Finding balance in an Unbalanced World
Have you ever felt like you were being pulled in so many directions that you might just break? As women, we have been accustomed to assuming a “whatever it takes attitude”. The pressure of being the best mom, wife, employee, daughter, and friend sometimes feels like a race you may never win. Over the last 13 months I have taken control, stopped juggling, and started balancing. I’m excited to share the top 4 Ways to Create and Live a Balanced Life.
Hi, I’m Lauren a former workaholic and perfectionist. I really love my job and I’m passionate about it. Being creative, helping businesses, and teaching others is very fulfilling to me. When I took my current management job at a TV station the need to outwork everyone around me was fierce. I did this because I knew deep down that I could make an impact.
In my personal life I spent too much time on Pinterest looking at everyone else’s perfect school treats, hair, and homes. I’ve also known that I could do anything or have anything I wanted if I was willing to work for it. That is exactly what I did.
Life Before Balance
Being a manager at a TV station is only part of who I am. My biggest job is being a mother of three special little humans from age fourteen down to three. My life leading up to this year was a ball of stress, wrapped in busyness, topped off with some guilt. Each day I would wake up in the morning, jump out of bed and start running.
My mornings reminded me of Home Alone when the family was rushing around trying to get out the door to head to Paris for Christmas. Thankfully, I haven’t forgotten any of my kids in the process.
On the Road Again
After getting everything and everybody ready for the day we were off! I would drive 30-40 minutes to drop my kids off at school. The quality time with the kids was appreciated. This uninterrupted time with them really did fill my heart with love. Even if they were tired, sleeping, or cranky, just being in their presence was peaceful.
Working 9-5 Or More Like 7-7
Like I said my job is a busy one. I manage a lot of different things throughout the day including navigating different personalities. This is a challenge I do enjoy though. I think of the people I work with as family.
It makes a lot of sense when you have the mother and father figures, crazy aunt, loud cousins, and don’t forget about the work spouse. You know the guy (or gal) who always has your back and will fight for you and listen to you even when you talk too much.
After a full day of being asked and answering questions, attending meetings, and jumping on “quick” phone calls (that were never quick). Blow the whistle, the day is done.
When my body talks, I listen, that’s how I knew when to call it quits and head home. Arriving at home, I’d walk in the door to the warmest welcome filled with hugs, kisses, and I missed you’s. My family sure does know how to make a girl feel loved.
After a late dinner I talked to the kids and my husband about their days. On to bath time, a sliver of family time and then bed. Each day felt like a race, running from meeting, to event, to after school activity. My husband and I truly never stopped. No TV, no reading for leisure, no hobby’s… just running. I knew deep down that I needed to create a more balanced life.
Feeling the Burn
Looking back to last fall I was tired, stressed, and even a little bit irritable from all the running. I went too long with almost never putting myself first. I lived for everyone else and if they were happy, I was happy, until I wasn’t. That’s when I started waking up and realizing something had to change. After a full year filled with trial and error these are my top 4 Ways to Create and Live a more Balanced Life.
1. YOLO- FInd Whats Important
YOLO stands for you only live once. The first time I saw the word was years ago on a vacation to the beach. I was looking around a gift shop and YOLO was on mugs, hats, and t-shirts. I probably rolled my eyes and thought of spring breakers living their best lives on the beach with no worries or cares.
Around this time last year YOLO popped back up in the head. I started to ask myself “if this was my last day on earth, would I be happy with the life I chose”. “Would I be happy with the way I’m living today”. This changed everything.
I woke up with a fresh perspective each morning. I’d look out the window and be thankful that the sun came up and that I was alive. When you start a day with gratitude it can only go up from there. I had some serious conversations with myself about what I really wanted, not what everyone else wanted from me. This was SO hard because I grew accustomed to living for others for so long. I was on my way to building a more balanced life.
2. The Vision of a Balanced Life
Around this time my friend Sherrie Dunlevy was holding a vision board workshop. I wanted to support my friend and see if I could even envision what I wanted my life to look like for the next 12 months. We gathered in a church with magazines, paper, glue, and markers. I tried my best to keep an open mind and the paper started to fly.
The vision for my life started to present itself. What I wanted was to take time for myself by practicing mindfulness, doing yoga, starting a blog, being more present for my kids, and to take control of my time. I also added a house and car, that’s okay too. It’s now 12 months later and I’ve accomplished everything on my vision board. Wild, right? That includes the house and the car!
3. The Plan- How-To Execute
What is a vision without a plan of action? For me, it was a piece of paper with pictures on it. Something about me is, if I set my mind on something, look out! I was determined to make my vision a reality. I started going through my goals one by one to see how I could make it happen. I started by realizing I needed time for myself. I tried massages, ear candling, getting my Chakra’s balanced, just to name a few.
I was really making progress and then the Coronavirus showed it. That was exactly what I needed, when I needed it because it forced me to slow down.
4. Rise and Shine- Add More Time to the Day
Morning people have always amazed me. The type that wake up at 4:00 am, workout, read while enjoying a warm cup of coffee before they start their day. This was never me. I’m more of an “aspiring morning person”. I heard of a website called Focusmate in a Facebook group and I was intrigued.
Focusmate is a website where you are paired up with another person somewhere in the world that also wants to get things done. We will just call them a body double. Turn your camera on and theirs’ is on too, this person is your accountability buddy. It may seem odd, but it really helps people focus.
I started using FocusMate every morning to get out of bed early and do my morning routine. I do Yoga, read my devotional, journal. Oh my….. I am becoming one of those “morning people” and its great! I am giving myself the oxygen mask first. This quiet time lets you plan your day and enjoy some TLC.
What’s Love Got To Do With It
A balanced life comes from doing what you must do AND doing what you want to do. Ask yourself, what do you love? What do you want to do more of? What’s standing in the way of those things?
A wise woman told me that people do what is important to them. If yoga is really important you will find a way. If its family time, you will find a way. Make the time because life is too short and you deserve to be happy. Don’t wait, tomorrow is not promised. Start with a vision and create your plan and start living your dreams. Love yourself, love others, and Stay Strong. You got this!
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