“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” – Robert Fulghum
We all need balance in our lives. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – this old saying definitely holds true today.
But what is balance?
The dictionary defines balance as harmony, a state in which nothing is out of proportion or unduly emphasized at the expense of the rest.
There is no standard “one size fits all” spreadsheet for balance because we are all unique individuals with different needs and different situations. However, to optimize the quality of our lives, we can take a look at how we spend our days (and nights). Are you working too many hours? Do you tend to let certain activities slide due to lack of time? How much TV is watched in your home? Please don’t get me wrong…I enjoy watching TV…but I also realize that if we don’t put the TV on in the evening, I get so much done. And when I look at my watch, it is only 9PM. But I do have to admit that my time spent on the computer these days often occupies an unbalanced proportion of my day…so much so that it becomes the wee hours of the morning when I finally feel I am done. SO NOT GOOD! This weekend I plan to sit down to evaluate how I am utilizing that time and hopefully I can produce a more BALANCED schedule that will be better for me AND my family.
I guess we can go back to the dictionary definition of balance: a state in which nothing is out of proportion or unduly emphasized at the expense of the rest. So, if your family enjoys watching a show on TV, that is great…but perhaps when the show is over, you can participate in other activities…maybe a read-aloud story-time. If there are older children, perhaps they can take turns with the adults reading to the younger children, although studies show that older children really enjoy being read to. Or maybe have a family board game night?
According to Catherine Pulsifer in “We Never Seem to Have Enough Time”,
“We need to maintain a proper balance in our life by allocating the time we have.”
So here are a few simple ways to keep track of how you are allocating your time.
1. Use a notebook to list your long-term and short-term goals.
2. Make a to-do list each night for the next day…you will sleep better each night and you won’t realize late in the next day that you’ve forgotten to do something important. For me, writing down what I need to do gives me peace of mind.
3. Set up a daily routine or schedule, especially if you have children. Life can get really chaotic if you don’t have a plan in place.