplished each day all that I set out to do, but I have also been for walks, had a lunch break, eaten better food, been around to talk to my family, relaxed of an evening and read a book!
And what's more, I haven't eaten a biscuit all week! I hope you're very proud of me ;)