Disclaimer: I struggle with moderation.

So last fall, I started a new job which involved moving on an extremely compressed timeline. We took possession on a Friday and class started on Monday. My mother and I are having issues now, but in August, she saved the day by unpacking the house and sitting with my separation anxiety-ridden dog while I tried to start the semester gracefully. I don’t know where any of my stuff is, but it’s all beautifully organized. It’s like living in her house, except that it’s way dustier because she’s a better housekeeper than I am.

I had it in my head that I’d be like a new person, eat healthy, run a ton, dust and vacuum on a regular schedule like a goddamned sanitary adult (we did a wipe-down yesterday and I’m disappointed in myself), and get back into a regular practice routine. That ... did not happen. Details of why aren’t super important, but adjusting to a new job on the compressed timeline was ... a lot. I realize now my goals were unrealistic, but if you can’t rewrite your life when you move when the hell do you do it. (I’ve moved a lot. This strategy has worked historically.)

The semester ended, the insane holiday concert schedule is over, and I had two days at the house with the dogs and the husband to reclaim bits and pieces of myself. We’re traveling now, but will be back at my house for a triumphant New Year’s Day fresh start ... and I do still want to recapture the freedom and optimism and get my affairs in order. There were bits and pieces of breathing space in the semester, but I think being a musician might just be a rollercoaster all the damned time, whether you have a salary and benefits or not. So how does one juggle an irregular work/life balance, being a functionally single dog-parent, and physical self care?

I’m legitimately asking, by the way. I’m pretty good managing two of of those things, but never all three.

Some weeks, my schedule is great. Some weeks I have a lot of grading. Some weeks, I have four 7 hr, round-trip commutes. I haven’t figured out how people juggle fitness and practice - they seem to take similar amounts of time and focus, both of which have to fit around a job. One or two humans seem to manage it, but I don’t know too many who have been successful.

I have two relatively chill weeks between the end of this trip and when it starts again. Looking over the calendar, February is going to be brutal, and I don’t want to let it bleed into the rest of the semester, so I’m trying to get a plan ahead of it.

So, hyper-functional people. Other than meal prep, what are your hacks? All areas of life are welcome.