How-To: Living a Balanced Life
How To: Living a Balanced Life
Hello, Hello, Hello!
I wish people/media would stop talking about work/life balance and how to achieve it. It doesn’t exist. Especially not for women. Especially not while working in a traditional office setting with a 40-hour work week. You try working all day, fitting in doctor’s appointments, PTA meetings and cooking every night. It’s enough to fray your nerves.
There is so much pressure to achieve a balanced life – career, personal, friendships, family, etc. I don’t strive for balance as much as seek to keep alignment of priorities. I’ve learned, through trial and error, that I must “keep my cup full.” If you are a listener of my weekly show, the Motor City Woman Radio Show, then you know I refer to this term often. It means I must keep myself happy and healthy in order to have a happy and healthy life with a happy and healthy family.
I’ve determined that there is no work/life balance in the traditional sense. Instead, some days my job may require extra attention and other days, home life may require extra attention. The challenge comes when both need extra attention. That’s when you must prioritize. In those cases, I ask myself “Will this matter in a year?” If I don’t get this report done today, what will happen? Can I ask for an extension?
It gets tricky when it comes to home life. I am a master list-maker. I keep up with appointments on my phone’s calendar. I have a list on my fridge with the meals my family enjoys the most. If I am stumped for ideas, I can always refer to that list. I also keep a stocked pantry with go-to ingredients. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am no Betty Crocker. I just enjoy my sanity. And I knew that to be the best mom/partner I can be, I had to get organized (and learn to cook!)
Look at it like this: as we interact with our loved ones, we are “pouring into them”. This can be goodness and joy or it can be sorrow and sadness. We all have experienced being frazzled which leads to being short-tempered. Who do we typically take it out on? Those closest to us.
My vision is to step away from fitting home life around working outside of the home. Instead, I desire a life where the two are interwoven around one another. For example, I could get the kiddos off the school, return home for a few conference calls and then head out for errands. The afternoon could include meetings and prepping dinner.
Here are my tips for having a balanced life:
- Alone time is key. I put the kiddos to bed and enjoy a cup of tea and easy reading.
- Enjoying the outdoors. I am not an outdoor cat but, a deep breath of fresh air always does my body good.
- Count your blessings. Literally. Each day, I think about what I am most looking forward to that day and how truly blessed I am.
- Spend time with friends. I need to take off my “mom” hat and my “wife” hat and just have fun with a group of friends. We get silly, share stories and relax.
- Have a hobby. For me, that’s reading. Reading has always been an escape for as long as I can remember.
These are just a few of the ways that I live a balanced life. My number one piece of advice is to embrace the chaos sometimes. Live in the moment and relish spontaneity. That’s what life is all about, right?! This is how I keep a smile on my face!
That reflects balance to me. Being fully present in the moment and not sacrificing one life for another. How do you achieve balance? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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