If you have gone to the circus at all you have seen the clown that has the plates spinning on various poles. He starts with one, and then slowly begins adding until he has six or more of these plates spinning. Have you tried to spin a plate on one of those thin poles? It’s not exactly easy to do with one, let alone six or more. It takes practice and determination to keep at it until you can do it. What about the elephant on the ball, or the acrobat walking across the wire? Then there’s the juggler who starts with the three small balls, adds in a fourth and fifth and they are large compared to the other three. The juggler makes it look easy and then he switches to sharp objects and you are amazed he is able to do that without hurting himself.
The clown, acrobat, elephant and the juggler have spent thousand of hours practicing their craft in order to entertain others with these feats. They impress us and the more dangerous the more we applaud and encourage them to attempt more in their acts. Life however, isn’t an act, and figuring out how to juggle it takes effort and determination to make it work.
We start out with the job, earning a living is important, funding the house and car; food to eat is all a necessity. We know our schedule for that and we get that routine down pretty quick. We add in making meals, seeing our friends, feeding the cat or dog, going for walks with them, adding in some exercise, reading books or learning about things to improve the job so we can make more money, we have a spouse or partner, then we add in some kids and so forth. With each thing we add to our life come responsibilities, time, and even money for each. Life becomes a balancing act all of its own.
It all seems so overwhelming and frustrating on any given day depending upon what all you have going on. It takes being creative, patient, planning and juggling all at the same time. How can you do that everyday and not burn out? You have to balance your life based on your priorities.
Priority number one: YOU – no matter what you have going on in your life, you have to make time for YOU. If funds are low and you can’t go out every week then create a time for you at home. Take a hot bath and soak for a while, with candles and music so you can relax and unwind. Pop some popcorn; cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and the dog to watch a movie you enjoy. Make some tea and sit on the patio with a good book and just relax in the outdoors of your own space. What you choose is up to you, as it has to be something that recharges, relaxes and makes you feel good. The busier your life the more time you might need to help you recharge. If you have a few extra dollars you could go out to a movie, get a pedicure or even a massage at a spa. The trick here is making this as important as a doctor’s appointment or meeting with the boss. Without YOU, how would your family be? You don’t want to become ill or burned out to the point you are no good to anyone.
Priority number two: Spouse or Partner – that special someone in our life needs to know on a regular basis that they are important to you. They need to know you are listening to them, whether it’s troubles at work, challenges with the family, or even dreams they might wish to pursue. Knowing that you care enough to truly listen to their concerns and what they care about builds a closer relationship with them. It also helps you too. Sharing dreams with one another and coming up with a game plan on how to achieve them is a great feeling because now you have someone on your side, supporting you. Take time once a week or once every two weeks to have a date night with them. It could be out for dinner some place simple or special. It could be some place fun too. Remember to give them time to talk and really share, as it will build a stronger relationship. Ask what you can do to help them and in turn they will want to do the same for you.
Priority number three: Family – your immediate family should be high priority for you. Show them that you care by having a game night or fun night once a week or every two weeks. Spend real time with one another playing a board game or planning a day trip to go hiking with packed lunches, bike riding together, swimming and so forth. Make it simple with the meal and fun and incorporate everyone in it to help. Everyone helps with some aspect of dinner so you can get to fun night faster. Build banana splits and have all types of toppings so everyone can experiment and have fun making their own creation. Pick two movies and make a game out of which one it will be by cutting out paper with the movie names on them and let each family member put the one they want in a hat and either draw out one or count how many for each movie. The more fun you can make the simple things the more blessed you will be having the night together as a family. Remember that your family wants your time, away from the texting, the email, and the phone calls, so be 100% present, just as you want them to be with you. No cell phones during family night.
Priority number four: Health – without your health the rest becomes monumentally more difficult. Taking the time to listen to your body, alter what you are doing to make it feel better and maintaining the routine in which keeps you healthy is sometimes difficult but it is a must in order to have a life where you can accomplish anything. Adding exercise to your life helps with stamina and strong muscles, adding proper nutrition keeps your body healthy overall, not catching every illness that passes you or your family each season. Planning appropriately for your meals, special occasions, getting enough sleep, enough exercise, being active in general are all part of being healthy. A lot of us cut our sleep in order to get more done but are you really getting more done or are you struggling to get those last few things done due to being so tired. Be sure you are taking the time to maintain good health is important.
Priority number five: Passion – the thing that you are most passionate about doing, whether it is a dream or goal, volunteering, painting, photography, writing, and so on. Following your passion fuels your energy, keeps you healthy mentally and spiritually, gives you a reason to get up and moving each day and gives your life purpose. It’s one of the areas most people forget to consider to make a priority. You may not be doing the job you are passionate about, instead you are doing something you are good at and it doesn’t stress you out too much. Those that can actually make their passion their job tends to be happier, more success and glad to get up each day.
You feel the most alive and happy when you are paying attention and doing the top five priorities I have listed here. When your family is in balance and feels that you care then it’s easier to balance the other aspects of your life. Yes, you may need to work and that is also a priority but doing the top five priorities in your life first and foremost will make you feel more balanced overall. You may have other issues to balance such as extended family, clubs, church and even hobbies. What it comes down to is deciding out of the list what is your top five to seven priorities then choosing to give them the time they deserve and need so that life becomes more enjoyable and balanced.
I do hope that this helped in some way to take the craziness of life and balance it a bit better for you. If you know others struggling with the same area be sure to share this post with them. I would love to hear below what tricks you use to keep a balanced life. Thank you and have a blessed week!