work-life balance

A few things I've been up to lately by Christina Rosalie

Giraffe - Christina RosalieHello friends! I've been so busy lately I haven't had nearly as much time as I would like to stop in here and share stories.

Here are a few things I've been up to lately:

:: Writing on Medium
:: Creating a new series of art pieces (this giraffe is one, in progress)
:: Planning a studio sale for the end of March (sign up if you'd like to get first dibs.)
:: Working on a few very cool client projects. I especially loved helping to launch this shop into the world.
:: Reading the Little House series out loud to Bean (and feeling very glad I'm not that kind of pioneer.)
:: Watching Sprout become an amazing artist.
:: Reading this book, and this one.
:: Listening to new music on Beats.
:: Writing every morning in a notebook (I've loved responding to these prompts though I haven't had time to share much here.)
:: Doing a 20 minute vinyasa routine every morning
:: Drinking tea (instead of coffee), skipping alcohol, going to bed earlier, and taking a zillion supplements... and feeling like my adrenals are saying thank you. {Hello energy! How I've missed you}
:: Walking out onto the icy lake with the boys (it still feels bizarre and precarious, but I love all the wide expanses.)
:: Making big plans.
:: Really hankering for spring (and we have many inches of snow in the forecast this week!)
What you've been up to this March? Crazy how time is whirling by these days.

Finding balance at boundaries of work life + love by Christina Rosalie

InTheWilds_ChristinaRosalie Late spring has brought rain and more rain. Occasional thunder. Purple skies. Torrents. The air hangs heavy. Hair curls. Inevitably we leave umbrellas in inconvenient places: in the car, or at the office, wherever we are not when the rain hits, and it does. At home, on our quiet hilltop the storm clouds move off towards the mountains, leaving the green greener and the evening exhaling. The gloaming air air is soft and fragrant, filled with the vibrations of crickets and mosquitos, tree frogs, peepers.
On a walk after the boys are in bed the moon shows its waning face above the newly fluttering maple canopy. The dog smells rabbits in the hedgerows, her ears on alert, her wiry body quivering with expectation. The moon plays hide and seek with the clouds around it, and they turn radiant, iridescent, blushing each time she shows her face again. The gravel glints. And though we leave smiling, our conversation unintentionally slips. We bump up against each other. Words crossways, emotion at the surface.
It’s not on purpose. Not because there is anything awry. But simply because we’re both in the thick of things, both doing things we love, and our boundaries weak and permeable. Work has been carrying over lately, nearly every night.
Balance isn’t something you feel until you loose it. This is what strikes me, standing in the moonlight kicking at the gravel and feeling misunderstood. What we’re arguing about, and even the fact that we are, is purely product the way our work days haven’t ended with a clear edge, and everything from the day slides up against this moment like the small bits of riff raff and gem stones in a kaleidoscope.
Everything tumbling to create a bright, discordant geometry in the present moment while the frogs trill and the first fireflies lift and flit among the meadow grass.
We're both in the midst of big things that inevitably throw the balance, absorbing all available bandwidth. And then we turn to each other wondering at our own short fuses and quick tempers.
The truth is, we’re alike in the way we are both energized by action. Risk is something that has always connected us. Over and over we've leaped together toward the unknown, and for both of us, although in different ways, creative work is something that makes us feel alive.
Still, things feel off. And though at the end of the day neither of us are interested in the stasis of perpetual balance, so much as in with movement that comes finding it again and again anew. What's necessary is to acknowledge the tilting, and then make adjustments.
Things can kilter. Things can be taken to the extreme. The nature of doing work you love is that it consumes in this way. There is a voracity and hunger to it that belies balance. It's no accident we say we “fall" when we are in love.
But what makes both work and love sustainable is to knowing when things have slipped too far in one direction. It's about leaning in, and then leaning out again. Tilt, and then return. Sprint, then rest.
And to be honest, the hardest thing for both of us. The doing nothing part of intentional rest.
Both of us are inclined to throw ourselves into our work, without pausing long enough for gravity pull our bodies tumbling to the couch, legs and lips entwined. The velocity of forward motion becomes a force of it's own, and at the end of a work day, we're unskilled at letting the day come to a full stop, finding the white space between notes; pausing where newness germinates; lettting rest reclaim us.
Right now in the thick of making and doing and shifting our lives, the hardest thing is just going for a walk in the moonlight, and not talking about work, or plans, or anything at all.
I reach out and hold his hand.
We hold hands.
We breathe.

Uneven tempo by Christina Rosalie

It was magical to be away, and upon return everything collides: parent-teacher conferences, busy schedules, and everyone in the house sick with one form or another of a nasty virus that's been going around. Now, trying to catch up. That's what vacation always does for me, like the few seconds of pause between fast-tempoed songs on an album. I'm looking forward to the weekend. To sharing about New Orleans, to getting artwork ready for my studio sale, and to making a bonfire. Right now though, I still need to make it through today and tomorrow.

Music always helps, and I'm dying for some new tunes.

What are you loving right now?

The truth is this right now: by Christina Rosalie

This is the truth: I’m not sure how to start here, on this new site. Not sure, except to show up and hope you’ll show up too.

The truth is that I wake up and do the day. I wake up and write, help the boys get dressed, make fried eggs on toast, and drive to work. And then everything is different than it once was. Remember? I used to be a teacher. Then I was a full-time mama for a while, and eventually things shifted again.

Now I'm a full-time emerging media strategist at one of the coolest design studios on the planet, and every day I arrive and leave, my head brimming with ideas, plans, words, research, data sets, metrics, wonderment, proof, ROI, questions, answers, possibilities, and a perpetual to-do list.

At the end of the day I always walk down three flights of stairs to the ground, and find myself startled by the warm summer air. It hits my face palpably, my skin prickling as it adjusts to the humidity and heat. To the west is the lake, and there are often crows circling as the sky turns from blue to apricot.

I look up, paying homage to the clouds, and take a breath.

Then I drive home, the music turned up high, drums filling me as my consciousness slips out of one life, and into another: my heart tugging at the kite strings of my mind, up in the stratosphere where my head’s been all day. And before I know it, I’m on the dirt road driving towards the house I’ve lived in longer than any other house, between green pastures.

The truth is that lately, I've been feeling inexplicably restlessness--a sensation in my ribcage that is more like a deep hunger, than a reason to run. I can’t make sense of this, except to say that I feel like an entirely new room has opened up inside my head. A whole new room, to which I never knew there was a door, let alone keys and modes of entry; windows, possibilities, stairways. It’s like I’m bigger than myself, like I’ve suddenly grown to be more than whatever I was.

The truth is I feel ready for the changes that this site signify. For my name up there at the top, and for telling more pieces of my story--what it is, and what it is becoming.

Are you in?

Tuesday {in pictures} by Christina Rosalie

Hello friends.

I'm finding this so restful: to notice the small things of daily life and to share them here with you.

We've been keeping a jar of markers and fresh paper at hand for quiet times, and today had many moments where the boys just sat and colored. I love the way Sprout is learning to draw: circles first.

I made some fresh peach preserves yesterday with some not-so-great peaches. Just a little sugar + water + a hint of vanilla and they cooked down into something lovely to have on biscuits this morning.

Today was all dappled with sun and shade. I love the way the field grasses blow in the wind.

While I was writing Bean and T made a sign for our nightly visitors. Bean has since observed that perhaps he needs to add a checklist to clarify exactly what makes a skunk a bad one. We have several this year. We always do. T has twice encountered them in the coop, though they've yet to spray anyone. Still. Bad skunks take note.

Manuscript progress today for sure. It is wild to be working on something this big. It terrifies and thrills me in turns. I've decided to focus on just finishing the manuscript. Once it's in, all my backers will be rewarded (with a little extra surprise in addition to what they signed up for) for their patience. Until then, I imagine I'll be pretty quiet on that front: creating beautiful chapters.

What are you up to this week?