The Balance of Life

How do you find balance?

Several months ago it was about finding a job that suited my financial and gift needs: check.

Then it became about creating a schedule that made time for work and social life: check.

Now it’s about finding time to make my health a priority.  This one always seems to be #3 on the list and never makes it to #1.  I will try and commit to taking care of myself for several weeks, and then I’ll slide off again and sink into old habits.  Last week I began my fast break goals with Sparkpeople for the umpteenth time.  I have been a member of SP since 2007, and I have lost 30 pounds (but also gained it all back).  It’s not that it doesn’t work – it DOES, I just can never stick to it.  Once I think I’m doing well and go it on my own, I falter and backslide.  This time, I hope that’s not the case.

Putting myself in a #1 position isn’t me, nor how I was raised.  I like to help others, give my time and portions of me away in hopes of making the world a better place.  What is happening though, is that I keep losing me in this process.  I get sick.  I gain weight.  I become tired and irritable.  Depression creeps in.  It’s not that I can’t help others, it’s that I can’t help everyone all the time.

I feel guilty about the fact that this year I’m not planning on hosting a Team Sarcoma event.  I feel I should *do something*.  I feel like I am letting down the local families who enjoy these annual events.  I feel guilty for not being able to step in and help families in need where they are struggling.  I feel guilty about not being able to volunteer my time and energy to things that sound fun and rewarding.  Guilt is overcoming.

How do you conquer guilt to make time for yourself?  How do you balance your life?  The need has been here all along to take care of myself, but every single day I struggle to make it happen.  Suggestions appreciated.


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Comments 4

  1. My thoughts: If you aren’t healthy or depressed that alone takes away from what you can give to others. While my charity work and helping my friends is very important to me, I can’t give to them if I am not physically and/or emotionally healthy. Also, pick out a few things that are most important to you and do them. Say no to other things and explain that you are busy with what you have chosen. Sure, there are evenings when I don’t hit the treadmill because a friend is having a crisis, but that is not every night.

    I plan my week out on Sunday evening, I even write it down. Sure, stuff happens during the week to get me off track, but I try to stay focused and on point. Sometimes I have to skip social stuff to either work out or do the charity stuff and people understand. Who is going to say anything negative because you are working on charity stuff instead of going to dinner with a group? I also allow myself an extra 30 – 45 minutes at home in the morning to return emails and pick up/clean the house. I don’t look at any social media during this time, I only do tasks (and drink coffee of course!). That extra time in the morning really makes a difference for me. Getting up a bit early really has benefits!

  2. It sounds like you have a very set schedule. I’ve never been very good at that, but I’m trying to instill some weekly routines that better my health and overall character so things get done, I have fun, and I work on my health. Thanks for the tips & encouragement Sandy!

  3. Brenda —

    I am starting a new career now (real estate) in which I am my own boss, so I’m really learning the importance of balance and planning! I agree with Sandy — planning on a calendar makes a world of difference! Every Sunday, I sit down and write down all the things I want to do in the next week, categorized generally as work, personal (scheduling drs appts, paying bills, etc.), social, special projects (anything big going on that doesn’t fall into those categories); then I plan out chunks of time during the week to get them all done and write it out in my planner accordingly. Then, if something comes up, I make sure to “reschedule” whatever I had planned for that time. A couple of the great mentors I have at work have told new agents to be sure to plan family time first, so that it doesn’t take a backseat all the time.

    Best of luck — it sounds like we are struggling with similar things lately, trying to get the work/financial/time balance thing down….

    I guess I’d also say to remember that life is a work in progress, so don’t expect that you’ll be 100% efficient, organized, and balanced all the time. 🙂

    Take care,

  4. Thanks Wendy! I was discussing it with my boyfriend and I think it’s important for us to make dates to do things around town and get life done! Otherwise, we just procrastinate and get frustrated when things don’t get done. I hope you can develop good time management too!

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