Thursday, May 10, 2012

Balance and Determination

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...


  1. om lowercase g, I love suri's burn book :)

  2. Oh my, I could've written this post (but didn't because it would've required more brain power than I feel I currently possess). I find myself at many of these same balance crossroads as well. There are areas I'm succeeding in and then there are days where keeping my head above water and survival are all that I can muster up.

    I feel like where I am succeeding is great stuff (exercising, losing weight, maintaining (mostly) a household, etc)but that it leaves me to failure or lack of balance in others. Spiritually, I'm at a dry spot. Besides throwing out occasional intercessions throughtout the day when I'm about ready to pull my hair out, there is no dedicated, set aside time for prayer. Where do I fit it into the already very early morning and exhasted evenings?

    I wish I had more direction and clear cut answers to balance and sticking to well-thought out plans. I'm struggling with this too. Right now my focus is to make it through the month of May because I will be a Rockstar if I do :) Finishing up school, soccer, baseball and swimming lessons this month and then I hope to reassess how to make daily living work.

    I look forward to any progress reports in the future or any enlightening suggestions you've got....I need all the help I can get too!! Good luck!!

  3. 1 I think u are too hard on yourself. No one is perfect. We fail because we r human.

    As for the rest: diets fail because they are hard. I am on this gestational diabetes diet and for awhile I was fine and now all i want is sugar. Last night I caved and had chocolate. Ppl can't sacrifice every meal all day all the time every day-- it makes ppl crazy

    My messy house drives me nuts too. Last night I went on a purging feast and collected several large trash bags of stuff to donate. Rule being if something new comes into your house throw something old out. I try not to collect anything or buy stuff that has no purpose...

    Praying and etc... I am far too embarrassed to even post how awful I on this. I am failing miserably in this category. Today was may crowning at my kids school. I could have gone if I weren't so lazy.

    All the rest really are meaningless in comparison so I would try to focus more on discipline in this area-- advice I need to take myself.

  4. Thank you for sharing. I think most of us have these same balance issues. Recognizing it is a good start, having a plan is a good next step, following through and being grateful the rewards when you stick to it is even better. But along the way remember to offer yourself forgiveness if you slip. God bless

  5. I hear you, my friend. I really do. I've been feeling so imbalanced lately that I'm ready to topple over! Part of it is that I am an introvert who recharges by being alone and I am never alone. But I do like people and I want to do fun things . . . so I try to get together with people and then I start to feel like I am running all over and getting together with people is taking me away from home too much, so I scale back a little to try to gain some perspective and then I hear that people are all hanging out together and having a great time and I'm not there! It becomes a vicious cycle and I end up being completely ridiculous.
    My prayer life needs some help -- and by help, I mean I need to do it regularly. I just feel like everything has been at sixes and sevens around here for a long time.

    My mantra these days is "Do One Thing" My to-do list is so long that if I think about it all I get overwhelmed. So instead I just do one thing. Even if it's just cleaning out the tiny hall closet for the entire day -- at least the closet is clean and it's not on my list anymore. And once I get moving, I tend to stay moving, so I usually get more than one thing done.

    For me, the computer is the kiss of death to my productivity. And yet here I am, commenting on blogs at 1 in the afternoon. I need to skedaddle!

    But I do feel ya! :)

  6. I struggle finding time with friends. I was doing pretty well going out and doing this and that but having this last baby it seems like I fell off the face of the earth. Most of my friends stopped having babies around 35 (except Jamie!!!) and they are off and doing other non-babies things.
    It can make ya crazy.
    However, my husband and I enjoy wine on our deck and that seems to make all the crazy stuff go away.

  7. I have never heard of Suri's burn book. Of course, I do live under a rock :P

    Balance is so tough. For me, I tend to be all or nothing. And, when I get highly focused and determined in one area, I tend to be more focused in all areas. But, if I start to lose focus or falter in one area, I tend to get derailed in all areas. Not sure why I am like that. For me, my exercise piece tends to guide everything else. When I stay focused on a fitness goal, I go to bed early, get up early, workout first thing in the AM, get a great prayer time in the AM and then my day is set and I usually can have highly productive days. And I am happier, which means the whole family is happier. I wish I were in that place right now, but I have been such a slacker lately and the worst part is is that my prayer life has been suffering. Which is not good because I really feel the need to be "on my knees" in heavy prayer right now.

    When you find the answer, please share . . .

  8. i love your honesty & i don't feel like the only outsider in the world.i am struggling with finding balance,it's usually all or nothing with me.


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