Balance is sometimes a really tricky thing to achieve in life. Whether standing on one foot in a yoga class or trying to juggle the kids and their activities and interests and wants and needs, not to mention a little self care, managing a household, and chasing a dream to be a writer. Oh, and I’m married. Yeah, you got me…I’m not talking in the hypothetical here, I’m waving my white flag. This is about me. But maybe you can identify.
Balance is hard. Kids think they’re the most important. Time moves quickly. Money runs out fast. The classes I want at the Y are never at the same time the kids’ classes are. My husband works longer hours than I do. Sometimes even I don’t want to write. I fall asleep trying to get a little somethin’ somethin’ started. I don’t know what’s for dinner. And I often still need to shower at 2:00 in the afternoon.
And that is my fabulous life. Well, most of it. There’s also the three different social groups I’m part of – one that I haven’t attended in months, one that I officially take notes and write minutes for, and one that I take notes for unofficially – because I can’t help myself! There are the the volunteer hours I put in supporting the causes that speak to me. There are the hours spent telling the kids to quiet down and not be so loud. There’s the stack of papers that needs to get filed that’s sitting on my sewing table with the fabric I bought to sew with…four or five months ago. And there are the hours I spend driving to and fro.
Sometimes I feel like it’s all too much. Life feels less like this:
and more like this:
And when it feels that way, I know it’s time to revisit my priorities.
Maybe the list needs to be updated. Maybe I just need to be reminded of what comes first, second, and not at all. Or maybe it’s a season in life where big girl panties are required and I just need to do the best I can for a few more days or weeks. Who knows?!
But a quick, thoughtful rundown of what I value most in my life at this time, in these moments, will help me clear all that up. Prioritizing leads to the confidence to make conscientious decisions. It enables me to say no. It relieves me of guilt over decisions I might otherwise agonize over. It clarifies my wants and needs.
I don’t want to give you the idea that it’s as easy as pie (which isn’t always that easy, ya know?) but it’s a great tool in leading a happy and healthy life, I think. At least I find it helpful. It never fails that when my actual life is out of sync with the things I say I value most, when actions don’t speak louder than words – that’s when I fall all over my hypothetical ball and can’t find the balance I crave. But a little realignment of my words and my deeds gives me what it takes to stand up on that ball, proud and tall.
That is…until the next time…because I’m a slow learner and always think I can juggle while I’m balancing, when really balancing is enough of a trick for me.