Let me introduce myself. I am You. Not you in the most literal sense. I mean you in the big, we’re-all-human-and-have-the-same-basic-needs, striving-to-be-happy-and-who-God-called-us-to-be you. I’m doing my best to achieve it. I’m happily married with two amazing boys. I’m a freelance writer, producer, director, businesswoman, chauffeur, nutritionist, psychologist, sometimes stay-at-home mom, and housekeeper, all rolled into one package.
Trying to make it all work.
The question is, how?
Well, before answering, I want to dispel a myth. One I believe has permeated our psyches to buy into the notion that we can achieve it all, do it all, have it all, if we just confess and believe, name and claim, blab and grab. Oh, I’m not against confession. I praise God that the power of confessing His Word works! But I am against the myth. The myth that says the key to having it all is simply balance.
The ability to “balance it all” is not existent. It’s not possible to simultaneously fulfill every role successfully. There will be a sacrifice somewhere at some time – a seesaw of sorts. So instead of stressing myself out and getting anxious, I slowed down, allowed God to help me properly prioritize, and redefined balance for me. Thus, I achieved the imperfect balance, to lead me in all arenas of life.
Whether you are a leader in your home, in the marketplace, or volunteering for an activity, you are leading someone – even if it’s just you! It’s important to have steps to help achieve order and structure in your life. Here’s how I tackle it:
Prioritize daily. Sometimes hourly. With the boys, in even smaller increments. Life continually happens and things change. I make adjustments in my schedule to make things work. I may allow a film project to be top priority this week, then take two days to recharge and it’s all about family, followed by a writing deadline priority. Instead of trying to be the perfect mother/writer, etc. at the same time, I prioritize and gauge what’s most important. Then make that work. Yes, it sounds elementary. But then why aren’t more of us doing it? And why’d it take me years of tight necks, back pains and headaches to figure that out?
Stay in control of my time. Now there are instances when this is easier said than done. For example, when the boss says it’s time to clock in, you need to do just that. But when it comes to planning meetings, scheduling certain events, going to lunch with friends, and even time with the boys or my husband, I choose when and where as much as possible. Keeping tabs on my time helps me stay focused and enjoy the task at hand, instead of worrying about what’s not done. There is a time allotted for it later.
LISTEN to God’s voice. With my many to-do lists, I am always deciding what should happen when. For a long time, I made these lists without even asking my Creator what He’d have me to do that day. I didn’t invite the Holy Spirit to guide and direct me to have maximum impact in every area. Once I did these things, the results became less stressful and more productive.
Learned to say no. A very powerful word in any language. Until you learn to say “no,” others will dictate what you are to do and when. At your expense.
Make time for me. Can I tell you how much I undervalued this last point? I thought I had so much to get done for everyone else. There was no time for myself. Big mistake. Others would say you can’t give to others until you take care of yourself. It took some age and wisdom (and listening to my body), to know how right they were.
With “balance” being such a hot buzzword in life teaching circles today, it’s good to understand that “balance” sometimes means achieving the ultimate “imbalance.”