The Key To Living a Balanced Life

By January 18, 2011Featured Posts

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People talk about living a balanced life as if it is a constant state. As if “achieving” balance is something we do once and we’re set. 

But really, balance is NOT a constant state. Rather, it is a continuous series of small adjustments. 

The more we practice the art of balance the smaller those adjustments become until they are almost imperceptible. But they are always there.

When we drive down the road, it might look like we’re driving in a straight line, but it’s actually lots of small corrections that keep us in the middle of the road.

So when we pursue balance in our lives it is vital that we realize that at any point in time something will be slightly off. If we expect perfection and balance nirvana, we’re destined for discouragement. 

But if we remember that life is ever-changing we can be more content with the fact that we must be ever-changing as well. 

What area of your life tends to throw you off balance the fastest?

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29 Comments

  • Avatar Kat says:

    For me, it’s definitely housework. Laundry – I’m looking at you.

  • I would agree… laundry and dishes… can’t stand to see them pile up!
    I almost cannot do anything else unless they are done!

    A close second would be the computer! 😉

  • Avatar Robyn says:

    Dishes! I’m with you! Oh to have a dishwasher! I’ve learned the secret to a good day is to wake up and walk into a clean kitchen. Nothing sets me up better! Otherwise I spend the morning trying to catch up with last night, and then I play catch up with the morning. Right now I’ve got this fabulous semi-structured routine with my two littles. Love it when a day goes as planned. But when these little curve balls come at me and messes with my day, I struggle a little. Working on that! Love the post.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Robyn,
      You’re so right about waking up to a clean kitchen. Makes all the difference in the world!

    • Robyn, I so feel your pain! I have been three years (a short time for some, but to me a lifetime!) without a dishwasher. All the dishes have to be washed and put away before I can have even a little counter space for cooking. It gets so frustrating!

  • Avatar aubrey says:

    when one of the kids unexpectedly gets up early in the morning and my morning alone time is turns into trying to keep them busy so i get my alone time. it doesn’t work well. i like the reminder that having a balanced life is constant and ever-changing.
    thanks!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Aubrey,
      Oh, I have a hard time when that happens too. When my husband is home, we take turns watching the kids so that we can both have our quiet time, but when he’s out of town, I always have to reset my expectations for my morning time.

  • Issues with my kids. They are teens so it can be quite dramatic!
    Funny, the title of my blog is Living the Balanced Life!
    Bernice

  • Avatar Andie says:

    Housework – definitely!

    I also fee thrown off balance if I get behind on my to do list and I feel the need to “catch up”. But it’s not like it’s a race, I don’t know why I put so much pressure on myself LOL!

    Thanks for a great post Kat!

  • Avatar Sami says:

    Ah, my imbalance starts in my heart!! It’s so easy for me to start putting priority on the wrong things (well, not “wrong” but just not the best)!!! Daily reorganization in Bible study is what I need!!! And your blog reminding me!!! 🙂

  • Oh what a great post. I had thought balance was achieved. Thanks for the relief that it’s constant, yes, like when sailing (I love sailing and the funny thing is the “exercise” part of it is keeping your balance all the time!) and you’re thinking of the wind and direction while your body is doing the balancing work. I’ve often thought of that metaphor with Spirit as wind and direction as purpose but hadn’t added the third element of balance. Love it.

    What throws me off balance is emotions of those around me. I can live with messy more than my family members but I clean for their peace and my joy in their happiness. I often have to pray for the right attitude (spirit again) by the way!

    Thanks again for the perspective corrective.

  • Oh wow what great free resources. I will be bookmarking this. Thanks for the tips!

  • Avatar Emily says:

    My fastest way to get off-balance is when something unexpected comes along and messes up my expectation – of how the day is supposed to be going, of the pre-arranged schedule, of how I’m feeling (like the jerk that flipped me off driving the other day, totally out of the blue – I wasn’t doing anything wrong, don’t know why he was mad, but it got me feeling very weird) – and then the expectation gets thrown out the window, as I try to “fix” things to go along with what’s in my head already instead of just adjusting and moving forward.

    Thanks for the great post! 🙂

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    When I feel this deep longing for relationship on a given day and lonely at home with my little one, then I tend to spend too much time with technology (blogs, FB, email, phonecalls etc) and that throws me off.

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  • Avatar Anna says:

    This is so true and perceptive! I’m with all of you who said housework. Once I get off balance there, everything gets so crazy that it’s difficult to restore order. But if I strive for impossible perfection, I just frustrate myself.

    My key to tiny readjustments? The morning and evening. Those are the most tired but the most crucial times. If I stay on top of those routines, I can start each day fresh and optimistic – but if I slack, don’t do dishes, don’t make the bed, etc., the whole day is off.

  • Avatar Herbwifemama says:

    Oh, thank you for this! This makes so much sense. I’m always frustrated because I feel like I can never get into a routine, I’m constantly adjusting, even from day to day. Maybe I’m more balanced than I think. 🙂

    What can throw me off balance? Oh, anything that doesn’t make it to my “to do” list: a forgotten christmas gift, a pukey kid, my husband’s day off… stuff like that.

  • Avatar Lara says:

    For me it is definitely the pressure to get some where “on time.” When I feel the ticks of the clock practically drowning out the rest of the noise, I start to lose my footing. He’s working on me. So patiently.

  • So true…stagnancy is the worst thing for you!

  • For me it’s that sneaky devil depression. I waver back and forth between really good days and really awful days. This reminder that it’s all about the little adjustments we make over and over was so good for me. I don’t have to let the bad days win… I just have to correct my balance and readjust my plan!

  • Yes, I’ve always pictured balance like a seesaw, it goes back and forth. True, steady balance? Not going to happen. The thing that throws me off balance the fastest is making sure I get taken care of. Saving time for ME and remembering to take care of myself. So easy to focus on the kids and the to do list to the point that it is now 3PM and I realize I haven’t even eaten yet.

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    So true…balance really is just a series of small adjustments. For me, laundry and college throw me off balance. Laundry because I get so overwhelmed by it, college because when I’m in school, my time is so limited, and my house tends to be put on the back burner, after family, work, church, college, and more.

  • Avatar Christy says:

    Okay, as a physical therapist, the balance analogy totally struck me. Seriously…SO TRUE!!!

    For me the issue that throws me out of whack is SLEEP! (or lack thereof.) I’ve always been a ‘needs 8 hours a night’ kind of girl, and let’s just say that hasn’t happened for the last 3 1/2 years! Gearing up for my 3rd baby to be born in August…I am coming to terms with the fact that I won’t be getting any kind of consistent sleep anytime soon.

    For me the struggle is to maintain my mental and emotional sanity when running on empty.

  • Avatar selena says:

    Kat, I struggle with balance when trying to get all tasks done, take care or myself, and family. I do really well, but that tends to make me inflexible. Small changes in my schedule can reek havoc on my state of mind. I have found that better nutrition and sleep COMPLETELY have a DIRECT effect on how I juggle it all and keep the balance AND the peace 🙂

  • Avatar Emilyrsps says:

    Work throws me off balance! When I think I have a good balance between work and home, something happens at work to tilt the scales that way.

  • This is so true! I strive for balance every day, though some days are easier than others!

  • Thank you for the reminder that life isn’t a straight line journey. I tend to beat myself up if I get off track. Instead I need to focus on how far I’ve come and where I’m headed, rather than worrying about every little misstep.