Today’s post comes from Janeane Davis of Janeane’s World and President and Chief Executive Officer of James, Davis and Associates, a private business consulting firm. She previously wrote about motivating yourself at the beginning of the school year.
You know, sometimes, life off balance is like a three ringed circus with everything flying around all at once. Each day has only twenty-four hours, but for some reason, it seems as if there are always 26 hours of work to do. At the end of the day it seems as if almost everything gets done and if there were just one or two more hours to the day it would all get done. But, no matter how much we want, we can’t put more hours in the day. We must find a way to balance everything we want to do in the hours we have. It’s not easy, but you’ve got to do it.
Every few years some famous journalist will do a big piece on how women are struggling to have it all and finding it impossible to balance work and home. For months there will be all kinds of back and forth about how to have it all and how to balance the world around you. Those articles are cute and sell papers, and space and make lots of money for the publishers. But they are always about people living in some dream world where everything works out like magic with no effort, hard work or tears.
In my world, balance is hard and it is a struggle every day, but it can be done. I think of myself as a typical WAHM (work at home mom). Each day I have responsibilities to my spouse, my four children, my blog, my consulting business, and myself. In my world, each of those things is important. Each of those things needs attention.
It would be easy if I could just divide my 24 hour day by five and give each of those things an even amount of time. However, my world, the real world, is not easy. Some days, one of my children is sick with a fever or throwing up, and I have to ignore my spouse, my consulting company, my blog and my personal desires to take care of her and get her back to good health. On those days, even though I have ignored or given only limited attention to those things, I feel that my life is still in balance. You don’t have to give equal attention to everything to be balanced and successful and that is okay.
For example, let’s say my husband and I have to lift a 100 pound table and move it across the room. If he waits for me to lift and carry 50 pounds worth of table, my equal share, it will never happen. I will not be able to carry an equal share of that table. However, if we balance our efforts and I carry 40 pounds and he carries 60 pounds, we can lift and move that table all day every day and twice on Sunday!
That is the secret of balancing in life, in the real world. You don’t balance things by dividing all your efforts and time evenly amongst all your areas of responsibility. Instead, balance your life by understanding that some days, some things will get ignored, and that is okay.
Instead, balance your life by understanding that some days, some things will get ignored, and that is okay.
The big secret to finding balance in your life to realize it is your life. Do not try to copy what your friends, neighbors or that amazing lady in the magazine article did to balance their lives. Look at your life, your responsibilities and do what works for you. Keep in mind that some days will work out better than others.
Sometimes balance means you will stay up after everyone has gone to bed to get work assignments completed or finish the laundry. Sometimes, balance means your children will be sad because you spent all your time finishing a project for work so you could earn the money to pay the past due mortgage. Sometimes, balance means you will not comb your hair or get out of your pajamas because all your attention was needed to help everyone else get something done and all of that is okay.
The big take away, in life, balance is not a scale thing, it is a suck it up and do what needs doing thing!
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