I started to become disenchanted with the word "BALANCE" a few years ago. . . I was sick of hearing it coming out of my OWN mouth whenever anyone asked "How do you manage to be married to a crazy farmer, coral 4 wild kids and run an energy bar company?! To which I'd always reply. . "well, ya know. . . it's all about balance."
The more I said it, the more annoyed I got with myself. What I came to realize is that it was a pat answer to a question I actually had NO IDEA how to even confront. . .and over the years I've found myself internally scoffing at the word!
Truthfully for me. . .it doesn't even exist! PLUS, it sounds so precarious. . .if you fail you fall. . .that's the very consequence of the literal definition of the word. BOO! I nose dive off that teeter totter of idealism on the daily;)
So the "B" word I've decided to embrace instead is BLEND. Sometimes our work/life blend is more work, less life. . .and other times it's the opposite. The word balance implies equality, whereas "blend" has a more fluid definition for me.
I've learned that where I spend most of my time doesn't necessarily tell me the story of my priorities. Our impact in our children's, friends and families lives is more effected by us actually being "PRESENT" in the time we are in front of them! TRULY PRESENT! This is where I now focus my energy. . .there has been plenty of time spent with family and friends where I've been completely distracted and actually not there at all. And this is what I've determined to stop. . .no more using "equal time" as my measure. . .it's now all about being in the present moment.
I'm not saying quantity of time isn't important to me. . .but it sure isn't the only metric of impact involved! So I've stopped feeling guilty about my lack of time. . .and started feeling guilty about my lack of PRESENCE!! Ha ha. . .notice how the guilt stays around;) I'm kidding. . .it's time to start realizing that our complicated lives have all kinds of opportunities to capitalize on our time if we aren't busy being anxious about the future or regretful about the past. . .it's all here in the NOW!
Easier said than done. . .but what a relief I'm not crashing off the teeter totter of balance in my mind anymore, it's simply a realization and a redirection of focus. Much better for my battered mom ego;)