Why It’s OK Not To Have Constant Balance

posted by Andrea | 05/25/2017
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constantbalance

Most people think that in order to achieve a simple organized life, we also need to have complete and constant balance in every aspect of life… but in my opinion, constant balance is nearly impossible to achieve.

I fully agree that balance is a good thing — after all, I’d be lying if I said I don’t personally strive for some sort of “balance” when trying to manage the different aspects of caring for my family, running my business, managing my home, and maintaining some semblance of a personal life.

A lot of times, I DO feel like I have a pretty good balance in my life… but not ALL the time.

And I’m OK with that.

Sure, it would be lovely to have a perfectly structured life that never felt crazy or chaotic or “out of balance”… but can you honestly imagine how much physical and mental energy we would waste trying to keep everything in perfect balance and harmony 100% of the time?

It would be like constantly trying to do a handstand or balance on one foot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

balance

Nora trying to balance on one foot a few years ago 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty coordinated, and even still, I KNOW I could not balance on my head or on one foot for more than a few minutes… let alone forever!

I would most likely need to devote 100% of my mental energy to focus on the one simple task of balancing… meanwhile, I’d be missing everything else going on around me.

Don’t you agree?

Similarly, in our daily lives, trying to achieve that perfect balance 100% of the time would require so much mental energy that we’d most likely miss out on hundreds of little things each day — that’s not how I want to live my life.

Plus, I’ve found that in the times when things get a little out of balance and life starts to feel somewhat stressed and chaotic, I actually learn A LOT about myself. I learn more about my strengths and weaknesses. I learn how to tweak certain systems and schedules to hopefully make life run a bit smoother. I learn how my family works and functions best. I learn new time-saving tips and tricks. And often, I’ll find a better, more efficient way to do something than I was previously using.

So while I definitely DO strive for balance between work, family, home, and personal aspects of my life (and I’m always striving to simplify, organize, and de-stress various parts of my life) I also realize that there will be LOTS of times when things are NOT perfectly balanced.

The goal for me is to have my life balanced enough so I don’t feel stressed or chaotic, but still with plenty of room for imperfection, last-minute schedule changes, priority shifts, and REAL life to pan out.

I guess it kind of all comes back to my “all things in moderation” and “good enough” mottoes for my life. 

This doesn’t mean I don’t get a bit flustered when my balanced life suddenly shifts and everything comes crashing down. However, it DOES mean that I don’t spend exorbitant amounts of time trying to keep everything perfectly organized, inline, structured, etc. while missing out on living my life in the process.

In my opinion, I think ALL of life is a balancing act that we need to devote at least some attention to — otherwise things would be crazy and chaotic all the time. However, by creating some general structure, systems, routines, etc. we can be better prepared for the times when everything changes, the balance is gone, and all we have to show for our day are piles of dirty laundry, dirty dishes, dirty kids, fast food remnants, and an un-done to-do list.

I hate those kind of days as much as you do, but I also realize that those days don’t define my life… nor do they mean I’m a complete mess. Those days simply mean my current systems, schedules, and routines need to be tweaked a bit… and in my experience, tweaking usually leads to a better, more efficient way of doing things!

Is balance great — absolutely!

Is it OK not to have a blissfully balanced life 100% of the time — for sure!

The key for me is to learn something from the unbalanced times… and then try to improve for the future.

What have YOU learned about yourself and your life when things get a little out of balance?

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16 comments

  1. Alicia

    05/25/2017

    I have learned that I definitely operate better in general when I make balance in my life a priority. Doesn’t mean it’s always going to happen though because, hey, that’s life! I just keep doing the best I can, and let the rest go. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, balance is good… great even! It’s just not always possible and I don’t think we should let ourselves feel like failures if we have a busy season of life or a time when everything seems like it’s spiralling out of control.

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  2. Marisa

    05/08/2015

    I’ve learned that when I view balance as an obligation (to myself, my family, my health, etc), it starts to feel like a burden and a chore. Yet another thing to keep up with. When I view it as a choice, it becomes a tool for freedom. Tools can be used and put back and swapped with others depending on the problem at hand. Sometimes our problems are solved by allowing the family to get a little off balance for a while–to focus on what needs attention and let other things slide without fearing the consequences.

    [Reply]

  3. Tracey

    05/01/2015

    This is such a great post and I was just talking to my counselor about this very thing today. I am actually struggling with the fact that my life is in some kind of balance right now! LOL. I guess I”m used to operating out of balance, like putting all or most of my focus into one area (usually my work) and then trying to scramble to bring other things into balance. Lately due to a job change I’ve had much more time to focus on my spiritual and person well being. This post is literally a god send because I am realizing that balance is a constantly shifting thing in our lives and that is ok. Thanks for sharing it.

    [Reply]

    Tracey Reply:

    Same name (and spelling!) and same thoughts here!

    [Reply]

  4. PW

    05/01/2015

    I loved your pictures. Nora looks like she certainly was up to no good and Simon was on his own journey of seek and destroy. It was so funny, gave me a good laugh. We are in the process of ripping out our kitchen to the studs, ordering appliances, breaking out walls etc. so I also loved your post about things you like/dislike about your kitchen. I came to the conclusion a long time ago, nothing is perfect, deal with it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! And good luck with the kitchen renovation!

    [Reply]

  5. Janice

    05/01/2015

    Many years ago after I had been married only a few weeks, I said to my sister-in-law, “I can’t believe I’m behind already.” To which she replied, “You’ll never ever be CAUGHT UP.” Those were actually comforting words as she had been married to my brother for several years. If we just know we’re not alone in the juggle of life responsibilities, then we’re better able to function and not feel so stressed. Your post today was another dose of comforting words, Andrea.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I love this — thanks for sharing Janice!

    [Reply]

  6. Barb

    05/01/2015

    Andrea,

    Thank you for this post! I desperately needed to read this. Especially the part about “they don’t define my life… nor do they mean that I’m a complete mess.”

    My life is out of balance right now. What you just reminded me of and what I will strive to remember is that this imbalance doesn’t define me. I can learn new and improved ways of doing things because of the current imbalance.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, exactly! There is always room for improvement!

    [Reply]

  7. Starla

    05/01/2015

    I’ve learned that being flexible is such an important art of managing life that has become unbalanced. A balanced scale has to be flexible in order to balance time and again. Sometimes one side gets heavy, and then the other side gets heavier yet. The flexibility keeps it from toppling over! Isn’t that how life is?

    If we expect a balanced life all the time, we will always be disappointed. Because Life Happens. But it doesn’t have to steal our joy and inner quiet every time.

    A great post…

    [Reply]

  8. Avia

    05/01/2015

    Thank you. I needed to read this today.

    [Reply]

  9. Siobhan

    05/01/2015

    Very well said..I too learn from the chaotic times in my life.

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  10. The Busy Brunette

    05/01/2015

    Thank you for this reminder about not needing constant balance. I have learned that I definitely get stressed when things are not all “in line,” and – unfortunately – that is most of the time. I need to remind myself to be content because not everything is going to be perfect all the time.

    THANK YOU.

    The Busy Brunette
    http://thebusybrunette.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome!

    [Reply]