Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
3:00pm: It has been an uneventful day thus far. Since this morning, I’ve been trying my hardest to catch up on emails, blog comment replies, and returned phone calls. At the same time though, I’m happy to be sitting in the living room on the recliner, hitting the keys as my two year old “Pink” plays at my feet while occasionally sneaking a finger over to touch my keyboard.
I know this would drive most people nuts but over the last couple of years, I’ve learned to work around my kids. I’ve also learned what activities I can and cannot do with kids on top of me, and email certainly falls in the “can” category. (FYI: In most cases, writing a blog post does not.)
4:00pm: My wife Nikki and daughter Danielle are going out together to a concert tonight, so that leaves me with mommy, daddy, and carpool duty. With our two youngest with the sniffles, Nikki reminds me about 6 times as to what medicines I’m supposed to delve out before they go to bed. Ahhh, such faith she has in my keen ability to remember the little details of life.
4:15pm: As soon as Nikki leaves, my youngest happily points to her bottom with a smile. Impeccable timing, I must admit. Now off to find where those darn wipes are…
5:45pm: After a round of grilled cheese sandwiches, I’m headed to drop my 8 year-old son off at a friend’s house who will be taking him to church while I’m tending to my coaching duties. Tonight I’ll be “drafting” the players of my daughter’s 10-12 year old Little League girls softball team where I’ll be the head coach this upcoming season.
6:30pm: I show up to the Little League office with my 2 and 5 year old daughters. As we walk through the door, the coaches on the other team that will also be drafting give me an odd look, but that’s quite alright. Within minutes, I’m sitting down with one daughter on each knee, picking the players for our team. They are perfect the whole time, and 25 minutes later we’re on the road again.
7:30pm: Just arrived to church with my two little ladies. Both fell asleep in the back of the car and aren’t too thrilled to be waking up. We’re here because my son has cub scouts tonight and I also serve as what’s called a “branch president” for the church in our area. In most churches, this would be something like a pastor, although it’s an unpaid position in this case, but it gives me the opportunity to work with and assist many youth and families in our area.
9:00pm: Finally back home for the night. The girls are zonked and I do my best to dress them, give them the right medicines, and get them ready for bed. It has been a long day, but within about 20 minutes, everyone is tucked-in. Unfortunately, my littlest one has a bad cough and the medicine seems slow to do its thing. I had wanted to go downstairs to get my workout done on the elliptical, but I don’t feel good about leaving everyone alone upstairs, so the workout will have to wait.
11pm: After reading for a good while, my eyes and mind seem to have nothing left. Usually my late night workout gives me a couple more hours of energy, but without it, I’m scratching the bottom of the barrel. Laying my head on the couch pillow, I’m asleep in seconds.
1:15am: My wife and daughter finally make it home from their concert. They had a great time. After 2 hours of sleep, my head hurts and I very much just want to go to bed. But I still haven’t worked out yet for the day, so I sit on the couch and literally debate with myself for the next few minutes as to whether or not I should just go to bed or drag myself to the elliptical.
1:45am: I’m on the elliptical and feeling much better now. As always seems to be the case, if I can just get through the first few minutes, I’m home free.
2:50am: Just finished with my workout and a bit of energy has returned. Back to the recliner where I’ll work for a bit longer and knock out a few more emails and comment replies from the blog. I think I’ll send a tweet out as well asking anyone else if they’re up at this crazy hour… nothing like night owls.
3:20am: It’s about that time. The body is relaxed and looking back on the day, although it was a hectic one, I’m happy with the results…
Finding Balance in a Hectic World
We live in a hectic world. More than ever, we’re being pulled in a hundred different directions at any given time. And as we all seek that great mystery called “success and happiness,” there is one word that often pops up again and again—balance.
For me, “balance” is the great key to life. So much of the success and happiness we are able to attain in this life are predicated on our ability to find this balance. And when I consider what this word means to me, 5 elements come to mind:
- Physical Health (Our ability to care for our bodies)
- Emotional Health (Our ability to have healthy relationships with those around us)
- Temporal Health (Our ability to be at peace financially, without the stress and burden of debt)
- Spiritual Health (Our ability to be right with our God and ourselves)
- Mental Health (Our ability to be in a constant state of learning and cognition)
I started off this post with a 12 hour segment of a day I experienced this week. Looking at the surface, there wasn’t anything necessarily “special” about what happened that day. Notwithstanding, if you go back and look, I think you’ll find that all 5 of the above elements were addressed at least somewhere in that time period.
And for me, that’s the key. I work each day to put myself in a position to address all five elements. This is why I’m coaching my daughter’s softball team. This is why I own an elliptical versus having to make a trip to the gym. This is why I often work from home and have learned to work around my little ones.
At this point in my life, I try to look at each day with this same approach.
- Am I spending quality time with my wife and children?
- Am I doing the things with work that will lead to complete financial peace and prosperity?
- Am I learning each and every day?
- Am I taking care of my body and ensuring to keep my weight down while my energy stays up?
- Am I right with God?
A Quest of Endurance
Inevitably, if one of these areas slacks off or falls apart, the others suffer as well. For whatever reason, that just seems to be the way it is—thus this constant quest we each endure to find balance.
I don’t write this post claiming to have all the answers, because I don’t. My life is like yours—many ups, many downs, and a bit of everything in between.
But this much I do know—balance is huge. If we’re financially rich but emotionally broke, what have we done? If we’re spiritually strong but under huge amounts of financial debt, how can we be well? If we’re right with our kids, but physically unable to play with them outside, are we going to be happy?
The list of examples goes on and on, but I know you understand my point.
So that’s our challenge my friends—finding balance in a turbulent world of distractions. Is it difficult to achieve? Yes. Will it be a constant battle? Yes. But is it possible?
I’d love to know how you’re able to balance family, work, health, and all those other aspects of your life. What do you do each day to find peace with each area? What are your biggest struggles?
Jump in, I’d love to hear your thoughts.