On limits (and finding your own)

Find your limits

Find your limits

Part of the purpose of this blog is to help myself (and hopefully others) find that magical thing known as balance. I think of balance as the line between ‘good stress’ (feeling engaged, energized, and interested in your world) and the more common scourge of ‘bad stress’ (the one that keeps you from sleeping and makes you feel like you’re living on a razor’s edge).

It’s incredibly easy to slip into the trap of doing it all, particularly when you’re the parent of a young child (or two or three). Doing it all, though, often means not doing any of it well. It’s a constant feeling of concern about whether or not you’ve dropped any of the myriad of balls in the air, and feeling like you’re letting everyone down since you’re producing mediocre results at a bunch of things rather than good results at fewer tasks.

I’m renowned for doing it all, and until the baby arrived, managed to do quite well with making everything happen. And then along came our tiny blonde whirlwind, with her demands for mangos and constant giggles. What I have a hard time grasping is that while I’ve gained so, so much, there are also some things that are going to have to fall into the backdrop or be left altogether. There aren’t enough hours or energy in the day to do everything that I used to do along with being a good parent and partner and working. So, what to do?

Well, this is the eternal question.

How to narrow down?

Ask yourself this: will it matter in ten minute? Ten hours? Ten days? Ten months? Ten years?

Will it matter in ten months if I took the baby swimming instead of goofing off on the Internet? Probably – I’ll remember going to the pool (in the abstract, even if not on that specific day), while I will not remember another myriad of Facebook posts.

Will it matter in ten years if I put $20 on the mortgage instead of going out for lunch once a week? Yes – it will have saved me some strangely high amount of payments, due to avoiding some of the evil compound interest.

But does it matter in ten hours or ten days if I vacuum today or tomorrow? Nope.

How are you trying to get everything done? Any secrets I can borrow?

Photo Credit: Imapix, Used under a Creative Commons Licence


2 thoughts on “On limits (and finding your own)

  1. Your mention of vacuuming today or tomorrow, it reminded me of how we received a iRobot Roomba (the 650 model, to be exact) as a gift for our wedding. I had always pooh-poohed such seeming fads, but now, I realize it is one of the best inventions I’ve ever used. They are pricey (so wait for those 20% off Bed Bath and Beyond coupons) but I am now reading Facebook posts while vacuuming :) (Though these should not be used while unattended if you own pets, since if they vomit / pee / poop while you are away, that could be spread all over the place via the Roomba.)

    • You know, I’ve heard about Roombas but hadn’t known anyone who’s actually owned one! I need to win one, just for the random factor. (And so Kate can chase it around the house).

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