How and when did life become a circus? Seriously? You know what I'm talking about. Some of us are ring-masters, some lion-tamers, and some tight-rope walkers. I, like most modern day women, in addition to being all of the aforementioned, have also become a juggler.
I used to have everything under control (or at least I thought I did), but the older my kids get the more balls seem to get tossed into the air. Okay, in fairness to my children, its not all their fault. In fact, most of the circus act is probably my own doing.
I think its safe to say that many women suffer from the same problem. We like to stay busy. We like to be involved. We like to get things done... But sometimes everything we put on ourselves becomes crippling. To say our plates are full would be an understatement. But, honestly, which ball would you choose to drop? I don't know about you, but I'm kind of emotionally attached to each one of mine. I'm afraid that if I let one go, it'll throw off my rhythm and others would fall too.
What to do? How can we maintain balance?
Here's a couple of things I've learned...okay, some of them I'm still learning:
1. Learn to say "No." - Admittedly, I am working on this one. I'm passionate about so many things that when opportunities come my way, I try to squeeze them in. Mind you, there are many worthwhile opportunities for service, but if they come at the cost of your sanity or your family, it's okay to say "No."
2. Organize. - Whether its online or on paper, organize! Calendar your life and simplify. Don't over schedule yourself; this also means don't underestimate how much time things will take. Give yourself time to breath between tasks.
3. Prioritize. - Some things are simply more important than others. Family always comes first on my list. No matter what my personal agenda is, my children and husband come first. I try not to schedule personal things during my family time, which essentially means taking care of all my stuff while they are at school so that the evenings can be "mom-time."
4. Delegate. - Again, as a person with OCD I struggle with this one. I like things done my way, but at what cost? Look at all the balls you've got in the air and ask yourself which ones you are willing to let someone help you with. For me, its housework. Granted, it doesn't always get done the way I want it done, but... it gets done!
5. Learn to let some things go. - Okay, again with the OCD... this is difficult! Ask yourself: "Is this really important? Will it improve the quality of our lives? Will it help me or someone else? Will it matter tomorrow, next week, or next year?" Get rid of stuff that's unhealthy, unproductive, or unnecessary.