tightrope walker sillouette

Ok. I’m officially back in the saddle after saying no to this project the past few weeks. I’m glad I took a break, and it helped me re-focus on where the balance can be found at different stages in our lives.

First of all- that word is kind of hysterical if you think about it.  Do you EVER feel completely balanced with all of the things you try to make part of your life? I don’t. These are some of the things I am always trying to find a way to fit my life, and they are constantly tugging at me and my attempt at balance:

  • Spending fun time with the kids
  • Working at work… and at home
  • Running silly but necessary errands:  Grocery, Library, Target, Gas, etc, etc
  • Hanging out with my hubby
  • Hanging out with my mom and non mom friends… usually not at the same time
  • Doing fun summer outdoors activities with my family
  • Cleaning the house… or defrosting our pain-in-the-ass fridge (again)
  • Getting exercise
  • Being outdoors and getting my kiddos outdoors
  • Having ME time that does not involve commuting in traffic
  • Eating and making healthy meals for my family
  • Planning the next week’s activities
  • Getting enough sleep

I’ve found the hardest part (especially since motherhood) is that often I don’t honestly know if an activity is going to lead me towards balance, or send me toppling off the tightrope.  Last week, I thought for sure that staying up last week for 2 extra hours working to complete this ONE project would make me feel so much more in control the next morning… and therefore help me feel less overwhelmed and more balanced.

WRONG.

I ended up having 3 terrible nights of sleep and feeling completely behind at work the entire week.  Would my having gone to sleep earlier that night made a difference?  Maybe, but maybe not.

Sometimes you know what you need, and sometimes you don’t.

It’s ok. Just do the best you can.  If something you try doesn’t work, give yourself a break.  We are all human.  Take a deep breath, get back on that tightrope, and try a different approach the next time.

I loved reading Michael Hyatt’s latest blog post about what “balance” between your work and life really means.  It’s CONSTANT.  Think about the last time you had to balance on anything: a yoga pose, one leg, a ladder, or an object on a playground.  When you actually are in the balancing state, there is NO rest- you are constantly wavering and willing your body to keep that balance.  That realization and thinking about ‘balance’ in a different way has helped me to accept that it’s always going to feel like work.  Balance doesn’t feel like vacation or a free day.

But it’s supposed to.  And hey- the hardest stuff sometimes has the biggest pay off.