Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World

I’ve written about a dozen posts in my brain these last few weeks but my fingers didn’t make it to the keyboard.

But you wouldn’t know that since you can’t exactly read the unwritten stuff in my brain. (This is where you thank your lucky stars that you can’t.)

I’ve been MIA because I was on overload. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling unbalanced. (This is NOT where you contact the men in white coats to come take me away. Not yet anyway).

I needed a break. Not from writing. From all extra “stuff” that I could just freeze for a moment. To think a little. Breathe a little. Figure out what I need a little.

We’ve had a lot of projects going on around here so free time has been non-existent. Combine that with an active preschooler who doesn’t want to go to bed at night, and it’s Good-bye Mommy Time.

Sound familiar? I know I’m not the only overwhelmed mom out there. Whose balancing act is all out of whack. We’re all trying to find a little peace. A little quiet. A little time for ourselves.

Over the last couple months we’ve been changing around rooms on our second floor. Emily moved into her big girl room, which used to be our office. Our office is now in a smaller spare bedroom and Emily’s baby room is about to become my exercise room. More on all that in a future post.

I’ve been decluttering, donating, painting, moving, tossing, etc. But there is still so much left to do.

On top of that, I’m trying to find time for more exercise, more sleep and trying to plan a family vacation (and a bazillion other things). All while still working full time, commuting an hour each way, barely keeping up with the housework and being the best wife and mother I can be.

Perhaps I do need a visit from the men in the white coats…

Just kidding.

Actually, I just need more organization. A more regimented routine. To stop getting lost on Pinterest and Facebook every evening. To carve out a little time for what I really want.

So here’s what I’ve done…

 

1.  I made lists. For EVERYTHING. Seriously.

Lists for every room. For every major project. For vacation planning. For things I want to make. For items that need to be sold on Craigslist. For errands to run.  For things I’d like to have more time for.

After all those lists, it became much clearer what I need to take action on. It no longer stressed me out as much once it was all down in black and white.

As I was making my lists by room, I found things that I could easily add to my “stuff to buy at Target” list. I quickly checked a few things off the list within days.

I’ve long been a fan of lists and keep them on our refrigerator at all times – for Groceries, Target and Costco. So now I’m just expanding that same concept into other errands, home improvement, vacation planning and just about everything that needs to be done.

2.  I thought about how I spend my days. And how I want to spend my days.

And what it will take to make those changes.

How many of you get tired after a long day and then lose yourself in front of the TV or on the Internet? Yep. Guessing it’s not just me.

For me, the evening hours after Emily has gone to bed is about the only time I can find for myself. But I need to plan that time out better if I want to have more time for exercise, sleep, writing and all those other things on my lists I don’t have enough time for. So I figured out what things I needed to do less of, so that I could make time for what I want to do more of.

3.  I made a schedule.

Whether you use Excel, your smart phone, Google calendar or a simple piece of paper, it really does help you to make time for what you are yearning for.

On mine, I put the days of the week going across the top of the columns with blocks of time to be allocated in the rows down the side.

Then I filled in the info in the middle with when I would exercise and what type of exercise it would be. What time I would go to sleep. When I would write or blog. When I would work on projects. Each of the things I wanted more time for.

4. TAKE ACTION!

The most important step of all. I’ve been regularly referring to the lists, reminding myself what I’m working toward and trying my best to follow the schedule I made. It’s not perfect. Adjustments are likely. But even if I follow it several days each week, it’s still way better than where I was before.

The result? I’m finding more time for the things I wanted and needed. Does it work out the way I want every day? Not even close.

But the fantastic thing is that every morning I wake up and it’s a new day. And I get to try again.

Do I feel better balanced? A little more every day. With time, I know I’ll keep moving toward that perfect balance I’m searching for.  So now I want to know – what do you do to give yourself more balance? Share your best tip. Let’s help each other out…

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Comments

  1. Missed you! Glad you’re back — at least for today. Balance? All you can do is try and do your best. And yes, like you we have a saying around here that everyday is a new day.

    • Seashell says:

      Thanks Sharon – good to be back :) I’ve missed writing this blog. Thanks so much for reading and commenting :) I guess balance is just like anything else – the more you “practice” balance, the better you get at it…

  2. It’s almost like getting back to basics, and you’re absolutely right! When I face what I have to do – even if that means 100 items on a list – it always feels better than the sick feeling of just imagining all that is waiting for my attention. Great perspective! (And I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels a little swamped.) Happy to read a posting, Michelle! I’ve been missing them.

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