For the past few months, life has been more hectic than usual. My workload increased significantly because my mag went through a revamp (keep an eye out for it next month!), we were working on two issues at once, plus I was editing two books on top of already demanding magazine work. A typical day would have me leaving the house in the morning, and going home to spend a bit of time with my son in the evening (whether it was to have dinner with him, give him a bath, or just say goodnight), then heading back to the office and working until late. I was working 12- to 16-hour days. Even on my trip to Vietnam, I was in front of a laptop every chance I got. After weeks and weeks of this, I was starting to burn out.
So I went back to my first love.
It seems counterintuitive, but I really believe that the busier you get, the more you need to pay attention to yourself. But who has the time? I've come to realize that moms never have the time—so you have to make time. The kid will always be there, needing your attention. Work will always be there, with an endless to-do list. And if you let these rule your life and you forget about you, well something's gotta give. You have to shut off the mommy guilt and believe that a happy mom is a better (more efficient, less harassed) mom, and the people around you—your kids, your co-workers—will benefit from that.
The minute I started dancing again, I felt happier. Dancing is the only thing in the world that can make me forget about everything else. I'm so focused on memorizing the choreography, and then on mastering the nuances, that for an hour there are no deadlines, there is no stress—it's just me, the movement, and the music. And the effects last well beyond that one hour in class. I go back to work or go home on a high, and the anticipation of the next class helps keep me afloat.
What's one thing that you want to do for yourself? Even if it's just an hour a week? Think about it. Then go out and do it.
Lots of people have been asking—I take dance classes (usually jazz funk) at Acts Dance and Arts Academy (Unit B Messanine GA Tower 1, EDSA cor. Boni Ave., Mandaluyong City), which is a short walk from my office. Join me!