Lately, I’ve been stressed out, overworked and overwhelmed.
Then again – doesn’t that describe everyone these days? Somehow, I turned the corner from Christmas determined to make 2012 a great year and the whole first month turned into a stressful mess. I made it to the end of the month and realized that a whole month of my life went by and I didn’t enjoy any of it one bit. And THAT is not something I want to continue.
So I’ve been doing some research – how can I really handle this better?
The first thing that comes to my mind is that I’ve got to let something go. I have two businesses (this and my photography studio – www.susanrileyphotography.com) as well as a full-time job that takes 1 1/2 hours to reach every morning. Plus, I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend and want to wear all of those roles well. Something’s got to give, right?
One of my friends told me once that we are all juggling a bunch of balls in the air at any given moment in our lives. All of the balls that we juggle are rubber – except for one. One of the balls that we juggle is glass…our family. We can let all of the other balls fall at some point because they will bounce back (work, activities, even friendships). But if we let our glass ball drop, we can never get back our family. This analogy has been in the forefront of my mind lately and seems to be haunting me.
The thing is, though, that I love everything that I do. I am passionate about my work, my businesses, my relationships and I have exciting things happening in all of them. But I cannot do any of it without my family. And so…I’m back to square one. What to do?
Several of my PLC networked friends have written about balance this year.
I have read each of these posts and been inspired…either to try to come up with one word to define my year or to take some time for me. And yet, balance still seems so difficult. You are constantly walking that thin line, waiting for the scales to weigh an ounce over and sending everything toppling.
No…I don’t think it’s about balance. Balance just means you are constantly struggling to keep all of the balls in the air. And who wants that kind of stress in their lives. Nope – not me. I think it’s about choices. I think it’s about being in the moment of your life and making the choice to let the other things wait a while. And each element can still be there until you’re ready to live in its moment.
So I’m tired of being the juggler
I’m putting all of the balls down gently and by choice. I will no longer feel pressured to write 3 times a week because some blog somewhere said that to gain readership you need to post that many times. I will write when I want to and because I have something to share that is worthwhile. Only when I can truly live in that moment, will I continue to build this business with other wonderful products and lessons and ideas. I will continue to provide resources for people who are in desperate need of them for a teaching strategy which truly WORKS – but only when it is valuable. Life is about doing the best you can, and I will do the best I can, with what I have and the rest is what it is.
The only ball I refuse to put down is that glass one – it is the only one that reflects the light I so carefully try to shine so that I can see the sparkles within. If you are searching for balance in your life, I encourage you to look around and let it all fall away except for that round orb of glass – that is the only balance you will ever need. The rest will come bouncing back when it’s time.
And yes…I know this was a purely personal post – and I’m darn proud of it. 🙂
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.