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.
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.