Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Balancing Derby and DINK Life

DINK = Double Income, No Kids

Mr. CookingOnSkates and I are are DINKs for now, as we both work full-time and do not have children. Our dog brings plenty of joy, but is not nearly as expensive as a kid. Even as we work to pay off a car and two student loans, the financial situation is fairly comfortable. And we have plenty of time for work, ourselves and each other.

Enter: roller derby, a sport/hobby/lifestyle well known to drain a person of free time and spending money. Often I read about how women are able to balance work, children and derby, either as single moms or as part of married couples. I'm in awe. I wonder if I'll ever be able to do it, and if so, how. Will I feel like I'm neglecting one of those parts of my life?

Even now, managing my time is quite a balancing act.

Work—8:15-4:30 Monday-Friday—Fortunately, I love my career, and the hours are predictable so I can plan around it. But like with any job, it can be particularly taxing and stressful some days.

Marriage—I've been married a little more than two years, and we're still learning how to make things work for us. Every day one of us figures out something new. Am I able to fully focus on that when skating more days than not?

Home—Anyone who has been to my house probably knows I'm a bit of an organizational freak. And as you can tell from this blog, I love to cook and try to eat healthy. These things take time! When I get home from work, I often do about 20 minutes of random housework before I even sit down.

Friends—Derby friends feel like family sometimes, but I think it's important not to forget who your real friends have been all along. Someday I'll have to leave derby, and I'll keep in contact with some skaters and lose touch with others. I'm trying my hardest not to abandon my non-derby friends in this time, as long as it may last.

Family—Ever since college, I've struggled to maintain strong relationships with my immediate and extended family while also branching out to live my own life and meet new people. No matter what I do, I never feel like I've done enough. (This seems to be a common oldest-child complaint.) I'm lucky to have a wonderful, supportive family. That many of them read this blog helps a lot, and I appreciate that more than I can possibly say! Because I'm not a phone person in the least, other communication has to be kept up by email, text and making as many trips home for events as I can.

Derby—Right now I attend league practices three days a week for an hour and a half or more each. Then I skate on my own for two hours on an additional two days each. If someone asks, I'll gladly join in a skate session on one of the other two days a week if I'm not already committed to one of the areas outlined above. After our league draft, I should have team practices that will figure in as well. That's a lot of time spent skating, driving to rinks and maintaining gear!

Is it any wonder I've had my share of meltdowns trying to keep all this settled? I wouldn't have it any other way. And right now, that means I'm happy to be a Derby DINK.

How do you maintain your life balance while striving to be the best skater (or mom or friend or whatever) you can be?


Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing....I'm a DINK too:)

JC said...

So.....this makes me a SICK? Single Income Complicated w/ Kids. Awesome....and fitting. Makes derby REALLY hard to do sometimes....but SO worth it.