Wouldn’t it be wonderful if as human beings our default setting was set to “balanced” instead of “unbalanced”? I wish for this almost every day. That way, we would have to work really hard to make a mess of our lives, get off course, and come to a standstill in the pursuit of our goals.
Sadly, the opposite is true.
So when you look around and wonder what on earth just happened to the last _____ (fill in the blank: day, month, …decade) of your life, it is unfortunate to remember that this, this messiness, these detours and setbacks, is the default setting for humanity. It is the pursuit of balance—that elusive thing which is the one thing that cannot be taken to extremes—that takes work to achieve. Of course, many of us have found that once achieved, maintaining balance is just as elusive as first attaining it. Argh!
But don’t stop reading there, and don’t despair! Balance is possible!
Perhaps the hardest part is that there are so many parts to life! Any given person has to balance: marriage, family, friends, work, education (either their own or children), accommodations, transportation, spirituality/religion, politics (on the local, state, federal, and global levels), finances, on and on. Not to mention basic biological needs: food and sleep. Even leisure activities can be overwhelming with possibilities: music, art, movies, reading, cooking, writing, crafting, decorating, dancing, I don’t know… kayaking? And if the breadth of choices weren’t enough, we’re supposed to be amazing at all of it, with extensive experience and refined taste in everything.
No wonder we’re exhausted! The great news is: this is where simplicity comes in. Simplify by weeding out the things you are involved in for the wrong reasons: things you think you should like doing, but don’t or worse, things you are doing only to impress others.
Once that is done, simplify the things you are doing for the right reasons: yes, you like attending every church activity there is, but is it detracting from time you could be spending with your family?
Even take the time to simplify things that cannot be removed entirely: You can’t not sleep or eat, but could you be doing those things more efficiently by eating better foods or having a better bedtime routine?
The bad news is that simplifying your life into some semblance of balance is hard work. The good news is that it is possible! Being in control of things you can change means fewer break-downs when things don’t go according to plan. There will be slip-ups; there will be times when you have no idea where your day went, but after a while, those will be less frequent and more manageable.