Here is what I have come to know about balance in my life.
Balance does not exist, at least not in the way that we expect it to. There are seasons in our lives when we have to focus on some things more heavily than others. Really in all reality, there are days in a week that we focus on some things more than others.
What do we expect "balance" to look like?
I looked up the definition of balance and, here is one that I found:
"mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc."
Considering the fact, that as I'm writing this I'm eating half a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies (thin mints to be exact), I would not say that you should ask me about calm behavior and/or judgment. Especially sine I plan on running 5 miles in the morning!
Very few people have mental steadiness or emotional stability. Most of us are crazy if you look just below the surface. Why is that? Most of it probably comes from the fact that we are constantly trying to impress other people through the way we live.
If you have children and a husband and a job and you attempt to keep everyone fed and clothed on a daily basis, then you probably feel like your life is usually out of balance. It's like there isn't enough time in the day most days.
For me, balance has come from scheduling. I know that's boring and not what you were looking for, but it's true.
This is my schedule for the 1st 4 days of this week. I literally write down everything I have to do, and then highlight it when it's done.
My schedule includes all aspects of my life. Being a mom who works from home, it gets very hard to multi-task. I have to plan out everything, including time with my husband and kids. I do have help though! My fabulous baby sitter, Amy, comes over about 15-20 hours a week to help with the kids so I can respond to e-mails, send out team and director updates, plan training events, grocery shop, meet with consultants, etc.
If I didn't plan things out, I would be completely lost! Now in all that planning comes intentional balance. I have to schedule in time for myself, for dates, for lunch with the kids, for gymnastics, laundry, dinner, and on and on.
I literally only do laundry on Mondays. Before, when I was doing laundry every day, I found that I was wasting so much time starting the dryer over and over again. I would have to re-run the washer because I would let the clothes sit in it too long. I wasn't being intentional with my time. I was aimlessly doing laundry. Now my main focus on Mondays is to get all the laundry done. I do anywhere between 10-12 loads every Monday, and then I don't touch dirty clothes the rest of the week!
Now that may not be realistic for you, but if you're desperately searching for balance, I would suggest looking at how you spend your time. Many of us say we don't have time, but we find the time to spend on facebook or watching our favorite TV shows.
My challenge to you to track the time you're spending every day for a week straight. You'll find that you have a lot more time than you think you do. And when you're searching for balance, a little intention behind the planning of your week can make all the difference in the world.