14 December 2011

Balance: is it attainable?

As a mother of four active children who works out, blogs almost daily, is in a functioning relationship with my spouse, and maintains a sense of humor, I am often asked "How do you do it? How do you do it all? How do you find the balance?" And as a person who listens and reads, I frequently come across people lamenting their own inability to 'find the balance' and their struggle to 'do it all.' 

Here's my secret:  I figured out that those two things are in direct conflict with one another. 

And that's Lesson #1 in Finding the Balance. You are not going to find any sort of balance if you are fixated on doing it all... so stop

Perfection ≠ Balance is Lesson #2. Whenever you see someone appearing effortlessly and perfectly balanced, understand that there is a whole world "behind the scenes" to which you are most likely not privy. 


In 1976, Nadia Comaneci displayed what appeared to be the epitome of effortlessly perfect athletic balance...even being awarded a perfect 10 for several of her performances in the Montreal Olympics...but her LIFE had very little balance. By her own account, it was very stressful and troubling. Let go of perfection...unless maybe you're an obsessed, Olympic-bound athlete (Olympic-bound being the key phrase there). Or Martha Stewart.

Dovetailing in with the first two lessons is Lesson #3Achieving balance is often easier with a partner. Buddy up. Relinquish some control. It is really hard to lead a balanced life if you hang on to control-freakisms. Practice a little give and take.


This brings us to an important question... Can you limit your sitting and sleeping to 23 and a half hours per day? (You want to click that link, trust me...Dr. Mike Evans presents a compelling visual lecture). A crucial piece to finding balance and improving your quality of life is getting regular exercise. Move your body! is Lesson #4. The physical, mental and emotional health benefits of simply walking 30 minutes a day...even broken down into shorter snippets of time... are enormous. You could leave the remote across the room and get up from the sofa to change channels, or park at the far end of the parking lot at the mall or grocery store, basically, there are lots of opportunities to add in some walking. You have the time. Priorities, people. I'm telling you, click that link.

In my life, the balance is more of a juggle (love this bit about rubber balls vs. glass balls!)...and quite often is very much an elaborate plate-spinning act. I think sometimes I'm like this guy...


...only with way messier hair and less fancy clothes. My favorite part is in the very beginning when he screws up and just kind of shrugs his shoulders and moves on. Determining when it's important to let go and when it's more prudent to hang on and then going with that decision is, to my mind, the key to finding the balance. 

Wishing everyone a blessed and balanced holiday season :)

31 comments:

  1. I love this post!!! I have been struggling with balancing everything lately I love ur tiPs!!

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  2. I love this post!!! I have been struggling with balancing everything lately I love ur tiPs!!

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  3. love this! I often struggle with finding balance, great post :)

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  4. Great post. I love the "shrugs and moves on". I try to do that whenever a drop a ball or things don't work out.

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  5. My goal for 2012 is to find some balance between being a father, husband and finding time for myself. (Should probably include work in there as well.)

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  6. I was looking at the balance pose picture and admiring their bodies when I realized where the back of her head is touching ... blech.

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  7. While many of us who've been moms for a while now know most of this to be true, many of us still struggle to embrace the truths presented here. YOu were right the 23.5 hours a day clips was well worth reading. My sister told me about the study about obesity vs exercise or sedentary (she's getting her masters in Exercise Physiology) - wanting me to understand that even though my weight isn't going down as quickly as I would like, I'm still adding years to my life by being more active. THANK YOU for these reminders.

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  8. Great post. That balance picture is amazing.

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  9. Loved reading this. I totally agree /w #2. It's when I finally gave myself a "break" and tried to not put so much pressure on myself I found better balance. I'd still like to incorporate more though :) lol

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  10. I had a mad crush on Nadia Comaneci in 1976. Had I known she was under duress I would have found my way to Montreal and saved her from both herself and the evil chains of communism.

    I think you hit the biggest point on balance which is stop thinking about it and just do it. Easier said than done I know but it's the secret sauce for sure.

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  11. Blogging daily? What's that?
    I would, however, love to have that body of the chick holding up the guy - wowzie!

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  12. this is an amazing post and i definitely needed it this week...i feel so unbalanced! but i am violating pretty much all of the tips so think I will try a few to see if I cant return to some balance ;)

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  13. Love this: "Determining when it's important to let go and when it's more prudent to hang on and then going with that decision is, to my mind, the key to finding the balance."

    Right on my friend!

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  14. Ummm... love this. The Nadia Comaneci is spot on (at least for this former gymnast anyway).

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  15. Recently I've learned to let things go and realize what are the MOST important things to balance. Unfortunately, blogging and keeping up with blogs isn't in the top of my priorities all the time anymore. When I have the time and I'm feeling the urge to express myself, then I'm thankful that blogging is here but for awhile I found myself stressing about how to fit it in when things got busy and then realized...wait, this isn't work...it is fun and if I don't have time for it then that's okay. With the higher mileage and truly focusing on being present with my kids, balance has meant letting the less important stuff go...the stuff that won't matter in 10 or 20 years...the stuff that I'll wonder why I ever spent so much time on. Those things are pushed to the side so that balance can be here. Great food for thought. Glad I made it here today...see what a day off of running will do for me?!

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  16. Yep--the whole "you can't do it all" thing is SO important and probably so often missed. We'd like to think we're superwomen (ok, we are) but to get there, you've gotta be willing to let some things go. Priorities is right!

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  17. ha! balance...I am not a huge fan of that word...I lost it after I had kids...for a long long time..and it sucked. now I think I have some. I get asked the same how do you do it..by people who dont have kids. I think most of us dont really know how much we CAN handle. The key for me and a lot of mothers and to remember to put Caroline in the balancing act.

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  18. Oh, you make it sound so easy ;) Glad you've got it figured out.

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  19. I like this post. It is so true! As moms we are always juggling something and trying to keep an equilbrium.

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  20. Such a wise post! You do have all the answers!(And I'm glad I clicked on that link..)

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  21. I'm really glad Patty Perfect got to read this one. You are so right about the behind the scenes part. My house is not in order, my hair is rarely "done" but I ran three miles on my tredmill, went to boxing, and fed and bathed all my babies. Oh and I wrote a post!

    One more thing... tonight when driving into boxing I passed a car leaving McDonalds... I wanted to scream out my window: Put down the Big Mac and come box with me instead!

    Is this the longest comment ever, or what?!

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  22. You are absolutely right of course. To gain balance, you need to be less perfect.

    I've learned that lesson the hard way :)

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  23. Thank you for this post!! It is exactly what I needed to read today!

    My goal today: Take 30 minutes for me and walk!

    Found you via lovelinks (and so glad I did!)

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  24. Love the post. Dont know too much about penis on the back of my head though.....

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  25. Damn, I thought I'd see you in a leotard on the the balance beam! ;)

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  26. What an awesome post! I do have to say though... I'm very impressed with how that chick on the bottom of the balancing pose was able to keep it together with that guys balls resting on the back of her head. Now that's concentration!

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  27. I am definately one of those moms struggling to find balance. I have a bad habit of taking on too many new projects at a time so I'm trying to wean myself from that. My resolution for next year is to simplify, say no more often and decide what is most important to me so I can focus there. Loved this post and your tips. :)

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  28. Totally love this post! Thanks for the lesson/reminders, especially this time of year!

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  29. I love this post, and needed to read it today. Thanks!!!

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  30. I felt like you wrote this post just for me! Especially around the holidays, it can be so exhausting trying to keep all the balls in the air. Thanks for a great post and for sharing it with us at Rub Some Dirt On It!

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