About two weeks ago I found myself excitedly headed to the garden with my two young children. We had a small garden this year, with just tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and potatoes and since the squirrels were finding many of our new vegetables, we decided it was time to harvest the potatoes.
As I was pulling out the bounty of our hard work this summer, one potato at a time, I realized that my very beautiful manicured nails were covered in very black, very sticky dirt. It was really too late at that point, so I continued to gather the food with the kids, laughing the entire time at how many potatoes we produced! Later that night I was thinking about the irony of it all- here I am trying to be a farmer, but having manicured nails. It just didn’t seem right-am I trying to be something that I am not? The more I thought about it the more I realized that I wanted both. I realized that I was just as excited about getting my nails done as I was about harvesting the potatoes. I realized that this seemed to mirror what many of us struggle with in our lives—Balance.
Balance between what we want, even if it conflicting
Balance between work and home
Balance between personal, family, and couple time
It is valuable to seek out this balance in our lives. It reduces stress, increases happiness, and promotes living authentically.
So, how does a person start to find balance?
Identify what you want from each side.
List or just discuss what your ideal looks like. Is it dinner every night together? Maybe earning more money? Write it out without hesitation.
Don’t expect perfection.
So now you know what you would like, now try to make it realistic. So you might want dinner every night, try shooting for 3 nights/week.
Manage your time to allow for each to happen. Or at least making it more likely to happen.
Scheduling, even personal scheduling is necessary if we are wanting something to happen. Schedule time to allow for dinners nightly. Make it an easy dinner, or even order pizza. The idea is that you are together. If it is earning more money at work, create an action plan on how you will get this to happen.
Ask for help
Ask your spouse, children, friends, or other family for support. You cannot do it alone. If you want to have dinners 3x/week, get laundry done, and do exceptional at work, consider hiring out for help if it is in your budget.
Be aware of overload
If you are becoming irritable, tired, or start to lose motivation for most things, it is time to take another look at your list of wants and rebalance it.
Have clear boundaries
When you are home, be present at home, same goes for work, dinnertime, and social time. Fully live in each moment. Remember effective balancing require attention to each side. Do not scroll through your iPhone while at dinner with the family.
Take care of yourself
Remember that you are part of the balance too. Be kind to yourself.
So, it is possible to harvest potatoes with a manicure, right? With the right balance, we can do most of what we want, even if it isn’t exactly what we were hoping for. Or, as my husband said “why don’t you just wear gloves?”. So true.