How many times have you said it?
“Today I am supposed to be three places at once.” “There is NO time for me.” ““There is too much to do.” “I need a wife.” You are not alone. In fact you’d have so much company that if you invited everyone over for cookies or cocktails (whatever floats your boat this holiday season) you’d need room for 89% of Americans.
I get it. I have been there too. You might feel you can’t say no, delegate, or let something go. That same driving entrepreneurial, creative spirit that got you where you are as busy person with executive level responsibilities (at home, at work or at both) can get in the way. It prevents you from stopping. Did I say stop?
Yep, I sure did. Here is why. All the push-pull action can throw you off-balance. It drains your energy. It can lead you astray from what calls to you most, from way deep down in your bones. Maybe you feel resentful, unfulfilled or the specter of hopelessness is looming?
So you aim for balance. You work hard for balance, putting your phenomenal abilities towards achieving it. So why can’t you get balanced? Or stay that way once you feel like you get a hold of a schedule that works?
Simple, you are not a scale. Balance works wonderfully if you are a scale. You are a vibrant, dynamic person, with executive level responsibilities and an entrepreneurial, creative spirit, who is feeling squished, pressed or constrained. To date I have yet to meet the person who can spend the precise same number of hours and resources on family, at work, as well as on herself. That scenario would be the equivalent of balance. It is not realistic or practical.
Most people pursue one of two solutions to this dilemma.
1.Focus exclusively on one part of your life, at the expense of all other parts. This may not be the best option. Frankly it is impossible to completely avoid some areas of your life, they all show up, for better or worse. Plus this route is likely to increase fear and anxiety precisely because you are not attending to some things you really need too and they sneak up on you at inopportune times.
2. Try to live a meaningful life while trying to do everything and control all of your thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately this too is not practical or realistic. We, all of us, would rather not feel the pain of the past that choices have caused. So we try to control everything we do. We tie up all of our energy trying so hard. We don’t relax into ourselves. We forget to be spontaneous and just enjoy the moment. We keep all the negative thoughts away. Those will not get us anywhere right? Your life becomes narrow, very narrow. The breadth of life is not let in- no way, because that means pain might seep in along with joy.
This pain serves as a reminder of what will happen if we make the same choice again. That’s okay. Adversity brings rewards in growth and understanding that are exponential and lasting. You are not doomed to repeating past mistakes.
There is a third solution to this dilemma. Be willing to experience the thoughts and feelings that come up along the way. All of them. Even the painful ones you’d rather skip. Even the joyful ones you are not sure you deserve. Change your focus from controlling thoughts and feelings to controlling what you do. Do this and your life is a flourishing expression of fulfillment and of profound satisfaction as a whole. You’ll gripe a whole lot less and enjoy your work, your family, and your life a whole lot more.