Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with your life that you feel like giving up? Just walking out, leaving it all behind? Running away? Feeling overwhelmed can be devastating to some, but especially those with anxiety. We spend a lot of time talking about balance. A balanced diet. Work-life balance. Food and exercise balance. Its like we are searching for the mythical creature known as Balance. And this Balance, is what will make us happy. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Balance is a unicorn. It’s pretty. It’s sparkly and shiny. It sounds GREAT! Most of all….it’s not real. Has anyone ever truly found balance? I had a habit (some would say bad habit) of trying to be as busy as possible. Trying to do it all. Leading this and working on that, all while holding down a full time job, a nightly workout at the gym, and whatever else may come up. Then, when I felt overwhelmed with being pulled in too many directions, I would start removing myself from whatever it was that was getting too hard to manage or whatever felt like a giant time suck. All the while claiming I needed more balance. It was lovingly pointed out to me by my life coach (yeah, I have one of those) that by being busy all the time, I never have to look at the hard stuff because, in my mind, I don’t have time for it. She was right. Being involved in every single thing may seem like fun at first, but in the end, it can suffocate you…slowly drain the life out of you.
A couple of years ago, I started pulling back on what I was doing. I removed myself from the Active list in the Junior League. I started saying no to sitting on boards around town. I was on a team at work that was always busy and I needed a break. I focused on myself at home.
Do you know what happened? When I focused on me, I started finding the things that make my heart sing. I started drawing and painting more. I worked out more. I made new friends. I lost weight. I got in shape. I fell in love with myself, but even better, I found love again. I am also happy to have a job that encourages me to have a work-life balance. So much so, that we have a work Flex Place program that allows me to work from anywhere. Usually, it’s from home. I now have two days a week to work from home. Those two days are my favorite. I get more done in my home office than I do in the office. I really do. It also increased my job satisfaction without it costing the company a dime extra.
So, do I feel like I have real balance in my life? No, not at all. I feel like sometimes all I am doing is searching for balance. Yet, I am not really sure what that balance looks like or feels like. Would I know balance if it showed up? Maybe not. This is why I believe that there is truly, no such thing as balance in life. We are drawn to what we are here to do–our destiny, if you will. We don’t create balance, we make room for what we want in our lives. If we want more time with our family, we figure out how to make that happen. If we want to work more to move up the proverbial ladder, we make more time to focus on achieving that goal. Whatever it is we want, we will make room for it in our busy lives.
Balance. We are all searching for this unicorn of balance in our lives. We may not find it, but if we concentrate on our own well-being, our own happiness, and treat ourselves with love and grace, surely we can find ourselves in a life we love, with people we love, doing what we love. But it all starts with loving ourselves.