How does one handle work, home and family (or a combination thereof) without having a nervous breakdown?
I had to sit with this question for a couple of days, and then I ended up going back to my first, knee-jerk response which was, “I don’t.”
I have a very all-or-nothing personality, which was summed up perfectly once by a comment that my coach made to me.
“Jenny,” she said to me, “you do not have a dimmer switch. It’s like you’ll be sitting in a house, in the dark, with all the lights off. And then all of a sudden you’ll look around, notice that you’re in the dark, say, ‘Why the f*&# am I in the dark?!’, and then get up and flip on every single light in the entire house. So you’re either completely in the dark, or sitting there with all your lights ablaze. There’s no dimmer switch for you.”
That is so true. So to answer this question I will say that I don’t try to balance things, really. I’ll go all out on whatever catches my attention for a while-my blog, the house, Spanish lesson plans, etc. Then I’ll suddenly notice something else that isn’t getting done, drop whatever I’m working on, and focus on the new area full-throttle. I think the key for me is that I know this about myself, and I don’t judge it (so much :P) anymore.
Something else that’s helped me is a new definition of balance that I learned from Peter Reding and Marcia Collins, founders of Coach For Life (the training program I went through to become a Certified Life Coach.) They said to imagine that you are standing on one leg, with the other leg lifted off the ground. You are balancing while you do that, obviously, but that balance is not a static, once-for-all, never-changing thing. It is constantly being adjusted, even if just in small ways, by your body. It’s organic, and flowing, and changes as it needs to. So that is the view I take of balance now.
The final thing that helps me is that I also have a very highly developed inner drama queen, as well as a great sense of humor. So when I do get completely frazzled I re-align myself by making up a highly entertaining, and completely improbably story about what’s going to happen to me (“…and I’m going to end up living on the street in a box, and then die all alone.”) Then I laugh at myself, and am able to get back to a place where I can better deal with my life. So, no matter what, I’m never bored.
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