People often ask me: “Sarita, how do you do it all? How do you balance blogging and social media and all the kids and a husband and taking photos…and…” It’s a great question. I love to surprise everyone with the simple answer: “I don’t.”
The question actually makes me think about the photographs that I’ve been shooting. The image is a set up, made to look visually appealing, as close to perfect as possible. But beyond the frame lies a fuller picture—the unseen elements that create the illusion of symmetry in the photo.
Usually the area around my photo consists of “props” like colorful wooden boards and dried flowers. Under my flat-lay sits a totally mismatched chair that holds it up next to the window in order to catch the perfect lighting. The kids’ books and homework sheets tend to spread out across the table nearby. In other words, utter mayhem.
However that narrow vision of the board where I’m focusing the picture is impeccable. And that’s all you get to see online.
To think that I do it all, or that anyone else does, is a common misconception bound to happen on social media. At best, the illusion can inspire us. At worst, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy relating to our own abilities or elicit jealousy that’s never constructive.
I wish that I could say that I’m a really put together and organized person. I don’t think that I’ve ever stood out in that way. In matters of organization, a dog burying bones has more of a system than I do. I’m not trying to put myself down—or dogs either for that matter. I’m being totally honest with you.
Since my college days, my system was simple: place books and papers in pile next to bed; pile rises to frightful proportions; pile begins to drive me crazy; time to clear up pile; start pile over next day. It’s the same today, only there are more piles and they’re not all mine. I’m really good at ignoring them until it’s time to clean up.
Now I’ve got kids, truck loads of products, irrepressible creative tendencies, and a thing for new stuff. This “thing” to bring home shiny new things is not particularly helpful in my life. However, what it does have going for it is that I try things on a quest to learn what works and what doesn’t. This same trial and error process applies to an even deeper curiosity in holistic wellness and spiritual truths. Bingo! Reason to begin a blog and document my triumphs and my fails.
BUT not a solution to the organized chaos that has always been my default.
So…going back to the question. Firstly, my five kids are not so young any more. When I was still swaddling them in diapers or potty training or nursing or doing all three all at once, I was not doing any of this blogging stuff.
We were busier than ants and bees put together—or at least that’s how it felt. There were days so dizzying that I couldn’t remember how we filled them from morning to night by the end of the evening.
Once the kids started going to school, I suddenly had heaps of time on my hands. I’m committed to doing most of the drives to and from school myself, but otherwise the hours between 8 am and 4 pm are my own again.
Secondly, ask any CEO and they will tell you that they’ve got an incredible team of humans behind them who make sure the business runs smoothly. Copy that.
I’m blessed to have a wonderful housekeeper who has been with us since my second son was a year old (about 13 years). She does all the laundry—bless her!—and keeps our house from looking like it has been ransacked by gorillas…very, very impressive ones who like art projects and sports.
The rest of the “staff” who makes my blogging possible—and who tolerate my conversion of the breakfast room to a makeshift photography studio: my amazing husband and kids. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give credit where it’s due, and they deserve it in a big way. Yes, they all pitch in at home.
Was it always like that? No. There’s definitely a learning curve when raising a family and in coupledom. We have all grown together and are constantly evolving. But we are a team and we make sure to remind each other of that when necessary.
It’s a new and liberated stage of life. I get to enjoy my family and see their awesome personalities emerging. In turn, they see my creativity budding too which helps spark the inspiration within them. See? It’s a lovely little volley where we play off each other.
The key, I think, to doing it all, is loving what we do. Then it’s natural and even, maybe, answering a deep calling from within, in which case doing it all requires little to no effort. Nobody has to shake me out of bed to start my day. I wake up excited and passionate that, today, I’m going to have an opportunity to change the world just a little bit for the better, and hopefully make myself just a little bit better than I was yesterday. It all flows from there.
And that’s how it’s done around here.