Life Balance–Score a Perfect 10
During the recent women’s gymnastics Olympic competitions the precarious art of balance, even for those who have dedicated so much of their lives to achieving that perfect poise, was witnessed by all. Just as the gymnast was dancing apparently effortlessly across the two inch beam some unforeseen force came along, causing her to question her own equilibrium. Such an athletic event is perfectly metaphorical for the life balance that all women seek to achieve. The contemporary woman must balance the scales between the two often conflicting worlds of home and work.
Is a woman’s balanced life a myth or a reality? You may indeed discover that the answer resides within your own power. Jennifer Wright, author of the “Mid-Life Spirit of Adventure Guide for Women,” defines balance as that metacognition that takes place quite internally for you. It is the quiet reflection that permits you to take stock of your current position, to appreciate the present moment, and to plan out an agenda.
The two most frequent inhibitors of utilizing this internal wisdom to its fullest potential are expendable time and insufficient support, neither of which is more naturally abated at any stage of life.
Everyone’s day consists of the same constrained 24 hours. Those who live life in perfect equilibrium, however, do not attempt to squeeze 28 hours’ worth of living into them. Most women today either must or choose to divide their world into two compartments: work and home. If you work 40 hours a week, those 40 hours are spent and cannot be reallocated for other needs, whether out of necessity or leisure. Too many women, however, fall into the trap of feeling as if they must fulfill their 40 hour work week only to then make up those 40 hours on the home front.
A balanced woman grants herself the permission to only do that which is humanly possible, allowing the rest to fall away guilt free. The balanced woman will not finish the laundry at 4:00 in the morning, but the unbalanced woman will crumble to the pressure–whether delivered by society, family, or her–to fulfill that duty in the only hours she has to spare. In learning to accept the constraints of time, women no longer conquer themselves.
Just as crucial as time management is the importance of support from others. Too many women are under the ill impression that quiet suffering is the sign of a strong woman. In fact, it is the sign of a suffering woman.
If you were to analyze who or what supports your mind, body, spirit, and emotions, which aspects would not offer you the support you truly need? Then, what steps can you take to find others to better support you in those areas. Asking for assistance is not weakness, it is only human. You are more than willing and understanding of those who you support, so allow them to return the favor. Such mutuality breeds positive feelings for both sides.
Don’t fall prey to the misbelief that once you achieve balance in your life the work is done. Just as the well-trained, passionate gymnast must constantly evaluate her equilibrium, so must you.
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