A lady asked me as tears pooled in the corner of her eyes, “I don’t know what it looks like if my life is out of balance, what does it mean?”
Maybe a snippet of my story will help. This is taken from the chapter, Buried in Busyness, and in my book, Stretch-marks, learning to heal from worldly hurts.
I unlocked the front door to the house on the hill longing for quiet. My daughter’s scrambled in and around me tossing their school bags down. I added my packed teacher’s bag to the top of theirs. The exchange student came up from the downstairs family room. I plastered on a smile. Frustrated, I craved space and time in my own home. Believing I was selfish I pushed aside my desires.
The teen talked. There were days I cared, one human to another. But, I couldn’t turn my brain off. It flitted to the laundry piled high, the meat that needed cooking, the school papers begging for correction and my daughter’s 5th grade science project that lacked attention. Of course I wondered what time I had to have supper ready and why the teen didn’t stop talking. The internal bomb wanted to blow. I must face the truth and address this crazy out of balance life. But where do I even start? And if I did, what would I unpack beneath the busyness?
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts,” (Proverbs 4:23, Message).
That’s it. The heart. That’s where I start. Mine was buried in busyness. My days started with me waking up at 5:30 a.m. I read my Bible, jumped on the treadmill, and awakened the girls to get ready for school. Then we zipped off. I taught. Then scurried back home, plugged into the household jobs, and juggled my school work while I helped the girls with theirs. Fixed supper. Cleaned up. Started all over every day, each day.
The hats I flipped on and off dealt with my starring roles, wife, mom, cook, taxi driver, hair dresser, laundry supervisor, teacher, household engineer, church member, confidante, daughter, neighbor, sister, a host mother and a best friend to name a few. If there was extra time, I filled that with cleaning. It became meaningless. I ran out of steam and my items on my “to do list” no longer motivated me.
What else was there to do in life? Work, clean, run my girls, and do all of the household stuff day in and day out? I felt the dark tunnel of depression calling me in. I kicked hard to stay out of it….
Out of balance is when your internal engines are telling you slow down, stop, you’re doing way “too much” and most likely for “too many.” You must pull back. Here’s a few indicators: you’re yelling at your kids more so, you’re sighing, maybe headaches, sleeplessness, grouchy, a feeling that you’ll never get everything done, and you are asking yourself, how can I keep up? You can’t.
Find one thing to let go of. What needs to go off your “to do” list?
I coach women to start with their roles, first. Our roles take time. Is there one role you can let go off? Something extra you picked up. Maybe volunteering, or that extra job you picked up, maybe you’re OCD over the house looking like a magazine photo…find one thing to let go off. (think – free up my time)