Thursday, November 10, 2005

TIps o' the trade

It's been a crazy week and without all the boring details of evening meetings and review boards and and and I spent about an hour in the office this afternoon before I shut everything down and left.

I wasn't upset, I just realized that for my own sanity, I didn't need to be there -- that I had done enough for the day and that I would be back tonight. Walking away from the builidng was very freeing; I'm not always able to do that without feeling tremendous guilt, but today it worked. And it made me start to think about developing other coping techniques so that I don't get to the point of cracking.

How do you do it? What are your tips and tricks o' the trade of living a healthy and balanced life? I'm not looking for the well-thought out exercise routine or the devoutly followed devotional plan -- because i'll be honest, my life isn't there right now; I'm happy to make it out of the house in the morning without forgetting anything crucial (ie, my planner, milk for the baby, the baby himself).

I'd love to hear about the little things that make you think "Ahhhhhhh -- that's better" when you do them and when I hear about them they make me think, "Ah-ha! I can do that!"

I'll share some of mine in a future blog.


Kathryn said...

Sorry...i'm not going to be of any help at all, I fear..just dropping in to remind you to be grateful that you HAVE an office. I have a study in The Curate's House...but it's the same space, and the same PC that I use for personal stuff too, so the boundaries are almost impossible. I logged on this morning to write up the outline for a school assembly (work) then checked my emails (work AND personal) then dropped into blogs (personal). How does one make sense of that, when it's repeated again and again in all sorts of different parts of life. Living over the shop is a bind, even if you do forget the planner, the milk (but not the baby..) it's worth it for having the physical space between work and home. Enjoy :-)

Bad Alice said...

Things go a lot better for me in the morning if I do a lot of prep the night before: the diaper bag is ready, all the book bags are ready and by the door, the kids meds are laid out, the lunches are made, the coffeemaker programmed, my clothes laid out, etc.

Unfortunately, I don't always get it together the night before. I keep intending to write up routines and put them in a binder. It's amazing to me how some mornings I will forget something I've been doing for months (like the meds) until I'm out the door. I think I need to reorient myself with checklists.

reverendmother said...

SO comforting to read this. We are not alone!

I practice the breath prayer in the car. Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me as I breathe in and out. It is really one of the few times I pray. Yeah, a regular devotional time, forget it. Maybe when both kids are in school. Since one isn't even born yet I'm not holding my breath.

I also limit my evenings at the church when possible. When I have hit the limit for a given week I actually schedule an item in my Palm PDA--"OFF" on the "free" nights.

Someone suggested that in ministry you should only work two of the three "blocks" in a day--morning, afternoon, evening--so if you have an evening meeting you should take the morning or afternoon off. Have rarely been able to do that but it makes sense.

I also love working on my sermon at Starbucks. The change of scenery is nice, and I enjoy overhearing conversations that have nothing to do with church.

Can't wait to hear what others do!

Songbird said...

The first year out of seminary, I worked far too many nights. When I began to cut them back, I found that home life was smoother and I felt saner. Most church members don't want to come out to things at night, either! They want to go the heck home. One thing I did was get off a community board that was taking two evenings a month and volunteer for one that meets during the day. I'm still involved outside my church, but it's not hurting life at home.
I do bring work home. I guess because I was a part-time student for so many years, my family is used to that. They like knowing I'm here. I do, too. I know what Kathryn means about the boundaries, but I just figure as a solo pastor I'm always working unless I have planned a Brain Day Off. Sometimes it's just a daytime fast--that's often true on a Saturday, when I virtually always spend some time on my sermon in the evening, no matter how written it is. I don't seem to be able to do anything else that night!
I'll look forward to hearing your ideas, too.

see-through faith said...

praying for you - for all of us really - it is not easy

I'm glad you are recognising the tensions though - and refusing to accept the guilt for time off - both are helpful and actually necessary

I'll try to pop back with some thought out points- but maybe there's comfort in
a) you are not alone
b) we can help each other by being accountable in a small way!

be blessed
and hey put those dancing shoes on and dance down the aisle tomorrow!

Pink Shoes said...

Thanks to all -- yes, it's comforting to know that none of us are alone in this little venture.

Kathryn, you're right -- I have the greatest respect for folks who are able to work in their homes... as much as I idealize it, I know that I wouldn't have the concentration or dedication to do it!

The ideas of Starbucks and checklists and "block" working are also good -- I've often wondered how many blocks should get filled during a week -- knowing that the 2/3 isn't completely realistic each day.