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Friday, April 6, 2012

Balance

Every morning before I get out of bed, I thank God for another day and ask him to use me to help others in any way he sees fit. It doesn't always happen--or at least I don't notice it all the time but sometimes, it is as clear as a bell and I find myself shrinking away from the opportunity. It is easy when someone asks for a donation or a signature on a petition. It is a lot harder when someone asks for a favor just when I am ready to crash into bed at the end of an impossibly tough day or asks for advice when I am falling apart. Those are the moments when I forget my morning prayer and get lost in my needs. It's not something to be proud of but it is reality. It is also driving my latest push towards personal growth.

I am trying to find balance. I know people spend a lifetime trying to get the scales of life at equal weight. It is a constant shuffling of priorities of different weights. Throw the career and the need to earn income on one side and it practically tips the scale. Throw everything else on the other side. For me it is health, marriage, midnight hustles, friendships, volunteer work, blogging, sleep, fun, and on and on and on.

About two weeks ago, there was a lot going on and I was running on empty. I dragged myself in the door around 10:00 after a mentoring session with my teen group and driving a few of them home. I always get a dose of energy from my kids but that night, it faded as soon as I got home and sat down. Dinner was a handful of dry cereal. I sunk into the couch, picked up the remote and started my DVR of Lifeclass the Tour. It had a very timely message. Iyanla Vanzant was on and helped give me some perspective with a simple phrase (that I will paraphrase): When your cup runneth over, you have enough to give of yourself but if you are on empty, you are burning yourself out and turning those you help into thieves. Whoa! Rewind. Play again. Discuss with hubby. Internalize.

Now, I have a renewed sense of need for balance and am trying to remember that I want to live a life of service and help others but that I also need to take care of myself. I've talked about self care on this blog before but I lose it every now and then. It's nice to get refocused and take some time each day to do a self check to make sure I'm not sprinting down the road to burnout.

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