Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Balancing it all--or not.


I always joke that I need an extra hour in my day. The truth is, I need like, five.

I have a lot of writing-related stress that would improve if I had more time. Such as:
  • completing my current WIP
  • working on another WIP planned for this year
  • revising a previously written WIP (all the beta-crits are in--just have to do the fixing)
  • dealing with soon-to-be edits on the Fountain
  • playing with the idea of two other projects that have been dancing around in my imagination
  • try to get a few poems published this year
  • finish a family history project I've been delaying for years
And that's just writing.

There's also family/job/teaching/hubbytime/makingbreakfast/writingworkshop/friends/sleep/exercise/blogging/twitter/facebook/bills/finances/dentist/eyedoctor/leakykitchenceiling/makinglunch/ yardstuff/pinterest/ gardening/goodreads /don'tforgettocall mom/pickup allergyprescriptions/ stainthedeck/makingdinner/groceryshopping/gas/oilchange /repairthecarbumper /theveryactive antprobleminthekitchen /compost/throwawaythebadmushroomexperiment/etc.

Do you have a headache now? Yeah, me too. Sorry about that.

My to-do list is endless and somewhere in there, I'm in the twisty intestines of that tornado called life.

The truth is, I'm in one of the most active, most amazing, most busy times of my life and there is not much I actually want to change. I've cut down my work hours for writing; I'm happy with the social networking platform I've built and I'm not willing to ditch any of it yet; and I'm writing as much as I can.  My family is thriving and healthy, and I'm trying to be there for the other people in my life who need me.

It's a lot. I lose a ton of sleep. There are minor and major freak-outs that occur on a semi-regular basis. Am I balanced? Not really. But being on the edge of chaos is the price paid for living in my world.

I have a favorite New Yorker cartoon that shows two office guys in a hallway. The caption summarizes me and my life pretty well. It reads, "I can't complain, but I do."

Lydia Kang is a writer, part-time doctor, and salt-addicted gal with a near-pathological need to doodle.  Her YA sci-fi book, THE FOUNTAIN (title to change) is coming Summer 2013 (Dial Books for Young Readers).

Find her on Twitter, her blog The Word Is My Oyster, Goodreads, Facebook, and Pinterest. And yes, that's about all the social media she can handle. For now.


43 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I have a crazy life like you. It's hard balancing it all and sleep and free time to goof off is what usually goes.

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    1. For me, sleep is the first thing to go. :(

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  2. Sometimes the whirlwind of activity becomes the balance.
    And I do sleep, despite what some people say!

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  3. This is so what I'm feeling these days - thanks for sharing the whaaaaaaaa!

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    1. I'll share all my "whaaaaaa"'s with you guys. :)

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  4. OH my head hurts!! But yay for chaos - for there's so much excitement in there too! Take care
    x

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    1. I owe you some pain medicine Kitty. Sorry! LOL

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  5. I'm super busy and so my husband tells me to quit spending so much time on the internet (commenting on blog posts). It's actually one of the few things I really enjoy because I rarely get out of the house since I don't work, and it's sort of my social interaction for the day.

    I get up at 6:30 with my husband, and while I could go back to bed and sleep in until 8:00, I use that hour and a half to do all my blog reviewing.

    Excited for THE FOUNTAIN. Would be a great Waiting on Wednesday tweet when you've got a cover and official title.

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    1. Thank you Kimburlee! I can't wait to read your book someday too!

      The internet is totally once of my vices, but it's a "useful" vice in that I also love interacting with a community every day.

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  6. Dare I say, you sound very normal?

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    1. It's nice to know I'm not the only one. :)

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  7. And I thought I was busy... I think you are doing a wonderful job and it's okay to vent every once and a while.

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    1. I thought of doing a post of "how I keep it all together" and this is what happened. The truth comes out. :)

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  8. As I sit here procrastinating doing all the things on your headache list, it's good to know I am not alone. Great post.

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  9. Love that your life is full and you are enjoying it all despite the normal frustrations

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  10. Glad you are enjoying the challenges of life Lydia. I do think the failed mushroom experiment needs additional explanation; for laughs of course.

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    1. Okay Slamdunk, I will. It'll be gross though. I'll have to take some photos for forensic purposes.

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  11. I'm so impressed by all that you do! Finding balance is hard, but it sounds like you're on your way there. And I'm curious about the failed mushroom experiment, too. :)

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    1. Oh lordy, okay, it looks like I'm doing a failed mushroom experiment blog post soon.

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  12. I am forever walking around muttering that there are not enough hours in the day, but like you, I love everything going on in my life. Even if things can be overwhelming at times. I really must find that New Yorker cartoon and frame it.

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    1. Me too--I lost it years ago but I can still see what it looks like in my mind's eye. Glad to know I'm not the only one who needs more hours!

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  13. You legitimately have a ton of stuff going on. I can't imagine balancing a medical career with a writing career. But you are the most accomplished real life woman that I know. If you ever need support, I'll be sure to be there to prop you up. I'm so excited for your book and wish you luck with all those edits.

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    1. See? This is another reason why I suffer so happily. The writing community is filled with people like you Michael who are always there to prop me up when I slip and fall on my face. Thank you!!!

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  14. You're balance may not be perfect, but admire you for all you achieve. And I have a particular fondness for you poetry, but you probably already know that. :)

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    1. Likewise, Angela. I love your poetry (and your chapbook!)

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  15. I know, there's so much to do that balance can't be achieved. But you achieve and that's a balance all its own. As writers, this thing we do takes so much time (not to mention brain power--when I should be cooking, I'm usually contemplating characters or plot snags, and the cooking burns or gets improperly seasoned), but like you, I keep trying to fit it all in.

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    1. I multitask like that too but it usually results in overcooked pasta. :)

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  16. I can't complain either, but I manage to anyway and quite frequently too! LOL

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    1. I know, right? I do it quite frequently as well. ;)

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  17. I think we're all in the same boat. Most days I feel like I do half. And the half I do is done halfway.

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    1. A quarter is better than none. ;)
      Thanks for stopping by, Carol!

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  18. "But being on the edge of chaos is the price paid for living in my world."

    I LOVE that, Lydia! :D

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    1. Thanks Carrie! and thanks for stopping by. :)

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  19. I like being busy, but you're right there needs to be some sort of balance. When I start getting snippy with the ones I love, then I know!
    Oh and don't think I didn't see Pinterest in the middle of that list--it's so shiny, right? Can't look away!

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    1. Pinterest is such an enjoyable time suck. Isn't it?

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  20. I like being busy, too, but taking a breather is crucial sometimes! Hope you manage to tack on an extra hour or two for some R&R :)

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    1. Thanks Julie! I will, but not for a while, at this point!

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  21. I hear you. It's crazy. The only thing I find that partially works is to have a very strict schedule.

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    1. I agree. Sometimes I get more done when it's hectic and I have to have a schedule!

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  22. Hi, Lydia,
    That crazy list in your post made me chuckle. Dunno how writers do what they do and take care of a family and have a career. We do need more hours in a day!

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