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When it comes to balance...

… sometimes you have to be willing to let some things go.

My uncle painted a painting called “The Responsible Woman“.  I look at it every single day, as it is the picture hanging above my dresser.

When I look at it, I’m reminded that I am not the only mom or woman with possibly more on her plate than she can easily handle.  I’m not the only one juggling a a family, full time day job, church responsibilities, a home, a yard, an extended family, friends, a blog, parent groups, the desire to workout (notice it is just the desire right now) – to name just the biggest chunks of responsibilities.

I’m always jealous when I look at some women around me who seem to coast through everything.  They always have perfect make-up, they are filling their days playing with their kids and leisurely working in their yard.  These same women will stay in their workout clothes for the better part of the day because they are comfortable and they are getting sun while playing with their kids.

And then I realize, they are doing what works for them to maintain the balance that we all seek.  In order to find that balance, we have to realize somethings just have to go.  They don’t have to go permanently, necessarily, but long enough that we can get back on our feet.

This year I had great plans to go to BlogHer ’11 in San Diego.  I was so excited because it is not far from my brother and sister-in-law’s home.  It felt like such a great time to take the kids down and let them stay and play with their cousins while I enjoyed the conference.  Or for Scott and the girls to come down and play in San Diego.  I kept looking forward to it but I would get a bit of a pit in my stomach.  With all that has been going on, it didn’t really make sense for me to pursue a mostly solo vacation.  With limited days of vacation saved up with the new job, my sister-in-law’s cancer treatment, and the long hours I’ve been putting in I knew it wasn’t fair for me to go.  I was so lucky to have sold my ticket minutes before the deadline of 5 PM on July 1st.  I sold it for less than I paid, but at least I sold it.

My house is not nearly as clean as I like it, but I’m trying to get the kids to learn how to help around the house.  Which means I can’t really follow behind them and do it over again because that doesn’t send the right message – plus I just don’t have time to manage them and redo.

Laundry gets done once a week and sometimes it will sit in the laundry basket (folded) for several days.  Or until I am sorting laundry the next time and need the basket.  (Oh the shame).

Scott sprays round up on my weeds (which is totally un-organic of me) but it saves me the time of weeding every weekend.  I still have to get the weeds that are close to flowers, but I can often convince the girls to do that.

My workout schedule is non-existent.  This is one of those areas that I have let go and am going to require some other adjustments so that I can fit it back in.  Otherwise 40 is not going to be a happy birthday.

The final thing that my responsibilities have affected is the amount of time I get to spend blogging.  Rather than posting 4-5 times a week, I’ve had to scale back.  I’m going to work on finding a happy medium somewhere between the once a week I have been doing and the five times a week I was doing.  But, it will take some time to get into my groove.  I also haven’t had time to read and comment on blogs – which makes my heart hurt.  I feel like I’m missing out on relationships with in-real-life blogging friends and virtual blogging friends.  I’m going to somehow remedy that as well.

Sure, it sucks to have my clothes in a laundry basket for a week, or in a pile on my closet floor.  I would love to have a dust free, stack free, always vacuumed home.  Having a well manicured yard that I could be proud of is a dream.  But for now, I will make sacrifices so that one day, I will have my dreams.

____________

In order to balance all of your responsibilities, what do you let go?

 

 

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4 comments to When it comes to balance…

  • Your uncle is James C. Christensen? My mom LOVES him. She collected his paintings when I was growing up. That one was her favorite.

    [Reply]

  • Emily
    Twitter: emihill

    I was going to say the same thing as Kristina–amazing artwork. The one you feature above is perfect! I’ve let a few things go and my home as constant piles, laundry gets done about every week and a half, and we often have pancakes for breakfast. But everyone seems healthy and happy, so I’d say it’s working (most of the time). 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Gardens of Plenty
    Twitter: gardensofplenty

    Oh Amy,

    It really warms my heart to hear you speak so honestly and truthfully about the trials and tribulations of balancing the day-to-day. This is what I love most about reading your blog. Even if you think you are somehow letting someone down by not getting everything done just so and on time, I think it is so wonderful and healthy that you are, indeed, “letting some stuff go” for the sake of balance and sanity. Bravo!

    I have no idea how you juggle it all, but you truly inspire me! So go ahead and blog less if it means you have more time to devote to self sanity. That is just as important! And I have seen your vlogs… your makeup and whole person looks just lovely. As for working out? That is always a balancing act. It ebbs and flows, and I am sure you will get back into a routine when your body tells you the timing is right.

    My only bone to pick with you out of love and concern is… Roundup. I know, I know: it seems so convenient and easy and it works. But it works because it such a potent chemical/health/environmental nightmare. Weeds will always be there, no matter what you do. And while weeds aren’t pretty, they also aren’t inherently bad. So for your health (and your kiddos!) I would love to see you kick the Roundup to the curb… even if it means that the weeds flourish for now. You can use a non-toxic vinegar spray on weeds that aren’t near your grass or other happy plants. And hand pulling (while time-consuming and annoying) is actually great exercise for the whole family! Also, investing in an organic fertilizer for your yard/garden like Bradfield Organics will actually over time minimize your weeds.

    Totally not trying to preach. Believe me, I get it… time is at a premium. Just concerned for your well-being! And I am cheering you on no matter what!
    –Erin

    [Reply]

  • I found you from Emily’s blog and when I pop onto your page, I am so struck by the painting – WOW (beautiful!) and your honesty. Somehow – we all believe that we are Wonder Woman so I think that you make a good point – sometimes you have to let go of certain things to make other parts work. I really would like to let go of the house cleaning, laundry, cooking, and yardwork – maybe we can all share a butler, maid and gardener? 🙂 Hang in there – you are SO not alone!

    [Reply]

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