Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Personal Balancing Act

Yesterday I wrote about Finding Balance in Life. And I wrote about bicycles.

So, here is the thing about bicycles and balancing...everything can be going along fine and then an outward force or element throws a wrench in the works.

My wrench in balancing on a bike this week is clip-in pedals and shoes. They probably have a more technical name than that, but you get the idea.

These pedals are like ski bindings that clip on to brackets on the bottoms of your shoes. The result is a certain (theoretically profitable) attachment to your pedals. They supposedly immediately help you go faster since you are able to use the ups as well as the downs of each pedal revolution.

Can I just say that I am nervous as all get out about these things? What if they don't just pop off when they are supposed to? What if I wipe out (for all the world to see)? Is this really a good idea? 

I mean, I've got to get my feet down at stop signs and lights so I can stay upright! I have visions of myself stationary with my shoes still clicked in, just kind of falling over...

It's that balance thing.

It is bringing a new element to my rides that I know will be a good thing. But, it is taking practice and adjustment to my cycling style.

This is such a basic and key concept when it comes to life. New element=adjustment.

It is a key concept for me currently because I am still navigating the waters of work-life balance.

Who would have thought that owning and running a business would take hours every week? I mean, obviously. But, not obviously.

There is the obvious time consumer of putting together the menus and grocery lists and imputing recipes into the computer.

But what about the non-obvious? Writing four bi-weekly emails? And mailing them out? Coming up with fresh private page content? Taking pictures of food for emails and private pages and social media? Watermarking the photos? Advertising? Keeping up with another set of social media accounts? Completing orders?

It all takes little chunks of time.

Now, realistically, it is only taking about 5-6 hours per week. Which (out of 168) is not that many.

But, the 5-6 hours are coming out of my traditionally "down" day, Thursdays. My free day. My day for baking and reading and generally kicking up my heels.

The 5-6 hours a week is not astronomical. It's feasible.

But, it is requiring some recalibrating. Some no's and yeses. Learning the new element and making room for it.

It is making me look again at my priorities. Who/what is most important to me? What has to be done? What should be done? What do I want from this season?

So here I am, with my scale. (And, if you were in the room with me, you'd see me making a scale motion with my hands, because I talk with my hands like that...)

I have all my available time and energy on the one side. It is my finite and measurable constant.

On the other side are the things I want in my life. That I need in my life. That are just plain IN my life. Husband, kids, school, summer, business, ministry, reading, writing, cooking, cleaning, sewing, studying, running, swimming, bicycling, down time, concerts, dates, people, family.

So, I ask myself, "What do I want this season of my life to look like?" What is going to give so that other things can take priority?

-Some things are giving way this week and next. I am busy with teaching and VBS ministry at church. If my floors aren't shined to perfection (that's hyperbole, fyi) next week, that will be okay. I have reading to get done before next Monday, which means that I may actually not have time to blog one afternoon this week. This reading is important and necessary for my VBS stuff next week. It is urgent. Other things may fall by the wayside.

-My business is a priority, and it is marching on. The give and take for this is dedicating most Thursdays to working. A nice long, uninterrupted day. I hire a sitter and I get out of Dodge. I type, and assembled and plan and get a lot done. And then I pretty much close up shop for the rest of the week, except for finalizing orders.

-Blogging has already taken a hit. But, I am okay with that. I am writing posts for only 4 days a week. It is enough to give me breathing room. And living room.

-It is summer. And I hate having to-do lists miles long in the summer. Instead of daily lists, I am doing weekly lists. And I trying to be intentional about slowing our schedule down, and leaving room for friends, family and fun. I am taking time to read, and sleep in the afternoons. I am enjoying summer.

-March through September is training and racing season. I am spending 1-2 hours every day running, swimming, and/or biking. It is purposeful and seasonal. I rest the 5 months from October through February. In those months I have more on my plate in the way of school, and I have less time available to train. In the summer months, the structure of school is gone, which is leaving me with more training time. I can get back from a run or bike ride at 9:30 and not feel guilty because my kids are still sleeping and not hitting the books.

-An interesting business casualty has not been my cooking, but my baking. I am not making cookies nearly as much as formerly. Because I used to do that on Thursdays. But, this is okay. It is looking good on my waistline. And all of us are getting a bit weaned from sugar consumption. It is becoming more of a treat than a necessity.

Are you seeing the the give and the take? It all boils down to what I feel God wants me to pile on the scale. And then letting everything else go. To not hold myself hostage to my own expectations of everything getting done. It all could.

But, then I would be missing out on the summer rhythm.

It is a myth that any woman or man does it all. But, we all aim to do the all that means the most to each of us personally.

For me, that is summer, my kids and husband, business, training and reading. With a little bit of cooking and cleaning thrown in for good measure.

What means most to you right now? How are you balancing in the things that are the most important to you?