Okay. Let’s talk for a moment here about life. You know that thing we all live day in and day out, every day. Life is complex. Most things in life are not clearly black or white, mostly because so many things are dependent upon our unique identities and those of our family and friends. Knowing how to handle a new problem that arises perfectly, the first time, is near impossible. Developing better habits, breaking old ones, or maintaining the status quo are way easier said than done. And it all comes down to balance. Finding the perfect balance to our lives seems so elusive, but boy does it sound amazing!
I have wanted to write a post about some new habits I’m developing, new goals I laid out for myself and my family for this new year (you know that started two months ago), but I never felt like I could write that post because I could never seem to persevere in these goals! I kept getting in my own way. Did you know new habits are hard to make?
Some of the goals I set out for myself included:
- Going to bed by 11pm (10:30pm being the ideal).
- Waking up at 6:30am before my children for personal devotion/scripture study time, planning, and blog writing.
- Reading the Bible to my children during breakfast.
- Writing out daily goals and lists thanks to the Blogging/Life Planner I made myself.
These haven’t happened. I can tell you a million excuses as to why (that baby just needs to sleep ALL the way through the night!), but it really comes down to my lack of discipline. There. I said it. I suck at disciplining myself. That “ten more minutes” of blogging/SM turns into two hours. That 6:30am wake up call no longer comes from my alarm but my children. And daily goals? I don’t even remember what day it is most of the time.
But, I do believe all of the things I have listed above would benefit me in the long run and give me a better sense of balance in my life, mostly because it would help me have a better relationship with my family. My children do not get read scriptures while we eat breakfast because I am shoving food in my mouth myself, blurry eyed because I went to bed at 12:30am, got up with my son at 3:30am, and am feeding them breakfast at 7am. Some mornings the demands of little people are just too much and Momma Grouch comes out and their pleas for a bowl, a spoon, cereal, and milk are just too much too bear! All of that could be avoided by an early bedtime for me and an earlier-than-my-kids wake up time.
Plus, the relationship with my husband would be better. While I’d love to tell you I’m staying up late snuggling, dating, and talking to my husband into the wee hours of the night every night, it’s not true. Too often after the kids go to bed, I jump onto the computer to blog – link up to various link parties, check my email, tweet, pin things to Pinterest, write blog posts, edit pictures, read articles, and talk to my blogging buddies on Facebook – instead of hang out with the man I love the most in the whole world. And before I know it, it’s midnight. I spent my evening ignoring my loving husband. And he of course resents it.
While some nights we do stay up late together watching our favorite TV shows on Hulu, or a new movie we got from RedBox, I still usually find myself for at least part of the evening in front of the computer. I just have to check my email or my stats one last time!
I have a problem.
So many times I have told my husband that I will be going to bed early and getting up early so I could blog then, and not ignore him or the children. And so often those “promises” have only proven to be lies. And I don’t like lying to people. And I don’t like disappointing those I love the most with those hollow promises. It sucks.
I want to have that perfect life balance, the one where I manage raising great kids, have an amazing relationship with my spouse, and write and maintain a great blog that brings in extra money for our family. (Side note: I have actually exceeded two of my blogging goals already this year though!) Oh, and that I also have time to work out and read books too. And everything else.
But, disciplining myself is hard. Telling myself NO is not easy. When I start a project (i.e. blogging for profit) I want to see it through, and I want it to be successful. When I start something, I am determined to finish it, ideally all in one sitting. I don’t like being interrupted. So, to discipline myself to stop, even though I’m not done researching this or that or linking up, or commenting, is a challenge, one I have yet to be truly successful at.
But, true to myself, I keep trying. Being aware of my current faults and imperfections, and the poorer relationship I have with my husband in particular, are good motivators for me to actually get my act together.
But, change is hard.
I know that the only way I will make a lasting change will be to call upon the powers of heaven. I know that if I ask for God’s grace to sustain me, to discipline me, and his Spirit to inspire me, that I can be successful. I’ve called upon his atoning powers before to help change my attitude and my outlook before, and I know that if I am sincere and humble enough, he will help me change again. God has called me to blog. I know that. But, he has also called me to be a wife and a mother, which things are always more important then myself.
I want to find the perfect balance to life. I feel like true happiness is found in that balance. When we aren’t giving too much, when we aren’t demanding too much, when we get enough sleep, eat the right foods, and give enough to our family but also to our own nourishment. And I believe the start to this life of balance is disciplining myself to devote myself to God first, my family second, my goals third.
How do you working on finding the perfect balance in your life?