When is life in tune? When we’ve somehow managed to balance the expectations of our loves, families, jobs, and homes, with our own expectations in the areas of our passions, health, creativity, and fun in a way that everyone feels satisfied and we get to relax and be ourselves.
Yeah right…in a perfect world maybe. No one likes to take the back burner and let’s face it, there are only two to three front burners available at any given time during a limited number of hours in a day.
I listened to a podcast the other day about creating domestic tranquility in our homes and families. I laughed out loud in the car by myself thinking about the ebb and flow of my home from chaotic to catastrophic depending on our work/activity levels.
Calm? Tranquil? Aren’t those only moments before the storm? If my house is ever tranquil, it’s a sign that I need to start peeking into rooms to see what the kids are up to.
But I know (and you know it too) that when life gets too busy and we get spread too thin that everything becomes more challenging, We work harder, we stay up later at night, work all our nooks and crannies, and muscle life to get things done but despite the extra effort, we still fall farther behind.
If we stay at that pace, eventually we completely succumb to life’s overwhelm. We get stupid and think we can run around crazy like a chicken with it’s head cut off. (Do they really run around like that?) We start to feel like our “stuff” is more important that someone else’s. We begin to resent people who aren’t in as much of a hurry as we are. All resulting in making stupid mistakes and alienating anyone who may have been willing to help us.
We’ve got to stop the insanity!
(Cue the wine and relaxing background music.)
We’ve got it all backwards. Instead of working longer and harder when things get tough, we’d be better off, pulling back and spending some time loving, dreaming, praying, creating, and reflecting on what’s working and what isn’t.
The funny part is that if we don’t catch ourselves and pull ourselves out of that “work harder” cycle, our bodies will do it for us. Cue on the flu, a three day migraine, or bronchitis–something bad enough that we find ourselves in bed, unable to perform.
We talk about wanting to achieve “balance” in our life. There really is no such thing as a balanced life. Something always needs to be pushed to the back burner to make room for something else to become a priority. And it’s our job to choose which things need to play the background, and which the melody within the finite time we have.
Unimportant things always try to steal the limelight. Things that feel urgent at the moment, but will rarely be remembered. My husband is wonderful at reminding me, when life gets stressful, to do a mental check, to see if what I’m worrying about in the moment will matter in 1 year, 2 years, or 5 years. Nearly 100% of the time it won’t.
So I’m trying to be smarter about how I spend my day, requiring myself to dedicate time to reflect, regroup, and re-prioritize. Time to be grateful, and time to rest. I’m also making a list of triggers that signal I’m heading into an overwork tailspin so I recognize them before I’m out of control.
I love this quote from Dave Ramsey, “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” Same as with our time. If we don’t control how it’s spent, it will control us.
If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy. We owe it to our families as much as we owe it to ourselves to choose carefully how we will control our time, and to include time to step back and breathe so the tune we’re playing can be a beautiful one.
“As we learn how to pause and bring the principles of gratitude, simplicity, and order into our lives, harmony emerges.” – Sara Ban Breathnach