Imagine if I really had the secret to a perfect life balance? Imagine if there was such a thing as a “perfect balance” at all?
Like many other things in life, I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all secret to achieving balance. And I have learned the hard way that there is no “perfect balance.” If there is and if you achieve it, you are a better person than me…or you’re a robot.
I’m a pretty prepared and capable person. I always have a plan, a list, deadlines and responsibilities, and I rarely drop the ball. For much of my life I wanted that perfect balance; the feeling that everything in my life was lined up straight, organized and making complete sense. I thought I was “close” to achieving that at one point in my life. Then I had kids, and have yet to regain that same sense of control.
I have learned that, for me, the only way to achieve balance — not a perfect balance, just a balance that prevents you from toppling off the top of the mountain — is by accepting imperfection and imbalance.
I strive toward an acceptable level of imbalance. In fact, I have certain levels of imbalance that are okay for me. I’m happy if I get my top priority work items done and roll the rest to tomorrow so I can play a game with my kids before they go to bed. Or, I let myself off the hook, even though I didn’t get the laundry done or the house cleaned because it was a really productive day. And some days, I just throw up my hands and tell myself that tomorrow will be better.
Eventually, the imbalance becomes consistent. It’s expected and accepted. I know that I will not reach perfection. I accept that and look to the next desirable outcome. Once I have shifted my level of expectations, the imbalance becomes my balance. For me, it’s about routine, flexibility, give-and-take and acceptance.
Of course, all of this may be my way of making excuses when I fall short or don’t get that last thing done. But if it helps me stay on course, even when it feels like I am going to drop one of the many balls I have in the air, isn’t that kind of what balance is?
I’d love to hear your opinion. What do you think about life balance? Do you try to achieve it?
Image credit: styf22