Balanced Life

The Myth of a Balanced Life

For years, I chased after an illusion that I could attain the highly-sought-after-balanced-life.

You know the mythical unicorn: a perfect balance of work, home life, and personal time.  I imagined picturesque mornings going out for a run, coming back journaling and reading my bible, waking my children up and cooking them a nutritious, healthy breakfast, and then heading into the office.

What.  A.  Delusion.

This illusion delusion also left me feeling like a pawn of a daily teeter-totter.  Constantly, running from one side to the next trying to attain the unattainable balanced life.

I’m trading in my hope of a balanced life for a centered life.

What’s the difference?

A balanced life is a life where your priorities are allocated.  You divvy out a certain amount of your time, your energy, and your money.

We all have 168 hours in a week.  I’ve heard it said that time is the only non-renewable resource.

Striving after a balanced life, left me well…tired from all the striving, the toiling, only momentary glimpses of success.

You’ve seen kids on a teeter-totter, they only stay balanced for seconds.  After a moment, one of the kids are again hoisted in the air.

That’s exactly how I felt, hurling towards or spiraling away from what’s important to me.   Those precious gifts that I believe God wants me to steward.

A centered life is a mindset that filters decisions based on values. In a centered life, you know your values and your actions align with these values.  According to the dictionary, values are the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. I began having a litmus test for how I said yes or no to things, based on my values.  Like a tether pole, your values are the rod to which all your decisions flow.

If you don’t know what you value, you begin to bob about in the great ocean of life being tossed around by the waves of life. 

Faith, family, and fun are a few of my values.

I’ve created an daily intention (this primes my brain to look for opportunities to seek out my values) to live a centered life according to my values.

What does this look like? Well…thank you, I’m so glad you asked.

Most mornings (because perfection is not attainable…sorry), I write down 3 things I want to do that day.

I do this during my morning devotional time. This is a great time to think and consider the day. Because being in His presence changes the way we think.  When you read the Word,  your desires become aligned with His desires.

I write down what I want for that day. Three things, this isn’t a to-do list.  Writing down only 3 things (ok…sometimes, I write a few more, but I aim for only 3), helps me to focus on what is most important.  Too many times our values, the things we hold most dear, get waylaid by the demands in our schedule.

Since abandoning my pursuit of a balanced life, I experience more peace because I am more present.

I’m slowing down to enjoy what I value most – my faith and my family.

**Warning** Your life won’t become perfect…in fact, it may look just like this:

Myth of a balanced life

I know longer feel chained to my schedule, instead – I am more in control of my time because I am choosing my values over my to-do list.  This isn’t a perfect process, but I am experiencing more peace and less anxiety.  More memories and less rush. More connection and less chaos.

Sounds pretty great, right?

So here are a few starters if you want embrace a centered life:

  1.  Take a value sort inventory
  2. Get to know your top 3 values. These core values become the litmus test for making decisions.
  3. Write down 3 action steps you can take that will align your actions with your values.
  4. Evaluate – At the end of the day, did you feel more peace? More present with others? More connected?

Was this article helpful to you?  Let me know in the comments below.

Blessings to you,

Melissa

3 Comments

  • Karissa Bettendorf

    Love this Melissa! What a great thing to think about – three top values. As my life changes so quickly and drastically (marriage and baby all on one year) I think this is very important!

    May 4, 2016 at 12:07 pm
  • R

    Lovely sentiment, would love to know if you are a stay home mom or a working mom. I am finding myself thoroughly jealous of stay at home moms who get to choose to focus on their priorities. Because I need to work to support a big priority (kids) it feels like I have no choice in the matter.

    May 4, 2016 at 7:31 pm
    • melissaClark
      Melissa Clark

      Hi! Yes, I can understand that frustration as well…I work both inside and outside of the home. To be honest, I’ve done both – there are struggles on both side. I find that as I focus on my values, even the tasks I don’t like, begin to have meaning and purpose. Blessings to you, Melissa

      May 4, 2016 at 8:07 pm

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