New jobs and finding balance

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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • It’s so good to read this Steph, and I know how you feel! Writing a blog post takes SO much more time and work behind the scenes than seems possible. I hope you’ll be able to maintain your hard-won balance and still be fulfilled in all you do! Wishing you all the best!

    • Thanks so much for your sweet words Laura! Having wonderful online friends like you and our amazing blogging community to fall back on when things are a little tough is what makes this whole journey worthwhile. xx

  • Thank you for this post! I had been freelancing for a year which made 2 blog posts a week doable, but now with a full time job, looking into grad schools (to keep from feeling like I’m going backwards too), and planing a wedding, one post a week is all I can manage and to keep battling the feelings of blog inadequacy & stress.

    It’s really nice being able to read how other people are navigating similar situations. I’ve been a huge fan of your blog for awhile, and am sure it will grow 🙂 and maybe your contract work will lead to surprising inspiration!

    • Wow Cat, you’ve got some serious hustle going on right now! I know it’s easy to say and harder to do, but don’t let those feelings of blog inadequacy get you down. We’ve all got to do what feels right for each of us and at the moment it seems like one post a week works best for you, which is more than okay! Your blog is so beautiful I just know success will come your way – thanks for sharing your story; it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who struggles with the whole work-life balance thing. 🙂

  • It’s such a challenge to find that perfect balance! I’ve got my full time 40-hour gig (which admittedly I enjoy) and feel like I scramble to create art and content for my website. But I remind myself that I love what I do (creating art) and it’s worth it to meet new people and form great relationships around it. 🙂

    I know you’ll do great and find that new routine quickly! Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story on your journey to find balance. I know exactly what you mean about scrambling to do what you love and not always being able to fit it in, but doing it anyway because you love it so much. The eternal struggle! I hope you always find the time to paint and design – I love your unique and alternative style!