Sometimes I think I'm alone in my struggle, like I'm the only person in the whole world who can't balance everything that I need to do with everything that I want to do. I find myself wishing for more hours in the day and more energy for all the things that I want to take on. Or maybe I need a little less sleep at night. Sometimes I feel like life is beyond my control and that I just need to hold my breath and wait for that magical period when everything will finally stabilize.
I've been thinking a lot about my struggle with balance recently because of some significant transitions in my life right now, and I'm definitely feeling rather "unbalanced." If you haven't noticed, I've been a bad blogger lately, and I'm behind on so many of my friends' blogs. I have a growing stack of "to read" books, and my own novel has been sitting untouched for a few weeks. I'm also still trying to settle on a good exercise routine that fits in with my new schedule.
As I've been contemplating my struggle with balance, I've come to a few conclusions. First of all, I need to cut myself some slack. I'm only human, and in all likelihood, this will be an ongoing struggle. There probably won't come a time when I magically figure how to balance everything in my life. And that's OK. I'll keep trying to do my best, but I'll give myself a break when I fail.
Secondly, I want to focus on balancing those things that most important to me. Unfortunately, there are only twenty-four hours a day, and I still need several of those to sleep at night. I really can only do so much. It's overwhelming to pursue every single interest and passion, so I'm going to try to identify those things that are most important to me and figure out how to fit them into my life. That way, even if I can't do everything, I'll be thankful for everything I actually can accomplish.
Thirdly, I need to be flexible and willing to adjust my expectations and goals. Since I'm back at work full-time now, it's not always possible for me to read a book every week, and I adjusted my goals so that they're doable for me. Similarly, I decided to put my novel on the back burner. Jordan and I just received our wedding photos (and they're swoon-worthy!), and I'm busy writing my Weddingbee recaps. For those of you who've been through the recapping process, I'm sure you can relate to how time-consuming it is. Between this blog and my recaps, I think a third major writing project is too much. So I'm tabling it for now. And I hope that by prioritizing my recaps, I'll actually be more efficient with each project since I'm not stretching myself between them all.
And finally, I want to give myself permission to let things go. This goes hand-in-hand with my second realization; as I focus on those things that are really important to me, I necessarily have to let other interests go. I still have big dreams that I'll one day be able to teach myself how to design an amazing webpage for my blog or learn how to take breathtaking photos. But for right now, I'm letting those interests go, and that's OK. It may not be forever and knowing that helps me. I just know that if I want to live a fulfilling life and have any chance of balancing everything in it, I have to be willing to put some dreams back on the shelf.
What about you? Have you ever struggled to find balance in your life? What strategies do you use when trying to balance all of your responsibilities, commitments, and interests? If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them! I still have so much more to learn.