Checking In: Balance

I didn't make goals or resolutions, per se, for 2015, but I had a few things I wanted to work on. Most important of all of them: finding balance. I've always struggled to find balance. I like to schedule and plan, but then I leave myself no room for the spontaneous and unexpected. This year I'm working on finding a balance between all of my different roles and responsibilities 



School
School is my #1 priority - not necessarily because I want it to be, but because it's too expensive not to be. I took a class over the winter break and rolled right into the spring semester a few weeks ago, so it is in full swing. Sometimes I get frustrated because this is the area where I have the least amount of control and flexibility as far as finding a balance is concerned. I don't get to make the schedule, and not having that control is really hard for me. And once I get working on something, it's hard to stop - even when I need a break. It's that tunnel vision that I don't like, and that's where I really need to find a balance. To take a break for 5 minutes - read, throw in a load of laundry, whatever.


Running
While running/working out are still high on my priority list, my life doesn't revolve around it. Even in the midst of a marathon training cycle, I don't spend every day obsessing over when I'll be able to run. I don't have to eat the exact same meal the day before a long run anymore. I don't get up at 5:30 to get ready for runs anymore. I'm learning to rest when my body needs it instead of constantly pushing myself to the edge. I'm finding a balance between the things I need to do and the things I need to do.


Family
This is one area where I don't think I'll ever be able to do enough. I tend to schedule chunks of time for things (or, at least I used to) and family is one thing that rarely ever got a specified chunk. I still don't make it a point to carve out lots of family time, but I'm trying to take small moments here and there (which I think is more fun than anything I could plan anyway). A couple weeks ago Ben and I went to the movies on a Tuesday night, just because. Yesterday morning I slept in and cuddled Bane. 

Home
I'm more of a let-it-pile-up-then-clean-it-all-at-once kind of person, but that obviously affects my balance because then I have to spend hours at a time doing things I could have done in shorter stints over a longer period of time. So that's what I'm trying to work on. Not leaving dishes piled up, or laundry unfolded…that sort of thing. I've never been able to develop a system or cleaning schedule that works for me, but I've been better able to balance home responsibilities by tackling more things as soon as they come up. And since most of our problem is just clutter, finding a place for everything helps too. Every time I feel like I've accomplished that I seem to find something else that needs a home, but I feel like I've made some big progress over the last month. 

Money
I've always been really good at tracking spending, but not at controlling spending. At the beginning of the year Ben and I, like everyone else on the planet, sat down and really talked about our budget. Last year was our first full year as a single-income family (which we use to pay tuition as well), and when really looked at the numbers, it wasn't as rosy as we had thought. We committed to tracking our spending even further and to analyze where exactly our money is going. I'm 100 times more at fault than Ben is, but so far we have done a really good job. For me, balancing wants and needs is a serious struggle, so I've given myself an "allowance" for each month (I have a page where I'm keeping track in case anyone wants to join in or cheer me along - I'll have it up soon, I hope). Of course I've already gone over for the first month, but I still spent less than I would have otherwise because I really, carefully thought out each purchase. Well, except for those Real Housewives of Beverly Hills episodes from iTunes at $2.99 each - I was just really desperate to not die of boredom on my bike trainer.


Blogging
Last on the list, obviously, and really only gets a mention because I have had a really hard time balancing blogging with the rest of my life, especially since this new semester started. My brain has to be on and working pretty much at full capacity from 9am-5pm every day, and since I don't have a lot of opportunity to blog in that time span, by the time I get home I don't have a lot of mental energy left. And on top of regular blogging things (posting and reading and commenting and replying to comments and tweeting and the list goes on…), I have some changes I want to make, like designing a new menu and tweaking my layout and I've even thought about moving to Wordpress. But that involves learning Bootstrap and how to even go about moving (tips or suggestions?! Pros and cons?) and I haven't even had time to e-mail you all back, so I definitely haven't had time for any of that. 

Do you struggle with finding balance? How do you overcome that?

17 comments :

  1. Find balance is one of the big themes in my life lately. I've been trying! It sounds like you are doing the best you can to be aware and do the best you can. I think it is always a work in progress.

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    1. It definitely is. Sometimes it's just hard to accept that my best has to be enough.

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  2. Finding balance is so important to overall health and mental stability--so go you for seeking it!

    Family totally seems to get the shaft a lot of times, and I need to work on that, too.

    As far as switching from blogger to wordpress (not sure that Bootstrap is): the process was fairly simple for me, but I knew a little bit of code going into it. I host on GoDaddy (awesome customer service & they have a hosting option just for wordpress blogs) and have loved it.

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  3. I really need to work on finding balance in my life too! Breaking it down into those categories really made me think about my own struggles with balancing it all

    I give myself an 'allowance' every month too so that even with my self imposed spending freeze I still have a little bit of money to buy things here or there. I think having that little bit set aside so I can still spend a little bit keeps me from going crazy and completely breaking my spending freeze

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  4. Life is all about balance! It's truly a constant struggle for me, in every aspect. Cleaning, relationships, work, exercise, etc. I think you're going great, girl!!!! Keep it up :)

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  5. I struggle EVERY DAY... it seems like every day holds something that needs to be a priority... gotta be flexible to go with the flow. that's for sure.

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  6. Oh yes. Not a day goes by where I don't feel like I could be putting more effort into some area of my life. One day it could be work, another maybe home life, another it's eating or fitness....the list goes on. But I think we all feel that we could be doing better in some aspect.

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  7. I had no idea you could buy episodes of the Real Housewives. I'm considering getting rid of cable but Bravo shows are the one thing that keeps me hanging on.

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    1. I totally understand, that was a struggle for me too! I think if you buy the whole season it's cheaper!

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  8. Life is definitely a balancing act. I have the hardest time with school and blogging. Those are the two things that take up the majority of my time and if I'm not careful, they can completely take over. I'll get ahead in one and behind on the other and yeah, it's just never ends! I've been pretty good about using my planner this year and that helps a lot. If I sit down at the beginning of the week and schedule when I'm going to do everything, I tend to get it done. There are things that take longer than expected, but then there are others that don't take as long. I always hope for more of the latter!

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  9. Balance is definitely hard but I think it only gets easier as you start making it a priority! I find that when I get stressed out, I think of those few things that really relax me and I just do them. Like lying in bed watching Ellen videos for an hour..did that when I got home late today :) Even before taking off my jacket or unpacking from the day.

    I'm good at tracking my money but can't seem to control it well too haha. I gave myself an allowance and spent half of it Feb 1…I'm definitely a budgeter in progress :)

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  10. finding balance is hard.. i definitely struggle with it. i am an all or nothing type person, but it normally means i'm all about one thing and nothing about another. i totally do the house cleaning thing - i do a huge clean like once a week and i know it would be easier if i did a little bit every day, but i dont, and every time i do a big clean i think to myself that i need to just wipe down the counter, put the dishes away, etc etc every day rather than once a week. now we aren't gross with a bazillion dishes or whatever, they just seem to pile up super fast lol.
    balancing needs and wants for shopping is super hard for me (as you know) because honestly, everything is a want, and nothing is a need. i had a messed up dream the other night that really put it in perspective for me, not to mention we booked europe so i have to be good otherwise we will not be eating while we are there, and i like food.
    and i totally need to work on the family thing too - it seems silly, but i notice when i havent played with my cats or given them a one on one cuddle time in a while. they notice.
    anyway! sounds to me like you are working on it all, and you'll get there! aannnd selfishly i don't like wordpress, please don't move :(

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  11. I hate that about school too. I'm really good at making my OWN schedules and timelines but school doesn't let me. And I've stopped doing a 5:45AM spin class to give my body rest too. At some point, it's too much and like you said, my body need rest

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  12. Balancing life and adulting is hard to do! Something that we all are probably struggling with to some extent. Spending more time with family and budgeting are things I need to focus on this year for sure!

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  13. Balance is hard. For instance cleaning. Im the same way. Pile up and then hours to clean everything, put away everything etc. I need to be better at balancing life, work, extra curricular etc

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  14. Finding a balance is such a challenge but a friend of mine said to me that there 24 hours in a day and 8 hours are for work 8 for sleep and 8 for play and for some reason that has always stuck with me and I've found myself being more aware of the fact that I need to actually be in the moment because by stressing about not getting stuff done was stressing me out for nothing.. good luck for the rest of the year ;) xxx

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  15. Balance is so hard to find- especially with so much going on. I remember it being hard with school because it's not just the time of your classes but all of the work you have to do outside of that time too! I've been wanting to move to Wordpress too but at the same time I don't think I want to spend the money knowing I'm still struggling just trying to balance blogging as it is now.

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