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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Balloons and finding balance

Some days just plain get away from me. Those are the days when I feel like the only things I accomplish are getting up in the morning, going to work and going to bed at night. Everything in between is a blur.

I juggle a full-time job, Happy Tails, a toddler, volunteering and all those in-between activities, chores and errands that make up life. It's busy. And it can be overwhelming.

I know I'm not the only one with many balls in the air, and I'm not complaining that my life is full — I wouldn't change a thing. But sometimes I have to remind myself to pause and enjoy the moments. Like when I bring balloons home for my son (he calls them baboos) and I can literally see his face light up — I swear it happens in slow motion. I would spend all the time in the world just watching that happen. He has made me remember the joy of balloons, and how sitting on the floor and swatting them back and forth is time well spent.

I am still trying to find balance — or as close to balance as I can get. I don't want to miss any moments because my focus is somewhere else or because I feel so buried that I can't see them. And I'm still trying to figure out what success means to me, and how I can have the life I want without sacrificing anything too precious.

One thing I do know is that being organized has saved me .... many times. And thankfully, I'm not a procrastinator. When I have a task, I get it done as quickly as possible so it's off my plate and I don't have to think about it. Here are a few things that help me:

1) Make lists. Whether you do this on your iPhone or the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper (yep, that's me), seeing everything I need to do puts things into perspective. And crossing things off is so satisfying! I also swear by my day planner. It has pages for each week and then a monthly overview, so I can see what's coming up immediately and how my entire month is shaping up.

2) Prioritize. If I think of everything that needs to get done at once, I feel paralyzed. That's when I don't get anything accomplished. I like to put things in order, whether by deadline or importance, and then focus on one thing at a time.

3) Just do it! There are tasks that I just don't like to do (picking up dog poop ... anyone?), but having them hanging over my head just drags me down. I prefer to just get those things over with, and then I treat myself with a coffee break (there is usually a doughnut involved too). Or, get someone else to do them. I recently discovered there are businesses that will pick up the poop for you! Is it wierd that I think this would make a great Mother's Day present?

4) Ask for help. I admit, this is hard for me to do. I don't like to think that I can't handle doing something on my own and I don't want to burden anyone else. But I am always so touched and amazed when people come through — and they always do. I'm in the process of organizing my first ever vendor booth (details coming soon), and after submitting my paperwork the scope of what I actually had to do to make it happen started to set in. I emailed friends and family, asking for volunteers and to borrow items. Within 30 minutes I had all the major things covered. It's a great reminder that even when I feel like I'm on my own, I'm not.

I read a quote recently by Diane Ackerman that really resonated with me. She said, "I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." It's a challenge we all face. I like to think of that quote when I'm feeling caught up in life.

And then I go out and buy some balloons.

Wags,
Stacey

These are the moments I don't want to miss — Sunday morning pj time with the Chloe. Snapped with an iPhone.


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