Balance and margin

Back when I was single, before and during the going-through-therapy-and-recovery days, I had a real problem with over-commitment. It was really a function of me finding my security in what people thought of me because I never wanted to say “no”. So I said “yes” even thought that meant double- and triple- and even quadruple-booking my days and nights. I was on the go all the time and I had a lot of breakdowns from overextending myself.

As I grew older and emotionally more healthy, I realized that I did not have to say “yes” to everything. I could create margin in my life and schedule down time. It’s true that I lost touch with a lot of my friends from my single days when I got married, but it wasn’t because I was so absorbed with my new life that I didn’t care about them anymore. I made conscious choices to focus my energies on only a few things, and put my husband as the #1 priority. Having a “doing nothing” weekend was very important to him, so we didn’t commit to too many scheduled things. I think this is about the time I started really living consciously, and I started this blog somewhere around then too.

New Scooter!
This picture was taken right around the last
time I had a full night’s sleep, in 2008

With the birth of my two small children, I once again went back to the “bare bones” of social and volunteer commitments. I hadn’t realized how much I’d taken on over the years, but I cut it back to pretty much zero after Little Sir was born, and again with Little Lady. The first year of her life I wasn’t working anymore, but I also never slept through the night, so dividing my attention in any way was pretty much out of the question.

I have my fingers crossed as I type this (it’s difficult!), but I think I can say it now: both my kids have been sleeping through the night regularly for almost 2 months now. Wow. It’s totally amazing. I am starting to find bandwidth in my day that was never there before. By the time my son started sleeping through the night, I had a newborn, so I have not experienced this feeling of sleep since the end of 2008.

With the sleep returns the feeling that I could be doing more. I should clean more, I should sew more, I can volunteer now, I need to start working out…on and on. In the end, it’s actually sort of immobilized me. I just want to sit and do nothing because there are too many things I could be doing.

It’s the long way of saying this is why I haven’t been blogging lately. I actually have some great things to share with you, a few products that I LOVE which I think you will love, and a new career-type endeavor for me.

But while I approach these new things, I do it cautiously. I want to keep the margin of peacefulness I’ve been forced to cultivate over the last few years. I really do think it is a gift, even if I’ve mostly used it to sleep.

Do you have any tips for balancing? I’d love to hear your words of wisdom or encouragement!

One thought on “Balance and margin”

  1. I LOVE your writing, girl! You’ve gone through exactly what I’m currently experiencing…children who don’t sleep! Like you, I haven’t had a full nights sleep since 2008! 🙂 I could’ve totally written this for myself…I constantly think about balance, doing more, giving more, etc. etc.!

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