5 Tips to Restore Your Balance when Your World’s Off Kilter

Two days and three nights. That’s all it took for five-year-old Little Man and Teen Girl to hurl my organized world into an alternate universe.
By Monday morning when the alarm blared at 5:30, I was whipped, and I still had one more day and night to go. Usually, I shower and dress, and then leave the bathroom for the big guy while the dog and I head downstairs. The dog doesn’t say much, and hubby knows not to ignite any worthwhile conversations until I’ve consumed one cup of coffee. But the miniature chatterbox? He didn’t get the email.
Just hook me up to a caffeine IV!
I’d lost my equilibrium, my patience, and yes, my sanity. Even the dog scouted out a dark, quiet space, away from flying objects, runaway bikes and thousands of Lego pieces.
He’s ignoring me.
 God bless daycares and the kind souls who work in them.
It’s not like we hadn’t kept the grandkiddos for an extended period before, but this time prior commitments kept hubby busy, away from home, and red ink splattered this particular chunk of time across my calendar. Two of my books just released, three more scheduled to release from July through October, and one more in December. Did I mention that the October book, Roping the Cowboy, is my first self-published venture? Neck-deep in edits and cranking up a new business, exhausted was too mild an adjective.
But life doesn’t always cooperate, does it?
Whether you’re a new caregiver or hurled into a temporary situation, here are a few tips to restore your balance:
Pray. Before you crawl out from under the sheets, pray for strength and fortitude. And buckets of patience. 
Don’t slap the snooze. I could’ve slapped the snooze button or shoved hubby out of bed first, but I craved those few minutes alone and the comfort that comes with routine more than sleep.
Exercise. The Mayo Clinic lists seven benefits from exercise, like weight control, improved mood, energy boost, and…improved sleep? Ha! Who needs help improving sleep with a five year old around? But, the energy boost I could use and there’s something about the peace of an early morning walk that calms an anxious spirit. 

Adjust your schedule. How can you maximize your efficiency? Arrange your day/week/month accordingly. My creative muse comes out to play in the mornings, so for me, this meant working primarily on non-creative writerly tasks for a couple days. What could you give up to make the day go more smoothly? Scale back to the bare minimum. Don’t stress yourself by worrying about tasks that aren’t important in the overall picture.
Caffeine. A giant cup in the morning chased by another in the afternoon provided just enough juice to power through without making me jittery.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What tips would you add?

My Review of KICKING ETERNITY by Ann Lee Miller

The Blurb:
Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.

The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ live. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.

Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex.

Raine’s brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it’s too late?

My Review:
I confess that Kicking Eternity started a little slow for me, but as I got to know each of the four main characters, I found myself warming to them, wanting to read on. 

One of Ms. Miller’s strong points was her sprinkling of sensory details. Details so vivid, you could practically feel the Florida beach sand sliding through your toes and the storm kicking up the waves. Kicking Eternity features relevant issues and great conflict: staunch Christian girl battles attraction to rebellious, non-conforming guy. A couple extra characters thrown in to muddy the mix is sure to be the start of a successful series for this author. Young adult readers on up will enjoy Ms. Miller’s unique and fresh writing style in Kicking Eternity

Disclosure: I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review.

Amazon buy link

About Ann: 

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.