Balancing Act.

06Apr08

Life has been such a series of balancing acts lately: those between work & home, friends & spouse, and even the balancing act b/w my various sources of income.

It’s been gratifying to see myself doing so well on some levels, yet frustrating to be so lopsided in other areas.

[warning: really flippin’ long post ahead]

When I was working a full-time job in Manhattan, it was so much easier to keep a clear dividing line between my work life and my home life. After all, I had set hours with my job and, by the time I finally got home from that NY/NJ commute, I was too darn exhausted to pursue any other career goals (my writing being the one I was most frustrated not to have time for). Now that I’m actually leading the slash freelance life I wanted — bringing in income from multiple sources, setting many of my own hours, and actually enjoying a good amount of my work — it’s so difficult to stop working.

For one thing, I so enjoy the blogging that I’ve been doing for Nerve.com that it doesn’t feel much like work to me, and I have no problem frittering the hours away, researching new products to write up on Modern Materialist, stockpiling posts. On another level, I just have a hard time announcing to myself that it’s officially the end of the work day. I wake up at 7:30 a.m. and try to do up my 5 blog posts for MM before catching a bus into the city for my other on-site gig proofreading at the NY Sun. Then I come home again and feel compelled to do more blogging work. On Fridays — the one day of the week I don’t commute in — I work on other freelance projects that I’ve committed myself to for other book publishing companies. Is it any wonder that I’m still not finding the time to work on personal writing projects?

And with all of the projects I commit myself to, it can be difficult to actually…well…have a life. And as maintaining a life independent from my husband has always been important to me, it can be difficult to  spend quality time with Michael and put aside some time that is all mine.

I actually think I’ve been doing pretty well with this, though.

On Tuesdays, I have hoop class, which is awesome both for being one of my few non-work extracurriculars and also for being a source of exercise. This past Tuesday was especially awesome, as Wendy joined me for class, and it’s always nice to have company. I met up with her at the cafe she had just started working at (Local, in SoHo), which was incredibly charming, and with really yummy soup to boot. After she closed down shop, we still had time for a leisurely stroll to the neighborhood where class takes place, and some downtime in Washington Square Park. It was especially lovely as it finally felt as if spring was upon us.

Then, as far as class itself goes, I found myself rocking out more easily with the hoop, achieving flow during the freestyle portions of the class, progressing with various hoop tricks during that portion of class…plus, I think I’m connecting with some of the other hoopers, which is cool because apparently we’re in junior high all over again.

On Wednesday, I took myself out of my comfort zone and — all by my lonesome — attended a Meetup for the NY Bloggers Meetup Group. I had been eager to connect with other bloggers in the area. Blogging, by nature, is quite the interactive medium, and I’ve always enjoyed how easy it is to connect with readers. By extension, I wanted to take that connection into real-time, and meet the people who enjoy blogging as much as I do.

And with the powers of free booze, I managed to hold my own for two hours, meeting some pretty cool people in the process, such as Mr. NYC, Zen Denizen, and two gals from Smarter Than Your Average Blog. Hurrah for blogger bonding!

Don’t worry. I didn’t completely neglect Michael. We had our weekly date on Saturday, heading into NYC for Jazz Battles at JALC. It’s a weekly (free!) event, but MediaBistro was hosting this week, so the audience was filled with media professionals enjoying the free wine and banana chips. (Btw, I think I totally win Date Night forever for finding us a date activity with an open bar; plus, banana chips are awesome.) Two jazz guitarists fronted a jazz trio, and then subjected themselves to a post-performance Q&A. It was pretty great.

And today, Michael and I visited the Unitarian Universalist church in Paramus, and sort of fell in love. It was amazing how different it was from the Ridgewood congregation. While I found myself approaching the Ridgewood service with curiosity and a somewhat academic sense of analysis, the CUC service just had us instantly…comfortable. We plan on visiting the church in Montclair next Sunday, but I think we may have found our spiritual home.

This post has become ridiculously long, so I’m cutting myself off. Besides, there’s more blogging to do for my other blogs! (oy)

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3 Responses to “Balancing Act.”

  1. I SO relate to so much in this post. As you know.

    Sorry I missed hoop class this week, but I was able to get home and get some stuff done before I passed out. Looking forward to next week!

  2. 2 Diana

    Hi there! I’ve been lurking/vaguely stalking your blog, and thought I would make myself known, especially since you’re a fellow Bergen County girl! I’m just starting to freelance (so far, unsuccessfully), and I love your MM posts on Nerve and your self help blog! Looking forward to reading more 🙂

  3. Hi Diana! You’ll have to give me the lowdown on what type of freelancing you’re trying to do. We can compare war stories and such. 🙂


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