Monday, October 18, 2010

Balance: Note to Self

This here post is a note to myself. If nobody else reads it, so be it, the post served its purpose.

But if you want to read on, have at. It's about balance.

My life has become unbalanced.

I got busy at work. I usually post during my downtime at work. Now you know my secret, why I've been so quiet, both here and on your blogs.

Late nights kept me from getting the sleep I need to get up and write each morning -- I write at 4:30AM, when it's quiet, which means I need an early bedtime to hit my writing mark.

My wife and I are expecting a baby son between today and Thanksgiving, and we're in that final throe where I'm in a total panic and she's saying, Honey, calm down, it'll be all right, and I'm saying, But formula's gonna be $700 a month! Holy shitballs, woman, how are we gonna feed that little baby boy! And quit looking at that $700 rocking chair! Holy shitballs, woman, you have expensive taste. She blinks and we get the rocking chair anyway, because she's beautiful like that and I love her way more than money, and she's right, it'll be okay.

I coach soccer for my son, and we're having a tough season. I try not to worry much on this, but I need to run practices, check schedules, send emails, and wash those penny jerseys and the goalie jersey.

I work two jobs, one my own business, one the job that pays the bills. Both got busy at the same time. My day job -- I already mentioned that one -- hit a hotspot, and at the same time my night job picked up and badabing badaboom, I'm off my balance beam, on the mat, floored and gassed and no idea how to get back up and go at it again.

Plus I write. Like you all. Did I mention that one, yet?

But enough about me and my busy-ness. I'm busy. You get the picture.

There's this one thing I haven't mentioned, though, and it's my gym-time. I work out every day at lunch. It's a religion for me. I don't miss workouts unless there's a damned good reason, and I don't miss more than one or two per week, ever. I get at least three per week, usually four or five, and only allow myself to take off on weekends, but on weekends, I stay off my ass and do stuff that requires physical labor, like putting up a fence last week.

Did I mention I had to put up a fence, too? Forgot about that one. Don't forget putting out Halloween decorations, too, while I was putting up the fence with the kids and the wife asking me to haul this and that down from the attic.

Anyway. I love my family, and I did it (mostly) without complaint.

Back to working out. I didn't skip, because working out is important to me. It keeps me sane, healthy, keeps my stress in check, and if I manage to peak (which I am trying to peak this fall), I feel sexy as hell. Not that it'll do much good with a new baby, and not that peaking when you're almost 40 is all that impressive, but still, it means something to me.

The point is I made time for the workouts.

Even when life was unbalanced.

Even when I was so busy I could barely find time to check my emails, ate at my desk, and all that other blah-blah I don't have to tell you about, because you, my fellow modernites, know exactly what I mean.

Oh, and my alternator went out. Let's not forget about that alternator, holy shitballs woman, I just had to spend $700 on an alternator, how are we gonna afford this baby!

I want to find that balance again. I want to juggle my balls without getting racked, if you get me.

I need to get back on the writing, my blogging, keep my head in this literature game.

I need to stay on top of my side-business.

I need to keep up with my day-job.

My family needs me, my wife and my kids and my soon-to-be-born son.

Stick with my workout routine.

Find balance. Find solitude. Relax.

Make time for what is important. Leave out those things that don't matter, and remember how to say, No.

Remember it'll be all right. It always is.

(Writing this out, helped, see! I figured exactly what was needling me, and it's that combination of nerves you only get before weddings, Christmas when you're ten, and baby-baby-babies...)

Holy shitballs, eh! He's almost here!

- Eric


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Eric, you have it in you to surmount all these hurdles. Taken in one bite, it seems pretty much to swallow.

But task by task, it can be done. It is daunting, but you have a loving wife who is in your corner. When you hold your little baby in your arms, it will make sense.

Easy for me to say I know. Hard to live.

Something may have to go or do with less. You are in a better to know what it is than any outsider. Trust your instincts on that. They seldom are wrong -- if you pay attention to them.

Life refuses to stand in line. It demands service now.

Right at this moment for me, I need to go to the surgeon and hear how much "fun" the next six weeks will be for me. Life. Always something. But it beats the alternative, Roland

Wine and Words said...

You are the male me...without the baby on the way. Holy Shitballs...never heard that expression but it is descriptive. You cannot live a life fully in balance all the time! Impossible. But to know enough to right yourself is what most people have trouble with. You've got a bead on it. I smile, that you love your family enough to care.

Stephanie Lorée said...

You have more on your plate than I do, which is impressive. I've been struggling myself with trying to fit everything in, and one of the biggest things I want to add to my daily routine is jogging. I stopped jogging last year to make time for other things, and I miss it terribly.

I'm certain you'll get back on the horse with all your tasks. You've got the drive and motivation. It's also a bit inspirational. I mean, if you can tackle all the things you do, surely I can jog.

Beth Mann said...

Always love your candor. Sending prayers your way for all of the above, but mostly for that sweet little man at the bottom. Amazing.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Stick with what's important first. All else can fall by the wayside.

And good luck - I can't imagine throwing a child into the chaos that is my life!

dolorah said...

Obviously (to me) you need your workout time. Otherwise, you'll be freakin' out too much for your wife to deal with :)

I like the "it always works out attitude". Just how life goes.

Do what ya gotta do, when you need to do it Eric. You're doing fine, and I bet your family appreciate all your worries and dedication to them.

Good luck balancing all the shitballs :)


Jai Joshi said...

Eric, I'm glad you've taken the time to write this and figure out what's going on in your head. I've never had a wife about to have a baby but I can imagine the stress you're under dealing with everything during this time and wish you the very best.

And keep doing those workouts. They definitely help.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for following my blog. Sounds like you have a lot going on right now. Sorry, my life is totally out of whack right now, so I'm the last one to give advice on balance.

Phoenix said...

Holy Shitballs, Batman! That's a lot of expenses (isn't it weird how they are all $700? Isn't it??)

How's this for imbalance: I feel like I am one of the least balanced people I know, but just about everyone else in my life just looks at me like, Are you kidding me? Everyone else thinks I'm balanced. That must make them even more nuts than I am.

When things get crazy (and they often do, as I have have two jobs that each require a 2 hour daily commute, PLUS an acting career, and I'm taking class one day a week and working out the other two) all my balance gets thrown out the window. One little disruption to my routine and not only do I forget to eat, shower, work out, and check my email, I also become uh...what's the word... short of patience.

Yeah, we'll say that. It sounds so much nicer than BRAT.

Good luck with all that you have to do. Remember, good fences and good rocking chairs and good alternators make good neighbors. ;)

Lola Sharp said...

Awww...I love the ultrasound picture! Congrats. :)

And you need a good rocking chair.
And a fence.
Yeah, and an alternator.

If you find this elusive mythological creature 'Balance' of which you speak, please show me the way to it. Even if I can never have it, I'd like to see proof of its existence. *sigh*

Sending lots of good thoughts out to you and your wife and (growing) family. *hugs*

Eric W. Trant said...

Roland: As always, thanks for the advice, man. Got to fall back on those instincts.

WW: You're right, you can't live in balance. It's that ability to adapt and overcome that makes live livable.

Mes: Go jog! I was thinking about you yesterday when I hit the track. I missed my WOD (Workout Of the Day) today, so I'm bummed...

Beth: Thank you. He is amazing, and so is his mommy.

Diane: There are three kids in the chaos of my life. God, it's like a family of frogs in the blender!

Donna: I'm doing all right with my shitballs. I try to stay positive, though I slip into funks like we all do, I think. This post was an attempt (successful) to bring me out of just such a funk. Funny how therapeutic writing can be! And blogging when your ~friends~ come to see you...

Jai: I want to plug your site, again, for being so awesome. I love your writing and your style. I know, that has nothing to do with your comment, but I'm just saying.

Alex: If you check back here, I'm glad I found your blog. Not sure how I've been missing it. I dug through some of your old posts, and I'll definitely be buying your book.

Phoenix: I'm sure you're more balanced than you let on, and I bet your near-bods will excuse your brattiness. I get gritchy myself. We all do, especially when things go to shit.

Lola: Thanks! I'll let you know if I find ~balance~. I think it might be six feet under, though, because that's the only place you can go where nobody bothers you.

God, that's morose.

- Eric

Jemi Fraser said...

The things that matter the most are the people - and the people-to-be! Enjoy that crazy chaos - there really is nothing in this world better than kids and family. Focus on them (including you!!!) and your workouts and everything else will fall into place. Take care and enjoy!!! :)

Marguerite said...

Hi Eric, Great post and blog! I'm sure that everything will work out and settle down, once the baby is born. Congrats, btw! Thanks for stopping by and for following, it's nice to meet you!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Hi Eric. It seems like you have a ton going on over here. Just wanted to pay you a visit and thank you for stopping over on my blog today. The congrats and well wishes were awesome! I'm following you now. Best of luck with everything!

Eric W. Trant said...

Jemi: Thanks! I don't focus enough on my family sometimes. I hole up and write and sometimes I feel guilty... hey! Maybe that's a new topic to post on: writer's guilt.

Marguerite: Thanks for following. Everything will work out. It always does.

Salarsen: I do have a ton. We all do, don't we. It's the way of the modern world!

- Eric

EC said...

Congrats on your soon-to-be new son, if he's not already here. Babies bring a whole lot of "unbalancedness" into life - I had twin girls when my son was only a year-and-half, something I definitely wasn't ready for.

I think I understand the whole unbalanced thing, though it's different for everyone because we listen to different voices of chaos in our head - some cruel, whacked, funny, etc.

I'd throw in some comedy into your routine - laughter always helps me feel a little more normal. Plus, you have how many novels in progress? Sounds like you're a mad writer, getting ready to reap what you've been sowing.

Good Luck.