How can a person, each week, live all the sections of a women’s magazine? Spirit, Health, Beauty, Relationships, Style, Home + Garden, Food, Entertainment, Money, World. Not to mention, you know, a career. I feel like “Money” is about managing it, investments, watching stocks and portfolios, putting enough away into your 401k. And I’m guessing Parenting belongs on the list, too.
This isn’t new—this “balance is bullshit” struggle of mine. Most of the time, I feel like I’m doing what brings me joy, instead of the shoulds. Except a lot of those shoulds actually do bring me joy I want to do so many things, things about which I’m genuinely passionate, but I still struggle with scheduling it all.
This isn’t a rhetorical question. I know these women exist and it’s not a Betty Draper façade. There are women out there who get things done. I know how it’s possible because I passed eighth grade, where I was responsible for juggling subjects, with deadlines in each; there was soccer practice, friendship locker time, and when I came home, I cooked, watch television, listened to Love Lines at night and carped to a radio DJ about unrequited love. There was time for all of it because so much of it was scheduled. So I know it can be done. I just forget how.
During the week, after school let out for us, my mother managed to take me to piano lessons, nutrition with Fran Levine, drama class, art class, tennis lessons, then she’d attend soccer games, pick up dry cleaning, go to the bank, and make two dinners (something separate for my vegetarian self). While we were at school she had her own tennis matches, shopping for everyone, friend time, grooming time, hand washing her intimates time. I’m not really sure, but I know, all too well, how fast that time goes and how little ever feels accomplished. And on the whole, I’m actually okay with that, knowing it can’t all get done, and that’s okay. But I also wish I could create a schedule like the one we followed in school, complete with bells and breaks, where my brain was ready, and expecting, to jump from one subject to another, without fear. And I think that’s what’s at play. Fear. Fear that if I stop working on this one task, it won’t get done properly. I feel like I need to go straight through or it won’t get done.
So, I ask you, how do you get things done? I genuinely want to know what your schedule looks like, just a day. How do you manage to find time to:
• Do cardio and weights
• Look up recipes for the ingredients you already have in your fridge so they don’t spoil (ricotta, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, jicama), then actually make them
• Conduct research for your job (for me it’s everything from handwritten daily morning pages to reading other authors to doing random writing exercises, reading scripts upon scripts, analyzing movies, and then the actual work part of writing, the hardest of which (for me) is plot, coming up with story lines, then focusing on whichever project has the nearest deadline). This bullet, all to itself, needs its own schedule and often takes up my entire day, leaving little time for anything else. Currently, I’m working on:
o The outline for Moose as a feature film (producers attached)
o Tightening the scripted TV pitch happening in June (producers attached)
o Book proposal for my next memoir (I have the idea just need to start the proposal already)
o Casting/Researching two unscripted TV series (producers attached)
o An essay for an anthology (I haven’t started, and it’s due next month)
• Marinate meats, follow recipes with the instructions “leave overnight”
• Water your plants or herb garden, figuring out how to keep hydrangeas sunlit until midday, then shaded, with well-draining soil (HOW IN THE HELL do I figure this out, other than sitting all day and inspecting the sun and how it hits my home? Must I research this? Or must I drive around until I find a house I like, begging them for the name of their landscaper? How do I know if the soil drains well? I desperately want hydrangeas, but don’t want the deer to get at them).
• Organize your everything: pantry, inbox, blog reader, crafts, kids play room
• Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Email, Return phone calls
• Plan weeknight dinners for the family
• Make time for company at your home (which for me involves menu planning, grocery shopping, trying a new cocktail recipe, because otherwise, it’s not having company over; it’s “someone stopped by” which is welcomed, but it’s entirely different)
• Make a casserole to bring to a grieving friend, or just pick up flowers and make time to stop over
• Plan a date night, sit on your husband’s lap, give him a lap dance, anything involving doing something fun, new, different to keep things from feeling ho to the hum
• Shave your legs, hair blown, makeup applied, brows groomed, sunscreen slathered
• Find new summer sandals, that pair of leggings you need for that dress turning top on you, a fun trendy dress to wear for your friend’s upcoming wedding (something that actually fits)
• Take the kids swimming, get them swimming lessons, read to them and find new age appropriate books, plan activities
• Figure out what in the hell to do with your IRA (manage the balance of stocks, bonds, and whatever else makes up those pie charts you keep ignoring)
• Make a doctor’s appointment to have them look at your moles, your vag, your blood, your teeth, your marriage
• Buy new bras and underwear, more hangers, order monogrammed aprons for the kids
What’s your daily schedule?