Hello, my name is Deb Ingino, and I am a juggler.
And I'm betting you are, too.
Let’s face it, we are all busy. Life just seems to get busier and busier each day. I remember the simpler times when there were fewer choices.
For example, when you purchased groceries, your choices were paper…or paper. So, guess what? They didn’t even have to ask. Or when you went to purchase a toothbrush, there was just one kind and maybe three variations of it (hard, medium, and soft). Now there are 47 choices, each with varying “high-tech” features you can’t possibly live (or at least keep your teeth) without. I won’t even go into how many TV channels there are and how many buttons there are on the remote.
And then there are activities, especially if you have children – school, sports, church, music lessons, dance lessons, clubs, programs, parties, and competitions. Multiply all those activities times the number of children you have, and it can be overwhelming.
Another source of overload: commitments. There are projects, opportunities, volunteer requests, clothes to wash, families to feed, cars and houses to be maintained. Whew!
How in the world do you find balance in the midst of this mountain of madness? Here are three thoughts.
1. Limit choices.
Do your best to limit choices when it really doesn’t matter. Let’s use the toothbrushes for an example. Does it really matter that you get exactly the right color? No! Just pick a toothbrush that won’t make your gums bleed and get out of the store.
2. Limit activities.
We all want our children to have opportunities we didn’t have, to be able to do all the things we couldn’t do. But I’m seeing a lot of stressed-out, overcommitted children these days that are so busy “doing”, they have no time to “be”. They grow up not knowing who they are and turn into adults in crisis because they never “found” themselves and hate what they’re doing in life. On the other hand, I am not advocating having no activities, either. I’m just saying we need some limitations so our kids can develop FOCUSED activities and so we as parents don’t go crazy trying to take them to every activity under the sun.
3. Limit commitments.
I believe we need to be very giving and generous with our gifts and our time. But I also believe there has to be a balance. This is especially hard for those who are “I” wired and prone to volunteering for EVERY opportunity that presents itself. Before taking on a new obligation, we should stop and ask ourselves if it is really something we need to do and should do or if it will detour us from the mission that is ours. Does taking on a new class at church create an imbalance with family? Does working 80 hours a week create an imbalance with our health? If you can’t DO it, then you need to DELEGATE or DITCH it.
And I do want to give a shout out to our balancing factors in life. Being highly D-wired, I think God knew I needed TWO to balance me out, so he gave me an “S/C” wired husband and a “C” wired daughter. They help me to slow the frenzied pace every once in awhile, and go to a show or just relax and watch a movie at home.
If you’re an “I” wired person married to a “C” wired person, count your blessings. Your “C” wired partner will keep you from spinning out of control and hurting yourself. And for the “S” and “C” wired among us, those driven, outgoing people in your life are there to keep you moving so you don’t get stuck when it comes to making a decision, taking on activities, or meeting a commitment.