Balancing your life may sound easy but the experts say we need a plan.
“What we need is a good secretary!” I wrote as a joke to Jeanette, editor of KC Wellness, after we both forgot a deadline. She bantered back, “And let’s gets a gardener and a good housekeeper.”
Like you may, dear reader, Jeanette and I wear a lot of hats: bookkeeper, editor, writer, teacher, home maker, cook, friend, aunt, mother, sister, etc.
So how do we find balance? I build in time each week on my “slow” days to enjoy time in the kitchen as I love to cook. Jeanette finds time to fulfill her love of gardening.
One of our students, Cheryl, told us about her “spiritual day.” Each Monday she chooses to let the phone go to voice mail and spends time away from noise with a long meditation, time in nature, and spiritual reading.
Another friend, who is a young widow with four young children, has found a place where she can retreat to make about 20 meals then freeze and use as needed. Yvonne Searls says after her husband died she learned to let go of the small stuff.
“It may be something as simple of letting go of my previous idea of clean. The house is clean enough!”
She says she limits her kids to one activity a week. “They really want quality time with me and that doesn’t happen when I am running in circles to get them places,” this wise mom said.
A young mother of three toddlers, Tonya Henning, writes: “We are not on earth to finish our to-do lists. I do at least one thing that brings me pleasure every day. And I’m never afraid to ask for help.”
The father of psychology, Freud, suggests we try to find a way to create 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work, and 8 hour of play. Balance it seems was sought way before our electronic age.
Other life coaches say to write out your goals for diet and exercise, relaxation and quiet time, family and friends time, fun and pleasure, budgets, hobbies, and spiritual time. It takes 21 days to create a new habit. One of my friends put $5 away for every day she walked and at the end of 21 days bought herself some new clothes to fit her new smaller size.
A friend who works at Sprint takes time to walk about the campus or eat outside on nice days to enjoy the fresh air. My sis from Tulsa calls yesterday, a Sunday. “What are you up to?” she asks.
It so happened I was cutting up garden tomatoes to make into a sauce. We talked of our upcoming projects and the many tasks we wished to complete. “I think once I finish in the kitchen here I’m doing nothing at all after this busy week,” I say.
The concept of “doing nothing” is foreign to a lot of folks. What exactly does it mean for you? For me it means grubby clothes, no make up, good books, and time in nature. We sat outside on the big deck and watched the clouds go by in early evening. It made for a good Sunday.
It helps a lot to find ways to exercise and build in rewards during your daily routine. And it’s okay to let the phone roll to voice mail time to time. May these ideas inspire you to find new ways to balance the many hats you wear!
Suzette Scholtes has been teaching and writing for 30 years. Learn principles of awareness at each of her weekly yoga classes. Call (9l3) 492-9594.