I received a notification from the website today that someone had left a comment. As it turns out, it was spam. But, it got me to sign in to the site. And I noticed that my last post was two months ago.
Eli turned four month old three days ago. Since I've got a site specifically for him, I'm not going to post more than that short update.
The main idea of this site was to provide a place for me to write about the way my life was unfolding and how I was experiencing it. More to the point, the idea was for me to capture that point in time that I was coming out of really challenging circumstances so that I wouldn't forget what it felt like. I am now well past those particular circumstances. But, that doesn't mean that there aren't any more things that I should be remembering.
These four months of balancing work and family life have certainly been a huge adjustment. I was feeling a tremendous pressure to take on as many projects as I could and work as many hours as I could so that I could bring in sufficient income to support my family. I was operating under that pressure from early last year when Lana and I decided to have a child. The hard work definitely paid off (Lana worked really hard, too), as Lana and I had a great financial year in 2011. While I haven't let go of that sense of extreme obligation, I have come to the point that I needed to achieve a better life balance and develop a new "sense" of how things are going.
I have put on too much weight and haven gotten too out of shape. I am never operating at full efficiency and full productivity because I am spreading myself too thin and keeping track of too many things. I've grown almost addicted to the never-ending quest to get more work done. I was sitting in front of my computer from early in the morning until late at night basically seven days a week, or so it felt. It certainly was true that I was either in front of the computer or helping to take care of my son, either directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, I still wasn't getting in 40 billable hours each week. Neither was Lana feeling that she was getting enough of a break.
So, yesterday (Thursday night actually) I decided to make some changes. Instead of continuing to work from the dining room table, I moved all my work items to our "office." [Full disclosure: I'm in front of my computer at the dining room table now because I brought it down last night to upload more things (at Lana's request) to Eli's website.] We have been using one of our bedrooms as an office since we moved in. Now it was finally time to really make use of it to do my work. I committed to doing my web development work from 8a - 5p Monday through Friday and cutting loose from it outside of those times. Instead of struggling to make up for whatever was preventing me from getting my billable hours in during a "normal" work week, I am going to make sure that I stay focused during those hours and get done whatever I can. Once those hours are up, it's time to do something else.
Last night when I was turning my compter off at 5p I felt a little bit of stress and fear. The thought of going a whole weekend without doing any "work" was frightening. It's not that I haven't had any weekends that I hadn't done any web related work. There have been plenty; Just last weekend my in-laws visited and two weekends ago I was back in Chicago for my dad's 70th birthday. But, with the exception of those two recent weekends, I had always planned to get some work done on the weekends (and would often end up working on Sunday evening to make sure that I did). This was the first weekend in I-don't-know-how-long that I had specifically planned NOT to do web development work.
My main project for this weekend is to get my property back into good shape. I started out by spreading out the compost pile (and starting a new one) and mowing the lawn. The other two major tasks I hope to address this weekend is to knock back the weeds and fix my irrigation system. Last year I paid a neighbor's daughter $400 to pull weeds. I decided it would have been better to just kill everything with RoundUp and plant new live plants. So, if that's what I need to do this year that's what I'm going to do. As far as the irrigation system, there were some zones (basically the garden areas) that the animals had torn apart a couple seasons ago and I just let them go last season.
Beyond this weekend, my overall personal goals are to get back into meditating and exercising. My overall family goals are to spend regular (maybe even scheduled) quality time with my wife and son and do more grocery shopping and cooking. My overall financial goal is to use better time management to maximize the billable hours I produce during my alloted working time.
[One final side note: It's been just over a year since we put Tofu down and conceived our son -- yes they happened during the same week just days apart. I don't have anything profound to say about it, but do want to acknowledge it.]
I give thanks to the Universe for the abundance it provides me. I surrender and am open and ready to receive.
Bhavatu, sabba, mangalam -- May all beings be happy.