If you haven’t been following me, I signed up for a 30-day challenge to complete a goal. Jon Acuff calls it “hustle.”
Today’s challenge was to imagine if a magazine (Time for example) did an article on me as if I completed the goal. Because I selected something that was so personal to my life, and was and is literally weighing me down, this is not as easy to do as it sounds.
But, I started with a photo (where my thoughts usually go other than bible verses) and here’s the result of my findings. Note, the photo is originally a link, so if you click on it, it will take you to the website that I created the photo in.
I also wrote my “nerd of the year” story below, again, as if I completed the goal and got interviewed.
Once I got through this challenge, I WANTED to work on my goal! How awesome was that for motivation.
I got to interview @DeAndraBuchanan with www.DeAndrasCrafts.com today as she took time away from her full-time job to tell me a little about balancing her family, career, aging parents and trying to find time for herself. She started a 30-day “Hustle” Challenge at the beginning of April and realized her goal for the month, of completing an important document crucial to keeping her sanity for the eventual death of her mother. (How’s that for a nerd!)
A Civil Engineer by trade, DeAndra works as a Resident Engineer for a local government agency in her area. She lives and breathes (literally) asphalt, concrete, and moving dirt, all the while texting her father (her children’s nanny,) keeping up with her mother’s latest doctor’s appointments and health issues, and running a house hold of (she described them as) an awesome husband and three of the most amazing children on the planet.
So DeAndra, how did you balance completing your goal with the rest of your responsibilities as a employee/wife/mom/daughter/and self-described nerd?
“I know I am not alone when I wake up at 5 AM, get ready for the day, work, and then get home to do everything else. My balance came with the planning. The key for me to doing everything in one day is to prioritize it.”
Can you describe how you decide what things make a priority and others may get pushed onto the next day?
“I think when my oldest went to school all day for the first time (first grade), and we didn’t have our time together as much because he was doing homework when I got home, I realized that I had to change things. We don’t watch much TV, and I plan our families lives around ‘big events.’ We know when my son has a cub scout project, we know when a birthday is coming up, I usually know if my mother is going to have a procedure done with her sickness, etc., etc.
“I used a great private Facebook group to ‘feel’ the accountability of completing my goal, and I also wrote everything out, mainly on my blog. What helped the most was giving myself goals and writing out the time I had to finish the goal by. I had to meet that deadline. It was my own pride that made me feel that goal to get accomplished, and that was what helped me get through something that had been stressing me out for over a year as my mother gets closer to being with the Lord.
“She’s doing well, even now, and my family and I are thankful for that. The stress ran away from me as soon as those papers were signed, and I knew that we were all going to be blessed in completing that goal. A lessed stressed out employee/wife/mom/daughter/and self-described nerd is a more productive person, and that makes everything else, all the other priorities in my life that much clearer.”
Do you have any advice for “finding time for yourself” to other working moms?
“My best advice is to figure out exactly what you like to do. My first and foremost priority is my family, particularly my kids, so when we are not going on outings and running errands together, I try to plan crafts with them. Most things I plan are so that they can do the craft with me and we spend time together. I post most of those crafts on Instructables, although I have photos and photos of other crafts we’ve just done together for fun.
“I am a true nerd when it comes to my own favorite past-time, to crochet. I look up patterns on Ravelry, see what others are excited about on Pinterest, and plan projects to use up the enormous stash of yarn I have in the garage. Free patterns are my friends, and I use apps on my phone to take projects with me to do during breaks and lunch. I need to start my R2-D2 beanie, from The Star Wars Craft Book I got for my birthday years ago. It’s not a priority, so it doesn’t get done – but that’s just how life is for me.”