Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lifestyle Choices

If someone were to ask you what your ideal lifestyle looks like, how would you answer?  I'm not talking pie-in-the-sky descriptions involving winning the lottery or inheriting piles of money from a deranged great aunt.  No.  What I mean is this - Realizing that most of us must work at some kind of job, how would that fit into your life and how would your life fit around it?

I've been doing some deep thinking about what my life looks like right now and how I'm spending my time.  As one might guess, I'm plain burnt out.  And while a tiny part of me feels like a failure for having hit this point, a very large part of me thinks, "How could I not be burnt out by now?"  I'm putting in 6-day work weeks that include 60-70 hours of work.  Which, of course, requires that everything else get pinched back to almost nothing.  When I'm working 6 days a week, there isn't a lot of time leftover for:  Laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, running, sleeping, friendship, reading, writing, playing piano, and sitting still.  You get the picture.  It's certainly not rocket science here.

So, I'm reevaluating my goals and plans for my life.  Up until this point, I'd been filled to the brim with "baking, treats, company-building, one day gonna have my own bakery" talk and intent.  But now?  Now, I'm not quite so sure that I want all of that.  The baking and the treats, absolutely.  Those will always be as much a part of my identity as my curly hair.  But the rest is seeming to come at a cost that I'm not so comfortable paying anymore.  And when I think forward to how I want my life to look in a year or two years or five years, I'm feeling a lot of discomfort about the fit.

How can I possibly maintain this schedule while planning for children?  While having children?  This kind of workload doesn't fit with how I picture that phase of my life.  It doesn't fit in at all with the lifestyle that I have in mind.

The quick answer would be for me to cut back.  That's always been the answer - Quit taking on so many orders.  But if I'm doing honest math, I can only take on one client per week in order to achieve a semblance of balance.  Which requires a whole lot of telling people "no."  With my current workload, I'm already turning away an average of two orders per week.  So, hmm.  Giving myself rules in order to cut back could work for the short term.  Would it work for the long term?  Will that help me create the lifestyle I want?

I don't have any answers, and I'm not allowing myself to make any definitive choices just yet.  I'm still trying to evaluate how and why I got to this place and what a long term solution might look like. What I do know is that this place I'm in isn't where I want to be.  I need to make some changes in order to fit work in with life.  And, after all, there's nobody in charge of my life but me.


  1. I totally get it and sometimes it hard to make those decisions. You've worked really hard to achieve where you are, but that fact that now you are feeling like it isn't working for you, just means you've outgrown that first plan. You are very talented, and you need to be HAPPY too! There's a balance in there somewhere!

  2. @Betty, I love that - "outgrown that first plan." It's an awesome perspective!!

  3. I like that "out grown the first plan." It was SO hard to read about a serious subject when you had pictures of those yummy sweets! You just sold me, open your own bakery. :)
    I support you no matter what! It is amazing what you have accomplished and I am proud of you.
    Lot of love, Marn Marn