In:Family Life

Balance at Large

It seems like there are some mythical creatures out there who actually have their world together, and set an impossible standard for all the rest of us earthlings.  Some people seem able to invest in their careers, friendships, and families, all with energy to spare.  They are up early to spend time on some sort of self-actualization, they keep their perfectly styled home so spotlessly clean, before heading to the gym, to return and make a wholesome meal, spend quality time with their husband/kids/people, serve in their community, and read enriching books before going to bed at a reasonable hour.

I am the opposite of a mythical. I am the opposite of capable and balanced. I am learning about myself that I can only be good at one thing at a time.  For me, balance is a much broader concept.  One week I’ll have all my meals planned and prepped ahead of time.  The next I’ll make it to the gym three times.  The following week I’ll manage to actually improve my home in some way, or take the boys on an adventure.  Maybe some are able to accomplish more than one thing at a time, but that is where I am in my growth process.  I’m doing my best to lean into it, accept the reality of who I am, and make the most of the opportunities I have.  This weekend we prioritized a weekend enjoying the cooler weather at Lake Tahoe, but I wasn’t able to get the bathrooms or floors cleaned.  Also, at this very moment, I’m prioritizing typing some thoughts out over cleaning those surfaces, which I very well could be doing during this nap break instead.  I know this is going to be a long work day/week with extra hours parenting solo, so I know I’ll benefit more from feeling like I accomplished something I enjoy than I will from having spot free floors.  I’m learning to choose between the multitude of priorities since I can’t satisfy them all at once.  A few things definitely help me to make the most of the day, no matter what I’m choosing to spend my time on.

I’ve learned that in order to have any sort of a productive day, I need to hit the bed earlier.  When I get sucked into a show with my husband or searching the web for a perfect rug all evening, I end up staying up way too late and feeling like a grouchy slug the next day.  It’s definitely a bummer to miss out on late night relaxing on the couch with Brian, but we’ll all regret it if I’m tired the next day.  Let’s be honest here, I’m a pretty cranky person to start with, I need all the help I can get to stay on the positive end of things.  I need to get to bed early, spend a few moments decompressing by myself and then get a good night of sleep, or we all end up suffering rather than thriving.

I’ve also found that my whole day is smoother if I’m up an hour or so before anyone else.  In a perfect dream world, I’d get up two hours before anyone else, so I could spend some time doing things alone, then get fully dressed and ready before anyone else makes a peep. I don’t see that as a reality in my life anytime soon, but even one hour makes a tremendous difference.  I feel so much calmer, more relaxed and ready to greet my family with a smile when I feel like I’ve gotten a head start on the day.

That’s where I am in my process, striving for balance at large, and learning new ways to achieve better balance in my day to day world.  I’m open to change and suggestions from anyone who feels like they’ve got a good rhythm going!  Now, off to mop before Levi wakes.

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