This topic has been, perhaps, one of the biggest challenges for me yet as a parent. I have slowly and consistently adapted to my role as a mother – giving up old behaviors, habits, and time-sucking hobbies – so that I may focus on becoming a better parent. But figuring out how to reinvent oneself for the sole/soul purpose of bringing balance and non-parentish activities into a day can be even more tough.
It has never been easy or me to shift out of a routine into a new schedule. Babies seem to be the exception since they simply arrive and you have to address their every need. But I can permanently put off and procrastinate on registering for a new class, taking a solo walk to clear my mind, and so on.
For me to embrace new things, I need to give something up. Maybe that is time that would be spent with all of us together. It might be sleeping time – I love to sleep in if my body lets me…just as much as I love my naps with the kids. I kid you not, if you Google “motivation + quotes” right now most of those adages will speak to the power of being ultra-industriousness and not slowing down. Pssshaw – whenever we’re not saying things like that, we’re talking about the value of slowing down and savoring life. I think we need balance in that department too – not too idle, but not too ultra-hyper-employed. So I strike a deal with myself: if I am relaxing in the company of my family then I can at least be mulling over what things actually would genuinely contribute to a more balanced soul and life.
Over the last year, I have taken small steps to integrate more things from this list into my life. It’s more manageable that way. Opportunities arise and quickly snowball. There is no need to set up a furious race to any one pursuit. The slow trickle of activities helps me stay rooted in each one. And I don’t have to invest too much time away from my family.
What does balance mean to you? How or what do you do to achieve it?