Self-Care Step 3: Work/Life balance; living your dream life.
Last week I was preparing for my long-awaited, much needed cruise and couldn’t seem to find time to get this post together, which I’m feeling now was divinely set in motion because if I had, this would have been a very different post…
Previously I referred to balance as an elusive unicorn… and I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to have it and then it just hit me that it’s not so much about finding it as it is taking it or creating it. Sometimes there’s no elegant answer wrapped up with a bow; sometimes the answer is as simple as a NIKE commercial: just do it.
Just stop. Just say no. Just don’t go. Just walk away. Just leave it alone. Just eliminate that distraction. Just refuse to be frustrated. Just refuse to get angry. Just love. Just laugh. Just be okay.
I know it can be hard to take a sundae break or a wine break or throw in an extra workout session; I know it’s hard to “just do it,” especially when you have deadlines and kids and you work for yourself, but sometimes you can’t plan a break or a vacation and hope that you’ll be okay in the meantime (trust me, I know). Sometimes you have to create a stopping point in whatever you’re doing and take some time for you to just get your mind right! A lot of times we plan vacations and breaks based on how our finances look, but what if that weren’t an obstacle? What if we said that we would take a vacation once every 3 or 4 months regardless of the money and just did it? Who says you have to go somewhere far away and spend lots of money? Take time off from work, stay home, learn your city, do things the kids never get to do, camp out in the backyard, make cupcakes, invite friends over and have everyone bring a dish…
I had an awesome time on my cruise, but more than anything it taught me that I don’t want to live a life where I’m working to pay for a vacation once or twice a year only to come home and be stressed all over again waiting on the next vacation. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to travel as often as I’d like, but I understand that balance in itself isn’t enough; I have to have something to look forward to without the stress of how I’m going to pay for it. I mean, who wants to be stressed out 80 – 90% of the year waiting on and paying for vacations and holidays? That’s not living… at least not the way I want or will choose to live from now on.
Additionally – because I’m a “lister” – I have things that I know will make me happy in an instant if I need a mental break, because let’s face it: even in living the life we want and being balanced, sometimes the day just goes to hell, and we have to be prepared for that too. Stop, break away from it all, and just “reset.” For me it’s usually listening to music, sipping wine (sometimes simultaneously), bubble baths (with music and wine), or watching a silly video with the kids because their laughter makes me laugh.
We are who we are and we have the things we have for a reason and a purpose. It’s up to us to live in it in such a way that makes us happy and fulfills our promise.
Find your balance and live your best life… for you!