Sunday, December 5, 2010

balance part 2: sometimes, you gotta do nothing

This is Part 2 in a brief series I'm blogging on finding balance in your life.  Check out Part 1 here.  I said I would post the next part the rest day.  But I lied.  Or actually, life just got in the way.  But nonetheless, here's more.  There is at least one more post to come, maybe two.  I'm verbose.

Remember the pie of each day?  Every day how you spend your time is going to vary.  Your priorities are going to change with the needs of your family and the demands of life.

Guess what?

You can ALWAYS be doing something.  You know.  You've been there.  You collapse onto the couch after you get the kids down for a nap, or down for the night.  Staring you in the face is the laundry yet to be put away, the dishes piled in the sink, the empty lunch bag that needs to be filled for the morning.  There is always something to do.  That something sometimes is fun or entertaining.  But it's still something.

But, you can always be doing NOTHING.  The few moments to check your email or bank balance turns into two hours on Facebook and blog-hopping.  (of course I've never done that, just heard it can happen)  The housework and household management piles up.

Balance is know what to do, when to do it and when to not do anything.

Things have to get done.  Picking up the living room, having a semi-clean kitchen and making my daughter's lunch the night before make for a much smoother morning in our household.  That doesn't mean those things are always done every night.  But most nights they are.  That's something that does need to be done.  Like I've said before, there are other things I don't worry about as much.  My dresser is piled high with random papers, keepsakes and paraphernalia.  But that's not something I feel pressured to take care of.

You know what your hot buttons are.  You know what your husbands hot buttons are.  My husband detests a sinkful of dirty dishes.  On a Saturday when our family is home most of the day, he probably does dishes at least five times.  No joke.  I don't care as much about dirty dishes.  I'd rather they pile up and then I'll do them all at once.  But because I know how Bean gets with the kitchen, I almost always try to have the dishes done when he gets home from work (on the days I'm home).  If I choose to do nothing, he immediately goes to the kitchen to wash dishes when he gets home from work, which sometimes annoys me.

But some days, if I've been on a big outing with the kids or done a lot of errands or maybe I'm just exhausted, I'll let the kitchen slide.  And Bean lives.  There are days that I choose to do nothing that can wait.  Because it's right for that day.  Because I want to snuggle my kids on the couch while we have downtime and I need to just lose myself in mindless reading or television.

That's balance.

When I lack balance in my life, when I do too much or when I don't do enough, I pay the price.  I crash on the days I'm off.  I spiral downward.  Bean loves when I use that phrase.  It's not a good sign.  By the end of my workweek, I'm a mess.  I have no motivation to do the things I need to do or should do.  I don't eat right.  I don't exercise.  One negative thought turns into about 1,000 and all of the sudden I'm finding every little thing wrong with life and it's the end of the world.  I may appear to have it all together, but this really does happen.  Inside, I'm falling apart.

When I have balance in my life, I am happy and fulfilled.  I find joy in the small things, even if the big picture isn't what I would like it to be.  The things that are un-done don't bother me.  I am thankful for the blessings in my life.  I can see the blessings in my life.  I recognize the value of eating well and exercising.

If you stop to think on it, you can probably identify similar patterns in your own life. 

What happens when you lack balance in your life? 

What does it look like when you know what needs to be done, when to do it and when do not do anything?

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