Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Finding The Balance in Today's Busy World - Tips to Navigate the Buffet Line of Life

Ever feel overwhelmed? Like if one thing more gets dumped on your plate you might lose it?

You're not alone. No matter what phase of life you find yourself in, finding the balance in today's busy world can be a challenge.

From the first-time mom struggling to balance her attention between the newborn that needs her and the husband who suddenly feels neglected to the empty-nester who was looking forward to her freedom, only to find herself caring for an aging parent.

At this point in my life, I have three adult daughters, five grandkids, and two teenage boys. The latter of which are determined to eat me out of house and home. Then there's my elderly mother. She still lives on her own, but requires my assistance as chauffeur, shopper, and care-taker.

Yes, life is definitely a balance. But, like our diet, it can be managed.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the buffet of life:
  • Pray - This is first and foremost. You can do it anywhere, anytime. Ask God to guide your choices. Tell Him your struggles. After all, He already knows.
  • Prioritize - The baby's doctor appointment and the parent/teacher conference can't be put off, but maybe the laundry can wait until tomorrow. Make a list of those things that HAVE to be done. If your family is in danger of going to work/school naked the next day then, yes, laundry can go on the have-to list. But do yourself a favor, only wash exactly what they'll need for the next day and do the rest when your time isn't at a premium (I know, it's always at a premium, but work with me here). **Note: If you are one of those uber organized people who stays on top of their laundry, I applaud you. Please feel free to ignore the aforementioned comments about laundry.
  • Learn to say NO - I love PTA, but it can be one of those things that once you get your foot in the door, they grab you by the ankle, knock you down, and drag you into their lair. Before you know it, they've sucked the joy of serving right out of you. And without that joy, what good are you doing to anyone. I hate to say it, but the same holds true for teaching Sunday School and VBS. Don't let someone guilt you into doing something God never intended you to do.
  • Find time for you - Okay, this one is the hardest of all. Especially if you're chasing toddlers all day and you barely have time to use the bathroom. Wake up thirty minutes early, sit in your favorite chair, alone, and enjoy your coffee/tea in peace. Or maybe at naptime, whenever you can slink away from the chaos. Once the kids are down for the night, put hubby on-call and treat yourself to a bubble bath. How can you carve out ten minutes of your day just for you?
Is your world a little caddywampus? What steps can you take to find your balance?

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