It’s a tricky thing, achieving some sort of balance. Some days trickier than others, huh?
Finding the balance between work and play. Between taking charge and going with the flow. Between supporting family members with our presence and supporting them by giving them space. Between focusing on our goals and personal development and focusing on what we can do for others.
And then there’s the profound balancing act between doing and being.
A few years ago I was in bed with some health challenges. It went on for months, and the challenge changed in part to just enduring the unknown. I’m sure you’ve had experiences when you didn’t know what it was you were supposed to be learning from something difficult, but you wished you’d hurry up and learn it so that you could move on!? That’s how I was feeling.
And somewhere in all that time, I observed an important thing. My children, all grown and gone, would come home to visit and instead of me running around getting things ready for them, cleaning, cooking, planning activities, I was just laying here in my room!
And they would come in and sit down on the cedar chest and talk. And I would listen, and we would visit. For hours. I made a mental note that when I was up and going again, that I needed to adjust my brain from always feeling the need to be “doing” for my family, to valuing more time spent “being with” my family.
So, during Christmas this year, I was a little crazy. I started out the season feeling behind and in the press to “catch up” I was doing and doing and doing. In the end, I felt I had missed out on much of the “being” that makes the holiday a holiday! But just like every other stage of my life, I have to learn and practice and eventually get good at balancing myself, my time and energy and expectations with the new variables of grandchildren and all that comes with this current stage of life.
So, here’s a little activity to consider.
On a piece of paper by your calendar, take a moment (this really shouldn’t take nearly as long as checking Facebook once…) and write down all of the things you did during the day. Not just the “to do” items, but all the stuff you usually don’t give yourself credit for, like making the beds and fixing breakfast and combing a child’s hair and getting everyone dressed, and changing X number of diapers and taking the garbage to the street and doing three loads of dishes or laundry (or both) and feeding the dog and wiping up spills and getting the mail and paying bills and sweeping the garage and vacuuming the car…you get the idea.
Then, when you get that jotted down, step back and look at all you accomplished! Wow! You are a veritable house on fire! Turn on some music and dance with the gang! They’ll think you’ve lost it, but you can share with them the reason for your celebration!
After the party, take a break and just “be.”
Sing songs at the piano with the kids.
Read story books.
Chit chat with your husband.
If you think of things you need to do, write them down and tackle them tomorrow.
You’ve done more than enough. Now, enjoy being.
“I am enough. I have a wonderful sense of balance and I can feel when I need to take a break and recharge my battery. I am making steady progress. I learn from everything I experience. I am keeping my heart soft and open and I trust that God is leading me to my highest good. I trust that He is preparing me to be useful to His purposes. I am happy and I am at peace.”