January 24, 2013

Balanced Pondering

Welcome to Pondering with a Purpose, the blog hop created and hosted by Brenda Youngerman.  Every Thursday Brenda provides us with a prompt...a little something to get us thinking and the creative juices flowing.  How we express ourselves is up to us.  It can be an essay, a story, a poem, or even photographs.  We all do our own thing and then link up with Brenda.  If you'd like to join in the fun or just check out some of the other posts click on Brenda's name above or on the Pondering button to the left.  Both roads will lead you there.

On to the pondering....

This week's prompt:  balance

Am I balanced?  As in mentally stable?  It probably depends on who you ask!  

The world at large would probably say I'm calm and unflappable.  My family, on the other hand, would probably tell you I'm prone to coming unhinged when I feel pressured.  They'd both be right.  I do sometimes "blow" within the safety of my family.  I consider it a safety valve...something that keeps me from unleashing on the world at large and going postal from the rooftops.  No one has ever seen me have a complete meltdown, though.  Close, but not total.  Honestly, I've learned to keep such a tight rein on my emotions that I don't know if even I have seen myself in a complete emotional explosion.

Is my life balanced?  Ehhhh, probably not so much.  

In my mind, a balanced life has time for God, marriage/family, work, friendship, meaningful pursuits, and fun.  I do pretty well at making time for God and work (not that there's much choice about work if I want to keep my job).  

I'm getting better about friendships and fun.  I'm trying to be intentional (there's that One Word again) about both this year.  I'm trying to make friends so I am not as reliant on Tim to fill that need.  I'm trying to find things I like to do and people to do them with.  

Meaningful pursuits....I still need some help with that one.  I have a tendency to get bogged down on the computer or with a book

And family or couple time?  We definitely need more of that, but our schedules don't mesh up very much and when they do everyone is tired (and probably a little cranky).  I am willing to make changes on this one, but getting the workaholic husband to come around is tough.

Two things are helping me get a handle on balance this year.  

My PlannerPerfect planner, where I lay out each day in detail (seriously, no detail is too small to write down) and then stick to the plan (though it is not the end of the world if something happens).  The planner is great for me because I am so easily sidetracked.  It lets me see clearly what I want to accomplish or need to accomplish each day and then I just follow the plan I laid out.  If I get off track I just head back to the planner.  I'm finding I get a lot more done and have a lot less stress following this plan.  And just so you know, when I say I plan each day in detail...I mean it.  If I'm reading a book, I schedule time to read into the day.  Time to chill in front of the TV?  It's in the plan.

The second thing that helps me is prayer.  Lots and lots of prayer.  I'm learning that I can take anything to God and he will help me stay grounded.  He cares about everything.  Yep, even the dirty dishes and laundry.  And he will tell me when I'm getting out of balance if I listen.

Oh, and just for the record....sometimes it's okay, no...it's more than okay...it's necessary!...to take a "mental health" day.  A day when you just sort of quit the world and take care of you.

Thanks for pondering along with me!


Brenda Youngerman said...

Stacy I LOVE that plan idea.... I find that I get easily distracted as well and then feel bad when I haven't completed what I set out to do... it just gets added to the next day.

I seriously think a mental health day requires a day at a spa! Wanna come??

Thanks for pondering with me.

Stacy said...

Brenda...Sign me up for the spa! Now if only I could convince my boss to let me have time off. Ha!

The plan is great. Once you understand how to work with it and make it your own...I feel like my life is on track for the first time in a long time!

retired not tired said...

I always put the most important thing at the top of my list and after that I worked down the list. What I don't finish is at the top of the next day list. I discovered a long time ago that I can only get so much done in a day. I love Mental health days too!

My Kid's Mom said...

I do the "plan" thing all the time. It helps a lot to write it out.

Rory Bore said...

I am so disorganized by nature. I mean...I have my idea of what is organization...but I am not sure the world at large would agree. I need The Plan! LOL

Very firm believer in mental health days. Sometimes...I take 2 in a row. :)

Simone said...

I don't know if I could handle the planner. I think I'd set myself for defeat if I wasn't able to stick with it. I do want to be more organized and spend time doing the things that I enjoy. As for friends, I literally prayed for friends and then I found one. I decided to keep my eye out for someone thatseemed to get me or laugh when I made trued

Wayne W Smith said...

Planners can work well if you are disciplined enough to keep to them. I have yet to find that discipline.

Stacy said...

Retired...that's what I do with this planner. I make my list, but I don't beat myself up if something happens and I don't get it all done. I just move it to the next day. I'm still getting more done than before.

My Kid's Mom...Good to hear a success story!

Rory...I know EXACTLY what you're saying. :/

Simone...I thought that about the planner, too. That's what makes this different. It's not a list of tasks so much as a life planner. You are supposed to picture what you want your life to be like and then each day you figure out what you need to do to make it happen. If something doesn't happen...just move it to the next day. And you leave time for relaxing or doing fun activities. The first thing on my list every day is reading the Bible, prayer and journaling. If that goes into overtime, I just adjust the rest of the day. :)

Wayne...I hear you. I'm terrible at discipline and admit I'm not completely faithful to the planner, but I'm doing better than I've ever done before.

Josie Two Shoes said...

You have some great thoughts and ideas here! I love the concept of a plan, since I have a bad tendency to short-circuit whatever plans I have for the day, and settle in to blogtime instead. I need a bit more balance in that area! I also agree that we need a play day just for ourselves now and then, a mental health day to do whatever we desire, no guilt!


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