I recently decided to give up my relentless pursuit of a balanced life. That’s right. I just let it run right off into the sunset as I stood there waving my white flag of surrender after having chased it for so long. Oh, I admit that it felt wrong at first. After all, Oprah and every other life coach had been telling me for years that it was the key to happiness and serenity. The problem was there were so many things out of my control that were constantly shaking up my sense of balance.
When I was in college I thought I’d find balance when I was done with school and I didn’t have to study so much. Surely, then I would be able to exercise more, write more, and spend more time with friends. Then, I thought I’d find balance after I’d been in my new career for a couple of years. Now, I have young children and I’m busier than ever. On the few occasions when I thought maybe I was beginning to balance everything, I felt more like a plate spinner in a circus than a woman who’d finally achieved serenity.
I began to suspect that maybe the pursuit of balance was overrated. Then I stumbled upon a blog about how difficult it is for parents of young children to achieve balance and that we should instead strive to be flexible. Finally, this was something that I felt like I had some control over. In other words, it may be impossible for me to fit in all of the things that would fulfill my vision of a balanced life, but what I can do is modify how I respond to the outside influences. So, instead of getting irritated when I find myself waiting on someone, I come prepared with a pen and paper to jot down some notes for my WIP. Often times the balance shifts towards my family’s needs and other times writing gets a good chunk of my attention. Life is dynamic and maybe we should just embrace that instead.
Is having a balanced life important to you? Are you able to achieve it?