Finding Balance

Monday, May 15, 2017
Do you struggle to find a balance in your life? Or do you feel like you're part of a busy circus just trying to stay on top of everything? Maybe it's not in your writing life...maybe it's just life in general. Mother's Day yesterday got me thinking about how unbalanced my life has become lately. I decided to get back to basics to find that stability once again.

My life didn't become unbalanced over night, so before I share some tips for getting back on track, I need to remind you (and myself) to be patient as you navigate this process.

*Look back and figure out when things became unbalanced. Were you saying yes to too many people? Did you take on too many projects? Did you make your garden too big? Did you go shopping too often and now you have a large debt to pay so you decided to work too many hours? ( the answer to this question is going to be different for each of us; take some time to reflect on the last time you felt truly balanced and peaceful then jot down a few ideas about when it was you got off track)

*Get back to your goals. If you have them written down, pull out your goals and put them somewhere easily accessible. If you don't have them written down - WRITE THEM DOWN (the bigger the better).

*Make lists. Make a few lists, one list should be the things you absolutely love doing and must do to make you feel complete (ie: spending time with your children, volunteering at the food pantry, date night with your loved one, etc...) and the other list should be the things that have become "have to" chores for you (ie: that monthly moms meeting that leaves you feeling like a failure, the board you agreed to join just because you couldn't say no, the writing project you accepted that is absolutely a bore, etc...)

*Compare your lists. The items on the I LOVE list are going to renew and inspire you, the items on the HAVE TO list are going to exhaust you and are the ones adding to your unbalanced life. Decide which things on the I LOVE list you should be doing more often, and decide which items on the HAVE TO list could be excluded easily. (You likely still have to put away laundry and scrub floors, but that once a month board meeting for the Tea Drinking Sisters of Walworth County could likely be eliminated without any angst).

*Quit. Quit doing things that suck the joy out of your life. Make your decision and stick to it. There's going to be someone who will try to talk you out of eliminating the joy sucking activities out of your life, but stick to your guns. As soon as you start doing more of what you love and less of what steals your joy you'll find your balance.

*Enjoy! Feel free to keep your lists front and center (hopefully with your goals). You can cross off items as you stop doing them. As your HAVE TO list shrinks and your I LOVE list grows you'll get back to the joy of a balanced life. For most of us reading this, that means time to read, time to write, time to daydream and be creative. Spring is a great time for this new start - ENJOY!


Crystal is a secretary and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 10, Andre 8, Breccan 3, Delphine 2, and baby E due in fall 2017), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at her personal blog.


Angela Mackintosh said...

These are great tips, Crystal! I recently found myself wanting to quit a project that was causing me so much stress and taking up all my time, but it's for a good cause (all proceeds go to cancer patients and family). When I talked to a friend about it, she said, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." I think I often get overwhelmed when I think of how much I have to do, but I have to remember what the goals are. Yes, my life is unbalanced right now, but I know it will even out soon. And list making is a definite must! On a positive note, I did finally pay off all my credit cards as of this week. :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--I am not a list-maker, but perhaps if I DID make lists, I might get more accomplished?

Maybe I should give it a try?

Renee Roberson said...

I am terrible about keeping lists. I always lose them! I am also feeling very unbalanced right now. I still don't have a lot of our house unpacked after our recent move because I want to put everything in the right place the first time, then I get distracted with thinking about home org supplies I need. I do like the idea of keeping the HAVE TO and LOVE lists, so long as I don't lose them!

Marcia Peterson said...

I like the first tip to look back and figure out when things became unbalanced. Sometimes there are things you can change. But sometimes you'll see that you're dealing with something important that's come up, or there's a temporary extra thing that you need to deal with for now. You may just have to get through that time and do what you can!

Crystal Otto said...

Thank you all for your comments!

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