Rebalancing Act

Jane/Susannah/Sadie here, wondering where the summer has gone…

Financial advisors often tell us to be sure to rebalance our investment portfolios at least once a year, or whenever we have a major life change, to make sure we keep an appropriate mix of investments for whatever our life goals are.

Right now, I’m in a similar kind of rebalancing act.

I was laid off from my corporate job three years ago, and I’ve been freelancing since then. Anybody who’s ever been self-employed or has freelanced knows that it’s incredibly, well, freeing to be in charge of one’s own work destiny. But it takes discipline, both of the mental and financial varieties, to be successful. With no boss but yourself looking over your shoulder, and steady paychecks a thing of the past, you’ve really got to bring it.

And I’ve loved bringing it.

But during this time, I’ve also been open to new opportunities. I applied for quite a few jobs, but got surprisingly few interviews. A few months ago, I put in yet another application for a job I found through an online job matching service. I’d more or less forgotten about it when, lo and behold, I got an interview. And then another. And then was asked to do some job-specific testing and to travel out-of-state for an interview.

Bottom line is, I’m going back to work full-time, at a job in the book business that I’m incredibly excited about, right after Labor Day. The same day I officially become an empty nester when my only child starts college in the city. And almost exactly three years to the day after I left my corporate job.

So where does this leave my writing? Well, darlings, to paraphrase Rick Astley, never gonna give that up! But now that I’ll be on someone else’s schedule again, I’ll need to rebalance my days. Writing, exercising, housecleaning and cooking (I fantasize there will be less of that with my son gone!)–all these things got done, and probably more efficiently, when I worked before. So I’m not worried. And I am, as I think I mentioned, very, very excited about my new situation.

As summer comes to an end (and yes, you scientific types, I know summer doesn’t actually end astronomically until September something), do you rebalance? Any tips for me for getting it all done again?

17 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations, Susannah!

    I too found I got more done when I had to go to the office every day or take more classes. I did my best when I did both, because, as you said, I had to organize.

    Best wishes, and please don’t stop writing.

  2. Congratulations on your job and your empty nest – although there will be phone calls…

  3. Many congrats! It sounds like a great new gig. And I’m sure you can pull it off and produce excellent mysteries, too. I agree that Labor Day feels like fall. I never cleaned my office this summer so maybe that will be my recalibration going into the new season.

  4. So glad you’re excited about the new job! I always found, if I wrote one hour a day without fail, everything else fell into place. That’s my incredibly simple organizing principle. –kate

  5. Congrats on your new job! How exciting. While my rebalancing isn’t happening until the end of the year, probably the most important thing that I will rely on will be my trusty planner and my daily to-do list. I love Kate’s suggestion of setting aside writing time. And with all of your new responsibilities piled onto your existing responsibilities be sure to set some time each day for yourself. I like to treat myself to workouts. 🙂 Best of luck with your new position.

  6. Congrats on the new gig! As a fellow full-timer, I can say everything always seems to get done, even if some days it feels like a trainwreck. You’ll be awesome!

  7. Congratulations, Jane. When I had a corporate job, I used to say I had a balanced work and home life–too much of both! But I loved it.

  8. I hope your new job turns out to be a good exchange for your self-employment freedom. If nothing else, you won’t be in an empty house, and with any luck you’ll get health insurance–a big motivator. And, if nothing else, if you find it isn’t for you, you know that you can succeed freelancing.

  9. Congrats on the new job!

    Rebalancing is hard. I’m amazed at all I get done in the evening/weekend, but it takes discipline. Which is one reason why I’m surprised at what gets done in the evening/weekends around here. But I’m not the best person to give advice since my condo never gets cleaned.

  10. Congratulations! It’s always awesome to have a new project to sink your teeth into!

    I like to re-balance seasonally (aka quarterly in accountant-speak). I take a look back at where I’ve been and what I want to do next. I look at different areas (health, money, career, etc) and see if my goals have been met or do I need new goals? Then, I have a “sh*t list”- “sh*t that needs to get done NOW, sh*t that needs to get next week, sh*t that needs to get done next month, and the sh*t that can get done later.

    It works for me. I can rest on my laurels for a few days every few months and then plug away.

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