Why is it so hard to find balance? I am great at making plans, and starting new things, but terrible at following them through for long enough to reap all the benefits.
The only constant in my life is exercise. I've written all about why I love exercise before, and it's actually a treat for me to do it, so it's easy to stick with. But everything else in my life lacks that same determination.
I see my weight creeping up on the scale, so I decide to stop it in its tracks. Instead of just cutting back a little on sweets or calories, I decide to go on a full out diet where I limit myself to a few foods or count every calorie like a hawk. And then as soon as I get to a comfortable weight (not my goal weight) where my clothes fit better, I go off the diet and eat all the bad stuff I've been depriving myself of. I splurge and cheat (only with food!) and the cycle starts all over. I never get down to my goal weight and constantly feel like a failure.
I recognize that my prayer life is weakening and I haven't been to Confession in way too long, and I decide that I am going to wake up early for morning prayer, go to daily Mass, say the family rosary every night, sign up for an hour of Adoration at my parish, and go to Confession every first Saturday. I do it all for a while, and then I start missing my Adoration hour here and there, sleeping sounds better than early morning prayer, the kids won't settle down for the Rosary tonight, etc. etc. So I give up until I start feeling guilty again, and renew those promises all over.
Then there's the area of friendships and family relationships. Whenever I start to feel like I have no social life and nobody invites me to do anything with them, I realize that I am guilty of the same crime. I am so bad at reaching out to my friends and family on a daily (or even weekly) basis, and when I try to be better about it I can get so overwhelmed that I'm too busy that I retreat away from everyone once again. I have had some friends that I was close to and have moved away, and after they are gone I wish I had spent more time with them while we were together. The same rings true with family. I have 3 great sisters and 2 awesome sisters-in-law (who all live within 20 minutes) that I love spending time with, but I never make it a priority and end up only seeing them once every couple months at a family event.
And don't even get me started on my house. I basically wait until it's a complete disaster and then go crazy cleaning and yelling at everyone else to help. I know that I could be so much happier if I just kept it clean with small daily chores instead of letting it get out of control. And I need to declutter too, instead of pushing things in a corner or telling myself I'll do it next weekend. I need to rid myself of those material things that I don't need, as well as my bad habits.
I know that I'm busy with a full-time job and five kids, but we are all busy and I don't want to use excuses as to why I can't seem to find a more balanced approach to life. There are times that I am sitting at home on a Thursday night when Phil has taken the older boys to swimming, and Maggie and the baby are put to bed, when I have an hour to myself. I could pray, invite a friend or family member over, clean and declutter, or cook some healthy food for the week. Instead, I sit on the couch in my pajamas and watch tv or sit at my computer and waste precious time on non-important things (like who Suri is poking fun at).
So I think that will be my first baby step on the road to finding more balance and determination to follow through with my plans. I will take that hour each week to check something off my to do list, because it's amazing how much I can get done in an uninterrupted hour. If I can stick to that one hour each week, then maybe that determination will spread out to the other areas of my life and help me find that peaceful balance I've been craving.
P.S. I would love to hear any tips on how you find balance and peace in your life...