Monday night as I tried to fall asleep, all sorts of blog ideas finally started rolling through my head. Thanks, mind, for waiting until I'm half asleep to finally decide to unleash some ideas. Not to mention, I had to be at work by 4:15 on Tuesday morning, so I desperately needed to fall asleep. Why do I always feel so productive and alert when I should be sleeping? And when I should be productive, why do I just want to sleep? Someone tell me it's not just me.
Months ago, when I was lamenting about my writer's block, I begged for some inspiration, some blog ideas for anyone who would offer any. JulieAnn requested I write about balance in life. So here's what I know about how to balance life.
Unfortunately, this blog has nothing to offer other than perhaps some comfort to others who find balance so elusive. Just wanted to forewarn anyone who thought I might be offering some wisdom.
I completely envy those who seem to have found ways to make all their responsibilities and hobbies align in harmony in their lives. My attention is all over the place, and I tend to focus on one thing at a time in bits and pieces. When I was in school, I was focused on reading, learning, and had tons of inspiration for writing. I was constantly being propelled into creativity through my professors and fellow students, as well as the incredible works of literature I was responsible for reading. But when it came to health, I failed. I couldn't find the time to cook healthy meals, and exercising was the last thing on my mind.
Now that I'm working and not in school (I never thought I would miss being in school so much), my reading and writing has shamefully been reduced to mostly magazines and blogs. True, I have more time now to focus on health (and being diagnosed with a gluten allergy sort of forced that), but my writing has been put on the back burner. And that exercising still doesn't happen as often as it should.
I've noticed that in my own life, it comes down to time management. I focus so much on new, important priorities, that I neglect budgeting enough time for those other activities I still want or need to do. I haven't figured out how to add in new priorities and balance those with the old ones. How do I decide when it's okay to relax for a bit, and when I have relaxed too much (like, say, watching seven episodes of The Office in a row on Hulu)? And why can't my idea of relaxation be cleaning the house and cooking? I wish I was one of those people that did those things for fun or to wind down, but cooking and cleaning are simply chores for me.
Lately my biggest regret is not making enough time for studying the Bible and spending time in prayer and worship. I feel the effects of that more than anything, in my attitude and level of contentment. The funny thing is, I know that when I make my spiritual and physical health a priority, the emotional health follows. I feel so much better, and have such an easier time dealing with more difficult issues in my day-to-day life. When I'm not taking care of myself, and when I'm not spending time with God on a regular basis, I'm much more unhappy, and I'm easily irritated. Redirecting my focus to Jesus, walking with Him daily, with a grateful attitude for His many blessings somehow helps with balance. When I give my day to God, allowing Him to direct me into the activities that are most important for that day, then I feel peace.
I doubt I'll ever have a grasp on this idea of balance, and I'm sure things in my life will continue to be neglected for a season, only to be focused on at a different stage in life. The only thing I can think to do is to start my day with my Creator, trusting that He will provide me with everything I need, and to do my best to maintain at least a little discipline in my time management. I also highly recommend Jesus Calling, a devotional my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. It's a great way to begin the morning, to get the focus to where it needs to be, on Christ and off of myself.
Maybe that's the key to balance? Stop worrying so much about myself and focusing inward and instead direct all thoughts to God and how great He is? Thoughts?