What happened next is what makes this story different than the times before. Driving home I was sullen, tired and still stressed out. It would have been easy to go through the drive through for dinner and let the kids watch TV while I opened a bottle of wine and replayed the event over and over in my head. But I didn’t do that, I couldn’t do that. I refused to let the stress of the day ruin my night. I chose to focus on everything else. When I picked up the kids I was happy to see them and asked them about their day. Before starting dinner, I hung up some pictures that I had received in the mail the day before. Looking at the pictures and having them out in the open for us to see was an instant mood lifter. As the night went on I continued to focus on those around me. I reached out to a couple of friends, spent some time journaling and started a new book I had been wanting to read. I didn’t let the events of the day derail me like they had done so many times before. I chose differently.
I am passionate about work life balance – I work very hard trying to maintain my definition of balance - but obviously, it’s not always enough. We all have days where balance sits firmly on one side. It reminds me of a teeter totter with the heavier person stuck on the ground while the lighter person has their feet dangling in the air. What I realized this week is that it is always easier to stay stuck on the ground. It feels impossible to move. You feel helpless and hopeless. But like the teeter totter, the only way to shift is to slowly start adding things to the other side. Each little thing helps – time with your kids, looking at pictures, reaching out to friends, reading a book. One at a time you start stacking small things on the other side and little by little you start to lift up. You may not even realize that you’re no longer stuck on the ground. Too often we feel like balance requires big measures and for this reason we believe it is too hard to achieve. But don’t overlook the impact of stacking up lots of small actions.
Journal on this: How’s your balance? What small actions can you take to shift more in your desired direction?
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