The Work/Life Balance
I currently have four jobs - one full time and three part time.
My full time, 40 hours a week job is managing Blonde, a little boho boutique in Kelowna. My other jobs are working as a curator for the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan, creating designs for my brand Young Denham, and being an artist. As I have taken on more and more responsibility over the last few months, I keep expecting to feel overwhelmed or stressed out by it all, but I think I've found a great way to balance all of these duties and still find downtime and enjoyment in my life.
I should probably start off by saying that I love working. I like being busy, I like having things to do, and I enjoy all of my jobs. The great thing about my full time job is that I never have to take any of it home with me. I get my work done at work, I get to be creative and have fun and I have a really great team so I never worry about what's happening at the shop when I'm not there. I'll get the occasional question via text or phone call, but that's very manageable and pretty rare too. My job with the arts council is kind of interesting because my working hours vary so much. We have 8 exhibition locations, and we change the exhibitions out every three months. We usually stagger the change overs so the work is a little more spread out, so some weeks I'll work 10 to 15 hours, and some weeks I won't work for the Arts Council at all.
My other two jobs are awesome because they really don't feel like work. There is a lot of back end things I need to do for my art business, like updating my website, blogging, etc. but I enjoy all of those things and they're things that I would do on my days off anyway, so it doesn't necessarily feel like I'm working on my weekend. I think the most essential thing that I do to keep myself happy and sane while working so much is to make sure that my days off from my full time job are never entirely working days. So here's what my typical week looks like:
I work at Blonde from Tuesday to Saturday. I wake up at 6:30 am every morning, even on my days off. I have a little morning routine that involves some stretching and meditation, and then I'll make breakfast and get ready for work and usually be ready to go by 8 am. Then from 8 am to 9:45 (when I leave for work) I will paint, update my website, send some emails, or get caught up on my Arts Council job if I need to. I work from 10 to 6, and then in the evenings I might meet up with a friend for coffee or dinner, check out an exhibition opening, go to a dance class, do some more painting, or go to the gym. Sometimes my day is reversed, I'll go to the gym or for coffee in the mornings and then get some work done in the evenings.
On Sundays, I'll usually get a few little things done in the morning, like sending emails and getting my social media posts ready for the week. Then I go to yoga and meet up with a friend for brunch or coffee afterwards. After that I'll either go on a little outdoor adventure or spend the afternoon painting. I like my Sundays to feel relaxing, and painting is something that makes me happy and feels productive, so that's pretty fabulous. Monday mornings are usually for getting some Arts Council work done, and then cleaning my apartment and getting groceries. In the afternoon I'll go hang out with a friend, maybe go for acupuncture or a massage. I'll find some little way to take care of myself.
Obviously not every week is like this because I like my life to be a little more fluid and spontaneous, but this is the general idea. The trick is to never have a full day of work. I never go from working in the morning, to going to my job at Blonde, to coming home and doing more work. I always make sure that I make room to see someone I love or do something that I love every single day. This has made all the difference in my seemingly hectic life. That "busyness" that everyone seems so frazzled by falls away when you take the time for love.