Keepin' it Real: Seeking Balance

Balance…we all seem to want it, but no one seems to have it, am I right?!  It’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we’d all like to find someday, but never quite seem to get there.

For me, the struggle is real and lately, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection and digging in to try to get a better handle on it ,which has inspired this month’s Keepin’ it Real!

 

My Story

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m currently in coaching school while holding down a full time job.  My life now is not what it was six months ago.  Aside from college, I can’t remember ever having so much on my plate and having to juggle so many different things.  As a result, I’ve been feeling a big pull towards balance and I’ve been acutely aware of exactly how much balance is lacking in my life.

For the past, almost, six months, the only way I can describe my life is that I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water.  It’s not a bad thing and I’m enjoying every single thing I’m doing, but I know it’s not a healthy way to live long term and I want to get a handle on it before I get used to as the norm.

Even my coach has noticed how this is becoming a more constant theme in our sessions!

So, I decided to start taking a better look at this to see if I could figure out a way to find more balance and, what I like to call…time peace.  

Time Peace

For me, time peace is that breather in my schedule and to-do list where I don’t feel the pressure to be doing this, that or the other.  It’s that open time…an opportunity to sit on my couch with colored pencils in hand and color in my adult coloring book.  It’s that opportunity to pick up one of the many books I have lying around, and peacefully read until I feel mentally recharged.  

I need more time to do some fun things like this!

I need more time to do some fun things like this!

From a bigger picture, it’s letting go of the pressure I put on myself to constantly be chipping away at everything I need to get done.  It’s finding peace with the clock.

I’m not there yet, though!  Far from it!!!

But, I do feel like I’m starting to get a better idea of what’s causing me to feel out of balance and it’s planting some seeds on things I need to do to get myself more aligned with myself.

 

My Struggle

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by everything I need to get done.  There’s work, all my coaching requirements for school, my blog/website and my Moxie Girl tribe, projects around my house, squeezing in a workout, errands and all the other adulting tasks, etc etc etc.  At some point in all of this, I also need to have some downtime to relax and have a little fun!  

How does one get all of this done?!?!

For me…it hasn’t all been getting done (not exactly unique in today's crazy busy world!).  Workouts have fallen off my schedule…there just isn’t time.  Taking time for myself gets pushed to the back burner.  My house isn’t quite as clean or organized as I’d like it to be.  Dinner has been a bowl of cereal far too often because I only have 15 minutes between arriving home from work and needing to hop on coaching calls or classes.  

But…I’m not complaining.  I LOVE everything I’m doing these days!  I don’t mind the busy-ness…what I mind are the things that aren’t getting done.

The things that aren’t getting done, I’m coming to realize, are the things that keep me sane..it’s not getting to take some time for myself to just be, or getting in a workout, or cleaning up my house (not that I enjoy cleaning my house, but a clean/organized home helps me feel more peaceful and relaxed), etc.  Relegating these to the back burner time and time again, leaves me feeling frustrated and frazzled.

I keep telling myself there just isn’t enough hours in the day, but I’m starting to challenge myself on that.  How true is this??

 

Redefining Balance

As I started to analyze this a little bit more, I asked myself what balance means to me.  For me, it’s about doing all the things I have to do, but also having time to do the things I want to do.  It’s about having peace with the clock.  It’s about having busy/productive time, but also having down/play time.

Question1.png

I also asked myself what ‘having it all’ means to me.  That one was a little harder to answer, so I switched it to how would it feel.  That was easier!  It would feel productive, but I’d also feel an inner peace.  It wouldn’t feel like I was struggling to keep my head above water.

That’s when I realized I need to redefine balance and not make it about what’s external, but define it by the internal…what it would feel like. That’s much easier to chase!

Once I started digging in and asking myself questions, I was able to pinpoint exactly when I’m feeling out of balance, which was a huge discovery!

I’m a hardcore introvert and have a strong need for me-time.  It’s how I recharge and I realized when I feel most out of balance is when I’ve been letting that me-time slide.  For me, me-time is time I spend alone at home…it’s not when I’m traveling or running around exploring.  Both of those are also things I need in my life, but it’s not my recharging me-time that I need as part of my wellbeing.

Once I realized that, I knew I needed to take a look at how I’m currently spending my time.  Right now, I’m in this process and I’m tracking how I spend my time for a full week.  I want to see exactly where my time is going, where I’m wasting it, and identify opportunities to make better use of my time to bring in more balance and time peace.

 

What’s next for me

Breaking down all the ways I spend my time...

Breaking down all the ways I spend my time...

I feel like I’m on the brink of a major turning point.  My next step is to better assess my time and make note of the things that aren’t as important or crucial to me.  Those are the opportunities for change.  I know for my own wellbeing, I have to put a priority on the me-time if I want to find the balance I so desperately crave.

I’m only starting to get a glimpse of what a ‘balanced’ life would look like for me, but it’s still going to be something I struggle with for the time being.  

I know I’m not alone on this either!  In my coaching, it’s a topic I’ve discussed with every single one of my clients (except my first peer client that was a guy…not saying guys don’t struggle with ‘balance’ but they don’t seem to try to take it all on the way women do).  

So…what’s next for me is to keep digging in, figuring out what’s important to me and what’s not, reassessing how I spend my time, and introducing some much needed changes. 

Because life is full, it’ll always be a challenge, but I do feel like I can eventually, with work, get a handle on it and find that time peace I so desperately crave.  Once I find it, I’ll let you know!

Can you identify with my struggle with finding balance? What does that look like for you?? I'd love to hear I'm not alone, so leave me a comment and share your story!

About the Keepin' it Real series:
Each month (or when inspiration strikes!) I want to share my own personal struggles so you can get to know the girl behind the blog. While I do ‘walk the talk’ with everything I share on my blog from the advice for self-love, positive thinking, time management & goal setting, etc., I’m human and life is far from perfect (and my need for perfectionism was ironically my very first topic in this series!).

My hope with this series is that you realize you are not alone with whatever you are currently struggling against. I won’t be giving you advice or how to’s on how to overcome the topic I’m sharing since it’s something I am working on in my life. It's an opportunity to share a little bit of me with you. Maybe you identify with the topics I will be sharing, or perhaps yours is something completely different. Whatever it is…you’re completely normal and you will come out on top!