Permission to Re-Balance!
Hello and welcome back to the blog my beautiful friends!
As you know, I made the timid move to slow things down in my life. I didn't want to, and honestly, I was really afraid to! But after a few tears and many conversations with my husband, I finally decided to take a step of faith and cut back my work, and now, here I am, a week later, happy to report to you all that it was the BEST decision, and I have no regrets.
I cut back this week by one blog and one video, and friends..... let me TELL you what happened!
Filmed, edited, and uploaded this week's videos way in advance 📹
Washed, folded, and put away EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF LAUNDRY (seriously... there are no dirty clothes in this house!) 🧺
Visited four friends for extra coffee dates ☕️
Made a homemade lasagna 🥘
Took even MORE walks 👟
Deep cleaned the entire house, including the basement 🧽
Gave myself an intense pedicure 💅
Had extra cuddles with my husband 😉
And washed the dog (she now smells like green apple!) 🍏
I usually put off these extras in my life, either doing the bare minimum (ahem* laundry!) or not even doing them at all (ie. social life!). But this week, I pursued balance just like I told you I would, and it was amazing.
The thing is that I didn't really make a conscious choice to put these things on the back-burner... I just saw an incredible opportunity in my life to grow this blog, share my passions, and help women, then, before I knew it, I was swept away and working morning and night!
And my laser sharp focus was really amazing for awhile: I loved the feeling of working on a passion project and getting down and into the trenches with my talents and ideas. It was fine and dandy, but after awhile, I realized that it had been weeks since I felt caught up on house chores, months since I last saw a friend for coffee, and almost half a year since my last dedicated sewing project! Horrifying!
At first, I just blamed myself: I thought, come on! You can do this, you can fit it all in, just take less breaks and cut out some of that pesky social life! And I did, and it didn't make things easier. I felt even MORE frustrated, imbalanced, and uninspired.
So that's when I decided to do the unthinkable and rebalance. It was an amazing life choice, and of course.... a beautiful lasagna was born out of that decision, so obviously it was a good one LOL! 😝
But why am I sharing all of these boring thoughts with you all my dearest Reader? Well, of course, it's because I'm hoping that my experience will be helpful to you!
I know that in life it's so easy to blame ourselves when we suddenly can't keep up with our responsibilities. Sometimes we feel too afraid to let go of the reigns on our work, our relationships, or our online lives because we're afraid that those things will disappear unless we keep a white-knuckled death grip on them!
I know I felt this way!
But the truth is that when we allow our lives to become imbalanced and overly focused on one area, we will usually not feel better until we return to a state of balance and peace (whatever that looks like for us.) Because the distress we experience during the imbalance far outweighs the benefits and excitement of focusing so heavily on that one objective!
Now, I do think that we all have times in our lives when we have no choice but to push through and give one area or goal 100% of our energy and focus, but there are other times when we unnecessarily push ourselves out of balance, even though it isn't necessary or even costs us in other areas of our lives.
I don't regret putting my all into my blog for a season in my life, but I also realize that now it's time to balance out and become inspired again. Likewise, we all have times in life where we need to buckle down and become imbalanced for the sake of a goal, but then there is the time to balance out. Maybe it's that time for you too.
I can't say what's going on in your life, but I do think that after some prayer, conversations with trusted mentors or people who love you, AND introspection, you will be able to figure out what's right for your life.
Remember: you are not selfish or lazy if you need to cut back on something in your life in order to attend to your other responsibilities. And one of your responsibilities DOES include the responsibility to yourself that you will nurture your social life, maintain your house chores, and work on personal development.
An imbalanced life looks different for each person. Some people need MORE social time or less! Others might need more exercise or more rest, or more or less whatever! Perhaps you are TOO lazy at home, and actually need to rebalance to work harder in life instead of choosing the softer route. Perhaps you spend too much time on your social life, and not enough time on your personal development or faith: whatever it is, I encourage you to seek balance and to recognize the signs that something is not working for you anymore.
Constant irritability, feelings of defeat or despair, or the actual manifestation of not being able to physically DO everything on your list of responsibilities are all signs that you're imbalanced.
My best advice is to cut back if you can, or at the very least, ask for help from others, hire help from others, or simplify your life in the next season or as soon as you can.
We live in this culture that puts such a high value on busyness that many of us can feel somehow sinful or "wrong" for wanting to have a slower or more peaceful pattern in life. Please remember that you are not only valued by how much you work, how many friends you have, or how big you grew your social following.
Life is so much more than work, even if that work is extremely fulfilling and satisfying!
There is such thing as too much of a good thing! This is true! You might thing that you're all work, no play, or that you're introverted and don't need friends, but honestly, I think that we all need a bit of everything to truly feel balanced.
So, my friend, if you need to cut back this week or in a future season of your life, this is your written permission: it's good to pursue balance, and it's good to allow ourselves to rest.
I can't say what that looks like in your life, but I can say that pursuing balance in my life, even after just one week, has unlocked SO much peace and joy.
I wish you all the best throughout your journey.