Balance is a tricky thing. I have always had poor physical balance, but just like anything in life, with practice your balance will improve. But balance in an ever evolving life becomes more difficult to manage.
It wasn’t really that long ago when Alicia and I were newlyweds without a care in the world. Two young kids in the prime of their lives pushing physical limits and living life to the fullest. We competed in triathlons, ran for the fun of it, lifted like animals, ate super clean, had plenty of fun, blogged about our excursions and got plenty of rest. With limited responsibilities, we were basically free to pursue whatever life had in store for us. Balance was easy.
But as life so often does, things change. Priorities, desires, wants, needs, it all changes. And for better or worse, you change with it. And that’s when balance gets more complicated. Responsibilities pile up, time seems shorter, the world seems bigger and the realization that you aren’t the center of the universe quickly comes into focus. And then the kids come, and you take all of those responsibilities and multiply them by at least 10.
Initially, mostly out of necessity, you place your needs and wants on hold. You feel like you have to sacrifice everything you ever wanted. That dream you had of competing an Ironman…on hold. That new car you were thinking of buying…on hold. That trip you were going to take with your friends…on hold. You barely have time to think about yourself as you do your best to try not to screw up your first kids too bad.
Over time however, your thinking evolves. Your first thoughts are no longer about yourself, but they are about your kids and your family. It no longer feels like I am sacrificing. It starts to feel like I am growing, supporting, and empowering my family.
I’m not sacrificing, I am enhancing. For as their lives improve so too does my own. Not just physically but emotionally. The things of this world you used to care about, the superficial stuff, just doesn’t seem as important anymore. And that’s when the balance becomes easy again. And you begin to find out that your family and your personal balance is easier to manage and navigate largely because your personal dreams now coincide with your family.
Now don’t get me wrong, you still need to take time for yourself every now and again and be a little selfish (start blogging again, go for a run, read a book etc), but by in large, I recharge my batteries by spending time with my family. Plus, there will come a point and time in my life when my kids are grown and I will miss these moments. I will miss the juggling of responsibilities, the lack of sleep, the fort building, the book reading, the Curious George watching. It wont last forever.
A time will come where i can once again be selfish if I want. But thinking to that time, will my focus really want to return to the selfishness of my younger self? Or will I continue to support my family and our cohesive goals and desires? Time will tell, but until then i know one thing for sure; I wouldn’t change this crazy journey for anything in the world.
Just like anything in life, with practice, your balance will improve. Keep working on your balance, and focus on what really matters in life. Baby Number 3 due soon! Here we go again…balance in an ever evolving life.