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Simplify your life weeks 4 and 5: balance. (hmmm.)

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Simplify your life weeks 4 and 5: balance. (hmmm.)

It's been 2 weeks since I last posted a 52 weeks to simplify your life post. This is because last week Debra gave us a rest week to catch up or reflect. I used the full two weeks on week 4's challenge which was finding ballance and I must admit I still haven't done the wheel of life exercise. I will get to it, but first I'd like to ramble a little about my thoughts about balance over the last two weeks.

Balance is something I really struggle with. I always have. Jokes about frequent ear infections as a child and being dizzy aside, I have always had trouble prioritising and choosing what to do when I can't do everything I want to do. It's probably the single greatest cause of conflict in my marriage because Corey is not a fan of my indecisiveness. I try to pour my whole heart into anything I do but I want to do it all and all I end up doing is wasting time refusing to make up my mind. That doesn't help anyone. Corey wants more family time, which he called balance in his core values, so when I saw balance was a challenge on simplify your life I figured I'd better take it seriously.

You know what? It's really hard.

I was told as a kid "you can do anything you put your mind to". I say the same to my kids. The problem is I can't do EVERYTHING I put my mind to. I have to learn to choose. So, without doing the wheel of life exercise I already know what I waste my time on and what causes tension and stops me doing things I want to do. These "little" time wasters are:

  • not being able to choose what the best thing to do is
  • being upset with myself for not being able to do anything everything
  • trying to reason with Alexis when she's over tired and cranky and really just needs a sleep
  • stressing 
  • getting upset with hubby dearest when he doesn't see things as urgent as I would. 
Corey is perfectly happy to sit on his butt playing a game on his phone while I'm in a flap over what to do first. I used to see this as a pathological flaw in him but I'm starting to see that calming down and resting a little bit first can sometimes be very handy. Perfect balance for us as a family lies somewhere in the middle, we know this. I need him to voluntarily help around the house (oh he helps, he helps lots, but I need him to do it because he takes pride in our house not because he's sick of me nagging him to do it) so I can relax properly when we have family time. He needs me to lower my standards and get in and get it done whichever way I can rather than obsessing over stupid little things.

So, I haven't done the wheel of life yet. I'm about to, as I said, but I wanted to write this down first for my own sake. Over the last two weeks I've been realising things and working on them immediately.

  • although housework is not a huge priority for either of us we have a young family and it's important to keep the house safe for them and thus it's always going to need to be done. 
  • I have 2 kids under 2 so I know full well I'm not getting the amount of alone time or creative time or intellectual stimulation that I would like. 
  • we know we don't get as much rest and relaxation time or date time as we would like but we are already making steps to get as much as we can. 
  • my way of coping with this has been to throw myself even more into "keeping house" in the last two weeks to set up more manageable systems and also to focus more on investing in our marriage over the last week and a bit.
  • we've also been focusing on disciplining Alexis (firmly but lovingly) so that she begins to respect us and know there are consequences for her actions. 
  • We've also been getting more involved in our local church for support and accountability and focused on our first point in our mission statement which was seeking God. 
  •  These things have meant LESS time for the things I crave and also less sleep, which is dangerous when sleep is a precious commodity. Yet I think it is necessary because if these things help me limit the damaging time wasters in the near future then they're definitely going to provide more time soon. 
Maybe it was just "justifiable procrastination", instead of doing the wheel of life exercise but it paid off anyway. I hope. 

Ok, let's do this wheel thing.

It probably would be different every day I did it, but as a general guide it's something like this

I'm not really that unhappy. It's reasonable to have being a mum taking up most of my life at the moment. I don't think mums with young kids can achieve 'perfect' balance. I must work on putting God and Corey ahead of the kids. Apart from that, what I am aiming towards, is including music, art, fun etc in my normal day to life by doing it with the kids and with church and in my marriage etc etc. I've started it already and it has been good. Anyway that's for next week's goal setting post. As for sleep, well, I can sleep when the kids start school can't I? ;) I don't think I'll ever get enough sleep so instead of spending so much time worrying about it perhaps it's time to just get used to it. 

Sorry if I'm a little cranky, I should be having a nap. William is up anyway I just realised. LOL. I have a four month old, this is as balanced as it's gonna get for now. 

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3 Comments:

At February 6, 2012 at 2:59 PM , Blogger Lee said...

Karlee, you are so right. I don't think that balance is possible with kids under school age, and I am not even sure if it's possible until they leave home! I guess the point is to try. Sometimes survival is all that matters! Hope you got a nap. xx

 
At February 7, 2012 at 10:20 PM , Blogger Rhianna said...

Balance is something that I struggle with, I am an all or nothing kind of person. Which means I generally start so gunghoe that my energy levels fizz out before I get anything done.

Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely lady xx

 
At February 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous Deb @ home life simplified said...

I think your assessment of things is really good - you don't look at art/music etc and think "oh i must do 10 things to bring that up - you think about how you can incorporate it into your day to day life and that is what makes it achievable and realistic and likely to naturally increase over the year)

With 2 under 2 you are doing well hon - when i had 2 under 2 i was barely surviving!

 

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