Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Today we got a lot of family time. A lot of good quality time with the kids. There's a trampoline here, and we've been really into doing funny stuff and playing games on it. Today I was doing tricks with the kids, bouncing them up in the air and either catching them for grabbing them by the legs and swinging them around. We also brought back slow motion tickle man, the kids’ favorite character of mine. They were pretty happy with their dad today.
Of course as usual, I only played after I got a lot of work done. I edited several videos, ones I've been trying to get to for weeks. Got a lot of content out of them and the greatest part is I was doing these so I could show our new video editor how I want them done. So now that they're done, if I can just find the money to pay him, I don't have to do that work anymore unless I want absolutely want to.
Obstacles to a Healthy Balance
Surprisingly, this is the first day in a long time that I felt pretty darn good healthy balance between family time and work time. If only I have more days like this.
I was gone from the family most of the day, I had two students with big events going on. One of my current students graduated from high school last week and had his party today… and a former student of mine got married. It really made me realize how much I just love teaching guitar. Almost all of my students become more like friends over the years.
When I got home the kids were just so desperate for daddy, which I enjoy because they're a lot of fun when they want to hang out that much (at least if I pay full attention to them that is). All we really did was watch America's funniest home videos. But that's OK, at least we did so together.
This morning I had three students that signed up with the parks and rec department. All three of them are awesome and will be very fun to teach. It was definitely worth the drive to Cheyenne.
Obstacles to a Healthy Balance
Today I feel like I did pretty good at balancing family and work, considering that I did have to spend eight hours away from my family. I ask all really be the distance.
Yesterday I wrote about the difficulties that I am having in keeping my blog going the direction that I originally intended it to go. Today, I'm going to address how I am going to fix these problems and the tools I will be using to do so. Here we go:
Problem 1: Actually Writing about each day on the same day everyday.
Solution: Reminders, One-touch blogging button with voice to text dictation.
I have been using the app Todoist nearly daily for several months now. It has helped to
keep me on track with the million things that I have to do everyday, even keeping up
with the blog. The problem though has been that I don't have the laptop out or I don't feel
like hunting and pecking on the tiny phone keyboard to write it out. So I skip it some days
and do it later in the week when I have a large chunk of time.
To solve this problem, I found an app called Workflow. This app has allowed me to create
a one touch button that pulls up a keyboard that I can then hit the microphone on and just
dictate what's happened in my day. It then turns that into text, grabs it and throws it into
Pages almost completely formatted and everything. This way, even if I don't have time to
get on Blogger, all I'll have to do when I get the time is copy, paste, fix any grammatical
errors and touch up the format. I don't have to try and rack my brain to remember what
happened 2-3 days ago.
Problem 2: Capturing Visuals for each day to use in the blog
Solution: Better organizing our media and one button GIF makers
Again Workflow has been my helper on this one. We have recently reorganized our media
to make sure we don't make duplicate, that we keep our current photos more easily
accessible and our older ones archived. This has made it easy to find and file stuff away,
which makes it easier to desire capturing media at all. But we also are wanting to
incorporate GIF's and self-made memes into our media content. So we used Workflow to
make a quick GIF maker button. This will also make it easy for the kids to make them.
They automatically load to iCloud and I can see them immediately they are made. It's
Problem 3: Keeping my focus on the purpose of the blog itself...balancing family and work life.
Solution: Using prompts within my One-touch blogging button to force me to answer questions.
I didn't mention in problem #1 my favorite feature of the one touch blogging button that I
set up. When I push the button, it prompts me to answer three questions:
1. What happened in the family today?
2. What happened with work today?
3. Anything getting in the way?
After I dictate it into the prompt boxes, it formats them in order with a headline for each,
and then pulls it into Pages, where I can add photos from the day. It's incredibly time
In conclusion, forcing myself to blog like this everyday has given me the necessity to figure out how to make things go faster. I keep stumbling upon incredible tools, first Canva, then hootsuite, I was blown away by IFTTT, and now I found my new favorite...Workflow.
Monday, June 19, 2017
So if you have been following this blog at all for the last several months, I have had as much trouble keeping the format consistent as I have had consistently balancing Family and Work Life themselves, which is the whole point of this blog in the first place.
So I've found some new tools to help me solve my problems. First here are the problems I've had:
1. Actually writing every day.
Obviously this is the most important part of every daily journal blog. I haven't missed writing about a day yet...but it's been really close. A few times, I've had to go back to my calendar and rack my brain to remember what happened. Though I have stayed accurate 100% accurate to each day's events...my goal is to get a more real time analysis of my days.
2. Capturing the day in Photo and Video
This wasn't much of a problem when we had a home, or weren't in the hospital. But now with everything going on, it is very difficult to remember to get photos and videos for the blog. And when I do remember, I think about our disorganized system for media and just don't capture photos and videos at all.
3. Keeping with my original structure and intent
As I said before, the purpose of this blog is to document each day and determine how I can better balance my family time and work time. I knew that some days it would end up just being a log of our experiences, but I need to make sure that part is subservient to the overall goal of making sure that my kids and wife were not put on the back burner due to our music career.
Tomorrow, I will go into detail about how I plan on solving these problems....
Today marks the five straight month that I have been keeping up with this daily record of our lives. That make 151 straight days, which completely baffles me. When I started this thing, I knew it would be a challenge, but I had no clue the adversity that I would be facing in keeping up with it. I had no way of knowing that our son would end up in the hospital for 3 weeks, that we'd be evicted out of our house for falsified reasons, that we would be setting up a new shop while Heather and I lived in different cities. All of these insane life events put together would generally spell certain disaster for big projects like this in my life...but it's been different this time. I've learned to adapt and find new creative ways to make sure I document our lives on this journey.
That being said, I've been struggling to find a way to keep this blog interesting as well as achieving a set goal. I've come up with a restructured plan to make the next seven months more focused and more interesting than the first five. Check out tomorrow's post for more details.
Heather, the baby, our 3 year old and I all went down to Cheyenne today. Heather had her first physical therapy session to work on fixing her shoulder. Turns out that it's less severe than a torn rotator cuff, definitely a good thing. We also had an interview with a young lady, a prospect for a private and home school teaching position...she also happens to be my brother's girlfriend. We were so impressed with her resume and just her as a person that we just hired her on the spot.
While Heather was at her appointment, I had a meeting with the first private school on our map to create a music program for. That went amazingly well too. It seems that they were expecting just to have just one teacher come in and teach private lessons. By the end of it, they seemed very interested in a choir and general music class. Just have to propose the right price. Things are really moving fast!!
I got more done with my guitar playing today than I have in about a year combined. I set out today to do one thing, and that was to begin planning for my "Couchsurfin' Storyteller" Tour. We are basically going to tell the story behind what is going on in our lives right now...how I am homeless while the wife and kids are in another town, but we are still together. I'm going to tell people that it is tough to sleep in the car and ask if I could stay on their couch (or guest bed) and use their shower for one night in exchange for a private performance of Dunlevy Family Band's future material played on solo guitar.
So to do that I have to practice, arrange for guitar, or in some cases even finish writing 28 of our songs to be able to do this. So I got my butt in gear and practiced 10 that I've been able to play before, 2 that I've never been able to get completely through before today and arranged one that I've never played on guitar at all. That's 13...1 less than half in the first day. But I haven't gotten to the hardest part yet, and that's the writing part...which is 10 songs.