Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting back to Balance

I have been feeling way out of balance for a while now.  I'm working my way back.  And writing this post is one of the first steps.  

When I started my new job almost 3 months ago now, I was ecstatic.  It had been far too long since I had a steady income, or much of an income at all, and I was more than thrilled to have that paycheck coming in again.  I was also excited about the job itself.  What it entails is right up my alley in many ways.  So, as I often do, I dove in, head first.   

I've spent the last 3 months totally immersed in my new job.  There has been a lot to learn.  Now that I'm getting the hang of it, I'm starting to feel more and more overwhelmed.  

It seems it should be the opposite.  Once I got the hang of the new job, I should feel less overwhelmed.  But I'm not.  I finally think I figured it out.  

The reason is this:  When I started, it felt right, and necessary, to devote a large chunk of my time and energy to learning the new job and getting as proficient at it as I could, as quickly as I could.  I didn't mind, and even enjoyed, working extra hours and going the extra mile.  I was learning.  It was new and exciting.  

Now it's not new, and not as exciting, and I noticed that I was still caught in the pattern I had established from day 1:  work, work, work; give, give, give.  I'm already feeling burned out, and it hasn't even been a full 3 months!  

Time to step back, remember my priorities, and establish some boundaries.  

Have you gone so far down a certain path, to the detriment of other parts of your life?  Have you let one area of your life take too much of your time and energy, to the point where there's nothing left for your other priorities?  

That's precisely what I've done.  I miss walking my dogs more regularly.  I miss social time with friends.  And I miss writing.  I miss this blog.  That's why this is part of my first step back to balance. I haven't figured out yet when I'll write my posts... in the morning, evening, or on my lunch break (like right now).  But hopefully I will be able to refocus and re-establish my priorities and direction I want my life to go.  

I like my job, generally speaking.  It's a great job.  But I don't feel that it's my "life's work," if you will.  I don't feel that it's the "end all, be all" for me.  But I DO feel that it could be a good supplement to my life.  A part of my life.  

Now it's just a matter of defining that "part" more clearly, and re-building up other parts that I let slide.  

I think balance is one of the hardest parts of adulthood.  I remember many times growing up when my mom would not open the mail for days, or would get frustrated and overwhelmed at what didn't seem like a big deal to me.  Now I get it.  The older we get, the more parts of our lives we have going on.  It's easy for one part to dominate, whether we intend for that to happen or not.  

In our attempt to "do it all," and stay on top of it all, sometimes things slip.  Sometimes mail goes unopened.  Sometimes calls don't get returned.  Sometimes we lose touch with friends.  It happens. What I used to see as irresponsibility, as a naive, innocent child, I see as LIFE.  

Life is busy.  Life can get chaotic.  Life is full of choices, one after another, sometimes hitting us in the face so quickly we don't know what to do.  I've been there....and not too long ago.  Luckily I feel that I'm on the upswing now.  

Want a tip?  Relax.  

I noticed I felt the most frustrated and overwhelmed when I was trying to do it all, and do it all perfectly.  Make no mistakes.  Miss nothing.  

Well, I've made mistakes.  I've missed stuff.  But you know what?  It's ok.  The world will not end.  The sky will not fall.  

Just relax and do your best.  Not the best you think others want you to do/be.  But YOUR best.  

It's your life, remember?  Sometimes it's easy to forget that.  I know for me, I can easily slip into feeling like I'm living FOR someone else.  For my dogs, for my family, for my clients at work.  But no.  I'm living FOR ME.  As are you.  

When I realized this the other day, I felt a shift inside.  Work, family, friends, other life obligations, can put as many pressures and demands on you as they want.  But it all boils down to YOU.  What do YOU want to do?  How are YOU going to live your life?  

Are you living your life the way you want?  At least as much as you possibly can right now, given your current circumstances?  If not, what small changes can you make to get more to YOUR personal balance point?  

For me that means taking time to write this blog, even if it's during my lunch break at work.  

How are you working at getting back to balance in your life?  Or how have you FOUND balance in your life?  I'd love to hear anything you'd like to share!  

*And hopefully you'll be seeing more frequent and regular posts from now on!  ;) 

Thank you for reading!  Remember, this is the ONLY May 14, 2014 that you will ever have.  How are you doing to use it?  

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