The Art of BALANCE

Can you juggle? I don’t mean balls or plates or brightly colored juggling clubs. Can you juggle your writing life, your personal life, your career/job life and your life in general and not drop the balls – literally – at every turn?

If you answered yes, please know I hate you. (Not really!)

If you answered no, please know you and I are simpatico; twins separated at birth.

After the New Year I was asked to come back to the job I retired from last summer to help out in a “crisis situation.” My first thought and reaction was that knee-jerk NO I’ve been trying to get away from this year and that I mentioned in a previous blog.

The crisis at work was real, and I knew the staff I loved like they were my own children were suffering, so I agreed to go back on a per diem basis with an expiration date stamped on my forehead and the ability to do some of the work from my home desktop.

To say they were ecstatic isn’t even close to their gratification. But I digress…

For the past few months I’ve been learning how to balance my life with the added plus of being able to write to my heart’s content all day. No longer have I had to plan my writing around family time, chore time, or work-outside-the-house time. I’ve been pretty successful at the balance. Food gets cooked, clothes are clean and put away in a timely fashion, and the house looks presentable. Plus, I’ve written two more books and edited three. Nice.

But I’ve been back to work for 2 weeks and that balance is starting to shift again to where it was before I retired. The house looks like it belongs in tornado-alley, I have several piles of laundry just waiting to get done, and last night we had leftovers for dinner – and I loathe leftovers!

My writing has suffered, too. I haven’t been able to do marathon sessions anymore, something I love because I hate to stop when the flow gets, well, flowing. I have two releases coming out in the next two months and the publicity and marketing stuff for those are taking up a huge chunk of my free time, so the time to create new stuff is getting overtaken.

One thing I am grateful for is the Candy Hearts releases this past month, because I got most of those blogs ready in December before the proverbial s**t hit the fan, so I can just upload them on the days they are scheduled for and not worry about a blog piece…like this one.

Last year was a lifetime away for me, so I’m at my wit’s end to try and figure out this life juggle balance act. I would greatly – IMMENSELY! – appreciate any and all tips on how to do this balance dance from those of you who have more to juggle than I do – like children still at home, and full time jobs  (not the per diem I have).

So, let’s discuss…..what works for you, what helps you balance writing with your life, and, sometimes more importantly, what doesn’t?


Coming 2/8/16  3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance)


 Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

11 responses to “The Art of BALANCE

  1. Casi McLean

    Great post, Peggy. I think juggling our lives is a constant battle we may never win, especially for authors. For some, organization works… lists, boards, reminders etc. Some people just add hours but deplete sleep, and still others prioritize. Everyone handles the work load differently but, to me, perspective is the key to maintaining the calm in my storm. I do all I can, and at night when I fall into bed I know I’ve been the best me I could be and shared my passion with the world. Tomorrow is another day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peggy Jaeger

    Casi – beautifully put!! And you quoted from my favorite movie EVAH, Gone With The Wind, so you get double kudos! Triple! Sometimes I feel as if my life would be so much simple if I could just run away and do what needs to get done without LIFE interrupting. Then I remember I’m an adult, and damn, I have to stick around!! Lol. Thaks for stopping by. Love your AUTHORS BARE ALL blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Peggy, Your post reminded me of my teaching days. Whirlwind days where I would drop into bed each night exhausted. One thing that helped was hiring a cleaning lady. Also, eating out several times a week and releasing expectations. Hope this helps. Joanne 🙂


  4. I don’t know if it would work for you, but I try to break my day down. Mornings, I take care of the business end of writing then work on my wip, if I have some time left. After lunch, I get some chores done then write for the rest of the afternoon. Evenings are family time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peggy, I have to agree with Casi, it is a never ending battle. Some days are better some I throw up my hands and say “I give up.” What works for me is prioritizing, who wants or needs what first. Eventually everything should get to the top. Do the best you can and tomorrow is another day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. janarichards

    Peggy, I feel your pain because I am in a similar situation. The s**t hit the fan at work last October and someone was let go, I was called on to step up, and I went from my lovely little casual part-time job to full-time. But like you, I felt an obligation to my friends at work, and couldn’t see leaving them in the lurch. But my house looks like hell, I’m tired, and I’ve done very little new writing. I haven’t been able to promote my Candy Hearts release the way I would have liked to. But for me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A new person has been hired, and the conference we’re all working our tails off for is in a week’s time. Soon I’ll be able to go back to part-time casual. I haven’t really found a good balance. Mostly I’ve leaned on my husband to clean the house, and he tries but…let’s just say we have different ideas about cleaning. He’s great about cooking, getting groceries and running errands, which has been a huge help. If I could afford it, I’d pay for a cleaning service. That would make me feel a whole lot better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Jan – how I wish I could have a cleaning lady, too! And someone to grocery shop, do laundry, run errands. I need a MOTHER!!!! that’s what I need. AT least you have a proverbial light at the end of the work tunnel since they’ve hired someone. I’m stuck in limbo until we find out if the girl who took my job is even coming out. I rreally hate these US disability laws. Oh well…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gosh, I wish I had words of wisdom for you. I’m the busiest person I know. That’s not bragging, that’s just how it is. I work full time, plus do the same work part-time on a contract basis (and always have work sitting waiting to be done), still have a child at home, I grow about half of our food in my gardens, maintain a local writing group, am an ML for NaNoWriMo, I like to do crafts (crochet) and have two baby quilts that need to be done (one for March, one for May), oh, and I try to write novels. I also post in two of my blogs weekly, and fix from-scratch meals every night, even after 10-hour days. I do all the laundry, shopping, pet care, and everything else that keeps a family healthy and sated. I have a daughter getting married in four months and we are doing everything on a shoe-string budget and much of it being done by us. So yeah, I don’t know how to do it “right.” My writing suffers first, because it is a “hobby” in many ways, rather than the way I earn my living. I think it would be really hard to have to do what you’ve done – go back to work – after settling into the Writing Life so completely. My best advice…get out of that job as soon as humanly possible. You don’t want a writing setback! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Susabelle – you are busier than I am!!!! And your advice is worthy – I’m trying to get out. I feel like I’m in THE GODFATHER part III “Just when I think I’m out, they reel me back in!” arghghgh!


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