Though I hesitate to admit this publicly, most people who know me are probably nodding their heads right now. It’s okay. Yes, I stink at balance. How in the world can I do better? Is it even possible? I know that God has made me perfectly and wonderfully with both my strengths and my weaknesses (Thank you, Holley Gerth for clarifying that in You’re Already Amazing). But I feel the need to fess up partly because working at home doesn’t allow for a lot of musings and conversing on topics of the sort and well, who really likes to admit such shortcomings anyway? So I type them into the wilds of the internet to see who might relate?
There have been some huge shining blessings and successes over the last few years in my life. I’m so grateful for all of them and point all of the glory straight back to God. And in the midst of a moment of feeling like a failure on one hand, it’s nice to take inventory and look at the successes and what you have accomplished by working hard and praying hard.
But for the life of me – I cannot seem to get all of the categories of life to “gel” at once. I can’t seem to be the wife, be the mama, be the friend and be the daughter that I am happy with ALL AT ONCE. Typically working takes precedence what with working full time and trying to wean off of side projects. At times I just feel discouraged and resentful because so many areas of my life are uncultivated, undone or have loose ends. It’s a big, ominous cloud that incessantly hangs over me.
But I’ve thought about this a lot.
And no wonder why…unless we set the things of life in the right order, there will be discontent, disorder and unrest. I can so relate to the old saying, if the devil can’t make you sin– he’ll make you busy.
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Luke 16:13.
I know the short answer is this –so simple is His answer:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.
So how do I do this? It seems easy enough. What does it look like to put this life of mine in God’s order? God first; Family second; The rest.
So over the last couple of months, I’ve taken some serious steps to restore some balance. And truly, I feel so much better about things over the last few weeks. Here’s some things I’ve implemented or am trying hard to implement.
- Self-care. Walking 3x a week with a friend. Provides work at home mama with a little adult convo with a friend and does my body good. Man, I feel great!
- Taking my health seriously. Three weeks ago, I started a journey to lose this weight (again). My goal is to lose 40 lb. by the end of the year.
- Work at home mama – dressed to the shoes and coffee cup in hand by 7:30 a.m. for a little soul care before diving into the day.
- Taking care of homekeeping/bill paying/meal prep/daily preparations/Bible study/prayer journaling/doodles from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
- Work day starts between 8 and 8:30 a.m.
- Take a couple of walk breaks.
- Work day ends at 5 p.m. Close computer – go to kitchen to prep dinner.
- Dinner by 6 p.m. with plenty of evening time left to take a walk (self care) or spend a bit of time on goals and projects if needed rather than staying up late and working.
- Spend some engaging time with family. Games, conversation, getting outdoors, going to visit friends/relatives, cooking together, etc.
- Some extended time to devoted to personal growth, whether it be spiritual or artistic. This has mostly been in the form of working in my planner, recording my meals (for diet) and painting.
- Cultivate friendships. Call, write or touch base with friends, have lunch with a friend.
- Get out of the house…now that I’m working at home, a change of scenery is welcome.
- Review goals and track progress.
- Keep Saturdays AND Sundays holy. No work. Reserve these days for rest, home projects, church, time with family, friends.
- Saturday weigh-ins at MRC, shopping and errands.
- Meal prep on the weekend to provide quick to prepare meals (pre-cooked meats, soups, prepped veggies and fruits).
- Tackle a major homekeeping project on my list (the list is oh-so-long).
- A couple of date nights.
How can I realistically align my world to fit this ideal?
- Get up earlier. Magically create more time in the day. Voila! (This has helped trememdously, been getting up by 5:30 many mornings).
- Go to bed earlier. Better for self care/health, better chance of getting up earlier. (Feeling so much better because of this.)
- Ask for help. My hubby gets stuff done. Period. Asking him to keep me on track will help.
- Purge my life of all unnecessary [stuff] and finish all outstanding projects. Clean the slate.
What tools can I utilize to help me stay on track?
- Duh, my Happy Planner, of course – it is such a great tool for me. It really helps me evaluate what’s going on – with me, the kids, menus, bills, travel, work, everything! I use the fitness planner extension pack for my diet/exercise too!
- Create master sheets for goals and schedules
- Create meal plans and lists
- Track/journal food on diet.
- Break down projects into bite sized pieces
- Perhaps keep a journal of the morning to entice my earlier rising. I love to write and doodle.
- Having a tidy, pretty place is also helpful in planning and spending that morning time. I love the dining room early with the morning sun drenching the bright room.
- Enlist some accountability partners? Get Scott on board. He makes things happen
What goals need stamped on my forehead, accounted for and achieved?
- Start tackling Home Projects List
- Personal Projects I want to do
- Self-care/health goals – weight loss
- Improve/cultivate relationships with friends and family
- Send cards.
Well, if you managed to hang with me through this little self-help guided tour, bless your heart! I’m feeling better about this all by now. I’ve been writing and thinking about this for some time this week. Feeling depressed, undone and just sad about the state of my affairs. (Totally first-world problems, I know). I need to be better for my family. I’ve needed to pull it together. I know I can’t do it all and they help tremendously. But I’ve got to step up my game. I’ll try to continue this conversation over the next few weeks at least – to help with the accountability.
You want to join me? Words of wisdom always welcome.