For months now, I’ve been looking at the perfect date to start blogging again. I’ve had these great ideas for blog posts – a Spring Cleaning post, a post marking X number of days since my last post, a brief summary of what I’ve been up to since my last entry – but inevitably, all these creative ideas would come to me while I was doing something else. Then, when I had time to finally revisit a particular idea, I would start doing further planning, but no writing. And this process will cause what I learned is called “analysis paralysis”.
So today, as good a day as any, after finishing with my paid work, I decided to write what’s in my heart, instead of planning the perfect post, which might never come or might never be.
In my very last post, last year, I was talking about suddenly having to switch gears at work, due to unexpected circumstances; specifically, for health matters. As it turns out, the reason for my chronic fatigue was pregnancy. And while this didn’t come entirely as a surprise – we had been looking for our Cristina for a while – the logistics of freelancing, pregnancy, parenting, and the arrival of a new family member is something that cannot possibly be planned. Something will always go differently than planned. Or everything. It depends.
The base of the matter was that I wanted to keep my clients happy, find time to enjoy those last months with my until-then only-daughter, enjoy my pregnancy, and prepare for the arrival of our little angel. But translating all these ideals into practical life was something else.
A few minutes ago, I read a truly inspiring post from Rachel Macy Stafford, author of Hands Free Mama. While the subject of her article is not related to this blog, it touched me at a personal level and it made me realize the transient nature of the journey of life, with all its facets – professional, personal, emotional.
The perfect moment for doing something is now. Never again will we live this very moment and thus, by waiting we are wasting.
I have been living under this premise for the last year: I focus my undivided attention to one task at a time, for a specific amount of time. When that time is up, I move on to the next task, and don’t look back until it’s time to work on it again. It really is harder than it sounds, but paradoxically, it’s allowed me to relax and be more efficient.
I now spend quality time with my daughters – as opposed to pretending to be playing with them, when I’m actually frantically answering emails on my iPhone, for example. I am able to sit down in front of my computer to get work done without feeling guilty for not dedicating time to my family. I no longer battle the evening routine of giving baths, feeding my family, and putting the girls to bed in order to squeeze in another thousand words later that night. But this doesn’t mean I am not working as hard. I’m actually more productive, and I even have a couple of new direct clients.
I didn’t change my priorities: I just contained them. I don’t allow for one priority to bleed over the next.
My children will not remember how many words I translated in a day or how many blog posts I wrote; they will remember if I was there for them, and if I seemed to enjoy what I did for a living. So, I decided the best way to convey this message was by not being constantly stressed out about deadlines, rushing through playdates or routines, but by showing them that it is possible to have a productive, profitable, and fulfilling profession that allows me to stay home with them while being present as a parent.
So, this is the abstract of what I have been up to during this past year: A lot of soul-searching that has allowed me to be even more productive at work and – I hope – a better parent and wife.
In my next blog post I will talk about the specific steps I took to get where I am, the skills I have learned in the process, and the tools I’m using today to help me accomplish this.
It is good to be back and I thank you for your willingness to take this journey with me!