Balance and Acceptance
I am continually asked, “How do you do it all?”. I work full time as a police officer and am a wife, a mom, an IFBB Pro, and a small business owner. Despite all of these roles, I still spend most days with a smile on my face. Let me be the first to tell you- no one can do it all and, in order to maintain balance in life, it is essential to prioritize and accept what can and cannot be humanly completed.
“Balance” is a very subjective term and there is no magic equation or rule book to ensuring it is present in your life. From my experiences, I have learned that it is most important to accept that not everything will be perfect. This is a hard lesson I have had to learn recently. There are days when we will all have a long “to do” list and have the time to complete only a fraction of the items. Guess what? That’s okay! Let yourself be okay with imperfection, otherwise your burnout is imminent and, believe me, it will not be a comfortable experience!
So I have come to the realization that life is truly about acceptance, not balance. As a society, we have effectively shamed ourselves into thinking that this ambiguous and redundant term defines us. People have stopped being honest about their struggles and challenges because they pride themselves on a fake illusion of balance that may never actually exist. Heck, never admit you are disgruntled, upset or mad because that just isn’t balanced!
You may instead put on your Wonder Woman cape and attempt to do it all! If there really is a woman out there that can work full time while having a million irons in the fire AND be a present mother and wife, I’d love to meet her and ask her for some of her energy! Our inability to acknowledge our own emotions, no matter how volatile they are, is a sense of shaming. Where does shame exist in balance?
Balance may mean something totally different to you than it does to me, perhaps for you it does relate to a sense of inner peace. I know that I have moments of inner tranquility, only to be fired up moments later by my inner crazy monolog that sounds like this, “Did I update the daycare schedule? When is show and tell day at preschool? Did I send that notification email for work? What am I training in the gym today? I’m hungry, when did I last eat? Where is the closest Starbucks?”. Welcome to my inner crazy, but knowing that I can never be perfectly balanced is part of acceptance.
What has helped me put things into perspective and has assisted me in accepting and prioritizing is to look at all the working parts of this beautiful life as balls; some are glass and some are rubber.
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You be the boss; name them depending on what’s most important in your life, but let’s generally identify them as work, family, health, friends, and spirit. As you try to keep all of these balls in the air, you will recognize which will be made of rubber. The rubber balls will be different for everyone. Some might view work as the rubber ball while others might have something different but, no matter what it is, if you drop it, it will bounce back.
The other four balls – family, friends, health and spirit- are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. These are the integral parts of your life that require daily attention. You must understand that and strive for acceptance of what “balance” in your life looks like.
It seems we are all very busy in this fast-paced, social media-influenced life, victims of the crazy schedule that goes along with it. Before we start to try and manage our time, it is mandatory for us to figure out which aspects of life are glass balls and which ones are rubber balls. For me, it is my health, family, relationship, and my daughter. These glass balls, I cannot drop.
As mentioned above, I run a small business and manage a team of 650 women who also run their businesses online. This sounds incredibly busy on top of everything else in my life, but I have quickly realized that this is one of my rubber balls. I am able to give my business some focused attention and when I step away to give my glass ball attention, it will continue to bounce until I return. I have to admit that there was a time when I was giving too much attention to this rubber ball. When my three year old daughter took my phone out of my hands and hid it, I knew I was spending too much energy on the wrong things. She was clearly needing some mommy time. If this wasn’t a sign to let the rubber ball bounce, I’m not sure what is!
Figure out what your glass ball is and be very careful with it. The other rubber balls can come and go. So if you are feeling overwhelmed with your busy life and hectic schedule, decide which balls are rubber and which ones are glass. Accept this prioritization and let it bring balance into your life.