Friday, April 15, 2011


In case you haven't sensed it from our blog, the last few weeks have been...insane. Both of us have been pretty stressed out by our jobs and putting in a lot of hours at work. By the time we get home, we end up throwing something together for dinner, leaving the dishes for later, and sitting on the couch staring at our computers.

Needless to say, this cycle isn't doing much for our individual mental health, nor for our relationship. (The delay in dish-washing doesn't do our kitchen any good either.) I mean, we're surviving just fine, but our lives are definitely a much happier place to be when we're both feeling less stressed and exhausted. Of course I know what some of the most obvious solutions are to this problem: sleep more, clean as we go instead of letting it pile up, spend less time online and have more quality time together, and spend less time at work. All of these are logical steps to take, but all of them are much easier said than done. For example, the irony is not lost on me that I am currently writing a blog post about spending less time online and more time with my wife. I swear that as soon as I post this, I'm going to put the computer down. Pinky swear, even!

I posted this picture of us (from our engagement pictures, by the lovely Becca Dilley) because we look so calm and peaceful. It's one of my favorite pictures from that day, and it's actually the wallpaper on my computer desktop. Unfortunately, I rarely see the full picture because it's covered with a ridiculous assortment of files saved on my desktop. I've frequently noted throughout my adult life that my mental health bears a strong correlation with both the state of my home and the state of my desktop. All three seem to get cluttered up and reach a breaking point of "OMG something needs to change NOW" around the same time. I don't know if there's a cause/effect here and if so, which way it goes, but I seem to have reached a point where all three need some attention.

The desktop, of course, is the easiest thing to organize. And the apartment, while a disaster, is a fairly straightforward set of tasks--it doesn't even really matter which one I tackle first, as long as I just do something. But getting the rest of my life sorted out in a way that I'm able to spend quality time with my wife, have some time to myself, get my work done, and keep up with online friends and interests, is a little trickier.

So I ask you, dear readers, how do you balance all of these issues? And since I'm currently looking for ways to de-stress, what's your secret?


  1. Im pretty crappy at balancing these issues to be honest, but I find exercise helps a ton with the stress.

  2. Eating and shopping are always good for de-stressing.

  3. Oh, I forgot about the added stress of gaining weight and credit card bills coming due.:>)

  4. Come visit your crazy inlaws?

    Leave work early for a "doctor's appt" or some such (I know a doctor who'd give you a note if need be), grab some Asti, or Baileys with coffee or some such, put on a good movie and just "waste" the night. Even better on a Friday.

  5. Emily: Yeah, I've been trying to exercise more. I find it makes me feel a lot better, but I still struggle with finding the motivation to get started.

    Sarah: Hehe, yes, both are quite enjoyable but tend to have some less-positive consequences. We ate well this weekend though!

    Anonymous brother-in-law: Visiting you, while very enjoyable, is hardly a stress-free experience. :)

  6. I get the stuff that I'm *really* stressed over completed or otherwise cared for so that I can muddle through the rest, or focus on C without panicking.

  7. Ha! I laugh in the face of "balance." To get through it, I trudge through the list, one item at a time. I find that if I try to switch tasks before the first is done, I have difficulty completing either task.

    Snuggle time is imperative to my health and well-being. Also, last night we went for a long walk together. I kept putting it off all day, but we finally went, and it was fabulous.

  8. Jo: I think this would probably be a better strategy for me. I have a serious procrastination problem, so the tasks I don't want to do at work just keep getting pushed back.

    Sarah: From the sounds of things, you're doing shockingly well at maintaining balance! And I know what you mean about switching tasks. I'm much more likely to get stuff done if I can work without interruption (either other people's interruptions or my own mental interruptions--and we won't even get into the work email alert pop-up and the occasional Twitter break. ;))