A balanced life is not free of busyness.
When you’re a young mom, you think the season when kids are older will be less busy. Then, you’re chasing your kids around like CRAZY, wishing for the days they can drive. Then they’re driving, graduating, and leaving for college, and busyness morphs into a different kind as a parent of Bigs.
Throw in work responsibilities, aging parents, and grandkids, and you’re still looking for the magic “balance” pill.
Recently, I spoke to business women on life balance with other industry experts. We all agreed balance is a perspective and lifestyle. As the holiday season approaches, prioritizing balance over busyness is important. The following principles are ones which keep me grounded in my professional and personal roles. I don’t know about you, but as a mom to a high school and college athlete in addition to two adult children, life is busy (follow the crazy on Instagram stories). It’s also essential I keep a balance between what’s most important and what’s not.
Is your life similar? Here are five lifetime principles.
1. Life is not a race. Slow down. We live our priorities in the daily grind, so do what’s most important in your current season of life. You don’t have to do it all now. You’ve got a lifetime for your bucket list. Seriously. My mom turns 82 this coming week and she’s president of our town board–one of the busiest tourist towns in the Midwest!
2. There are only things YOU can do. You’re a Mom, daughter, friend, or spouse. Saying no to things which aren’t essential is gift to yourself and those most important to you. When there is a tension between doing something good which conflicts with what’s best for your life season, it’s okay to say “no” or “not now.” Boundaries are the healthiest asset in which you can invest.
3. Focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses (or lesser strengths). Work and parent in areas which fill you rather than drain you. Don’t try to be Instagram or Pinterest girl or be the person in the office who you envy. You have strengths entirely your own. Focus on them and strengthen them. Sign up to bring napkins to holiday gatherings or delegate responsibilities. Do what fuels you, not what drains you. (This principle is straight out of Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All).
4. Stop trying to fix yourself. This takes essential energy you can put elsewhere! It’s exhausting to try to be someone you’re not or excel in your lesser-strengths. It drains your energy, time, and resources from being who you’re created to be and also from excelling in your strengths. There’s nothing wrong with you.
5. Only you can care for yourself. Self-care is important. It’s not selfish, but no one will do it for you. No one will meet your needs. Not your spouse, kids, or friend. My childhood hero, Pinky Tuscadaro, said, “Take care of you.” The bottom line is–If you only had the next year to live, what would define your priorities? Make that list yearly, and then live it out.
Holiday busyness, family activities, work responsibilities never go away. Putting them in appropriate context and managing self care is essential for emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental health. What’s one principle you can apply for the next two month? The next two years? If you’d chosen one, I’d love to hear from you!
PS–I’m currently on a ministry trip to India! If you’d like to learn more, connect with me on social media: