5 Tips for a Mostly Balanced Life

 

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.Do you ever dream of a perfectly balanced life?

One where you are well-rested from self-care, well-dressed because the laundry has been completed and actually put away, and well-fed as dinner is tasty and on time. Family members are positive and problem free. Work is trouble-free. Your calendar and tasks are working like a well-oiled machine. No errands await. The radar screen registers level and problem free for the next several months.

This perfectly balanced life sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

Confession time. I wish I had a perfectly balanced life.

Both my hands are waving in the air like a twisting Tinker Toy.

I wouldn’t mind trying that kind of life. Trying to keep it for a while.

Maybe a long while.

My attitude has been known to get twisted in a snarly knot because I see no perfectly balanced life on my horizon. Or even in the distant future. And more confession. At my age, I was hoping that after putting in all that time and learning all those life lessons, my perfectly balanced life would have now arrived. And decided to stick around full-time.

But it hasn’t.

I also thought by now I would at least know how to organize and maintain a perfectly balanced life.

I am failing at that too.

If you are reading this post because you are looking for the blueprint to the perfectly balanced life or want to know what percentages you should categorize your life into, well then, I have another confession to make.

The perfectly balanced life does not exist.

Not for you. Not for me. Not for your friends.

I hate to be a party downer, but I just can’t lie to you.

The perfectly balanced life is an elusive myth, like the Loch Ness Monster, an alien baby president, or a unicorn herd living among the Antarctica penguins. Okay, maybe it is not quite that crazy, but it is as unattainable as having a perfect life. Raising the perfect child. Or becoming the perfect mom.

The truth is there is no perfect anything.

We like to think these things exist somewhere, and that maybe we can one day become one (or learn how to become one), but the truth is that they exist only in our imagination. Or on our goal board.

There is no perfectly balanced life.

So now you know the bad news. You can’t have a perfectly balanced life. But there is also some good news. You can have a life that is mostly balanced for you.

What you say?

Yes, you can have a life that is balanced for you and yours.

So how do you obtain this mostly balanced life?


You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.Keep these 5 steps in mind when finding balance in life (or how to achieve your mostly balanced life):

 

1. Decide what balance looks like for you (and your family). Quit looking for the right formula. The perfect pie chart that tells you how to divide your time and commitments. Because everyone’s mostly balanced life will look different.

Figure out your needs. A working mom’s life will look different from a home school mom’s life. Balance for a single person will be different from a married person. Figure out what self-care, friendship, commitments, responsibilities, work, play, and expectations are reasonable and healthy for you and your family. What tasks can you accomplish? What tasks can be delegated? What tasks can be hired out? What areas needs more focus, which areas needs less focus? Maybe you need to schedule more time for play and quit working so much. Or focus more on achieving your dreams and less time on Netflix.

Be realistic and honest. You may be able to organize the annual fun run this year, but not next year. So, before you say yes, and take on another task, make sure you are currently able to accomplish what you already have on your plate. Learning to say no will help keep your life more balanced.

Remember that as time moves forward, your balanced life will change, and you will move into new stages and opportunities. So, re-evaluate what balance looks like for you on a regular basis.

2. Everyone’s balanced life looks different, so no comparing or judging. We are all in different stages. Accomplishing different goals. Our families and lives are different. Just like there is no one approach that works with infants to get them to sleep through the night (otherwise there would not be 3, 486 theories on Dr. Google), there is no one system or pie chart that works best for everyone when trying to balance their life.

Some people’s lives will look similar to yours, and other people’s lives will make no sense to you. And that is alright.  Everyone is making choices and decisions based upon their family and situation.

One woman will have the time and skill to make her own cheese from scratch and then make fresh cheese appetizers to bring to the party. Don’t compare yourself to her or you will feel bad about your store-bought cheese platter. And you shouldn’t. Do what you are good at and what you have the time for. Don’t compare and then feel guilty about not doing it all.

But you say. I could make my own cheese from scratch and bring freshly made cheese appetizers to the party and feel better about myself. Yes, you could. But do you want to start playing that game of trying to keep up with every Sally Jane? And will doing that bring balance or unbalance to your life? It may wear you out and bring some looks of admiration from others and some bragging rights, but it certainly won’t make you a better person, increase your worth, or add balance.

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.3. Know your triggers and limits. (And those of your family.) The more you know about yourself  and your family members, the easier it is to plan and maintain a mostly balanced life.

Maybe you have children that need time to unwind and just do nothing. We call them free nights at our house. My family thrives on free nights. Knowing this fact about us, I am careful about scheduling something every night and instead build in nights where nothing is going on.

4. Excelling in one area of life will cause you to fail in another area of life. If you focus on working late every night for two weeks, something will have to drop. Maybe it is making dinner. Tucking the little ones into bed. Going to book club. I am not sure what will get absorbed and put on hold, but something will.

Does that mean you shouldn’t work late? Commit to extra things? Never say yes to opportunities?

No. But let’s be realistic. Realize when you devote extra time to one area of your life, another area will shrink or disappear for a while. This is just going to happen. So, weigh your options.

You know the feeling when you arrive home from vacation and the next morning you feel overwhelmed with laundry, unpaid bills, unread mail, and the 392 other things clamoring to be done? It is because more attention was focused on play and relaxation and laundry and daily tasks were put on hold. Balance is wanting to be restored. It is now up to you whether you will focus on feeling like a failure because of the laundry or remember the success of your vacation.

Part of living a mostly balanced life is realizing these equations and not getting upset or surprised when they happen.

5. Quit trying to do it all. If you have bought into the idea that you can look like you just stepped from a fashion magazine, work full-time, attend all your children’s events, have a clean house, eat dinner as a family, volunteer at the food bank, keep up with your 25 girlfriends, make homemade lasagna for the potluck, decorate your house like a pro, and get 8 hours of sleep a night, than you have been hoodwinked.

No one can keep up a schedule like this for very long before falling down in exhaustion.

I know social media, magazines, and others are telling us that we can be all, do all, and accomplish all, but we can’t. We are flesh and blood and have only so much energy. So much time. We can’t keep adding things to our life and not face overwhelm or fail in another area of our life.

Lesson your stress and give yourself permission to lower your expectations to reality. You will be happier. Those around you will be happier. And you will be one step closer to your mostly balanced life.

I want you to remember this.

You can’t have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you.    

Let’s move closer to real balance.

Real life.

A livable, real life that contains boundaries, looks like us and our needs, acknowledges our limits, and is achievable.

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What helps you live a mostly balanced life?

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.

Stay at Home Moms are Working Moms


Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they think they are. Working Women. That seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Yet how many women count themselves as a working woman?

Especially if they are not employed by a company and earning a take-home-and-bank paycheck?

They are in the dentist filling out address lines and checking boxes to indicate they have no life- threatening health problem and that they haven’t had a recent mental breakdown. They then come across the question – employment.

They pause and wonder what to write.

They may decide to leave it blank and instead check that they haven’t passed a kidney stone in the last year.

And yet, I know countless working women. 

Who is cleaning the house? Making dinner? Filling out permission sheets and checking that homework is completed? Who is washing clothes and taking a sick dog to the vet? Who is volunteering at the library, the food bank, and leading a girl scout troop? Who is making a meal for the new mother at church, inviting neighbors to dinner, and leading a bible study? Who is coordinating their parent’s health care and hosting family dinners?

This is all work. Necessary and important work.

The world would collapse without mothers reminding their children to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, and tie their shoes; if women quit reminding their mates to take their vitamins, send their mom a birthday card, and oh yes, Tuesday is trash day; or if women quit volunteering their evenings and not-so-spare hours, countless volunteer organizations and projects would fold up and close.

You may not receive a paycheck every month, paid vacations, job evaluations (unless you count such comments as, “this has too much salt,” as mini job evaluations), sick days, pre-set work breaks, and the most important kicker of all – a start and stop time, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do valuable necessary work that is as important as other work.

I am writing for The Better Mom this week. Please continue reading at The Better Mom for the rest of the article.

Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they give themselves credit for. May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: How do you undermine your worth as a mom or woman?

Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they think they are.

Changing the World with the Everyday Mundane

 

Dear Beautiful Important One:

Yes, I am talking to you!

Sometimes our life seems normal. Mundane. Routine. Boring.

Very little excitement is popping into our daily grind, except when we sleep through our alarm and try to get ready in less than 2 minutes. Which of course can’t be done. Or maybe you count the dog getting sick in the middle of the living room rug as a change of pace. Or the news that your child who was too shy to speak in class, is now the class clown and was sent to the principal’s office three times last week.

Occasionally there is the heart stopping recent hissy fit with the neighbor who was kindly telling you that she was going to report you to the homeowners’ association after she asked if you obtained permission to build that new shed in the back yard. One forgotten small detail you hadn’t thought of.

If your life is like mine, there is a lot of regularity and predictability with a few surprises thrown in, like your car insurance doubling for the coming year or your co-worker getting the promotion and not you. Once in a while, throw in some tragic news, a family crisis, a health concern, and that is life. At least mine. Maybe even yours.

Years go by and it seems you are doing nothing much at all. Unless you count washing dishes and grocery shopping, big things.

One day you figure out how many years you have been changing diapers, and you wonder if your talents have been wasted.

Shouldn’t you be doing something big? Something radical? Something more important than refereeing siblings during car trips across town and potty training the puppy and toddler. Or maybe you’ve had the same job for years and you wonder if you would even be noticed if you quit, or if you would be replaced just like that and forgotten in the first month. Maybe you wonder if your husband would be happier without you, or if the children will really rise up and call you blessed.

Other people seem to be more important. Doing better work. More involved in changing the world. Coming up with radical ideas that better things.

You do have a great impact on others, and affect positive change.

 

We may feel invisible. Insignificant. But that doesn’t mean we are. No matter how you feel. You are important and doing important things.

When you are changing that baby for the twentieth time in one day, you are serving the least of these. When you are wiping the noses of toddlers and teaching math to a tween, you are imparting knowledge. When you are helping your teen drive, you are laying your life down for another. When you are counting to ten at the sassy remark of your child and not retaliating in anger, you are dying to self. When you are crawling out of bed to care for a sick child, you are giving up your own needs and wants. When you are reading bible stories to kids who seem not to be listening, you are tucking God’s word into their hearts. When you are greeting your husband with a smile after your own hard day, especially when you would rather first complain, you are putting yourself in his shoes.

You are changing the world. One small service at a time.

When you smile at your neighbor, listen to a co-worker’s troubles, pray with a friend, ask the checkout clerk how her day is going, help the lady at the licensing department figure out how to take a ticket and get in line, you are serving, loving, and helping others.

You are changing the world. One small act at a time.

When you apologize for losing your temper, you are modeling a servant’s heart. When you listen to and respect your mate, you are modeling laying down your life for others. When you forgo new shoes, so your child can instead have a pair, you are modeling sacrifice. When you work late to help the boss, you are modeling commitment. When you encourage the waitress, after she messes up your order, you are modeling kindness and empathy. When you praise your child more than you criticize, you are modeling grace. When you realize that the kid at school is a bully because that is all he has known or been shown, you are modeling compassion. When you forgive your parents, who were far from perfect, you are modeling forgiveness. When you give up your plans to accept new plans, you are modeling dying to self. When you help at the food pantry, you are modeling loving the needy. When you begin to see others through God’s eyes, you are modeling his heart.

What you do, your children see. Your mate sees. Others around you see. God sees.   

Every day we choose what our life impact will be. 

 

You don’t need to be known by the news or seen as important to change the world. You just need to be faithful with the small and often taken-for-granted opportunities that present themselves throughout the day. When we give of our time, switch our attention to another, sacrifice our desires and give up our wants, we are doing kingdom work. We are changing the course of history. We are loving and serving those around us and becoming like Christ. We are letting the spirit change and mold us into new creatures.

Multiple times per day we have the opportunity with husbands, kids, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and strangers to show the love of God. To lay down our lives for those in our life. To impact others positively. It is our choice if we will do it.

It is our choice if we will benefit, bless, help, or serve those around us. Just like we choose if we will criticize, demean, withhold love, or not serve those around us. Yes, the ways for us to show love to others in our daily life are often small and seem unimportant. But all those small ways add up to huge ways.

 

Remembering what’s important.

 

Quit worrying about not doing great big wonderful things. Keep serving others. Dying to self. Loving others. Sacrificing for others. Multiple times a day. This will change today and the future. It will change you and those around you. It will affect eternity.

Each small act changes the world for the better. Changes us for better. Changes those around us for better.

Sure, you will fail. Repent, accept God’s grace (which can never run out) and keep trying. God wants you to succeed. He will make sure you do succeed. He does not start a good work and then abandon it. He is rooting for you and helping you. Calling you blessed. Calling you an overcomer.

Be faithful. Love those around you well. Serve them with joy. Cheer them on.

Your seemingly small and insignificant daily offerings will ripple across the pond and change into a giant wave of good.

Give your most important commodities. Your time. Your attention. Your love.

Despite what it feels like, you will be impacting the world in big wonderful ways. Ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What are some insignificant things people did for you that changed you?

May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope),  Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).