Designing a life that we love ... - Baby Steps in High Heels

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Designing a life that we love ...

Well, y'all, it's been a while. Life has been, well, busy while we have been trying fervently to become unbusy.

I have really focused hard on this New Year's resolution of mine, to find peace this year. If you were here at the beginning of the year, you may recall that I said balance wasn't the right word for the goals I had for this year. Hearing so often that balance is a myth, I didn't want to focus my efforts on a losing battle.

I'm not sure, though, that balance is really some unattainable, mythical unicorn in our fast-moving world. As we work toward making our lives more peaceful, I'm starting to realize that we might have just been using an incorrect definition of the word balance. Somewhere along the way, we were made to believe that having balance meant doing all the things, doing them well, and doing them with a full load of energy and joy.

It sounds like a mythical unicorn when you load that meaning behind the word balance. But as we have made greater efforts to live intentionally, to make careful choices before making commitments, and be present in the moment at hand, I have felt a shift away from chaos and more toward a peaceful balance.

That's not to say that life has slowed down or gotten easier, but my mind has, and maybe more importantly, my heart has.

We still have plenty of frantic mornings that are ruled by the clock, but who knew that being late wouldn't ruin your life (or even your morning) if you can learn to shrug it off? I didn't.

We still have days, entire weeks even, where we don't feel like we have enough time to complete our every-growing To Do List. But, did you know you can fail to complete a task without making yourself feel like a failure in life? I didn't.

We still have overbooked weekends full of soccer games, family gatherings, and church obligations. Bud did you know that you can end a weekend feeling tired from activity without feeling exhausted and unrested? I didn't.

I am taking small steps to reframe the way I look at our life. I'm working hard to stamp out the perfectionist in me that tries to shout destructive messages of failure at the slightest hint of imperfection. Slowing down and being fully present in the few moments we have together as a family has done wonders for my sense of peace and balance.

I also decided to be much more intentional this year in the decisions we make. For so long, I felt like life was spinning fast and dragging me along for the ride. It's still spinning all around me, no doubt, and there are plenty of things that are out of my control. But, there are so many things that I can control, and the one that tops the list is my own perspective. I'm a work in progress when it comes to accepting imperfection, a slower pace, and understanding what balance truly looks like. Step One for me has been to take control and be intentional in designing a life that we love.

Things that have helped me so far:
-Being outside more often, especially as a family
-Intentionally varying my routine in order to vary my own expectations
-Dedicating time to reading my bible more often
-Focusing on my health -- finally getting help for my neck pain, taking better quality vitamins, and putting better, healthier foods into my body
-Adding in yoga and mindfulness exercises a few times a week

I haven't done all of these things at one time. I have slowly worked them in, one at a time, over these last few months. There are still plenty of days that I sit on the couch, eat pizza, and do none of them.
Change isn't easy for me. I suspect it isn't easy for anyone. But each of these small changes has built upon the others to help me reframe by definition of balance and my feelings of peace in our everyday life.

What do you do to bring peace and balance into your world?

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