“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”
I am told there is such a thing as work-life balance. I am told that having “life balance” is important for my overall well-being. I believe that.
I envision myself as the clean eating, hot tea at dawn on the balcony journaling followed by my standard yoga session or three-mile hike. I am calm and loving, creative and successful.
My reality is that I wake to realize I’ve overslept by ten minutes because my son has stolen away my phone and I did not get the alarm. My reality is much of my work is on East Coast time so meetings take place early in the day not late. My reality is when I finally decide to brush the dog, I feel scabs, get him to the vet and now I need to remember every 12 hours to give him one of these pills and rub some topical medicine on him. I don’t even remember to rub lotion on myself when it sits right on my desk (I thought I would do my arms and hands during calls; I never remember. I remember when I’m in the car and see the scaliness in the sunlight. Thankfully I’ve got a bottle in there too for just such a realization.)
But that future me exists in my mind and heart so I must propel myself forward. She is on the vision board. She has items on my bucket list.
I think though that for me “Balance” has become a loaded word… a word that now lives near “perfection.”
Instead, can I make my life more harmonious? More soul-centered? Yes.
Keeping realistic expectations for myself in mind, here are a few actions I’m taking:
- I created a morning routine and kept it simple. Five activities only and the first four take less than ten minutes to complete. Tidy bed. Dry brush. Take pills. 5-minute yoga stretch. When ready to work, start with hot water with lemon then have my coffee.
- I created an evening routine of five activities as well. I can remember five thing – will I do five things is the question.
- Just follow the schedule. I’m very good about Sunday sitdowns to review and plot out the coming week for myself. I’ve got alerts on my phone including for chore time and what chore to accomplish each day. I just need to follow my own flow.
- Connect with one person daily. Beyond my son, I pretty much live a hermit’s existence since I am a remote-working introvert. But I can text, call, email, skype, etc. I’m also part of a women’s support call weekly, mastermind and writing calls. It’s part of using my voice and believing people want to hear it. And feeling that connection to the outer world; that would be a good counterbalance to my solo work.
- Celebrate our small wins and bring in more daily joy. Do this for both myself and my son. Let’s keep each other laughing through his teen years.
- Turn on the radio; turn off the “darker” media. Even without watching the news, I realize my documentary selections aren’t exactly easy breezy viewing. So more music. More dancing. More light.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day to recharge and avoid burnout. I am not a machine. As the fabulous Michael Franti says “stay human.”
Remember, life balancing looks different for everyone. It’s about finding what works best for you and making conscious choices to prioritize different areas of your life based on your values and needs. Best of luck and much love to you.