Happy Friday, friends! I took today off so I could take my mom for a routine medical procedure—fingers crossed everything turns out A-OK for her! I’m hoping to get some freelance work done while she’s busy with that and the rest of my weekend should be a good one: dinner with Mom, a haircut, and game night with the fam. Woohoo!
1) Do you have any specific regrets that you live with and, if so, what have you found to be the best way to handle regret?
Oh, hell yes. I really wish I was one of those people who didn’t have regrets, but I’m not. I have them, I try to make peace with them, but it’s hard. I regret living in a dorm instead of an apartment during my first year of college because I think I would have had a more positive experience. I regret some of the financial mistakes I’ve made and waiting so long to start a 401k. I regret letting a boyfriend walk all over me and take advantage of me. I don’t think I have any regrets that are massive—just little things that make me wonder if I’d approached the situation differently, what would my life be like now?
But the way I handle these regrets is to realize that everything that happens is meant to happen, and I was meant to go through these situations so I could be the women I am today. Take the boyfriend as an example. Having that experience and realizing how quickly I can change my tune to please other people has helped me to be more assertive in my dating life and set expectations early on.
I think it’s human nature to have regrets. The important thing is to recognize them for what they are and to learn from them.
2) What are you most excited about right now?
To be completely honest, what’s exciting me the most right now is knowing I’ll be able to pay my credit card off very soon (mid-August at the latest). I am thankful that I picked up a freelance assignment that is going to provide me with enough income to pay it off, and then I can get back to funneling money into my emergency fund. This isn’t the sexiest answer, I know, but it’s the truthful one. The thing is, I had this darn credit card paid off earlier this year, but then my trip to Puerto Rico happened and some unexpected bills popped up and I wasn’t freelancing and and and and and. It is what it is, but I would really like to stop funneling all my freelance income to my credit card. I’d really like to use it to fund my emergency savings and pay off my lowest student loan debt. I just have to get smarter about how I spend my money (and probably finally invest in the You Need a Budget system because apparently I really do).
3) Which one or two books have had the biggest impact on you?
The book that I always recommend to people because of the way it affected me is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It’s a heartbreaking book, but also one filled with so much hope and truth about the human spirit. It’s also so eye-opening to realize how difficult it is to be a women living in an oppressed country like Afghanistan.
For nonfiction, I always recommend The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal. This book blew me away, giving me so much insight about the brain and the way we react to willpower. Also, McGonigal has such a fun writing style and her writing is super accessible.
I’d also add This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel, which is a recent read that quickly made its way to the top of my “must reads” list. I am recommending it to everyone. And, of course, how can I not include the Harry Potter series? That series will always be one that impacted me so deeply on such a grand scale.
(Okay, that’s three books + one series. I’m a bookworm, what can I say? I can’t choose just one or two books!)
4) How do you think about the idea of work/life balance?
I am very fortunate to work at a job that doesn’t require overtime or working on the weekends. I’m not expected to monitor my email 24/7 or be available at all times. I can leave my work at work. There are times when I have worked on the weekends to meet a deadline, but I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had to do that in my four years in my current position.
The times when work/life balance becomes tricky is when I feel like I spend all of my weekends in freelance writing mode. There’s no time for my hobbies, like writing for this blog, fiction writing, reading, spending time with friends and family, etc. I love the freelance writing I get to do, but I also have to be careful not to take on too much, because I don’t want my entire life to revolve around work.
I honestly do not believe that work/life balance is a myth. I think it’s wholly achievable. Of course, I say this as a single person who doesn’t work in an intense field. But still, I think it’s achievable and it’s about setting boundaries and priorities.
5) How do you manage multiple passions/projects?
Currently, I could break my passions into three categories: reading, my blog, and my novel. Reading is typically my top priority because it’s my #1 self-care habit and my favorite way to relax. I try to write two posts a week for my blog and I’ve only missed that goal three times (one being when I was away on vacation) this year, so that’s definitely my second priority. Which means writing my novel is last on my priority list (when, really, it should probably be first).
So, how do I manage my three passions? It’s more difficult on some weeks than others. I’ve built my life around these passions, allowing for plenty of free time to read and write (which, in essence, means a lot of alone time, ha). I just try to juggle as best as I can. I have a word count goal I try to reach every week for my novel, a weekly post goal for my blog, and an annual book count goal for reading. These goals keep me motivated and give me something to strive for. I work hard to meet them. And I give myself grace when I don’t because, at the end of the day, my life won’t fall apart if I miss a blog post or only write half of the words I wanted to write.
What are you most excited about right now?