It’s that time of year again, when the start of the school year starts adding complications to your family/work schedule.A home with school age children is one that has a lot of similarities to white water rafting: periods of calm followed by raging rapids where you are just hoping to keep your head above water until you reach the end of the ride. It’s fun and exhilarating but better when you are prepared!
Here are 3 of the best tips for the season:
Get advice from those who’ve been there. Posts like “Tips For Balancing Work And Family” usually are written by the experienced. There are a lot of options for advice, and it’s a good idea to skim the offerings with the idea of getting a perspective rather than seeing them as a list of things you must do. Just like you don’t eat everything at an all-you-can-eat buffet, you don’t try to personally implement every piece of advice you read.
Get an idea of what you are in for. Sit down with everybody at the table with the calendar and map out the school year with all the info you have right now. Some families use color coding for every member or activity so it is seen at a glance what’s up in the week ahead. Put in the regular stuff, too, so you aren’t accidentally planning a double whammy for your day. This is where you get a visual of what “too much to do” looks like and hopefully discuss how transportation will work and see that something might have to be edited out. Many families have found that they need to allow only ONE extracurricular activity per member.
Get margins written into your schedule. The empty space is what allows you to read the words on this page, and the empty space in your schedule allows you to have time to breathe and connect. People need to have times where they just relax and putter and do whatever they like to do. It’s like recharging your batteries for the next round, or the calm water before the next rapids.
The ability to bring your whole focus into the workplace depends on your ability to relax about what’s happening at home. Getting the family schedule wisely worked out with all the factors plus margins for emergencies and recharging allows you to keep your mind on your job while you are there.
Why Taking a Pay Cut to Find Your Dream Job Might Just Be a Good Idea
Do you know anyone working their dream job right now? How many people do you know that are working a job they hate just to pay the bills, all the while holding out hope that their dream job will plop right down in their laps? All they are waiting for is the right time, right? If you ventured a guess, the latter probably outnumbered the former by quite a large margin. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, considering that people have to pay bills to live, so they have a vested interest in earning a paycheck. But, some people find themselves completely restless with the path they’ve chosen and want to make a break for something new and exciting. That’s when many people break up with their reality and decide to chase a dream. You may not succeed but at least you can say you gave it a try, or you could end up living your dream. Finding the Dream Job Even if you have a solid job that is paying the bills and offering security, it may not be enough. If you want something else out of life then why not make the uncomfortable move and leave your situation? The drawback: going from plenty to living on the lower-rung of the pocketbook scale. If you decide to try your hand at your dream job there will be setbacks, you will have to make sacrifices that, perhaps, you are not comfortable with. That means less eating out and less entertainment plans, you will have to limit your purchases to the essentials, while still leaving some for yourself. Your friends and family should be your rock at this time. They should be there to provide help and encouragement, but if they’re not, it’s their loss and your life, so go live it. Before you leave your current job, make sure you have something to fall back on. Make sure you have your dream job in place, even if you are close to getting it there is no guarantee. You do not want to put yourself in a compromising situation that you will have to dig your way out of. A New Type of Rich If you make a drastic step and totally alter your life, will it be worth it or will your life be more fraught with peril than before? Who knows, and it depends on your situation. If you decide to quit your job to focus on African alligator wrestling, you will be in for a complete, 180 degree change in lifestyle. But, you also reward yourself both spiritually and emotionally by following what it is you want to do. The hardest part of making the change may be the fear of what people say about you. Even though your bank account may not be overflowing, your karma bank will be earning interest. And who cares what someone says about you, you’re following your dreams while they slave away in a cubicle working for a faceless, soul-sucking corporation who would just as easily fire them and everyone in the office if it improved their stockholder shares. So why do you care what people say, you have a dream and you’re following it. Live for yourself, even if it means a hit to the pocketbook.