Trying to find balance

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I ever found my footing after the pandemic shut everything down. I’ve been trucking along keeping everything going, but the last half of 2022 was especially challenging. This rhythm and pace is not sustainable and it’s time to reset the balance between family, work and school.

Family is first, as always, but even more so now that my oldest is about to head off to college. I want to spend quality time with her before she moves out and heads to school. Work is going well, but is constantly busy. With graduate school, I’m taking the spring semester off to spend some time getting into a new routine.

For 2023, I need to focus on four areas: health, writing, organization and creativity.

Focus on physical and mental health

I’ve got a list of things to work on — from getting enough sleep to finding time to walk at lunch. I feel like I know what I need to do, but making time for a healthy life has been challenging over the last year. I need to develop consistent, healthy habits.

Write more

I’ve been writing for school almost constantly for the last year. And that’s great, but it’s come at the expense of writing for myself. I’ll still be writing for grad school, and hopefully getting some journal articles published this year, but I want to expand the type of writing I’m doing and improve my skills. Writing on (via Micro.Blog) is going to be my primary personal writing outlet for the year.

Smartly organized

In general, I’m organized, but there are some areas that are an absolute train wreck. I’m working on some using the tools I have — like Notion and Tot — more effectively. There’s a fine line here, though. Time spent on getting organized is time that I’m not working out, writing or designing.

Rediscover creative endeavors

I’m a designer, but I’m not designing much right now. I have a bunch of projects, from stickers to typefaces that I want to work on. These always end up on the back burner when family commitments and grad school deadlines take priority. I need to carve out some time for visually creative projects that I’ve been neglecting.

I’m looking forward to hitting the reset button and restoring some balance to my slightly chaotic life. In past years, I’ve shared a check-in post at the midpoint of the year to evaluate how I’m doing on my theme and goals. This year, I’m going to try and post quarterly to keep myself accountable.

Bob Wertz is a creative director, type designer, Ph.D. student and researcher living in Columbia, South Carolina.