Yes, I realize it’s Thursday, and that, my friends, is part of what this week’s Tuesdays on the run is all about: balancing work, life and running.
While my delayed post would seem to be an example of my failure to balance my life, it’s really an example of how I do manage the balancing game. A lot of the time. OK, some of the time.
You see, a lot of the busyness transcends working and parenting and instead has to do with things that appear to be important but are often self-imposed.
Important: making sure we have food to eat. Appears important: running four times per week.
Important: meeting work deadlines so I get paid so we can buy food to eat. Appears important: spending two hours on a weeknight scheduling @lachicaruns tweets on Hootsuite, each with its own original graphic.
One of the definitions for the word “balance” in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying running and being healthy are not important. I’m just saying that I try to give each item on my to-do list its proper due depending on what else is going on that day or week. How do I do that?
- I work hard at prioritizing so that things get the proper amount of importance. That means that sometimes the things that I would like to do get bumped by the things I absolutely have to do. Hence the delayed post.
- I’ve also learned to be flexible so that I can still fit it all in, just not in the time slots that I prefer or plan for. To whit: I may get up at 4:30 a.m. to run with my friends at 5:15 (a relatively recent development) rather than miss my run because I couldn’t get out of work on time. Some days, I trade yoga for running because I only have 30 minutes to squeeze in a work out.
- Sometimes, the best I can do is to let go. Let go of the guilt of not being the perfect parent who participates in every single school event. Let go of the idea that I just have to sign up for every single race and event that my running friends schedule. It’s just not going to happen.
- Lastly, I’ve learned to be realistic. There’s just no way that everything in my life is going to get the attention it deserves all of the time. Sometimes, work suffers. Other times, it’s my running. Or even the familia when other things interfere. But I strive to give each of those important parts of my life their proper due as much as I possibly can.
Sometimes, doing all of that is really, really hard. That’s why I am very fortunate — and grateful — to have a supportive el husbando who serves as my sounding board and helps me figure out whether something is a want or a need. And while he knows that my tendency is to try to do it all and do it all now, he can talk me off the ledge and throw me a lifeline when things don’t go as planned (or how I had imagined it all perfectly falling into place in my head). That lifeline might be taking on some of the self-imposed load and other times it’s pretending to still be sleeping after I’ve made a racket while trying to find my running gear in the dark on a Saturday morning.
Maybe I’ll get the man some ear plugs for Christmas.
How do you manage to fit it all in? What things have you had to let go of to do what you need/want to do? Please share your tips in the comments below.