I think I have learned the secret to a life balance.
Recently I was asked to do a guest blog post on another blog about how I balance all the different things in my life: a full time job in the music industry which includes quite a bit of work travel, a blog, a home design side business, my own musical creativity and worship leading, church involvement, marriage, and all the other everyday things of life.
I had great intentions, but I have yet to write that guest post. Because I sat down to think about how I balance life, and I got distracted by something. And then I went on several work trips and a vacation. And then I launched a new side business. And then I went to work every day and came home and worked on side projects and tried to love my husband well and hosted people at our home and read a couple books and led worship at a couple of events and attempted to keep the house clean and look cute every day and eat healthy and work out and spend time with Jesus and keep two cats alive and plan for the future and budget our money and make money to budget.
And then today I remembered that blog post I was supposed to write and I laughed at the lack of balance I have to comment on. Somehow that post about how I have it all together slipped through the cracks because the very opposite is true. I could write about how I am an expert at life balance...about how I have a five step system for keeping everything organized and accomplishing all your goals while wearing just the right shade of lipstick. But it wouldn't be true. It wouldn't be real.
I know I’m not on an island here. We are all so busy. As you read this, you, too, probably have a list a mile long of to-do items and wish-you-had-time-for items. You probably don’t get enough sleep. You are probably weary from the working.
I think I know the secret of a perfectly balanced life. It doesn’t exist.
I have a really hard time admitting out loud that I don't have it all together. I admit it to myself (or criticize myself for it) almost daily. Self-talk in my brain sounds a lot like “Gosh, Chandler why couldn’t you have used your time more wisely this morning?” “Chandler, life would be a lot easier if you just kept focused and stayed organized all the time. Other people accomplish more than you because they have it together. Get it together.”
I keep those thoughts locked in my brain (or I share them with my husband in an insecure effort to receive a self-affirming pat on the back), but I can’t say them in public. Because someone will know my secret: that I don’t have this adult life thing on lock down quite yet.
I keep waiting to wake up and have it all figured out. Maybe one day I will wake up at 5:00a.m. without an alarm and gracefully step out of bed into my perfectly clean bedroom and frolic my way into a perfectly clean kitchen and work for two hours in the morning on all kinds of important pursuits before I make a healthy and balanced breakfast and leave the house perfectly primped and on time. Then I will get so much done at work and come home and get a great workout in and then cook a healthy and delicious dinner for my husband as we reflect on our days without dissent as the sun sets. Then we will have an armful of kids and I will still be able to balance everything perfectly and be the world’s best wife and the world’s best mom and the world’s best homemaker and the world’s best businesswoman.
I love the quote that says “Let Whatever You Do Today Be Enough.” I need that reminder daily. I want to know that I can’t have it all and be ok with that.
So, yes, I think I have learned the secret to a balanced life. It is being content with the balance that already exists and refusing to let the imperfections and imbalances define your contentment. It is waking up daily and saying, “Lord, I can’t do it all, but you are going to have to fill in the gaps.
I do the best that I can, and I do believe that there is always room for improvement. I never want to confuse contentment with complacency, and I will continue striving to make the most of the time that I have, but I don't want to feel like a failure because I can't fire at 100% on every cylinder.
It is in the imbalance and the imperfection and the messiness that we realize our need for God and our need for each other. Isn’t that half the adventure of life? I would love to feel like I use every moment of my day to its fullest potential. I dream of a life in which I never miss an opportunity to love, to serve, and to accomplish goals and aspirations. I want to be the girl that gets everywhere on time and always has a clean house and answers every email in a timely manner.
Today I’m not that girl.
We are all doing this life together. I don’t think any of us has it figured out, and I don’t think any of us has life perfectly balanced. Some people are better at plate balancing than others. Some people have been dealt an easier hand. Some people try harder. But we are all just trying to keep everything afloat.
Today I am trying to remember what really matters, and not let the frenetic pace of life distract me from the God I serve and the people I love. If I have those two things at the helm, that is about as balanced a life as I need.