Balance


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Too many things and too little time. I find I need a balance in my life. NaNoWriMo is awesome, but it doesn’t really help with balancing life very much. The scales have fallen heavy on the writing side, which is great, because that means I’m writing and doing things and taking it seriously, like a part-time job.

On the other hand, I had to scramble to get my house cleaned up and food cooked for Thanksgiving. I have not been cooking as much as I used to and gotten off track with exercise. I’m so stressed right now that it has affected my immune system and caused me to be home sick today. I  just want to curl up on my couch and watch television for days or just play video games and escape it all.

I have not been doing that, because I know that is very destructive, so I am attempting to strike a balance. This has yet to work for me. As you may remember from reading my previous post on Procrastination, I tend to go full-force until I am out of steam. I seem to have hit the “out of steam” section and have realized again why balance is important.

I have no magic solutions, but feel I need to pay attention to all the sides of my life at once without stretching myself so thin that it’s like spread a teaspoon of butter on a loaf of bread. So, for others out there who struggle with balancing their lives, what do you do? Advice is appreciated!

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11 thoughts on “Balance

  1. Ah, balance! To know thee is to love thee; to love thee is to eternally search for thee; and thus we realize we never didst know thee after all.

    Part of the trick about balance is to recognize that we can never attain it for long. For a very simple reason. Just like a kid who is suddenly clumsy after a growth spurt, we go through interior changes that can change our inner balance — and that (hopefully, if you are growing as a person) can happen all throughout our lives. So don’t get too down on yourself, eh?

    And it *is* hard when there are umpteen different things you want to be doing, along with the things that have to be done. For myself, I have a tendency to want to jump from one project to another. That was fine when I had the physical ability. Not so fine now, however.

    I’ve been learning to catch myself as I begin a jump.”Put the new thing back down, Beth.” Then I weigh what has deadlines, what doesn’t, and what is just a spur of the moment “I wanna”.

    I also have found that — much as I loath it — a kitchen timer has worked well for me in the past. I can go play a game, but only for that much time, Then back to “more serious” stuff.

    Of course, now that is a bit different. My autoimmune system is shot three ways to Sunday, and now with the lymphedema on top of it, I’m stuck in bed close to 22 hours a day. You should see this bed, though!! On the bed with me is the cat, the dog, a big box of colored pencils, conte crayons, graphite sticks, three sketch books, a novel, parchment paper, a bottle of water, and a little set of drawers with mechanical pencils, regular pens, drawing pens, calligraphy pens, and a few other odds and ends. Oh! And a bunch of dog toys! 😀

    Anyway, reaching my own current balance has been really, really hard for me. I have always been active — dancing, singing, painting at an easel, doing road trips, and working “real” jobs as well! Now, I have such limited energy, I usually fall asleep during the afternoon for a several-hour nap. And worse, my rheumatologist says I need to! ICK!!!

    Now I am having to balance my desire to create, in the ways still open to me, with my concurrent needs to do at least some of the work of keeping Lynn and myself going (e.g. taking care of feeding everyone in the morning and doing the necessary paperwork for the household), and the need to respect my body’s limitations.

    I’ve been getting better at it, but only because I keep reminding myself over and over not to go galloping down too many paths. Prioritizing even fun activities has become a must, too.

    Wow. Well, I hope you can find something useful in all the rambling! 😀 But for sure and certain, know you are not alone in the need to find balance!

  2. I managed to avoid sacrificing sleep for NaNoWriMo, but I hit my 50k words and I’m nowhere near finished with my story. The housework and other aspects of my life took the brunt of the sacrifice and they endured it for one crazy month. I can’t ask them to continue enduring my writing fixation in the form that it took in November. I will have to carve the time out of somewhere else.

  3. I work in small doses with my chores. I don’t let myself get “gung ho” to the point of being totally out of steam. Been there, done that! And, let me tell ya, it is definitely no fun. I do certain chores on certain days during the week. Spreading my chores out is a must or I find that I still miss something by the end of the week. Oh, and also…routine, routine, routine! Without routines, I am lost or my whole day can be…gone before I know it!

    Anyway, this keeps me from procrastinating.

  4. Yeah, if I clean like a banshee my energy is zapped! I have always been that way when I am “gung ho” on certain things. I have always had issues with sensory over-load on the simplest tasks. So annoying :/ Living AWAY from the parents force you to learn how to balance your life on your own, for the most part. However, having them close by is helpful too 🙂

  5. There is a website that has helped me tremendously the last couple months. It is called Flylady.net. It is all about teaching us women how to balance out our lives in a way that works best for each of us. She gives tips and guides us through our days via internet/e-mail. Would not hurt to at least look at it. You might like it:)

  6. Really?? It works wonders for me. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about Flylady that motivates me (lol). I feel like she is right there with me pushing me to get things done (lol). I actually just found out about it a couple months ago through some ADD website I am signed up for. Apparently, a lot of them use her webpage. What I have learned about myself and most like myself is that we have a hard time understanding the concept of not getting “gung ho” on things. We tend to “spread ourselves thin” often which can wreak havoc in our lives. I very much believe in her whole “15 minutes a day keeps the chaos/clutter away!” I use the timer method for certain situations as I tend to hyper-focus or obsess on something and before I know it an hour has gone by and, unfortunately, to me it felt like 15 minutes. My concept of time is screwy sometimes without timers or Damien to remind me of the time or remind me of when we have to leave. I always ask him when we have to leave to go somewhere unless it is a routine event like Church and we have a “routine” time of when we need to be out the door and in the car (lol).

    Flylady reminds us of how important routines are. With me, I used to be really bad at going to bed on time in order to get up between 7-9 hours. Now, I do my best to go to bed between 10-11 PM regularly during the week and midnight during the weekend. So far, it is working because I am actually ready to hit the sack by those hours. Without routines, I will be up way too late and that wreaks havoc in the mornings. I also make sure I keep everything right where I can see it and near the door (my purse, sunglasses, and keys) or else I will wind up doing something like leaving my purse behind or worse, locking myself out of the house while my keys sit somewhere. My mornings are foggy no matter what, so I try to make it less chaotic in the morning and it makes it more pleasant for me too 🙂

    You should definitely try her out again. Right now, she is helping everyone get their act together for the holidays!

    Well, I hope this helped! I had a blast hanging out with you and Julio! Playing Rock Band and Catan along with going ice-skating was a lot of fun! Have a wonderful holiday! -Tina ❤

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