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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

guest blogger series-sarah

Welcome to the first post of the guest blogger series on finding balance in one's life. For many (myself included) finding balance in one's life can be a constant struggle. With so many pressures on us today like working, taking care of our families, going to school, running a household and more, it's no wonder that many eventually burn out.
Life can be busy and chaotic but the chaos doesn't have to take over if we can equip ourselves with ways and strategies to help ourselves out. For some this means planning ahead by using a calendar or making meals plans for the week coming up. For others it means setting some time apart from their normal week to do some exercise or something just for themselves. For others it means getting out into the great outdoors to escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.
Over the next few months on every Wednesday I will feature one guest blogger here at Birds on a Wire who will talk about how they find balance in their life. I'm so excited to share my space with these upcoming guests, as I have come to be friends with many of these bloggers.

So without further adieu, I'd like to introduce you all to my dear friend Sarah who normally blogs over at The Cure For Boredom is Curiosity . On top of being an extremely talented writer and journalist, Sarah is a work at home mama and wife who always seems to be extremely organized and on the ball. This girl knows all about finding balance with the perfect example of that being that she is quite advanced in yoga! Take it away Sarah! .....

I once visited a card-reader in university. I went against my will, veiled in cynicism, ready to stand up, point my finger at him and yell, “A-ha! I already told you that!” I remember he was right about some things and a little off about others. What’s most clear in my memory is when he looked me right in the eye and said, “You have a unique ability to take a day’s 24 hours and stretch them out. You can fit much more into those 24 hours than can most others.”

I knew this to be true, as a full-time student, part-time reporter, freelance writer, friend, daughter, girlfriend and yogi. I have always been organized: a list-writer, an A-type superhero who, most days, can do it all. It’s tiring to think of such days, but I thrive upon being busy.

Now, I am a mother who has put her busy reporting career aside. I am a wife who tries to have supper hot and ready when he’s home from work. I am an adult who writes, draws, bakes, cooks, hikes and stretches in my little northern mountain town.

My life is decidedly un-busy. I still can’t shake that A-type busy-body living inside me, though, so lists still get written (and crossed off), afternoons get filled with baking and cooking projects and at the end of the day I am tired and ready to rest.

This house is a watermark for an ongoing mission of balancing accomplishment and enjoyment.

Being the list-writing enthusiast that I am, I wrote out our home’s otherwise unwritten, loosely-abided by rules for ensuring its ideal(ized) organization:

Before buying something, we ask ourselves, “Do we already have something that could do this?” We try to avoid buying things that only serve one purpose. Less stuff = easier to organize.

Wicker baskets. Oh my goodness, what house doesn’t look put-together when everything’s shoved into wicker baskets in the closets, bathrooms and shelves?

Toy chest. We have a big old chest my grandmother’s family brought from Ireland when they immigrated lifetimes ago, and it is our toy chest. Every few days, toys get put away in there after circulating the floor, the basement couches and the nursery. A few toys come out of the chest and it’s like magic! New toys from the awesome toy fairy/mom!

At the end of the day, it all gets put away. Away can be a cubby, a chest, or piled neatly in a corner like a toy store window.

As you can see, organization is kind of my forte, but balance must be struck. How is an A-type, list-writing mama-wife to rewind, slow down and exhale long and deep? The key is in knowing when to stop adding to a list. It is in the empty space on my daily calendar markings. It is in wandering outside in the woods with my daughter, in sipping a cup of tea nice and slow every afternoon. It is in making homemade bread, because even though it takes longer, it is so much more wholesome. It is in making forts and being silly and giggling and stopping everything for a hug.

To read more of Sarah's stories about living in the Great North (the Yukon) and her adventures of being a mama (among other things) be sure to stop over at The Cure For Boredom is Curiosity.


  1. Thanks Johanna!! That was so much fun!

  2. Great feature! I'm always on the quest to have balance. Sometimes I win...sometimes I lose :)

  3. Great post! I like the tip re not buying something new if you already have something that will do the job. Sounds like you are balancing your life very well Sarah :) Thanks for your post and thanks to you too Johanna for the great idea.


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