I got in a heated discussion the other day with my DH, C as he is commonly referred to throughout this blog, and he brought up a point that I have been thinking about a lot over the last three days: Balance versus Shift.
I said that I was adding more balance into my days, mixing business with pleasure, getting out more, going running, and enjoying myself more. He said that I haven’t balanced work with life, I have just shifted it.
He believes I still do the same amount of work; I have just shifted the days and the hours I do it in order to be able to fit in some personal time, that this shifting has made my days ultimately longer, more stressful, and more plentiful.
He also thinks my lists of things to do are bad for me, because ultimately, the lists are never ending, and I will push myself to complete a list sometime between waking and bed time, no matter what the personal cost. I believe since I have started putting personal things on these lists that I am striking a balance in my life because I am giving priority to things I would like to do, and that I can find stress reducing.
I have always been a list person. It is the only way I can remember what I need to do. I find that writing things down keeps them from bouncing around my head like ping pong balls, and that if I download them onto paper, I can get some sleep at night. But until recently I never put personal things on the list for the day, so I only went to knit night of everything else was done. Now I consider knit night a thing to do, so I make time to do it. The problem is, making time to go to knit night sometimes means getting up at 4 am, or missing lunch, or even getting home after and continuing to work for a few hours. Yes, shifting my work, not reducing it.
Over time my lists have evolved and gotten shorter. I used to try and accomplish three things an hour, then it became 12 a day, and now 10 (with personal things too). But it isn’t that I have less to do, it is just that I am giving myself more time to do them, more time in a day for breaks (like to eat) and more time to do things I want to do (like go for a run). So again, I shift things onto other days. No more Monday’s off, now I am doing things while I am at craft shows, and getting up early even when I don’t want to.
I think he may be right, I am shifting more than balancing, but I have more balance than I have in the past. I think the road to balance is about the journey as much as it is about the destination, and you can only truly enjoy balance when you find the right balance for you and can enjoy all the things you have learned about yourself along the way. Like my friend Rebecca says “I am a work in progress”, I may have a ways to go, but I am better than I was before, and just that is an accomplishment to be recognized.