Creating a balance in all that we do, should set us squarely on the track to finding what happiness means to each of us. But balance is elusive an elusive little creature. Our fast-paced world of work, school, sports, meetings, social events, volunteering, and always being "connected" to the grid, makes finding that balance nearly impossible.
When my parents told us kids to follow the middle path, they meant it as a generalization for living. And although the meaning clearly resonated from the spiritual sense my parents believed governed every day life, it was meant as a way to keep us from straying too far to the left or right in every day life. The statement also resonated with the K.I.S.S. acronym, Keep it simple, stupid, as well. If you do not veer too far off the path, life is easier to balance. While I still agree with what they said, I do know that their lives did not consist of the same stimuli the current world holds, which makes sorting out the clutter and finding that balance much more difficult, if not impossible, for some.
Perhaps changing one's mind frame from balance to harmony might be more in-line with our current culture. Comparing life's goings-on to a pleasing combination or arrangement of notes shows that multiple things can happen around us at the same time and still have a desirable effect. However, when things pile up or get lopsided, discord transpires. That imbalance sounds and feels terrible. It is not until we stop, readjust and get tuned up that the music of life sounds and feels beautiful once again.
In essence, what this means is that we have to take stock of where our lives currently are and where we see ourselves in the future. You have to figure out what is causing you to be off balance. You may have to redefine what success means to you. Perhaps you need to let some things go from your life, like putting a limit on all the outside activities you and/or your children are committed to. Perhaps you need to commit some time to connect with your inner you and practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga or maybe just a daily walk around the block.
As with limiting activities, you may need to learn to say no. Every "yes" person out there knows what I am talking about. Saying no and meaning it is a skill that needs to be honed and practiced and even tuned up from time to time. As a consummate "yes" man (or woman), I know what I am talking about. But I also know, there are people who know that you cannot say no and bank on that fact. What you are not seeing, is that by asking you and you saying yes, they save themselves the time suck because they have someone else (you) willing to spend their time.
A lot of the moms I speak with a have a challenge finding balance because they really are held responsible for so much. Having kids often equates to balance issues not because of anything they have done wrong but simply because of the relationship. The problem I see so often is that so many moms enable their kids and carry their children's responsibilities for them long past the time they should be doing things on their own. Let's face it, moms should not be doing for their big kids what they did for them when they were younger. Again, self-examination should show you clearly where your frustrations and ultimately, your imbalances are stemming from.
The fact is that connectivity issues exist and contribute to making us feel more busy than generations past, living in a world where we always feel depleted of "time" and no shortage of "things" to do, it is no wonder that the feelings of chaos and imbalance flourishes. So we HAVE to go within ourselves to find that sense of harmony. What do you need to change in your own life to achieve that balance? Is it organization, regulation, accountability? The number of changes that you may need to make are dependent on what "things" are out of balance in your life. But be kind. Remain committed to changing the things you can and mindful and accepting of the things you cannot.