Delicate Art of Balance.

You know when you have one of "those" weeks? It still seems ironic that I'm speaking on the balance of home life and work life this next week at ALT.

Maybe this week came as a reminder at how precious that balance can be!

This week:

Ella had the croup (including major breathing scare), stomach flu and head cold

Ian: head cold and stomach flu

Addie: Head cold

Me: Stomach flu and head cold

Kenneth: miraculously steered clear, but was designated laundry doer

All while...

I finished a fabric line due this week (oooh! It's cute!!) and managed to pull 2 all nighters and several other rather intensive nights of work

I finished a chapter book illustrations due this week

I spoke in Relief Society (my church's women's organization) on entrepreneurship

My trusty $$$ printer of 5 years died  on me right in the middle of a very long and important job

Prepped for speaking at ALT this week ( I have a lot to say on family balance!)

And managed to really start my sugar free living. It's awesome by the way.

* * * * *

Let's just say I'm pretty pooped. And in very good spirits because we have a 3 day weekend.

But in thinking about this MYTH of work life balance, I really do have a lot to say.

I've had some really awesome discussions with my fellow speakers, Brooke from INCHMARK, Kathryn from SNIPPET AND INK, CHRYSULA from Chrysula Winegar ...... and they all have such wonderful insights. But I think we've all come to agree that "balance" doesn't mean do all things well all the time, on time and in time. Rather, it means that you shift from section to section in your life, in good communication with those who support you (your spouse, etc.) and that you are realistic about what you need to do and when.

This week was one of those exception weeks when it all comes to a head and all energy is focused forward.

There are other weeks when the home is the main project. And then maybe work deadlines fall into the next week's focus. There really isn't such thing as doing it "all." And that I guess is a big part of what I'm speaking of on Thursday.

When I am working really intensely on designing, my laundry piles up. High. And then when I'm getting house projects done, I get a little behind on work. But it's an ebb and flow, and that's called balance.

I think for a very long time I was plagued by this false notion that to be a good mom and to keep a good house, I'd have to be all things for all people. Ha! That idea didn't last long.

Now, my family is just as much a part of my work as my work is a part of my family. It's a dance that is hard to really outline, but it's worked out so far due to a fantastic husband who comes home from work and cooks dinner, and my kids who are so incredibly supportive of their artist mom.

Just yesterday Addie proudly came out of her room wearing all her Sarah Jane attire. She hugged me and said "I love wearing all your art, Mommy."


I'm still in game of learning how to swing less dramatically from project to project, and I'm pressed on capturing those "still" moments and holding onto them as long as possible. Being still, taking time to enjoy each moment for what it is, is so vital to balanced living. My home will never be Martha Steward ready but my home can be happy and filled with laughter (even when one of the family members...I won't say who....dropped all the fresh eggs from the day on the floor yesterday) which to me is a perfectly balanced home.

I won't say it's easy. There is a rhythm that is so personal to our home and to Kenneth and I. He's out in the garage designing a trade show booth with the kids, while I have Addie on my studio floor drawing while I work on a deadline.  But that's the way we roll. Most days my work is done when the kids come home from school, and I won't touch it again until they are in bed. But work still creeps into family living, and it's been a learning curve these past couple years. But it's all beautiful!

I'll be sharing more of what we discuss at ALT during our panel. If you are attending, be sure to come! It's going to be powerhouse. Lot's of ideas for sure!

And, because I can't post without a sketch of the day:

Slow and steady wins the race.