I remember a really weird feeling about a year ago…after a long week, I had realized on Friday that I was off my game. I knew it the moment I woke up and carried my non-moxie filled body wherever it needed to go that day. My motivation to get up at 4:30am for my daily walk/jog seemed to be diminishing too. But as much as I love it, I am exhausted and cannot motivate myself to get going like I used to and I have felt it more recently. How did this happen? What the heck happened? When I shared with then co-workers on my less than productive day filled with inspiration, one of them basically told me that she was in trouble because if I am not feeling it, then she was really worried. And I felt a huge amount of responsibility placed on my shoulders. Is it possible to give everything I have away so that there is nothing left? Do you ever feel that way? When you have expended every last bit of energy and you feel drained?
And what’s left? Nothing.
How did what seemed like an endless supply of grace, motivation, and fortitude just be depleted with no warning light, like when the gas tank is running low on my car? Where did it all go? Why did it all change? I had a lot of questions and let’s just say that I missed that memo.
Ever feel like everything was happening all at once? And things you hadn’t even planned on decided to make an appearance now, too? So, on top of sick kids, now you have a sick husband. Thrown in the legal matter that just has to get decided now along with the project deadline that was also moved up by a few weeks. Oh, and it is the end of the season, so you are responsible for picking up the equipment from the football team and organizing the team dinner. And your daughter’s dance recital needs another parent to help with whatever they need help with. (Sorry — I have no idea what goes on for dance recital parents.) Wait…there is something you are forgetting….what is it? Oh, yeah, the cable guy will be here tomorrow…sometime between 8am-12pm. Then there is the “normal” stuff — doing laundry, making dinner, buying toilet paper and milk, and picking up and keeping those extra three kids this afternoon until their parents get home.
I don’t know about you, but my head is about to explode just from typing all of that.
Have you ever felt that way? When busy keeps you busier and your are not feeling “it.” Your confidence is starting to waver and your patience is beyond being tested. You find yourself daydreaming about a beach and an adult beverage in your hand and five minutes in the bathroom would be a welcome oasis…if only the kids didn’t know where those rooms where in the house…
The responsibilities that we face every day can wear us down. They can down right make us worse than we have ever been before and we struggle with being out of our “element” but today’s society requires more from us, don’t you think? Being bombarded with multiple events dictate a must have on your calendar where highlighting each person in the family is an absolute must to just stay on track..not even be ahead of the game. My motto was, “I live and die by the calendar” and it some ways it made me believe that I had everything under control and that the craziness of life was merely an illusion that I could choose to step into and out of at my leisure.
But we won’t last very long in the “real world” if we stick our head in the sand and pretend. And we won’t last very long is we continue on this path, at this pace either. Some thing is going to have to give. And since there doesn’t seem to me much room for budging what we have in front of us, that means that we are going to have to give in. Let’s face it. Our bodies will eventually give out. Like it or not, nothing and I mean NOTHING, will beat our health. No amount of bargaining, patience, or ignorance will make major health issues just magically disappear.
So what are we to do?
We MUST find a balance. We MUST learn to save a little for ourselves. We MUST pick and choose. We MUST prioritize. We MUST understand the role everyone plays in our lives, and allow a little bit of help when it is there. Yes, I said it. For those that don’t know me personally, I rarely look to others for help when I am fully capable of doing it myself. Sound like anyone you know too? For far too long, I believed that allowing others to help me was a sign of weakness. It implied that I was not up to the challenge and I NEVER want to be viewed as a victim.
Living a chaotic life is not living. Not the kind of living you and I both want to be living, anyway. Giving our time, attention, and effort can be overwhelming. Sometimes, we are not given the chance to pick our choices, and instead have to accept whatever demands our attention right now.
What’s YOUR secret to balancing life?
How many books, articles, or tweets have we found and read that give us a bunch of advice on how to make our lives better? When feeling lost, do you find a little pick me up in your Starbucks cup on your way to work? Is a trip to the gym what reminds you about what is important? Maybe it is a phone call from one of your best friends? How about stealing 20 minutes in a bubble bath, with a little candle light and a glass of wine and some music?
I know we all have funky moods that we get into for a variety of reasons, and when we give everything we have away, we know it. It is like you know something is wrong, but you can’t put your finger on what it is, and are a little unsure of how to fix it. I get it. It is a reminder that we need to keep everything in check…that somewhere, somehow, we have to get back up and keep going. We have to believe that when we need a little something extra that it will be there. We all have responsibilities — either placed by someone else or self-imposed– and we have to remember to keep working hard at balancing our life to merge all aspects of life — that include our home and family, our work, our friends, our hobbies and interests, and everything else that must get done. Take a breather when you have to — escape, but don’t be gone for long. We all need you. And I was wrong…giving it all away doesn’t leave you empty. It leaves you more dedicated to the life you want.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©