On work and finding balance

You might have noticed that I’ve been putting off writing this update for a good long while, but I swear it’s not because I don’t want to share things with you guys! Sometimes it’s just a whole lot simpler to stick to what I know; for all the effort that it takes to craft and photograph a DIY project, I still find it waaaaay easier to compose one of those posts than to spill the beans on what’s been happening behind the scenes of this blog. Crazy huh?

I think it’s partly because life (rather inconveniently haha) doesn’t fit into a neat structure like a craft project does. You know, those tidy little sections where you can easily see what materials you need, the method you should follow and the nice, clean outcome at the end.

Instead, the last 6 months for me has been a series of messy stops, starts and shifts in direction that have lead me to where I am today, with a big question mark over what lies ahead. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (change is good and exciting sometimes), but it does make it very difficult to share where I’m at!

Fair warning, this post might get a tad long folks, so if deep and meaningfuls aren’t your cup of tea, feel free to skip over to the next DIY! 😉

On work and finding balance

A LITTLE RECAP…

In my last behind the scenes post, I shared the news that I’d quit my very full-on 4 day a week job to blog more and find a better work-life balance. After pouring every ounce of my time, blood, sweat and tears into my day job and then into my blog on top of that, my days and nights were filled with nothing but work. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a good headspace and something had to give.

After quitting, I spent a short time unemployed, just making things and enjoying the sunshine (sounds super lazy, but it was SO freeing). Then I eventually wizened up to the fact that money wasn’t going to fly itself through my window and into my purse so I should probably look for another job! At that very moment, I was contacted by a good friend to ask if I could contract in her department 3 days a week. I also happened to increase the amount of writing I was doing as a contributor for other blogs, which helped to supplement my income.

FINALLY, THE PERFECT BALANCE!

And just like that, in the space of a few weeks and without having dreamed it could be possible, I had the perfect balance. Three days a week at my day job, 2 days a week blogging with enough money coming in that I could pay my bills and have a little extra leftover each week to spend on donuts (or cake, or chocolate, I’m not fussy 😉 ). I was so happy, I had plans to grow the blog and I was no longer working crazy hours or on weekends like I had been all last year.

On work and finding balance

I even started doing things like reading books, baking cakes and going to the movies; pretty much all the r&r I just hadn’t had time for over the course of last year.

And despite knowing my day job contract wasn’t permanent, I dared to believe that things might stay this way for awhile. Sadly though, things this good rarely last forever…

My contract ended late June and although my workplace offered to renew it, they asked me to up my hours to 4 days a week to cover the absence of a fellow colleague. And because I enjoy the role, the organisation and having a secure income, I said yes.

On work and finding balance

WHAT’S NEXT?

So here I am, preparing to transition back to 4 days and wondering if my lovely, hard-fought-for work-life balance and all the exciting plans I had for the blog are going to suffer. It’s a scary thought because my health and relationships really deteriorated when I didn’t have the time to tend to them as I should, and yet here I am again in the same exactly the same position as I was before.

Or am I? I like to think that we learn from our experiences and that if last year taught me anything, it was the importance of work, rest AND play rather than just work, work, work. My current role is also less demanding than my previous job was, so that’ll definitely be a big factor in helping me avoid the overworked state I found myself in during 2015. Despite these facts, part of me can’t help feeling like I’m heading backwards rather than forwards in terms of growing this blog and that’s a little disheartening.

Those of you who are in a the alternate position of desperately wanting work and not being able to find it must be cursing me right now (and if I was in that situation, I’d be cursing me too!). I’m very lucky to have a job at all, let alone one that allows me to work on my blog even one day a week and for all of this, I’m truly grateful. I guess I’m just very conscious right now of not making the same mistakes I made last year, and especially of taking time out to nurture the things that are most important to me like my health, wellbeing and family. I also reeeeeallly want this blog of mine to grow into something more, but now I’m not so sure that’ll be happening anytime soon.

Lots of love to you for reading through to the very end of this post and listening to my ramblings. I wanted to share my ups and downs over the last few months not to have a whinge, but so you know that it isn’t all smooth sailing behind the scenes, despite how rosy life might look on the outside (especially on platforms like instagram!). And even though this post is ending on a kind of uncertain note, I’m staying positive because you never know – unexpected things do happen and the second half of this year might still somehow bring the perfect balance that I’m sure we all crave!

xx Steph