achieving balance for a work at home, stay at home, hot mama

diamond reflection stephanieklein
Now, pay attention. Again. What does the 3rd C stand for?

I should warn you that I’m delirious right now, and the screen is kinda looking like she’s posing for a series of "glamour shots." Even as I type this in the dark, on my bed, I’m almost not here because I’m way too focusd on the hands in front of me. Watching them typetypetype, and I have to say, it looks like two elephants out in the brush. Maybe they’re playng spit. You know, that random card game you play at camp, where you sit on a towel, even put the cards on a table. You have to act fast, or else… yeah, someone spits on you. Though I think this was revised at some point, and now it’s slap. You get to slap your opponent. Maybe this is what being "totally fried" feels like from a day of being "totally slammed" at work. All that said, I still believe that people with long lists of things to be done do have full lives. It’s easy to assume otherwise, that they are, in fact, creating drama or work where there is none. That they are hiding from their lives by creating meaningless distractions. But at least the people who’ve got crankyanking to-dos have things to do, to look forward to, even if it’s the dentist. When it’s on your list, you suffer through it, but you still get to thrill of crossing the sucker off. Ah, productivity. I love it.

But I’m sad.

Because there isn’t enough time in the day to do any of it. And I’m having trouble balancing. How do I fit in all I want to get done, with all I want to document, with all I want to do to keep healthy? It’s never been a balance; its been a Bacardi. At the end of the day, it comes down to a rum runner, kicking my feet up, letting go, and trying to do more tomorrow. I just wish instead of balancing vague things like kids and work and trying to keep a balance, it was more like school curriculums. You spend an hour and a half on one subject, then you move onto the next. Maybe I need an alarm bell.

I’m not complaining. Genuinely. I actually feel really alive and happy when there are projects to be tackled. Even now, all at once.

You know all those people you hear say, "I would, I really would. No, I will, WILL. Someday. When I have the time." There it is folks. Right there: our priorities. My list is long in what I’ll need to plow through to feel better about myself and the world around me. And I’m not the greatest multi-tasker. I love making headway, really flying through "have to’s" so I can make time for "want to’s."  Here’s part of my list:

1) Love Phil
2) Videotape kids. Now is the time to interview them. Ask them silly questions. "What do you think love is?" "If a man wants to impress a woman, what should he do?" "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "What’s your favorite story/ color/ friend/ food?" We need to capture that.
3) Need to start culling images and video footage from the year for year end video montage.
4) Must get haircut, manicure, pedicure, and tan on a day where I can stay home and clean.
5) Make time to work out and also to hydrate and do hot yoga
6) Make another compote, like the swordfish one for when carol, dad, lea come.
1) Email S back
2) Add recipe to site for swordfish, post it in a stylish way, that will make people want to share it. Ideally we’d have a button on my site that allowed users to SHARE THIS. This function needs to be added to the list of shit that needs to get done.
3) Need to write post for tomorrow and schedule it for early AM, but I have a 9am radio interview.
4) Need to write and schedule a series of posts for this week.
5) Need to come up with 3 articles to twitter about in a funny way (thanks for the comment) and schedule those posts.
6) Need to go to bookstores and sign stock
7) Need to set up advertising on new site
9) Need someone to explain to me how to insert code. Often I read "just add this code before the /body tag on your main page, but I don’t know how to do this with PHP. My fear is this theme gets turned off, we turn on new one, and code I had in place disappears because we forget about it.
10) I need CSS set up so I don’t have to add "border=0" every time I post an image– I HATE when there’s a blue click line around image to show that it’s linkable. Someone who knows CSS must make sure this happens as the default.
11) VIDEO: for summer, I think I should do drinks. As in, a drink a week, a recipe, and my showing how to make it, with funny commentary. Describe the drink as a type of person, who I imagine drinking it, and where.
12) Need to write guest blog post about music soundtrack of Moose.
14) Need to write outline for movie then discuss it with Hollywood.
15) Speak to Joe and discuss next book proposal and what’s needed to get it into shape. Get crackin’ on it. All this while gearing up to work on a new tv series.Appoint a spot in kitchen where we place a monogrammed notepad with pen for when we run out of items

Around the House:
1) Gardening bag for outdoor entertaining caddy. Fill with:
Garbage bags for afterward cleanup, corkscrew, salt and pepper shakers, napkins with holder or weight, forks, spoons, knives, plates, etc.
2) Reorganize kitchen cabinets again (including junk drawer: even if it means putting menus in a binder again)
3) Reorganize clean out my bathroom space–clear out clutter
4) Reorganize guest bathroom selves (cluttered shit in there now)
5) Reorganize pantry, everything is in disarray
6) Research what to do with baking rack outside… and how I go about washing our towels in vinegar. I want them to be soft.
7) two coats of white spray paint for wheatback chairs, plus new cushions. Figure out where to store them when not in use. And touch up white mirror, clean it, and hang elsewhere.
8) Find an image to paint onto canvas, something funny that phil likes too. Ask coddling what type of paint he uses.
9) Throw all of Phil’s shit in a box and make him go through it. The office is a pit, and for months (not weeks or days, but MONTHS) I’ve been asking him to clean it. It does NOT MATTER that he knows where everything is. There are PILES of mess on the floors. To the point where Mr. Bikini now burries his bones there, in the mountain of crap.
10) Find a place for the kids’ special artwork, so we can have it years from now for them. Not everything, but the special art projects

11) Need to find a vinyl tree trunk with branches to stick to the kids’ wall. Then cut out green construction paper leaves, which we’ll each stick on the branches of the tree at bedtime (to make going to bed a fun activity).. on each leaf we write about our favorite moment of the day. What we’re thankful for, what we’re proud of, etc. Want to get this ritual going. Need time to make it happen though!

 5 YEARS AGO: Lipstick Lesbians, My Name in Lights



  1. Try joining Fly Lady .com. You can’t do everything, nor should you. Prioriise, and jump in where you are. Try not to beat yourself up. You are amazing ,but human Pen

  2. Your around the house list are things that I wish I could do for you!!!! I love putting things into organizational binders, baskets, file systems, buckets…I love to recreate the Real Simple and Martha Stewart rooms that include ribbon dispensers in paper-covered boxes and mud rooms with dark wood benches and cushions and a place for little rain boots!
    I know you love to do this too, I’ve seen the pictures and I also know how frustrating it is to WANT to do those things but to get so busy with other things.
    I think that all of us, regardless of our life circumstances, have a hard time balancing. You usually make me feel like I’m not so alone, well hopefully you feel not so alone! Don’t get bogged down by the opinions of others, because we ALL have to find time to squeeze everything in and it’s hard!
    I know you’ll get to everything on that list, but if you ever need a hand, you just say the word and I’ll put on my apron and hop on a plane!

  3. Whew. Busy lady! I too love to-do lists. I sometimes put things on there that I’ve already done just so I can check them off.

    Please, please do those summer drink posts! They sound like so much fun, and I’ve always loved your food/drink/restaurant reccomendations.

  4. Um.. what on earth is the lipstick lesbian post about? It’s linked to this post about to do lists.. totally confounded.
    Maybe you were tired but eh?

  5. You can’t possibly do it all well. Knock off things you can pay someone to do for you–a webmaster, an organizer, etc.

  6. and search “vinyl tree” – you’ll find endless options for great prices. :)

    had a dream last night that I met you, you are even more wonderful in person than I thought! And I met Lucas! so vivid

    I hope you can find the balance you need, it’s hard sometimes.
    You can do it though!

  7. Author

    At the bottom of all my posts, I always include a link back to a post written on the same day, just a year ago, or 5 years ago, etc. They aren’t necessarily related to the content of the current post, but they do share the same “birthday” as it were.

  8. Great list! Here’s some of mine!
    1. Print photographs: I have too many empty frames piled up.
    2. Take the cats to the vet. Love my cats but hate this task. It is only a matter of time before the fleas make an appearance.
    3. Beat that last mirror race on Mario Kart Wii to have all gold trophies. Rainbow Road is a killer.
    4. Buy a new video camera to do some interviews with my 3 year old. Love that idea! My camera is one of those 8mm recorders and we never use it anymore. Must get something easy!
    5. Clean the carpet in my child’s room. It is fugly.
    6. Find something to read other than books about vampires.
    7. Purchase Superpass on Real Player so I can watch Big Brother next month.
    8. Find time and inspiration to write something, anything.
    9. Sex with the hubby! We are trying for baby #2.
    10. Search the Internet for old wives’ tales on how to have a girl. I really want a mini me.

  9. For washing towels — just add 1 cup of vinegar to the laundry. Make sure to leave a little extra room in your machine or split a large load in half in order to help rinse better. One other suggestion is switching to Charlie’s Soap – it rinses very clean and totally changed our laundry.

  10. Loves an ambitious to do list!

    About the Twitter thing, though, I’d rather just hear stuff from you, what you’re up to, what random stuff you’re thinking, etc. When I see your tweets with links to crazy stuff, I always think it’s kind of beneath you. Plus I wonder if it’s a good use of your time, given that you’re a crazy busy hot mama!

    I say go ahead and cross that one off without doing it! :)

  11. Just in time for the new moon too! Was that a coincidence? Anyway, good luck with your new moon list nonetheless.

  12. I’m totally spent from reading that. You need to add “Take a nap” somehwere in there!

    Here’s mine:
    1. Get up at 7am – not a damn minute earlier
    2. Get to work somewhere around 8:30ish
    3. Work as little possible
    4. Check Facebook
    5. Read blogs
    6. Leave work at 5:00pm straight up – not a minute later
    7. Find strength to make dinner
    8. Fuck it – go out for sushi
    9. Try not to eat chocolate chip cookie dough after 9pm
    10. Lights out at 10pm

  13. love your approach to life! one reason why i am so attracted to you (as a friend) :)

  14. Kathy Preston’s Quantum Wellness book has a chapter on managing your personal energy – balancing your four Rs. Regular – stuff u gotta do. Relate – partners, kids, friends, store clerk, people
    Rejuvenate – taking care of YOU and relaxing
    Reach – doing things that make you transcend – do more than what’s comfortable, taking leaps that make u grow, excite u

    I totally suggest an egg timer, schedule your stuff and prioritize. Too much time spent in one area means your energy is out of balance.

  15. I say, go for it. I gave up to-do lists years ago. Life is much more fun, and actually also even more productive.

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