A condition in which all acting influences are canceled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced, or unchanging system.
Wife. Mother. Teacher. Writer. Runner. Friend. Daughter. Housekeeper. Chef. Chauffeur. Life is a balancing act of all the roles we play on a daily basis, our ultimate goal being equilibrium. But lately it feels like my balance is off, my equilibrium has escaped me, and I spend my days tipping over.
So what am I missing? What’s going wrong? Which one of those “acting influences” is preventing me from keeping my balance? Or am I failing at all of them?
I read an article last week about finding a work/life balance. The author gave a lot of tips about how to juggle life as a working parent, but as I read it I realized that I was already practicing most of those methods. I plan a week’s worth of home-cooked meals and grocery shop only once a week. I frequently rely on my crock pot. I get enough sleep. I eat well. I exercise. I even tried a gratitude journal. But still, no equilibrium.
I realize that perfection is a myth, that all the different aspects of life will rarely come together seamlessly. But some days it seems like those acting influences are working against each other instead of canceling each other out. Instead of feeling a sense of fulfillment from the pursuit of multiple life goals, I end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, guilty, incompetent, and positively exhausted. I’m a jack of all trades, master of none.
I know that one day my life won’t be so hectic. One day the puppy won’t wake me up at 5 AM. One day my mornings won’t be a chaotic mad dash to get everyone out the door on time. One day I won’t get emails from friends asking if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. One day I won’t spend entire Saturdays shuttling my kids from baseball games to soccer games to birthday parties and entire Sundays running all the errands I didn’t have time to run during the work week. One day my kids won’t beg me to read them one more chapter and give them one more hug. And one day maybe my life will have so much equilibrium that I’ll wonder why I ever worked so hard to achieve it.
I guess for now I’ll have to accept that some days I’ll keep my balance and some days I’m going to tip over. And I’ll just have to learn to embrace the chaos along the way.
How do you find balance? How do you keep yourself from tipping over?