Many years ago I left my career as a paralegal in trying to slow down.  I had gotten off track and had begun to put my job before everything else, working weekends and missing children’s ball games.  My driven personality had gotten in the way, and I had gotten my priorities mixed up.

I thought staying at home would change things, and it did, for a while.  I started homeschooling my son, then I added some college classes to my schedule, had three more children, learned to bake from scratch using healthy ingredients, and so much more.  I did what most stay-at-home mothers do, I put my family first, but with my extreme personality, I somehow lost myself along the way.

Some people think homeschooling means a life of solitude and unsocialized children.  Well, not so.  There are many classes and groups that support homeschoolers, and since my children got finished with school early, they could participate in all kinds of sports activities.  Eventually, my schedule was crammed with children’s activities, school, and hosting parties.  My life was crazy and hectic, and although children are rewarding, they don’t exactly tell you they are grateful at the end of each day.

I eventually burned out.  My stress level was high, and my weight went below 100 pounds (can’t eat when stressed).  During the process, I found myself in writing, which is strange and not something I predicted.  It just happened.  Now my children go to public school, and I focus on my writing career most days.  However, I continuously have to remind myself to walk away from my to-do list without feeling guilty.  Same goes for my writing, especially this month with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) coming up.  Although I’m not participating in this, I’m surrounded by authors that are, and I see the posts and tweets.  Everyone is getting ready to go extreme, while I’m telling myself to settle down and take time to enjoy my hot tea.

While I am focused on writing the second novel in the Alissia Roswell series, marketing, public speaking, and all the things that go along with being an author, I am also taking time for myself and my family.  I’m trying to find that balance I think we all search for, and I believe it’s working.  I’m gaining the weight, which always comes with happiness.  (Thankfully, my daughter can wear the jeans I’ve had to pull from my closet.)  I’m also coming along on the second novel without staying up into the wee hours of the night.

If you find that you can’t keep up with yourself, I urge you to take a look at your life and see what you can drop.  Don’t wait until you crash and burn.  Pull back on the reigns and dump some of the load.  Enjoy life before it’s too late.  Sit back and read a book.  (I happen to know of a great one.)