Balance: My Holy Grail
Today was exhausting. Although I did my best to be prepared so that I would not have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, I did not succeed. Things could have gone better, and in the end, I’m wondering if I’ve changed at all or if all this time I’ve been fooling myself. I’m facing the same problem I had before I started this endeavor, and that is achieving balance in my life.
I admire those who can manage to spend enough time on themselves, their relationships, and their careers. They eat right, maintain a healthy body, get enough sleep, and seem like generally happy people. That is what I aspire to be, but I have a while before I can get there. It seems like the choices I need to make that will help me achieve balance are in competition with my daily obligations and duties.
Today was all about obligations and duties. In the morning, I got my daughter ready for school and gave my son his morning bottle. When I got to work, I booked tickets for a conference at which I will be presenting in July, then I went to my office with about two hours to prepare for my three afternoon classes. When I got to my desk, I was dismayed to discover that the prep I had thought I had done for one of my classes hadn’t got done, and the prep I was planning to do for my other two classes took a lot longer to finish, so I was running around until the very last minute. It was so bad that I was stapling handouts in class while the students were doing sustained silent reading. Not my most shining hour! Determined to never repeat a day like today, I spent two hours after class planning and prepping my next week of classes and didn’t get home until well after dinner time.
It was close to midnight by the time, my daughter and husband went off to bed. I was too exhausted to meditate or do shadow work; I just fell asleep. The baby woke me at three in the morning for his bottle, and then we both fell asleep. I woke up feeling like a complete and total failure, another day passed without doing shadow work or meditating not to mention the fact that I didn’t get any research done and the deadline is fast approaching.
I’ve got to figure out a way to get enough sleep, take care of my and my children’s needs without letting it get in the way of my career. Is it even possible? I’d like to believe it is. There are other people who can manage it; why can’t I? It is clear to me that I’m still in survival mode. I don’t even know what it’s like to be any other way.
I realize that I have made little but significant changes. I’ve joined a gym and I have begun to incorporate activity in my daily life by walking as much as possible and taking the stairs instead of elevators or escalators wherever and whenever possible. I’ve started to be more selective about what I eat. I prioritize sleep whenever I can, and I guide most of my decisions by the question, “What would someone who loved themselves do?” These changes have been great, and I have benefited from them. However, they feel superficial, like putting an adhesive bandage on a gaping wound, or treating the symptoms of an illness rather than the illness itself.
So, how do I turn it all around? How do I start making changes that really matter? I don’t know, but I’m going to do my best to find the answer that works for me. I will do my best and have faith it will all work out in the end.
Until next time, I wish you all the best.