I love stumbling upon new blogs and finding bits of wisdom and new perspectives.
One of the things I have been recently been noticing is the lack of balance in my life. There’s the usual boring housekeeping to keep up with, meals to make, kids to take to school, informal research I do on anxiety, selective mutism, sensory processing disorder, and giftedness, teach my first grader multiplication because she’s been asking, playing games with the kids, errands to run, letters to write to the special needs teacher about things, school functions to get ready for, time with my husband.
Then there are a lot of things I want to do but put off: sewing, scrapbooking, letter-writing, exercising and the all important what am I going to do about reviving some sort of career. I do manage to do one thing fairly consistently, and that is journal and help other moms on message boards (something that I find helps others but really, takes time away from what I should be doing).
I feel a lot of imbalance in my life right now. I feel I don’t live deliberately and effectively use my time.
I kept thinking to myself, as recently as yesterday, “I really need to get my life in balance”.
But this morning, when I surfed around the ‘net, I came upon this blog called Mindfully Mothering and found this post about not finding balance, but rather, harmony with all the madness that occurs on a daily basis.
As she wrote:
Striving for balance in my busy life often makes me feel like I am never good enough. Even the word is just so, well, mild. Saying it makes me feel like I should be more Zen, the perfect carrot-juice slogging, yoga-pant wearing, calm-voiced mama.
And I am not.
Sure, I am interested in living a more natural lifestyle. I like carrots and I used to teach yoga. And this blog is about mindfulness in mothering. But what I am learning on my journey is that for me, mindfulness is about being aware and intentional, not about being an idealized version of myself, with all the gritty humanity trimmed away.
My new goal is harmony.
It’s not about finding balance, but living intentionally and mindfully. Of knowing where you spend your time and where you waste it, and being fully aware of what you value. It’s not about filling days chock full of activities and busy-ness to get the most out of them, but to actually think about what would make the day flow better and what would leave me feeling at peace with how I spent my time.
One of the things I found out is that when I get up 15 minutes earlier, I actually start our mornings off so much better. I am able to get everything ready for the kids’ getting ready for school, and still have time to take 10 minutes out to sit with my moody middle child, help her get dressed, eat breakfast and get her moving while I drink my coffee because she’s like me and is not a morning person. She needs a little extra attention and help to get going in the morning. Yes, I know she’s 5 and she ought to be able to do it herself, but believe me, it’s much more peaceful when we do it together. Getting up early means I can spare the time to help her.
We aren’t late to school in the morning. In fact, getting up 15 minutes early, we seem to end up be ready 20 minutes before we actually have to step out the door. We all seem to be more efficient and definitely more relaxed and there is no rush to do things.
Neither one of us ends up feeling rushed or cranky. It’s a beautiful feeling.
Another thing that I keep slipping away from but shouldn’t is using my family homekeeping binder. I am highly resistant to schedules, but I do find it helpful to keep track of my time and of upcoming events. It’s something I need to start using faithfully. I also have sections for creative projects I want to be doing, and really, I must remember to keep them in the binder. Most times I write them down and then lose the papers, but really I need to keep them in the binder. It does help me be more mindful of my time and my priorities. I started going through it again last night and thought how wonderful a resource it is for me, now I just need to use it so I can achieve that harmony I’m after.
I do appreciate coming across that blog to remind me to re-prioritize and find harmony among all the roles and all the responsibilities I have.