Lately I’ve been struggling with the lack of balance in my life. When you get immersed in a new role it is easy to forget about other areas that are also part of who you are. Especially when life puts you to the test and you need to give so much of yourself to others.
In my case, being a new mother has completely shifted my attention and devotion to my son 24/7. Now, I’m not complaining here. I know this delicious stage of big open-mouthed sloppy kisses will go by fast. But despite how amazing and incredible this is, the lack of proper balance has caused me to end up overwhelmed, exhausted, lost, bored, and ultimately disappointed. So contrary to my expectations! And so much like other times in my life where I’ve ended up feeling just the same as a result of giving up my whole being solely to one thing and one thing only.
First of all, we can’t expect all of our needs to be fulfilled by just one thing. Taking care of ourselves relies to a great extent on nurturing all the realms of our life that we deem valuable and that contribute to who we are. Regardless of our individual differences, we all need more than just one passion to feel a sense of balance and contentment.
Personally, I love being a mother, so much, but I also love being me. At first this made me feel guilty since I somehow felt I was betraying my son (just as before I felt I was betraying my career, or my partner, or whatever it was that I had exclusively committed to). But I’ve learned that it is completely the opposite. By taking care of myself I’m better able to take care of others. The more fulfilled and balanced I am the more I can give to the world. Plus, one passion does not necessarily exclude another. To the contrary. Our passions can complement each other and by doing so they can complement us as the unique individuals that we are.
Just as I love being a mother, I love being a professional. I crave the satisfaction of being a leader in the corporate world where I get to define strategies and motivate others to achieve excellence. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to engage in other passions that connect me with myself though, such as writing. I find writing so powerful for introspection. It allows me to connect with others through thoughts and emotions I didn’t even know I had until I put them on “paper”.
I also have the urge to disconnect from this world sometimes, through books, meditation, and why not, chick-flick TV shows. And since we’re being honest, I won’t deny the pleasure I feel of getting pampered every now and then whenever I get my hair or nails done, and especially, when I get a relaxing massage. Just as I physically enjoy the calm of nature as I ride my bike and there’s nothing but me and my thoughts as I prance through the blowing wind.
But also, my life wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t get to spend enough time and energy with the people that I share this journey with. To have alone time with my husband so I can remember that we’re not only parents but that we’re also friends, companions and partners in crime. To have girl time with my friends, where we can laugh and gossip about things that men could never possibly understand. To feel close to my parents and siblings despite the geographical distance between us. And yes, to be a parent and role model to a wonderful boy that needs all my love and affection.
It’s taken me a while to realize how each one of these things complete the pieces of my life puzzle. It’s been a result of much experimentation. And many different missions I’ve embarked on to discover new passions whenever I’ve felt a void in my life. More so, just as I believe these are my needs now, I know they may change with time. Remember we humans are not static but constantly changing and evolving.
So whatever it is you need, only you know. And if you don’t, now is the time to find out. And not only that, but to remain mindful and conscious of how these needs add up to your sense of balance as a whole. That’s the biggest challenge. Making enough time and space in our lives for our passions whether we have the time or willingness for them or not. Because whenever it becomes the hardest, that’s when we need our balance the most.
I suggest you try different ways to discover your balance and remain mindful of your need for it. As for me, I’ve done much discovering but not as much commitment. So here’s what I recently came up with in an attempt to be more conscious and make myself accountable for finding balance in my life again: A calendar. Yes, a calendar, believe it or not!
My husband and I sat down one day and decided to put on a calendar all the different things we felt we needed for this balance we were both lacking. We included family days, beach/nature days, days for him to spend with his friends, days for me to spend with my friends, date nights, alone time for him to enjoy his hobbies (Don’t have any hobbies? Read my post on the Value of Hobbies and I’m sure you’ll start looking for one!), alone time for me to enjoy mine, and also time to make sure our son gets to do things he enjoys as well.
It was amazing the impact this had on our level of consciousness and commitment as soon as it was hanging on our kitchen wall for us to look at every day. It became more clear in which areas we were stronger and where we needed to work on the most. It gave us a snapshot of what our life is like. But most importantly, it opened our eyes to what we want our lives to look like and made us feel accountable for it.
And by feeling accountable we also felt powerful. Powerful enough to believe with our heart and soul that we are each capable of creating for ourselves the life that we yearn for. A life full of love and passion rather than regrets. I think that’s what we are all aiming for through our existence in this world. Is it not?