Monday, September 19, 2011

Balance

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us an din us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. Euripides

Fortunate, indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use. Peter Latham

We come into this world head first and go out feet first; in between, it is all a matter of balance. Paul Boese

Who hasn't wished at some point that there were more hours in a day? It sometimes seems that we spend so much time rushing from place to place or task to task that we don't actually accomplish anything except feeling more frustrated.

Too many of us are stretched too thin because we've bought into the myth that everyone can (and should) do it all. We should be able to juggle full-time work, church callings, spend quality time with our children and spouses and pets, spend time with our friends, do volunteer and committee work, get involved in causes, work at staying fit and healthy, and spend time relaxing and rejuvenating ourselves. With that much on your plate, it seems you're setting yourself up for failure. Wouldn't it be better to pare down your list of must-dos so that a few things can be accomplished each day, instead of trying to do everything everyday? A few well-earned successes are much better than feeling overwhelmed and imperfect.

Decide what roles and activities are important to you and live your life accordingly. And remember, there are seasons to your life, each one tailored to certain aspects that help accomplish balance. For instance, a young mother's focus is probably different than an empty-nester's. Find balance with the things that are most important and learn to let go of the rest. You're not on a runaway train, no matter how much is feels like it some days. You are the one in charge of your "train". You are the engineer and conductor. You decide when to stop and go, when to slow down and when to refuel.

Another modern myth that you have to disregard if you want to manage balance in your life effectively is the idiotic idea that we all have to be reachable and 'connected' all the time. We don't, and in fact, there are times when it's important or useful to be unreachable to everyone or everything except the person or task immediately in front of us. So recognize this and 'unplug' yourself when appropriate. And make yourself the manager of your technology rather than being managed by it.

One of the greatest helps for balance in life is prayer. Pray for guidance to know what tasks are truyly important for that day; sift away the unnecessary so that you can accomplish the most important things.

And now, the most important thing is this: practice saying to yourself over and over, "I don't have to do it all!"

1 comment:

  1. That's such great advice. I have to often remind myself that I have my whole life to "do it all," so to speak. I don't have to do it all today. Life is much more pleasant that way!

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