Wednesday 4 January 2012

Putting On My History Hat

I juggle lots of different things - with varying levels of success. One of those things is historical research. I studied history for my primary degree, and have a master's degree in the social and cultural history of medicine.

I started researching again in October after a year off, and I'm really enjoying it. I find my subject fascinating, and I love piecing together evidence in order to discover something new. I only realised how much I missed research when I took it up again. I've fallen back into a familiar groove and I can completely lose myself in it, in the same way that I can lose myself in writing.

I know that the logical thing to do would be to pick one thing, academic research or writing, and pursue that path exclusively. I foster, so I'm effectively a working mother with a full-time job who's pursuing a degree and whose house permanently look like a mini tornado stopped by. I'm piling stress on myself, and that's not good for my condition, my sanity or my husband.

But yet the idea of giving up either option makes me sad. How do you reconcile all the things that you want/need to do? Did you learn to let some of them go, or did you keep on juggling?


  1. I'm still juggling. I tend to schedule things, so I deliberately make time for things I want (or need) to do. It makes me calmer to know I have a specific time for something, and then I don't feel guilty when I'm doing something else. Perhaps you could do this?

  2. Life has a way of making those choices for you. At least they did for me. All women juggle, it is in our nature, but every once in awhile things beyond our control take over and we have to let go of something.

  3. Try breaking up your week - MWF research, TThS fiction. Then you wouldn't take too long of a break from either to really have to work to get back, but you could keep yourself balanced. Good luck - new follower :)

  4. I juggle but I also follow my passions because I have to believe they are leading me somewhere!

    Good luck with your project! Are you entering ABNA?

  5. I juggle - that means I don't do anything perfectly, but I prefer that to having to completely give up something I enjoy.

  6. I once gave up my love for writing and came back to it after 15 years. I will never do it again.

    I juggle, like every other mother/hard-working-woman out there, but I'm enjoying every second of it. Sometimes stress is too much, like a month ago I had a serious contraction of the neck muscles because of my level of stress. It is in moments like those that I pause and decide on my list of priorities, I make a schedule and swear I'll follow it to the 'T'.

    A month later my life is still upside-down but the neck doesn't hurt as much, we are almost settled on our new house, the hubby is happy, Christmas is gone, my kids are well-fed, and I'm writing again (at least on my blog). Mission accomplished.

    Hopping from Diary of a Writer in Progress

  7. Hey Christine! Missed you for the IWSG posting yesterday.

  8. what a greaaaat blog ,love your blog =) follow

  9. Balance is a huge issue for any writer, let alone a mother and student. There are certain things that must be seen to every day, but other things can be done on specific days of the week. It's a matter of finding what works for you without stressing you out and aggravating your fibromyalgia. I have faith you'll figure it out=)

  10. You've gotten some great comments, so I hope I'm not repetitive. Someone once told me that the "key" is to achieve "balance over time". So this week maybe I'm really on top of my school work and next week maybe I focus more in another area. But the reality is some of the balance can't be spread over time. Your child needs you when they need you. And you need fit in rest and respite too. I'm a big believer in not giving up something that gives you fulfillment. Plus, I think any research you do may help you with a future WIP. Hope you find encouragement and the right balance for you.

  11. @CD: I schedule, but tend to be overly ambitious about what I can achieve.

    @Siv: That's true, it's what we all do.

    @Tasha: That could work! I never thought about dedicating an entire day to something, I tend to do little bits of everything every day. Thanks for the tip!

    @Johanna, Patsy & Gina: That's true, I'm not sure I could do without either of them.

    @Alex: Sorry, can barely remember my name at the moment. I'll stop by soon.

    @Damon: Thank you!

    @Kathleen: Thank you, hopefully I justify your faith!

    @Kimberly: Thanks for your lovely comment, I like the idea that balance works over time. So helpful :)